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Am I Cheating in Recovery?

Old 04-11-2015, 09:31 AM
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Am I Cheating in Recovery?

Hi everyone! I'm on day 11 here. I feel pretty good, but I have to admit I feel as though I'm cheating because I'm on antabuse. I'm not going through any recovery program, just a drug that terrifies me. I also read a lot on here (though I don't post much). I know that if I drink, I will get ill and possibly die. That's enough to keep me sober. I've gone to AA, 2 IOPs, therapy, an addiction specialist, and a psych. Nothing has worked. I put my husband through hell. Antabuse seems like it's "magic." I still have intense cravings and it angers me that I can't drink, but I keep taking that pill. My husband loves the drug. He says he feels like he doesn't have to babysit me anymore and a lot of weight has been lifted. He watches me take my pill daily. He says he's proud of me for taking it, and I say that he shouln't be proud of me, I still want to go drink.

I do really want to be sober, but the fact that the option of drinking has been pulled out from under me kind of stresses me out. I've had visions of switching my Lexapro pills with my Antabuse (they look similar), and taking those in front of him nightly so I can plan a day to drink when he's out of town in a week (yes, I know Antabuse can stay in my system for 14 days so I'm out of time there, but I still envision it for the future).

I do plan to do another IOP once I'm out of school in June, but what if after several months of sobriety, I decide I'll just keep using Antabuse and not do the IOP. The truth is that I hate AA meetings and rehab meetings. I hate the "homework" that's involved. I just want to stop drinking and have that be the end of it. I know that it's in my best interest to go. I'm already planning on drinking once I have a year sober, so obviously I need more than just a pill.

I'm rambling. I know I am. The truth is that at 11 days, I have more sober time than I've had since giving birth 2 and 1/2 years ago. I'm not feeling proud or excited. I just feel like I'm going to go on taking that pill and not drinking without taking any joy in sobriety. I hope that feeling goes away after a while. Will it?

Am I cheating?

Thanks everyone for reading.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:57 AM
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You are not cheating. The important thing is that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to stay sober, even if it is taking a pill.

I felt much the same when I first got sober; angry, wanting to drink, feeling cheated out of drinking etc.. But, like you, I did not drink. My sponsor at the time always reminded me to "fake it until you make it". In other words, just go through the motions and keep doing what you are doing.

Enough time passed for me that it finally sunk in and I began to understand more about sobriety. The anger and resentment lifted and I began to slowly experience the happiness that comes from not drinking.

Do whatever you have to do to not drink. I assure you that how you feel right now is temporary. We have all been where you are and things changed for all of us.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:03 AM
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do not stop taking the pills. it is NOT cheating whatever that means. Whatever you need to do to keep you from drinking is what you must do.

Now, aside from taking the pill that puts the fear of fears in you, you also have to lose that attitude that it is keeping you from drinking.

Quitting drinking is NOT, I repeat, IS NOT punishment. The sooner you embrace this as a good thing, the better off you will be.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
Hi everyone! I'm on day 11 here. I feel pretty good, but I have to admit I feel as though I'm cheating because I'm on antabuse. I'm not going through any recovery program, just a drug that terrifies me. I also read a lot on here (though I don't post much). I know that if I drink, I will get ill and possibly die. That's enough to keep me sober. I've gone to AA, 2 IOPs, therapy, an addiction specialist, and a psych. Nothing has worked. I put my husband through hell. Antabuse seems like it's "magic." I still have intense cravings and it angers me that I can't drink, but I keep taking that pill. My husband loves the drug. He says he feels like he doesn't have to babysit me anymore and a lot of weight has been lifted. He watches me take my pill daily. He says he's proud of me for taking it, and I say that he shouln't be proud of me, I still want to go drink.

I do really want to be sober, but the fact that the option of drinking has been pulled out from under me kind of stresses me out. I've had visions of switching my Lexapro pills with my Antabuse (they look similar), and taking those in front of him nightly so I can plan a day to drink when he's out of town in a week (yes, I know Antabuse can stay in my system for 14 days so I'm out of time there, but I still envision it for the future).

I do plan to do another IOP once I'm out of school in June, but what if after several months of sobriety, I decide I'll just keep using Antabuse and not do the IOP. The truth is that I hate AA meetings and rehab meetings. I hate the "homework" that's involved. I just want to stop drinking and have that be the end of it. I know that it's in my best interest to go. I'm already planning on drinking once I have a year sober, so obviously I need more than just a pill.

I'm rambling. I know I am. The truth is that at 11 days, I have more sober time than I've had since giving birth 2 and 1/2 years ago. I'm not feeling proud or excited. I just feel like I'm going to go on taking that pill and not drinking without taking any joy in sobriety. I hope that feeling goes away after a while. Will it?

Am I cheating?

Thanks everyone for reading.
NO! Why is it people feel okay using the nicotine patch or gum when they quit smoking? Or diet pills when trying to lose weight? If something can help you stop drinking, then I say go for it! Good job for 11 days. Be proud of that!
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:14 AM
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There is no "one way" to quit, therefore, cheating is not an option. Do what works for you!
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:16 AM
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You aren't cheating. This drinking business is a matter of life and death. If taking antabuse keeps you sober, take it!!
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:24 AM
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Thanks everyone! I can't wait until I get to the point where I don't miss drinking. Right now it's a roller coaster of emotions, Many of them negative. Hopefully this passes soon.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:32 AM
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I think it's great you found something that helps you to not drink. But are you also working on the reasons that led to your drinking? Have you found other positive things to do to replace drinking, since I believe the meds your own is just a short-term intervention. Once your off the meds, than what? John
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:43 AM
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I think that you recognize you're not drinking (which is great), but you're not really changing your thinking and lifestyle. You're getting some sober time right now which is good for you, but I think you know that you will need to move on to changing your thinking so that you don't still want to drink all the time.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
The truth is that I hate AA meetings and rehab meetings. I hate the "homework" that's involved. I just want to stop drinking and have that be the end of it. I know that it's in my best interest to go. I'm already planning on drinking once I have a year sober.
I don't think you are cheating so much as you have not really decided that you want to quit. There is usually a lot of ambivalence involved in sobriety; half of you wants to quit, the other half wants to continue but without the hangovers and jail time for DUI's. What you really need to do is make up your mind that there is NOTHING more important than being abstinent. Everything else follows from that. If you "can't stand" AA, and you have a good reason for this distaste (other than that they think you should quit drinking) then try AVRT, RR or SMART Recovery. Nobody can quit for you, though, so your decision to really quit is the most important step.
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:40 PM
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I feel that AA is a different experience with a few months of sobriety.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tabasco View Post
I feel that AA is a different experience with a few months of sobriety.
It can be a different experience after a few months in relapse too. It's all a question of perspective.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:52 PM
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I agree with the others that antabuse is not cheating...but it's not a recovery plan either.

Annais absolutely right here:

I think that you recognize you're not drinking (which is great), but you're not really changing your thinking and lifestyle. You're getting some sober time right now which is good for you, but I think you know that you will need to move on to changing your thinking so that you don't still want to drink all the time.
I craved drinking. To stop that craving I had to change as a person. My priorities had to change. The way I dealt with life had to change.

You cant get that change without making changes

D
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:00 PM
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I'm hoping my thought process changes over the next few months and my mind is in a better place.

Today I spent a lot of time sitting and thinking and crying - Feeling things that I haven't thought about for a long time. I don't want to be an alcoholic. That's for sure. However, I also don't want to not drink forever. I want to not have a drinking problem which I know is pretty close to impossible. I want to be normal. I'm mourning things that haven't happened yet.

In two months I will consider IOP. My doctor will probably force me into it because i told him I would, and I don't want to flake on my promises.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I agree with the others that antabuse is not cheating...but it's not a recovery plan either.

Annais absolutely right here:

I craved drinking. To stop that craving I had to change as a person. My priorities had to change. The way I dealt with life had to change.

You cant get that change without making changes

D
I currently take antabuse along with blood pressure medication and anti-depressants. I feel that there are a lot of people on here who don't like Antabuse. Why? I don't know. Nearly everyone seems to espouse the virtues of this recovery plan or that group which may assist you in quitting.

If Antabuse doesn't do any harm in the long term, then why can't it be a recovery plan? People take medication their entire life to stay healthy. This is the same thing in my opinion.

The very fact that someone has reached the point where they take a pill which could potentially kill them speaks volumes to their willingness to quit. Also, because they aren't drinking, their lifestyle IS different. Over time, other things will naturally take the place of the time that used to be spent drinking.

I feel that this IS a demonstration of the fact that Amanda has reached her decision to quit, and this is merely an aid in helping her much like AA or anything else.

To anyone who thinks this is a cheat, I'll tell you a story...
I drive to and from work every day. On the way home there is a stretch of road which is heavily congested, but there is a lane on the left fairly fast-moving because there is an exit up ahead and it's a left-turn only lane.

I used to sit in one of the other three lanes like a good boy, watching people speed past in that left hand lane and then merge into one of the three lanes right near the exit. This really annoyed me, because I thought that if everyone played by the "rules" then it would make it better for all. But then I realised that wasn't ever going to happen because we are human. So what did I do?

I'm now one of those people who zoom past in the left lane and merge later. This saves me about 10 minutes stuck in traffic each day. To those following the rules or the norm, feel free to get angry with me. I'll be at home having a ginger beer while you're still in the traffic being angry.


And well done Amanda. You have done good.
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:09 AM
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My motto is "Any which way we can" for a reason. Addiction , by definition does not make sense, follow any line of reason or respond to critical analyses so attacking it with any and all mindfudge techniques is ok for the short term. Fear can keep one sober and many will argue it's not enough for the long-haul but we can plan for that also. I was able to taper to quit this last time for real fear of death from alcohol. Even AVRT, of which I am a fan and ascribe to, is a mind game but one that I like a lot. Eventually, we get to embrace life sober. I'm not 100% there yet at 10 months but keep on.
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:34 AM
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If Antabuse doesn't do any harm in the long term, then why can't it be a recovery plan? People take medication their entire life to stay healthy. This is the same thing in my opinion.
I wasn't looking to offend anyone DD.
I think it was pretty clear it was my opinion, without me having to state 'in my opinion' .

I wanted a foolproof recovery because if I ever go back to drinking, I'm dead.

I wanted to genuinely not drink any more.

I wanted to change not only my life, but myself.

For me, antabuse would have meant I would not have gone far enough in the changes I needed to make...I know me and I'm guessing I would have stopped at the not drinking point.

All the other great changes I've experienced in my recovery may not have happened for me.

It wouldn't have been foolproof enough either for someone as devious as me.

what if I couldn't get antabuse sometimes, or I forgot to take it?
what if I got the great idea to have a blow out and simply stop taking the meds?

My AV would have made mincemeat out of a recovery plan that's only as good as the last pill I took.

Your circumstances and your outlook and your recovery ambitions may indeed be different, and I meant no disrespect
D
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Old 04-12-2015, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
I'm hoping my thought process changes over the next few months and my mind is in a better place.

Today I spent a lot of time sitting and thinking and crying - Feeling things that I haven't thought about for a long time. I don't want to be an alcoholic. That's for sure. However, I also don't want to not drink forever. I want to not have a drinking problem which I know is pretty close to impossible. I want to be normal. I'm mourning things that haven't happened yet.

In two months I will consider IOP. My doctor will probably force me into it because i told him I would, and I don't want to flake on my promises.

Hi.
Becoming and staying sober comes with wanting sobriety, being honest with our self about our drinking AND accepting we cannot drink in safety one day at a time in a row.

If any of those are missing itís too wishy washy and usually ends in the miserable way of life drinking brings.
It used to be said a lot at meetings that if you donít like sobriety your misery is refundable.

BE WELL
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:04 AM
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Congratulations on your journey so far!

I absolutely don't think it's "cheating". You do what you need to do and if this works right now, then so be it.

On a different note, I take anti depressants and was told that I wasn't "sober" because I take medication. That's when I stopped listening to other people's negativity!

Early sobriety is hard. It really is. I go between feeling good about not drinking and making good changes for myself, to feeling frustrated and having a "I can drink sometimes" thought pattern.

I don't like thinking "I'm not drinking ever again". Not because I don't feel committed to what I need to do, but because it's too much time to comprehend in early sobriety. A day at a time works for me far better than a week or a month or a year or forever!

Take pride in how you're doing. Definitely see a therapist if you can as it might help to figure out how you got to this point and where you can go from here.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JaneLane View Post
Congratulations on your journey so far!

On a different note, I take anti depressants and was told that I wasn't "sober" because I take medication. That's when I stopped listening to other people's negativity
This is the exact type of thing that shits me. People on their high horse. And it's why I choose not to care what a lot of others say.

Glad you didn't listen Jane.

Also, I wasn't having a go at you Dee. I was riled up.
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