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Six Months In and Still Struggling with Acceptance

Old 04-14-2015, 02:20 AM
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Six Months In and Still Struggling with Acceptance

Hello,
I have been lurking on this website since I stopped drinking almost exactly six months ago.

For the most part, I have not found the journey too much of a struggle. My life is so much better without alcohol, and I have not missed the anxiety and self loathing that usually followed a binge. However, as time has gone on, I have missed the escape from life and troublesome feelings that alcohol has always seemed to offer me.

I accepted quite early on in the process that I am an alcoholic and that I should never drink again, so why, six months down the line have I lost that certainty and fervour? Why do I find myself thinking more and more that it will be ok to allow alcohol back into my life? I find myself scouring websites for horror stories of people whose lives have been ruined by drinking to try to scare myself into acceptance, but I just seem to be going backwards. If I wasn't such a stubborn person, I think I would have relapsed by now.
Any thoughts would be gratefully received.
Many thanks
SoberFreckles
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:28 AM
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Welcome to the posting side of the forum, Freckles. Congratulations on 6 months! That's awesome!

Instead of looking for ways to scare yourself into accepting what you see as a loss you should be looking for ways to achieve a sense of escape and relaxation in ways that aren't accompanied by anxiety and self-loathing. It's not always easy to find those things that make our lives fulfilling, but it can be done.

Best of Luck on Your Journey
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:31 AM
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That's the hallmark of alcoholism - trying very hard to rationalise we don't have a problem.

Many of us confuse abstinence for control - the old logical fallacy 'I obviously don't need to drink anymore...so I must be ok to drink again...'

Many of us found that sooner of later after we reintroduced alcohol into our lives, the old toxic relationship reasserted itself and we ended smack bang back at square one.

Don't fall for the fallacy SF

D
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:12 AM
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Yeah that happened to me too. I took the bait at five months and started back in with a certainty is just needed to 'reset' and was now OK.

This was born a year and a half long binge where everything got way worse and it was a huge struggle to return to sobriety.

This time - well over a year - I stayed the course and when those thoughts arose I took action.

For me, occasional thoughts like that come and go, but when they are persistent it is an indicator that I am not working at my sobriety enough. They call out that I need to exercise more or read the Big Book or journal about my gratitude for sobriety or revisit my step work or go to my therapist or reflect on the old reality of what drinking really brought to my life for so many years.

Sobriety needs our active support - lest we buy into that lie and find ourselves ever further down the hole.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
That's the hallmark of alcoholism - trying very hard to rationalise we don't have a problem.

Many of us confuse abstinence for control - the old logical fallacy 'I obviously don't need to drink anymore...so I must be ok to drink again...'

Many of us found that sooner of later after we reintroduced alcohol into our lives, the old toxic relationship reasserted itself and we ended smack bang back at square one.

Don't fall for the fallacy SF

D
Congrats on your 6 months !!

This 10,000% i was just saying this to someone yesterday they said things go dark when they lose control & i replied sobriety is based on acceptance and not control

I cant control how much i drink i cant control what i say or do when i drink i cant drink safely i cant drink responsibly for me to be in control i wouldnt be flawed like this but it is what is i know it in my heart i have no control when it comes to alcohol and i accept that

Then came the question was how do i cope & how do i live with this ?

I want to welcome you to the forum with a warm welcome & a big hello nice to meet you

Here is a exellent link in making a sobriety plan http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...at-we-did.html
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:59 AM
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Hi.

Many people forget the reasons we needed to stop drinking AND the pains we endured drinking along with possibly some losses. Believe me your misery of drinking is refundable very quickly if we relapse.

I simply accept the FACT that I cannot drink alcohol in safety one day at a time in a row. It’s that simple.
I never want to try to sober up again. Probably could not! That’s not something to look forward to for me as I know what the pains are like.

BE WELL
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:16 AM
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Hi Freckles, welcome to the posting side and congratulations on six months.

I miss the escape into the bottle when life seems too hard but drinking never made my troubles any easier. That's the thing about being an alcoholic. Drinking for me was the symptom of things gone wrong. I thought things would automatically get better once I got sober. They did, but there were still things I needed to work on to not pick up again. Horror stories only work for so long. We forget the initial pain. It's better to work on the positive aspects to keep going.

Well done on six months. Post away! I find that adding support to my life has made things easier.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberFreckles View Post
I stopped drinking almost exactly six months ago.

For the most part, I have not found the journey too much of a struggle. My life is so much better without alcohol, and I have not missed the anxiety and self loathing that usually followed a binge.

I accepted quite early on in the process that I am an alcoholic and that I should never drink again, If I wasn't such a stubborn person, I think I would have relapsed by now.

SoberFreckles
stay stubborn

winner or loser. your choice

stay stubborn
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:25 AM
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I'm a slow learner and a fast forgetter. One of the reasons I go to AA is to be reminded of the fact that alcohol wants to take everything we love from us before it let's us die.

I can't ever forget where I will go if I drink.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:26 AM
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Hi, Freckles!

Like FreeOwl, I drank after 5 months of sobriety, thinking I had "it" under control. I was soon proved wrong.

For me, drinking was like an artery bleed: I needed to stop it, and stop it immediately. But there are still other wounds there that need to be tended to that account for some of the reasons that I drink. One seemingly small but important change has been to create routines and habits that keep me in a calm, focused state, even when things are fast and furious around me. Another, which is more challenging, is to deal with my childhood and some other issues from my past. I think grappling with demons (or angels, for that matter) is key to some folks' sobriety.

Sending you support and peaceful thoughts.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by matilda123 View Post
Hi, Freckles!

Like FreeOwl, I drank after 5 months of sobriety, thinking I had "it" under control. I was soon proved wrong.

For me, drinking was like an artery bleed: I needed to stop it, and stop it immediately. But there are still other wounds there that need to be tended to that account for some of the reasons that I drink. One seemingly small but important change has been to create routines and habits that keep me in a calm, focused state, even when things are fast and furious around me. Another, which is more challenging, is to deal with my childhood and some other issues from my past. I think grappling with demons (or angels, for that matter) is key to some folks' sobriety.

Sending you support and peaceful thoughts.

YES.

When I began actually working the steps and honestly reflecting on my life with alcohol and writing down the cold, objective reality of it.... when I began opening up to myself with the light of honesty.... when I began talking to my therapist about my feelings and my wounds from childhood - some of the most powerful reasons I retreated to substances to begin with - THAT is when recovery really began.

And it wasn't always easy, but it's been productive, progressive and powerful.

And - over time - got easier and easier.

And more importantly; better and better.

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Old 04-14-2015, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberFreckles View Post
I accepted quite early on in the process that I am an alcoholic and that I should never drink again
^^^ If you truly and honestly have accepted this then you should steer the course.

Take it from me. I am six months in as well. This is the longest stretch of sobriety I have ever had. Over the last year and a half I have had stints of sobriety where I have tried and gone back to test the waters so to speak. And every time I do I realize very quickly why I quit in the first place. For me now I have finally reached a place where I truly and honestly have let it go. And it's such a relieving feeling! It took a long time, but I finally get it.

It's more than just quitting the drink. As I'm sure you've realized by now. It sounds like you need to get more involved in your sobriety. You say you've been a lurker for some time. I'm glad you finally decided to join SR and participate. It's helped me tremendously and changed my life forever.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:08 AM
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The OP is why AA was so crucial to me in the first decade of my sobriety. 6 months was actually a landmark, as it was at that time that I came closest to actually drinking again. Took a mouthful of wine, in fact...

I remember similar feelings, too. I felt as though my brain was a pressure cooker, and it was getting to the point where it was going to blow. I couldn't imagine continuing without some sort of release. And the release I wanted most was the one I remember coming from alcohol. Just to let it all go, and take a complete brain vacation. If even just for a day.

The meeting after that mouthful of wine I kinda broke down at. It's the first time I really felt a part of AA. It was the first time I got some hugs too, much needed ones, from people I believed really cared. Those people helped me build an unshakable foundation that's lasted over 30 years now.

As I just wrote in another thread, putting the drink down isn't that tough a thing for most to do. Keeping it down and being happy about it is a different story. I needed the help of AA, the 12 steps, therapy, trying new things, plus a lot of patience to get to the point where I was happy about my life. I also had to learn that it's OK to feel uncomfortable. Some would have us believe that we're supposed to be happy, joyous and free 24/7, but well... that's not what I consider a genuine life. Pain and frustration are a part of life too, and well... they always wind up pushing me to new levels.

If whatever you're doing presently isn't working as well as you wish, I urge you to find new things. Exercise, eating differently, AA (if you're not already a member), the 12 steps, therapy, reading inspirational material, making new friends, new hobbies.... whatever it is that needs to be done in order to stay away from the drink, and grow in a positive direction. That's the way I always look at it anyhow. For me, to pick up a drink means I lose. All bets are off. I'm headed downhill. Period. To not pick up I have a chance, and if I take positive action I know I'm moving forward.

One last note. I knew in my heart that regardless of anything, I couldn't live a drinking life anymore. I knew that if I picked up a drink, if I wanted to continue living I'd have to put it down again at some point. And with whatever amount of time I accumulated, I never wanted to relive it again. What I went through my first week sober, I wanted behind me. If I picked up, I knew I'd have to do it again one day. A week, the same thing. That time span got longer and longer. At six months, there was no way I wanted to go through it all again. I was at a point that I knew I had to either go through whatever I was dealing with now, or go through it some other time down the line. I wanted the suffering to end. So I continued to put one sober foot in front of the other, no matter what, one day at a time.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:46 AM
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Glad you are ganging in there! You can do this!
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:55 AM
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the heart and mind can be very deceitful.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Arbor8 View Post
^^^ If you truly and honestly have accepted this then you should steer the course.

Take it from me. I am six months in as well. This is the longest stretch of sobriety I have ever had. Over the last year and a half I have had stints of sobriety where I have tried and gone back to test the waters so to speak. And every time I do I realize very quickly why I quit in the first place. For me now I have finally reached a place where I truly and honestly have let it go. And it's such a relieving feeling! It took a long time, but I finally get it.

It's more than just quitting the drink. As I'm sure you've realized by now. It sounds like you need to get more involved in your sobriety. You say you've been a lurker for some time. I'm glad you finally decided to join SR and participate. It's helped me tremendously and changed my life forever.
Nothing to add...
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:19 PM
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I think the physical side of alcoholism doesn't get stressed enough. Alcoholism is a body/mind/spirit deal but we most often only talk about the mental and spiritual hoping that will be enough to stop the organ damage through abstinence. I'm seeing here that it often doesn't work.

When I first entered the rooms of AA (a big room) I grabbed every pamphlet on the walls and tables there. That was enough to scare me. I had thought of the unmanageable life, etc, but never the physical consequences. If in doubt of what the future holds for someone who continues drinking, just make a trip to your local VA facility/hospital. Talk to those awaiting liver transplants getting a hog-sized needle plunged into their side to drain off the fluid accumulating in their abdomen once a week or those walking around with a pole holding a bag of food being injected to their veins because their pancreas or stomachs won't handle food by mouth... the list goes on but if you want to see the physical conseqences, that's a good place to start... and, yes, if you take the time to talk with those sitting near you... be prepared because you will come across those for whom their is no medical solution left and they're in various stages of dying because they wouldn't stop drinking... you can find a lot of those in the kidney area or dialysis waiting area.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:54 PM
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Thank you to everyone who has replied. You have given me so much amazing stuff to think about. I am just throwing my toys out of the pram I think. Wailing and stamping my feet because I can't have everything I want in life, the easy way.

My dad is an alcoholic and much as I love him, he ruined my childhood. He used to be a drunk in the park, shoplifting, selling possessions, emptying my mum's bank account so we had no money, borrowing from loan sharks kind of drunk. And I have never been anything like that. I always damaged myself far more than anyone else. Thinking about it, maybe I am refusing to accept facts because I can't possibly be like him.
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