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More relapses then I can count.

Old 05-04-2015, 09:31 AM
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Thanks to all the supportive comments guys. I really appreciate it.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by FreeOwl View Post
I sometimes wonder if relapse becomes "the new normal" and in some ways we almost become addicted to the process of relapse itself?
This is a scary thought.... but one has come to mind for me time and time again. I sure hope not. But it would seem that way.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:46 AM
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I just want you to know I totally relate to your post! Feel like I could have written it myself! I'm praying for you!!!
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post


I've gotten to the point where I KNEW to my very core that I was done drinking. I had surrendered, I wanted sobriety more than anything. In that moment I would have done anything asked of me. But the problem is - that moment passed and new moments arrived and my brain started thinking differently. The old thoughts and romanticizing of the bottle start occurring. I can shut them out for a while, but over time they become stronger. The less attractive AA and sobriety starts looking. And I change my mind. Simple as that, I decide I want to drink. And sure, at that point I can pick up the phone, call people, pray, whatever (and I have done all these things) but the fact is if I WANT to drink, nothing is really gonna get in my way.

And needless to say, it never goes well, bad sh*t happens, and I come out the other side with a desperation to stay sober, whatever it takes. On, and on, and on, and on.
For me, I just got tired of the entire cycle of drinking, feeling crummy and then trying to get sober again. It is easier to stay out of the cycle and not drink than it is to be in that cycle. With my last relapse (almost 6 months ago), several hours of drunkenness when compared to two weeks worth of terrible cravings was just not worth it for me. I don't want to have to go through that ever again.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:20 AM
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I relapsed more times than I'd like to remember, but finally got to the point where I wanted to be sober more than I wanted to drink. And I've been sober for over five years now. It can be done.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:22 AM
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You have come to a point of realizing your double-mindedness between the addiction's "want" and your rational "should". And the addiction eventually crowds out the rational should over time. It can be scary to envision a life without the "precious". And although it is not healthy, the security of the alcohol outweighs the unknown of a sober life. Because you have used alcohol as a emotional compass, relying less on reality and more on the false direction of the drug, it may seem daunting to give that up and attempt to regain a true north again. Easier to go on auto-pilot. To get better you have to stop drinking EVEN IF it is uncomfortable and disconcerting. Then, as time goes by your willingness to conform to a sober life will be reinforced and that double-mindedness will diminish. Don't wait for the will to stop to spring you into action. You have to act FIRST and then the will becomes stronger.

I hope this makes sense. It sounds backward, and in a way it is. But it works
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:23 AM
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It takes time to get used to sober living, to get used to, or even like, the new you.

I knew what I needed to do in order to remain sober following my relapse, even though I initially didn't want to do it, and that was to make wholesale changes in my life, including my thinking and behavior. Nothing short of that would have made a difference, knowing as I did the enormous struggle that comes with achieving sobriety. It is not at all or in any measure a lighthearted enterprise, and I think you know this.

Putting down the drink and using all the help available to me would not have been enough. Many of us hold onto our drinking life with a death grip, even though we've stopped drinking, fearing what sobriety will bring, until we lose everything, until we no longer have a choice in the matter.

Getting sober for me was largely a matter of making and continuing to make a commitment, as well as an act of faith...faith that there was a better way for me. I didn't need to struggle with this every moment of every day, but I did need to make this a priority in my life, lest I continue my life of self-destruction, one that was devoid of purpose or meaning and, mercifully, one that I hoped would end with an alcoholic death.

I agree with others who have commented that if what you've been doing hasn't been working for you, then something different needs to be tried.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by least View Post
I relapsed more times than I'd like to remember, but finally got to the point where I wanted to be sober more than I wanted to drink. And I've been sober for over five years now. It can be done.
I think we all have to reach that point of wanting = readiness. For sure over the years I swore off booze, no mas - not me! I'm done. This was typically preceded by an "event of embarrassment". But as that memory faded and I was good for a bit I'd go right back to where I was. I simply did not have enough consequences yet to really push me through - over the edge - into sobriety.

I cannot tell anyone how to get to that point. Frankly, some do not survive getting there I am afraid. We are dealing with a potentially deadly situation but play Russian roulette. Believe me, your surrounded by others who did the same thing.

One thing that I will suggest to you is reading the stories of recovery in the Big Book again if you haven't. Consider reading the section that starts with "They stopped in Time."

It is not a requirement to get all the way down the hill before we climb back up - but for some (like me) I really did not get it. I am hopeful my story will be one of "they stopped in time."

Glad were both here, today.............
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:01 PM
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I agree with others who have commented that if what you've been doing hasn't been working for you, then something different needs to be tried.
That!
I got sober in AA, it worked for me but you can bet that if it had not clicked I would have moved on to something else.
I am just always a bit surprised when I see people who have been around SR for a while and have yet to explore the forum and are not cognizant with other forms of recovery.
Maybe I am nosy but I just like to see what other people are doing to stay sober and incorporate some of it in my own recovery too if it's something I really like.
There is AVRT as mentioned above and many other options. You could also look into Women For Sobriety (they have also a forum online) or Refuge Recovery.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:30 PM
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i agree with the theory that you aren't constantly relapsing....you have just change your cycle of using. somewhere in your head you are still giving yourself permission to drink/use. you haven't shut the door completely. you keep the back door propped open.

the only comment i'm going to make regarding what you have shared of your experience with AA, is that I suspect you didn't fully surrender to the concepts of powerlessness and unmanageability, and you did not full give yourself over to working the steps at the full measure of honesty. DOING the steps sounds like a chore, or unpleasant task like DOING laundry....WORKING the steps is an entirely different process.

anywho, are you fully ready NOW to commit to not using again EVER under any circumstances? cuz that is what it is going to take. no excuses, no reservations, no holding out.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:39 PM
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Hi Mrrryah
I can relate to what you've said.
I'm still struggling at times here also,
but getting stronger.
As others have mentioned, check out AVRT.
I like to read the
"Bullets for my Beast" Flashcards.
Check it out:
https://www.rational.org/index.php?id=155
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post
I'm quite surprised that my reply to that April fools day thread was of large enough impact to stick with you for this length of time. Am I sending a resentment here? Lol. That's great for you that you worked the steps and it worked for you. And I honestly believe you. But I'm also being fully honest when I say I worked the steps and that alone has not work for me. Yes I worked with a sponsor, who I spoke with every day, I went to a meeting every day, I read the big book, I called people, I did service work, and I still got to a point where I made the decision to drink. Of course I wish I hadn't. Of course I wish that had not been the case, but that was my experience. Please try and keep an open mind that for some people "aa is not the be-all end all" and sometimes outside help/other help is required. I believe that was actually the daily reflection not long ago. Spoken by the program itself.
As I said earlier, I could have written your post myself! I too believe that AA isn't the "end all, be all". It works for some but not for others. Several people recommended I read the book "Many Roads, One Journey-Moving Beyond the 12 Steps" by Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D. and so far it's amazing! It explains why AA doesn't work for many women...especially women with trauma or in their past or shame, anxiety, depression etc.

I highly recommend getting it. Let me know if you do and we can message each other about it. Your story is really similar to mine and it's giving me so much relief because I feel like someone FINALLY understands and has a solution.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:01 PM
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"the fact is if I WANT to drink, nothing is really gonna get in my way."

now...

Insert the word DON'T in front of WANT.....

"the fact is if I DON'T WANT to drink, nothing is really gonna get in my way."

There, that is what you need to think, do, say!
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by least View Post
I relapsed more times than I'd like to remember, but finally got to the point where I wanted to be sober more than I wanted to drink. And I've been sober for over five years now. It can be done.
I completely agree with this. At some point, when other methods have failed, this would make the most sense. Unfortunately for some, it is a long and ugly road before they reach that point.
As I am sure you know, it almost always gets worse and never better. You are young. I'm rooting for ya. Something will click at some point and you'll be off and running.
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post
I'm quite surprised that my reply to that April fools day thread was of large enough impact to stick with you for this length of time. Am I sending a resentment here? Lol.

That's great for you that you worked the steps and it worked for you. And I honestly believe you. But I'm also being fully honest when I say I worked the steps and that alone has not work for me. Yes I worked with a sponsor, who I spoke with every day, I went to a meeting every day, I read the big book, I called people, I did service work, and I still got to a point where I made the decision to drink. Of course I wish I hadn't. Of course I wish that had not been the case, but that was my experience.

Please try and keep an open mind that for some people "aa is not the be-all end all" and sometimes outside help/other help is required. I believe that was actually the daily reflection not long ago. Spoken by the program itself.
No, I don't have a resentment. I don't allow them. What I do have though is a memory and thinking when I read that that you weren't done drinking.
You say Yur being honest here that you worked the steps yet in your OP you say you never completed them.
??????????
I've received upon tide side help myself through the years, but I wasn't gonna throw out something that was helping me because it wasn't entirely helping me.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrrryah1 View Post
This is a scary thought.... but one has come to mind for me time and time again. I sure hope not. But it would seem that way.
I think rather than seeing as scary - if we see it as 'an interesting possibility', it may shed light on what's going on when we find ourselves caught in that cycle.

What is common about the cycle? What has changed over time? What has NOT changed? What might we make different this time? What was the best of the things we've learned and can carry forward into sobriety? What have been the worst of the things that we now know we must avoid?
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:02 PM
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Maybe you can try seeing a counselor or therapist? It may help to talk to a professional if you haven't already. Others in AA or on this website can only share what works for them, maybe a counselor could help pinpoint what is going wrong in your sobriety plan.

I completely understand that sometimes you want to drink. If drinking wasn't enjoyable at one point or another nobody would become an alcoholic. Some may suggest you "think the drink through" and remember all the negative consequences of your drinking. To be honest this never worked for me. Like it says in the Big Book of AA I seem to forget the negative effects of my drinking pretty easy.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:19 PM
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Hi Mrryah

I used to say stuff like my brain works against me, I can't trust it etc etc.

That's putting us (you& me) in the passive position - things happen to you.

In fact, we're the ones that make things happen

If you;re feeding your 'bad wolf' it will win. What about feeding your good wolf?

Life will always throw stuff at you...if your only real tool is a bottle...drinkers gonna drink.

you need more tools - and you need to use them...not drinking is going to be much harder than drinking for you right now...

but I really feel you're worth the effort mrrryah

D
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:50 PM
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I love the metaphor of the wolf you feed Dee it is such a good fable!

Sometimes getting and staying sober is extremely difficult. My friend would attend AA meetings loaded and could not get sober for the life of him. He ended up checking into rehab and has been doing great with one slip up! You sometimes have to isolate the problem for a certain time period and then re enter the real world with your new found tools. I would suggest a 90 day program if you have the opportunity.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:03 PM
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Hey Myrrryah!

I have always done AVRT/RR, but I recently started SMART and it has helped immensely. For the first time in my life, I feel hopeful that I will stop forever and live a happy, meaningful life.

It is CBT based (cognitive behavioral therapy) and there is a lot of homework involved, but so far, I have enjoyed all the exercises and assignments. Their approach is to work from the inside out, to really tackle the 'why' and not the 'what' of addiction. Here is their site if you are interested:

Self Help Addiction Recovery | SMART RecoveryŽ
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