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Tell me about your plan

Old 05-08-2015, 12:57 PM
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Tell me about your plan

I'm curious about how your recovery plan has changed/evolved over time. What was it like Week 1; Month1; Year 1 (and beyond)?
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:08 PM
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Hi.
It’s rather simple, I just don’t drink for any reason. I want to be sober so I do what the program suggests, it’s worked for millions for many years.

BE WELL
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:12 PM
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Mine changed from being much more structured and the days pre-filled with specific recovery related activities to much less structured for recovery specific activities, and to many more everyday life and work related tasks.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:21 PM
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I will likely get blasted for saying this, but my plan changed 2 years ago. I realized that alcohol is dangerous (something I never realized before). What I realized was that alcohol can and will kill you. My approach going forward was pretty simple and that is I have a drink now and then, but I do not under any circumstances violate the rules I have in place for myself. Its a discipline that many may not have, fortunately I do. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:26 PM
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I agree with Thomas, that realisations that is can and will kill you was a huge thing for me.

However, my approach going forward was that I couldn't drink anymore and drawing a line under it was really empowering for me.

My plan has involved AA and AVRT, both of which I think it might be cool to check out
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:58 PM
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My plan at the very beginning was id do anything to get sober & stay sober

For the first year i was atttending mtns almost daily reading up on litreture i was keeping every Dr apt and done months of group therapy i then signed up for a small college course and passed i then done a higher qualification & a longer course & passed again

Then i found SR and i cant tell you how much SR has helped me to grow strong in my sobriety i learn loads from good people like Dee74 and a lot of others

The most important things for me is Acceptance and the fact i love being sober even on bad days they are nothing compared to my bad days with alcohol involved
I have rediscovered reading because of SR (and a broken xbox) Anna & Dee really helped me with exellent book recommendations

I always went the extra mile to get active & healthy again visiting family and such

Today SR is my main source for sobriety & i love it so much perpective So much experience and ppl who care

I wanted to be sober more than my lungs wanted air

Sobriety has not only saved my life but it has made my life awesome
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:45 PM
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Thank you all for your insights. I'm hoping that one day my life will be more routine, where I don't have to be so deliberate about my sobriety. I will always guard it, for sure. But I'd like it to feel more of an organic part of who I am. At 4 1/2 months, I will then remain patient and stay the course

Thomas - with all due respect - I don't ever see myself having another drink because, to your point, it can and will kill me.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:05 PM
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I thought I was dying one night and probably should have called 911, but I took a couple of aspirin with a pint of water and went back to bed.

I ordered The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction and worked it. Then I kept reading and meditating mostly just trying to ride the anxiety waves and the intensity of waking up emotionally. It was terrifying.

My fourth month was hell, and I think it was because I quit meditating and I kind of took my eye off the ball. Once I started meditating again I balanced out some.

It wasn't until about six months that I trusted myself not to drink, but I was still working on self-compassion and acceptance.

I was a binge drinker, and maintenance alcoholic. For the most part I could turn that on and off, but near the end I was losing control. I think I could probably fool myself into doing what thomas11 is doing, but my history suggests I will eventually lose at that game. I did that many times. I could be moderate for a few months at a time, and then I would go overboard, and that would lead to a series of binges...

Maybe thomas11 is solid and it will work for him in the long run. When I start thinking I could do the same thing I attribute it to my AV trying to convince me I wasn't that bad and could handle it now because I'm deeper into recovery. Ha! Why risk my recovery?

Here's a question, though: If there is such a thing as recovery (meaning recovery as a destination rather than a process), would that not suggest the person who has recovered could go back to using moderately? I mean, they've recovered, right? Not an addict anymore...

I think recovery is a process not a goal. It's my avocation from now til I die.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by On The Road View Post
Thank you all for your insights. I'm hoping that one day my life will be more routine, where I don't have to be so deliberate about my sobriety. I will always guard it, for sure. But I'd like it to feel more of an organic part of who I am. At 4 1/2 months, I will then remain patient and stay the course Thomas - with all due respect - I don't ever see myself having another drink because, to your point, it can and will kill me.
The routine will come, and there will be a time when sobriety doesn't feel deliberate and actively occupy your mind. I remember feeling like you did and wondered if there would ever be a time that I wasn't thinking about "not drinking." I'm at six months and well on the way there. For me it's in small ways like walking by the liquor store and realizing it no longer makes me think about sobriety. It's just like walking by any other store. A couple weeks ago at bowling a friend set her beer on a table in front of me, and I realized later it felt the same as if it had been water or a carbonated drink - it was just a beverage and didn't make me think about "not drinking". Now declining a drink feels the same as declining a coffee after supper because I know I won't sleep. It's not a "thing" I dwell on or think about - it just is normal.

I feel just as committed to my sobriety as I ever did, actually even more so. Those deliberate practices were necessary in the early days to help establish sobriety as part of my identity. They were part of the process of transforming into a new way of being. It's a great way to be - now it's the thought of drinking that feels unnatural.

Congrats on 4.5 months - you got this.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:47 AM
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I realized that alcohol is dangerous (something I never realized before). What I realized was that alcohol can and will kill you. My approach going forward was pretty simple and that is I have a drink now and then
I know you probably didn't mean it to be, but that's one of the neatest encapsulations of alcoholism I've seen Jeff.

The day I finally accepted it was the first drink that got me drunk and not the last one, things changed for me.

D
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:38 AM
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I've noticed it's not exactly as easy as just deciding to put the bottle down. There's quite a bit more work involved in quitting than just the decision to quit. So far I have:

- Proper diet. I find this is absolutely key to the first days of quitting, and reduces withdrawals immensely. If anyone should be having horrible withdrawals, it's me, and I don't even really get them. Just minor ones, like the sweats, etc. I attribute that to a proper diet, and forcing myself to eat good during detox.

- I have no words to express how livid I am with myself right now. I'm seriously pissed off now, and I think that will help propel me to sobriety.

- I have a large, poster sized paper taped onto the wall in front of my computer. I spent a night coming up with my short, mid & long terms goals, then wrote them down on that paper, and taped it to my wall so it's staring me in the face ever day. I have some pretty big goals in this life, and they're all reachable for me, but not if I continue to allow the bottle to control me.

- I bought a bunch of books, and plan to read at the temple 2 or 3 times a day. I think that should help with reflection on life, and continue to provide me with a good perspective on things.

- I'm buying a bicycle tomorrow, which I think will really help as well. I don't drive for obvious reasons, so that bike will help give me more freedom, and open up more world more. Around 5 - 6pm when the loneliness & boredom begin to set in, off I go for a ride into the city. Watch a movie, watch the sunset or hell, just grab some pad thai. Doesn't matter, just get me out of the house and my mind occupied with other things.

- Concentrate on the spiritual side of myself, which I've neglected for too many years. By no means am I religious, and there's not a chance I'm basing my life around a book a bunch of humans wrote 2000+ years ago. However, I am very spiritual, and I need to begin concentrating on that aspect of myself again.

I don't know, I'm just so angry and disappointed with myself, it's beyond sad. I have so much intelligence, potential, and such a great heart that I could really do some great things with this life. And yet, I spend it behind the bottle. Granted, I have some underlying issues that need to be addressed, but they're never going to get solved if I'm permanently drunk.

I don't know any more, but I do know tomorrow will be the last day 1 I ever have.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by thomas11 View Post
I will likely get blasted for saying this, but my plan changed 2 years ago. I realized that alcohol is dangerous (something I never realized before). What I realized was that alcohol can and will kill you. My approach going forward was pretty simple and that is I have a drink now and then, but I do not under any circumstances violate the rules I have in place for myself. Its a discipline that many may not have, fortunately I do. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Moderation is the holy grail of the alcoholic. Millions have tried millions have failed but maybe you will be one in a million. What I came to realize is I didn't want to moderate. What I wanted was to be an alcoholic without the consequences.

To the OP. In the beginning I spent almost every available minute working on my recovery. For the first year I was at AA or IOP almost every day. Reading, praying, learning, talking to other alcoholics was my only priority. I never went to anywhere alcohol was present. Stayed away from places where I used to shop for alcohol.

Today going on six years I lead a normal life. I still put my recovery as my number one priority But do not devote so much time to it. I go to AA 3 times weekly, post on SR, pray, do service work, and help others when I can. I avoid wet places but can deal with them if I have to
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:54 AM
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My plan has evolved from stress avoidance to stress coping. I have learned a lot from other SR members about coping with stress. The best part is that I made major life changes that reduced the amount of stress I have to cope with.
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:59 AM
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Thanks for the additional insights.

Lance - I can't wait until I experience being near a drink without recognizing it. Whenever I see someone I know with a drink in their hand, my eyes involuntarily dart down to glass and I immediately think "...but I can't!"
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:23 AM
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My plan since making it hasn't changed one iota. I will never drink again, and I will not change my mind. It is a very simple two step process # 1 Stop, #2 Don't. It took a second or less to formulate in my mind, and in that sense it was simple ,uncomplicated. The execution is not necessarily easy, but it need not be any more difficult than what I make of it. I had to let go of a lot of preconceived ideas about what addiction meant and come to new perspectives on what addiction was like, for me.
One of the biggest and most helpful perspective changes was looking at a drink in someone's hand and thinking " I choose not to". Of course I can, just pick one up. The difference now being I am fully cognizant of what I would be doing and the eventual hell I would be inviting back into my life by choosing, even one time, to choose pouring a drink down my throat. I consciously choose to not some how forget, or unknow, what I Know to be true about myself and any alcohol consumption. I choose not to drink . It can be very difficult to stay resolved to that decision in early quitting, but with more sober time the pull, urges, thoughts about drinking lessen and it becomes easier to separate the thoughts or feelings or wanting to drink from the actual actions necessary to start drinking again.
"Never agains" didn't help me much until I consciously added " never change my mind" . AVRT helped with a total global change in my thinking and consequent perspective.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:28 AM
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I just finished week 1, and really my only plan is "Stop!"

Being sober for a week now has finally cooled me down from the great embarassment I had from when I last drank. During this whole week it has plagued and bothered me, and it did so even after I apologized about what I'd done, and even became friendly with that person I'd made a fool of myself in front of again. Still bothered me all the way up until day 5.

But now I can look at that memory not with guilt or shame (self-deprecation is a serious trigger for me), and instead with clarity and past-tense comprehension.
I've made a real a$$ of myself with drinking, and it's something I don't want to do anymore. So when I get an urge for a drink now I just think to my past, recall those moments of shame, and can coolly realize that I don't want to do that anymore.
I'm a young adult, but I'm just about a kid because I've used drinking as a way to continue acting inappropriately and child-like. It's horrifying and regressive, and I'm ready to leave that behind and mature and evolve as an intelligent and capable person.

I know many people just want to snip off the memories of their drinking and move on, but for me being able to recall those moments, to reflect upon that heinous person I become and the things I do as that person, fortifies my decision for sobriety.

It's a somewhat dangerous plan though. You see on SR a lot of posts that go, "Sober life is terribly boring." This is totally not true, but for many when they choose sobriety they begin to romanticize drinking, and so the memories they can dig up are either false, or those very few glimmers of a "good time" with it.
This is a fast track to relapse, so I don't know--- it's not a plan for everybody, but if you've control over self-reflection I'll say this has worked very well for me.
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