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Was I That Bad?

Old 05-30-2015, 10:04 AM
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Was I That Bad?

153 days sober today. Still struggling with various challenges, but doing very well.

I am co-hosting an event with someone. We are getting together a group of writers for a reading/signing/meet-and-greet evening. The other guy called me last night. He was obviously pretty drunk.

Slurred words, repeating himself over and over (and over) again. Babbling. It took quite some time to get off the phone, and it was both infuriating and sad.

I am sure I was that bad. Not on the phone, because I had the wisdom to stay off of it when I was drinking. Every night, in other words. I never made any calls, and I never answered the phone when drinking heavily.

But, yeah, drunks are a pain in the you-know-what. I'm sure we all thought we were cute and clever. Full of life, right?

Wrong. Full of false bravado, sickness, and pain.

I have no tolerance for it anymore. Mostly because it embarrasses me. I wince when I think back to situations where I was droning away to someone who was not drinking.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:09 AM
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Your post is spot-on, livinginhope. One of the hardest things for me now at about six months in reconciling myself with the embarrassment and shame of knowing I was that person so many times over the course of decades.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:11 AM
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I can really relate to this post. Because I was that bad, and often. Some of my oldest friends are still practicing drunks and it's a real pain in the butt being around them most of the time. I'm just glad I don't subject people to that anymore.

And I'm glad you don't either. Nice job on the 153 days. Keep it up!
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:13 AM
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Thanks guys. It actually helps me to be around a drunk now and then. In small doses. A vivid reminder of bad days gone by. Days never to be repeated.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by livinginhope View Post
Thanks guys. It actually helps me to be around a drunk now and then. In small doses. A vivid reminder of bad days gone by. Days never to be repeated.
I agree. Once I had several months of sobriety, being around drunks shifted from being a trigger to a very helpful deterrent. In small doses, as you said.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:22 AM
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I never, ever want to go back. Things are SO MUCH better. I just did a week of 12 hour days in a machine shop. It was still tough, but not as brutal had I been drinking nightly. The spring allergies were way better this year. Mild discomfort instead of abject misery and probably a sinus infection. I am spending my energy working out instead of drinking and smoking pot. I am healthier, I look and feel much better, I have more money and am knocking down the debts, I have the discipline to improve my diet, where I did not before. I reward myself every two weeks, on payday, with a new vinyl record. Something to keep, and enjoy, rather than throwing money away on a debilitating addiction.

So many pluses and no minuses whatsoever to quitting drinking.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:24 AM
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Yeah, I can definitely relate. Especially annoying when they say the exact same thing every 5 minutes for about an hour. It's just, "yes, I know, you told me 8 times already in the past hour"
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by livinginhope View Post
153 days sober today. Still struggling with various challenges, but doing very well.

I am co-hosting an event with someone. We are getting together a group of writers for a reading/signing/meet-and-greet evening. The other guy called me last night. He was obviously pretty drunk.

Slurred words, repeating himself over and over (and over) again. Babbling. It took quite some time to get off the phone, and it was both infuriating and sad.

I am sure I was that bad. Not on the phone, because I had the wisdom to stay off of it when I was drinking. Every night, in other words. I never made any calls, and I never answered the phone when drinking heavily.

But, yeah, drunks are a pain in the you-know-what. I'm sure we all thought we were cute and clever. Full of life, right?

Wrong. Full of false bravado, sickness, and pain.

I have no tolerance for it anymore. Mostly because it embarrasses me. I wince when I think back to situations where I was droning away to someone who was not drinking.
Congrats on stacking up some time, that's Grrrreat!!

Yea, I think we all have those moments of seeing ourselves in others. I witnessed it in some extended family last weekend. Intolerance pops up as we see reflections of our bad behavior.

I learned from others I need to work daily on tolerance/love for others, but also do not have to be sucked into the insanity of their vile behavior - even though it used to be mine not so long ago.

There is a support group for those who babble too much btw - it's called On and On Anon

Don't let others mess with your mojo but take the observations for opportunities to reinforce your sobriety!!
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:26 AM
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Really great thread livinginhope. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Flynbuy View Post
There is a support group for those who babble too much btw - it's called On and On Anon
Ha!
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:08 AM
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Although they offer strong support and a means for getting sober that is light years ahead of going it alone, mere attendance in rehab and then outpatient treatment on its own is not enough to remain sober.

I frequently ran into people I'd known from both types of treatment who'd left treatment early, were kicked out for some infraction, or completed treatment. In all but a couple of cases, they were all drinking, though not always at the moment I ran into them. Feigning interest in me, my life and my sobriety so as to later extract drinking money from me..."How's your Mom? I need some money to get home." "It's great that you're still sober! I haven't eaten in a coupla days, so if you can let me have a twenty." "You look great! I just got a job, but I need money to get there." Sometimes they were just falling down drunk and didn't recognize me. One guy I'd come to know pretty well in rehab and OP, who'd earned a reputation for stalking one of the women from OP when he was thrown out after testing positive for booze, and who was clearly hungover when I saw him, grabbed me outside a subway station and asked me for forty bucks so he could go to the Mets game. "I have to go. It's opening day." Others were enlisting the usual cast of characters among excuses as to why they were drinking again..."That counselor who threw me out was out to get me." "I can't find work." "AA sucks." "My grandmother died (again) last week."

Although I may believe that I'm sophisticated, clever, attractive or funny when I'm drinking, I most certainly am not, even though some people may tell me that I am. Some people liked when I drank -- during the few times I was being "social" -- because it took the attention away from them, they were fine with me being the village idiot, or they convinced themselves that they didn't have a problem because, well, "look at that guy!" During my three-year relapse, I eventually came to know who and what I was while drinking, and I attempted to keep my bad behavior to myself, though I also allowed my alcoholic thinking to convince me that I could "get away with it" by moving in with my girlfriend at the time. How could someone who loved me so completely turn against me, reject me and, finally, throw me out?

Seeing myself in other people in that particular way brought/brings to mind such words as 'grotesque', 'pathetic', and 'disgusting'. Like it or not, my uncensored mind makes judgments before, and sometimes during and after, the content is filtered through reason, compassion and empathy. I am often quiet and sometimes contentious in the extreme when I'm drinking, but always revolting. There is no such thing as 'charm' and 'grace' for a drunk.

I was shocked and horrified by both the amount and the depth of self-loathing I carried when I first got sober. But what was there to like? I came to understand this better when I witnessed other people, particularly people I knew, who were drinking. The only remedy for me was not simply to avoid bad behavior, but to be a better person. And this was only possible by first putting down the drink.

There are a range of physiological reasons why we black out, but there is also a psychological explanation. If we were to recall our bad behavior while we're drinking, it would be impossible to live within our own skin. Even the detailed descriptions from people who witnessed my bad behavior were suspect to me, if only because what they described was so extreme. If I couldn't remember it, then it probably didn't happen. At least not to the extent I was told. They're just busting my chops because I was drunk. It's a convenient defense for moving on from what people tell me happened and to continue drinking.

All of these things remind me of the line in the AA Big Book, "An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature."
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:57 AM
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Yeah, I don't like being around drunk people. I feel like a hypocrite as most of my life I was part of the club. I try not to judge or resent them but I just have this constant desire to inform them of the damage they causing themselves, but I refrain.
I was just at one of my children's wedding. This brought me considerable anxiety and discomfort as many of my former party clan were there. I felt embarrassed for them as they became touchy feely, babbling idiots as the night progressed. I don't know why I should be feeling this way when they seem perfectly content with their lifestyle. It's really not my problem and if they don't see it as one, it's not theirs either. I think it's just a painful reminder of my past that I would rather avoid.
I think we do have to be careful as we progress in this sober journey not to become overly self righteous. We may just become as offensive and annoying to others as when we were drinking.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:24 PM
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Yep. Whenever I read posts on here like "I drink two bottles of wine a night but my family has no idea...." Yeah right.

I can really relate to that though because I used to think that nobody could tell.

But oh gosh, it is painfully obvious. Everyone knows unless you're in a cabin in the woods without phone or internet. Oh, and hide the next day. Yep, hungover people are really obvious too.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by esinger View Post
I think we do have to be careful as we progress in this sober journey not to become overly self righteous. We may just become as offensive and annoying to others as when we were drinking.
I agree. Imagine the effect it would have had on us, when we were still drinking, if some sober person had tried talking about sobriety to us at a wedding? Ummm....NONE? I probably would have drank more to **** them off.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:59 PM
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153 Days is fantastic!! Keep pushing through!!
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:33 PM
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Yup and the worst of it was waking in the morning racked with guilt, shame and regret. Without even knowing why at first, just vague memories of saying something I shouldn't. Then slowly trying to piece it altogether, reading text messages through fingers, opening emails, messenger, forums, anywhere I may have spread my drunken nonsense - with a deep sense of dread. CRINGE. That was one of the deciding factors for me in the end. I just couldn't handle that terrible weight on my back anymore.

Well done on your 150+ days!
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:37 PM
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I have compassion for those in the grips of drinking, but I find it very hard to spend time with them.

And, yes, I am very careful not to be that guy who, having stopped drinking, feels that everyone else around him has to as well.

It's a tightrope. I want to offer support and show them that a sober life is much superior to an intoxicated one, but no one likes a self-righteous jerk. Usually, especially at this point in my sobriety, I simply mind my own business unless my input is asked for.
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:54 PM
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Great thread. A good reminder of where I never want to go again.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JackDsMissus View Post
Yup and the worst of it was waking in the morning racked with guilt, shame and regret. Without even knowing why at first, just vague memories of saying something I shouldn't. Then slowly trying to piece it altogether, reading text messages through fingers, opening emails, messenger, forums, anywhere I may have spread my drunken nonsense - with a deep sense of dread. CRINGE. That was one of the deciding factors for me in the end. I just couldn't handle that terrible weight on my back anymore.

Well done on your 150+ days!
This is one of the most spot-on descriptions of the alcoholic's life I've ever read. And to think we lived like that every single day. Unbelievable.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:39 PM
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Some of my most despicable moments flitted through my head as I read this thread, dreadful behaviour all because I felt it was my right to drink and not have to deal with the consequences.
I'm very quick to bow out of social occasions where drinking has become the main focus and once those around me are intoxicated I may joke about their behaviour but I'm very keen to leave just in case it turns ugly!
I've been playing 'spot the alky' on my social forays... Not too hard to do at the latest family reunion; my Aunt in a wheelchair, still sipping gently at her 1/2 pint when we all know it was her daily diet of vodka that gave her the chair.
I am so pleased I never have to worry about such things again.
Great topic

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