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Avoiding Past Mistakes

Old 06-02-2015, 07:02 AM
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Avoiding Past Mistakes

Last night I remembered a situation that threw me off my sober course last summer.....

My dad lives several hours away. We only get together a few times a year.

He does know that I am working on my sobriety and even congratulated me. However, he is a high functioning alcoholic and still drinks around me.

Last summer he invited my family to stay in a cottage with him & his wife that they had rented. We met up on Saturday afternoon. I noticed he unpacked six or seven bottles of wine.

Him & his wife were the only ones drinking - and his wife probably only had 2 or 3 glasses of wine from those bottles. By Sunday night all of the bottles were gone and he had moved on to beer.

At the time, the fact that he was drinking around me did not bother me. I was enjoying the relaxing weekend and enjoying everyone's company. I was happy to be sober and sleeping well, waking up feeling good and full of energy.

But, for some reason, by the time I got home from the weekend trip my AV was loud - and my cravings were intense. I gave into it and drank.

Can some of you shed some light on why this happens (not seeming bothered at the time, but releapsing as soon as being removed from the situation)?

And thoughts on how to avoid this in the future. Not spending time with my father is not an option. I also am not comfortable asking him not to drink around me - although I wish he would choose not to without being asked.

I read in someone's post yesterday, ".......our sobriety does not need to be tested, but protected......" (sorry, I cannot remember who said that - but thank you!).

I dont want to test my sobriety but I also feel that I cannot remove alcohol from the world, so I need to learn to be around it without causing a slip, or releapse.

Sorry this is so long. Thanks for listening and I appreciate anyone's thoughts, feedback, insight.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:08 AM
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I had a very similar experience recently.

I went to a weekend family event and felt fine during; my cravings were minimal and it felt manageable. Then by the Monday, I felt the complete opposite.

The only thing I can put it down to is that I had a strong plan in place to deal with the event - people I could call, places I could escape to if I needed some time away etc, then I came home and it was like a feeling of relief, and my recovery didn't seem quite so fragile.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by live4luv View Post
Can some of you shed some light on why this happens (not seeming bothered at the time, but releapsing as soon as being removed from the situation)?

And thoughts on how to avoid this in the future.
It's called addiction, and it is a very cunning affliction. Generally when we decide to drink again it starts much earlier ( days, weeks ) before we actually pick up the drink.

The best way to avoid it is to have a solid plan that you practice daily to not only remember why you don't drink, but to also find healthy ways to deal with the stress/problems that led us to drink in the first place. What that "plan" is can be many different things, some people choose meeting base recovery like AA/LifeRing/Smart. Some follow the self-paced/self help methods like AVRT or using self help books and resources like SR. Joining a monthly or weekly thread here can help give you some daily accountability and commonalities with others going through the same.

The most important thing to remember is that addiction is a lifelong affliction - it never "gets better". Dealing with it becomes much easier over time of course, but it is something that always needs to be addressed.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by live4luv View Post
Not spending time with my father is not an option.
I would suggest that, yes, it is an option. My mother was a trigger for me, and I very rarely spent time with her when I began recovery.

As for the AV, I had a similar experience. I went to a neighborhood party early on in recovery and it wasn't bad. I was uncomfortable at times, but I managed to chat with people and mingle. Obviously it stressed me more than I realized, because the next morning I woke up and the first thing I did was go to the wine store. The AV is tricky.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by live4luv View Post
I dont want to test my sobriety but I also feel that I cannot remove alcohol from the world, so I need to learn to be around it without causing a slip, or releapse.
Wait until you accumulate some sobriety before you try that. Alcohol isn't that hard to avoid, but you have to be willing to take those measures, especially in early recovery.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by live4luv View Post
And thoughts on how to avoid this in the future.
I think awareness is key. I had a similar situation a few years ago - I was all prepped to be around drinkers (in-laws) for a week and not drink. Mission success. Then they all left and I drank.

They come every year, so now I spend the time they are here preparing for when they leave and my AV kicks into overdrive. I don't know why that's how it works, but I know that's how it works - so I prepare accordingly.

You can do this.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:35 AM
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I thank you all for your encouragement and words of wisdom. It is so reassuring to know that this is somewhat common (and not just me being weak). Next time I'll be ready for it and work out a plan for defeating that AV.

I'm on day 8 today and feeling great. Stumbling upon this site has been a godsend. I spend hours everyday just reading posts and soaking up everyone's good vibes.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:34 AM
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I think you need supportive people around you and not people that clash w your mission. You can spend sometime w them but not a wwkend.....what's the fun in that.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:08 AM
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In the past when I have been able to seemingly handle drinking situations and maintain my sobriety, I would
"reward" myself with a drink. This addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful..and completely irrational
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:10 AM
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I just attended a wedding gathering/reception at close to 5 months sober this past weekend.

I hadn't been around THAT much alcohol in well..The 5 months at least.

I had a few measures that i put in place. I had an 11 PM get out of dodge established time. And i HAD to make a call to my sponsor at 9 PM.

Just to check in, and say how i was doing.

Not going to lie...Some of the old...I want to drink feelings went off.

But i was able to deal with them. Make sure you don't go in to such situations blindly.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:38 PM
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Welcome to SR Live
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:58 PM
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I also feel that I cannot remove alcohol from the world,
I think you can, at least for those initial months?

I wasn't a hermit - I went to movies, coffee dates, walks, museums - but I stayed away from events where I knew alcohol would be.

I wasn't running away - I was safeguarding my recovery.

I made a lot of tough choices but I knew I had to put clear distance between who I had been and who I wanted to become.

when I did eventually 're-enter society' it was when I knew that nothing or noone could sway me. I intended to stay sober... and I have

D
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:06 PM
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I have seen and experienced the delayed reaction effect many times. Even after almost 6 years I still feel a little bit off for a day or two when I've been around a lot of drinking. .

If I choose to go into the belly of the beast I have a darn good reason.
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