When does this get easier?

Old 06-07-2015, 08:02 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Yes, the mental mayhem does end. Some days are better than others but none of them have that screaming need for a drink. I had to learn a whole new way to deal with anger and frustration.

When I get angry I talk about it. I see it for what it is, a trigger to drink. It's part of the four big triggers that people talk about. Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tired, collectively H.A.L.T. If I'm having a tough time all of a sudden, one of those is sure to be the culprit. If I address that, it gets a whole lot better. Keep it up. 23 days is great
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:13 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by neednewpath View Post
My question is, when does this battle in my head quit? Hiw long does it take when sobriety feels like the norm?
I'm very new to this forum, but my sponsor has always told me to get out of my head. That's where the damage starts (for me at least). And I don't always listen, but when I do, he's right. Something that was a world-ender for me last week is just a blip on the radar now (usually replaced by something else, as that's how life is), but remember, one day at a time.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:22 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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It definitely gets better and easier as you go along. You'll feel yourself gain some momentum that you don't want to sabotage. You'll learn new coping skills, and start rebuilding and building your life, and as you realize the value of your new sober lifestyle, you won't want to go back to drinking

It really does get better!

Not to say there won't be times when the AV will rear its head, because it will, but you can employ different tools or techniques or dialogue (depending on your recovery program or whatever you choose to use as your "method") and quickly recover.

Just this weekend I came face to face with a large amount of alcohol, within easy grasp, and it would have been simple to "get away with" drinking "a few" - but where would this have taken me? Down the road I know all too well. I chose not to go down that road. And I'll keep making that choice each time I'm presented with an opportunity to drink
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:44 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I used to obsessively drink, every night and heavily. The first month there were many times I thought I was going to lose it with cravings, like literally stand on my porch and scream out into the night. After about three months, I was far enough from my last drink that not drinking felt pretty normal. At 11 months I can honestly say my addictive voice is in complete remission. I don't think about drinking, ever really.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:45 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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A couple of techniques from self help books have been working for me,
when you get the craving ask yourself "What will a beer/ drink add to this situation?" the answer for me will always be negative.
Another similar one is to "play the tape to the end", so a beer may taste great to begin with but where is it likely to lead?
I've been using these quite a bit and so the mental pictures I come up to answer the scenarios have become quite detailed................. wanting more and more, getting blind drunk, over reacting to the situation, ........wasting all my efforts so far, feeling low and angry with myself...........
Fill in your own details and see if it helps you to resist these early cravings. Good luck xx
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:07 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Some amazing posts. Wow!!!! Early recovery is hard. Transformation is difficult and uncomfortable. And I belueve without honesty and transformation with in and going within addiction will continue. It took me tears to realise that the inner transformation is much easier when I make outter changes ie - dropping using and drinking buddies. Going to pubs.
If the recovery was easy non of us would be here. Nodody has set up a forum to discuss getting out of bed. We just do it!!!! Unfortunately most of us addicts cant 'just do it'. Atleast I couldnt. I drank and used for 18 years. Atleast 10 of those years at some level trying to quit. And until I got honest, ruthless and went with in and got out of my own addict percepted mind I failed and thought I was doomed to never have anything and real happiness was an illusion. Im not by any shot 'recovered' but today I woke up at a reasonable hour, meditated and ate breakfast and thought what a bright beautiful day!! Thats progress for me. I used to wake up and see it was a bright day and re draw the curtains, do a line and ceack open a can and literally spit venom and rage at myself while I counted the remaining money I had left over and thought who I could cheat, lie to, steal from or what I coukd sell to get more.
Just for today im at peace (almost) and im heading to the gym and just see where the day takes me. Before that was scarey. Today its the start of a new adventure. Xx
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:45 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Hi neednewpath

One of the things I had to learn in recovery was patience - I'd drink for a long time and was very used to the immediate gratification of booze.

You're basically building a new life. It takes a little time to learn a new approach and a new skill - but it will happen.

A lot of people point to three months as a turning point and I'd agree with that - but that's not to say it will always be as hard as it is now til then...things got incrementally better week by week

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Old 06-08-2015, 02:32 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Hi NNP. I'm a little further ahead than you. 7 weeks today. I've noticed things getting easier but it's slow. Not so many white-knuckle moments now. I too am under stress with a difficult business deal and it doesn't help things. On the bright side, I have not felt too compelled to drink as a result (very different to say, 2 weeks ago). On the other hand I have begun getting insane mood swings where I can feel so down and hopeless but 5 minutes late be back on track.

All part of the long game I'm told. For me running helps. It feels good to be free although it hurts sometimes. I don't miss drinking but I miss the escapism. Like others have said, we just need to find somewhere else (and healthier) to escape to.

I would like to wake up in a place where I don't feel I need to escape from at all... Let's call that a work in progress!

Thanks for an informative and interesting post!

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Old 06-08-2015, 05:23 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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NNP, hang in totally gets easier! The beginning weeks/months are tough, that's why so many of us have so many day 1s. It's tough, we give in, we start over, it's tough, we give in, we start over. Keep up the good work, don't stay in the cycle! You do get to a point where it gets easier, then it just gets better and better and eventually you barely even think about it. It comes up, but it's not as hard to ignore. I'm at about 4 years and this weekend I was at a really fun outdoor bar/restaurant and I thought, "oh man, this place would be FUN if I were still drinking", and that's as far as it went and I went on with my day. No craving, no struggle, just a touch of misguided nostalgia.
Stay on that new path, you will be so glad you did!!
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:22 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I quit 6 months ago. I think it took me about two months for not drinking to feel normal. Four months and it was old hat. Now not drinking is he new normal.
Once you get past the first month or two, it's considerably easier- and worth it.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:53 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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The answer to your question, nnp, is, "It depends."

Anyone can take a seat in an AA meeting or in outpatient treatment, sign checks for their therapist and play the "perfect patient," read books on recovery or talk about their sobriety to anyone who'll listen. None of these things involve working on ourselves, nor do any of them constitute what we refer to as "recovery." It's all in the work.

"Work" does not mean poring over texts, attending meetings every day, taking our emotional temperature every five minutes, or thinking ourselves through sobriety. It's much more about living in a sober world, how we engage other people, or the world itself, checking our negative thinking and how we respond to our feelings, and then finding a better way.

If we choose treatment of any kind, what's crucial is that we involve ourselves as fully and as honestly as possible. Treatment doesn't work on its own.

I needed as much help as I could bear, and I made little to no use of it for about the first five months. My cravings were daily and intense, and they only got worse, even though I was going to AA meetings daily, participated in IOP and then regular outpatient treatment, and had individual counseling. My attitude in each of these areas was decidedly passive and resistant. I waited for the treatment to "work." Until I could no longer tolerate the pain and struggle that came with my daily cravings and my bad attitude. Things started to change, very slowly, but they did change.

I don't know what it is you're doing to achieve sobriety or, in the short-term, alleviate your cravings, but when a bad situation stays the same or gets worse, something different needs to be tried.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:23 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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There's great comments already but a couple of thoughts from me (at nearly four months so no expert).

It does get easier but it changes. When I was a few weeks in it took a lot of effort to deal with the desire to drink. It was there most of the time. After a few more weeks I noticed that a day would go by when it wasn't on my mind. That was a turning point for me.

But... it changed and in some way became more sneaky. When I was used to urges, I was used to dealing with them. I was on my guard. As it became easier, I relaxed a little. Then a big urge would strike out of nowhere and would take a lot of effort to deal with it. It was more like an ambush.

As others have said, change helps. I've quit the cigarettes, I exercise, I'm getting in shape for a long hike in 6 weeks and that focuses me. Also take satisfaction in every day you don't drink. I do. It is a series of small victories that add up over time to winning the war.

Good luck,
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:38 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I got drunk we stay sober

Originally Posted by Fradley View Post
You said it right there...

" I was so relieved when the beer stores closed"

I did the same - and still do - chewing my knuckles knowing it is 6.30 and I could just make it before closing ( 7 ).

The difference in feelings while the store was still open ( intense anxiety ) versus after it closed ( huge relief, crazy laughter, ) told me that I might be crazy, but at least tonight I would sleep well and wake up tomorrow free from some crappy hangover and the whole sorry process of aching for the first drink.

It hasn't got any easier for me ( I'm back on day two right now ) - but I have started to enjoy ( a little ) the psychological adventure that I am embarking on.

You sound to me like you are doing fine, old boy
When I hear my thoughts coming from someone else, I know that I am like them and I am in the right place, and I belong here, and........

If I want what they have, I don't drink alcohol, I do what they do and I'll have what they have.

I have been living in recovery from my illness for 29 years, 2 months, and 2 days. I would not shoot myself in the brain with a nail gun, and I will not drink alcohol cause it would destroy the wonderful life that I now enjoy. Come join us on the road to happy destiny.
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