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Old 01-07-2016, 01:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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This is therapeutic for me.


This will be a long post but as indicated in the title, it is purely therapeutic for me.
Our recent vacation was one of the better ones I've had in my life. It was also a learning experience. I'm sure much of the reason it was a good one is because I didn't drink, with one exception, and I posted about that. Both flying to and from without a hangover made flying a breeze, I don't like to fly. I don't have a fear of flying, but I hate the hassle and its boring. This time it was not a hassle. We stayed busy, that helped. We rent this house and keep a room empty for us, there is satellite TV, but its in Spanish, no computer, just my wife's tablet. I don't care to do the touristy things in LA because I've done them, no point in doing them again. So I read, visited with family and...yes, I did a lot of cooking. Its always a risk cooking for them because they are all Peruvian and I don't know if they are going to like what I cook. But we had seafood: shrimp, scallops, mini lobster tails, pheasants, and a egg-bake dish, on various days while we were out there. Hit up a sushi place and Malibu seafood (a tradition to have clam chowder there).

Part two: Trip to Mexico was well....a trip. Loved the place we rented, it was everything and more. No complaints there. Wife has family in Rosarito so we got to eat and visit both Rosarito and Tijuana as the locals do it. Found myself in downtown Tijuana at the fish markets one afternoon, talk about a fish out of water (pun intended). White boy from the Midwest in downtown Tijuana....crazy. Needless to say I didn't talk much, they picked me out right away and start asking for money and wanting to sell me anything. But a unique cultural experience. Addicts, beggars, cops on the take, drug dealers, you name it. Trip back to the states was also interesting, the 3 hour wait at the Tijuana border is like going to a carnival. For those of you who have done it, you know what I'm talking about. Border agent was a d*ck, sent us to secondary because we had some sliced sausage in our cooler (that ironically was brought in from the states). Got a lecture on the history of the fruit-fly by the agent. Ridiculous.

Part three: Brother in law is worse off than I imagined. Everyone says alcoholism is progressive, its true. In prior trips I would have been right beside him drinking up a storm and carrying on. I did not participate this time and his resentment was palpable. Screw him, I don't need to be his drinking buddy. Breaks down like this, he drinks everyday. 70% of the time is drinking beer "moderately" all day starting at 9AM. The other 30% of the time, its beer most of the day, then switches to some harder stuff or shots of tequila. On new years eve and new years day the man drank himself into oblivion. Sat at a table with a BUCKET of sangria in front of him with a ladle and drank glass after glass until he was belligerent and insulting to everyone there. He drank so much his motor skills stopped working. Next morning I go out to the garage to grab a bottle of water, its 8AM. He and his drinking buddy are drinking beer. This went on until he finally passed out at 5PM New Years Day. He doesn't experience withdrawal because he's never 100% sober. I pulled him aside one day and told him about my journey, my concerns about his health and business, and offered encouragement as opposed to scolding him (can't scold a 46 year old man IMO). I also told him about this website and how much it has helped me. He basically dismissed it. Truthfully, I wonder if he's "given up". Not sure.

Part four: My father called me with about 3 days left on my vacation and wondered if I had left him some medication at my house and where it was. I lied to him. I told him I gave him some before I left and that I did not have any in the house. I had to do it. Well, surprise surprise, he kicked his habit. He had 2 uncomfortable days, a 3rd day was so-so, and by day 4 he said he was fine. That was good news.

Part five: My slip, I have no excuses, I read every response. I know I played with fire. In fact, I'm sitting here right now with no obligations until Monday morning and the thought has crossed my mind to run to the liquor store and have a few. Why not, right? Who is it going to hurt? I can't do it though, that's how it starts with me. Having a lazy attitude towards it, then 2 days later I wonder where the last 2 days went. And then god forbid a 3rd and 4th day.

So there you have it. I needed to get that out.

ps. I didn't proof read this extensively so if there are errors I apologize in advance.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I noticed that part 3, your description of your brother in law's drinking habits, is the longest portion of what you wrote. I know that I focused on what other people were drinking, whether they were drinking, how much they were drinking to deflect my attention away from my own drinking.

I found it easier in the long run to focus on my own recovery. Let your continued sobriety be an example to your brother in law so that when he is ready, he can approach you for support. Until then, it's likely that your suggestions fall on deaf ears. I know it did for me.

Be well.
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good job not running out to the liquor store & to answer the question 'who is it going to hurt' it will hurt you Jeff as it once hurt me
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My BIL lived at my house for almost a year, I certainly didn't 'rub off' on him. I could see though how my AV would have loved the opportunity to compare him to me and visa versa, so I tried real hard not to let it.
I was the guy who lost control of his motor skills, never really dried out so wasn't going through wd , much. That's the only comparison I find helpful, between Me drinking and Me sober. I'm not saying you're not , just that I can sense an AV perspective vis a vis a description of how 'bad' your BIL is and perhaps that let the door open a little to even contemplate a trip to the store and toying with the idea of a 'few'. A bigger and better part knows there is really no calculation of benefit that makes it worth it, right ?
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for that post; you've done well.
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm glad you didn't go to the store Jeff

I also think Ruby and dwtbd make good points.

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Old 01-07-2016, 02:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I anticipated some responses regarding a "comparison" to my BIL as that is usually a good excuse to lessen one's own problems. I don't want it to be interpreted that way. You will all think I'm crazy, but my college degree is in science (Biology) so I am familiar with observation, case studies and if I were actually using him as a case study, there would be documentation. My primary point was that it appears he is a textbook alcoholic and following that path. In the two and half years its been, he has progressed. Being drunk is being drunk, we've all been there. What surprised me was how is demeanor has changed, he is an angry, sour, and unhappy. Very unpleasant. I'm guessing from the alcohol.
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I anticipated some responses regarding a "comparison" to my BIL as that is usually a good excuse to lessen one's own problems. I don't want it to be interpreted that way.
I think the reality is that it doesn't really matter if you "want" it to be interpreted that way or not....a duck is a duck is a duck so to speak, right? You've developed a very keen sense of ways to deflect discussions about your own drinking issues away from yourself and find reasons to discuss anything but that topic. Yes you admit it when you drink, but one thing you never seem to do is commit, or even talk about committing, to any kind of plan/program/process to deal with your own drinking problem.

Right here in this thread, you openly admit that 1 - you drank, and 2 - you are entertaining thoughts of drinking again. Then you go on to give detailed accounts of the problems your brother and father are having with their addiction. Certainly they are real problems and difficult for you to deal with, but why no mention of your own problem? That's the only one you have control over.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm don't really come at this from a textbook perspective. From your description I wouldn't /can't say whether or not your BIL is an alcoholic, but he is definitely a drunk. If he expressed any desire to stop drinking but felt unable to, I'd term him alcoholic. Some people drink to get drunk most or all the time and have no desire to do otherwise. I was a drunk and then became an alcoholic and I can certainly attest to the progressiveness of the effects of alcohol abuse.
But as Scott points out, his situation or mine have squat to do with yours.
What are your plans for future alcohol use? If you are planning on figuring out a way to keep it moderate, good luck seriously, I don't mean any ill will. But given what I know of your past drinking it doesn't sound like a wise choice. Left to your own devices you have proven to be a danger to yourself and potentially others, the loss of control may not be in the realm of stopping from one day to another, but individual episodes or benders have been beyond your control. There is really only one true safeguard against that type of drunkness.
You could try and go through life making sure others watch and curtail any behavior that leads to those consequences , but how or why would that be a worthwhile pursuit?
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Scott and twtbd, I will address your responses to the best of my ability. I do not disagree with your assessment. Scott, this is not an excuse, but I do not like the spotlight on me. That is probably in and of itself an issue. I don't like people paying attention to me and my behaviors. I've been in the spotlight, it was fun while it lasted, but I'd rather remain in the shadows. I'm more comfortable there. I've been on TV, I've been in magazines, I've gone to bars and had my successes played on the big screen TV's and been mobbed by folks who were in the fitness industry. My point is that I don't want to drone on and on about my problems and issues in my life. It took a leap of faith to even sign up to this website. Since then, I've become a little more comfortable and have opened up.
In terms of what I am doing for myself to be sober: I am trying, I am making an effort. For all of my life, I've never made an effort (at least anything substantial) to be sober. I will be the first to admit, I am not living in sobriety, I am currently "not drinking". At the moment, I will accept that. It's ironic because I have a couple of different industries that seek me out as a consultant for success, and yet I bare my soul on this forum, and I feel I'm being admonished. It is odd to me, but I am open to accepting it. All I can tell you is that I often tell people that giving 100% is the best you can do, and that will take you far. I am giving about as close to 100% as I can, and its uncomfortable to me to be told "it isn't good enough". I understand it, but it is an adjustment in thinking.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What you see as admonishments are really people trying help you avoid the mistakes they've made Jeff.

You have a very highly developed AV - it sounds like you, and it professes to believe in a lot of the same things you do.

I think 9 times out of ten you're not even aware of what's happening.

I'm not saying you're dumb - on the contrary I think you're probably too smart for your own good.

I was like that and my AV was every bit as devious.

I needed to go caveman to bypass its rationalizing BS.

'Fire = BAD'
'drink = BAD'

If you can try and get past the pride and look at what these not really 'admonishments are saying', I think you could learn a great deal about yourself too

D
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I do completely understand why you're struggling with being told how what you're doing "isn't good enough". It's like the kid at football training who's just run three times round the track, further than he's ever gone, is amazed at what he's done, looks up at his coach for praise, and gets "why have you stopped? Go again you lazy so and so". I know it doesn't seem fair. You'll describe a situation where in the past you'd have drunk huge amounts, only had 2 drinks, and everyone tells you off for that instead of praising you.

But a bit like that football coach, the reason we're doing this is because we want you to be a winner. A better analogy might be like those drill sergeants in army basic training. They're unfeeling, harsh, brutal, insulting, constantly pushing, never satisfied, never dish out praise, but what they teach their recruits could save their lives. It's genuinely life or death.

The reason we all react the same way to your experiments with moderation, is purely from all the earlier posts you've made describing what alcohol has done to you in the past. It's almost literally beaten you up and put you in hospital, with a broken body. You've given us no reason to believe you can moderate, and every reason to believe that drinking could kill you if you don't cut it out of your life. That's where this is coming from.

What you have done now is answer the question I've had for a long time now. You have described "slips", but they didn't feel like that to me. They always seemed carefully planned and deliberate. And as you just wrote, you're "currently not drinking" as opposed to having quit. And as long as you maintain that mind set, you will continue to post about your "slips", people here will react the way we always do, and in my view it will just be a waiting game until your drinking explodes again.

So I guess the question I have now is this. Do you, in your heart of hearts, really, truly believe that you are someone who can moderate their drinking? If so, is it based on any evidence, or is it just your pride? The fact that as someone who has had so much success in life, who is used to being looked up to for all the things you've achieved, can't accept the fact that what you most want, to be a normal moderate drinker, is something you are simply incapable of doing. That perhaps you feel accepting that would be admitting that you've "failed" and that isn't something you're prepared to do? And if that's a possibility, the next question is, is protecting your pride something you are prepared to die for? Because that's what we're all worried about if you end up back drinking like you were.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Jeff, I think OpenTuning has nailed it so I won't add anything else. It's up to you now. And I want you to succeed!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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My experience is simply I can' t drink or take narcotics, period. The way forward for me is the path that clears up all the wreckage of my past and cleans the polluted pond of my life that drinking and drugging sent ripples thru for over 30 years.

I hope you find your way and glad that getting it out is therapeutic - If you want it out shout it out - type it out, but get it out.......!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think Dee74 is correct. Always been right when it comes to me.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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All I can tell you is that I often tell people that giving 100% is the best you can do, and that will take you far. I am giving about as close to 100% as I can, and its uncomfortable to me to be told "it isn't good enough". I understand it, but it is an adjustment in thinking.
not to pile on... So you are admitting you are not doing 'the best you can do'.

What I am about to say is not entirely directed at you 'Thomas'.

I read a post this morning from someone who made it 6 days and tossed an excuse 'out there'. I had to log off because I got angry about how this person treated it and I didn't want to call bullsttt! at the time. It was, but I needed to collect myself due to my own anger at someone else who it seemed to me to just shrug it off.

I get annoyed when I hear of folks who "slip" after a week or a month. Or the folks who throw around the word "relapse" after a short amount of time 'sober'.

Sure it is semantics, but I don't consider drinking again after a month as a relapse. I consider it still caught in the addiction mind set.
Until someone has serious sober time and drinks again - a relapse - they are still trying to figure out what to do.

To me, a 'slip' in the 'beginning' is nothing more than not being fully committed (giving 100%) to sobriety. When it is termed a 'slip' in a lighthearted manner anyway.

Closing the door, not leaving it 'cracked open' is the only way ensure something doesn't 'slip' through that door.
Putting a screen in the window with a hole in it will not keep the insects from entering. If you want to keep the insects out, fix the hole or get a new screen. You need a 100% barrier for it to work.
Same goes for the decision to get and stay sober.

You are either 100% or you are not. To quote a 'program', 'half measures availed us nothing...' or something like that.

Regardless of how anyone approaches their 'journey', 'program', 'plan' and commitment to sobriety, until you are 100% > all in < you are not going to succeed.

You have to want it. More than anything else.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
What you see as admonishments are really people trying help you avoid the mistakes they've made Jeff.

You have a very highly developed AV - it sounds like you, and it professes to believe in a lot of the same things you do.

I think 9 times out of ten you're not even aware of what's happening.

I'm not saying you're dumb - on the contrary I think you're probably too smart for your own good.

I was like that and my AV was every bit as devious.

I needed to go caveman to bypass its rationalizing BS.

'Fire = BAD'
'drink = BAD'

If you can try and get past the pride and look at what these not really 'admonishments are saying', I think you could learn a great deal about yourself too

D
Sadly I think you are unbelievably correct. I just need to break it down to the simplest form, like a caveman, as you put it.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think it's no mistake there's a character, a very neanderthal type, in the comic strip BC named Grog [Grog is Aussie for booze]



D
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenTuning View Post
I do completely understand why you're struggling with being told how what you're doing "isn't good enough". It's like the kid at football training who's just run three times round the track, further than he's ever gone, is amazed at what he's done, looks up at his coach for praise, and gets "why have you stopped? Go again you lazy so and so". I know it doesn't seem fair. You'll describe a situation where in the past you'd have drunk huge amounts, only had 2 drinks, and everyone tells you off for that instead of praising you.

But a bit like that football coach, the reason we're doing this is because we want you to be a winner. A better analogy might be like those drill sergeants in army basic training. They're unfeeling, harsh, brutal, insulting, constantly pushing, never satisfied, never dish out praise, but what they teach their recruits could save their lives. It's genuinely life or death.

The reason we all react the same way to your experiments with moderation, is purely from all the earlier posts you've made describing what alcohol has done to you in the past. It's almost literally beaten you up and put you in hospital, with a broken body. You've given us no reason to believe you can moderate, and every reason to believe that drinking could kill you if you don't cut it out of your life. That's where this is coming from.

What you have done now is answer the question I've had for a long time now. You have described "slips", but they didn't feel like that to me. They always seemed carefully planned and deliberate. And as you just wrote, you're "currently not drinking" as opposed to having quit. And as long as you maintain that mind set, you will continue to post about your "slips", people here will react the way we always do, and in my view it will just be a waiting game until your drinking explodes again.

So I guess the question I have now is this. Do you, in your heart of hearts, really, truly believe that you are someone who can moderate their drinking? If so, is it based on any evidence, or is it just your pride? The fact that as someone who has had so much success in life, who is used to being looked up to for all the things you've achieved, can't accept the fact that what you most want, to be a normal moderate drinker, is something you are simply incapable of doing. That perhaps you feel accepting that would be admitting that you've "failed" and that isn't something you're prepared to do? And if that's a possibility, the next question is, is protecting your pride something you are prepared to die for? Because that's what we're all worried about if you end up back drinking like you were.
Hi OT, I greatly appreciate your analysis. It has given me something to chew on. There is no question I try to be a prideful person, even more so now that I feel much better about my conduct (at least in the last 7 months. ALMOST everything bad that has happened in my life there has been alcohol involved. And of course recently it cost me my health and my company. So it stands to reason that it doesn't have a place in my life.

I can say this with 99% certainty, if I fall off the cliff again with alcohol, I may not make it back. And if I go a month without posting on this site, you'll know that may be why.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fly N Buy View Post
My experience is simply I can' t drink or take narcotics, period. The way forward for me is the path that clears up all the wreckage of my past and cleans the polluted pond of my life that drinking and drugging sent ripples thru for over 30 years.

I hope you find your way and glad that getting it out is therapeutic - If you want it out shout it out - type it out, but get it out.......!
Thanks Fly N Buy, writing for me is truly therapeutic. I don't have many people in my life that are intellectuals (not that I consider myself one), but I am very poor at small talk. I like talking about things that matter. Writing here allows me to do that.
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