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Old 02-28-2016, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A time for honesty


I made it 8 days sober, the morning of the 9th day I drank. This was yesterday. I drank today as well. I am sober at the moment. It's been quite a few hours .. I feel normal.

Those 8 full days were the longest I had ever had.

I was driving home on the morning of the 9th day and had a strong desire for a drink. I said okay .. play the tape through. I did play the tape through. Knew 100% it wasn't a good idea .. but drank anyway. There was no talking myself out of it.

I know I need to start again, get those days back and more.

I do feel stupid. I gave a lot of advice to other newcomers in the 8 days I was doing good.. Some of my posts were very confident .. as if I had somehow figured this whole thing out ... then .. I drink again. I'm sure I'm not the first one or the last one to do that, act like I have the answers after a short period of sobriety .. and then drink again .. but its no less embarrassing.

Also what can I do to prepare for that next 8th day or whatever day that no matter what I tell myself, I drink anyway?

I was doing good .. I was able to shoot down any thought of drinking. It was uncomfortable at times, but I was doing it. Then that last day I had no control.

Not even sure how my "plan" would of stopped me that day.. I sort of robotically headed for the store against every part of my brain that said don't.

Thank you and I'm going to eat some humble pie and stop giving advice and just create an accountability thread and post there.

Grendhar
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Grendhar, I'm sorry that you drank and that you feel low right now. Don't feel stupid, just come up with a plan so it doesn't happen again. Getting 8 days sober was great, and you can do it again.

I found that changing daily routines in the early days helped me. You could try driving home by a different route, shopping in a different store, etc. For me, I think it helped to shift the thought patterns of drinking.
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't stop giving advice
your advice was good - you just didn't take it yourself

I used to call those times when I was on autopilot a fugue state - like a zombie...the thing is, that zombie state always breaks...

for me it broke when I cracked off the top of the bottle...for others it breaks in the shop when we buy the bottle or on the way home...

it's obviously incredibly hard to stop the process there and ask for help...but that what we need to do.

if we want change we need to be willing to work for it - sometimes it's pretty rough going but I guarantee you will feel very self satisfied if you beat down an autopilot moment

At around 4 months I broke up with my partner...I went to the bottle shop in a fugue state...fortunately I had no car so I had to walk there....I walked there (15 mins) bought the bottle, walked back...and suddenly the spell broke...I dumped that sucker in the nearest bin and never looked back....

I've never been back on autopilot again - but if I ever am I know I can beat it.

it's possible
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Then that last day I had no control.

Not even sure how my "plan" would of stopped me that day.. I sort of robotically headed for the store against every part of my brain that said don't.


Grendhar,

it's very cool indeed that you can admit you had no control before the first drink.
it's invaluable knowledge.
it can help you short-circuit excuses, denials, fudgings, narratives of "oh i decided it would be okay...."

i haven't read your previous posts, so don't know what you'd been doing in the first week.
but from hearing you talk about your free- advice-dispensary, i imagine you thought you had control and this now has sideswiped that idea.

took me a long time to see that my own experience contradicted my preferred thinking and convictions.
but once i saw it, there was no going back.

you speak of getting those days back, and more.
well, you can't. you can't. those days are gone.

but you can get others.
others that don't end up in drinking again.

entirely doable.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear it, Grendhar. Was it boredom? That's what usually does me in. So I'm setting out to change up my routine a bit. Nothing drastic, as stress is also a trigger for me.

Don't beat yourself up. I understand the auto-pilot thing, BTDT. Tomorrow is a new day!

Recently, after reading too much of a self-help book, so much so that it was a trigger [sigh], I got into my car. Normally, I wouldn't think, just go [and I'd rotate between many stores so that no owner sees me daily]. Suddenly, rather than see the 'devil' on my shoulder [seems it's called AV here?], I saw my young son. I saw the angst in his face, just as I've been seeing it a lot more lately in real life. I left the car and had a sober day.

It felt like a miracle. First time I'd ever done that in what feels like ages. Hope I can keep it up, and I hope you can be strong, too!
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Grendhar, pleased you posted.

Don't feel stupid! When we become sober I think we have euphoria, being sober, no hangovers, it's a great feeling and we want to pass it on. It's good to share too, sometimes one sentence can help change a persons mindset to all of a sudden, click.

We have to prepare for that little dangerous AV, though.

Reading, practicing and preparing ourselves, gives us ammunition against this AV, because it does come back but our reaction to it is what matters.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd wager that everyone here has slipped up; I know I have.

Get back on the horse and ride, this ain't the end of the trail. Changing habitual behavior is difficult, and like any tough task, often takes more than one crack at it.

We can do this.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My auto-pilot was getting in the van and driving to the liquor store and buying and then drinking before I realized what I was doing. This time around I didn't kill off the bottle before I quit. I keep the bottle here because that keeps me out of autopilot for now. For the time being, that is my justification for keeping it here. For some reason knowing I have it here keeps me mindful and keeps the cravings at bay that would send me into what Dee called a fugue state, and that's enough for me. I have no desire to drink it, and most of my cravings are easily dealt with now. That is my only justification for keeping it there. I am working my way up to parting with it for good.

Don't beat yourself up anymore. If you're ready to, make the decision and review your toolbox. Do you have a recovery plan in place? One thing I had to do was work on really looking at my thoughts. Instead of accepting that every thought was just a part of me, I looked at each one to see what was my rational brain and what was my addict brain talking. That way I could decide how to deal with. I will tell my addict brain "NO!" the moment those thoughts come in my head. If they persist, I come on here... call my sponsor or text AA friends... I also have the SoberTool app which has helped to keep me accountable and mindful of my thoughts and feelings.
I had to go so far as to pour myself a "drink" in the first few days to shut the voice off. Once I went through the motions by pouring out a shot of water into juice and sipping on that, lol. And an empty vodka bottle filled with water. It seems silly, but just going through the motions without actually drinking seemed to cure the itch for me.
For me, anything at all that isn't going to harm me and keeps me from drinking goes into the toolbox. Drinking took up SO much of my life that it took me many failed attempts to realize that there is nothing too big or too insignificant to go in my toolbox. I have to be just as immersed in my sobriety as I was in drinking.

Agree with others too. Don't stop giving advice. Nobody can help an alcoholic like another alcoholic. And we're stronger together.
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think most of us have relapsed at one point or another.
Me too--mine was not autopilot, but thinking I could now
moderate after 11/2 years.
I did this several times.

Now I know I can't so I changed my game plan accordingly.
Yes, a plan does help--you just need to think how to adjust yours
to make it stronger.

Congrats on being back, honestly reporting, and on your new Day 1.
Keep giving advice--it help others and yourself.
You know more, and you can share more now
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All the study in the world - and all the subjective hierarchies - won't get people sober. . .

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Old 02-29-2016, 04:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Don't beat yourself up over it. Forgive yourself, learn from it, and move forward again.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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After 300 days last year I slipped up and went into zombie mode, same result. Drank that night and the next day, I am not sure why I did but I realized my problem and stopped there.

It has now been 81 days since then. Be happy you realized what happened and are willing to keep working your plan. Don't let it suck you back in and wind up with months or years more wasted.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I wish I could blame a robotic response on my relapses. But they were always clear, conscious decisions. Insane ones, but decisions none the less.

We can also decide to not drink. Clearly and consciously. Remove drinking entirely as an option. And know that if you are thinking about drinking it's the insanity of alcoholism.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grendhar View Post
There was no talking my alcohol addiction out of it.
I have corrected your statement. You knew 100% that it was a bad idea. It was your addiction you were arguing with, not yourself.

You will never ever ever be able to convince your addiction that you shouldn't drink. You might as well try to convince a fire not to be hot. You'll get the same result.

Addictions can't be educated. They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel shame, remorse, pity, or fear. They must be starved. It is the only way.

You can do this.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I had the EXACT same experience last week. Stopped for a number of days, then it was like thought went out of the door. I wasn't even craving the sauce; it was less conscious than going to the store for food, but there was no feeling of it being a chore as I'd see shopping for groceries. I just went to the liquor store and 'accidentally' picked up a sixer. I got home, and looked at it for a while, then said to myself "what am I going to do? Return it?" and that was that.

I'm not angry, but don't know what recourse to take as it seems to become more difficult to stop the more often you try.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice and support. I'm not drinking today. The choice wasn't easy as I feel defeated. I know 8 days wasn't a lot but it was a lot of work to get that far .. and it feels so stupid to have just walked into the store on the 9th day without ability to control myself.

As I said I tried "playing the tape through", even thought to myself on my way home with the beer "You can still throw it out." Still drank it.

That scares me. It tells me no matter how dedicated I am .. a day could come where my addiction takes the helm and even though I'm trying to overpower it .. I somehow still end up sitting at home with beer.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You are not alone. The zombie, robotic impulse or auto-pilot syndrome was something that I thought was all my own. But, as you can see it happens to all of us. Just today I was driving and really did not have anywhere to go except home...then the AV TRIED to steer me to get a beer. I realized I was hungy, thirsty and bored...my triggers. So I went home and had lunch and posted. I showed my AV who was in control. But, in the beginning I was not prepared for the ambush. Don't fret...you will get stronger.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grendhar View Post

That scares me. It tells me no matter how dedicated I am .. a day could come where my addiction takes the helm and even though I'm trying to overpower it .. I somehow still end up sitting at home with beer.
From what I have read you are pretty aware, autopilot or not yesterday, the above screams AV to me.

This s**t keeps us from trying. Stay strong!

I give advice that I shouldn't perhaps, as I am neither sober (I have drank today) nor have I experience of long term abstinence, but I think and believe the same thing everyday and that is not me.

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Old 02-29-2016, 02:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You can do this Grendhar!!
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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That scares me. It tells me no matter how dedicated I am .. a day could come where my addiction takes the helm and even though I'm trying to overpower it .. I somehow still end up sitting at home with beer.
You really have to accept thats not the way it is Grendhar.

You do have the power.

Your addiction has no arms or legs - it needs you to get what it wants.

It may not seem like it now but without you your addiction is nothing...absolutely powerless.


You can be a passenger or a pilot - it's your choice - but it really is your choice
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