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Old 06-02-2017, 07:14 PM
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Exclamation This is ridiculous. 😫

SoberRunner is back...

I just can't seem to stay sober longterm. I signed up 4/2015 and it's the same story over and over again... 4-7 days sober, binge drink one night, 2-3 days sober, binge drink one night, 4-7 days sober, repeat.

It's definitely starting to affect my health and you'd think I'd stop but it hasn't happened yet.

Longtimers, is there any advice you can give me? What's the difference between those of us who repeat the same cycle and those who can stay sober longterm?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:34 PM
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question for you:
what do you do re " recovery" in those temporary sober days?
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:42 PM
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Hi SoberRunner

The difference for me between sporadic recovery and permanent recovery was effort and commitment, I think.

When I decided to stop for good I knew my life had to change because my life was all about drinking.

My ideas of fun centered around a bottle and others drinking.
I had to change that.

tired, scared, angry, self pity, restless, irritable, bored?
I drank to cope.

I had to find new ways of combating those things.

It wasn't always comfortable to do that, so I had to learn to sit with discomfort and not drink as well.

Of course I needed support to do all this and SR helped me.

After a while I realised that stopping drinking is not like a diet you do and then go back to normal...it is really about a life change.

If you can accept the need for change - and work for it, even when you want a drink, I think you'll find yourself staying in recovery

D
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:47 PM
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Welcome back, SoberRunner.

I am sorry that you are struggling but it is very good to see.

I echo Dee's advice.

I had to dig deep and find my old healthy coping skills and start utilizing them instead of drinking.

And I fully resolved (come or high water, no matter what) not to pick up that glass of wine.,
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
question for you:
what do you do re " recovery" in those temporary sober days?
During my recovery days I usually rest and go / start running on Day 2 or Day 3. But, those recovery days aren't conscious recovery days; I've just never been able to (physically) drink back-to-back.

Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Hi SoberRunner

The difference for me between sporadic recovery and permanent recovery was effort and commitment, I think.

When I decided to stop for good I knew my life had to change because my life was all about drinking.

My ideas of fun centered around a bottle and others drinking.
I had to change that.

tired, scared, angry, self pity, restless, irritable, bored?
I drank to cope.

I had to find new ways of combating those things.

It wasn't always comfortable to do that, so I had to learn to sit with discomfort and not drink as well.

Of course I needed support to do all this and SR helped me.

After a while I realised that stopping drinking is not like a diet you do and then go back to normal...it is really about a life change.

If you can accept the need for change - and work for it, even when you want a drink, I think you'll find yourself staying in recovery

D
Hi Dee. You're right, it's definitely all about a life change... But, when I say I'm going to stay sober I 100% mean it but then I find myself drinking and forgetting I said I wasn't going to drink. But, like you've mentioned before, I need to have a solid sober plan and stick to it. Also, I'm not the best at resisting things I really want.

I am considering a counselor though... The last time I was on here (about a year ago) I didn't have health insurance but now I do. I looked up a few counselors/psychologists this afternoon so I think I'm going to schedule an appointment.


Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Welcome back, SoberRunner.

I am sorry that you are struggling but it is very good to see.

I echo Dee's advice.

I had to dig deep and find my old healthy coping skills and start utilizing them instead of drinking.

And I fully resolved (come or high water, no matter what) not to pick up that glass of wine.,
Thank you, SL! And yes, I definitely need to develop healthy coping skills.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:03 PM
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Definition of insanity: repeatedly making the same mistake in the same way, expecting different results.

The difference may be that we are doing and/or did, something different to what you are doing/not doing. Do something different, you may get different results.

Times may have changed, but last time I looked, running was not a recognised solution for alcoholism.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SoberRunner View Post
What's the difference between those of us who repeat the same cycle and those who can stay sober longterm?
I'm in agreement with the others...the difference is that those who achieve long term sobriety are the ones who accept their addiction for what it is and actively address it. How you go about addressing it is up to you - and their are a wide range of methods for doing so. But if you simply stop drinking but continue your existing lifestyle/outlook it's not usually successful.

You are a runner, right? You probably have a training routine to keep in good running shape I would guess. Would I be successful in becoming a runner if I didn't have a training plan? Or if I just decided to practice every now and took days off whenever I felt like it? Getting and staying sober is similar.....you get out what you put in.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:10 PM
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Im working on 18 + months... SR is my only tool, along with a helpful and understanding wife.
As a fellow runner, lets put it into context. When you set out to train for a 10K, do you just run 10K every day? Nope, you gotta practice twice the distance 20K. You have to do other exercises, other forms of muscle strengths, cardio, and mental toughness. When the acid build up in your muscles start burning half way through the race, do you just stop or do you motor through it?
This is best way to describe sobriety. Its a mega ironman, only you wouldnt just show up on race day. You need to train for it, and boy is it hard... yet rewarding.
For every 1 minute of alcohol craving you need to fight back for 2 min of holding off.. and so on so forth. You need to arm yoyrself and train for the big race.
Im 18 months through of training, and I still need probably another year to get my time trials competitive. Im not ready to enter the race, not yet... i still need more training but things are getting easier.
When im ready fir the big race, is when im ready to go to any setting and feel confident not only that i wont drink, but that i will once again be super happy in any setting.. alcohol free.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:16 PM
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Yeah, as others said, it's about changing, a lot. It's your motivation that will get you into recovery. When you accept that drinking is no longer an option, no matter what, your mind will begin to work out ways to deal with life without alcohol. You can do this and you must believe in yourself.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:24 PM
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you'd think I'd stop but it hasn't happened yet.
Recovery/sobriety is not something that 'happens' to you, it is something you make happen. As long as you're waiting for recovery to happen to you, you'll be waiting for a while.

I know some don't like hearing this, but it's my favorite of CarolD's expressions: you have to want to be sober more than you want to drink. I was constantly relapsing as long as I still wanted to drink more than I wanted to be sober.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:08 PM
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SR,
i had tons of repeats over decades.
so i know about that.
in those years, i had tons of decisions and commitments made and best intentions.
and kept returning to drinking.

then, i had a moment of clarity one morning: i was a drunk!

with that deep down realization that it was about who i was and not just about what i was doing, i took action. I joined a forum and participated daily.
when i say 'participated', i mean i took active part.
i went to the library and got everything they had about personal stories about the various ways people had used to stay sober. I engaged about all this daily with the folks on my forum. i implemented some of the suggestions i read about.
i bit the bullet of going to a secular recovery meeting and decided to keep going. i told a couple of people in my life about my struggles and asked for support.

that kind of thing.

later, i changed or added to this.

and i haven't had a drink or seven since then.

can't prove that doing those things was the deciding difference, but i can tell you that going to the gym and riding my bike and NOT doing anything like that didn't keep me sober.

that was the difference in my own story between keeping the cycle going and staying stopped.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by least View Post
Recovery/sobriety is not something that 'happens' to you, it is something you make happen. As long as you're waiting for recovery to happen to you, you'll be waiting for a while.

I know some don't like hearing this, but it's my favorite of CarolD's expressions: you have to want to be sober more than you want to drink. I was constantly relapsing as long as I still wanted to drink more than I wanted to be sober.
YES.
THIS.
I had to be DONE drinking - and start a recovery program. Running is good for you (I run too) - but it's not a recovery plan of action.

AA is mine; I echo what the others said about life changes. I am ruthless about who gets my time and attention, I do not go anywhere or do anything that would jeopardize my emotional sobriety (which, at 15+ mo aka 467 days, is my focus because letting that "go" would lead to drinking), and thanks to a daily, diligent program AND just a worldview that is completely different than when I was drinking.....my problem has been removed.

There are different paths and programs people take to be successfully sober. The common thing is that we all choose not to drink. As some say, we keep choosing it over and over, every day. For me, I don't think this way consciously, because sobriety - my recovered life- is my entire state of being.

You can do it, too.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:29 PM
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The title of your thread, "this is ridiculous," is encouraging. I was having similar thoughts when I quit for good 2.5 years ago.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:41 PM
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Hi Sober runner,

Great to see you back again.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I probably know you better than most on this board and I would say that in all our correspondence, you've constantly stated a desire to control your drinking.

"And, of course I'm not ready to stop drinking! If I didn't like it, I wouldn't be doing it"
You've consistently cited your dislike for beer as proof that you can control your drinking. "You only drink the wine you like", is another of your AV's favourite lines.

You've consistently blamed other factors for "deciding" to drink. Your job, your change of location, boredom, stress etc

You kid yourself (let's face it, we all did) that because you can put some sober time together that it means you can drink normally. This is a fallacy. For many people who are alcoholics, drinking goes in cycles. Sure they can stop when they want, which is usually after a period of heavy drinking. But when they start again the drinking soon increases and round and round they go.

You've never once said " I'm an alcoholic and I'm going to commit to never drinking again"

If you're looking for a starting point Sober Runner, that is it. Without accepting you have this illness in the first place, then it's going to make things difficult.

From there, it's just putting in the work, something you're well versed to with your running.

Finally, have faith that you can do this if you want to.
Have faith, because you can. You really, really can.

This is all said with love. I'm not being a smart arse, I'm saying this because I care about you deeply and have done for a long time.

You're amazing, you're brilliant and you're worth it. Now you have to believe you're worth it.

Sending you some hugs.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:18 AM
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"Longtimers, is there any advice you can give me? What's the difference between those of us who repeat the same cycle and those who can stay sober longterm? "

it seems chronic relapsers think sobriety happens by osmosis. hang around the site or a recovery meeting and BAM! a week or 2 later and theyre cured.it seems im reading often lately people who feel taking vitamins, changings diets, working out,running,,etc as the plan cant seem to stay sober long.

those who stay sober long term seem to put in the footwork of some sort/form of recovery program/plan. it seems im reading quite a bit lately people who use AVRT,SMART,AA, life ring, celebrate recovery, see a therapist /psychologist,etc seem to maintain sobriety and stay sober for extended period.

my advise would be to start listening to the ones that have been sober a long time and get a program/plan of action because your way dont seem to be working too well now does it?
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:34 AM
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There are some great posts on this thread.

The main point is...sobriety is not a passive event. It is not something that happens to you, it is something you actively create and protect.

I often hear words like hope or wish when someone is struggling with chronic relapsing. I think relapsing can become a habit. And when someone is stuck in this cycle, they make random efforts that are less about truly getting sober and more about atonement.

Opening up to another person or persons invites accountability. Sometimes they help us see that we are protecting our drinking without even realizing it. My journey began when I picked up the phone and called an addiction counselor. I don't even think she was that great of a therapist, but the sheer act of vocalizing my alcohol issues to another person helped me really begin to own my problem. I remember feeling both dismal and relieved. But just getting honest felt like letting sunlight into a very dark corner.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:34 AM
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Tufty's a pretty smart chap and he seems to know you a little better than a lot of us do.

I'd read his post a couple times

D
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:35 AM
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The main point is...sobriety is not a passive event. It is not something that happens to you, it is something you actively create and protect.
Quoted for truth.

D
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:55 AM
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It's the difference between a 5k and an ultra.

Anyone can rock a 5k in between long bouts on the sofa.

But a hundred-miler takes discipline, planning, training, commitment, willingness to suffer and endure hardship, unflagging and steadfast (even stubborn) resolve to reach the goal that is often only seen through blind faith.

Sobriety isn't a part-time job.

Sobriety isn't a half-way commitment.

Sobriety isn't "tomorrow I won't drink".

Sobriety isn't a 5k

Sobriety is the Western States.

Sobriety is Badwater.

Sobriety is a solo ultra across the Australian outback (Karno).

Sobriety is running tip-to-tip across the entire country of New Zealand (Lisa Tamati).

Sobriety is running the Appalachian Trail (Jurek).

Sobriety is the Barkley.......


You have to COMMIT.

You have to CHOOSE it EVERY DAY.

You have to WANT it.

You have to give in to it entirely.

You have to PLAN AND ACT AND GEAR UP.

Sobriety is going to meetings, getting into therapy, reading, posting, journaling, exercising, meditating, changing your habits, staying clear of people and places that focus on just drinking, building new sober routines, TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING.

Discipline.
Dedication.
Commitment.

Stop running 5k's.

Sobriety is an Ultra.

With the Ultimate Ultra Payoff.

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Old 06-03-2017, 03:57 AM
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one thing that I would consider is that drinking to me was an impulsive response to anything. I now realise after my relapse, that my downfall is my ingrained impulsive behaviour, I need, want and crave instant gratification like a petulant child. I said yes to a drink or things that made me feel good without any real thought behind it. Why do I want to wait for the feel good feelings of sobriety, when right now this drink infront of me is going to take it all away right now. ya know?

I'm having to learn to slow down my brain and think before I grab that drink with a friend, before I find the wine bottle in my shopping basket, when I only went in for bread. I stop, pause, breathe and slow my brain and play the tape and try and think of tomorrow, rather than how I feel in that particular moment. What is really going to bring me more pleasure, a hangover after maybe an hours worth of feeling great and carefree that night, or waking tomorrow having won a battle and enjoying my day with a clear head and conscience?

That's how I was in the cycle you are, binge drink, then go sober a few days, then a friend calls and says lets get lunch.... we get there, asked what I want to drink and 'white wine' has fallen out my mouth before I really thought it through. Next thing I know, ive decided to drink the place dry and any thought of consequences has gone. Or I have a bad day and before I know it, ive got some wine to help 'de stress' me, without even really thinking about it, I just do it. And around and around we go.

It doesn't sound like you actually have considered a plan particularly, its sounds a kinda a 'wing it' thing, and sobriety cannot be 'winged'. It has to be planned and worked on daily. Or perhaps you have not really and truly envisioned the positives and possibility in a life sober. I hope you don't mind me saying that. Its just an opinion of an observation.

Anyway just my 2 cents on what I hear, and thought you might want to think on. Good luck to you!
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