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Old 09-01-2017, 04:00 AM
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Everyone is gone.

I was a pretty big drinker, especially when I didn't have custody of my child.

I have been back to reality for a while now. I am realizing a few things:

-A lot of people want nothing to do with me. I have a bad reputation around here for doing/saying things I don't even remember. This reputation extends the whole way into my child's school (the parents).

-I have lost a good 7+ years of my life. It's like I blinked and everything around me is different. I wasn't even an every day drinker, just enough to mess up my brain to the point of memory loss. I knew it was getting bad when I wouldn't remember full conversations I had with people between days I would drink.

-I am alone, am about 15 years behind in life, and all I have (had) are drinking buddies. Everyone my age is buying houses, getting married, has kids and so on. What a waste alcohol was. It's going to take a long time (if never) to earn the trust of family, friends, and everyone back.

Alcohol really does distort everything around you. I am in shock at how different my life is and how many people put up with me at my worst.

What things did you do to improve your life after quitting?
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:29 AM
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Hi.

This is when the beauty of recovery really can be quite amazing.

I went to AA and got myself a support network. I stayed sober and made the best choice I could in each situation. That was hard - mostly because I was emotionally an adolescent. But once I got a sponsor and started working on my recovery, I found myself starting to grow up. Being less mystified by life choices. Less scared and crushed by responsibility.

I do still have my 'I don't wanna...' moments, but I can spot them straight off now and know that the way I'm feeling in those moments has to do with my attitude more than the severity of the situation.

What does your recovery plan look like a the moment - do yu have support in place? How are you addressing that old stinkin' thinkin'? Because it's when we start doing these things that people start to see the difference in us and are more likely to give us a chance. Not everyone will perhaps. And that's their perogative. The important thing is not what others think, but knowing each night that you lay down that you have not added to the wreckage, and maybe further along the line we can start clearning the old wreckage away, but that's for later perhaps.

BB
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:50 AM
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I felt like you for awhile. I had pushed everyone away from me, including my family and given up all my activities. So, I started slowly making changes. I found that each thing you do has a ripple effect in your life. I started taking long evening walks, just to get out of the house and not drink. I began to reconnect with my neighbors and with my community. I felt better physically. My mind began to clear and I would ALWAYS come home feeling better. As I was walking during Week 1, I found a volunteer opportunity that I jumped at and it brought a sense of purpose to my life.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:54 AM
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I slowly began to resume doing things I'd enjoyed, but neglected....like gardening, cooking and reading. I take a dance class and know I could never do it, if I was hung over...it's lots of fun !
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:27 PM
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You're waking up....and that is a good, good thing, and in my experience, a profound thing. It can also be painful.

Not wishing to repeat how I had lived, one of the routes out I took was to do the step programme in AA. It really does have the potential to be a very healing process for you, and others. This for me was particularly in the recognition that we are sick people trying to get well, not bad ones trying to get good, and the consequences I could see of my drinking were the results of dropping standards, and values, I never dreamed I would. But I did. Because that's alcoholism, and that's powerlessness. And that's a very powerful lesson. It's the recognition that helped me see I need never do any of that again.

So, we're left with the consequences. One of the promises in the BB (and holding the promises close, for the precious thing they are, has been incredibly important in my own recovery) is that once through this healing process "we will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it, and we will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us." Both of those could apply to your current situation, and have most certainly applied to my own life. Experiences we share, the uncomfortable ones, the ones we wish had never happened, have an incredible power to help other people once they are resolved, moved on from. So it may not seem so now, but what you've recognised is pure gold.

The steps, living the principles of the program has the potential to be incredibly healing. At the same, there is no magic wand, there's only time, and taking those baby steps to the kind of a normality that is a new, sober one, and unfolds as we go along. Mostly what I needed was normal, everyday things, even as others have suggested here, to have some fun! When someone suggested fun to me, I nearly fell over!! Didn't they realise how grave my situation was?!! But fun, is so, so needed. Over time, I've discovered what is fun for me - reading, gardening, friendship, running, looking after my animals, taking care of my home. It's also been about finding work that suits this sober temperament (a journey all of its own) I've also dedicated a lot of my spare time to spiritual practice and meditation. Finding out what I needed has taken time, patience, and a willingness to hang in there, come what may. And there is no arrival, because what suits now, will change as time goes by.....that's the beauty of recovery. Addiction is kind of a blind alley, whereas sober, the world begins to open, and so do we.

Most of all, be gentle, with yourself and others - my experience is that it took time for me to trust myself, and time for others to trust me, and each good action, soberly taken, is an amend for the past. It is possible to rebuild relationships, and most certainly possible to find new ones, and the one you develop with yourself, is the most important of all in finding out who you are, and what works for you. Not always easy, but most certainly not to be missed. That at least, is my experience.
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:04 PM
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If there's one thing I know it's that life will continue to change,

A few years back I was living a life of quiet solitude at the beach - like shack, palm trees...I thought that was the rest of my life right there.

Then I moved back to the city - not my choice - but I love it - I'm surrounded by people and things to do.

I've learned not to compare myself with others - my life was never going to be ordinary

If everyone has gone - open your life to new people - people who respond to the you of 2017

Think about what kind of life would make you happy - then make plans - go out and get it

D
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:50 PM
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Lots of great advice above. One thing that has really helped me is mindfulness. I k ow that I can't change what has happened in the past, and dwelling on it is not helpful, neither is worrying about others perceptions. Try to focus on the present, there are lots of great videos to help with mindfulness.

I have also found getting outside and going for walks helpful, there is something about nature that can ground you.

What are some of the things you love to do?
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pipefish View Post
You're waking up....and that is a good, good thing, and in my experience, a profound thing. It can also be painful.

Not wishing to repeat how I had lived, one of the routes out I took was to do the step programme in AA. It really does have the potential to be a very healing process for you, and others. This for me was particularly in the recognition that we are sick people trying to get well, not bad ones trying to get good, and the consequences I could see of my drinking were the results of dropping standards, and values, I never dreamed I would. But I did. Because that's alcoholism, and that's powerlessness. And that's a very powerful lesson. It's the recognition that helped me see I need never do any of that again.

So, we're left with the consequences. One of the promises in the BB (and holding the promises close, for the precious thing they are, has been incredibly important in my own recovery) is that once through this healing process "we will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it, and we will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us." Both of those could apply to your current situation, and have most certainly applied to my own life. Experiences we share, the uncomfortable ones, the ones we wish had never happened, have an incredible power to help other people once they are resolved, moved on from. So it may not seem so now, but what you've recognised is pure gold.

The steps, living the principles of the program has the potential to be incredibly healing. At the same, there is no magic wand, there's only time, and taking those baby steps to the kind of a normality that is a new, sober one, and unfolds as we go along. Mostly what I needed was normal, everyday things, even as others have suggested here, to have some fun! When someone suggested fun to me, I nearly fell over!! Didn't they realise how grave my situation was?!! But fun, is so, so needed. Over time, I've discovered what is fun for me - reading, gardening, friendship, running, looking after my animals, taking care of my home. It's also been about finding work that suits this sober temperament (a journey all of its own) I've also dedicated a lot of my spare time to spiritual practice and meditation. Finding out what I needed has taken time, patience, and a willingness to hang in there, come what may. And there is no arrival, because what suits now, will change as time goes by.....that's the beauty of recovery. Addiction is kind of a blind alley, whereas sober, the world begins to open, and so do we.

Most of all, be gentle, with yourself and others - my experience is that it took time for me to trust myself, and time for others to trust me, and each good action, soberly taken, is an amend for the past. It is possible to rebuild relationships, and most certainly possible to find new ones, and the one you develop with yourself, is the most important of all in finding out who you are, and what works for you. Not always easy, but most certainly not to be missed. That at least, is my experience.
Lovely post Pipefish. One of the best I've read for ages!
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:50 AM
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I think Dee pretty much nailed it!
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:33 AM
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When I drank i used to isolated from my family and sane friends. When i attempted to stay sober for a while I isolated from my drinking friends.
Even in my last serious attempt at sobering up, I naver got around to do any social activities apart from AA - in the weekends I went hiking, fishing, getting far away into the forest, still trying to flee and escape my life, just in another way.
But I really feel hopeful now, that I am determined to work harder on my recovery program and get into doing my 12 steps, getting a sponser, etc. That, with time, i will get some healthy social relations back into my life.

I just recently struck me that, in my sober months earlier this year, was I was escaping reality just as much as when I drank, just doing other things, like hiking - surely, going on a hike is much better than getting drunk, but still, my plan for every weekend was to get as far away as I could from my life and any people, just instead of hiding in the bottle I took my tent and hid in the mountains somewhere. It was awesome, and I had amazing times and saw amazing nature and got peace of mind, but I was still hiding away from my world and my problems...
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:17 PM
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I've been in bed all day reading over and over all your posts filled with hope, kindness, encouragement..

I have reached my hell. I cant ever pick up again.

Its my 2nd day . I think about ok I have a great pension, a great 401k but nothing else. No friends, nothing. It's as if I am alone like a speck of dust waiting to die off and be blown away into this big universe where I will feel no pain.
I feel so different than normal people. I cant relate. I cant talk or participate.

I feel like I dont deseve to be around good people who have done well in life. They sense I'm different.

I wish I would just blow away......
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:36 PM
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I have a great pension, a great 401k but nothing else

That's two awesome things that many people don't have. And because of those two things, I assume you have a good job.

Now you have sobriety, if you want it.

If you keep the sobriety up, you will be amazed how much other stuff gets added to your life in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years.

Put this thread in your own personal time capsule and come back and read it sometime in the future. If you are still sober in a few years you will be amazed at one other thing you will also gain - wisdom.
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:50 PM
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Thank you for all the replies:

I have been volunteering extra hours at work. I find that as soon as my hands are idle, I want to drink. My mind has stopped nagging me as much about it because I just tell it no as soon as the thought creeps in.

Going back to church has helped a lot. The library is also filled with amazing books on sobriety. I am currently reading "Moments of Clarity" by Christopher Lawford but have 5 other books signed out.

There are a lot of "tests" that I have been dealing with. Things are not easy, but I find them easier to deal with now that I am sober. I listen to my neighbor thru the wall cracking beer after beer and yelling at his wife. This used to really hit a nerve. Now, I just ignore it or take my daughter outside for a long walk to get away from it. The old me would start drinking because he was "out to ruin my life" and so on. Just one example.

The best thing is waking up and feeling so much better. I can't believe I used to feel so awful when I woke up. I could barely move. My day was spent buying more alcohol, then waking up feeling horrible again. What a waste. I wonder how many people knew. I can now look at others at work and see their suffering. You can just 'tell' when someone is miserable or using.

Hope someone else can learn from my mistakes.
-BBE
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:27 AM
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It's sounds like you're on the right path, behindblueyes. Sadly breaking a thing is easier and faster than fixing one. In my case it wasn't so much that people didn't want anything to do with me, it was more that I spent many years keeping them at arms length. Living in a wine bottle is a lonely way to exist but I didn't think so at the time.

Somewhere along the way I think we all need to learn to let go. Let go of the mistakes and pain and even the regret. I have tried as best as I can to make peace with the past. I can't go back and change it so the best thing I can do is make sure I don't repeat it.
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