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Six years today!!

Old 11-01-2017, 02:03 PM
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Six years today!!

I always like to celebrate my sober birthdays in the newcomer section because it is so important for newcomers to know that it is not only possible but awesome to quit drinking and embrace a sober lifestyle. Six years and one day ago, I suffered through my last hangover. I walked around my neighborhood with my kids for Halloween trick or treating. I had made up my mind to quit for good. I felt awful and a little scared. I knew that I had a huge challenge ahead of me.

I want to say that I was quitting for my kids, and that certainly had something to do with it but really I was quitting for myself. I was sick of drinking and I felt like my life was spinning out of control, that I was right on the edge of losing some important things. A familiar feeling when I drank all the time and woke up in the morning or the middle of the night was that dread feeling, like I left my wallet somewhere or something. I just couldn't stand it anymore.

The first few weeks were the hardest but I had two things going for me. Number one, I didn't have dangerous physical withdrawals, lucky me! Number two, I got the "pink clouds" once in a while--a sensation that could best be described as mild ecstasy--to counterbalance the gnawing cravings. Some of my sober friends never got them. I've learned that this path is different for everyone.

The cravings do subside. It does get better. Sometimes I used the analogy of the monster in a box. If you keep it in the box it gets smaller but if you let it out and feed it--watch out! I also had the sad experience of watching friends relapse and I knew what that led to--nothing good. After a few months I felt like I was in the middle of a long line for a good roller coaster ride. I couldn't get out of the line after waiting this long. Sometimes I just had to grit my teeth and white knuckle my way through it. Now I never ever even think about having a drink.

I lost a few friends. I gained a few friends. Some relationships grew stronger, some weaker. It totally changed the dynamics of my marriage. It made me a better dad. The party stopped but I was ready for that, even more than I knew.

At first, quitting drinking put me in a very selfish mindset. I was saving my own life, dammit, and if you don't get that then screw you. I don't have time for other people's problems! I don't consider myself a selfish person so that frame of mind combined with constantly thinking about having or not having that stupid drink started to make me feel like I was losing my mind for a while. Thankfully, that has gone away for good.

Now I still wake up thinking how great it is to not have a hangover. I love to eat breakfast. I look forward to the day ahead. I'm rarely in a bad mood. My life isn't full of empty bottles. My sober friends and I look back and marble about how we did it. I feel so lucky!

So if you are quitting or thinking about it, come on in. The water's fine! Be patient, one day at a time, one food in front of the other. It's a worthy journey.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:08 PM
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Fantastic post. Great work on six years.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:13 PM
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Thank you for the post and congratulations. Posts like this really are inspiring to those of us in early sobriety.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:50 PM
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Congrats on six years, that is amazing!
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:55 PM
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Thank you so much for a helpful & heartfelt post. Congrats, gaffo on your 6 sober years. That's wonderful.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:08 PM
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"After a few months I felt like I was in the middle of a long line for a good roller coaster ride. I couldn't get out of the line after waiting this long. "

That's a great way to think about it. Thanks for sharing the words of encouragement. We have so many stories on the newcomers section that are depressing, so it's good to hear this success story.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:08 PM
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Great achievement and thoughtful post! Thanks 🙏
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:54 PM
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Congratulations gaffo 🎉🎉🎉
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:54 PM
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Congrats on six years sober and thank you for your inspiration.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:03 PM
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Wonderful and inspirational success story, congrats!
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:08 PM
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Very encouraging! Thanks so much!
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:22 PM
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thank you for being so thoughtful and well done on 6 years!
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:43 PM
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Great post Gaffo - congrats on 6 years

D
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:39 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing! I love reading longevity in sobriety, it gives me so much hope for the future as close as tomorrow even.
Congrats on 6 years!!
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:56 PM
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Congrats! Inspiring post - thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:03 PM
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Congratulations! I'm right behind you! Only 5 years!
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:11 PM
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Thanks gaffo! I never tire of reading these kinds of uplifting posts 😀
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:09 PM
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Thank you for your post. Motivational and encouraging to this newcomer.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:19 PM
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Yay! So thoughtful!
Congrats!
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:34 PM
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Congratulations!
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