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Old 07-09-2018, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Day 1 ... again


Day 1

I'd be embarrassed to admit how many Day 1s I've had, if I even knew the number. I first started to think about getting sober in 2015 in the wake of turning 27 and following a particularly party-heavy month in which no drug seemed to be off limits. Up until that point, I'd binge-drunk but drugs had never featured in my life with sufficient consistency to cause alarm. For the first time, I felt scared of where my life was heading and, in equal measure, scared of where it might never head if I continued partying the way I was. A few days after my birthday, I wrote in a Wordpress journal that turning 27 had been the wake-up call I needed to get sober and live a healthier, more productive life. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

Things took a turn for the worse, and then stayed that way for a while, when I moved overseas at the beginning of 2016. I found myself in a city with incredibly easy access to cocaine and in the company of people who never seemed to be without it. With a new job, I suddenly had disposable income and dangerously easy access to bank credit. I also had a group of friends that I felt an uncomfortable need to impress. Within months of my arrival, bingeing on alcohol and cocaine all weekend, every weekend had become the norm. Going out mid-week was also not unheard of and more often than not resulted in calling in sick for work the next day. This went on, painfully, for two years.

The incomprehensible, ridiculously frustrating thing about those two years is that when I went out I never planned to have a blow-out. I rarely even planned to have cocaine. I would finish a day of work, on edge from stress and feelings of inadequacy (I never felt good enough at my job), and have an intense craving for a beer and a cigarette. I would reason with myself that I could drink in moderation, would only have three beers, would only stay out until midnight, would not touch coke, or any number of stories I sold myself, and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I'd believe myself. I'd text a friend, meet, and by the third drink there would be no looking back - without fail, I'd be out until morning having binged on cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes. It felt like alcohol would touch my lips, I'd blink and when I opened them I was in a stranger's living room, buying yet another bag of cocaine and feeling intensely anxious that the 'night' would come to an end and I'd have to step out into the broad daylight, feeling deeply shameful, and face reality. By this, I don't mean that I suffered black-outs - on the contrary, I was horribly aware of what I was doing at every step of the way, but I felt powerless to stop myself, like a driver who has lost control of a car, and can only watch helplessly as he spins uncontrollably towards an inevitable crash, praying that he gets out alive.

After these 12-24 hour long binges, I would find my way home, crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and crash. Waking up was pure hell. As it dawned on me what I'd done my first impulse was to scream at the top of my lungs into my blanket. The most uncomfortable, skin-itching feelings of shame, guilt, regret and self-hatred would erupt over my body. These feelings, along with the physical hangover, would not abate for a couple of days, and while they persisted I would vow to myself over and over that enough was enough, I was never drinking again. Then, by day four or five, after a couple of healthy meals and gym sessions, I'd feel and look better and magically forget everything that I had just been through. And then it would happen again . . .

Why I kept repeating the same failed experiment over and over again I will never fully understand. I am naturally self-destructive, I was trying to escape negative emotions, I have an insatiable need to people-please . . . I have a lot of theories, and all probably have some truth to them. In any case, for two years I felt like I was in trapped in a hellish vicious cycle that was condemned to repeat itself forever.

Fortunately, my parents stepped in at that point and sent me to rehab. Three months later, in March of this year, I moved back to my home country. While things have improved considerably, I have had several binges since rehab which I'm deeply ashamed of. Getting sober once and for all has been a persistent thought this year and I made the decision a few months back that my 30th birthday would be my last hurrah before I buckled down and finally got my life together. Well, my 30th birthday was on Saturday, I had a three-day blowout, and now I'm sitting in my office on a Monday feeling incredibly hungover but committed to achieving sobriety. I can't say I'm excited or feeling particularly positive about it - in fact, today I feel quite depressed about the thought of never having drunken fun again - but I know I need to do this if I'm ever going to have a chance at happiness. The last several years have been extremely painful - I have to keep reminding myself that. I may as well give the alternative, sobriety, a go. It's a leap of faith but I really don' t have anything to lose.

I look forward to using this forum to keep track of my progress!
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dunc88 View Post
I feel quite depressed about the thought of never having drunken fun again
Drunken fun? I must have missed the "fun" part of your post.

That train has left the station, my friend, the one where drinking and drugging was fun. Quit chasing it. It's sobriety now. And for good.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply, doggonecarl.

I'm not going to lie and say I don't enjoy the first few hours of a night out, when the conversation is flowing and the possibilities for the night seem endless.

That's the problem - I enjoy it too much, to the point that I chase that initial buzz all night, around every corner, in every drink, in every line of cocaine. And I end up doing what I described above.

In the end, a few hours of fun are not worth the next two days of feeling like death. That's what I need to keep reminding myself.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Dunc. Congratulations on turning 30, it's a great age to get sober. I'm 38 in September and it's hard to not regret drinking in my 30's, though I guess it takes as long as it takes to reach the point where you know you need to stop.

I'm sharing your day 1. Let's make it our last day 1. I for one am done. Best wishes to you xx
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's great Gabe. Please post in here as much you want - we can support each other!
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome and I'm sorry for what you've been going through.

30 was my magic number as well. I'm 31 now and in the last year, the longest I went sober was 88 days. Even though it isn't extraordinary, it's better then I've ever achieved before. Turning 30 wasn't what did it though, it was really awful things happening in my life that I kept doing to myself. It was blaming everybody else when I was the common denominator of the problems. I am the problem and have nobody to blame but myself.

It's been almost exactly a year since these horrible things happened to me and the journey in a year has been miraculous. People close to me know I've struggled but also remind me where I've come in ONLY a year.

You've been doing the same thing for years, how are you going to break the cycle at the 4-5 day mark? When those cravings will likely hit you? What will be DIFFERENT this time?

Saying you will do it is one thing, acting is a whole different story.

Welcome to SR, use it regularly if that's your thing, I wouldn't have learned as much as I have without the wisdom here.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great post Satuated, I am really happy for you and that you have reclaimed your 30's from alcohol. It's really inspiring to read. I need to know it can be done!

Will do Dunc, it will be good to check in and help each other along.xx
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I believe there a handful of people on this forum that can relate to your dilemma. I can assure it does not get better down the road, only worse. Once you've crossed the rubicon, there is no turning back to those first few months when it was the most awesome thing in the world. It eventually becomes hell on earth. Stay close to this forum, people are here to help.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome Dunc88

I can relate to everything you say, never got into coke myself just drink.

I started reading on here just after my 30th. One of those mornings at work when I thought the world was going to end after a three day binge.

It took me nearly 5 years to sign up and start posting. In that time everything just got worse and has continued to do so.

I missed the ďdrunken funĒ so decided to go out after 5 months sober last year. Regretted that.

Just over three weeks sober now, I wish I had been more committed at 30. Do it now it will be the best decision you ever make. You have got 6 years on me, think what you could achieve with your life.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Glad to have you with us, Dunc. Congrats on your Day 1.

In my 30's I refused to admit what alcohol was doing to my life. Be happy that you're taking action now. Continuing to drink for years more took a horrible toll on me & others in my life. This won't happen to you.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunc88 View Post
Day 1

I can't say I'm excited or feeling particularly positive about it - in fact, today I feel quite depressed about the thought of never having drunken fun again - but I know I need to do this if I'm ever going to have a chance at happiness. The last several years have been extremely painful - I have to keep reminding myself that. I may as well give the alternative, sobriety, a go. It's a leap of faith but I really don' t have anything to lose.

I look forward to using this forum to keep track of my progress!
I suggest you read the book: The Disease to Please

Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by: Ph.D. Harriet Braiker

I would love for you to sit down and chat with two of my AA buddies. One has stage 4 cancer of the Pancreas and my other friend is waiting on a liver transplant. They will tell you they use to enjoy the night life too however now days they enjoy each day given them. Tomorrow could be their last.

You're still young so now is the time to turn your life around and make a plan to live life with a different goal. Not like the goal of seeing how hammered you can get by daylight but a instead a goal of how healthy you can get your body in the next few months. Once you are up and strong again there is no limit to what you can achieve. I truly hope you learn the value of your time left on this earth and not take a moment for granted.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know this isn't really the point of your post but, I have to say, you really have a way with words. I was hooked on every sentence. And also, good luck with your sobriety 👍
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wonderfully said BDTL
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the comments.

SaturatedSeize - congrats on your progress! I definitely relate to blaming others for problems that are entirely my own. One of several goals I have for my 30s (in addition to sobriety) is to take more responsibility for my actions and to recognise that I'm the one that ultimately controls my destiny. In my 20s, there was a lot of expecting things to fall into my lap. In terms of breaking the cycle, I'm going to be proactive about recovery - go to meetings, post on here, tell friends upfront that I won't be drinking with them anymore (which I've begun doing).

Gabe1980 - please do.

thomas11 - thank you for the kind words.

Quit290117 - thanks for the post. Thinking about what I can achieve with my life is definitely a big motivation. I feel annoyed when I think about where I might be had I stopped drinking at 27 so I understand you wishing you had stopped at 30. I'm sure there at people in their 40s who wished they'd stopped at 36! I'm sure we can both still achieve a lot

Hevyn - thank you for the kind message.

BDTL - I will definitely put that on my list of books to read. I love self-help books as well as anything to do with sobriety. I'm sorry about your AA buddies - I met several people at rehab who had health issues from drinking so the seriousness of the disease is definitely not lost on me. I love the idea of seeing how healthy I can get. I have been pretty good about going to the gym over the last 5 years ago (sometimes even with a hangover!) but I have noticed how nights out tend to undo weeks' worth of progress, which is incredibly frustrating. I'd like to see what I can look/feel like without the hindrance of alcohol.

GrayP - that's very kind of you!
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply, doggonecarl.

I'm not going to lie and say I don't enjoy the first few hours of a night out, when the conversation is flowing and the possibilities for the night seem endless.

That's the problem - I enjoy it too much, to the point that I chase that initial buzz all night, around every corner, in every drink, in every line of cocaine. And I end up doing what I described above.

In the end, a few hours of fun are not worth the next two days of feeling like death. That's what I need to keep reminding myself.
This was exactly my experience. That first couple hours was just magical. However - in time even those couple hours don't happen any more. They get abbreviated into drink, have ten minutes of bliss then have more too quickly and then blackout.

Then I just went from misery to misery with no break; and increasingly dangerous or uninhibited behaviors. If you don't quit, you have that to look forward to.

I'm really glad to be away from all of that insanity.

Welcome to the forums, it gets better the further away from your last drink/line you get.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks biminiblue. I've definitely become aware of how quickly I gulp down beer trying to chase that elusive buzz. In fact, 'chasing' is probably the best word to describe a night out for me - chasing a feeling, a compliment, someone to go home with. I am never happy in the moment - that's got to change.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This was exactly my experience. That first couple hours was just magical. However - in time even those couple hours don't happen any more. They get abbreviated into drink, have ten minutes of bliss then have more too quickly and then blackout.

Then I just went from misery to misery with no break; and increasingly dangerous or uninhibited behaviors. If you don't quit, you have that to look forward to.

I'm really glad to be away from all of that insanity.

Welcome to the forums, it gets better the further away from your last drink/line you get.
You know....that's exactly where I'm at. 10 mins of bliss, gulping down drinks.....blackout. Then anything can happen. Risking death every time. It's terrifying.

You are only that wee bit younger than me Dunc but in the last 7 years, from being 30, I've slipped into a horrible, scary place with alcohol. It doesn't take long and it gets harder to turn it around.

Congrats on day 2 my friend.....make this your time xxx
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Feeling like death could turn into death

You are so young! I wish at had been as self aware and stopped at 30. Iím over 50 now and sober for just over a year. I know the feeling of missing those fun days in the beginning. But believe me, it will only get worse and the ď funĒturns into ďfun with problemsĒ, then eventually just ďproblemsĒwhere itís not even fun anymore. Alcohol and drugs change your brain in such a way that once you have cross the line into problem usage and addiction, you will always be chasing the high and never quite able to experience it like you once did. After I got over the missing the fun part in the early days of sobriety, my life is so much more fun now that I donít use any substances. I know itís hard to believe but itís true.
I see many of my friends going down the path I had started down and it is sad. They canít bring themselves to quit even though they know they need to, and their problems get worse and worse. You mention you have felt like death for two days afterwards. Trust me, death can happen. Iíve been unfortunate enough to see it happen with two friends. Keep coming here and join a support group. Do whatever you need to do to get your life on track.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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welcome to SR Dunc

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Old 07-10-2018, 07:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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27!!!

Honestly I read about 1/4 of your story because Iím at day 0. 27 ! But it really hit home. I heard this person I know rolled all week. He coked it up too. Iím down to day 1 it ! He tried about 3 weeks ago. Itís harder than he thought.
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