Relapsed.. Need encouragement

Old 09-14-2018, 11:09 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Sending you love and strength Sophie. You can do it xxx
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:13 PM
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how are things Sophie?

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Old 09-20-2018, 07:25 AM
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Hi Dee/All,

Thank you so incredibly much for the support post-relapse, and for checking back in with me. The community here is such a great source of strength.

I'm happy to say that I'm back on the wagon, about a week now (I personally find it counterproductive to count too carefully as it makes me anxious--I personally prefer to have a 'ballpark' and not focus on time too much, just on going through each day).

Today is the three year anniversary of my mum's suicide, and at the moment at least, I don't want to drink. If I struggle later on tonight, I'll get back on the forums. I may well need to do so, but I don't want to be deterministic or make assumptions. If I'm okay, I'm not going to delve too deeply into that and just go with it!

After I had the initial relapse I did drink the next two nights--it is incredibly frustrating how easy it is to get back into the cycle: drink... wake up in the early hours feeling like you want to die... toss and turn, swear you'll never drink again... next afternoon you've got terrible booze blues/ anxiety... eventually have a drink saying it'll just be a couple to self-medicate... drink too much..........and around and around we go!

Even when you know rationally how utterly ridiculous it is, my god it's a tough ride to jump off of.

However I did, went through the hideousness of a day's detox, attended a SMART meeting online, talked it through with my partner, and feel stable again.

One thing that has changed and which I feel cautiously optimistic about this time is: exercise. I was always very athletic but quit most things after my mum died. My partner was also athletic but gained a lot of weight the last couple of years due to his own personal problems (I believe in German there is a phrase 'grief bacon' for eating when upset?). We'd been talking for ages about getting more fit together and made some vague efforts--but my relapse coincided with him having a Dr's appointment at which he was told that he's mainly healthy now, but won't be in the next few years if he doesn't shape up.

So, without being too crazy (as it needs to be sustainable), we have started exercising together each day. I know it sounds cliche to say but: for once, I'm in a virtuous (rather than destructive) cycle. The exercise helps my depression. Less depression, less desire to drink. Exercise helps with sleep: better sleep, less desire to drink to 'knock yourself out'. And as before: around and around we go, but in the opposite direction.

We are both really competitive and are clocking the time we exercise and weight lost (5 pounds for him, 3 for me so far), so the idea of putting non-nutrient calories in my body (ie booze) is unappealing. I find the idea of exercising whilst buzzed totally unappealing, so there's no way I'm going to drink a bottle of wine on the train home, as I need to get in and get on the exercise bike and beat his daily time, ha!

So, I'll add to my coping mechanism toolbox that if I have a craving, I'll get on the bike instead. I was going on walks before, which I want to continue, but I think the intensity of the bike allows me to work out anger and is somehow more distracting. I suppose it requires more concentration and is hence a form of mindfulness and grounding in the moment.

I know it is very early days and I don't want to be arrogant or set myself up for an even harder fall. And/or if I break the virtuous cycle somehow, I don't want to let it feel like so much a failure that I fall back into the negative one. None of that is productive (for me at least). But I WANT to do this, and I feel like I CAN do this.

Sorry that got long, but thanks for reading. I suppose that at times these forums are a 'diary' in which to reach out but also reflect back in.

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Old 09-20-2018, 12:08 PM
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Yes, the German word is "kummerspeck"! I am sure many of us here are familiar with its symptoms.

My condolences for the loss of your mother. It's great to hear that you have been sober. Also great that you and your husband have made a team challenge for each other to have a little fun with the weight loss. Definitely come back here if you need support.
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:03 PM
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Loved reading your update Sophie!!!
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the update, Sophie. Your post has prompted me to go get on my bike.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:00 AM
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The best thing is to get right back and start counting sober days again. 4 months proves you can do it! I agree with previous posters, counseling is a good idea. I went when I lost my mother to Alzheimer's. It was a very difficult period and counseling helped. Be well.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:46 PM
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Hey, Sophie! Congratulations on a week, and I totally get the exercise thing.
When I was at rehab nearly three years ago I'd just wrecked my car in a brutal accident and was suffering the effects of a serious head injury with balance problems; I started staggering down the exercise track at smoke breaks and using the stationary bikes in the gym and by the time I left the 28-day program I was jogging--my fellows cheered as I ran by with my fist pumping like it was the Olympics--I was going so slow you could time me with a sundial, but still it was a turning point for me.
Since I totaled my car and can't afford (and don't really need) one at the moment I ride my bike everywhere. I was an avid cyclist before but of course booze gets in the way of every healthy, wholesome endeavor. Now my body is transformed; I lost 80 lbs in the past 2 years, 9 months and I am lean and healthy. I ride an average of 15 miles a day as a commuter and go for fun rides whenever I can. I also practice yoga and attend classes twice a week. I am 58 years old and can't remember ever feeling any better. Sobriety rocks!
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