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Old 12-17-2018, 08:06 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I tried to quit drinking for 10 years before it stuck. I'll echo what a few others have already said that it was about accepting that I was never going to do it again, no matter what. And then not letting anything talk me out of it - especially myself. I was my own worst enemy and needed to conquer the enemy from within. AVRT taught me how to do that and I learned it right here on SR.
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DriGuy (12-17-2018)
Old 12-17-2018, 11:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
I tried to quit drinking for 10 years before it stuck. I'll echo what a few others have already said that it was about accepting that I was never going to do it again, no matter what. And then not letting anything talk me out of it - especially myself. I was my own worst enemy and needed to conquer the enemy from within. AVRT taught me how to do that and I learned it right here on SR.
In connection to another thread, which talked about the little voice inside that says, "It will be different this time," we have to learn to shut that off, or rather ignore it. For me, it was something that I thought I could facilitate, by taking personal action and stopping after one drink. Whenever you think you can do something to make it different this time, it's a fallacy, and experimenting around to prove it is true leads to nowhere.

Let's say you decide to stop after two drinks, and you do it successfully. That sets you up with false confidence, because the next thing that happens, the little voice tells you, "You proved you could do it last night, so just do it again tonight." and maybe you will, so the third night, it says, "If you can stop at two, why not three?" We all know how this goes. If you don't lose control after the first drink, you will eventually lose control, because you're beginning the process that always brings you back to the old behavior.

For myself, I always lost control after the first drink. It was full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes. So after I committed myself to life long sobriety, I knew that experimenting would fail right at the first drink, and I didn't bother trying to prove otherwise. You might think you are craftier than that, but we all know where this leads.

The first step in AA says to admit that you are powerless over alcohol. It means just that. It doesn't say you should ought to prove you have power over alcohol, and then everything will turn out hunky dory when you do. It says admit you are powerless.

Your only recourse is to commit to never taking another drink. And when you think about it, what's so great about having only one drink, anyway. Let's say you truly have power over alcohol and you drink one or two with impunity. Why is it even necessary that you can do this when alcohol is nothing but empty calories? What is it doing for you that is so essential? It is not essential for anything other than getting high. Not everyone drinks at their sister's wedding, and they do just fine.

If you really do have power over alcohol, you're not an alcoholic and you wouldn't even be here.
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Dee74 (12-17-2018)
Old 12-17-2018, 02:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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"The delusion that we are like other people, or presently maybe, has to be smashed" This is the second part of the direction for step one in the big book. "Presently maybe" means some time in the future we may be able to drink, so you can see right there the goal is "permanent abstinence" another phrase used elsewhere in the book.

I can't reconcile that with the idea of staying sober "just for today". That idea seems to leave the door open for a future drink, and I have seen quite a few of it's practitioners demonstrate just that.

Living life one day at a time has quite a deep meaning to the alcoholic. The reality is that it is the only way one can live, yet the alcoholic mind is very prone to morbidly dwell in the past and insanely imagine a future full of fear or, at the other extreme, grand plans and designs, so much so that they forget to do anything with today, the only day that really counts.

AA has a 24 hour program built into the practice of steps 10 and 11. I am reminded of a passage from a poem. It went something like "yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery, but today, lived well, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope." That is a good way to describe the AA philosophy of living one day at a time.
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