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Old 12-15-2018, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Stories of long term recovery after relapse needed!


Hi

I'm kind of new kind of not. Need some encouragement/advice/stories of people who have come through repeated relapse.

I got sober after going to treatment last Summer. I had nearly 14 months, went to lots of 12 step meetings, did service, started putting my life together, felt happy! Then I got into a new relationship and relapsed after about 6 weeks of it.

Since then (3 months ago) I've been battling daily drinking. Whenever I've gotten more than 1 day sober I think "this is it! this time I can't go back!" yet I keep doing it. I had 10 days, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The most I've had is 13 days and I'm currently on day 3.

I am DESPERATE to get my sobriety and recovery back. I want to be a decent, functioning human being. But I can't trust myself and the fear of the instability (I am a real jekyl and hyde alcoholic) is making life impossible. How can I start putting life back together if I don't know if I'll be drinking tomorrow, next week?!

Any advice and stories would be amazing.

Thanks
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We have a Stories forum. One year or more of recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, or codependency.

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/stories-recovery/
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Snowyclo View Post
I want to be a decent, functioning human being. But I can't trust myself and the fear of the instability (I am a real jekyl and hyde alcoholic) is making life impossible.
Could you elaborate on that? The fear of instability? I don't understand how that's keeping you drinking.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. Fear of instability - I just mean the instability that drinking brings. I am not functional when drinking (physically or mentally) and since I can't seem to stop. So I'm scared of drinking again but I keep doing it.

I don't know whether that makes any sense?
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can stop drinking, you just haven't yet. You start by not buying anymore, and if you have it in the house, you dump it down the sink. Just for one day. And then do it again tomorrow. Before you know it, you'll be living a much better life.
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Snowyclo. I have twenty months of sobriety, I don't know if that is long enough to meet your criteria for long term. This is my third rodeo, my two previous attempts lasted about three months apiece.

There is a phenomenon called "kindling" where everything gets worse every time you relapse. The drinking gets worse, the hangovers get worse, and the withdrawals get worse. My first attempt at sobriety was in the summer of 2014 and my withdrawal was surprisingly not bad considering how long and heavy I'd been drinking. My third withdrawal which was April of last year was EXPONENTIALLY worse. I stubbornly did it cold turkey without medical care and I honestly thought I was going to die.

The progressively worse withdrawals scared me straight this time around, I don't have another one in me. But then something beautiful happened...whereas I was half-heartedly trying to quit drinking in the past I was now 100% committed to a recovery program since my life was at stake.

I don't know if this helps you and perhaps the idea of getting scared straight is not what you'd like to hear but that is my story.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Snow, I think you have more power than you think you do. You went through 14 months of recovery and you can do it again and go beyond that. You are the person who will decide if you drink tomorrow or next week. And, you are the person who can decide to not drink. Have faith in yourself. Figure out what is triggering you to go back to drinking and then you can find a way to deal with it. You can do this!
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm also on day 3. And I can't do it alone so that is why I went to the first meeting I have been to in about 9 months today. I also reached out to someone in AA who knows me and and we went for coffee to talk. It was exactly what I needed to keep me sober today. I know it's hard to reach out sometimes and change is difficult, but I truly believe we are meant to have a better life. It's all about the actions we take when we can't do it on our own. I am the type that needs lots of meetings and fellowship.
Hang in there I wish you the best
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Snowyclo View Post
Thanks for the replies. Fear of instability - I just mean the instability that drinking brings. I am not functional when drinking (physically or mentally) and since I can't seem to stop. So I'm scared of drinking again but I keep doing it.

I don't know whether that makes any sense?
it makes sense in a not rational way, cos addiction is irrational.
What are you doing to not drink Snowyclo?

D
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think you are underestimating the power of the disease. You do not have an iron clad plan in place for when the cravings start and so they are getting the best of you every time. Take this fight very seriously and get the support you need so you can make it through the cravings unscathed.
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you all for replies, really helpful and good to connect with others on the same path.

I went to a meeting yesterday and the chair was about 40 years sober and still banging on about one day at a time. It really sunk in that I need to just deal with today instead of getting wrapped up in fear of relapse.

What I am going to do for my recovery...
- going to at least 1 meeting a day
- all the suggestions from 12 step meetings (prayer, gratitude, reading, inventory)
- connecting with others - isolation is a massive trigger

Thank you
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Snowyclo View Post
So I'm scared of drinking again but I keep doing it.

I don't know whether that makes any sense?
It makes sense to those who know what addiction is. I personally tried to learn "why" I'm an alcoholic for years. I tried ever possible form of "moderation" there is and even invented some of my own. But every single time, without fail, I always returned to everyday binge drinking. So yes, I definitely understand the frustration of short term stints of abstinence. But I also quit for good after several of them, most people who recover do as well.

For me the key was acceptance. And specifically accepting the following:

1. I cannot drink alcohol without eventually suffering major negative consequences.

2. Nothing I, nor anyone, can do can ever change the fact stated in #1.

Once I accepted those 2 things, it got a lot easier to start doing other things in my life to change. It's not "fair" that I am the way I am, and I certainly had some resentments that I could not go do something that most other people can do, but life isn't always fair unfortunately.

Sounds like you have some good plans moving forward....if AA is working for you then by all means dive in head first. The key is having some kind of plan and following through with it.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I've never gone back to drinking, but I've watched enough guys with years and years go back. I don't understand it. The last one was a guy with 20 years. He divorced his wife, actually the perfect wife for him, and then got all weird. Then he shows up one day drunk on his a$$, feels bad about it the next day, says he's going to finish what's left of his booze, go back to AA the next day and get his 1 day chip. He never did. He drank for two years complaining about everybody else, until he died of some liver disorder.

It's like he got sober but never got over drinking. I would think, someone like you could explain it. I'm at a loss. I don't get it at all.
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey

I am glad you are trying again! Congrats on the few days I found if you accept drinking is not an option at all then it will help.

May I ask what causes you to drink? Is it a physical thing or you are nervous in situations or you just feel better with a few drinks in you.

Stay safe!
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sounds like the basis of a great plan Snowyclo

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Old 12-16-2018, 03:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Just my story. Came to AA 38 years ago looking for a way to stop the misery for good. IQ as around my shoe size, head full of scrambled egges, didn't understand anything. Followed simple suggestions without question. Got a sponsor, set my sights on finding this higher power, worked the steps at a good rate. Three moneths later I realised the world had changed. I was into step nine and the drink problem had been removed.

I made lots of mistakes. Ignored much of the fashionable treatement centre advice, and over the years have had my share of tragedy and disappointment. But over all I have had a fantasic liffe, done everything I ever dreamed of doing and more.

I have stayed active in AA for most of the time, though not alwasy through attending meetings. I live in the last three steps which, essentially, are the 24 hour program for living, and the drink problem has never returned or even come close.

I don't stay sober one day at a time, thought that approach may have been helpful in the first few days. I live life one day at a time, but I am sober for keeps. Permanent recovery is what its all about.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I don't stay sober one day at a time, thought that approach may have been helpful in the first few days. I live life one day at a time, but I am sober for keeps. Permanent recovery is what its all about.
Honest observation and great post. The one day at a time meme never made sense to me..., ever. Of course everyone lives one day at a time. You don't have any alternative, because it's impossible to live any more than one day, second, or moment at a time. Saying you live one day at a time is a meaningless boast, taking credit for the fact that you can't do anything else. Metaphorically speaking, it's supposed to mean don't try to spend your time in the future or the past (as if that were even possible), or maybe it means don't worry about the future. Live each day as it comes. Or maybe it means something else.

It can mean anything or nothing because the ability to mean two different things is based on the fact that word by word, the saying has no real meaning at all and fails to convey a consistent thought. It gains it's popularity as a poetic metaphor, not by any logic or clarity.

Good Lord! I would never base my sobriety on such a philosophy. When I committed to sobriety it was for life, not just one day. One day?; That's how I lived when I was drunk: "Maybe I'll quit tomorrow, but I'm going to drink today," was how I did things. Without a commitment to tomorrow, next week, or next year, you've got nothing but today, and the present moment is always ephemeral. It's gone by the time you finish saying your clever little ditty.

I needed a change based on plan of precise clarity, not something with enough loopholes to allow me to stray on whims or wind. I needed to commit for life, not just to be sober for one day, half a day, or week. Here today, gone tomorrow is not a meaningful or workable plan.
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Old 12-17-2018, 05:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Great thread , lots of good advice from different angles. I think if we spent as much time and effort into not drinking alcohol, I E, creating and working our own individual plan whatever that may be—-As we did it to thinking about

drinking —
getting alcohol —
and drinking it —
and recovering from it —
and feeling like you know what from Ir—
and losing money from it —
and losing relationships from it —
and losing our health from it —

then we are on the right road when we put all of that time and energy into taking care of, and loving ourselves.

Painful? Yes!
Uncomfortable? Yes!
Fear of the unknown? Yes!

Doable? Yes!
Is there proof? Yes!
Are there so many different ways to get it done? Yes!
.

I read here every day, I don’t always post but I do read here every day. It is helped me tremendously and the support here is unbelievable anymore than I ever thought possible from a group of “strangers“

We do have a common thread, and we do understand in our own way how difficult it is because we have been in your shoes. And conversely, you can be in our shoes— on the road to a great life in a different chapter.



I hope you make the right decision for you. We are here for you and you’ve come to the right place, but the work is yours.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I would also like to cosign the approach of recovery as a permanent solution rather than a day to day process. When I started my current sobriety after a couple of failed attempts I really wanted to drill it into my head that this was a lifelong commitment and to not leave even the slightest bit of latitude:

That means not cheating "just a little bit" from sobriety to have a glass of champagne for New Year's.

That means not joining a toast for a wedding or celebration with an alcoholic beverage in hand.

That means not drinking at a Super Bowl party or office party even if others are being pushy.

Done means D-O-N-E.

For me personally I found that sobriety has gone much easier this time around now that I've adopted this mentality.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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snow,

Let me add the science part. The lack of dopamine takes years to normalize.

Then having fun or passing time when I used to drink becomes the suffering.

It happens forever. For the rest of my life I will feel a bit of suffering every time I used to occasion based drink. For me, occasion became anything and everything, but especially the key trigger times.

That is the analysis that must defeat the emotions every time, for the rest of my life. I call it growing up. Other people call is steps or gratitude or roll the tape etc etc etc.

By any means necessary.

SR saved my life.

Thanks.
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When I crave I think of the next day after effects:

high blood pressure, sleep issues, strength loss, immune system compromise (sick).

BpSSS. My mantra.

Studied "alcohol kindling" and "alcohol PAWS."

Last intoxication: 8 May 15.
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