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Old 01-20-2019, 02:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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One year sober today - how I got there.


Hey all,

I am not a frequent poster and I come and go in regard to 'lurking'. Today marks one year of being sober and I dont know if I will ever go back to drinking but I certainly plan not to.

Although I am in a much better place, it doesnt mean that my life is perfect. I do have a calmness and self-respect that was lacking for so long.

I first gave up alcohol end of September 2004 and returned to it in October 2009 when I 'had worked out how to drink like a normal twenty something. I gave up young, 21 years old.

Giving up and staying sober the second time was a kajillion times harder. It truly really was/is. The staying sober was not so difficult after the first couple of months, I was very ready to walk away.

What I did:
- Hit meetings. A lot.
- Ran. A lot.
- Cried. A lot. (a pattern is forming!!)
- Felt the most intense guilt and shame of my life especially after my ex found out about more of my behaviour after we split (same day as my sobriety date). We have been in total no contact since around 24th Jan last year and that was ridiculously hard also. Susan Jeffers writes a book "feel the fear and do it anyway" diagrammatically illustrating a healthy, well rounded life consisting of (for example) family, friends, work, fitness, study etc... My life was booze an girl. Lost them both. Same day. I lamented on this for a short time only as it would have been the end of me to remain static and not move.
- planned a big advanture (climbed Mt. Kili in Tanzania in July).
- Disconnected with drinking "friends" who I didnt hear much from at al shortly after anyway (funny that!)
- Created healthy habits - yoga, falun gong, meditation,
- Got a sponsor,
- Got a new sponsor,
- Got rid of second sponsor and was sponsorless after six months (each to their own),
- Worked out early that everyone has to ride out and OWN their own recovery. I did just that. I took away from meetings what I related to and what helped and left the totalitarians/zealots alone (what do I mean? I mean those who are too quick to pass judgement on others working their sobriety as best they can who do not conform to what they believe it appropriate.) If you arent drinking, you are doing something right and others can take a hike.
- Slowly learnt to trust myself and judgement.
- Worked the steps - slowly! I made sure I was ready to complete each step and although I had a sponsors up to step 6, I just 'felt' ready to complete the next step and did so. I took my time. I didnt rush and nor did I try to hesitate; I found a timing for each and trusted myself.
- Read this website and the big book.
- Spoke to older members with healthy sobriety.
- Did service work in the form of washing up, stacking chairs, guiding new members who gravitated toward me. Wouldnt class this as sponsoring because it didnt feel right to label it as such nor has it been discussed.
- Felt like I was through the worst of it... Felt suicidal at times and as though I didnt deserve the life I had. Really have felt so very low at times despite me working the program, saying the serenity prayer and searching for a higher power.

The list above is a little disjointed but I havent edited it as I feel that I just let my brain, thoughts and feelings pour out without censorship or edit.

The biggest problem I have in life? I still miss my former partner. A colossal amount. The best amends I can make to her are to leave her alone. I ponder if this is an excuse as I am afraid of her reaction should I reach out, but then I still have feelings.

I dont have a drinking problem anymore, I have a life problem.

The best thing about getting sober, getting my feelings back.

The worst thing about getting sober, getting my feelings back.

Thanks for reading and the very best to anyone early on. The very best to those not early on, I have heard enough in meetings to know that years of sobriety does not mean you do not have bad days. I know first hand this is true from years ago - barely remember though!

K
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats!!

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Old 01-20-2019, 03:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Great post Kejun and congratulations on 1 year sober 👍
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That is so wonderful, Kejun! Thank you for sharing your story!
I am sorry about your partner. Those feelings will fade in time as well.
Keep going. Life will be hard at times but its always better sober.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Congratulations on your year kejun

D
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Congratulations and thank you for your detailed share! There is so much good stuff there for people just starting, in their first year, or in this much longer.

Keep going and handling what this next year of sobriety brings you - I have found my tools set into use in my first year have been ever more useful as "my life problem" has been unfolding.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kejun View Post
The best thing about getting sober, getting my feelings back.
The worst thing about getting sober, getting my feelings back.
K
Well said!
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Very interesting to see your journey. I hope you eventually meet somebody new whom you feel stronger for and have a connection with.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Great post, and what I got out of it was you WORKED at sobriety and didn't just expect it to land in your lap.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing Kejun. The first year is the hardest and for most is the time when the biggest changes happen. Solid sobriety is a process, not an event; it never ends. I think it's important to pay attention to how we introduce ourselves at meetings, I say "My name is Eddie and I am an alcoholic." It doesn't matter how many years ago that last drink happened, I will always be one drink away from the life that I never want to go back to.

I never expected to like "not drinking" - what I found is that I love this life sober. There is a huge difference between those two perspectives of the same state.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Congrats on the first of many sober years!
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Really well said and I agree 100% with all of it but especially THIS:

Quote:
-Worked out early that everyone has to ride out and OWN their own recovery. I did just that. I took away from meetings what I related to and what helped and left the totalitarians/zealots alone (what do I mean? I mean those who are too quick to pass judgement on others working their sobriety as best they can who do not conform to what they believe it appropriate.) If you arent drinking, you are doing something right and others can take a hike.
- Slowly learnt to trust myself and judgement.
It is a singular journey, this life and sobriety. Others can help or hurt, or sometimes both. I had to be centered and stay in my own skin no matter how uncomfortable things were.

Congratulations on your year. May you have many more.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Great post, Kejun.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Congratulations on one year! That is a fantastic accomplishment, enjoy celebrating every minute!
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing your journey.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Congrats on a great job, Kejun.

Your post is really inspiring and incisive - you lay your emotions on the table for all of us to share.

I got sober at a similar age as you (31).

It was both a miracle and a gift.

I think that having "life problems" is not limited to alcoholics and addicts.

We just have a methodology for resolving them a day at a time.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Well done mate
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on 1 year and for starting young. I'm on day 20 and learned a lot from your list of successful tools. Here's to many more sober days for you.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A whole year - fabulous, Kejun. Thank you for taking the time to give details about your experience. Very helpful and encouraging!
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow. Awesome post thanks for sharing. And massive congrats on a year 🎉
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