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Old 01-21-2019, 06:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Two Years Old!!


I celebrate my two year soberversary today.
I drank for different reasons at different periods in my life. When I was 17, I had my first drink, which was a California Cooler. I drank to escape from a dysfunctional and abnormal family. In my mind, the cool kids partied. The uncool kids didnít. Drinking made me feel like I fit in, like I was ďnormalĒ. I thought I was prettier, funnier, even smarter when I drank. I valued being part of the in-crowd more than anything in life. I lived by everyone elseís standards.

In college I drank for the same reasons. There was also a work hard/play hard mentality. Iíd stay up all night for finals, then party with my friends as a reward for hard effort. I understand how this later led to feelings of being triggered during any accomplishment or celebratory time, whether it was running a marathon, a big work goal, or a champagne toast after the birth of my child. Alcohol permeates our society.

Drinking in my 30ís was about unwinding at the end of a stressful work day, and the perceived sophistication that goes with drinking fine wine. I was a bit of a wine snob.

When I had my son, I felt alone, judged and insecure as a parent. Ultimately, my son was diagnosed with Aspergers, but it took a few years to figure this out. During that time, my drinking took a turn for the worse. I had postpartum depression. But my doctor also said I had something called complex PTSD which is due to a combination of unprocessed past traumatic experiences and present similar trauma/stress on a continuous basis.

My first morning drink was during a particularly bad tantrum. The pediatrician had suggested if you canít give him a time out, give yourself a time out. On impulse I grabbed a left over bottle of wine from the night before and locked myself in the closet at 8 am. I stayed there for over an hour while my son continually screamed and tried to kick down the door. My little closet bar idea was born at this time. While the morning drinking was not a frequent occurrence, I canít begin to explain the shame I felt when I did it, especially the times I drove my son to school.

My drinking got progressively worse from this point on. I often drank alone. I began to not care if I lived or died. I started mixing alcohol with Vicodin, Valium and other medications with the goal of total escape and oblivion. I started to have health problems. Aside from bad skin, my liver tests were elevated, I developed borderline diabetes, and neuropathy.

My recovery began about five years ago. I started educating myself on the effects of alcohol. My favorite book was Allan Carrís The Easy Way to Control Alcohol (which is to stop completely). Clean by David Scheff was also great. I learned how alcohol depletes serotonin and causes chemically induced depression and anxiety. I learned how alcohol floods the brain with dopamine but depletes dopamine receptor sites which is why, as alcoholics, we are always chasing that high and can never get enough. I also read countless recovery stories, which inspired me.

The damaging health effects and the recovery reading, while helpful, weíre not enough to stop me from drinking. I had several relapses, each one worse than the last. It wasnít until I started to change myself spiritually that I started to see real progress. I went to therapy to get to the root of my drinking, come to terms with my past, learn healthy coping strategies and replacement thoughts, behaviors and habits to deal with lifeís ups and downs. I studied neuroplasticity (Rick Hanson has written great books on this - Buddhaís Brain, and Hardwiring Happiness). This idea changed my life. I still do yoga, meditation (I love Insight Timer. YouTube also has some good stuff) and journaling. I exercise a lot, mostly running. I made changes with my social life and separated myself from people with negative energy (mostly heavy drinkers). I now check in to SR everyday. I guard against complacency. I believe that when we help others, we also help ourselves. I practice gratitude everyday. There is always a silver lining and something to be grateful for. Sharing this here with others in recovery keeps things in perspective and makes me feel connected. Recently I discovered recovery podcasts. There are even those which connect sobriety with special interests, such as Unruffled, which focuses on creativity in sobriety. I believe we all must play the hand we are dealt in life. We canít control everything. I strive to control what I can through being proactive, resourceful and seeking support when I need it in all areas of my life. I work on letting the rest go. I am always exploring new ways to strengthen my sobriety.

My biggest struggles are when I feel disconnected, overwhelmed and lack of control over a difficult situation. In these times, I think of these quotes:
This too shall pass
When things go wrong, donít go with them
Donít look back. Thatís not the direction you are going.

Life is still challenging, But it is so much better sober. My skin looks so much better, I lost 20 lbs, all my tests returned to healthy levels, I sleep better, feel more stable emotionally, finances are better, my connections with others are deeper, I am a better parent, better problem solver, and I am more present.

For those struggling, donít ever give up on yourself. Be patient with your process, stay connected to others in recovery, and keep searching for what will work for you to break the cycle. Nothing changes overnight. Life is a marathon not a sprint
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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom - Viktor E. Frankl

If you have no other religion, make it gratitude.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats on 2 years!

Blessings,
DC
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Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of righteous man availeth much.
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New life began 09/24/2017
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Congratulations!
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Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.
Think this through with me, let me know your mind,
Wo, oh, what I want to know, is are you kind?" ~Robert Hunter
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Congratulations!!!! You are an inspiration
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Congratulations on 2 years
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Congrats on two years sober!
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Fearless, huge congrats on 2 years sober!!! Yay! xxoo
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... In October 2008 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia returned Alysheba to his homeland...
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Happy 2nd birthday ��
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is so awesome!
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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We are so very proud of you, Fearless! 2 yrs. is beautiful.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Simply inspiring.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I absolutely love this post. Thank you for the uplifting start to my week.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Congratulations fearlessat50 - and thanks for sharing a little of your story and your recovery

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Old 01-21-2019, 01:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Congratulations! Your post is very inspirational.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What a great inspiring read. Congratulations! Two years is amazing!!
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Fearless,

I remember lke yesterday when you joined SR and stopped drinking. You were inspiring then and you continue to be. We have taken a similar road, and I feel honored to travel it with you.

2 down, so many more to go.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Congratulations!
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Happy sobersavary! I gain so much from reading your posts. A hearty congratulations for your celebration!
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Huge congratulations to you Fearless! I love your posts, you always have something so meaningful to share. Keep up the great work!
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
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2 Years is fantastic Fearless!!
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