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Old 12-02-2019, 03:01 PM
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Welcome MissStranger!
Shame was a big motivation for me to quit.
You should keep those texts to re-read when you think you might be a "normal" drinker. The brain is very sneaky!
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MissStranger View Post
I have to admit I too was wondering about being a normal social drinker at some point. I'm glad I've learned that's not an option.
Being a normal social drinker has certainly got to be off the table as part of your personal plan of recovery. The archives here have got to be filled with uncountable stories where that belief has led to relapse after relapse. I don't know why. Maybe it was part of our genetic make up that makes us alcoholics in the first place. Maybe our overindulgence over the years causes physical or psychological changes that reactivates our alcoholism with one drink after years of sobriety. I've heard these stories over and over. They are so similar that it sounds like one person wrote it, and other's just copied it and pasted.

When you're constantly drunk and embarrassing yourself, you feel like an alcoholic. You know that feeling, I'm sure. When you get sober and your alcoholism is in remission, you don't feel like an alcoholic. You no longer crave, you feel well, and you act normal as well as feel normal. You get lulled into a sense that you are like everyone else. It's wonderful to feel normal, but it carries the danger of believing you can get away with one drink. Alcoholism is a life sentence, but the upside is that you can lead a normal joyful life as long as you don't drink. And it's not abnormal not to drink. Not all normies drink. Many don't, and they are fine without it. So you don't have to worry about feeling a little weird because you don't ever drink. I enjoy it. I'm proud of it.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DriGuy View Post
Being a normal social drinker has certainly got to be off the table as part of your personal plan of recovery. The archives here have got to be filled with uncountable stories where that belief has led to relapse after relapse. I don't know why. Maybe it was part of our genetic make up that makes us alcoholics in the first place. Maybe our overindulgence over the years causes physical or psychological changes that reactivates our alcoholism with one drink after years of sobriety. I've heard these stories over and over. They are so similar that it sounds like one person wrote it, and other's just copied it and pasted.

When you're constantly drunk and embarrassing yourself, you feel like an alcoholic. You know that feeling, I'm sure. When you get sober and your alcoholism is in remission, you don't feel like an alcoholic. You no longer crave, you feel well, and you act normal as well as feel normal. You get lulled into a sense that you are like everyone else. It's wonderful to feel normal, but it carries the danger of believing you can get away with one drink. Alcoholism is a life sentence, but the upside is that you can lead a normal joyful life as long as you don't drink. And it's not abnormal not to drink. Not all normies drink. Many don't, and they are fine without it. So you don't have to worry about feeling a little weird because you don't ever drink. I enjoy it. I'm proud of it.
Thanks for the encouragement (and that includes everyone who has responded here).

I did so much this week. Cleaned my place top to bottom, sent numerous bags of clothes to the goodwill, I washed every piece of clothing I own because I wanted a fresh start after quitting smoking. Then I organized all my clothes into categories and cleaned my car. I went for as many walks as possible- and today I decorated the lobby in my little apartment building with Christmas decorations. Yesterday and today have been the first true test being my days off- where I tend to wake up and drink until it's time to go back to work Tuesday morning. I made it though.

I have lots of energy back. I've been waking up early and getting stuff done I've been meaning to get to for a very long time. When you're hungover, the only activity you look forward to is drinking again.

I have to say, I'm afraid of running out of things to do. It's times like now, where I'm winding down surfing the internet that I feel triggered to both smoke and drink. That's what I've considered winding down for so long that it's become an embedded habit.

I really appreciate hearing that you were able to break free running after 30 days. I hope it's that way for me!

You guys have been great.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Zevin View Post
Welcome MissStranger!
Shame was a big motivation for me to quit.
You should keep those texts to re-read when you think you might be a "normal" drinker. The brain is very sneaky!
I've been afraid to look again. I was foggy when I read the conversation and I haven't had the courage to go back and look.

Someday I will reach out and apologize to him and be truthful how deep my problem went. When enough time has passed.

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Old 12-02-2019, 06:46 PM
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yes, “funny”how the smoking things comes up now, huh?
this whole “give me something! but i NEED something!!! anything!!!”
when that happened to me, i sat with it and did what i call looking-behind-it. what was going on with me in that moment, what were the feelings i was really having...and what “real” thing could i do to take care of myself with those feelings?
often, angry, hard done by, irritated...those were the main ones. i knew that wanting to smoke or drink wasn’t really anymore about booze or nicotine, but all about not wanting to be where i was at.
it gets better.
really
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
yes, “funny”how the smoking things comes up now, huh?
this whole “give me something! but i NEED something!!! anything!!!”
when that happened to me, i sat with it and did what i call looking-behind-it. what was going on with me in that moment, what were the feelings i was really having...and what “real” thing could i do to take care of myself with those feelings?
often, angry, hard done by, irritated...those were the main ones. i knew that wanting to smoke or drink wasn’t really anymore about booze or nicotine, but all about not wanting to be where i was at.
it gets better.
really
That's good advice!

I had a few relapses when I first tried quitting smoking before it finally stuck 2 months ago. I'd get stressed at work, bum a smoke and go outside. My boss would say to me after. "did that change anything?"
"still stressed?" "Is the problem that stressed you out still there?".
That just put it in perspective for me. Now I'm stressing out my co-workers trying to get them to quit

Thank you :-)
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:57 AM
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how are things with you, Miss Stranger?
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
how are things with you, Miss Stranger?
I'm running out of things to clean and organize when I get home from work! :-)

How are you?
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:11 AM
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i am alright, thanks for asking.
yes, when you run out of those busy-things, you might find yourself more stuck with yourself. in need of a different "solution".
when everything is clean and organized....what will you do?
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MissStranger View Post
Hi. I am One Week into my journey. I had my last evening of alcohol One Week ago today.

I've been abusing alcohol for about 8 years. I started using it as a crutch after a rough divorce to ease the anxiety and grief. The last two years I've escalated pretty badly. I'm surprised my liver is still working. I'd say I was going through a 60 ounce of vodka every 3 days. I'd start after work and go until I blacked out every single night. I am definitely a functioning alcoholic - which is why I think I made excuses not to stop.

It's always been my dirty little secret. My friends and family have little clue about my problem.

The catalyst for me was burning a bridge with a new guy I met a few months ago. I decided to put the bottle down because in a black out drunken state I engaged in a text conversation with him that ended in me diving off a cliff with outrageous comments. I woke up the next morning filled with shame upon reading what I'd said. He'd already given me a chance prior- and I went and sabotaged what could have been a good thing.

It made me realize, in order to have a healthy relationship, I need to get healthy myself. I'm not doing this for anyone but myself. I just don't like who I see in the mirror when I wake up every morning.

I quit cold turkey, which hasn't been easy. I also successfully quit cigarettes 2 months ago cold turkey- which gives me hope I can do this as well. It hasn't been an easy week. The first few days were surprisingly easy. I guess my resolve is wearing off because I'm not feeling as confident as I did a few days ago. That's why I looked to a forum for help. I've been fidgety after work and my days off trying to find replacement activities to avoid the triggers.

Thanks for listening. It helps just to write things down.
I know how your feeling, at the moment I’m going through the withdrawal symptoms. My anxiety levels are really high. I don’t want this life drinking. I’ve got to be determined to change. I haven’t posted on this site much, I feel I need to post more to benefit from other people. I need your support folks. Thanks
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:32 AM
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Miss Stranger
Well done you! A week is great. I too, self medicated with drink after a traumatic divorce, it numbed the pain, and made my negative thoughts stop for a brief few hours. I drank more and more because that pain needed fixing and I hadn't addressed it. I think time heals, counselling helps etc., but only if we are sober. So I totally understand why you drank to excess, because I did the same.
Today is my day 18. It's the longest I've gone without a drink for many a decade (apart from pregnancy, when I didn't touch or want a drop). It's hard, but it's better than the alternative.
I'm reading all I can - on here - and blogs, other forums etc.
What helps me is playing the tape forward - I missed work due to hangovers - that can never happen again. I had a racing heart, palpitations, depression, anxiety through the roof. I'd wake up at 4 a.m. and the pity party would begin - I was worthless, rubbish, I would never drink again. I'd crawl through the day, slowly recover, then get home and open the next bottle.

I don't do that now. I changed my routine, my walk home, I bought loads of nice non alcoholic drinks...and it's ok.

Take it one day, or even one hour at a time.
In another weeks time your body will be free of alcohol and it will start to heal. That voice will then kick in, because it wants you to drink. Kick it into touch, tell it to F off! Then tell it again. It will get the message for a while. Always be on your guard and don't get complacent. That's what I tell myself to do, because that's what I hear repeatedly on here.
Support is here - and if you take just one thing from this please promise this: reach out on here BEFORE you pick up. That's what I will do. And knowing I'll do that, is reassuring.
Take care
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MissStranger View Post
I've been afraid to look again. I was foggy when I read the conversation and I haven't had the courage to go back and look.

Someday I will reach out and apologize to him and be truthful how deep my problem went. When enough time has passed.

MissStranger,

I made an idiot out of myself every time I drank. Text messages, Facebook messages, Facebook posts, etc. The next day was always cringeworthy and I absolutely hated myself.

In 2016, a person in my family committed suicide and I went on a bender after her funeral. During the subsequent blackout (a couple days later), I posted on Facebook that I was gonna go buy a gun and shoot myself in the head. All for my already grieving family to see. I ended up in the psych ward.

I hated myself for a long time for that. Now I chalk it up to a symptom of my alcohol use disorder and issues with self medicating. I will make amends if, when, and how I can.

Theres no need to beat myself up - and you shouldn't beat yourself up either, my friend.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
i am alright, thanks for asking.
yes, when you run out of those busy-things, you might find yourself more stuck with yourself. in need of a different "solution".
when everything is clean and organized....what will you do?
Right? There are only so many Christmas decorations I can put up, so many times I can wash my floor, or clean my car.

I've been thinking about maybe learning another language?

What do you do to keep occupied and distracted?
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Swordfish1 View Post
I know how your feeling, at the moment I’m going through the withdrawal symptoms. My anxiety levels are really high. I don’t want this life drinking. I’ve got to be determined to change. I haven’t posted on this site much, I feel I need to post more to benefit from other people. I need your support folks. Thanks
Posting does help. It has helped me stay focused. Have you started a thread?

That might be a good place to start. Pour your heart onto paper. It's cathartic!
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MissStranger View Post
Right? There are only so many Christmas decorations I can put up, so many times I can wash my floor, or clean my car.

I've been thinking about maybe learning another language?

What do you do to keep occupied and distracted?
distraction and being occupied was useful at times in early sobriety, and distraction works well for me when i get in a thought-rut.
other than that, i don’t feel a need to distract myself from anything, really.
another language is a great idea! always useful and keeps those neural pathways hopping!
not sure if you were distracting me from my point here, though, which is more concerned with what we might need distraction from?
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatWasTheOldMe View Post
MissStranger,

I made an idiot out of myself every time I drank. Text messages, Facebook messages, Facebook posts, etc. The next day was always cringeworthy and I absolutely hated myself.

In 2016, a person in my family committed suicide and I went on a bender after her funeral. During the subsequent blackout (a couple days later), I posted on Facebook that I was gonna go buy a gun and shoot myself in the head. All for my already grieving family to see. I ended up in the psych ward.

I hated myself for a long time for that. Now I chalk it up to a symptom of my alcohol use disorder and issues with self medicating. I will make amends if, when, and how I can.

Theres no need to beat myself up - and you shouldn't beat yourself up either, my friend.
Thank you :-)

I think all of us here have been there, done that.

Shortly after my divorce, I sold my house and moved home with my parents. I came home hammered one night, fell down the stairs, and put my head through the drywall on the landing. Knocked myself out! I ended up in the psych ward that night for a week. My parents asked them to hold me so I'd dry out. Not so fun times.

Remember that scene from Jaws when the two old fisherman compare scars related to their encounters with sharks? I feel like a lot of us could play out that scene with alcohol related scars/injuries.

I've given myself 2 concussions, cut my eyebrow open, broken my toe, thrown my back out, fractured my cheekbone... All alcohol related.

All those physical injuries don't compare to the embarrassment I've brought upon myself with drunken text messages. I've scared away quite a few good guys when my alcoholism became glaringly apparent to them. By the time I would reach blackout territory- I'd just dive right off a cliff with ridiculous messages.

I'm not going to beat myself up over it now. I'll apologize to the last guy I drove away if he ever reaches out again. However, I've decided that if he doesn't reach out, I'm just going to let sleeping dogs lie.

Thanks for the response. It does help to know I'm not the only one who's gone off the deep end after a night of drinking.
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