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Fantabulous Secular Connections Check-in Part VII

Old 11-30-2009, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Asta1 View Post
RE: giving holiday gifts, etc. I read in the paper a little while back about an organization that distributes packages of goodies and stuff to soldiers that don't get much from home. It's called AnySoldier. Google it to get the website and more info. I do a lot of holiday baking of cookies and stuff for friends and neighbors (buy cookie tins at Dollar Tree). I thought this year I would pack up a big box to send overseas. Doesn't cost much and you would make the day of some very deserving folks. If you or anyone thinks its a good idea, pass the word.
After looking at the website, found that unless you personnally know the recipient, you should not send any homemade food items. They are instructed to throw it away. Guess it makes some sense. So, I guess I'll go out and get some store bought goodies. They must be factory packaged. The website gives other gift ideas. Sorry about the misinformation.

After getting the approval from my insurance company last Friday for some counseling, I made an appointment today. Going in on Thursday. Have never, ever had any counseling before. Not sure what to expect. One of the reasons I'm going is for depression symptoms. I'm probably carrying around a ton of other baggage as well. Should be interesting, but a little scary too.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:04 PM
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Hi Husky, it sounds like you have been doing a bit better sense you first posted about your "eye" idea. That's good.

I can understand to some degree where you are coming from regarding feeling like a failure. The last few years, I've completely felt the same way. I too am 41, and while I've had some "cool" experiences in my life, have not really accomplished much I'm proud of. For the past 4 years I've been in constant dire straights as far as money went. However, unlike you, I my parrents stepped in and helped me out. This had good and bad points. The good obviously being, I didn't have to worry about food and a roof over my head. In the depressive, suicidal nature I was in, I doubt I would have survived your circumstances. But you are surviving, not loving it, but somehow finding a way to make it through the day. The bad part of my situation is it allowed me to continue my addiction and allow me to feel trapped in the situation I was in. I couldn't get another job, other than the one I had, because I couldn't pass a drug test. (I usually spent $200-$300 a week on pot and another $50 a week on alcohol) They were afraid to just push me off due to my depressive nature. So it was just the same old thing, day after day. Not to mention the shame of being 40 years old and still living with my parents with no plan on how to change it.

Now I am not a "religious" person in any way. Personally I feel more people have been killed in the name of "religion" than any other cause in the history of man...but that is a topic for another day. What I can say, is that throughout my life, I've found that if I follow "that little voice inside" (I call it my gut feeling, as I have an ample gut!!) things have usually worked out for me. It doesn't always happen immediatly, but far more often than not it does. I guess some people would say this is following your "higher power". I personally don't feel that way as my "gut feelings" have no power over me, I can choose to follow them or not.

Now I obviously have known I have a "problem for some time, I've been kicking around SR for almost 8 years, been to inpatient rehab twice and the psych ward twice. However it wasn't until I made the decision for myself and chose to stick with it "no matter what" that things started getting better. I personally had a location change which helped as I wasn't around the same people anymore, but I could find pot if I wanted to. I've always been a "binge" drinker, and have never experienced blackouts, plenty of fuzzy memories, but no true blackouts. A few months ago I started taking Naltrexone to help with the alcohol cravings. It did wonders. While I do still drink on occasion, I've only been "drunk" once since I started taking it. The other times were social drinks, a couple of beers or glasses of wine. In all honesty I would probably be better off if I eliminated them from my life as well, but I'm willing to accept the progress.

Pot was my primary DOC, I was literally high 24/7, even waking up in the middle of the night to take a few hits. I've been completely abstainent from that drug for over 7 months. My life is so much better than it was. I'm still living with my parents, but now was able to get a good, well paying job, as I am chemical free. (I can identify with your commute, it's about an hour each way for me too!! In a way it's good as it doesn't leave me with much time to "get into trouble". Because of the move, I am closer to my 8 year old son and am able to spend much more time with him. My ex is becomming more trusting of me, as she can see the progress. (She's the only one who ALWAYS knew when I was drunk or high, I did a pretty good job of hiding it from the rest of the world) Because I was able to get a better job, I actually have hopes of getting my own place somtime next year. Because I'm not high, I can actually do a good job at my job. Like I said before, it's not that I couldn't find pot (stoners have some kind of third sense as far as "sniffing" each other out!!) I choose not to because I don't want to go back to how things were.

None of this happened over night. The first 4 months or so were really tough. I didn't have a job, as I quit my old one when I moved. It certainly wasn't the best time in history to be looking for a job. The county I moved to had some of the highest unemployment in the state. But I stuck with it. I used SR to help, and now that I have insurance again, I am seeing a psychitrist and psychologist.

I guess my point is, you seem to be the type of drinker who can't just have one, without drinking the whole bottle. That's the way I am with pot. I know if I took one hit off a joint, I'd be snagging the roach, trying to pinch a bag, hook up with my own, and so on. You've somehow got to find it in you to just quit drinking. From what I have read of your posts, it seems to have some pretty consistant bad results. I just kinda white knuckled it, I didn't socialize, and to a large part still don't. I let anyone who knew me in the past that I did not smoke anymore and if they wanted to visit they could not bring any pot with them. I was very serious and stern about this, and some just chose not to visit anymore, and that is ok. I'm not saying your life will magically get better in a month or so just because you aren't drinking, but what is the drink doing to positively affect your life.

There is a Cost/Bennifit thread going right now that is a great rational way to look at this. If you haven't done it, I suggest you do.

As far as starting your own group, I think it's a great idea. Starting an entire organization from scratch may be a bit much to take on, but there are a number of secular programs that offer complete "kits" for starting your own meetings. If you haven't checked out LifeRing Home Page, the Lifering home page, I'd suggest you do. They even have a complete kit you can get LifeRing Secular Recovery Meeting Starter Supplies
to start your own meeting. It's not an easy go. My fellow secular friend Paul (aka: Doorknob) tried starting his own with limited success, but I believe you live in a more metropolitan area than he did. The do recommend you have a bit of sobriety under your belt before you start the meeting, but you can order the materials, familiarize youself with the program, while you are getting a little time under your belt. Alera is also very familiar with the SMART program and could probably give you some good info about their program.

Anyway I hope some of this made sense to you. I do understand the hopelessness you are going through. You just gotta find a way to stick with it, NO MATTER WHAT. Take care.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:50 PM
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Tyler, Thanks for your post and sharing your history. What a road you've been on.

HuskyP, Hope you are feeling better and not so down on yourself. Please let us know how your day back at work went with the black eye and all. BTW, I know what it's like to feel lonely. I'm married and have 2 wonderful kitties at home. But, right now, all my spouse does is irritate me to death. Everything he does just p****s me off. I'd rather be alone. Not so I can drink, because I really don't have any cravings right now. (Tyler, I think I might look up Naltrexone for future reference. Do you need a prescription?) My cats are the only things that give me comfort nowadays. Husky, do you have any pets? If not, you could get a goldfish or something alive that won't judge you and just be thankful to get fed.

Look forward to hearing about your work days.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:00 PM
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Hi all. Hope everyone had a happy sober Thanksgiving.
Husky, I hope you are doing better, I spent years in those black holes you sound like you were in and there seems like there will never be light but it is possible to climb out. I never did any formal program as they were too ...much... for me; and I just prefer to be alone. I have many if not most days at work where I don't say anything more than hello to others and I live alone and only have my dog to talk to at night-but I like it that way it is my choice. I did find when I first stopped drinking that talking to someone who had been there was an amazing help to me, the person I happened to be the most comfortable talking with was about 2000 miles away but we talked almost daily and sometimes 2-3 times a day. Just knowing that someone else understands and has been there can be so comforting. I didn't know about SR until just 6 mths ago if i had I probably would have been posting here constantly.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:29 PM
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Hello, all.

Husky...hope to hear from you soon.


I decided to treat myself today...I bought an espresso maker. Yea! It has everything......except for a frothing pitcher. The little booklet talks about it...so why wasn't it provided? Where the foo am I going to find a frothing pitcher? I'll have to improvise....I guess. Not like I really know what I'm doing anyways...and I shouldn't be having coffee....but dang it I'd really like to make iced mochas and stuff like that. I can't have a double esspresso anymore......all that caffeine would be doing crazy things (bad with my meds...and after the hot flashes I got the last time....ugh. No thanks).
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
...I bought an espresso maker. Yea! It has everything......except for a frothing pitcher. The little booklet talks about it...so why wasn't it provided? Where the foo am I going to find a frothing pitcher?
Hey Bambz- I just Googled "frothing pitcher" and a whole bunch of stuff came up. Apparently you can even get one with a thermometer. They're not too expensive either.

The espresso maker sounds great. I've been drinking lots of coffee since I stopped drinking, mostly instant espresso doctored up with some cream and flavored coffee mate. I switch to decaf after 5:00 so it doesn't wreak havoc with my sleep. You could probably still have your double espresso if you used decaf beans, yes?

Maybe I'll ask Santa for one next year. This year, we have already spent too much money on a perpetual project of my spouses. (A really sore subject with me since 2002!!!)

Have a good evening all. A
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
Hello, all.

Husky...hope to hear from you soon.


I decided to treat myself today...I bought an espresso maker. Yea! It has everything......except for a frothing pitcher. The little booklet talks about it...so why wasn't it provided? Where the foo am I going to find a frothing pitcher? I'll have to improvise....I guess. Not like I really know what I'm doing anyways...and I shouldn't be having coffee....but dang it I'd really like to make iced mochas and stuff like that. I can't have a double esspresso anymore......all that caffeine would be doing crazy things (bad with my meds...and after the hot flashes I got the last time....ugh. No thanks).
You can use just about anything for a "frothing pitcher". A deep coffee mug works pretty well. All is for is to heat the milk with the steam from the expresso machine. As it shoots the steam into the milk, a froth will develop on top. You can spoon some of the froth on top of Expresso and milk to make a Latte. I really know too much about this stuff!!
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Asta1 View Post
(Tyler, I think I might look up Naltrexone for future reference. Do you need a prescription?)
It does require a perscription. I would recommend talking to a psychitrist who has addiction experience. There is plenty to read about it online, as well as here on the boards. I think it is also sold under the brand name Rivia.

Complete abstainence is really the recommended approach, one that I really should probably work towards as well. My personal experience has been that it greatly reduced the mental cravings I was having. The one's I still have are much more easily battled with logic and reason. If I do choose to drink, I usually lose interest in it after 1-2 drinks, even on nights I bought a bottle with the intention of finishing it off. Again, abstainance should be the goal in mind, but I am still very much a "work in progress", so I will take the improvment in my situation.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:44 PM
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Tyler, Abstinence is my ultimate goal long term and at this point am on day 26, a record for me not having a drink of some kind in a long time. I was more or less a binge drinker when I finally said "this is out of hand" in the past year or so. The binges were getting closer together. Anyway, I figure the more I learn about the tools out there: mental, medical, psychological, whatever, the better decisions I can make about my recovery. There is so much recovery experience to draw from the people on this site and others I visit. Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:53 PM
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Here I am, day 7. It's been bust at work, with finals coming up. It seems to bring in droves of people who have apparently never used a library before, which is OK, just a lot of explaining. I'm patient, though, and some of these college kids are sorta cute, you could have worse scenery =P.

Tyler, thanks for relating your story. I was familiar with bits and pieces, but reading the whole thing like you laid it out was revealing. I have kept a tight lid on things as far as my family goes. It’s like I am spider-man, or something, and am keeping it a secret to protect Aunt May, if that makes sense. Not that my folks are that delicate. But they are far away physically, half-way across the country---and this takes it's toll. Hard to be as close on the phone, at least for me...not a huge phone-talker. I have a home phone, but hardly use it, and have no cell phone. I think maybe I have made 2 or 3 calls in a month, to anyone. Weird, nobody to call, mostly, or scared. But what’s odd is that I very much like to talk, and to be with people, and share stories, and hang out. I get lonely very easily, and crave companionship---almost achingly so. I find I am really more of an extrovert, after I had deluded myself into thinking introverts were cooler This is a tricky thing…I often feel ‘starved’ for fulfilling human contact, and getting home at 12 or 1 AM definitely fuels this; the world seems to be made for those on a ‘day’ schedule, from business hours, to clubs, to meetings, to most everything. Someday, I will eventually get a different job and change this, but until that time, living in the present has been hard.

An odd thing with me is that I am OK with smoking weed on occasion, and find it very much helps with my TMJ jaw pain/insomnia, and is not something I crave on a daily basis. I used to smoke it on and off, but have not in many months/years due to cost/inability to find any. But not with booze. You can get it EVERYWHERE here, even diners, coffee shops...Baltimore seems to have issued liquor licenses to anyone who owns a business. And it's very hard for me to moderate. Thus, I'm making an ongoing effort to avoid it altogether.

When I have some cash again, I need to return to the aspect of pain management for my TMJ/neck/face/jaw issues. This very much gets ion my ability to think and function; makes it hard to sleep, concentrate, and be productive. I have taken Klonopin for this on and off, but have been off that now for over 2 months. I need to really consider some quality of life issues here, and find some kind of balance. Maybe medical marijuana is an option I have not considered; certainly,. it is less of a problem that resorting to opiates, or even benzos like Klonopin again. But I am going to do my best to just put up with the pain, as I can afford nothing else now...the danger here is that I tend to get frustrated, then break down and numb things with booze. Ug, this gets complicated.

Well, I am doing a little better.

I'll check back in soon, gotta get back to the front desk, but will read back more and respond more as well,

Thanks for asking how I have been doing to everyone, and hope you are all well.

H. Pup
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
Here I am, day 7. It's been bust at work, with finals coming up. It seems to bring in droves of people who have apparently never used a library before, which is OK, just a lot of explaining.
Guilty as charged. I leave all my projects until the end. And it's true: I'm in grad school and the first time I ever did any significant library research was this semester. But at least now I'm acquainted with the government documents. Most of my info is available in online databases, makes my life better,

Here's to surviving the end of the semester!
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
/
Tyler, thanks for relating your story. I was familiar with bits and pieces, but reading the whole thing like you laid it out was revealing./

If some kind of good can come of the eperiences I have gone through, it feels like less of a waste. Hope it helped some.


An odd thing with me is that I am OK with smoking weed on occasion, and find it very much helps with my TMJ jaw pain/insomnia, and is not something I crave on a daily basis. I used to smoke it on and off, but have not in many months/years due to cost/inability to find any. But not with booze. You can get it EVERYWHERE here, even diners, coffee shops...Baltimore seems to have issued liquor licenses to anyone who owns a business. And it's very hard for me to moderate. Thus, I'm making an ongoing effort to avoid it altogether.
H. Pup
I am exactly the opposite with this!! I can "handle" the occasional drink, but give me a hit off a joint and it's all over!! I've never been one who believes that because you are addicted to one drug you are addicted to all of them. That never made sense to me. I'm not saying it isn't the case for some people, but hardly anything in this world is universally applicable. So I'll make you a deal....you stay away from the booze and I'll stay away from the pot. It may not make us all better, but we'll be getting better. Take care.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Guilty as charged. I leave all my projects until the end. And it's true: I'm in grad school and the first time I ever did any significant library research was this semester. But at least now I'm acquainted with the government documents. Most of my info is available in online databases, makes my life better,

Here's to surviving the end of the semester!
I remember your kind. You geology students made us library folks scream when we closed down for the night and you'd still have your nose in those documents...down on the bottom floor, actually doing work with the papers all around you.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:29 AM
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Hahaha that's hilarious Alera! If you could convince the USGS to publish their professional papers in some of those fabulous geology databases online, we wouldn't have to go to the library and dig through old dusty books. I guess it's just job security!

So I've really had trouble making friends since I quit dope (didn't help that I'd stopped hanging out with everyone I knew who didn't do dope, so I had to cut out all of my friends at once). I always felt like a rock star on dope, everyone loved me. Getting used to feeling normal has been a big adjustment. I had lots of plans to join student groups and such but honestly I felt so overwhelmed at the first one I never went to another. So I decided to start small. I have been lingering after class and talking to people I already know, sort of rebuilding those bridges I burned in favor of drugs. And I've met a few people that way, as new people will join in a conversation about how difficult an exam was or "Oh, I'm taking that class next semester, too!" Our department is actually pretty close-knit so that really helps, people are friendly and expect to like you. Tonight we had a cookout (in the 30-degree tropical heat wave... brrrrrrrrr!!!) for the geology department. Beer was available, but maybe 1/3 of the people there didn't drink (these are college kids after all. 1/3 sober is a pretty good number). And I managed to strike up conversation with people I don't even know! I did great! I'm really proud of myself, I have never found it easy to talk to people and even less so since I was a friendless druggie. There was a poor, lost, political science major there (with a geology buddy) and we started talking and had a great time. I had more fun just chilling and talking to people than I ever had getting wasted. Plus I'll feel better in the morning.

And so I remain, another dopeless hope fiend.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:49 AM
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Awesome, gneiss.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:50 AM
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gneiss, considering my degree is in Political Science, your post made me smile double-time.

As for the online issue: I do wish the databases carried the professional papers. On the other hand, I still have a thing for real live journals and books. There is something about holding the paper in my hands. Maybe that comes from my mother who worked in a library as well as my history working in the college library as well.

In fact, every year for my birthday and the winter holidays I always request a book. I get a couple magazine subscriptions for the same reason: something about being able to take the mags with me and being able to turn down the corner, mark articles I want to read again, and enjoy being able to take them with me. Sorry but Vanity Fair online is just not the same.

I 'd say I'm old fashioned but then again I get my Dodger information through blogs and read MSNBC, the LA Times and NYTimes online with my coffee.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:34 AM
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Alera, I completely agree! I find most of the info I need online and immediately print it out. I like having a hard copy to look at and mark up; my eyes get tired looking at a computer screen and my reading comprehension is lower reading it on the computer too.

I'm starting to get a little confidence again, it's really nice. It's been a long time since I felt like people like me. It's amazing how long it's taken me to get back, re-learn how to make normal friendships that aren't based on drugs. It sure doesn't come back overnight.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:58 AM
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Paper smells good.

Monitors? Meh...
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:58 PM
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Mimeograph paper smells good!!! Does that count as getting high??!!
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:17 AM
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Never smelled mimeograph paper. Not even sure what a mimeograph is... unless it draws pictures of mimes? It hurts to learn that what they say is true: everyone eventually tells jokes their dad would tell.

On a way more serious note: my grandfather was placed in hospice care today, and according to my uncle he is no longer aware of his surroundings. He's not expected to live through the end of the week. He was a jerk for most of my life but in the last couple years he suddenly started being nice and I got to talk to him a little bit. And I guess it's the sort of thing you can't really beat yourself up about, but I spent half the time he wasn't being a jerk addicted to drugs. So instead of picking up the phone and saying hi I drank and did dope.

It makes me mad because the day my grandmother died I was thinking about going to see her and went to lunch with a friend instead. During my lunch she slipped into a coma and died that evening. I've always felt guilty about it. And now I f***ed off my time with my grandfather because drugs were more important. I guess it's the price ya pay though. Geez. How did I get to be such a winner?

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