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Old 12-11-2010, 10:56 PM
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Doubt

Hi friends!

Tonight I went to a christmas party. I drank my tonic water and lime, ate tons and had interesting conversations I enjoyed with people who were drinking and some were tipsy. I had planned on leaving early but was having a good time so stayed until 11:30 (which is still early if you consider I helped shut down the party at God kn ows what time last year).

My question/concern is not that I wanted to drink (no desire to drink, still, thank God)....my problem is that I feel like my experiences are so atypical that I am setting myself up for an epic fail....but I can't see how. Getting sober has been too easy. Yes, I am doing self improvement work, which is important....and I obviously spend a lot of time here...but that's pretty much it.

And its not like I wasn't a 'real alcoholic'....I drank 2 litders of wine a night for 5 years all while trying to stop and being unable.

I don't know if I am doing something wrong or reading too much here and comparing myself to others.

Just looking for some advice....thanks….

LaFemme (Tina)
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:02 PM
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I think some of us drink enough so that when we finally quit, we know it's time

I actually wasn't at peace with my decision when I quit, but I know lots of people who were...and still are.

If you're sober and you want to be that way, you're happy with that decision and it's changed your life and your sense of self for the better...that's what we're all looking for LOL

if it ain't broke...
D
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:27 PM
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No, I've learned that addiction is idiosyncratic. Although a good many addict share a lot of commonalities, there is however just as many traits that are unique to the individual regarding addiction. Here's where to "know thy self" is key, and those that do the necessary self-exploratory work realize there is in fact some significant differences between those that have an addiction.

IMO, just as there are many paths to recovery, there are just as many individual needs in recovery. Going beyond the general recovery speak, that as a whole holds one to be overtly cautious. There are individual strengths one can have that otherwise would be overlooked in recovery speak or not present in others. A general rule of thumb in emphasized just to keep things on the safe side.

And that's the problem with cookie cutter ( had to get the cookie thing in) recovery modalities. The individual often gets overlooked so that the whole cookie program maintains its integrity. With group speak and universal truths. Remember many in recovery deal with a closed system of recovery truths where uniqueness is frowned down upon. And unique strengths are not explored.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:00 AM
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My first thought was - relax and enjoy the gift of ease you are finding today. Because nothing stays the same, and at some point you may turn a corner and find yourself unexpectedly uneasy with recovery. Dealing with the reality of this moment (rather than the past or future) is the best option I have for peace. It ain't easy, but for those brief moments that I can do it, it's grand indeed.

I had a little sign in my bathroom for years that said "Much of our unhappiness comes as the result of comparing ourselves to others." So true for me. I remember the first time a counselor said to me, you have to let go of the concept of normal....I was like, uh...?? But after a while I got it. Now the trick is to remember it!

Kristen
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
No, I've learned that addiction is idiosyncratic. Although a good many addict share a lot of commonalities, there is however just as many traits that are unique to the individual regarding addiction. Here's where to "know thy self" is key, and those that do the necessary self-exploratory work realize there is in fact some significant differences between those that have an addiction.

IMO, just as there are many paths to recovery, there are just as many individual needs in recovery. Going beyond the general recovery speak, that as a whole holds one to be overtly cautious. There are individual strengths one can have that otherwise would be overlooked in recovery speak or not present in others. A general rule of thumb in emphasized just to keep things on the safe side.

And that's the problem with cookie cutter ( had to get the cookie thing in) recovery modalities. The individual often gets overlooked so that the whole cookie program maintains its integrity. With group speak and universal truths. Remember many in recovery deal with a closed system of recovery truths where uniqueness is frowned down upon. And unique strengths are not explored.
I could not agree more! Recovery is such an individual thing. There are no hard and fast rules for any of it and one of the biggest problems with "one size fits all" recovery modalities is that when someone doesn't fit the mold, they start worrying that they are doing something wrong and setting themselves up for failure.

That's why I think it's so important that we share our personal experiences honestly, so others can truly get a view of the wide variety of experiences people actually have.

The first holiday season I went through after I quit drinking is a good example of this. I was a few months along then and felt much like you do--that it was too easy--until some very wise person said "life is hard enough without complaining when things are GOOD! Besides...you never know what tomorrow will bring."

And indeed, the hardest point in my early sobriety was actually at the end of my first year...and the hardest point in my life since I got sober was when I had about 5 years (but by then, it didn't even cross my mind to drink).

So...be kind to yourself and rejoice when times are good. :day6

OTT
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by houdini56 View Post
My first thought was - relax and enjoy the gift of ease you are finding today. Because nothing stays the same, and at some point you may turn a corner and find yourself unexpectedly uneasy with recovery. Dealing with the reality of this moment (rather than the past or future) is the best option I have for peace. It ain't easy, but for those brief moments that I can do it, it's grand indeed.

I had a little sign in my bathroom for years that said "Much of our unhappiness comes as the result of comparing ourselves to others." So true for me. I remember the first time a counselor said to me, you have to let go of the concept of normal....I was like, uh...?? But after a while I got it. Now the trick is to remember it!

Kristen
So true! Not an expert at sobriety by any means, but one of the things I've been continually working on in my life is dealing with what's going on now instead of worrying about what might come. Things are good now, so that's good.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:35 PM
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There is a quote from somewhere that I like to follow....

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong....The amount of work is the same".

maybe you are overthinking things?...we all know that stuff happens, circumstances change....you have been proactive and working on yourself, taking a sensible approach to your problems....enjoy your sobriety and your hard work....congrats on being a good example for many of us.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:53 PM
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Tina, is this something you have to figure out right now?

When you are ready to understand it, you will. In the mean time, enjoy your piece of mind, and keep working your recovery. You are an inspiration to me.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:13 PM
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Thanks everyone! I don't know why this thought got in my head and started driving me nuts....I used to tell a friend who is a worry sort to " stop borrowing trouble "...looks like I need to take my own advice...and all of y'alls too:-)

Thanks for always being there...I feel better today. I will try not to look my gift horse in the mouth...and I will be happy that things are going well...geez...when I put it that way it sounds stupid to do anything else!
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:52 AM
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LaFemme, I've been feeling the same way!!! I'm closing in on my first year and I've heard people go to meetings like 5 x a day and so on...I've worked on myself, read books, practice meditation,go to classes...tried AA..and sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough...to remain sober....maybe we are so accustomed to having to work so hard at things that when our sobriety clicks it just feels to easy? Thanks for your post I really needed it
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:03 AM
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Thanks LO2L...it's good to know others feel the same way:-)
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:49 PM
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So getting sober was easy, despite the numerous failed attempts and years spend drinking 2 liters of wine a day while trying to quit. First that doesn't sound especially easy. Second have you ever thought of those as practice runs at sobriety? That's how I see it. I would "quit" and keep using, I did it many times. But when I finally put it down and enough was enough and this time for the first and only time I actually meant it,felt it in my heart and I was done... Well quitting became one of the easiest things I've ever done. I occasionally still think I could do some drugs, "man that would be fun" but it's a fleeting thought. It's not a desire for drugs but really a desire for the selfish lifestyle I had and lack of concern for anything and anyone around me. It's usually just because I'm stressing out and really don't feel like dealing with my responsibilities.

That's my take on my relative ease getting clean.

"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." -Will Shakespeare. Good dude, knew his iambic pentameter.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:03 AM
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I think gneiss has a great point - and moreso, you and LO2L are here a lot LaF - always sharing your experience and helping others - if thats not working on your sobriety I dunno what is.

D
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:14 AM
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Thanks Gneiss for putting it in perspective and for bringing the bard into the equation...still relevant after all This time:-)

5 years of falling on my a$$ wasn't easy!
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:35 PM
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Hi LaFemme,
I can identify with you a lot. I tried and tried and tried again to stay abstinent from alcohol and drugs, but it was usually very shaky, and I could not stay comfortably off cigarettes at all. I have quit everything now, without any support at all, and most of the time, it is effortless. Thing is though, I have known many people who quit their addictions without any support, and they found it relatively easy, because they simply had enough pain and hassle. Many people are like that.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Benowhere View Post
Hi LaFemme,
I can identify with you a lot. I tried and tried and tried again to stay abstinent from alcohol and drugs, but it was usually very shaky, and I could not stay comfortably off cigarettes at all. I have quit everything now, without any support at all, and most of the time, it is effortless. Thing is though, I have known many people who quit their addictions without any support, and they found it relatively easy, because they simply had enough pain and hassle. Many people are like that.
I have seen that too. Ive heard it called 'aging out' although age has nothing to do with it. Some simply quit...period.

I've seen it happen to a friend of mine. Bottom drunk if there ever was one. Then one day he starts putting a red X on his calender to mark the sober days. The days turn to years, he moves back home to TE from CA, rejoins his family after decades of alcoholism. Rejoins his church form childhood, and now sends me recordings of his gospel music. He was always a talented artiest...but his drunkenness killed all that when he was lost in the bottle. One Eyed Bob is his name. Still an inspiration to me this day...bless him.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:46 PM
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Thanks guys! That's good to hear. I guess most of those folks don't find their way here
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
I have seen that too. Ive heard it called 'aging out' although age has nothing to do with it. Some simply quit...period.
If you maintain the disease model of addiction, you can call it spontaneous remission. Of course this is one of the characteristics of addiction, that is often used to discount addiction as a disease. Few things annoy the medical industry more that people who just get better without professional medical intervention.

From what Tina has shared, I would say she has taken some pretty positive and powerful steps to change her life and thinking toward drinking.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:41 PM
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Whoops, I didn't mean steps, I meant actions - sorry.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:14 PM
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Everyone's road to sobriety is different.

You know in your heart if you are alcoholic. As cool as this place is, people don't just quit drinking and join SR because it's a fun thing to do.

You're okay. Really.
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