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Old 05-04-2012, 02:32 AM
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To count or not?

Hey everyone,

Been here on SR a few weeks now, but haven't posted in this forum yet. I won't go into my story again but suffice to say I have a problem with alcohol. I have just finished the RR book and feel confident to say that I have quit drinking for good. My problem essentially is that I can't help counting the amount of days (19) I've been alcohol-free, even though I realise counting the days is Beast behaviour (why count unless there is a possible 'end'? i.e. resumption of drinking). Also I have told my friends I'm 'off the drink', perhaps a mistake too? Although I've not told them (or my husband for that matter) that it's forever, they just think I'm having a break. I guess the tolerance for alcohol problems is unusually high in this country, so no-one really thinks my drinking was that remarkable to begin with Anyways I would appreciate some feedback on how to deal with this numbers issue I have...Part of me wants to count to celebrate my decision yet intellectually I recognise if I'm over it then why focus on it? A bit of a conundrum.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:55 AM
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Hi Newatthis34,

Why do you question your decision to tell others that you're not drinking? In my experience, the only people who had a problem with me not drinking were usually closeted alcoholics not yet ready to face themselves.

Case in point- if you're invited to a gathering where there may or may not be booze there, are you going for the people or for the booze? IMO, Birthdays are a celebration of life, parties are social events, concerts are for music and the atmosphere, and if someone isn't comfortable with you sober then I would question what it is about you that makes them uneasy? * Operative words here are THEM and UNEASY

200 or 201 day sober and counting because it reminds me of how far I've come.

Luv, Love.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:15 AM
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Thanks LPL,
I am wondering about telling others because from my understanding of RR the onus is on the person addicted to face themselves, and not involving other people with the decision to quit. Of course one does have to offer an explanation of why one isn't drinking but it's easier to be vague and say things like 'I'm on a diet', 'Just taking a break for a few weeks, months etc'. Then you don't have to go into detail about the level of change that's been undertaken. I agree someone who quits will inevitably create discomfort for those who also worry about their problem. I guess my concern is that if I'm 'recovered' as opposed to 'in recovery' then the whole issue is kind of irrelevant...? Perhaps Terminally Unique if he/she is reading this could shed some insight??!
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:31 AM
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Newatthis34, I'm unfamiliar with any RR readings! so the idea of not involving others in a decision to quit is something that I find difficult to sit with. Having said that I hope you are able to get some peace of mind to your conundrum and that the collective consciousness of SR in all it's many faceted colours shines a light for you.

Luv, Love.

P.S- Recovery/ Recovered might be semantics. Sober today? That's a great place to start! :ghug3
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:42 AM
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Well I think there is a big difference between 'recovered' and 'in recovery'. The former has the meaning of an act that has been accomplished, that is to say, I am no longer drinking alcohol, therefore for me alcohol is no longer a powerful force in my life as I live it now. But 'in recovery' has connotations of on-going struggles with alcohol, although the person is sober they are in some sense still trapped by alcohol. It's still a huge presence even by virtue of its absence (if you know what I mean, the elephant in the room so to speak)! Perhaps this issue sums up the difference between RR/AVRT and AA.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:02 AM
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Newatthis,

You are correct about time counting being beast activity, but your dilemma comes from trying not to think about how long it has been. The more you try not to think of it, the less you will succeed. The Beast is locked onto that last drink date like a hungry dog on a delicious, mouth watering meatball, so it is unlikely that you will forget the date. It will also try to create a sense of amazement - "WOW!!! It's been soooo loooong since we had a drink!!!" says the Beast.

The length of time since last drink is ultimately meaningless in the context of permanent abstinence, unless, of course, you think you are between drinks, in which case new daily records do mean something. In AVRT, we simply let the Beast do the counting (it can't resist), and just recognize it as any other form of AV. The next time you have thoughts of how long its been, just recognize it as AV, as your impatient, powerless Beast, and relax while it struggles futilely.

As for telling others about your Big Plan, that is up to you. Personally, I'm not keen on broadcasting problems, and outside of recovery forums, my response is usually "no, I'm not drinking" or "I don't drink." You don't need to be afraid of telling people that you've quit, but what you do need to be aware of is your reason for telling people.

Are you telling people about your BP because you want to be "held accountable," and have them look over your shoulder, which implies that you don't really mean it when you say you've quit? If so, then that is AV. Otherwise, if you think they have good reason to know -- and some in your inner circle may -- then there is no problem.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for that response TU.

I see now that by counting days the beast is trying to somehow take credit for my sobriety in order to launch an attack further down the road! 'See, I'm not so bad after all, I've gone X days without a drink so what's the harm blah, blah' Don't know why I didn't see for myself that if I understand it as AV I can simply put it back in its box and carry on.

In my case simply saying 'I don't drink' to people who know me at all would only provoke hilarity, I've a reputation as a booze-hound par excellence. So I've been very careful not to go into detail but my close friends and husband know I'm not drinking. I haven't said it's a permanent change though. I suppose I'm just trying to deal with the adjustment myself, finding new activities, dealing with other issues in my life that have been ignored while boozing. It's a work in progress and I'm feeling my way with revealing my BP. Perhaps though no revelation is necessary if it becomes apparent.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:22 PM
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Newatthis and TU,
I am not into counting days either, but the day I quit is very important to me. It was May 12, 2012. I want to remember this day like my birthday. I want to celebrate the day I took my life back. How can the beast find any pleasure in that?
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
Newatthis,

You are correct about time counting being beast activity, but your dilemma comes from trying not to think about how long it has been. The more you try not to think of it, the less you will succeed. The Beast is locked onto that last drink date like a hungry dog on a delicious, mouth watering meatball, so it is unlikely that you will forget the date. It will also try to create a sense of amazement - "WOW!!! It's been soooo loooong since we had a drink!!!" says the Beast.
I do not count days - it is the Beast counting the days until the next drink/drug. If asked I will go back and count the months or years, but I leave it at that.

My boyfriend counts days - on the 90 day mark, I started hearing I have been clean for 90+ days over and over and over. Telling me how he has clean urine tests. (Boyfriend does go to the methadone clinic which in my eyes is not clean). But is was almost as if his Beast was speaking out loud to me. I could hear the Beast getting defensive, when I would say "that is great, keep going."

Within days of this repeated self praise of making it 90 days, boyfriend was back sniffing cocaine. His Beast changed the tune then - The Beast dropped the I have been clean 90 days to only say "But I always have clean urine."

I found not to argue with my Beast - and can not argue with my boyfriend's Beast.

Anywho....didn't mean to hijack -

As far as telling others - I simply tell them "I don't drink."

Carrie
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:39 AM
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For years my mother had a nasty physical reaction to alcohol. No one questioned why she said "I don't drink" so I stole my line from her.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:08 AM
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I like the AVRT way of thinking of counting. For me counting made me think more about drinking and less about not drinking. I am not counting now as I found it to be detrimental.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:20 PM
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I find counting really counter-productive and anxiety provoking (for me). In my mind it doesn't matter how long I've stopped for, I am only dealing with the very moment I'm am in now. I try to deal with cravings, overcome then and then get on with life.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by HitRockBottom70 View Post
I am not into counting days either, but the day I quit is very important to me. It was May 12, 2012. I want to remember this day like my birthday. I want to celebrate the day I took my life back. How can the beast find any pleasure in that?
AVRT is the art of separation, and there are always two ways of looking at things, alternatively through your own eyes, and through your Beast's eyes. To you, the "sober birthday" celebration can mean, as you say, simply the day you took your life back. To your Beast, however, the "birthday" celebration means something entirely different.

Some people get very nervous when their "birthday" rolls around, and some even drink soon after. Here's why. The Beast sees through their eyes, and IT notices that what is being celebrated is also the last time IT had a fix. A party for the last Beast party! What an honor for the Beast!

How could any self-respecting Beast resist making an appearance?
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dalek View Post
AVRT is the art of separation, and there are always two ways of looking at things, alternatively through your own eyes, and through your Beast's eyes. To you, the "sober birthday" celebration can mean, as you say, simply the day you took your life back. To your Beast, however, the "birthday" celebration means something entirely different.

Some people get very nervous when their "birthday" rolls around, and some even drink soon after. Here's why. The Beast sees through their eyes, and IT notices that what is being celebrated is also the last time IT had a fix. A party for the last Beast party! What an honor for the Beast!

How could any self-respecting Beast resist making an appearance?
Oh damn, I thought I was going on a vacation May 12, 2013. I can see how the beast may look at this as having so much power that I plan my WHOLE YEAR around "it". It still will have the power, thinking "it's just a matter of time before he gives in and I get to drink again". I guess I need to do some more thinking and studying. Thank you.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:36 PM
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my last drink was 4/23/05. i have been sober since 6:39 am today.
i dont pat myself on my back and dont want anyone patting me on my back because it something i should have done 25 yeasr ago.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:51 PM
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Tomsteve,
I guess it am too dense to understand what you are saying... Did you relapse? If not can you explain what you mean?
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:00 PM
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there is only one day i have and thats today. yesterday and it's sobriety is gone. tomorrow and its sobriety isnt here yet. i woke up this morning at 6:39. i have been sober since 6:39.

to me, a relapse would end with a drink. i havent drank since 4/23/05.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:08 AM
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Yes and no. I like to keep a general eye on my time so on the 5th I count my months. Even after a year that's the loose eye I continued to keep, nothing more concrete. Most important to me is the general feeling I get as my old habits and coping mechanisms continue to change and mature.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:10 AM
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I know that alot of people do not like the counting. But I love it. I started marking adding up days on my calendar during withdrawal. It was tangible proof that I had made it another day. When I was drinking, I think days became a blur. I think that's the appeal of counting. Every number means a day that I was present and accountable. Do whatever makes you comfortable. I still count. I like it. It symbolized progress for me. I plan on being the 80 year old with 30 years sobriety behind me. I just like it. Best wishes to you.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:51 AM
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In early recovery up to the 2nd yr sober,
counting was important. Why you ask, because
for this alcoholic, everyday sober and not drinking
was a miracle. When I reached my 2 yr anniversary
sober, I was then able to begin living in recovery
and not worry about counting which wasnt as
important as other things in my life.
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