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Old 07-31-2012, 12:18 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I wish the secular section of SR's forums were more active too. While some here have said that they are agnostic and practicing AA, I just don't think that will work for me. My story is similar to charon's in that I have been able to get an advanced degree, have a successful career, get a lot of stuff, etc. and still drink my alcohol to excess through most of it all.

Like others here, I didn't really lose anything external by being an alcoholic, but my life has become an inner hell of paranoia, anxiety, and shame. My secretive drinking has long impacted my relationships with other people, including family members and colleagues at work. I have been living a lie, and I'm sick of having this sickening feeling.

Tomorrow will be my sixth day of sobriety. I intend to stick it out. Aside from reading about alcoholism and connecting with people here on SR, I have not yet begun other efforts. I look forward to learning more from those of you have tried secular approaches to staying sober.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:13 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hello Blueshades and all the others, same story for me, good education, good job, good life (except for the alcohol) though recently I spend more time not drinking than drinking, however when I do pick up the glass again I drink to get drunk then have a terrible time going back to abstinence, though I know I feel 1000% better. Getting past the first few days is the most difficult for me, after 4 days I feel great and of course forget how awful I felt when I was drinking.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:00 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by blueshades View Post
I wish the secular section of SR's forums were more active too. While some here have said that they are agnostic and practicing AA, I just don't think that will work for me. My story is similar to charon's in that I have been able to get an advanced degree, have a successful career, get a lot of stuff, etc. and still drink my alcohol to excess through most of it all.

Like others here, I didn't really lose anything external by being an alcoholic, but my life has become an inner hell of paranoia, anxiety, and shame. My secretive drinking has long impacted my relationships with other people, including family members and colleagues at work. I have been living a lie, and I'm sick of having this sickening feeling.

Tomorrow will be my sixth day of sobriety. I intend to stick it out. Aside from reading about alcoholism and connecting with people here on SR, I have not yet begun other efforts. I look forward to learning more from those of you have tried secular approaches to staying sober.
Congratulations on your sixth day, and thanks for your post, especially that part about the "inner hell". Yes...that's what it was like for me, too. And "living a lie", that's it exactly. For me, that was the worst part.

But doing the opposite, i.e. living a genuine life, has become something of a moral compass for me. In a way, it helps to know what living a lie feels like. Anytime I get that feeling, it's like a warning siren.

Anyway, your statement that you intend to stick it out is very telling. That's the best possible attitude to have, IMHO!
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:02 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Hello.I have a question please

I know people in AA say stopping drinking is only the first bit of the problem, it's sorting life out that remains the bigger challenge. Do secular approaches believe the same? Or is it more of the case that life does improve almost automatically when we stop drinking-for me,it has,although some problems do remain? Or maybe a bit of both.

I would be interested in others' thoughts on this.I'm a month sober, feel hugely better but feel I need to address various issues about how I react to things,stop worrying about the past,let the future be what it will be and learn how to live today.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:24 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately as far as I'm concerned, the word and connotations of God, higher power and spirituality, meditation etc etc make me feel VERY uncomfortable. This is why I cannot understand 'non secular sobriety solutions', I'm seriously not knocking it as seems to work for some. I nearly died last year. This is the time most people have epiphanys right? Well, I didn't.
I think some people are open to spirituality and the handing over of problems to God (or HP of their choice). I just can't do it. This is why 'non secular sobriety solutions' isn't for me. Maybe I am just too closed minded and cynical, well, I guess thats my problem. I have 11 months now, and although I have anxiety (my main problem for self-medicating) I have found that SR has been enough for me to keep my sobriety. SR has lots of rules and regulations, so I'm not sure if I am treading on anyones feet here. I just think that fact and common sense works for me
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:58 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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HiZee

I wasn't thinking of handing over to God or a HP.I'm not spiritual either -it's more of a case of now sober I see what issues I need to address-ones I've been ignoring whilst drunk.Not just physical things but reactions/ways of dealing with things. It is me though , no one else/HP involved
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:48 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Yes, thats where the work starts!
For me, it is just concentrate on one thing at a time, write things down, make a check list, do alot of grovelling, write apologetic letters (creditors), swear alot, throw hands up in the air, slap forhead, swear some more, cuddle the dog, play music and come to SR (alot). Job done.... next! :rotfxko xxx
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:07 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Thanks Zee

I have much work to do!!
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:40 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by justhadenough View Post
Hello.I have a question please

I know people in AA say stopping drinking is only the first bit of the problem, it's sorting life out that remains the bigger challenge. Do secular approaches believe the same? Or is it more of the case that life does improve almost automatically when we stop drinking-for me,it has,although some problems do remain? Or maybe a bit of both.

I would be interested in others' thoughts on this.I'm a month sober, feel hugely better but feel I need to address various issues about how I react to things,stop worrying about the past,let the future be what it will be and learn how to live today.
Well, not all secular approaches are the same. The one I'm most familiar with, SMART Recovery, recognizes that while ceasing addictive behavior is a huge accomplishment, many of us, following abstinence, can benefit from learning life-balance skills. So, SMART incorporates many tools designed to help build these skills.

In my own personal situation, I found immediate benefits to simply being abstinent from alcohol. I felt better physically and emotionally simply because I wasn't poisoning myself anymore, and didn't have to deal with guilt from nightly blackouts.

But I'd been drinking for 25 years and had done some real damage to myself during that time. Basically, I had no coping skills, and I had some childhood trauma to deal with. So, although I didn't struggle horribly with abstinence per se, I certainly had work to do.

For that task, I looked to a professional who took an eclectic approach incorporating CBT principles and psychodynamic therapy. She was very creative and challenged me. I learned a lot from her. I believe the approach she used would have worked well alongside the SMART Recovery program, but at the time I was unaware that SMART even existed.

So...what sorts of things have you considered or run across that look interesting to you, or that you think might be helpful to you?
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:20 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Justhadenough, some folks tie up everything into some magical knot so complicated that no human can unravel. I don't solve my problems that way, I like to chop them up into bite size pieces.

Drinking problem? Stop drinking.
Depression? See a Dr and/or a psychiatrist.
Coping difficulties? See a therapist or life coach.
Issues with God and your spiritual health? See a clergyman.

But, for heavens' sake, quit drinking first! You might learn, as I did, that everything else sorta sorts itself out! Then you get to tell yourself, I did this myself. Yay me!
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:30 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I agreeŚwas just posting that elsewhere. I keep things separate. Got a wrench for one job, a hammer for another.

Of course I have other issues. Who doesn't? Being an alcoholic, I just had to take something else first before I could move on to the rest.

I'm not saying issues aren't sometimes intertwined; I'm just saying in my case they aren't.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:12 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Justhadenough, some folks tie up everything into some magical knot so complicated that no human can unravel. I don't solve my problems that way, I like to chop them up into bite size pieces.

Drinking problem? Stop drinking.
Depression? See a Dr and/or a psychiatrist.
Coping difficulties? See a therapist or life coach.
Issues with God and your spiritual health? See a clergyman.

But, for heavens' sake, quit drinking first! You might learn, as I did, that everything else sorta sorts itself out! Then you get to tell yourself, I did this myself. Yay me!
This makes a lot of sense to me. I went through a very long bout of depression, a feeling that seems to have lifted almost immediately after I stopped drinking. It will take time to sort out if I need to do something else to deal with the depression. I will be watching that closely.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
Well, not all secular approaches are the same. The one I'm most familiar with, SMART Recovery, recognizes that while ceasing addictive behavior is a huge accomplishment, many of us, following abstinence, can benefit from learning life-balance skills. So, SMART incorporates many tools designed to help build these skills.

In my own personal situation, I found immediate benefits to simply being abstinent from alcohol. I felt better physically and emotionally simply because I wasn't poisoning myself anymore, and didn't have to deal with guilt from nightly blackouts.

But I'd been drinking for 25 years and had done some real damage to myself during that time. Basically, I had no coping skills, and I had some childhood trauma to deal with. So, although I didn't struggle horribly with abstinence per se, I certainly had work to do.

For that task, I looked to a professional who took an eclectic approach incorporating CBT principles and psychodynamic therapy. She was very creative and challenged me. I learned a lot from her. I believe the approach she used would have worked well alongside the SMART Recovery program, but at the time I was unaware that SMART even existed.

So...what sorts of things have you considered or run across that look interesting to you, or that you think might be helpful to you?
Thanks OTT,

I agree.Even though I'm only month in I feel so so much better both physically and mentally. However, I do feel slightly anxious,lacking in confidence and quite nervous about certain things.Drink would suppress these feelings and stop me worrying.

I need to accept the past and decisions I've made(especially bad ones)and stop worrying about the future and what might happen. I know it sounds basic but I'm just trying to live each day for what it is and try to be contented and happy.I don't think it is totally realistic to not think about the future at all but if I can ease the anxiety/worry it will help.

I've ordered theTolle book-The power of now. Whilst it might be too spiritual for me I'm hoping it will provide me with some new learning techniques about stopping worrying about the future.Take the bits I need and leave the rest

I've not looked at SMART but think I will as it does sound useful.Where would you recommend starting?

Thanks
JHE
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:02 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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stop worrying about the future and what might happen
I have a long history worrying about the future (in fact it now qualifies as a past regret, lol). Looking back, I see that the vast majority of the things I worry about never comes to pass. Why do I waste so much energy and time? How much of the present slips by unnoticed while my mind races back and forth between past and future?

In other words, I will be interested in your review of the Tolle book, JHE.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:31 AM
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Thanks Ready.

I expect the book to arrive tomorrow -I'll let you know what I think. Have you read it or perhaps thinking of doing?
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:12 AM
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Haven't read a word of it, JHE, but from what I've heard, doesn't he deal a lot with troubles being rooted in perceptions of things rather than the things themselves? I love that stuff. The whole notion that we can't control the world, but we can completely control how we respond to it...
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Justhadenough, some folks tie up everything into some magical knot so complicated that no human can unravel. I don't solve my problems that way, I like to chop them up into bite size pieces.

Drinking problem? Stop drinking.
Depression? See a Dr and/or a psychiatrist.
Coping difficulties? See a therapist or life coach.
Issues with God and your spiritual health? See a clergyman.

But, for heavens' sake, quit drinking first! You might learn, as I did, that everything else sorta sorts itself out! Then you get to tell yourself, I did this myself. Yay me!
Thanks Fresh start

I am 1 month sober today. things do seem to be sorting themselves out. I also find that things do not seem as bleak and I am more able to deal with things.

Things are not as complicated as they first seem!
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:38 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by justhadenough View Post

I've not looked at SMART but think I will as it does sound useful.Where would you recommend starting?

JHE
The first thing I'd recommend is to take a look at the website. Register for the online forums. Click around and see what's going on. Try an online meeting. If you're into chatrooms, check that out too (I hate chatrooms, so I can't recommend it from personal experience, but some people find the immediacy helpful.)

If you like what you see, order the SMART Recovery handbook. If you're interested in face to face meetings, see what the status of those is in your area. These days, some areas have a whole bunch of meetings while some areas have none. There are always the online meetings and forums though, even if you can't get to face to face meetings.

You mentioned the Tolle book. I haven't read that myself, but I've heard good things about it, and Alan Carr's book The Easy Way to Quit, also. You might want to check out Sober for Good by Anne Fletcher--it's not so much a "how to" book as it is a book about the various ways people recover from addictions. This book really helped me to appreciate that in the end, we do each find our own way. All recovery is personal.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:39 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post
I agreeŚwas just posting that elsewhere. I keep things separate. Got a wrench for one job, a hammer for another.

Of course I have other issues. Who doesn't? Being an alcoholic, I just had to take something else first before I could move on to the rest.

I'm not saying issues aren't sometimes intertwined; I'm just saying in my case they aren't.
Thanks Ready.

Exactly,it's just life isn't it. Removing the drink has made me see things so much more clearly
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by onlythetruth View Post
The first thing I'd recommend is to take a look at the website. Register for the online forums. Click around and see what's going on. Try an online meeting. If you're into chatrooms, check that out too (I hate chatrooms, so I can't recommend it from personal experience, but some people find the immediacy helpful.)

If you like what you see, order the SMART Recovery handbook. If you're interested in face to face meetings, see what the status of those is in your area. These days, some areas have a whole bunch of meetings while some areas have none. There are always the online meetings and forums though, even if you can't get to face to face meetings.

You mentioned the Tolle book. I haven't read that myself. I'm kind of "over" the self-help book thing. I read nothing BUT such books for a few years and reached a saturation point. But I've heard good things about that, and Alan Carr's book The Easy Way to Quit, also.
Thanks OTT, I'm going to read both and see what I think.

Thanks for the SMART info too. [email protected] not chat room fan either!I will have a look at the website

Thank you all for your feedback and help

JHE
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