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Old 06-03-2013, 08:43 AM
  # 261 (permalink)  
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hi Jess,

this is the second time you've referred to a "hissy fit", and only you would know why you'd use these dismissive-sounding words to describe where you were at a couple of days ago. was it really not serious?
personally, i take 'these things' seriously,as a kind of message from me to me that, oh: i need different skills; that something feels overwhelmingly out of control (do i need to be able to control it? what if i can't? how can i live okay/be okay without control of every little thing? how can i be okay without running away??/) in other words: i assume i don't want to drink (and i really don't) as an indicator of stuff that's going on that i need to look at and change or be okay without changing and having things to figure out.
not saying it's pleasant or easy, just that it's a pointer.

and this has been hugely helpful to me.
and yes, it does come partly from my "never again" intention.
from being unable to imagine a scenario/circumstance where i'd drink.
because there's nothing there for me, in drinking.
nothing real.

but the way you describe the cookouts, there's something there for you in drinking then. what is it? when you spend time thinking about what drinking will add....what is it that you think you can't be/add without the drink?

the pictures in my head about the future are important to me, even if the future has a good chance of being different from my pictures. the way i imagine...i can change that.

strangely enough, i just a few minutes ago re-read an old thread somewhere else and came across an old post of mine talking about just that, so i'll share what worked for me:


re: planning for sobriety
i think a fair amount of what you call planning for me involves changing the pictures in my head; the biggest one that's left over is the one i've had since my teens: when i'm old(and when would THAT be????) i'll have one of those beautiful old houses, somewhere outside of the city, and i'll be sitting in the rocking chair on the persian rug over the hardwood floor , visiting with a few good friends, there will be good food and wine, or maybe it will be beer this time...and i've had that very image for decades. it's what i thought i wanted for later in my life.

well, i won't be able to afford the house, persian rugs are made by child labour so i can't have one, friends are iffy, alcohol kicked out.....okay, no, i'm not feeling sorry for myself at all, but planning fo sobriety demands that i find a new picture. and THAT is still work for me.


that you may not WANT to...yeah, i get that. i lived there for a long time; couldn't imagine a, b, c and d without drinking.
putting conscious effort into imagining doing everything soberly... work that's paid off for me.
because the reality of my romanticised pictures of drinking was of course nothing like the rosy-pictured moderate couple of drinks and soft warm glow.


what was the reality at the end of the day of the cookouts?

and sorry to hear you're struggling in that ambivalent-sounding spot....better that than glossing over it, though. keep looking at what's left in that drink, what it's "for", and at the very least then you'll have choices over doing something else instead.
hope this doesn't come across as preachy; don't mean it that way.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:22 AM
  # 262 (permalink)  
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((fini))-
If I had it all figured out and didn't want anyones' opinion then I sure would not have a thread on the internet regarding my drinking behaviors....:rotfxko You are not preachy at all.

I think I called it more of a hissy-fit because I was so ready to drink it all away and then when the time came to actually do that... I no longer wanted to. That makes me question if it was just the "beast throwing a fit" or me losing it. Does that make sense? I can deal with "beast fits" but, not me going crazy.

As far as ambivalance... ABSOLUTELY..... I want to be 100% sure that I want to live my life sober forever... never drinking again before I make that plan. Of all the "pictures in my head" the cookout one is the one that made me realize why I had not made a BP.

I thought about it all weekend (on and off of-course) why no BP???? And this was my answer to me I am still "not unable" to imagine myself drinking. Is the cookout romanticised? Sure it is. At the end of the night I pass out, blackout and wake up sick. Is it worth that? I dont know.

And I guess that is all the stuff I have contemplated since the thoughts of drinking started up. I greatly appreciate your input.

It is all about choices. It is about creating "new pictures" that make me happy. New pictures of a new life without a drink. I feel very much that I am reinventing myself. I am becoming a different person.

So, I must agree with you. The constant beast activity for a few days last week was definitely a type of warning to me from me that all is not perfect. That I need to really look at what it is I want........
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:23 PM
  # 263 (permalink)  
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Is the cookout romanticised? Sure it is. At the end of the night I pass out, blackout and wake up sick. Is it worth that? I dont know.

hi Jess,

is it worth WHAT? you haven't made a peep about what getting pissed is supposed to be adding on the positive side to this cookout ....picky picky, i know, it's just that my alcoholic mind is well trained to spot anything that looks like fudge or slippery in any way...
or, to rephrase: what do you imagine you lose by not drinking at the cookout?

as you know, i have no Beast and no Big Plan.
i do plan to never drink again; it is my intention and clearly i'm putting some effort and action behind that.
and i think i have a good shot at that.

GT might remember that i never responded to his remark that he is confident i could get certainty about that with a BP.
but i can't, of course. I can't.
because the only thing that's certain about my future is that i'll die. that's absolutely for sure.
other than that, i cannot with certainty predict anything about my future.

though i've done it many times in the past

and no, i'm not saying it because i'm attempting to sway you in your thinking at all.
or because i'm iffy about "never". i'm not.

but i do recognize that the ambivalence you speak of is something that i haven't had this time.

And this was my answer to me I am still "not unable" to imagine myself drinking.

mmm...is that directly equivalent to being unable to imagine yourself NOT drinking?



i can imagine myself drinking....well, i try, at times. and when i do, something in me turns, revolts, so to speak,to repulsion. almost gagging. not because of the taste or anything, but because of "who" i'd have to be again to do it. to go there again.
sorry, maybe this is of less than no use to you....
was thinking of how often people are discouraged from imagining this kind of stuff....but i think it's hugely helpful to root out what you (or your beastly thing)tell yourself about what pulls you to that drink that you're sort of wanting but not really but that you're not ready/willing to let go of.

for what it's worth: i don't think you're losing it.
if anything, really, you're gaining it! (ability to step back and look at "it". postponing a decision. new perspective. increased knowledge of yourself. perseverance.)

keep going.
you will find your way.
yes, i know i've said it before. you will.

Margit
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:55 AM
  # 264 (permalink)  
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Margit-

Your insight is very welcomed by me. What does drinking really add to my life/cookout that I am not willing to "let go of"? Strange that you should ask that bc I am asking myself that as well right now. I loved the first two to three hours of drinking. The "warm-happy-everything-is-all-right" buzz that came prior to the "oh-my-what-the-hell-did-I-do-last-night-two-day-hangover". I accepted when I quit drinking that I am not fortunate enough to have one without the other. I can have the buzz but, I cannot stop there.

So, in concluding that I decided that it would be sheer insanity to continue chasing the "buss without consenquences idea". It was not going to happen no matter how hard I tried.

Everything is just strange now that I dont drink. My mom and brother are not nearly as close to me. In fact all my relationships have now changed. I guess what I am asking myself is not is the drinking worth it but, is not drinking worth losing the people I felt closest too. Now I am a "lone wolf"...

You know since I was 19 I have been in the "drinker" category. Its like you said about the "pictures in my head". In my pictures some I am a non-drinker but, others I am still a drinker. I guess what I question is do I really want to give up the lifestyle that I had for so long. Oh hell I don't know. Lots of thinking to do.

Thanks again....Jess
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:56 AM
  # 265 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fini
because the only thing that's certain about my future is that i'll die. that's absolutely for sure.
other than that, i cannot with certainty predict anything about my future.
Well yeah, but really there are things that I can know with enough certainty that it may as well be an absolute for all intents and purposes.
I'm "certain" I'm not going to be president of the United States. Is it "possible"?, well, yes, anythings possible, but honestly how likely is it?
This is the same kind of certainty with which I can predict my future use of alcohol.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:05 AM
  # 266 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jkb
In my pictures some I am a non-drinker but, others I am still a drinker.
Yes, I understand this. In the pictures in my head I am still 20...but it's not so in real life.

Originally Posted by jkb
I guess what I question is do I really want to give up the lifestyle that I had for so long.
Good question and one only you can answer. I drank long after I knew what it was doing to me on so many levels, because it was worth it to me. I took the tradeoff. I did it for as long as I could, until I literally couldn't any more.

But things look so different depending on the vantage point. Nothing was real when I was addicted. Things made sense that don't make sense to me now. When I look back, I literally feel like I'm looking at a different person. Like a movie. Like it wasn't me.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:10 AM
  # 267 (permalink)  
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[QUOTE=soberlicious;3998423]Yes, I understand this. In the pictures in my head I am still 20...but it's not so in real life.

Me too....:rotfxko

I Hope what you say is true SL. A "different person looking back at you". I know that I am a far happier and well adjusted person sober.... and thats after just a few months. I would like to move forward and see a "new me". Thanks SL.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:57 AM
  # 268 (permalink)  
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I just spent about 60 hours on the dark side, Jess. Risking everything I love just to push that lever like a lab rat. I don't recommend it. Savor your freedom. I had mine for a few weeks back in April. I wasted it. I want it back again. Don't give yours away like I did.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:12 PM
  # 269 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jkb View Post
I guess what I question is do I really want to give up the lifestyle that I had for so long. Oh hell I don't know. Lots of thinking to do.
Not that I actually know, since I'm not you Jess, but isn't that kind of "drinking lifestyle" already out of your reach when drunk too? And has been for awhile now? I mean, why did you even end up not drinking if the drinking lifestyle had what you really want? I'm sure you would have kept drinking if things were working out with drinking being in your lifestyle?

I believe its good your relationships with others are/is changing, not sure why you think the changes equate to losses now that you're not drinking. If drinking so much defined those relationships, the realization of what that may imply is all too obvious and perhaps painful when faced soberly.

I'm wondering in your life either when drinking or when not drinking do you generally feel on the top of situations, in charge of what challenges you, at your best when put to the test -- or -- do you generally feel at the trailing end of things, pushed around by life's misfortunes, mostly struggling just to find some comfort and authentic awareness of the idea that "life is good?"

None of my business, so sorry if my questions seem intrusive.

I would like to suggest you are more important in your own life, and in the life of others, then you appear to present yourself as being. I see you as running yourself down a bit, and I'm asking if you like yourself best when drinking or not drinking. Put lifestyle choices to the side for a moment please.

Do you identify mostly with a drunk Jess?

And if so, do you feel lost without a strong sober identity?

Either way, Jess
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:39 PM
  # 270 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jkb View Post
... Everything is just strange now that I dont drink. My mom and brother are not nearly as close to me. In fact all my relationships have now changed. I guess what I am asking myself is not is the drinking worth it but, is not drinking worth losing the people I felt closest too. Now I am a "lone wolf"...
Hi Jess,

If you've got the AVRT book Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction, check out pages 161-168. It's about the co-mingling of Beasts.

When I quit for good, I definitely became aware of the Beast in some of the people I used to hang with. On p. 161 there's a good quote, "When Beasts mingle, there's a sense of mutual loyalty to the cause of drinking, as well as shared suspicion of others who may interfere with or disapprove of alcoholic excess."

As time passed, I realized that my relationships were developing into more complex adult relationships, instead of being a static level of "running with the pack" in an altered state that reduced my thinking to an unfortunate level of stupidity, sometimes nostalgic and emotion-laden, but still, stupidity.

I've used the going into a museum from bright sunlight analogy before. When I first went in (quit drinking) I couldn't see much of anything of the beauty and subtlety of the human creations, but as I got used to it, a whole new world opened up to me that would take several lifetimes to even begin to fully appreciate.

I think this also relates to how you presently see your relations with others. Your not quite yet used to the interaction of friendly and/or loving non-drinking adults. And even if your family has dependent drinkers, you can still have a much better relationship with them as you are now.

In any case, I think your self-awareness, understanding, and ability to express yourself here is quite remarkable.

GT
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:45 PM
  # 271 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Well yeah, but really there are things that I can know with enough certainty that it may as well be an absolute for all intents and purposes.
I'm "certain" I'm not going to be president of the United States. Is it "possible"?, well, yes, anythings possible, but honestly how likely is it?
This is the same kind of certainty with which I can predict my future use of alcohol.
sure, but i'm talking about my own actions.

that you can predict some of yours with certainty...well, really, all i can say is good for you
and that's not snide, just that i know i can't.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:54 PM
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Jess,

one of the questions that came up for me in various guises about various things after quittingv was along the lines of "what is real here?"
as far as relationships, that looked a bit like this: did they seem different because i had "new eyes", so to speak?
what was the possibility/probability that i'd prettied up the ones i had?
and if so, why?

i discovered, for example, that i'd been hanging on to some friendships because deep down i didn't think i deserved better and fooled myself into not acknowledging how unsatisfying they really were.

that kind of stuff.

this is just one example. i found out about places where i was much more scared than i'd realized.
but then again, i found/built new self-sufficiencies, too...

in a way, i'm really relieved i had no idea how far the tentacles reached, how deeply enmeshed, or i might have never kept trying to stop.

but then again, if anyone had told me, i wouldn't have believed them anyway.

Everything is just strange now that I dont drink.

well yes. how could it not be?"the new normal" which is anything but "normal" right now.

flux.

it will get more settled.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:48 AM
  # 273 (permalink)  
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Robby-
None of your questions are too intrusive and I welcome your input. The one thing that I am absolutely sure of every day is that "life is good". I am constantly reminded of how "short and sweet" it really is (as are all of us) and as my mom says "this is not the dress rehersal". I have always been a "live life to the fullest" type person. Of-course for many years now (actually almost two decades) that also allowed me to justify my drinking. I have no "strong sober identity". I have never been sober for any real length of time. If I hit 100 days that will be my longest stretch of sobriety in almost 14 years.


GT-
I dont think I was prepared for all the changes that sobriety brought. Especially with my mom. However, when I look at it the way you see it... as forming "complex adult relationships" I get it. Also, (Of-course I have the book...lol) the "co-mingling of beasts"... Yep that is EXACTLY what it is. That is exactly why I can't imagine being at the BBQ without a drink in hand. It is not me doing the imagining. It is my beast. It is taking advantage as much as it can of my current thinking patterns regarding my mom. Thank you for pointing that portion of the book back out to me. I need to do a re-read and let me just say that was a great catch. You saw the beast activity when I missed it. My beast is lonely. I am not lonely. That is a lightbulb moment for me.

my relationships were developing into more complex adult relationships, instead of being a static level of "running with the pack" in an altered state that reduced my thinking to an unfortunate level of stupidity, sometimes nostalgic and emotion-laden, but still, stupidity.

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

Wow...how did I not catch this? So much beast activity.... Thank you GT so very much.

fini-
the new normal" which is anything but "normal" right now.... I think that I have a skewed view of what normal is. Never lived life "normal" but damn I am trying.

((Non))-
I am just so glad your back. I honestly dont need another trip to the "dark side" but, I did need the reminder. Thank you. You are a very strong person and full of insight. The idea of drinking is far better than the reality.

Wow.... You all really do "get it". I am so lucky to have all of you to help me along the way. I am very moved by all your responses.

I now see that my beast is simply doing what it does. It knows I am feeling wimpy and it is taking full advantage. It's the one saying "wasnt it fun?". I know it wasn't fun. It was blackouts, regrets, hangovers and self-loathing. That is the truth. The rest is lies.

My mom just got cleared by her cardiologist to undergo the biopsy so... I still know nothing. That sucks. However, I do feel much more emotionally stable than I have in the past few weeks. Of-course knowing me it probably wont last....my boyfriend always says that all women are crazy. It is just differences in the extent.... :rotfxko I think he may be right.

Thanks again to you all.... Maybe now I should get to work and focus on the "now".
Jess
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:52 AM
  # 274 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jkb
I have no "strong sober identity"
hmmm, I don't know about that. I don't even know you, but you have expressed yourself here very clearly as a non-drinker. Sometimes it's when our relationships with others come into play, it can feel like we don't know who we are anymore, but you do Jess, and you like the real you. Maybe others don't have a strong identification with you as a non-drinker. That will take time. Relationships are not built or sustained on whether or not a person drinks alcohol. Not solid ones anyway. So don't even let the Beast play that angle. I agree with GT, your self-awareness has become so strong. That's all YOU (sober identity)...not the beast.

Originally Posted by fini
sure, but I'm talking about my own actions.
uh...yeah, and I was talking about mine. A differing opinion does not imply judgement.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:58 PM
  # 275 (permalink)  
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I think that I have a skewed view of what normal is. Never lived life "normal" but damn I am trying.

the great thing is that you get to decide/build it as you go. what the "normal" will be for Jess.

my boyfriend always says that all women are crazy. It is just differences in the extent.... I think he may be right.

oh what a very convenient belief for a guy to have.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:13 AM
  # 276 (permalink)  
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Hey jkb.

I just wanted to check in with you and say hi.

For me, during times of extremes (happy, scared, sad) I start to try and apply logic to the situations, look at them with clarity and practicality. This tends to be fertile ground for the beast as IT's crazy logic tries to intertwine with mine. It's during these times I definitely absolutely do NOT go toe to toe with the little [email protected] I know the truth no matter what happens and I know how morally disgusting drinking is. I know anything the beast comes up with is lies and I dig my heels in even deeper (that's the rebel in me). IT wants only one thing and no matter what IT will NOT get it. NEVER.

Right now I have some great things happening and some not so great things. I don't know what the outcome of those things will be, at least not at this point, but I do know for a fact the outcome of one thing and that is, I will never drink again and I will never change my mind.

You see, for me, there are absolutes outside of knowing I will some day die. Not drinking is one of those absolutes. My therapist and I work through life and how to get through the hard times but it does not include the words "without drinking".

Anyway, I'm still working on my first cup of coffee so I'm rambling.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:49 AM
  # 277 (permalink)  
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Maybe others don't have a strong identification with you as a non-drinker.

Very true. I think possibly I am a bit impatient....... with everyone and myself. Strange thing is SL that I was talking to my mom last night and she said' "I didn't even realize you had been sober that long. I am so proud of you". Sometimes I guess we can completely misconstrue relationships as well. This is just new to her also.

And you are right...you like the real you. For the most part, I really do like this new Jess.

Thanks, SL.

Right now I have some great things happening and some not so great things. I don't know what the outcome of those things will be, at least not at this point, but I do know for a fact the outcome of one thing and that is, I will never drink again and I will never change my mind.

((Received)) I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to be able to say this....Good for you
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:15 AM
  # 278 (permalink)  
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Still awaiting my moms second biopsy. Waiting sucks.... I hit 90 days a few days ago... so I should be happy, happy I guess but, not so much. Milestones don't mean as much when your not in "the program". Debating if I want to stop by a meeting and get a 90 day chip. I have NEVER had one of those. What I did instead was buy myself two gorgeous pairs of shoes.

100 days will mean much more to me bc other than pregnancy (which was not the same) I have not had that much straight sober time in 17 years.

I am happy that I have stayed sober. The beast pops up here and there with the old..."come on screw this stupid no more drinking thing... lets do it". I recognize these thoughts pretty quickly now. Can dismiss them without dwelling.... major progress for me as you all know. I realize that I am learning how to live life in a whole new way. It takes some practice.

I know RR says you don't need a sober support group and that is true but, necessity and "it sure is nice" are two different things. Thank you all.
Jess
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:47 AM
  # 279 (permalink)  
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I have tried and tried to think of ANY situation now that would be a for sure I would drink if ____ happened. I cant think of any situation anymore that would be a reason. Zombie apocalypse is a possibility.

I am beginning to see that drinking was not fun. It is not something I "gave up". It is something I simply don't do because it is not worth doing anymore. I am beginning to feel rather 'meh' about it one way or the other.

Will see if this sticks... The first 100 days have now passed... onto the next.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:11 AM
  # 280 (permalink)  
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