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Old 03-27-2013, 06:26 PM
  # 261 (permalink)  
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Interesting. I'm now 55. I started drinking age 12. Quit age 24. By then, I was very seriously mentally ill with schizophrenia, and my body was a lost cause from my years of drinking and post-polio complications.

To be truthful, I wouldn't have made it to my mid-fifties. I would have died drunk on the streets, and if not that, then a mental ward for the criminally insane, or federal prison was another option. I don't talk about this much anymore, but I often in my last years of drinking considered jail the safest place for a guy like me to survive, and being a cop killer the best deal to take to jail.

Serious stuff, eh? Yeah. I know it.

I quit age 24 because I really was dying, from the inside out. I could barely discern what was real anymore. They pretty well wrote me off in my last years or so of drinking. It was pretty well accepted I was going to suicide sooner rather then later.

However, to do your question justice, let's say I did quit at age 55, with not much going for me in an obvious sense. What would I do?

So having just quit, I would still seek out the real me sans-alcohol, and worry about whatever way forward as I progressed in my new life. I would change up my game to always be moving away from my drunken life and into my sober life and learning about myself as I changed and adapted to this new sober life. I wouldn't define my sobriety until years of experience proved to me I knew what I was talking about. If being of service helped me help myself and at the same time helped others, I would again take that same path into service for others, and chase down my own worldly success later on.

Everything in its season, yeah?

When I see others quitting at my age now, I don't see hopelessness before them or surrounding them. I see tremendous opportunity for these same people to help others help themselves become themselves sooner rather then later as they too become their better selves. Its really never ever too late to be ourselves. The right time to do so is always today.

I'm sorry. It sounds like so much talk, I suppose, but, I really drank as long as I could. If I could have drank longer, I would have, seriously, I just was completely gone by age 24 with 12 years of drinking/drugging already toasting me completely.

I really believe we quit for real when we forever quit, and before that, we're just taking breaks in our drinking.

Thanks, bemyself. Your name says it all, yeah?

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Old 03-27-2013, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
Like I said, I'm amazed at just how much people say they just want to quit and get on with their lives, yet they really don't want to talk about their lives, they would much rather talk about quitting, like as if their lives were secondary.
I do talk alot about my life. In several other areas of SR I write about my newfound love of running. I talk about my children. In the women's forum we talk about everything from menopause to merkins (lol). I even share very personal relationship/sexual issues with a couple of trusted members through PM. But you know what, not everyone is like me (or you). They don't want, like, or need to delve deeply into their lives in a public manner. It is not everyone's style and it is my personal opinion that to insinuate in any way that someone must share openly about their struggles in the name of rigorous honesty can indeed be harmful for some. Not everyone digs that and it does not benefit everyone.

One cannot build a quality life while addicted. Again, this is my personal opinion, but those in the throes of addiction need specific information pertaining to quitting first and foremost, they don't need me blathering on about my life. After people quit, that's when it's usually a good time to start putting sh*t back where it belongs in life (ie improving one's quality of life). That can be done here at SR, or at church, or at dance class, or around the dinner table with the family, on other forums, at the gym, at work, on the cushion, and so on and so on and so on...
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:46 PM
  # 263 (permalink)  
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Great answer, given the proposition I put to you!

Wow.

Yeh, the 'helping others' thing.....I thought I'd 'had my season' for that, as you put it. Years, in my 20s and 30s, of doing just that (street kids, etc). I like to think / imagine that the work put in to these kids, who'd now be in their roughly 40s, may have somehow had an impact. But we'll never know.

I figured you'd say more or less what you did say. I guess it's the hindsight factor that you have now. My hindsight is all too caught up with all that I did 'wrong', back in the day, just in Life, even when booze wasn't a part of it.

Before I go off for my nap (which I tend to need, whatever state I'm in, and at whatever time of day): I simply want to say thanks to all you SR people. Simply that you're Being There - remember that old movie with Peter Sellers? - gives many of us, me, actually, some teensy bit of hope.

Even a teensy bit o' hope can translate to a teensy bit of quality of life.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:54 PM
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Sober, I get what you're saying about our lives in public. However, I've reached a point in mine, where - in a relatively safe forum such as SR - I feel I can talk about my life.

For me, sobriety - or not - is less to do with having a 'guru, method, teacher' (I'm glossing on a Van Morrison song, about 'no guru...etc'). It's, for me, about that quality of life thing which was introduced into this part of R's thread.

If some don't wish or need to talk more about their lives (i.e. the 'bits' which appear to be less to do with recovery), then, of course, there's no compunction to do so.

I just talk about mine - as a few others do here - because I often have no one else to talk to about it.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Like I said earlier, most want to talk about issues around quitting rather than issues around quality of life.
Well, we are on a recovery forum.

I discuss knitting on knitting forums, ethical eating on vegan forums and everything under the sun with my friends. The ostensible point of these forums is to talk about issues around quitting. I don't discuss it anywhere else, and I'm sure most people here don't either.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BackToSquareOne
What role does what a person has to go back to have in their likelyhood of recovery?
This is a good question. I guess it would really vary individually. I know it seems logical that the stronger the support system, the greater the likelihood of success, except that it can be evidenced here and IRL that that just isn't the case. Conversely, many that "should" fail by virtue of their situation, actually thrive.

I feel very very fortunate that my immediate family took care of my children while I was in treatment. My marriage was not salvageable, but I still had my job. I lost some friendships, ended some, and strengthened some. I can't say for sure how things would have been with no support at all, except that I am a pretty determined/resourceful girl when I need to be.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bemyself
Sober, I get what you're saying about our lives in public. However, I've reached a point in mine, where - in a relatively safe forum such as SR - I feel I can talk about my life.
Absolutely. Me too, bemyself. I was just pointing out that we might want to consider that just because one focuses on discussions about quitting, or chooses not to share about their lives, does not mean in any way that they believe quality of life to be a secondary issue. I think that's an assumption without foundation.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:05 PM
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My 'usual addendum' as I used to say to my old friends....SoberL, I think it's wonderful when you and other women talk about (blather?!) your 'ordinary' life. I reckon women like you are amazing. Triplets? Twins, me. Menopause? Got the t-shirt, me! Running? Sloth, me :-)....

I could go on. But my point is: I for one find it really helpful to hear of others' stories, even if just snippets, about their day to day lives. Whether getting sober, staying sober, not getting or staying sober.

It's their truths. So many of us, particularly in our current societies, where public confessional is de riguer, yet, so many things can't be said without fearing repercussions, simply need a safe place where we can speak.

It's a great benefit, especially to those of us, like me, who are isolated from others.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:01 PM
  # 269 (permalink)  
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Okay, folks, good people all.

um, I did say "quality of life" issues, yeah?

I didn't say, "talk about just anything personal in your life" right?

Semantics, or are (some) people selectively hearing what they want me to be saying?

So, even if I (slipped up) misworded in some post in this thread, let me be clear now please:

"Quality of life issues" while seeking sobriety, yeah? is what people mostly choose to NOT talk about. Will talking about such described issues be helpful on a forum such as SR provides?

Hell, yeah!!

And now a short respite to give myself some well earned down time with my good wife.

'night folks!

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Old 03-27-2013, 08:49 PM
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um, I did say "quality of life" issues, yeah?
I didn't say, "talk about just anything personal in your life" right?
Well, define the parameters and maybe people can keep their shares within the lines of acceptable.

And now a short respite to give myself some well earned down time with my good wife.
Well deserved after trying to manage the unruly masses here.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Well, define the parameters and maybe people can keep their shares within the lines of acceptable.

(Well deserved after trying to manage the unruly masses here. )


Ouch!

Ah, soberlicious... what am I gonna do with you?!
You have a talent for telling me I'm not quite doing it right, not quite ready for that gold star sticker, you know?! (lol) Hey teacher, a brick in the wall comes to (my) mind.

Moving forward. Well, you yourself are a great example, amongst others, of exactly what I mean when I speak about quality of life issues being an important and essential resource for having a wonderful and rewarding non-drinking happy life, so there! Take that! Aha!!

Like I've been saying all along... quality of life is who we are while life is doing its thing. How we make lemonade, how we dance when no one is looking, and even more so when they are. How we dance in the rain, how we are careful in the gloom and darkness, how we happily give to others until it hurts.

Quality of life is being authentic to ones self in a way that does not take away from others, does not undercut or otherwise step on others dreams to travel their own path as they see fit.

I too, agree with you, that a person has the right to drink themselves to death, as long as they also have the sand to endure the consequences which surely come with those rights too.

You have a unique style of expression, soberlicious. Very much a woman's style to be sure, and that of course is beautiful to behold, even if a bit dark and witchy. You're a heart-breaker to be sure, I'm sure.

I hope you're flattered, as its my intention, in this post anyways. If not, if I've missed the mark yet again, I'm no more at a loss with you then I was, heh heh. You're a bling girl, yeah? Awesome.

Anyways, like I said, I'm not into a debate or argument about these issues. I'm simply making comment how quality of life issues are the best resource for discovering how to live life going forward with a non-drinking life. I say this whilst practicing AA, AVRT, and being a Christian.

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Making my life as fulfilling as possible is important to me, but I do not base my "sobriety" on that. I am well aware that things beyond my control can happen in life, catastrophic things. If all comes crashing down, I don't want to drink again because my quality of life is suddenly altered. Remaining abstinent no matter what means that I can always rebuild, tweak, learn, grow, change. It means that I can have the quality of life I desire. So if I am involved in a discussion about learning how to quit drinking, I do separate that from quality of life. On purpose.
Yes, same here, if it all comes crashing down, I don't want to *actually* drink again either. And that is my point with these issues -- when we seek quality, as however we may personally define it, we also then have the resources to deal with whatever crash may or may not happen.

Quality is a thing that has been tested, and refined, reworked, re-invented, re-established -- to withstand what would surely break and wreck inferior substitutes with unwanted results.

If drinking for us defines a life lacking quality, then its easy to see the lines of distinction. If while drinking, one still believes their life was great, then those lines are not obvious, or even existing, imo.

There are lot's of ways to forever quit drinking, and they all work, all else being equal. Quality of life issues though are always an essential motivator both as a carrot to move forward, and as a whip to bring awareness and presence to a lousy condition or situation which requires care and love to remedy.

When we ourselves are the author of our own and personal quality standards, we ensure our sustained unconditional choice to remain non-drinkers in a sometimes hostile world.

I live a quality life because I have been tested again and again, and passed those tests, and not because I did this or that absolutely correctly in quitting drinking. Obviously, I did things right enough in quitting drinking, but what I did 30+ yrs ago as a 24 yr old young man was something else then what i'm doing today. That same young man, just quitting, could not live this life I have today. He would fail, because the quality required wasn't there in my early days of recovery. It brings me no shame to be honest with any of this. I'm simply a better man then I once was, in my first early years of sobriety, and that is the simple truth, no problemo.

If I live into my 80's, I'm sure I'll look back and be amused with my progress, both in my successes, and my failures, because I have progression in both arena's of my life. It's not a popular view for many, but speaking for myself, my failures define my successes in ways which create the resources for greater success moving forward. I'm also sure I'll still be sober and free, still dancing to the music in my heart.

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
This is a good question. I guess it would really vary individually. I know it seems logical that the stronger the support system, the greater the likelihood of success, except that it can be evidenced here and IRL that that just isn't the case. Conversely, many that "should" fail by virtue of their situation, actually thrive.

I feel very very fortunate that my immediate family took care of my children while I was in treatment. My marriage was not salvageable, but I still had my job. I lost some friendships, ended some, and strengthened some. I can't say for sure how things would have been with no support at all, except that I am a pretty determined/resourceful girl when I need to be.
Thanks for that, in this discussion. I'm one of those that just isn't the case. I thrived, as you have already deduced in previous posts, and so here we are full circle in our discussion. Awesome.

Soberlicious, you're a poster child for what I'm talking about when discussing quality of life issues, and if you don't like that, tough luck.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:15 AM
  # 272 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
I could go on. But my point is: I for one find it really helpful to hear of others' stories, even if just snippets, about their day to day lives. Whether getting sober, staying sober, not getting or staying sober.

It's their truths. So many of us, particularly in our current societies, where public confessional is de riguer, yet, so many things can't be said without fearing repercussions, simply need a safe place where we can speak.

It's a great benefit, especially to those of us, like me, who are isolated from others.
Awesomely well said, Victoria. Thank you.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BackToSquareOne View Post
So then a bigger question is raised, should sobriety be tied to quality of life? If quality of life is mostly perception and is subjective at its very core then is it not subject to change? If my quality of life were linked to being super rich and shameless and I lost my money and social status would I still have a reason to remain sober?
If it was indeed linked, then that loss would be very problematic. Speaking for myself, my quality is not linked to any outside resources or things of tangible value. Money is simply an instrument of trade. Real wealth is an altogether different experience in itself, and money is secondary to that experience in many ways. True wealth is certainly not financial in essence, is my experience, and I'm not alone in that knowledge.

I agree quality of life is subjective at its very core, but that does not then mean that change of an external kind should wreck or distort what is safely preserved in my inner core, protected by none other then myself ie whatever makes me me.

So, if indeed linked as per your example, then there would be reason to remain sober, but the resources to embrace and uphold those reasons would be sorely wanting indeed. Obviously, we live in a world where money can get things done, and many of those same people using money as a working philosophy, and a means to an end, would be very helpless indeed without a fistful of dollars.

Sobriety is an inside job, and so should indeed be tied to quality of life standards and issues, successes and failures too.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
the way it is for me...i see it not as the quality of my life is better, but that I am better in my life. and those two go together, i realize.
in fact, though, i do struggle there, and am quite certain the quality could be expanded. if i were to do the necessary work.

ah, and another thought: it's "safer" to keep talking about drinking/quitting drinking issues; it's not too tough to say your life sucks when you're just getting sober or thinking about it; that's expected; but to "admit" that things aren't so great and that you're still messy after a couple of years is much harder.
talking about quitting drinking issueas is much much easier.
Very interesting, fini. I am much in agreement with you.

I daresay you are shaking the beehive, lol.

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberKnitter View Post
Well, we are on a recovery forum.

I discuss knitting on knitting forums, ethical eating on vegan forums and everything under the sun with my friends. The ostensible point of these forums is to talk about issues around quitting. I don't discuss it anywhere else, and I'm sure most people here don't either.
Yup. We are indeed.

quality of life = quality of recovery

As for what is talked about, you're a great example of what people won't commonly do when talking about quitting, just like I said. So. Thanks. No sarcasm intended. Seriously.

For me, talking about quality of life issues is an essential discussion, even on a public forum. Not all quality of life issues are intensely personal or even private, is my experience. The discussion is worthy enough in itself.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:20 AM
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LOL Robby, while some of your descriptors of me are completely accurate, you did miss the mark in that I defy description.

I don't see any difference between talking about "everyday life" and these elusive "quality of life" issues.

Originally Posted by fini
ah, and another thought: it's "safer" to keep talking about drinking/quitting drinking issues; it's not too tough to say your life sucks when you're just getting sober or thinking about it; that's expected; but to "admit" that things aren't so great and that you're still messy after a couple of years is much harder.
talking about quitting drinking issueas is much much easier.
Well, this assumes that everyone processes the same way. It happens to be most effective for me to talk to those close to me about things in my life. I also have no problem sharing with a complete stranger about anything if it seems pertinent or germaine to the exchange. I've shared with perfect strangers about my struggles with infertility, addiction, divorce, autism... because they've asked. But here's the thing, I am smart enough to know that not everyone is the same. In fact, it is not at all helpful for some to share. Many process internally, very privately. Who am I to judge? So I can say that they are not effectively dealing with their life struggles because they aren't spilling the beans? Playing it "safe" is not a negative for many. It's how they roll. It works and they are just fine. This idea of rigorous honesty as the only way to "fully recover" is recoveryism at it's worse.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:08 AM
  # 277 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
This idea of rigorous honesty as the only way to "fully recover" is recoveryism at it's worse.
I can absolutely agree with that sentiment. However, being honest with ones self, in a rigorous manner, in the privacy of their own thoughts and feelings, is actually refreshing, yeah?

For public consumption, not so much, lol. It's a personal choice, for sure, about what is or isn't disclosed. And what is or isn't required for quitting drinking too.

As for quality of life issues, that is still a different arena then are private secrets, in my opinion.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
However, being honest with ones self, in a rigorous manner, in the privacy of their own thoughts and feelings, is actually refreshing, yeah?
Refreshing for whom? The individual? and ps "rigorous" is subjective.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Refreshing for whom? The individual? and ps "rigorous" is subjective.
Yeah, for one's own self, is my meaning. I agree with you about the relative subjectivity of rigorous.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:24 AM
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The only rigorous honesty that I required to quit drinking was to admit that I have a choice about it, and I always did. The realization that I am not powerless over alcohol is liberating, for sure, but it also makes me feel very bad about the years of damage. But, honesty with myself also illuminates the fact that guilt is a counterproductive emotion to indulge.

When I hear the term "rigorous honesty," it makes me think of digging up the garbage. Some things might be best left alone.
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