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Old 07-09-2017, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
No Matter What.
 
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How have you changed since quitting?


For me I've noticed that I'm a much quieter person than I was when I drank, I used to talk a lot more and now I listen. I also like to be alone, I was lonely when I drank because often I drank alone and my thoughts would get quite dark. I don't feel lonely now though even if I'm alone.

I've also rediscovered a love for learning, which is cool because I hated school back when I had to go. I am teaching myself though so it's not as structured as school was. I read a lot and think.

I spend more time outside. When I drank I was such a recluse, I felt so wretched most of the time that I wanted no part in the rest of society. Now I get stir crazy if I don't get outside for awhile each day.

Exercise! I love it! I love the feeling of pushing my body and getting stronger and that endorphin rush is the best! I'm starting to look in the mirror and see the person I used to be before I drank myself in a bloated tired looking mess.

My general disposition and mood are very even and mellow these days. I used to have a lot of highs and lows. I always felt weighted down. That's changed, I feel lighter, and way more positive. Everything used to seem so hard, it all took so much effort, and now I look forward to things and I have plans and goals again.

How have things changed for you?
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nothing much has changed for me, apart from everything, that is

To narrow it down a bit, the way I feel inside has changed completely. That feeling of uselessness is long gone. I am quite interested in my fellows and I find I have a willingness to try and see things from another's point of view. I am also able to be responsible, whether that means meeting commitments, taking responsibility for my mistakes, or standing up to be counted if the need arises.

I still hate exercise for the sake of exercise. I try to keep active doing something interesting and get my exercise that way. I have regained the ability to think and reason, though never as well as the university educated friends I meet. A trained mind is such an advantage.

And I suppose such a summary would be incomplete if I did not mention my personality type has changed, over a very long period, from introvert to mildly extrovert. That was a surprise, but possibly has something to do with my interest in others.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have literally had a fundamental change in my character since quitting. I chose the AA route and found the Steps did just what they said they would. I'm OK with my past and comfortable in my own skin.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've changed my perspective...

Excellent post, thank you....I suppose for me, apart from the obvious health, finances etc. I've broadened , changed and in turn strengthened both my recovery and perspective.

I still believe both in the content of the Big Book, particularly 'The Doctor's Opinion' and Chapter three 'More About Alcoholism' notwithstanding the belief in 'the God of my understanding' all enhanced by 'Joe and Charlie's:Big Book Study Meeting'.

To which I've added a strong interest in Stoic philosophy. Not least because in my growing collection of books on the subject in three of them there is reference to 'The Serenity Prayer'.

Together with fundamental Buddhist philosophy which compliments Stoicism... 'A Stoic is a Buddhist with attitude' Nassim Nicholas Taleem.

All of which are built on logic and reason, two qualities that were missing in me in my drinking days.

'Anything that contradicts logic and reason should be abandoned', Buddhist saying, go ask the Dalai Lama if you don't believe me...
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As Gottalife said...nearly everything has changed!

So I will limit it to two of my favorite "changes" - I have an evenness to my nature and reactions to, well, any and everything, that I did not have before (in early life and definitely not while drinking heavenly). That is an amazing feeling. And, I have refound the Christianity I was raised in and dedicated to in my teens, but on a grown up and very different spiritual level, so to speak.

Also - living in 1, 10, 11 and 12 (I'm an AA-er so that's acceptance; ongoing amends as needed; spiritual practice and fitness; and service to others) keeps me in my own lane, at peace with myself and others, and living the best life possible. I have answers and new behaviors I've kept learning and improving in almost 17 months.

As one of my fave quotes from Emily Dickinson said:
"Hope is the thing with feathers/
That perches in the soul/
And sings the song without any words/
And never stops, at all"
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
No Matter What.
 
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Yeah it's really crazy to me how much I've changed. For the longest time, I couldn't fathom my life without drinking, I seriously clung to it, I couldn't imagine my life without it. It was such a part of my identity. And now I couldn't imagine going back to it. It was all a lie, an illusion. Life is way richer and more rewarding as a sober person. I appreciate my many blessings in a whole new way, I used to take it all for granted and never gave it much thought. I feel like finally getting sober is giving me a chance to emotionally mature when I didn't even realize that I needed to or should, ya know what I mean?
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I like this...

' It's a slow process changing principles,

Until one day something that once felt right doesn't feel that way anymore' - Richard Bach,' Messiah's Handbook - REminders for the Advanced Soul'

Given alcoholism is sometimes referred to as a 'Disease of Perception' if you change or add the word perception to 'principles', you tend to realize where you once were, to where, in recovery you are now - just a thought.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great post zenchaser!

I thought I was a party animal, I really did. Nope, homebody here. Happiest when I am doing things in the house. Reading a good book, watching a good movie, making something decadent and yummy for dinner.

The only time I like being in groups outside my house in a social setting is when I'm with other sober people. Because then I know the conversation is real and we're all sharing time because we really want to share time. Not because there's a container of liquid keeping us together.

Life is real and I'm loving it.

I have tomorrow off and am going away this weekend. I can't believe how grateful I am that this adventure doesn't include one drop of alcohol and how excited I am about it.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Feeling a bit blue today so I'm so pleased I came across this post. The changes in others are encouraging and impressive. it's also made me take stock and give myself some credit for big changes too, and there's plenty.
Most significant are courage and my growing spirituality and my commitment to this path. Courage : it was only through being sober a year that I had the courage to get out of a toxic relationship. Whilst drinking, I just buried the daily misery, self medicating that was just sending me lower and lower. I'm now alone and that takes courage and I'm getting pretty good at it.
Spiritual learning : we are all part of the same thing, I'm not alone in this life as I'm a part of something much bigger. My past, my struggles, my hang ups.... They are so much less personal than I used to think, this insight gives me a tiny distance on all this and helps enormously in my choice of actions, and maybe even more significantly in my growing acceptance.
Thank you for this post
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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For me...

For me the whole concept of a spiritual experience/education , oddly enough before and very strongly now after I stopped drinking governs every aspect of my life on a 24 hour basis far more than 'King Alcohol' ever could or should .

Not to be confused with religious beliefs, spirituality provides a breathtaking quality and quantity in those areas built on logic and reason e.g. Stoic and Buddhist philosophy (they compliment each other) together with the books of Richard Bach. Notably 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' a character I was once identified with!

That, having regard to all the circumstances, for the world to live as it choose. Allowing me to live as I choose.

And you can't buy or fake that!
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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"Allowing me to live as I choose."

That is a powerful statement. And so true. Just one example in my life is that I am now in a position of having left one job (involuntarily, as far as the timing) and taking a pause to consider my next steps. To make a choice, not have a reaction. And most importantly, to find the next right thing- an opportunity that allows me to work in a paradigm that fits my worldview, to the best I can find one.
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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To make a choice and not a reaction.

Great response, for me the key phrase in this is 'to make a choice and not a reaction' when my life, in my drinking day, was always the other way around. The only choice I made was where was the most convenient place o buy my daily dose of my 'drug of choice' i.e.alcohol .

Which was the only choice in a then, life driven by circumstance and not choice. As my alcoholism progressed, two collided... with increasingly disastrous results!

No surprise there, other than it increased my motivation to understand why a couldn't stop drinking???

The fortunate result was that I was placed, in a position, which in one sense exists today where I got rid off both to the extent that I really can. In a modest but pleasant way, let the world live as it chooses, whilst, having regard for all the circumstances, allow myself, in recovery, to live as I choose.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
No Matter What.
 
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What great responses! I agree with FarToGo about courage, it takes guts to make big changes in life, you have to be brave enough to trust yourself that you can handle what those changes will bring. I know for myself that I let fear keep me drinking for a long time. I knew I had to change but I was afraid.

Living sober does give us the opportunity to live as we choose and live consciously rather than being reactionary and stuck. When I drank I was always full of plans that never got carried out. I was also a drama queen, I didn't think so at the time, I just thought trouble followed me and it was never my fault, but I was wrong. It was my choices and reactions that caused it all. I would blow things out of proportion, read into others behaviour or situations in strange ways. I was quite irrational haha. Life is a lot quieter these days and my decisions are purposeful and I think before I act or speak. It's a huge contrast between my peaceful state of mind today and my chaotic one before.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There's been a big positive change in my dogs' and cats' well being and happiness. They love the attention I give them, and since I'm not spending all my money on wine, I have money to take them to the vet when they need to go.

The other big change is how I no longer dread waking up. I used to wake up feeling horrible and hating myself, not any more!
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yes! My dog is much happier with me sober. I'm ashamed to say that I did not walk as much as she needed when I drank. Now it's not always just a walk, sometimes they are adventures!

We are just getting home from boating and she is so tired from all that swimming. I am also tired but from wholesome fun and not a terrible hangover. Feels good.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Wow - these are all wonderful posts and they ring true for me as well.

It's amazing what I find the longer I stay sober and journey deeper into recovery. The fears have lessened or disappeared, the lightbulb moments of clarity keep coming. They all enhance my belief in the connectedness of this universe.

In a pamphlet I like to read called "9 Essays - Buddhism and the 12 Step Model of Recovery", the author speaks of alcoholics no longer thinking of the self as "an isolated body in space, bumping into other isolates...but a point along the continuum of interconnectedness."
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:21 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Sitting on the edge of the bed.

In more practical terms, when I find myself sitting on the edge of the bed. I now know if I'm expecting myself to climb in it or get up and face the day...

In spiritual terms I also know the answer to the Zen koan, 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?'

Both of which are a marked improvement from my performance as 'a high functioning alcoholic' in my drinking days....
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I grow, heal and have hope...for me.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Yes, I have changed (mercifully) and I still have plenty of room left for more change for the better.

I have been married for 12 years to my college sweetheart.

We married at age 48.

When we dated in college and for a while afterward, I was in the throes of my drinking and using.

I created consternation, disappointment and havoc wherever I went.

I married a woman I met in a bar somewhere along the line and we divorced 21 years later.

I had not seen my current wife during that interim.

When we got back together, she said that she couldn't believe how calm I am.

When we dated as young adults, I was certainly anything but calm.

I was immature, self-absorbed and dishonest.

She has a rather ebullient personality, so we kind of complement each other.

She is right that I am a very calm person.

For me, the change in demeanor (and attitude and outlook on life) came over a period of many years of intense AA and pursuit of a daily relationship with God.

I didn't try to be calm, it just came as a by-product of those 2 efforts on my part.

I have changed in plenty of other ways, both in the home and workplace environments.

Great thread - thanks for starting it.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:14 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Accidental double post.

Sorry.
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