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60, 90 days....now what?
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  1. #1

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    60, 90 days....now what?

    Hi everyone, I have been sober about 3 1/2 months. I feel the best I have physically in forever. My depression is much better too. So many great experiences have happened to me since I chose not to drink. However now that I have made a commitment to not drink, life is coming full center in my face. I have a lot of resentments and anger and am learning how to handle the day to day without numbing myself. Sometimes I numbed myself out of anger but sometimes out of boredom. There was always a reason to drink. This is just a whole new way of living now and I feel like I am just growing up...at 48 years old. So I just wanted to start a thread on what to do after you have gone through the physical withdrawal. How to lead life sober so I can stay sober. I know resentments are the number one reason for relapse. So if anyone has any suggestions or guidance day to day how to live life, please post it here! I feel confident I won't drink but I'm not stupid enough to know if I don't relearn how to live life in a healthy way I will just resort to the old ways.

    There are so many amazingly wise people on this forum I would love to hear every ones day to day struggles and how they handle it sober. Sorry for the long ramble. Love Samantha

  2. #2

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    Thanks Samantha for starting this forum. I have hit the 60 day mark today and other than just being just physically tired in the morning I am now getting a good nights sleep now without alcohol. My depression has also subsided, I don't let little things bother me anymore and I handle things a whole lot differently now.
    One problem I do have now is I think I'm a shopoholic!
    Been cleaning my house and organizing and now that I love being home sober, I want my home to be my sanctuary again. Off to the mall next week for an overnighter so I can shop till I drop. Pottery Barn, here I come! Haha!

  3. #3

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    I am glad to see this thread is happening! I came to this site early in my sobriety [I am just over 6 months after 30+ years of drinking]. I have really found some things here that I had not been getting anywhere else. Now I am back and have found the new site and forum. This place is very powerful and it is good to see so many here. I am sober for the longest stretch in my life. For the first time in my life by really trying to deal with my life as well as the drink. It is getting better. My health is returning. My family is supportive. The drinking is gone and life goes on. Oh boy does it go on. My mom quit drinking 7 years ago in her mid 60s. She also quit smoking at that time. I did not take the hint and take care of myself. I sank into a deep hole and not until I got into a drinking related accident did I finally get it. My mom bailed me out of jail and has been by my side since. I started smoking again the next day. Yesterday we found out that she has inoperable lung cancer. We are both sober and happy and ready to tackle this as well. I am sorry if this doesn't sound like a success story but it is. We are both free today. - Jeff

  4. #4
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    Samantha, Thank you so much for the idea to start this thread and to get it moving. The Spiritual River site has been key to my sobriety and now I know it will continue to be. I agree that do seem to be "stages" if you will, during this process. And that with each step we will continue to grow. That growth will continue to carry me forward. I'm on day 104 today, the longest I have gone without a drop of alcohol in 25 years (I'm 45).

    Interesting thing happened to me on Monday. I fainted and regained consciousness on the sidewalk. Freaked me out and I had a lump on my forehead that kept growing by the milli-second. After a trip to the ER, I'm ok and will be having some other tests done this week/next. The oddest experience for me was that I've "enjoyed" a couple of trips to the ER due to drinking mishaps, but this time I was not drinking and haven't been since April. I've had to explain to many people who were skeptical about how this could happen w/out having been drunk, but I and my husband know it. It is just really odd to be telling people who ask and what I tell them is the actual truth, but based on history. Oh, well.

    This is just another opportunity to learn how to live life now, in the present, as in this case the past comes back and I'm learning how to leave it in the past. The lump on my forehead has now moved to one black eye as of this morning. Guess I'll be telling this story for a few more days...

    Thanks again Samantha! I look forward to sharing with you and others who are conquering life sober. I look forward to hearing how you are learning from your struggle and celebrating our successes. Blessing to all, kathy

  5. #5

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    I"m on the 60 day stage as well. At the moment I just try and avoid any associations of past drinking situations. I turned a job offer down the other day (and I"m not in a financial position to do that) as there are a whole load of my ex-drinking buddies working there. I just believe like everyone says - not drinking has to be the number 1 priority - WHATEVER THE SITUATION!

  6. #6

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    Great job Kathy on over 100 days and hope your tests come out okay. Will be praying for you.
    Jesus good job as well. You are right, you sobriety has to come first. There will be other jobs offered for you. The right one will come along.

  7. #7

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    Hi all, Christy congrats on 60 days! and Jesus 60 too!, foundintheditch over 6 months!, kjbp 104 although I think you are farther since the post!

    Jesus I think that was a good idea to avoid a job offer because drinking buddies would be there. I understand that completely as I dont trust myself at all. When the forum was down I was really surprised how thirsty I got. It wasnt that I craved alcohol it was just I have problems created from my alcoholism, work, financial etc and geez now what? You know I can't drink so how do I handle them. At times I just wanted to give up knowing that alcohol wouldnt help but just didnt care...then of course...reality set in and I know giving up would just leave me nowhere... So I have to put my big girl panties on and get a grip and just deal with situations. I know if I deal with them sober they will get better alot faster then if I drink! It was just scarey with the forum down how weak I realized I am. Thats why I started this thread because I am determined to stay in recovery and I love to hear how people deal day to day. So Jesus when you chose to stay sober over a job..geez I am so respectful of you, you have your priorties 100% and inspire me.

    Christy I like the idea of shopping as your not crazy about it, it just seems like you are healing and growing as a person. Part of that is to nurture where you live so I think that is great. Kjbp and I share stories on the forum how we have cleaned places in our house that wow haven't been cleaned in years.

    Foundintheditch I'm very sorry to hear about your mom's cancer. I think it is quite the success story that you can both be sober moving forward. I admire you have 6 month +! Did you find any changes from 3 months which is where I am to 6 months or not really? How have you handled resentments as they have come up, where you normally would have had a drink?

    Kjbp I hope you are feeling better and always enjoy your insight. I havent told anyone I stopped drinking except my husband as I didnt want to disappoint people and disappoint myself. But I knew in my heart I wasnt drinking and I feel thats what you are saying too...that people can think what they want but you know now this time is real and you chose not to drink. I was really touched my son in law bought me a congrats card for 99 days when I went to visit them a week ago. I told him and my daughter and they were so proud of me. They are the only others I have told for now. But that card meant alot to me and the visit I had with them was different this time. My son in law said I am much more present, happy and funny when I am not drinking. So I guess drinking I wasnt really the life of the party!! Anyway, Christy it reminded me how you talk about your daughter wanting you to get sober and you did and its so enjoyable being sober for my daughter.

    Well thanks for letting me ramble. I have been wanting to post but havent been able to the past few days. Hope you all are having a great week end. And thank you for being here and keeping me sober another day.

    Sally happy 60 days!!

  8. #8

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    Thank you Samantha. It truly is a blessing to be living a sober life as we head into this struggle with my mother's health problems. It is my biggest challenge right now but by no means my only one. I have lived my life for a very long time with alcohol as my friend. When life got too tough which became every day it would comfort me. It would make the bad feelings go away. For while. It quit working a long time ago and now I am learning a new way to live. It took a tragic event to finally get me started down the right path. The first 3 months were wrapped around me dealing with the consequences of my actions. 30 days of rehab, lawyers, court, jail. Now I am back to work and have begun making the needed changes in my life. Dealing with resentments is job number one. I had woven a very complex web for myself that bred resentment. I would enter situations that were very likely to fail and then I could wallow in the results. Surprised every time. The last 3 months has been realizing how bad it was and trying to move forward by starting to put to rest resentments of the past and be careful to recognize the potential for new ones and only give them the weight that they deserve. I NEVER thought that I would be where I am today. I was dying a slow death. Breathe deeply, smile and move slowly.
    Last edited by foundintheditch; 08-15-2011 at 08:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    Hi there - I hit 60 days this past weekend - YEAH ME!! And Yeah Christy and Jesus too!! The rest of you with all of your time - you are so inspiring!!! Life can be so amazing sober!!!

    With respect to anger and resentment:

    I am beginning to realize that a major part of my drinking over the past 20+ years was due to anger and resentment – in particular towards my husband. Don’t get me wrong, he is a good man, but we are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to life. I harbored resentment over the fact that I did everything (his parents, my parents the kids, the house, worked, etc…), anger over our finances, resentment that what he wanted he got and my dreams and aspirations were always the last to be considered. Resentment over the fact that life had passed me by and I thought there was nothing that I could do about it. I dug a deep hole and crawled into it with my bottle and my anger and my resentment.

    Then I found SP and realized that I deserved to live - that my life was my life and only I could change it. I started to put me at the front of the equation. I realized that I had a choice, I could either keep drinking, keep bitching, keep complaining, and feeling sorry for myself, or I could make some changes – before it was too late. I chose life and changes… As the big book says, “We can learn to accept the things we cannot change, and change the things we can . . . with practice.”

    I no longer get angry over things that I can change (well mostly LOL) – I do something about it – simple as that. If the screen has holes in it and mosquito’s are getting in, I don’t get angry waiting for him to fix it – I fix it. If I want to see a play and he doesn’t because he doesn’t like plays, I call my girlfriend and we go together. If I want to go to Europe and he says we can’t afford it, I am saving my own money, and I am going. I am tired of waiting for him to take action (while my resentment and anger builds) I am taking action. If I am assuming too much responsibility around the house and he isn’t I push it back to him (I also realize that if I do that it may never happen, so I have to learn to let some things go, or do them myself without anger and resentment present – which requires a lot of meditation on my part LOL)

    I am also beginning to realize after this short period of sobriety that my anger wasn’t so much about him (well maybe a good chunk of it), but at myself, for not taking action. I let this happen, I let my life turn out the way it did. I have only myself to blame. Now that I am empowered with sobriety I realize that I can either get angry and let it continue as is or do something about it. And though it seems daunting at times (i.e. will my marriage survive?, do I want it to survive?, can I financially afford all that I now want and feel I deserve?, will my kids survive?, are the ensuing arguments worth it?, etc…) I am at least making some game plans and looking towards the future and MY happiness.

    Bottom line – I can let my anger fester or I can do something about it. It will take time, a lot of years of anger have built up and there are a lot of unresolved issues that I have buried that need to be discussed, but as long as I remind myself to breathe, remember that where there is a will there is a way, and realize that I have a lot more control over my life than I thought – I will be just fine. Anyway, that’s my story and my two cents :]

  10. #10
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    p.s. Samantha thanks for the recognition :] I was away this weekend and both of my children called to tell me how proud they were of me for making 60 days (they knew without my telling them!) - my daughter even got me a card. Talk about making it all worthwhile. My husband on the other hand never said a word :[ and we spent the weekend around alot of heavy drinking and he never once asked how I was doing - so sad!

  11. #11

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    Sally, hip, hip, hooray! Good for you for going for what you want and not letting resentment fester!

    100 days for me today. I have started counting weeks instead of days and am going to start counting months, but this seemed like an important milestone to celebrate. My first day sober was Mother's Day this year, so it should be easy to remember!

    I feel like I am having to retrain my brain. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was driving around and my brain felt like it was on high alert waiting for something negative to happen (wave of nausea, startle response, etc.) that was a consequence of drinking. I realized that for many years my brain had been on high alert so it could mitigate the side-effects of the alcohol so I could keep functioning. (Example, oops I started slurring my words and I'm at a work function, brains steps in, slows me down so I can keep talking OK and functioning.) Now my brain can start to relax and maybe I can use that extra processing for something useful. I also notice that my brain automatically seems to turn to a negative reaction to things, then I have to stop and ask myself if that's real or just a learned pattern.

    Another thing is what I'll call 5:00 syndrome. I would start drinking when I got home from work or since I'm now retired I'd try to wait until 5:00. Either way, it was quittin' time for the rest of my life. Oh, yes I'd get some kind of dinner on the table and do whatever work emails or whatever I really had to do, but other than that it was time to shut down for the evening. Now I don't anticipate 5:00 or having cravings or think about drinking, but I have this response that around 5 or 6 my day is over. Then I waste the evening with watching TV or computer games or whatever. My brain still treats it as quittin' time for daily activities. I need to retrain myself that there are still a lot of hours left in the day.

    I am also finding that I need to gently change the boundaries of my relationship with my husband. We get along very well, but I would let little resentments pile up then drink and let him have it. Instead I'm finding that I need to deal with them as they arise, not just the Pollyanna of saying it's a small thing and doesn't matter but dealing with them, which sometimes means gently pushing back on my husband in a way that sets a boundary but doesn't push his buttons and wound him since usually it's something he didn't mean any harm by. If it's something more intentional on his part, the boundary setting is less gentle. I have also found that I have let him limit me, in ways he never intended to limit me, because I let that happen. So even in a strong, happy marriage I'm finding that recovery makes it necessary to do some redefining and recreating.

    Samantha, thanks for starting this thread. The things I'm dealing with now are so small compared to what I was struggling with to try to make it to 30 days and then keep going, so I would not want to post them. One of the aha moments for me with this forum was learning that it wasn't about not drinking, it was about creating a life without alcohol and the journey of recovery, that stopping drinking wasn't an end but a beginning. So this thread for me is about the journey of recovery. And also, since I stopped for 3 months before and then relapsed, it's insurance to keep that from ever happening again!

  12. #12

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    Hi everyone- it is hard for me to believe that I belong in the 60+ club, but here I am at 70 days! A few things I have been noticing are that 1) I think my family is still in the "mom is a lunatic" mode- I found myself whining to my husband yesterday that everyone still treats me like I am crazy, but I am actually NOT! I guess I can't really expect them to change their feelings until I have racked up some serious good-behavior time. 2) Today was the first day that I really felt like myself again- I guess (hope) that maybe the brain fog is lifting, the apathy is dissipating. Maybe I can just lift my head up from the prime directive of just not drinking, and begin to look around and appreciate my surroundings. It has been weird to be in the most beautiful place in the world (Greece) at the completely empty and idyllic beach and feel ho-hum! Anyway, it is nice to feel good today. WHat else? I am worried about going back to work, that I will have kind of lost my mojo (I teach high school and need all the mojo I can get!). I haven't lost the playing music mojo, though, so that is good. We have been having our most successful gigs to date here in Greece, so that is encouraging. Anyway, I always appreciate this forum because honest reflection is the key to staying healthy and sober.

  13. #13
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    Hey Ruth -
    Don't beat yourself up for the "blah feeling" - I have been feeling the same, except for last night when I got all weepy and bitchy (look out family LOL).
    I too teach high school and am dreading going back - I'm not ready!! My school is very toxic and I really need to psych myself up and I just don't feel as though I have had enough time to do that. You are so lucky to be spending your summer in Greece and playing music to boot - count your blessings :]
    Sal

  14. #14

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    Ruth happy 70 days! Thanks for sharing and for being here. I love your insight and I love hearing about how you are handling Greece sober. You are an inspiration and source of encouragement for me. And your not crazy!

    Yesterday I had a rough day and wanted to drink. I was picking up my 16 year old son at the airport and flight was delayed 4 hours...good time to drink. It was more about numbing problems I am having day to day. I was amazed I was able to really just shut it off and say no as this was the first time I really was in an argument with myself about drinking in a long long time.

    When my son got off the plane I was so grateful I had not drank. I was able to talk to him clearly the whole car ride home and be there for him. As his dad he finally understands has really abandoned him and he is finally seeing it. All I could think was how different the conversation would have been if I had alcohol in my system of any amount. And how grateful I was to be not drinking and making the right choices...which is not always the easy path.

    I also liked what Vic shared on the other forum, how once he started drinking he couldnt stop for I think it was 50 weeks. How this is a progressive disease that only gets worse never better. I'm grateful to have all of you here to keep me sober and grateful to finally be able to see by not drinking...life is actually getting better. Not easy but better.

    Carol happy 100+!!

  15. #15

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    hi

    Congratulations to all on this new forum hitting big milestones.
    I'm on day 67 today. It feels so great so far to not be craving alcohol and living this life so differently now. Handling things much better at work with the employees. Dealing with difficult issues in a much more positive way. I'm turning conflict with the employees in a way that is much more encouraging and reinforcing that we can make mistakes and learn from them. I am more firm in my decisions and making them without the "pink cloud". I still need to read up on that term as I don't know if I'm understanding it right.
    I deal with conflict everyday at work and it's getting alot easier for me to handle. There are so many ways that we handle confronting conflict like avoidance, but we all know that avoidance of the issue just makes the situation more difficult to deal with as the problems just snowball even more. Hard to believe I took a whole semester of conflict resolution with employees, but was not able to focus on how to handle it with booze in my system everyday.
    Just getting focused on work today, had a couple days away on vacation in the Twin cities to get away from it all! But now, back to the grind.
    Good nite all!

  16. #16

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    I guess it's not good nite for me yet. I just want to respond a little to everyone on here. It's so comforting that I can go home and relate to all of you. Instead of drinking after work now, I can't wait to get home to this forum. Sometimes I have a difficult time with words, so I just read, but that helps too.
    Foundintheditch-it's wonderful that you have found that alcohol is no longer your best friend. Dealing with difficult issues is part of life and alcohol just makes it worse in the long run. Sometimes it take a tragic turn in life to really open your eyes to one's own problems and recognize how to change things.
    Sally and Jesus-60 days, yea! Ruth-70 days, and just think when you left for Greece could you imagine you would be that far now?
    Carol-100+ days, wow! I like that you are dealing with problems when they arise instead of putting them off to make things worse, which is what I was doing with conflict at work. Problems never go away, but not taking care of them right away can deter them from snowballing into bigger problems.

  17. #17

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    Oh, Samantha-I did not forget about you. Am I taking you for granted? I want to let you know that you are my inspiration. You became my friend right away and you don't know how much that means to me. It's almost like I feel you took me under your wing! lol! I have so much respect for you. I think that it's because we are in this same self-employed business world that I don't think anyone not in our shoes even begins to understand how difficult it can be at times. Small business owners now have so much more of a struggle to keep our operations going strong in this economy now. We must have good work ethic in us in our position, because no one will care about our business like ourselves and booze can no longer be a road block to our success. luv ya!

  18. #18

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    Hi Christy! Welcome back. Missed u! Congrats on 67 days. I loved your sharing on your employees and how much better it is to handle day to day situations sober. Things are much clearer for me and its so neat to come on this forum and read other people are experiencing similar things and it gives me hope. I like what foundintheditch said breathe deeply, smile and move smoothly. Im always forgetting to enjoy the moment. Anyway nice hearing from u. Nite

  19. #19

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    Awww thank you Christy!! Your my inspiration too. I used to say to myself if Christy is around alcohol at work and says no, I have no excuse!! So its helped me stay sober. Thank you for being here.

    This economy is stressful. What I love about not drinking is I have less drama in my life and can make clearer decisions at work. And geez love not being hung over at work either. Whats interesting is looking at my employees and counting how many are alcoholic or may be going that direction. Anyway. Nite. Glad ur back.

  20. #20

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    I would also like to congratulate everyone on this forum for being here and sharing your experiences. I get a lot from the real feelings found in these posts. I just past day 200. I am here because I am still working on this and figuring out who I was, who I am and who I'm going to be when I grow up. Towards the end of my drinking I went on sleep aids because I could no longer sleep all night and couldn't even with them. I would wake up around 2. Many times in terror. After quitting I could soon sleep again and NO dreams [nightmares]. After a couple of months I stopped the meds. I still sleep like a baby and wake refreshed and clear headed. Last night I had a drinking dream. I was at a restaurant and I had a faint memory of drinking while there. I sort of woke and felt the shame of having drank and dozed off again only to go back to the restaurant. The dream continued as I learned that I had blacked out and caused some very hard feelings due to my actions. All in a dream from nowhere. A relapse in my mind. A gift to my sobriety.
    Last edited by foundintheditch; 08-17-2011 at 08:12 PM.

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