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Living Sober - Page 2
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Thread: Living Sober

  1. #21
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    No challenges today. Worked too hard but am now happy, safe and sober at home. I ate a good meal. I have a list of things I could do tonight but I am not only mentally tired but physically tired.... My feet are killing me. So I am silencing the mind noise and putting my feet up. No temptation to drink or have too many sweets to kill the urge. Yeah me!

  2. #22

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    Hi All,
    I tread lightly because I am not yet deserving of being on this thread, and I truly don't mean that sarcastically. The wonderful people on this forum who have made it 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, a year, or years deserve what they need emotionally to keep going.... just as those of us who are newly sober need other things. By the way, all always find inspiration here.

    The one thing I would like to say is unfortunatley electronic communication is a blessing AND a curse. Unfortunately electronic messaging lacks the benefit of facial expressions, tone, the speed of the voice, the pitch of the voice, ect....all the non-verbals that give a better meaning to the plain written word.

    I must admit my FIRST reaction to this thread was "ouch"....maybe I don't belong at this site at all. BUT that was my emotions giving a knee-jerk reaction. That is why I have waited sereral hours before opening my mouth.

    Carol, I so agree...some people are spiritual, some are not, some are older, some are younger, some have been struggling for a short time and others longer, some are on different levels of their alcoholism and recovery.

    Ken, you were expressing a need and I appreciate that you wanted to express that need and reached out.

    My hope for all of us is that we reach out for what we need to continue to keep on keeping on!! Bless us all, in what ever stage, because I know how hard it was for me to look in the mirror and say, "I need help!"

  3. #23

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    Beth, I guess that means you ran/walked today?!! I don't know about you, but my dogs has caught onto this whole walk every morning thing. She sees me getting my tennis shoes and starts to wimper and wag her "nub"....boxer

  4. #24
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    Noel, yes I did! But I have to tell you after the walk I started trying to figure out how many days we had left. But I think you're right, my dog is getting use to this too. So hopefully I can continue after the first seven days as long as the weather is nice.
    Set the alarm for tomorrow!

  5. #25

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    I would like to apologize once again to anyone that was offended by this thread. I assure you it was not my intent to be hurtful to anyone or to be controversial. I planned on closing this thread after learning that it was considered divisive. We all learn from the mistakes we make and I have learned that the best of intentions can have unintended consequences. My only intention is the quest for knowledge and camaraderie.

    I did close it, but have decided to re-open it due to the feedback I received after doing so. I still think it can be a place for everyone to share what helped get them on the road to long term sobriety and how they are maintaining sobriety. It is my sincere hope that we all make it to this stage and continue to extend a helping hand to all those just getting started and to those still struggling.

    Good luck to all on your own personal quests for healing and knowledge, I hope you find what you are searching for!
    Last edited by Ken1; 06-20-2012 at 01:12 PM.
    Troubles are temporary. So is life. You get to decide which one you want to focus on

  6. #26

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    Thread re-opened!
    Troubles are temporary. So is life. You get to decide which one you want to focus on

  7. #27

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    Ken and all that need this thread...Great!! Sometimes I am such a "people pleaser" that I let my needs fall a little short. Ken, you didn't let your needs go so I say bravo!! I think of the Rolling Stones song, "You can't always get what you want, you get what you need." You and many others NEED this thread so I hate that my first reaction was not as positive, but I say "hell, yeah, get what you need!"

    Great day to all...off to pick up my son from a party, out to dinner with my family, a family (and dog) walk, and a competitive card game with my hubby!!

  8. #28
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    Ken,
    Thanks for keeping this thread. Hope you are well and second Noel's Bravo!
    Was on the road all day for work which is not my favorite thing. A couple of times I thought about coming home and having a beer or two. It was weird. It wasn't an urge but more a habit thought. Like after along week, weekends here let's have a beer! There was no reason to act on it, like I said wasn't an urge. But as I thought more about it, I started to think wow have I matured. It felt good..... I've out grown alcohol. I know that sounds a little silly because at any age we can become an alcoholic and at any age we can stop drinking. But just another little thing for my arsenal. I can use it as a choice saying for when I may be pressured by someone to drink. So many of my friends and family have seen me act like a drunk idiot that I think that is a simple statement I can use.

  9. #29
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    Beth, I like the idea that we've outgrown alcohol. It's a great way to describe it without unnecessary drama.
    Today I recounted to a couple of coworkers last night's uncomfortable work/social event and found myself saying, "it would have been easier if I were a drinker, but I'm not". Just like that, I described myself as "not a drinker". It felt natural and not a prelude to any sort of explanation. Almost like "I'm not much of a drinker". No questions about why I don't drink or how long since I had a drink or whether I will ever drink.

    I also had my annual physical today and was able to truthfully answer their standard question about whether I use alcohol with a flat-out "no". Such a small thing but it felt really good. I am having bloodwork done which I've avoided for years out of fear of the liver function test. I anxiously await results now and I'm prepared for whatever I find out because I know that at last I am treating my body with all due respect.

  10. #30

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    Beth, thanks for the support and I know what you mean. I was walking my dog at 6:30 this morning and making a list in my head of all the things I have to do today. I am so much more productive now and I would now have to eliminate something from my schedule in order to make time to start drinking again.

    I am listening to a Tony Robbins program and yesterday he was discussing changing bad habits. He made a key point in saying that you can't just use discipline to break a habit; you can but it wont last. You can't leave a vacuum, you have to replace the activity you eliminate with something positive, anything else. He gave examples of exercising, volunteering, learning a new language or a musical instrument. I had already done that by accident, I just knew that free time made my mind race and there was one sure way to quiet it down that caused all kinds of carnage in my life, so I better find something to do. Now I don't have time to all the things I want to in a day and go to bed exhausted, but excited about tomorrow and all I have to get done. By the way, now I "get to do things" as opposed to "have to!" That's a big deal for me.

    Noel, thank you for your support. I can relate to being a people pleaser too, I am working on letting it go. Learning to say "No" without giving a five minute explanation why was my first step. I would then usually feel so bad that I would do what the other person wanted me to do anyway. At first, it is as hard as quitting drinking, you will get some shocked responses from all the people that are accustomed to you being a door mat or as I used to describe myself, human punching bag. They will get over it and find someone else to manipulate, and they were probably not a friend anyway. Political correctness is so exhausting and silly to me sometimes, but I try my best to not be offensive to anyone.

    As to the forum, this is a safe place for all of us here to get things off of our chests that we dare not discuss with family, friends, or co-workers. This place is very important to me and I understand people's sensitivity towards it, I only slept about 3 hours the last two nights worrying about this thread. My mind was filled with, maybe I should have worded it differently and maybe I should never post in it or on and on and on. I finally listened to the messages telling me that it's something that people can benefit from and was able to get some peace about it.

    Sue, I hate those work social events. They are never technically required attendance but you are definitely looked down on if you do not attend. I was supposed to go to bowling last night, but I just couldn't force myself to go. It is completely predictable that the same people are going to get hammered and then you feel awkward for not going along to get along. Good for you for planting the seed that you are not on the party wagon anymore, rather the sober train! I know your liver test is going to come back fine. I had one the first time I quit drinking and they said everything looked great, they almost sounded disappointed that they couldn't find anything wrong! She did ask me if I had any anxiety, to which I answered no, and she still gave me samples of Lexapro, which I threw in the trash can in the front of her office.

    Thanks again to all that encouraged me to keep this thread open, I think it can be a real benefit to all.
    Last edited by Ken1; 06-21-2012 at 08:24 AM.
    Troubles are temporary. So is life. You get to decide which one you want to focus on

  11. #31
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    Ken1 -

    If I may add my two cents....I understand completely where you were coming from when you created this thread. Reading the main thread at times got me very depressed as well. That is why I quit reading for awhile and quit posting - I needed to focus on me and my sobriety. Also reading some of the posts was just too reflective for me (know what I mean?) and it was having the opposite affect that I was looking for - not helping, but kind of pulling me down (does that make sense?).

    I do not mean to be disrespectful to all those who post there (been there done that) and I am with them 100% because I do know what they are going through. I am just at a different level in my sobriety right now. I may not have months strung together, but this past year has been a very, very sober one for me considering where I used to be.

    I think we reach a point in our sobriety where we need something different, something that addresses where we are now in our journey – not the continual starts and stops but more of a I am living sober now what....and to me there is room on this site for all venues. That is why Samantha created the “30, 60, 90 Now What” thread. It gave people a chance to address some of those needs. I see your thread as a kind of in between the main thread and the 60, 90.

    I have had a wonderful year, but unfortunately I cannot claim many months or years right now and it tends to get me down, yet I am still plugging away, learning about myself and moving forward. I think this thread is a great idea. I feel weird posting on the main thread about my issues because my head is in a different place now (though I still like to log on and give encouragement to those struggling) - and also because I feel like I have been there done that. And at times I feel foolish posting on the 60,90 (which I know is silly), because I don't have the months strung together as others do. I even contemplated not posting at all until I had 6 months in a row.

    Anyway, I miss not posting, I miss not giving input and getting it in return. I am past the counting day stage and into the living sober – one day at a time. So thank you for this forum. I think it is a great idea.

  12. #32
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    Thank you for the great insight. I overthink too!

  13. #33
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    It's been a few days since I've checked in on SR forum pages. I've been reading the main site articles, attending online peer support meetings, and started a daily writing project, as far as other recovery process stuff goes.

    Interesting dialog here on this thread. To me open dialog is always a good thing. We can learn from each other or we can even learn from ourselves sometimes. I think when we give advice or offer a suggestion, we are often speaking to ourselves as much as we are to anyone else. I haven't done it yet, but I think it would be interesting to read all my own back posts. I will do it at some point, but the time doesn't feel right to me just yet.

    I get Ken's point of being uncomfortable at times when trying to concentrate on your own recovery issues. I don't find the same situation as being an issue, but we're all in different places and I can certainly understand it. To me it's no different really, than if someone doesn't feel like going to parties where alcohol will be served. That sort of thing doesn't bother me much either, but again I can certainly understand how it could be uncomfortable for a lot of people.

    One thing that does bother me, is at peer support group meetings, when someone starts bashing on another method of recovery. To me all paths are good. Whatever works for you is great, even if it doesn't happen to work for me.

    It makes sense to me in recovery to avoid situations where you reasonably can, that cause you stress, makes you uncomfortable or that are triggers for you. Long term, I also think it's best on increasing your comfort zone and dealing with stress in healthy ways. Yes, that is advice I am pretty much giving to myself. It it happens to suit anyone else, your welcome to share it. lol.

    Take care everyone,

    -Todd

  14. #34
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    I just heard about a new movie (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) with the premise that a huge meteor is on course to destroy the earth in 21 days.

    It's good food for thought: what would I do? About drinking in particular, would I start again if I knew there was no future? Or would I prefer to squeeze the most out of each remaining moment in the full clarity of now?

    What would you do??

  15. #35

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    Sue, your apparently simple question caused me to think all day about drinking and life. My knee jerk reaction was no, I would not drink. Then, I thought about it all day and the thing that kept coming up was the saying about living every day as if it were your last. It made me think of all the things I let drift out of my life that I used to love to do as drinking took more and more control. I am now working on a list of all the things I planned on doing before my AV took control, now that I am back in the drivers seat. It's a combination of a bucket list plus all the things I was formerly passionate about. The first thing that came to mind was to get to a beach now! I want to go fishing again and swim and ski and learn a new language and on and on, my mind is racing but this time in a good way. I think I'll spend the weekend contemplating my future and really living for a change instead of just existing, which is all you can call life while drinking, existing. Thanks for the push!
    Troubles are temporary. So is life. You get to decide which one you want to focus on

  16. #36
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    Drink if it was the end? Every fiber of me wants to say Yes, Yes, drink get drunk....ok so maybe I'm not as mature as I think I am but I know I wouldn't (with every fiber of me). Your question made me think of my father. I've mentioned him here before.... Twenty plus years sober and was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. They gave him a month to live.
    One day he told me he wanted to get on a motorcycle with a fifth of jack and ride across the united states to the ocean. I said " Do it!" and I meant it. Who the hell cares about your sobriety, I thought, your dying go party till the end.
    But he didn't. He died sober. Yesterday this hit me hard. As I thought about what my sobriety means to me, I thought about what it meant to my dad......he fought hard to get sober and stay sober....probably hardest thing he ever did....but more than that, his sobriety is his legacy to his kids. We saw him at his worse, a violent drunk that was completely out of control, that should have died a lot younger than he did. I believe he had post traumatic stress disorder from his days in Vietnam and that contributed to using alcohol as a coping mechanism. But faced with death, he didn't cave, he stayed the course for his kids (me especially I think). Not until now did I see this small lesson from the man I cherished my whole life. The things we do for our kids, no matter how small to them at the time, can and will be great gifts even after we are gone.

  17. #37

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    Gratitude

    I read a blurb the other day that said that being grateful actually turns off the part of the brain that worries. May or may not be true but I like it. I think gratitude is one of the things that helps keep me sober. I try to write down something each day that I'm grateful for. And I'm so grateful to Patrick and the folks here for helping me break free.

  18. #38
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    ww43,
    I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to be in that social setting for 5 full days and nights! Last week I had to endure just 2 hours of the same thing (room full of strangers, expectation that we'd all get comfortable by drinking together, no other real reason to be there) and it was the most challenging situation I've faced. I don't know if this will ever get easier. I think the key is to have at least one other trusted/familiar person present if you're obligated to be immersed in a drinking scenario.

    If the end of the world or the end of my life were imminent, I would want to be with my loved ones. Because of that, I would not drink. I am so much better for them and with them when I'm sober.

    Now, if I were the last person on earth..... ok - maybe I'd have to get bombed! I'm not a saint!

  19. #39

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    I saw this quote recently: "Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” (Brené Brown) and wasn't sure what it meant.

    Go to Google and type in "Vulnerability as a strength." You'll be amazed how many solid articles there are on the topic.

    Turns out that vulnerability is what allows us to expand and grow. Without vulnerability, there is no hope. Every time we experience hope, we are accepting vulnerability. When we aren't vulnerable - when we're truly impervious to pain - nothing can change. We are inflexible. Our guard is raised and ready to defend our way of thinking. When we feel vulnerable - and really embody it - our brain allows us to be open to change and that's what hope is to me. Hope is embracing change.

    Here's what I learned: The key to happiness is replacing judgment with gratitude. If you will find gratitude for your vulnerability, something good happens. It's like it opens up the floodgates of possibility. So I'm no longer hiding from vulnerability. I'm embracing it.

    I've also been mulling over the notion of responsibility, which ties into vulnerability. If there is a problem in your life, you have to deal with it, no one else is going to come along and solve it, and no one is going to care as much as you do about resolving it. Taking responsibility for your life of course makes you vulnerable to failure and disappointment, but responsibility and vulnerability are so much more empowering than the alternatives are; passivity and accepting whatever heads your way. It's the decision to sit behind the wheel and operate the vehicle as opposed to sitting in the back seat as it flies driver-less down a hill.

    ww43, thanks for your support and glad to see you here. It's funny, my struggles come from within now and not from outside. If people are drinking around me, I find it annoying. When I know I'm going somewhere where everyone is going to be drinking, I think back on all the wasted years I spent chasing happiness through a buzz and it just makes me cringe. When I get forced into a conversation with someone that's been drinking, telling the same story twice, slurring their words with that slack look on their face, I imagine looking in a mirror and feel sorry for them. I used to get jealous, now I just want to get away from them.

    When I'm home alone and bored, my AV starts creeping in, trying to convince me to lighten up and have one, you know you deserve it and who will know? That's when I have to fall back on everything I've learned and remind myself that it is just not worth it. I am not and never will be able to drink in moderation and will probably always fight a mild pull to just have "one". One drink will lead to total relapse for me, so I have to employ the zero tolerance policy.

    I'm going to head off to my day now with a heart filled with gratitude.
    Last edited by Ken1; 06-27-2012 at 08:50 AM. Reason: spelling
    Troubles are temporary. So is life. You get to decide which one you want to focus on

  20. #40
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    I love this post, Ken. Great food for thought as usual.

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