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Anyone a recovering alcoholic? If so please share...
August 20, 2007
12:41 am
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balance-

Congratulations on being in recovery...

Being tired, aside from the physical reasons, may also have something to do with the fact that actually not drinking is HARDER than drinking in some respects. Not that there isn't a heavy price for drinking, but it becomes what you are used to. When you stop, you have to DEAL with your life, your feelings and other things that take energy that you took for granted when you had a buzz going. Does that make any sense?

I'm STILL adjusting. It's five years later for me, and I have no other crutch. But I rather be a little tired than self destructing.

What MaStrong said is good, it takes work, but establishing activities and interests to take the place of drinking/drugs definitely helps. Eventually you realize... you have so much you won't want to lose. I feel that way even in my depression!

My best to you,
Wishing you peace and serenity,
-ella

August 20, 2007
8:50 am
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balancesekr
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AQueen,

to answer the questions you asked:

Why do you drink? Mostly to escape!

Has drinking ever affected your life in a negative way? Absolutely

Have you ever skipped work due to drinking? Not usually, I have a high tolerance for pain, so I would drag myself to work and work with a terrible hangover.

Ever had relationship problems? Yes, I think this is what finally brought me in, knowing I was going in circles in my relationship!

Any financial problems? Not really, I have no debt

Any problems with yourself like guilt or shame? Completely! I almost always feel one or the other consistently.

Thanks for asking those questions! I need to prove to myself I have a problem here!

StronginHim77, WOW, I relate to every part of your story! And you know what, I have to be hooked... I feel like an emotional wreck inside today, again! I finally went to a meeting this morning... but I feel so off balance cause I feel empty inside. Operating on autopilot was much easier, or seemed easier. Thanks so much for sharing that with me. That is amazing you were able to stop on your own cause you saw it was getting worse. In a way, I did the same thing, I chose to see an addictions specialist cause I saw the problem getting worse. I do need meetings though, and support, I think I need AA.

serenityali, I definitely used alcohol to cope, no doubt about it. That is sound advice you gave, looking at this as a lifestyle change. I keep getting scared that I am messed up and the clutches of alcohol has me or something. I do need to get some books to support this change, no doubt!

mzrella, I didn't know you were in recovery, that is fantastic you have 5 years!! Yeah, I do have to deal with everything now, and it is tiring. Life seems so real without alcohol and it is freakin me out a bit. I just have to keep pushing through this. And I need to stay out of my head! My thoughts are what really do me in and upset me.

Again that quote: I seek strength not to be greater than my sister, but to fight my greatest enemy, MYSELF!

Thank you everyone for your experience, strength and hope, I will use it to carry me through today!

b

August 20, 2007
10:25 am
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StronginHim77
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balancesekr -

When I first made a decision to abstain from my routine, nightly drinks, I recall vividly that "all hell broke loose" in my emotional realm. Within just days, I found myself churning with emotional pain, worries and internal upheaval. When I finally saw my psychologist and shared what was going on, he just beamed at me and said, "Yup. That's normal." He added that he knew it would happen, if I chose NOT to drink because the drinking had been numbing all those thoughts/feelings. Now that the anesthesia had been discontinued, I was FINALLY able to face my pain, my fears, my losses and begin to deal with them.

He was very pleased for me. I am very pleased for you, as well! Now that you are feeling your feelings (sounds weird, doesn't it?), you can begin to heal. We cannot recover, as long as we mask the symptoms of our pain with alcohol (or shopping or sex or pills or whatever our numbing "drug of choice" might be). Abstaining opens the gates and allows the pain to bubble up to the surface...and finally be dealt with and overcome.

I know you are going through a tough time, but it is GOOD. You have taken a HUGE step towards becoming a WHOLE and HAPPY person. All that emotional gunk was weighing you down. Now, you can begin to unload it and be free -- probably (like me) for the first time in years.

HUGS...

- Ma Strong

August 20, 2007
10:43 am
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euqcaj
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Wow!
What wonderful posts! I have been without alcohol or any other numbing drugs for 16 years. I am so grateful,...as I said once before,...we were not born needing alcohol,...we alcoholics develope the need, the phycological, emotional, and then physical need. It was perfect what serenityali said,..."if you are using alcohol to cope with life, you are abusing it". And that's what I did, big time. But I was fooling myself,..because I wasn't really coping, I was going down hill. Slowly, at first. I am thankful everyday I can live life without alcohol. I don't need it!
euqcaj

August 21, 2007
10:47 am
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balancesekr
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hi Strong & euqgaj,

I dragged myself to a meeting again today. I have been stuck the past few days. Like you said Strong, the anesthesia has been discontinued and I struggle now in the reality of life... struggle with decisions, choices, etc... I own my life, no more victim.

I have to keep being there for myself! This is my realization for today. By drinking, I was drowning out my life... that is why today I am struggling with sobriety, and what to do, and getting caught in my head.

I need to be there for myself, that is why I am choosing not to drink! I have difficulty being confident and focusing on what is within my control, the power I do have rather than what I don't have.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day everyone!

b

August 21, 2007
10:09 pm
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StronginHim77
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balancesekr -

Today, you chose to face your feelings, face your pain and press forward...without the numbing "relief" of alcohol. I really applaud your guts and your determination to do this. Each day is a victory and another Giant Step towards your emotional recovery. We have to FEEL the pain, before we canbe FREE of the pain. You will mourn losses. You will grieve. And then you will heal.

It ain't easy, but the ending is always worth it!

- Ma Strong

August 22, 2007
5:21 am
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serenityali
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Balance,

It's 4 am here, after 20 years of sobriety, I still struggle with life. Tonight is one of those struggles. My son went to court yesterday and wasn't granted primary placement of his 2 young daughters. The Judge decided it was better to let her have them attend school in her area versus my son's.

The Mother is taking naltrexone injections to remain abstinent. She doesn't atttend AA or do any aftercare. The Judge doesn't care that the Mother lives with a felon who has child abuse charges (3) in the past year or that the Mother attempted suicide 3 months ago. that she pushed oned of the girls into a wall, resulting in stitches a few years ago. Allowed head lice to continue for over a year and I could go on and on.

My son has his faults, but he has been sober 7 months, attends AA 4-5 times a week, goes to aftercare etc.

As a recovering person I lack the coping skills to deal with this and continue to suffer the affects of others use. I will be okay, but today I suffer. Chemical dependency affects so many, not just the users, but the whole family.

Continue to seek help and stop this terrible cycle. Learn to cope with this difficult life we are placed into. Learn to accept the things you cannot change because through the course of your life, there will be many.

I am learning that I am not only alcoholic, but very codependent. Let me tell you, it is just as painful as being an addict.

Follow all those wonderful recommendations here and know it will get better.

Ali

August 22, 2007
10:17 am
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euqcaj
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Ali,..
Thank you so much for your post! Wow! Did you ever say it perfectly! You described me! How others problems can hurt us so much. Learning to accept the things we cannot change,...because there will be many in the course of this life. I know that phrase,..but somehow it just jumped out at me this morning. "As a recoving person, I lack the coping skills to deal with this",.....this is me also. Somehow it is so comforting to me to know that someone else exists with the same issues,...the details may be different, but yet it is the same bottom line. We don't know how to cope properly with these problems. I would like to sit down with you sometime and talk! Happy to meet you here online.
I've decided to type my "name" forward, because I think it's easier. Someone discovered it's just written backwards. So I might as well give it up,.... that's ok.
jacque 🙂

August 22, 2007
10:50 am
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Tumbleweed8
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The Serenity Prayer has gotten me through many rough days. I keep it out on my table to remind me. 🙂

August 22, 2007
1:29 pm
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serenityali
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Jacque,

Yes, I have met people here I would like to sit aand share a cup of coffee with as well. However, thankful for the site and know it's not possible.

I am coping today by staying home, sleeping and taking care of me.

Tunbleweed...I love the serenity prayer, took me a long time to really understand it. But has so much meaning and so helpful for my life.

Ali

August 22, 2007
2:16 pm
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Tumbleweed8
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Yes, what it does for me sometimes is show me that even here in whatever circumstances or mood I find myself there is something I can do to change things. Even the little things like changing something in one's living environment can be so helpful. It can really change your outlook on life. 🙂

August 22, 2007
3:22 pm
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Lisa Ann
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Wow, I just want to comment on all of the great posts out here. I am a recovering alcoholic with 7 months of sobriety and listening to all of you makes me feel good. I definitely know I am not alone and it is possible to live a happy and healthy life. It takes work and time, but it is possible! One day at a time!

August 23, 2007
9:33 am
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balancesekr
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stronginhim77, it is so weird feeling my feelings! It feels foreign! Like a part of me I locked up years ago it coming out again.

I like how you said, I will mourn losses, grieve and heal. Losses aren't that bad I am starting to realize, especially if they make sense. Some things aren't worth holding on to. Thanks for appreciating my guts! Its been rough the past few weeks. Posting here really helps me.

Ali, thanks for sharing about your son and grandchildren. That sounds like a very difficult situation and I wish you all the strength and courage and serenity to cope with it. As a fellow codep, it is extremely difficult and feels nearly impossible sometimes to realize what is within my control and what is not. What I own and what I do not. I just keep trying to do the next best thing for myself and for others.

It takes a lot of courage to live this way, its gut wrenching.

I went to a meeting today cause I woke up thinking about drinking! As I have heard in meetings... my disease is outside doing pushups.

I am getting closer to admitting I am an alkie. I get real hung up on the word itself. I know I have a problem with alcohol. I know my life was getting unmanagable. I saw where I was going.

I just can't introduce myself at meetings as, hi I'm _________ alcoholic. It just sounds so nasty. I'd rather say, hi I'm __________ and I have a problem with alcohol.

b

August 23, 2007
9:27 pm
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serenityali
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Balance,

The only requirement for AA is that you have a desire to quit using. You can introduce yourself any way you want. I have heard many different introductions through they years and am always happy the person is there. I could care less who they say they are. Part of my acceptance was saying I was alcoholic. It was difficult, but the more I said it the better I felt. However, be yourself and say how you feel. It's your meeting just as much as anyone else and your journey...

I think you're doing wonderful and have tons of courage to keep learning about yourself.

Ali

August 24, 2007
11:32 am
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balancesekr
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Thanks Ali! I like that, I can introduce myself however. If I let go of that hangup that will help. I do know I have a problem with alcohol, thats enough!

No meeting today so far, I usually go in the morning or I dont go at all.

I keep freaking out about my relationship, wondering where sobriety will take me. I am up and down about it as always. I feel like my bf and I have similiar uncertain goals, or maybe I am projecting. I am learning what love is and isnt.

My sponsor keeps telling me to not think about this stuff right now and focus on myself. Pretty good advice since I wind up feeling super empty when it comes to plans I am making for myself which don't involve work or my bf.

I do know that each day, I feel clearer, and a little less desperate for the "answer" to my problems. I just having this looming, doom feeling sometimes that my relationship isnt meant to be. It could just be fear, it could be accurate....

I've heard numerous times at meetings that alcoholism is a disease of the mind. Its unreal how mixed up and skewed my thoughts can be.

I am on the path to clarity, thanks for reading.

b

August 25, 2007
2:20 am
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Tumbleweed8
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I kept hearing, Keep coming back and One Day at a Time. Bring the body to the meetings and the mind will catch up. That always gave me hope. 🙂

August 25, 2007
9:23 am
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I like that too,....
I had a problem with alcohol.

I never liked saying,.."I'm an alcoholic" either. It's true, but non the less, I never liked that statement.

August 27, 2007
10:28 am
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balancesekr
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thanks tumbleweed, i have been bringing the body to the meetings cause I was slipping there a bit. I think I didn't want to deal with being an alcoholic, but I have to deal with it or it will deal with me!

I called this woman whom I met a few weeks ago. She gave me the book living sober and its really helping me.

euqcaj, I am sorry to hear about the pain you have been in. I have been reading your thread. I hope something with that changes for you, or helps!

As for me, I am just taking care of myself today. "Living" my life for once, rather than being on auto pilot, never home and when I would come home, look at my apartment which looked like I dont even live in. Look at the books I bought that I didn't read, the clothes I bought that I didnt wear, I could keep going but you get the idea.

I am getting closer to surrendering and saying I AM AN ALCOHOLIC! Of course I am. It doesnt matter how many drinks it was, or that I didnt lose my job, lose my family, etc...

Its that I drink to feel better, as a substitute for being myself = NO GOOD.

I am trying to remove the negative stigma of being an alcoholic and focus on the positive of it. Focus on what being sober is giving me. I am getting myself back.

Today was a tough morning. I went to a meeting, came home and just started crying because I am so overwhelmed. I have a very active mind and as I thaw out, sober up, get clearer, when I look at how Ive been living, I get really upset. When I see how insecure I am, and how poorly I treat myself, and view myself, I get really sad.

But, this is good I am getting it out! It needs to come out.

Thanks for reading!

August 27, 2007
12:19 pm
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Tumbleweed8
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Ty, BalanceS, I think I need to read Living Sober again. I've stayed dry and clean for over 30 years, but I still feel like I'm only surviving. Going through the motions of trying to keep my apt. the way management expects it to be kept. Pretty much the same old same old everyday. I'm trying to break out of this and do something a little different everyday. It is always Just One Day at a Time though, not that I have any cravings except for food now. Still have to watch the emotional eating. I think underlying it all is the codependent issues, always wanting to turn somewhere for comfort. However, I know that has to start with me. Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed, it is helpful to break things down in part acts. Just starting somewhere with something small. I have found that helpful and have gotten more accomplished than I expected to most times. Wishing you the best.

August 27, 2007
4:36 pm
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Hey guys

I have been free of alcohol for aproximately 6 years now, actually, 6.5 i think. Went to meetings a lot in the beginning, had to, and it worked. Then found myself in an awful situation with my sponsor...13th step if you know what i mean. So never went back to any meetings, for 4 years now. I am still afraid and resentful of the power this person has over me, and soooo angry that i got taken advantage of. But have manages to not drink anyways. Have however has a few slips with other substances. I am currently off the sober train, smoking weed to dissociate from the death of my father. It is a really complicated grief. I have yet to face it really, and i am scared to do it sober. But i obviously need to, and soon. It is true i believe that we must ultimately find our serenity within ourselves and stop seeking relief from outside ourselves. That type of comfort is too fleeting anyways. We need a constant connection with our own divinity so to speak. On that note, i better start to walk my talk if i am going to continue blowing hard about it here. But i sincerely believe the answer is withIN. You guys have my empathy and support!

August 27, 2007
5:02 pm
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thanks tumbleweed, Living Sober is a good read. I brought it to the beach with me today. 30 years is amazing!! I've heard though, it doesn't matter how much time you have, you are an arms length from a drink. To me it seems this new way of living is this being as true as you can be to yourself, and how you are feeling. Totally acknowledging what you feel and confessing it by going to a meeting and sharing.

Do you go to meetings? When you started out were you more into it?

I hear you on breaking things down into smaller parts! One of the chapters in Living Sober is EASY DOES IT! and it says gee, you just tore through the last chapter and are reading this one already! Yup, I sat there tearing through the whole book rather than reading maybe 2 chapters and sitting with it!

Boy, have I been emotionally eating a bit lately. Ice cream, cookies, candy bars! I dont want my ass to get FAT! But I have to cut myself some slack right now. I have been thinking/picturing my new healthy self starting to jog and becoming fit so that is a good image to have.

alien, I dont know what the 13th step is, does that mean an intimate relationship? Resentments are ranked pretty high in taking people out in AA. Did you want to talk about this at all?

BTW, there is no hurry for you to walk the talk here. I posted for the longest time about the same thing over and over and over.

b

August 27, 2007
5:12 pm
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I am also a recovering alcoholic, 7+ years since my last drink and I remember how hard and embarrassed I was to say I was an alcoholic. Today, I don't go broadcasting it but it's like saying my hair is brown. It is just who I am, or a part of me and it isn't wrong or something bad that I did. It is just like someon saying I am a diabetic. I love the saying, take your body and your mind will follow.

August 27, 2007
6:14 pm
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alien
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ya, i think i would like to talk about it. Soon...Ya, the 13th step refers to a sponsor taking the relationship to a sexual place. In my case it was really really out of control! And i was powerless to remove myself from the situation for a year. It was so awful.

August 27, 2007
6:34 pm
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Yes, I did go to meetings more at first, but in the first year it really didn't help as I had a slip up in that first year and a half. However, that slip up really showed me I couldn't handle it anymore. Also, at first I was so out of it that I think a lot of it just went over my head. I sat there popping pills, had nothing to say at some of the meetings. I had a sponsor who had trouble staying sober, too, so someone else from the meetings kind of took over for her and gave me rides to meetings and let me call etc. I feel so isolated now that if for no other reason I need to get back to my meetings and try to connect with people. I am well aware that people with 30 years of sobriety can go off the wagon, too. So far the only prescription drug I take now is Armour thyroid for my thyroid. I do take a half tylenol to help me get to sleep most nights and sometimes it doesn't help so I think I'll give that up, too. I couldn't believe when I'd meet people at meetings who wouldn't take as much as an aspirin or a tylenol, but now I understand that. Addiction is addiction no matter what it is and it is all mood altering.

August 27, 2007
6:35 pm
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balancesekr
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lettingo, congrats on your 7 years. I am getting closer to 60 days.

I think I will get to a point of acceptance, like what you are saying about your hair being brown, its a past of you.

I get stuck on thinking that meetings are trying to brain wash me into being an alcoholic, cause I still fight that I am one, sort of. Crazy thinking! I am choosing to go to the meetings! The way I was living sucked!

I will keep bringing my body there.

alien, I am not sure if you are a woman, but I am assuming you are. So you had a male sponsor?

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