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Author Topic: One week sober...feels *right* this time  (Read 898 times)

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Offline japheree

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One week sober...feels *right* this time
« on: December 06, 2013, 06:21:55 AM »
Hi everyone, I usually post over in the HA section but I just though I would share some pertinent experiences here.

So I have known for some time that my drinking was no longer sustainable or conducive to a happy life for me. I have had a number of health scares relating to booze (imagined largely) and if nothing else it was making my anxiety a lot worse. I have given up many times before, for months on end only to start again but I feel now I am at the end of my relationship with booze.

I have been tapering down for a number of months now but a recent episode with panicking about Cirrhosis (again imagined but scary as hell) as made me realise that I can't ever drink again, for the sake of my sanity if not my liver. So here I am, 1 week on from a nasty night with a bottle of wine and the pub, sober and feeling pretty good physically AND mentally.

I know this won't be easy, I have a deep emotional bond with the drink, particularly with wine. I even have a vivid memory of the point at which I fell in love with it. I was 19, home from uni on a warm summer's day with the first woman I ever loved, happy and content for the first time in my life. This memory is so vivid I can still feel waves of emotion come over me when I think of it, almost like a sort of 'madaleine moment' for booze!

Only I am not 19 anymore and in many ways I am a better person than I was back then, more rounded. What made me happy then wasn't the wine, it was the moment and in general my experience with booze since has been anything but a happy marriage. i think I have made many poor life choices while under the direct and indirect influence of drink, not to mention spent a lot of money on it.

So here I am, trying to work out what life sober is going to be all about, determined never to drik ever again.


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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 06:42:13 AM »
I wish you the best of luck with the giving up of drink. My father drank daily. Up until he died. Drink played a big part in his death. He was always drunk. So I have seen the long term bad effects of it. Plus he had a heart condition too. That never stopped him from drinking. You are making the right choice. To go on drinking would only bring you down a lot faster. It would catch up with you some day. I know Christmas will be a hard time. As will the New Year. But take each day as it comes. It is something you can do. If you really want to do it. You know what drink was doing to your body and your mind. You made your choice. Can only hope all works out for the best for you.
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 06:53:36 AM »
Thanks Cuchculan!

Everything you say is spot on. I do not want to end up the prematurely aged guy drinking despite being in a terrible shape because of it. That is not where my life is going to go!

Christmas should be okay, apart from the work christmas party. My wife knows I am not drinking, my parents have known I have given up before and know I have had problems with drinking so I should be able to have a Christmas without too much temptation.
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Online tinam7

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 08:29:09 AM »
Don't know why I'm posting because I have no direct experience here. But from all I've read I believe it is almost a genetic disposition, almost like  a disease. So perhaps easier to forgive. And I also believe we can overcome genetic dispositions. I can dream, can't I? Must dream, because in my family they all lost their mind.

What you need to remember is that you cannot have even one drink. Cold turkey.....for good. Never give in. You'll feel so good being free and self-possessed.
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 08:34:04 AM »
I honestly don't know the origins of it. The anthropologist in me is always reluctant to go to genetic determinism when there are a whole slew of cultural and learned behaviours going on there as well. That said depression and mental illness does seem to run in my mother's family. Heck there is even the possibility of my mum's stress and depression caused by her mum causing epigenetic changes in me (fascinating field by the way).

Whatever the cause I know you are right because I have tried before and one is never enough. Never bad enough to render me non-functional but enough to cause harm so no more for me for good!
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Online tinam7

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 12:18:58 PM »
Here is what I also think. Some people take a drink and think it's a match made in heaven instantly. Could be a mere chemical reaction or who knows what, but they're hooked immediately.

Others, like me, may take a sip and never care to take another. Still others can end up throwing up altogether. It is something innate. Maybe it's in the brain as most everything is in the brain according to my scientific research (!). You're done and for that we cheer you.
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 06:27:54 AM »
Still going strong guys! I am rather proud of myself so far but I am also wary of slipping. I know I am okay on everyday issues and I am trying to think along the lines of one drink might kill me sort of thing (I know one will not but it is what happens after that one I am worried about).

I have the Christmas party coming up and I am wondering if people have tips to avoid any stupid rationalisations my brain may make for drinking?
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Online tinam7

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 08:04:45 AM »
Congratulations. Well done.

Now stay the course. Don't touch it. Look at it and say to yourself, "Poison, not for me." And, if you can, avoid the party too. Rooting for you.
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 08:31:00 AM »
Can't really avoid it unfortunately, it was booked up months ago and I sort of cried off last years one so I really aught to go.

For now I am going to continue with the 'booze is poison' attitude like you say.
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Online anxiouskathie

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 08:51:16 PM »
When I quit smoking (cold turkey) I was tempted many times!  The thing I would always say to myself when tempted was "What are you thinking, you are a non-smoker!" 

Japheree, you are now a non-drinker.....you just need to keep reminding yourself and you'll do just fine!!

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Online MobileChucko

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 07:19:02 PM »
Hi Japheree...  I am an alcoholic, and a drug addict too.  I told myself once that I will never drink or take another drug again.  Then I told myself that a dozen times, then a hundred times, perhaps a thousand times.  Then I learned through the 12-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous that all I have to do is not take a drink today; just one day.  Sometimes one hour, or even one minute if that is what is needed.  The one day I didn't drink turned into two, then a week, a month, a year, a decade, and now I have 23 years of not taking a drink or a drug.  A. A. is not for everyone, but you did mention that you wanted to know what your sober life is going to be all about.  You will find the most wonderful people go to A. A. meetings.  They are doctors and lawyers, the man that picks up your trash, and the lady that is a neighbor of yours, three doors down (the lady that lives three doors down from me, is a recovering alcoholic).  Just planting a seed here, that you might want to take in a meeting.  Whatever your trek, I wish you the very best...  Chuck
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Online tinam7

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 07:51:43 AM »
This is a fine post, proof it can be done and AA is effective. Thank you for joining in and sharing.

Now I propose that if we have addictive tendencies (who doesn't?) why not become addicted to what is good for us? There is little doubt that runners become addicted to the high from running. Now running is not really so good for everyone, but some exercise surely is. I am addicted to a bunch of them. Honestly, if I don't get my daily fix I'm at a loss. Even something as strange as meditation. If I don't get that time with myself, I get withdrawal.
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2013, 03:58:47 AM »
I'm not ruling out AA but right now it isn't for me. The higher power thing is very off putting (and yes I know this need not be a god in the traditional sense but for an Atheist like me it is still a concern). As I say, I don't rule it out completely but for now I want to work on my own because I am naturally a private person. I do work on the basis of a day at a time right now and finger crossed I stay that way. One of the tecnhiques I am using is to look at my wedding ring, think of my Wife and how lucky I am, using it almost as a sort of promise ring to not drink again.

Right now I am doing well, sailed through the Christmas party without temptation so over 2 weeks clean, Liver must be wondering what has hit it!
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 05:42:13 AM »
By the way, here are some positive things I am or have been addicted to:

Street photography. There is nothing I like more than going out with one of my cameras and take shots of life in a city. I can walk for miles and miles like this, it keeps me both intellectually and physically excercised.

Swimming: At my peak I could swim several miles and do so quite quickly. I find it somewhat boring now though.

Cycling: I love cycling as it is like walking but I can cover much more ground and see more stuff to photograph.
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Offline japheree

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Re: One week sober...feels *right* this time
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2013, 05:46:04 AM »
I have also found that career aims have come back. I finished my PhD right at the point when the economy tanked so I ended up as a very over qualified Dr of Archaeology with the sole aim to survive the job market. Now I am both better and the economy is picking up, I am daring to dream of better again. Feels weird!
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