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The Road to Abstinence.

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
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Ace McCloud
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Ace McCloud » 06 Nov 2019 23:12

Hi shadowlad,
Almost completed day 9, had the biggest wobble yet, but managed to ride it somehow :!:

Had delicious home made chicken pie and Victoria sponge courtesy of o/h parents :P

Yes, roast is my favourite thing to eat, cant beat it, had toby last night as well.
Hope all is good ;)?

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Tai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Tai » 07 Nov 2019 05:45

Learning to ride out cravings is just so crucial Scott, it builds sober muscles and resilience. Cravings don’t last at this intensity for much longer so hang in there! It definitely gets easier but these early days can see us swinging from thinking one minute “this is easy” to the next “this is impossible”. I found these swings pretty tricky to work out, our bodies are healing but our minds crave the instant escape at times. One thing I found difficult to understand is that I’m often more vulnerable when I think “this is easy” because then I get to thinking that maybe I’m not that bad ... maybe I can actually drink sometimes. Bitter experience and many many experiments later I discovered that staying sober suits me better.
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
Khalil Gibran

Mackintosh
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Mackintosh » 07 Nov 2019 07:50

Hi everyone, not posted here in a little while but just reading through the recent posts gives me tremendous hope for the future.
Going to have a look at the Alan Carr method, thanks for the link SB.
Shadowed I always find I resonate with your posts and fund your words of wisdom encouraging.
I've been keeping myself busy, swim a lot now, riding more although I have to be careful not to put too much pressure on or I begin to feel overwhelmed. Had a disappointment with the riding at the weekend which upset me greatly but luckily didn't reach for the bottle.
I'm looking to learn coping stratagies and hopefully my cbt will help with that.
Managed to get to day 59 and feeling determined 😊
Sobriety is not an anchor, it's a pair of wings.

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Ace McCloud
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Ace McCloud » 07 Nov 2019 11:22

(::)
Last edited by Ace McCloud on 07 Nov 2019 11:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Ace McCloud
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Ace McCloud » 07 Nov 2019 11:26

Morning.
Yes Tai yesterday was basically a mental breakdown, and I was so irrational I was questioning my own thoughts,
But did get through it, slept like a log last night, best sleep in a very long time, so feeling good today.
I have a very resolute mind set this time round, and I know I will face tough testing times, but I will get this done 8-)
I'm glad to hear things will get easier.
Day 10 today .

This site helps soo much also, so thanks again every one .

59 is an Amazing achievement mackintosh, (::)

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Shadowlad
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Shadowlad » 07 Nov 2019 20:14

Well done for getting through your bad day yesterday Scott <:)> Maybe you were very overtired and this contributed to it, but glad you are feeling much better today.
Ace McCloud wrote:
07 Nov 2019 11:26
I have a very resolute mind set this time round, and I know I will face tough testing times, but I will get this done
I'm glad to hear things will get easier.
Day 10 today .
That is a wonderful mindset and an empowering one too !
Ace McCloud wrote:
07 Nov 2019 11:26
and I know I will face tough testing times, but I will get this done
You are getting this done because you are doing it right now. You are doing this and well done on 10 days AF ;)?
Mackintosh wrote:
07 Nov 2019 07:50
I've been keeping myself busy, swim a lot now, riding more although I have to be careful not to put too much pressure on or I begin to feel overwhelmed. Had a disappointment with the riding at the weekend which upset me greatly but luckily didn't reach for the bottle.
I'm looking to learn coping stratagies and hopefully my cbt will help with that.
Hi Mackintosh, it was heartening to read that you have got tremendous hope for the future now. There is so much good information here for us all to use, tried and tested methods that are helping lots of people. CBT definitely helps, so is worthwhile doing and i wish you well with it. I think Tobin teaches CBT in his counselling service too. Its good there is the Quitlit thread, though ive never personally read any books, and of course you can't beat the sharing of experience of all BE members :) Sorry about your riding disappointment, but absolutely well done in overcoming it without drinking. 59 days is great !

Was just thinking back to the times i had a bad day and a few near misses. On one occasion in the early sobriety i was feeling very overwhelmed and actually bought a half bottle of vodka 'on impulse' 'in high emotion'. I was actually churned up after some incident but the thing here is i realised that even though i had got as far as buying the 'poison' i knew i did not have to drink it. I still had a choice at that point. And so i binned it after pouring it down the grate ! Victory ! It was just a ingrained reaction when i was feeling quite vulnerable, but it is so reassuring to know that we are in control of our actions and can use damage limitation at any time. I didn't want to drink then and i still don't want to drink now. The consequences are just not worth it.

Great words Tai <:)>

Hi to everyone else, hope all are having a good evening xxx
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

Dennis P. Kimbro

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Topcat
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Topcat » 08 Nov 2019 07:15

Some great posts as always ;)?

Coping strategies are vast and very much hit and miss. Many of us keep on stop/starting until we get it right (I certainly did).

Something that helped me was to keep alcohol in the house right from the word "go". As a natural rebel, I found that saying "never again" was a red rag to a bull. It was the same with smoking. All the advice said throw away cigarettes, lighters and ash trays right away. What happened with me was that I then immediately wanted to get them back and light up. I stopped smoking with an unopened pack of cigarettes in the house and I stopped drinking with wine in the house (not a vast amount - just a couple of those 2 x glass bottles). Having them to hand removed the 'forbidden fruit' aspect and I no longer felt I was depriving myself of anything. They were there if the need arose (particularly when the shops were closed at night).

Obviously, the above is not going to work for everyone, but it is worth a try for those that think it might help.

TC xx
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
When life kicks sand in your face, build a castle.

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy » 08 Nov 2019 12:23

You are such a rebel TC. A real James Dean 8-) Keep it up girl.

Well friends. Just kinda walking the tightrope here. Couple of days sober - couple of days drinking. Rinse and repeat.

It's not working. Need to get those sober muscles back in shape. Big time.

Have a great AF day roadies.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

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Tai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Tai » 09 Nov 2019 06:57

It is hard to regain traction in sobriety ... hard to convince ourselves of the necessity, especially when we see people all around us seemingly drinking with impunity. It’s hard to accept that addiction skews our thinking to the extent that we can no longer trust our own thoughts when it comes to deciding whether to drink or not. Our addiction will always always always say YES ... and then provide umpteen reasons or justifications as to why it’s OK.

It’s only by staying sober that we begin the process of subduing the powerful pull of our addiction. It’s much easier if we can change our mind set from feeling deprived to feeling the freedom of no longer being enslaved to our addiction.

Some people get that from things like following the Allen Carr method, others get it from going to support meetings, getting counselling, reading self help books etc ... and some get it from a combination of these as well as staying sober long enough to see the woods from the trees. It doesn’t matter how we “get it” as long as we do!

Acceptance lies at the heart of effectively tackling addiction. I know addiction is an emotive word and I know it puts some people off to use such terms but it helps me to call a fig a fig. It reminds me that what I’m dealing with here is not some minor insignificant matter but something that has the potential to entirely derail and prematurely end my life.

Staying sober isn’t easy. Yes there are days when it’s easy but overall early sobriety is a rollercoaster. That’s why early recovery is when we’re most vulnerable to going back to drinking. It’s hard not to feel discouraged as I know only too well having put myself through hundreds of day ones. It’s hard to keep trying but that’s the way we make progress ... by not giving up, by learning the lessons and using that knowledge to do better next time.

I think for me it’s the mental mind games that create the biggest obstacles. It’s so normal to feel ambivalent about all this addiction and alcoholism and all the other labels ... sometimes we just want to drink and to hell with it ... and our minds will find a way of making that seem like a reasonable thing to do. Our minds are so adept at turning a blind eye from the consequences and providing a level of amnesia about some of the worst outcomes from previous drinking bouts that it actually will feel like a reasonable thing to do.

That’s why it’s best not to trust our own thinking when it comes to drinking, until we’ve learnt to fully turn that thinking on it’s head so we can preserve our hard won sobriety. Once we see not drinking as freedom we’re much more able counter self destructive old thinking patterns.

Enough rambling from me. Just want to encourage you to keep close to BE Cowboy, it’s nothing to be ashamed of this struggle you’re having getting back into sobriety. It’s something we’ve all experienced along the way.

Have a good day Roadies <:)>
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
Khalil Gibran

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Topcat
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Topcat » 09 Nov 2019 07:37

Tai wrote:
09 Nov 2019 06:57
That’s why it’s best not to trust our own thinking when it comes to drinking, until we’ve learnt to fully turn that thinking on it’s head so we can preserve our hard won sobriety. Once we see not drinking as freedom we’re much more able counter self destructive old thinking patterns.
I couldn't agree more ;)?

Giving up on giving up can seem the only option when we've tried and tried so many times and (in our eyes) failed at every one. Just one more attempt can seem futile and too much effort, but it isn't (truly it isn't). That one last ditch effort can be the one that 'clicks' into place and you keep right on going. With sober time behind you, the more you appreciate the freedom it brings and you don't ever want to let that go again.

Don't ever give up on giving up folks ;)? TC xx
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When life kicks sand in your face, build a castle.

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots » 09 Nov 2019 09:15

Great post Tai, really resonated with me.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

Saturn
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Saturn » 09 Nov 2019 09:50

Hi all

7 weeks sober today, the longest I have done in about 15 years. Not that I see it as a temporary stint that will end with a 'reward' for having done so well, it's permanent this time. But it feels good to have surpassed the previous longest stretch by two weeks

I agree with the comments about the mind games addiction causes and the need to remain on high alert to the fact your brain is not being honest with you. I also second that the freedom sobriety brings is far preferable to the terrible trap of addiction.

Keep up the good work 😀

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots » 09 Nov 2019 14:33

7 weeks sober today, the longest I have done in about 15 years.
\:)/ \:)/ (::) (::) (::) \:)/ \:)/
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Ace McCloud
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Ace McCloud » 09 Nov 2019 21:14

Evening all.
Day 12 coming to an end, has been quite tough, fatigue, bouts of agitation.
Staying strong as I'm hoping the worse is nearing an end lol.

Congratulations Saturn on 7 weeks, a great achievement ;)?

Happy Saturday campers.

:\:

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Saturn » 10 Nov 2019 09:23

Thanks Ace and well done on Day 12 😀 I haven't really experienced quite the physical symptoms you mention (although I have felt anxious), but I would hope they would start to subside soon.

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Tai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Tai » 10 Nov 2019 10:51

I remember feeling kind of flu-like symptoms in the early days and weeks of getting sober, low energy, feeling a bit flat, difficulty sleeping, feeling agitated for no discernible reason ... a real hodgepodge of symptoms as well as finding myself getting emotional over stupid stuff which made me feel off kilter. All these things smoothed out over time but it seemed at the time to be going on for a long time as I had such low levels of resilience when it came to coping with any sort of discomfort.

I think what happens is that things smooth out to some extent as our mental and physical well-being improves ... and at the same time we develop better resilience to deal with stuff, so the overall effect is that things get easier despite the fact that we have left a major coping mechanism (drinking) behind us.

It’s worth mentioning that feeling like this is all plain sailing is dangerous territory .. at least it was for me because it triggered thoughts that made me doubt that I was “that bad”. It’s so easy to forget or ignore the reality of what our drinking was like ... regarding things as “one offs” rather than evidence of a pattern of decline. Being honest with myself took some practise. I found writing things down really helpful because once it’s there in black and white it’s harder to ignore ... evidence that I really was “that bad”.

Have a good day Roadies <:)>
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
Khalil Gibran

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy » 10 Nov 2019 13:53

Just wanted to jump in here and say congrats to Saturn and Ace on their respective milestones. Getting that sober time in helps to strengthen those sober muscles. Staying sober is very satisfying and liberating. My hat is off to you both.
Tai wrote:
09 Nov 2019 06:57
Acceptance lies at the heart of effectively tackling addiction. I know addiction is an emotive word and I know it puts some people off to use such terms but it helps me to call a fig a fig. It reminds me that what I’m dealing with here is not some minor insignificant matter but something that has the potential to entirely derail and prematurely end my life.
First of all thanks for your response to my previous post Tai. For me acceptance is going to be my final hurtle. Acceptance that I have a very real life problem. Let's be real and call it what it is - a "medical condition". If I was diagnosed with any other life threatening condition I would follow doctors orders. I don't need a doctor to tell me I have an addiction. I don't need a doctor to tell me if I continue I will, as Tai has so succinctly put it, derail and a prematurely end my life. I know it all yet that stubborn ego of mine continues to lie and tell I'm not THAT bad. Or it could be worse. All that BS that I need my inner self to tell me to ignore.

Well I have a solid day of sobriety in and it's a start. I've done this before and I can do it again.

Have a great AF day roadies. Cowboy.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots » 10 Nov 2019 15:16

it could be worse
It certainly could be worse. Unless you tackle it head on, I expect it will be. The question is, is that waht you choose?
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy » 10 Nov 2019 18:12

Just trying to get it together is all. Take care friends.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by ScarletB » 10 Nov 2019 19:36

I am back. I knew the time was coming. This last year has been incredibly trying. I am unhappy at my job and haven’t had any luck in my ventures to secure new employment. I lost my mother, fairly suddenly. I have continued drinking to excess, binging. I want to be sober for my kids. I want to have energy and less anxiety. I don’t want to set the example that one has to drink to handle stress and grief. I’ve been reading posts for months but today I felt strong enough, maybe desperate enough to post myself. I can’t remember when I last posted. I’m going to start on day one of the seven day challenge tomorrow. Today, I am at work and so incredibly worn down. I don’t think it’s evident to others but I have a headache, my eyes are puffy, and my anxiety is bad. The night is blurry and I keep asking myself “why do I do this?” Thanks for reading and thanks for posting. Reading your posts is comforting and encouraging.

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