The Road to Abstinence.

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

Post by Tai »

Such a lot of wisdom in the posts on this thread. I can only echo what Trojan said about making a whole hearted commitment to sober living, renewing that commitment daily is the cornerstone of recovery for me.

But it wasn’t always like that. My first ... well probably a year to eighteen months of abstinence was largely focussed on not drinking. Just that ... not drinking. Now, not drinking is fantastic and in truth it is a pre-requisite to recovery ... but it is not the only component of recovery. It is the bedrock upon which recovery is built.

For me, recovery is a process of change. Looking at my life with sober eyes, working out what needs to change, and then working on making those changes. I’m not trying for perfection but I am trying for improvement.

And I measure success by assessing my wellbeing. How at peace with myself do I feel? Am I happy with the way I act or speak around others? Am I being kind, honest, and truthful ... to others and to myself? Am I doing the best that I can (at least most of the time)? These are the questions I ask and answer. And if I don’t like the answers then I know that these are areas where more change is needed.

I cannot change the past. I would if I could, but there is little point in dwelling on such impossibilities. So I must instead focus on the present ... and if my past is interfering with my present then that again is a signpost towards a need for change. Gentle change works best for me ... too much too soon just ties me up in knots. Small steps and little changes are sustainable and not too overwhelming.

I can only admire my fellow roadies, I come here and read and what do I see ... honesty, determination to change, courage, and wisdom ... all the fundamentals of recovery are right there. We just need to use them each and every day.

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

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Thanks Trojan, Seamus, Action <:)>

You are so right Seamus.....it is just that - a false, very fake and very temporary pleasure for want of a more realistic word.

I was applying for a role this week and had to write things about myself, my skills, my personality and it was strange but I did find many positives and felt great afterwards, then I saw this post and thought yes, can you imagine if we put as much effort into ourselves as we do this addiction and obsession with whether or not we can keep alcohol in our lives....something that is so so toxic and harmful on all levels. So I’m loving this thought and will pass through this once again and you are right Action....sobriety will never let a person down.

Hi Tai my friend <:)> so much sense in your post.

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Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Cowboy
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Some great posts as always in these here parts. Full disclosure friends. Another 5 day binge drinking session. I could rationalize and say to myself well it's not in the quantities that I used to drink before coming to BE. Except, that's not the point is it? The truth of the matter is that I'm 10 years older and I plain just can't drink that much anymore. Maybe I haven't come to my senses yet but my body knows better. It's provides me with all the signals I should need to throw in the towel on drinking. My body knows better than I do what is good for me - in all ways. I just don't listen to my body. I choose to listen to that self sabotaging voice in my head which somehow persuades me to drink and get drunk. Alone, with others, makes no difference.

Well folks this binge is over. I know when I just stop mid-session and say to myself that's enough like I did last night. I didn't drink enough yesterday to make myself ill but I drank enough to sleep 12 hours and still wake up a little groggy and feeling weak. My coffee tastes like shit in my mouth. It's not the same satisfaction that I get drinking my morning coffee and watching the sun come out over my valley when I am sober. I feel like the boy who cried wolf coming back here but what alternative do I have. There really is none. This is where my sober friends reside. The ones that truly want to see me beat this addiction once and for all. I've been to that sober place and I want to go back. Just need to buckle down and get back to the place where my body and my higher self is telling me I need to go. Once and for all.

Day 1. On the Road to Abstinence.
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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Trojan
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Trojan »

Cowboy, it’s good to see you back on the Road ;)?

I think many of us here have perfectionist tendencies, and we can get caught up in trying to know all the information instead of living the transformation. I went through many serious relapses, and I found myself stuck in a sort of neurological loop trying to put myself at the end of the process without going through a messy experience.

Maybe dropping the tendency to chase the mirage of perfection is part of recovery? As TC and Tai mention, we can find happiness in the steady, gradual improvements in quality of life that come with living sober - being the best we can be as an individual, and gauging progress by the level of wellbeing we experience, but without holding ourselves to an impossible standard.

A sense of always beginning can maybe help too - keeping awareness day to day, recognising and truly valuing the many gifts of sober living :-)

Best wishes to all <:)>
Beginning is not only a kind of action. It is also a frame of mind, a kind of work, an attitude, a consciousness.
— Edward Said
Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un été invincible.
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seamus54
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by seamus54 »

Cowboy, you sound like you have a positive attitude, not beating yourself up too much, which I think I've learned is the right reaction. In my recent lapses I've struggled to pinpoint one cause. No luck, but Im thinking it's a combination of sorts rather than one trigger. And I have come to give myself credit for the sober days, the progress I've made, if that makes sense. And, days are getting longer, more time out in the sun will help us all!

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Trina »

Cowboy, I'm pretty much exactly where you are! Not binging (is it binging or bingeing? I don't know), because that has never been what I do, but I have been having the occasional glass of wine. Not surprisingly, those occasions are happening more frequently, and it's no longer just one glass. They're not "slips" any more, they are deliberate drinking involving all the planning and obsessing that I thought I had left behind. I should be on the 9 month challenge now, but can't in good conscience really stay there. Not quite sure where to go, maybe back for another crack at the 100 day challenge?

I've read all about the stages of relapse and I definitely have seen this coming, but the problem is that I don't really care at the moment. I need to get my AF mojo back, but I'm not sure how. Intellectually, I do not want to drink, but as we know, that logical side of the brain shuts off when the drinking thoughts appear. Even playing the tape to the end isn't working for me at the moment.

Anyway, I'm going to keep trying, just wanted to let you know that I get where you're coming from!

Hi to all the other roadies!

Trina
Just because the monkey is off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town -- George Carlin

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Thanks Trojan and seamus. Your responses are very much appreciated. Kind of feel like I have had some of my life sucked out of me which of coarse is exactly what has happened. The good news is I can get back to where I need to be and I have the tools to do it at hand. Just a matter of getting down to my self improvement project. I'm sticking close to BE in any event. The first day is always the hardest for me and I made my way today. Tomorrow's coffee will be that much better for it.

Ooops. Crossed posts there Trina. I get it. We can reboot and we both have projects and places to be this summer.
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 Winkler »

Cowboy <:)> <:)> <:)>
Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing - Lao Tzu

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Trojan wrote:
18 Mar 2021 14:27

I think many of us here have perfectionist tendencies, and we can get caught up in trying to know all the information instead of living the transformation. I went through many serious relapses, and I found myself stuck in a sort of neurological loop trying to put myself at the end of the process without going through a messy experience.

This is very interesting indeed Trojan and I thank you for this post. <:)>

Winks <:)>

CB <:)> good luck pal, you’ve got this ;)? each chance is your time to shine and each time to shine is your time to leave alcohol behind and at that last door that you can close, look back over your shoulder but of course, no need to stare. It’s in your hands now.

Trina <:)> one of the hardest things I find about feeling I have let myself down (if that is where you are coming from and sorry if not) is knowing where to start again. I have all this history of drinking and so much history of not then all of this middle ground that is a mesh of shall I shan’t I, years and months where it wasn’t even thought about and now, knowing I truly want rid but not quite putting those definite wheels in motion. Well I can only say to myself, yesterday is gone, today is a new day and if we live in each day, we can plan that day how we see fit. If that is alcohol free then we can do that no problem and the next day....and so on. One day at a time.

I am off work today and going to make this day count in so many ways. This is a journey for sure and no final destination but that isn’t to say our journey of sobriety cannot be reached and remain that way as surely that is what we are all striving for?

Peace of heart and mind is all I ask and want in life as I know everything else just follows smoothly and those darker times which we all naturally experience as part of life, can be dealt with better. Drinking alcohol not only destroys my peace but brings on a darker shadow of mind and body and I know it chips away at the spirit I have left in me. I know we are all fighters and we all have a chance but if we are honest with ourselves those chances may eventually burn out as they do for many. I saw it with a parent who’s life became a shell from their early forties and well what followed for years, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy nor would I want to put my loved ones through this.

Cracks started to show and there was truly no going back....silent damage and this is all self inflicted and I can see a similar pattern in another relative now which saddens me deeply.....definitely know I wouldn’t forgive myself if this happened to me so it truly is time to stop f**g about and get to grips with all my strength, tools, knowledge, desires and put them in a basket, shake them up and turn the mix back into the way I love living my life, less turmoil mentally and physically, less stress, anxiety, better eating, wow I can taste all of the goodness of the recipe as I write (sounds crackers but its true).

Nobody is going to do this for us right? And every time I feel I have let myself down is just another notch of feeling like a failure just like all those past times when I had all the desire to remove alcohol and it never happened (probably every week when I was younger). I hold the key and only I can resolve this issue, yes resolve.....addiction isn’t simple but the first step is to say ‘enough’ the next steps is putting the graft in, the way we know how and finding other solutions to our emotions and nostalgia which are often reasons ‘excuses’ to lure back to the bottle. I guess fully accepting this is an addiction and won’t ever go away is key but also not the end of the world...its just my world. Addiction can be managed by means of not feeding it and eventually putting out the fire, enough to survive and experience so much light. Working on myself and staying well has got to be so much easier and less turmoil than the mental battle of keeping alcohol in my life. Wow that is so so true from my own experience.

I am in the process of finding that better version of myself.

It’s never too late for the above and I continue this journey in the way I know how and feel excited to put alcohol behind me for good, that is my intention and I’m not piling pressure on myself just saying that the above is unlikely to be fulfilled if I keep the toxic poison in my life. I know I’m not perfect, I know my flaws, I also know that my mind and how it operates can be my downfall, overthinking, potentially looking at what I have done before, what went wrong instead of dusting off and moving on in the here and now. Trying to be perfect just isn’t going to work so this is something I need to accept and develop all the good things about me that I actually like, rather than the perceived downfalls. Dusting the shoulders, head forward, working on today.... \:)/

After all the years on the forum, you will see this panther flourish once more and I thank each and every person who has been non judgemental over the years, the kicks up the backside and well just the understanding of this addiction which comes with mental and physical health issues. Doesn’t make us a bad person (need to reset that computer) but keeping it in our lives can mean we won’t ever be the person we strive for and can keep us in a pit of some form until we learn to fully climb out.

Good luck everyone <:)> <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

PS.....I’m off to H & B today, any of you experts out there got any tips on the best vitamins to get to aid liver recovery and anything else that you can recommend as a source of natural and bodily help. It’s been a while since I have bought things to aid recovery but feel this may help me this time around as I work to put an end to this cycle.
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

Trojan, this really resonated with me
we can get caught up in trying to know all the information instead of living the transformation
any tips on the best vitamins to get to aid liver recovery
Pink, I'm not an expert! But I did find that Kudzu helped reduce the desire to drink - if you try it you want the Planetary Spectrum brand which I always bought online. During the first year I took a supplement called Liv-52 which I believe helped my liver recover. Again, I think you'd need to buy it online though.

Cowboy, Trina, I'm sorry to hear this. I remember well how awful I used to feel after yet another relapse - there were times when I belived I would never escape, and times when I told myself I don't even want to. I once saw someone on here talking about the feeling of being stuck in a cycle, and saying that as we learn from experience we can be making progress that we don't see - it's not so much a loop we're in as something like a conch shell that we're winding our way out of.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Thanks SB <:)> I've placed an order online rather than visit a store. I had the Kudzu first time around and have just ordered some again and wasn't aware of the other things that Kudzu can help with so may help a few areas of my being.

Right off to apply for a job I really fancy.........100% made my mind up about my current role and leaving for new, just need the right thing to come along and something different too. Just discussing with OH as I firmly lay some laws down for myself and I would guess that 90% of my anxieties and the way I feel is self inflicted either through poisoning myself coupled with a job I haven't wanted to be in for so long. 50% of my applications so far came back to me overnight for interview invites....I am pondering as I wish to select the next move very carefully for myself and for some family balance too as that is more important to me than anything.

Its not so easy just switching jobs but I now have that opportunity to move and not worry too much about the change so I am grabbing this with both hands, can see a brighter future ahead and by that, I don't mean in material or the likes....just an opportunity that may serve this lady well. So much water under the bridge where I am and we have been through so much and some really tough times personally so I feel this clean break will do me the world of good. Life is too short to continue in something that grinds you down.

Keeping everything crossed.
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by squirrel »

There's a load of good reading here. You are such an intelligent and articulate bunch, and what a clever conch shell thought. We will keep trying and lots of the time succeeding. Lots of hope on these pages - thanks you lovely people.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Action »

Cowboy and Trina <:)> my fellow amigos. The fact that you are both striving for sobriety means that you believe in yourselves and you know that sobriety is worth it, and so are you. You are so valuable. <:)>

Pink, I love that you are feeling excited about living a sober life. I feel excited, especially after I have coped with a challenge, when I would have leaned on wine. I had no self value and I keep surprising myself, in a good way. One of the hardest things I’ve found is that I held this ideal in my head that my health would improve massively (if I finally managed sobriety) and all the negative physical things I experienced would just evaporate.

Part of my process is understanding that sobriety isn’t a magical cure. If anything now I don’t have wine to numb everything out I have discovered a lot of ongoing pain that I didn’t realise I had. That’s a bummer. I guess though that I am more in tune with myself now and can be kinder to myself.

I am trying to practice unperfectionism...is that a word? I’m the worlds worst for pushing myself beyond my limits to achieve something, proving I’m just as good as everyone else. It’s been a life time occupation deeply ingrained. I now try and notice when I’m doing it and pull on the reins. It’s difficult but actually I have found that the world doesn’t collapse all around me if I let something go. Without expending all my energy on trying to be something I’m not I am actually more comfortable, growing in my own skin. I’m okay really.

I know there’ll be a day when my sobriety is really tested and I truly hope I can hold steadfast. I’ll be right here on BE battling out. Sobriety isn’t easy, it’s hard but I’m so glad that I am trying and every victory gives me a buzz. I know now that I am Enough, without alcohol. So are you. <:)>
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by seamus54 »

Pink
Great news that 50% of inquires came back as opportunities. You sound positive ant that's more than half the battle. We're rooting for you!

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Action »

seamus54 wrote:
19 Mar 2021 16:04
Pink
Great news that 50% of inquires came back as opportunities. You sound positive ant that's more than half the battle. We're rooting for you!
Totally Pink. So sorry I completely missed this bit of great news. ;)?
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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Action - I love the way you are working through things and its really important to look at our behaviour as it can be quite destroying on us mentally and then of course in other ways.

I am too working on this as I have dipped into a lull once again with self belief and self worth. I am rising from this and putting steps in place to put things behind me. Keep up the good work and I just know even if you are faced with any temptation (which isn’t written in the stars), you will work through it <:)>

Action, Seamus & Squirrel & Everyone thanks on the job front will keep you posted \:)/ :\:

Well its a month until my 50th & feel today is a good starting point as I’ve not been in the best place if I am being totally honest, a mixture of being at home for a year, in need of a job change, teen stuff and changes with kids and worrying about how this has affected them and it all kind of hit me at once. It also has been a positive experience as I came to a few realisations.....the main one being once again that alcohol is the root of many negatives and is the poison that adds to life’s minor issues and exaggerating them into something less able to handle if that makes sense. On that note, when I drink it has a knock on effect with diet and exercise and what I put in my body has a massive impact on me as a person and I cannot stress that enough. There is only myself to answer to this so I have a brand new log book and taking the time each day to write things down and look back over the week, baby steps again and hopefully I will be back to my enthusiastic self once the alcohol has shifted from my being.

In other words, alcohol plays a role in making everything look worse than it is, I have always known this, i still know this and I am now working on staying well each day and well for me means, not taking in poison (food and drink), not dealing with the groggy feelings the next day before we even get on with anything else, not dealing with the guilt doing something I truly don’t wish to do and trying to understand where things fit in my life right now.

If we stand in our past, we will never grow or mature on the drinking front so its vital for me to understand that I am not that person anymore and that is why drinking in any amounts just doesn’t sit right. So with all good intentions, this is a new journey and new chapter again......I’m not trying to seek perfection either, I just know I need to address each day as it comes but without drinking, especially at home in the most anti-social manner and take it from there.

Will catch up in a week or two as I must get my routine in order (as said before) and have tons of stuff piling up on the job and house front so have a good one folks and thanks so much <:)> <:)> <:)>
Love yourself and be proud of the steps you take to overcome addiction....peace is at the tip of our fingers <:)>

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Action »

Don’t stray too far Pink, hold on tight to BE as it sounds as though you are gearing up for a lot of changes.

It’s funny that you mentioned a maturity with alcohol...I have been thinking along similar lines ...about life.
I’ve realised that through drinking since an early age I have stunted my emotional and intellectual growth. If you were to ask anyone about me they’d probably say that I was intelligent and emotionally strong :| I think that a part of my persona is a front, an act I’ve played in order to project strength, due to the early life challenges that I have had to cope with. The real me isn’t necessarily as strong as I would like others to think or as emotionally developed either. I have always been a people pleaser and worried about what the world thought about me.

Recently I have been noticing that I can relate more to others, that I am developing an interest in politics and current affairs and other social things like that, which I was not capable of doing before. I think that I have probably had it in me all the time but because alcohol has featured so much in my life it’s affects have narrowed my thinking and relating. Trying to think of a metaphor right now...yes, like standing in a room with other people (or life say) but I’ve been wrapped in tracing paper so have had a unclear, vague view and experience of everything. Now I can see and feel more, which I would have said once would scare me. The anxiety, lethargy and other negative aspects that come with drinking are diminishing gradually and I actually feel safe. It’s not all about me anymore, which is a relief. It’s been about me for sooooo long.

Today I reach 6 months. I know that I have a long way to go yet but I am looking forward to continuing to develop as a person in this new life I have discovered. I am beginning to accept that my health will never be what I dream it will be but it doesn’t stop me making the most of myself. Thank you for all your support Roadies. <:)>
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

I’ve realised that through drinking since an early age I have stunted my emotional and intellectual growth.
Absolutely Action, this so resonated with me. I have experienced the same insight myself, and know that it is in some ways a painful one as it brings an awareness of wasted years, and especially in the early days we can feel fragile and exposed, like a newly hatched butterfly. It's also a huge step on the road to permanent sobriety, part of seeing alcohol for what it actually is rather than believing the advertising. And it's massively exciting - I still get a real thrill when I see myself coping with things that back when I was drinking would have reduced me to a ball of misery. We don't have much control over things such as illness and age that affect us physically - although we can look after our physical selves and make the most of what we've got. But why would we chose a state of painful psychological disability when we have the power to remove the cause by not imbibing the damaging stuff?

I've always liked this quote, and wonder whether it might strike a chord with you too.


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The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Cowboy »

Stunted emotional and intellectual growth? Hmmm. I'll need to ponder that one.

Great day of skiing. Bright blues skies. Fast snow. Easy turns. Loads of people drinking at the picnic tables - so no lift lines. It's amazing how your outlook can change so quickly when all you need to do is remove alcohol from the equation. I'm tired and ready for a nice hot chocolate by the fire. Probably will head over to the lounge tonight and put my feet up.
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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