The Road to Abstinence.

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

Post by Woodstock »

Action I remember you from my previous life on the forum...wise words. I've managed 3 years AF after a lot of years in the mist of life with alcohol. Having a major blip and need to get back to abstinence. I started drinking a long time ago as an escape from my past. I've had a lot of help sorting that out and was doing well but recently got catapulted back. The emotions were extreme but in a way gave me the opportunity to move on. The legacy in the short term has been turning back to alcohol as the emotional blocking agent. My current life means there is too much to loose if I don't get back to abstinence again. Managed 2 AF days but back struggling again tonight. Hope I can join you here to get back on track .
Woodstock

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

SB :\: love that quote, that is exactly where I am right now (or was as my current motivation is saying).

The pain of staying in the drinking loop has become so much greater than anything else I have experienced, its on top of the changes of the past year and other realisation and I just know that when I drink, I may as well be back at the start in terms of how it makes me feel, possibly worse on a mental level. Only I can change that and we can only try and make this time ‘the last’ time. I have been sober more than drinking this last year, it doesn’t make a difference though, the drinking outweighs everything else for me.

Woodstock :\: hang around these parts, they are an amazing team and you seem in a very similar position to how I have been. We absolutely have too much to lose & if we take the wrong turn with this and the nature of addiction means things can be lost in a flash. We must always do this for us first and foremost and I’m putting all efforts in to find my mojo for me again. Good luck, sounds like you have come a long way already.

It’s important to never give up on ourselves, if we do that, there is nobody left <:)> <:)>
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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Action
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Action »

Hi Everyone. Well it’s official I actually reached 6 months yesterday.
Thank you so much for all your support and for sharing all your thoughts here ... it is so helpful.

Great quote SB. Yes that quote does resonate with me. That was certainly where I was, a living nightmare.
I will make the most of what I have, that is my responsibility now ... I tell myself that I have my own unique place in the world and I am valuable. <:)>

Hi Woodstock :\:
Good to see you. Slowly but surely my friend.
Make sure you factor in lots of self care in those early days ... whatever it takes. Build up a sober toolbox 🧰 mine is meditation, chocolate and sweets, long hot showers, deep breathing, cooking, eating early, being kind and forgiving myself. You’ll smash it. <:)>
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Take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet.

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

Congratualtions on 6 months Action!

Cowboy, it's the emotional stunting I really recognise.

Woodstock, best of luck on this new sober journey.

Pink, I believe that once we come to understand more about alcohol and the nature of addiction we can't put the genie back in the bottle - we're never going to be at ease with ourselves if we continue to drink at any level.
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 »

Way to go Action. Stay the course.
SoberBoots wrote:
21 Mar 2021 10:24
Cowboy, it's the emotional stunting I really recognise.
Yes SB. That one I get. You can learn so much about your emotional self when you actually pay attention to your inner thinking - rather than drinking.
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 »

Just so Cowboy - it's like finally growing up, in some ways. I also recognise the intellectual stunting too when I reflect on this. I'd stopped being to problem solve or plan, and my judgement was terrible. I believe that addiction lies in our emotional, mammalian brain and as it grows our reasoning self atrophies. Which is why beating addiction is so damn hard - our rational selves are weakened, plus we are trying to use intellectual strategies to deal with an emotional problem.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

SoberBoots wrote:
21 Mar 2021 10:24


Pink, I believe that once we come to understand more about alcohol and the nature of addiction we can't put the genie back in the bottle - we're never going to be at ease with ourselves if we continue to drink at any level.
This is so very true and it is time to let go, close that door and don’t look back <:)> this power is within us all and its important to have that faith and self belief. This has gone on way too long for me now and I know that I hold the key to my future self.

The negativity that is involved in having a drink problem or should I say not dealing with it as we should, is on another level and not something that I can live with any longer. I have sought help that assisted me previously and I am going to focus on so much positive stuff that comes from not drinking. At this stage in my life, I already know that there are no positives in holding onto alcohol and I understand what needs to be done. Freedom is my true desire and I am smart enough to know 100% that I will NEVER achieve this fully if I remain in the alcohol waters. This will only certainly keep me trapped in the same murky waters and stunt any emotional growth that I now and have always desired.

Congratulations Action that’s amazing \:)/ \:)/ \:)/

I am ready for this mindset shift but this time, I am going to embrace every part of this sober journey with a view to not looking back, there is nothing in my past that could convince me that a sober life is not for me....

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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 »

Sounds good to me Pink Panther. I have been dancing with this alcohol partner on and off my whole adult life. I know for certain that we are not a good match and it's time I realized this once and for all. 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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FuzzyDuck
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by FuzzyDuck »

6 months - that's great Action

x Fuz
"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right'. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." (used to be Bupster's sig - I have appropriated it)

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Tai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Tai »

Indeed 6 months is amazing Action \:)/ <:)> bloody fantastic that is. I love reading your posts and seeing how staying sober and observing what’s going on in your life is changing your perspective. It’s lovely to see your sense of self worth blossoming. It’s funny that it’s only when we look back that we see how much has changed, I hope you can see that too. Keep going \:)/

And it’s great to see the determination to change here on the Road, it’s an underlying theme and that’s exactly what is needed ... change.

I remember hearing someone say “if what you’re trying isn’t working, think 2 options ... either try harder or try different”. I always thought I needed to try harder. I thought the fact I wasn’t changing was proof that I wasn’t trying hard enough. I needed to hear the message that sometimes its not that I’m not trying hard enough, sometimes I’m just not using the best strategy to bring about the change I want.

To be honest though, a lot of the time I want the results without the work. I want to have changed without going through the process of changing ... that’s my impatience ... but it’s also my fear. Fear of not being good enough, or up to it, fear that it’ll be too hard and I’ll “fail”, fear that I’ll put in loads of work and still end up no better off etc etc. My mind is a fear generator left unchecked.

And the way I check it is to look for evidence. If all I have to do towards my recovery today is get to bed sober, then what is there to fear? I know I can stay sober today because I have evidence that I’ve done so many many times already. So anything towards change I do over and above staying sober today is a bonus isn’t it?

It’s those small incremental actions, consistently practised that have an enormous impact over time. Nothing to fear in that.

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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AmyJean
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by AmyJean »

Hi everyone. Wise words as ever on here. I am back after a few troublesome weeks. Got into v bad habit of buying wine when I was alone in my flat for a few nights. Tbh I thought I was enjoying it at times. But it escalated so quickly. I ended up on a real binge on Saturday. I woke up at 4am on Sunday so worried alcohol would still be in my system. And I had to drive my mother for her second jag later in the morning. Why do I put myself through that trauma? I just felt sh1t all day.
A photo popped up on my phone of 7 years ago when I went to Barcelona and broke 13 months of sobriety. That resulted in 7 more YEARS of yo-yo drinking. It makes me so ashamed. I've had some good long alcohol free times in the last 7 years but never got back to that feeling of 'I've cracked it' that I had for so long. It vanished on that weekend to Spain when I made the bad decision to drink. I was confident I could just stop again when I got back home.
So I'm here safe at my mum's but that also brings its trials. I'll save that for another time. Just wanted to check in while I drink morning coffee.
Stay sober everyone!
And I said to my body softly 'I want to be your friend'. It took a long sigh and said 'I've waited my whole life for this'

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Pink Panther
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Pink Panther »

Hi Amy <:)> your post is perfect timing for myself as I came here today, not really to fess up but to be honest with myself really.

One thing is for sure that no matter how many times we go around in circles, drinking just will not sit right in any way, shape or form, that is my own personal experience and I believe it to be true. It doesn’t stop the cycle starting again, the kids have got a bit older, more freedom for mum, invites, cocktails over brunch and whilst at one time this never bothered me for years, the lure somehow has started to tap away at my being and the mental tussle is effecting me.

Beating ourselves up, repeating the cycle just ingrains negative emotions and feelings we have about ourselves but its important to understand this is born from addiction, is fed by addiction and by the poisonous toxin which we pour willingly into our bodies.

I will openly admit that I have struggled a lot recently a full year at home, dealing with teens and their changes, the loss of my beloved pooch which I still cry about and being stuck in the house with what is ultimately, a job with a shelf life and I have definitely reached mine with it. All this could have been handled a bit better had I chosen not to drink lately and only doing it a few short weeks has taken me into further depths of anxiousness and being unreliable when looking for new jobs. I’m annoyed with myself for once again, allowing outside (yet in my head) peer pressure taking the lead instead of living the life I wish to live. Faking it basically.....I feel like trash due to drinking on top of already feeling pretty worked up about a few things.

So what is the solution?........well for me I think I’m going to have to draw a line and stop feeling bad about restarting and not being able to stay sober for more than 3-6 months at a time now and work on a way of not picking up ever again.....yes ever again. I still drink less than half of what I did when I joined here in one sitting yet I feel just as bad on a mental front. The answer, because I have kept this in my life for ten years again and had the up and down tussle of shall I shan’t I....at what point does this stop....it truly does mess with what was a really good state of mind when I didn’t drink.

I truly wish I could let go of some of my pride and get an f...g grip of this situation. If it takes me one day at a time, if it means I have to tell people I have a drink problems, if it means I have to revert back to every tool I have or even see a GP....then that is what it is going to take for me. I have so much self control in some areas but so little when it comes to self berating and self inflicted drinking and eating - taking some time to reflect on where I am and stop going on about it to my OH....he must be getting sick to the back teeth.

Why do I not use the forum more, you guys understand and I am now at a stage if I don’t do something to remove the negative aspect of feeding my addiction (drinking poison)....well I dread to think how things will end up.

Anyway thanks for listening, sorry for the moan but had to get it down in writing after a morning of not turning up for an interview due to feeling so anxious, unprepared and feeling like I just can’t cope with it really <:)> <:)>

issues will never be fixed with alcohol.....it isn’t a medicine it is a toxic substance....need to get that through to my skull...

Also....for the first time in my life, I feel I may need to speak with my GP about possible anxiety, mild depression. I don’t have a dark cloud, I get up, I tidy up, I present myself, I just feel I cry too much but a nurse I spoke with said all these things can be an affect of the last year, so many are suffering apparently & losing the pooch being stuck indoors simply wont help I know. I am worried about it being on my record as one job I really fancy has to obtain a ‘fit for work’ type of letter from the GP...will this affect anything.....see the pride is a killer.

Amy <:)> wishing you well and I hope you find a way to get through all of this.
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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AmyJean
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by AmyJean »

Great post PP. Sorry you are struggling too. Like you, I am anxious about what might happen. If I lose driving licence again........I would not survive. I would end up in prison. But I would jump off a bridge before I'd go to prison.
So the prevention of that is simple. Stop drinking.
I cannot continue drinking until some disaster happens again. I just could not bear it. I've decided to stay here in the country with my mum for a bit longer this week. Once I break the pattern, I find it quite easy not to drink. So I will stay here, recover and rethink. I worry what I'm doing to my health as well as my mind.
The wind is blowing wild outside. So I am not even going out walking. I just want to sit on the couch and watch trash! I just finished Married at first sight Australia last night. That's 41 hours I will never get back. What a fool I was to sit and watch that fake rubbish for all that time!!! Can't believe I got sucked in. I'll stick to the UK version if I ever watch it again.
I'm away to finish my mug of tea and read Lady in Waiting. Xxxx
And I said to my body softly 'I want to be your friend'. It took a long sigh and said 'I've waited my whole life for this'

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Tai
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by Tai »

Just want to send you a huge hug <:)> Pink, life certainly isn’t easy especially with lockdown, teens, a job you’re not enjoying, the loss of your pooch ... that’s a lot. Opening the door to active addiction isn’t helping you one little bit as you already know. Totally with you on taking it a day at a time. The simple stuff really can work. I’m rooting for you pal.

Amy <:)> big <:)> coming your way too. It’s good you’re staying at your mums for a bit. Tbh watching trash tv ... well it isn’t great but it’s a damn sight better than watching trash tv and drinking! Hope you’re enjoying your book. Reading is something I rediscovered in sobriety. Love it.

Stay strong Roadies, this battle isn’t over ... not whilst we’re all still here fighting.
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 Amy & Tai <:)>

Definitely not going to give up on this...just a few things need addressing for me.

I 100% know that I am unable to address anything in my life if I continue to drink...that is a fact so the work starts again.

Sober sleep last night and I intend on keeping it that way ;)?
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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AmyJean
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by AmyJean »

Hi Tai/PP and all roadies. It's a lovely day today so I will definitely get out. There's no doubt fresh air helps but it's not always easy to make yourself to something even if you know you will definitely feel better from it. How weird is that. Yet we know drinking will definitely make us feel worse and sometimes still do it.
You have a lot going on PP and the loss of a pet is v hard. Especially a dog. I've only got a fairly independent cat who doesn't take much notice of me but I still miss her when I'm in town. I could have done without her waking me this morning though! But I had a good sleep. It felt good quality. So definitely feeling better able to cope today. And it is helping to post here and read other thoughts/struggles. Best wishes to you all. X
And I said to my body softly 'I want to be your friend'. It took a long sigh and said 'I've waited my whole life for this'

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

Pink, your post really resonated with me - so many times I let myself down at work through drink. Like you, I remember drinking instead of preparing for a job interview - I did go, but of course I didn't get it. I hadn't prepared the presentation they wanted, and I'd had two gon and tonics on the way there to "calm myself down"! And there were countless times I didn't turn up for things - too anxious, too hungover, too far over the limit. And yet the thought of properly owning up to "having a problem" terrified, me, I felt I had to keep it a secret and deal with it all on my own. You refer to it as pride, I think of it these days as part and parcel of addiction. But either way, I continually exposed myself to humiliation ironically in an attempt to avoid it. It's taken me years to see that addiction is something external to me, not my identity. I can shrug it off, and still be me - in fact an improved version! It wasn't until I joined BE that I was ready to say with a whole heart "never again" - I'd said the words countless times, with varying degrees of sincerity, but there was always a tiny worm somewhere in my brain that had its fingers crossed behind its back!

Openess and honesty really help in forming a new sober identity - otherwise it's so much easier to slip when with old drinking companions.
As you know, I found Allen Carr really useful, but I did have to do it twice for it to really sink in. The second time was a lot slower and more careful, and as it followed a bad relapse I think I'd let some of that "pride" go because I'd been faced with the reality of the depth of my addiction and my repeated inability to break free. I'd say that any tools or programmes you found useful you should revisit - we don't step into the same river twice.

While I'm sorry that you've had this horrible experience I do think it has the potential to be the wake up call you need - these painful points can lead to real growth if we approach them in the right spirit. I think you've made great strides but at a fundamental level you're still fighting denial and therefore addiction - I worry, and have good reason to do so, every time you say that you're going to take a break from the forum because that move away from support is one of the stages of relapse. Sometimes we have to break a little in order to then heal, let some of our defences down in order to grow. Sobriety is not all to do with having a well-stocked toolkit, important though that is - is it's also about letting go of drinking and our drinking selves.

I remember a long period of frustration with myself - feeling that I was a fingersnap away from some vital neural connection firing that would enable me to get sober for good. I feel that from you too, and I have absolute confidence that you can do this. I'm sure you feel rotten today, but I hope you've managed to reach out for some help. The fact that a lot of people may feel the same way doesn't make the impact on you any less, after all.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

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SoberBoots
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by SoberBoots »

Amy J - good on you for making some sensible choices to support your sobriety <:)>
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 »

SoberBoots wrote:
24 Mar 2021 09:27
I'd said the words countless times, with varying degrees of sincerity, but there was always a tiny worm somewhere in my brain that had its fingers crossed behind its back!
Thanks for sharing this anecdote SB. I feel strongly that this is a huge problem for me and my relationship with my addiction. There is a small part of me that is so stubborn around accepting the very clear fact that I have an alcohol addiction. I can talk the talk and walk the walk but I truly believe that evil worm (with fingers even ha) will always be there in the background. Even when I managed a full year of sobriety I always knew deep inside that I would go back to drinking. I secretly planned for it ffs's. When I do drink, which thankfully hasn't been for a week or so, I ask myself after I've had a few "OK Cowboy what now?". You're drunk where do you go from here? Drink more is the answer that comes back to me of course.

What is this need that I have developed to artificially alter my mind. It's functioning perfectly today - thank you very much. I'm feeling great - awesome even. The sun is out and it's a wonderful day. Have a drink it will be even better whispers that evil worm. I'm just so tired of fighting that voice. The temptation builds and builds and finally I just cave. Then the guilt, the anxiety, the fear of the unknown eventually come to visit.

I know that people say in these parts that the inner voice subsides after you remove alcohol from the equation and it does for me ... but always, always that voice in the background. I love my sobriety. I am truly learning to love myself after all this time on the planet. I just wish I could learn to love life without that built in need to artificially alter my mental state. Probably not making any sense but what the hell - I need to get on with my real life not that artificial dream state that alcohol puts me in.

Just rambling away here. Better get out there and put some feed in those bird feeders. The Blue Jays are awaiting and looking in at me.

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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AmyJean
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Re: The Road to Abstinence.

Post by AmyJean »

I relate so much to what you say Cowboy.
I think the only time/way you can be truly free of addiction is if/when you genuinely do not desire the substance. When you are not just not drinking but really have no wish to drink. I smoked for years and tried to stop many times. Then genuinely just lost the desire after sickening myself. Never had a puff after that day because I never wanted to. I felt the same about alcohol for a while. People admired my self-control etc (the ones who didn't realize how bad my addiction had become) whereas it required no self-control because I didn't want to drink. I almost pitied people who did drink. When I drank I pitied people who didn't. Or should I say I thought they were boring. But I was the bore. Cringe. When alcohol becomes attractive again - the Christmas ads, the summer holidays, the cool beer, the chilled wine - that is the danger point. And I keep returning to that position. And when I do, nothing will stop me. I won't post here and state my intention. I'll go secretly and just do it. That is the cycle I need to break. Again.
Anyway, I'm not there today. I'm v glad to be safe and sober.
Windy here again and I didn't even have a walk. I did repot some plants though.
Keep on keeping on everyone. X
And I said to my body softly 'I want to be your friend'. It took a long sigh and said 'I've waited my whole life for this'

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