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Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

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Sheila
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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Sheila » 19 Aug 2011 17:47

zoe wrote:

.......knowing there is somewhere to post where the focus is on issues surrounding staying abstinent rather than becoming so.
Very well put Jos (::)
Stopping is one thing .... staying stopped is quite another!!
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Neal
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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Neal » 19 Aug 2011 18:19

An overdue addition to the Forum. ;)?

Neal
"...all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it... and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?"

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Jjjj of Old » 19 Aug 2011 19:26

Thanks, Jos! <:)> \:)/ (::)

Yes - Neal, I think this is going to make a pretty good home, isn't it? I hope no-one minds if I join in here? I'm really excited about this new thread, so I hope not!

I say all this because I haven't yet managed the Perfect Year. However, as much as I love the idea of commiting myself to the "fixed-term" challenges, I find them a bit too challenging for my purposes.

Pineapple - I don't know if you are feeling the same as me or if this will help but, although I'm very happy in my state of not-drinking, I've struggled in recent months to think of this sobriety in terms of reaching set goals. I think my problem is that - because I'm reasonably competitive - I begin to see the end of a challenge (the finishing-line, if you like) as the goal itself, and I forget the reason I'm actually doing it in the first place: in other words, to stay long-term sober in order to:

i) keep my soul, my potential, and my marriage alive; and
ii) to help all three to thrive.

For these to survive and thrive, I need to stay sober, and I can't imagine a point at which this will change. But I'm finding that much easier to do by just rolling along, remaining ever-vigilant but keeping my focus largely on the present and the immediate future:

Would it do me any good to drink today?
Will drinking have no undesirable consequences for my immediate future?
Could alcohol improve my current life/situation in any way?

Because the answer to those questions is invariably 'No', and because I can't imagine this ever changing, I consider myself as aiming at - and, at the moment, achieving - long-term sobriety, but without worrying too much about fixing deadlines. I'm just not clever enough to see that far enough into the distance - and when I do try to look too far along this road of abstinence, I don't notice the pebbles in the section of road I am currently running, and that's when I stumble and trip.

Anyway, this is something I've been thinking about a lot recently, and I think - for selfish reasons - a thread dedicated to living a long-term sober life is absolutely perfect for me, not least because, as Sheila says:
Sheila wrote:Stopping is one thing .... staying stopped is quite another!!
And I think this thread will be an excellent place in which we can all help one another to stay stopped!

Best wishes to all <:)>
Mark
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by George » 19 Aug 2011 19:32

Good one Jos <:)>

Personally, I wish this thread had been around for the end of my year. Then there would have possibly been somewhere to continue keeping me "on track" if you like. Now there is somewhere to get to that doesn't itself run out, therefore there is a good reason for me to remain sober until I keel over.

Thanks ;)?
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by George » 19 Aug 2011 19:37

Are you fishing in the Old Pond tonight TLW :?: :mrgreen:
“Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Boris Bike » 19 Aug 2011 21:36

I'm not going to post on here again until I've done a year, but just to say well done on starting the thread. Great idea. ;)?

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by renasci » 19 Aug 2011 23:48

Boris Bike wrote:I'm not going to post on here again until I've done a year, but just to say well done on starting the thread. Great idea. ;)?
Same here. I'm looking forward to hearing from the longer term abstainers about how they're staying sober and coping with day to day life as opposed to how they might have done before when they were drinking etc.

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Mandrake » 20 Aug 2011 09:24

Hi everyone

Great new thread. One feature of being long term sober is enjoying the mornings every weekend. For 20 years weekend mornings were spent in pain or in bed.

Life isn't a bed of roses just because you don't drink but it is a lot easier to face and it is a he'll of an improvement!

Mandrake

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Sandy » 20 Aug 2011 12:31

Hi All
Well this seems like just the ticket! exactly what I have been looking for.
Can I come in for a while? am approaching 2 years sober thanks to BE and more than happy to cuddle up beside wolfie there!
Have to admit to being a bit of a blether but have loads to share if anyone wants to hear it
Sandy
ps does the ninja know about this place?

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Sheila » 20 Aug 2011 15:33

Hi Kaz <:)> I always read your posts even thought we've never really 'chatted' before .... 4 months \:)/ you are doing so well ;)?
Getting your head into the right place re thinking more about something you're gaining as opposed to something you're losing or giving up ... it really does come with time, and positive thinking. In fact for me it was really quite gradual. I believe I was there without realising it for a time ... I think it was when I reached the point of being aware that I was more scared of drinking again than of not drinking again ... if I'm making any sense :roll: A turning point for sure ;)?
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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Sheila » 21 Aug 2011 07:38

You and me both Kaz ... All or nothing, absolutely. After many failed attempts at cutting down/moderating, I accepted that. That was another turning point ... Acceptance.
I was never interested in just having one or two drinks ... Life really is so much simpler now. In my experience, it's much harder to moderate than to abstain. That's not to say I don't get the odd 'thought' now and then, but they get easier to dismiss as time passes, and that's all they are now ... thoughts that come occasionally.
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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Neal » 21 Aug 2011 09:03

Let's face it - it was never alcohol's taste that kept me ingurgitating without any sensible regard for anything at all other than my own inebriation. And those times I have thought about having a drink, it's not a glass of beer or a nice wine with dinner - although, I have those thoughts (though with much less frequency now) - but it was being bottle blootered I thought of. Never thinking about the taste, but the 'buzz'.

I am glad to say, I am not given to thinking about booze as much as I used to - not anywhere near it. But I now know enough about it (alcohol) and about myself, and have thought through so many avenues of abandon, to realise that abstinence really is the only way for me.

It's great to have this thread for those of us who have (or who aspire to having) put in some sober mileage. I'm sure, that whilst everyone has made his or her unique journey, there is much commonality in the phases/stages we will, or have, encountered as we aim for liquor-free longevity in life. The initial sufferings and euphorias - the wobbles and moments of weakness that test our will - the landmark months, year(s) - pride - anticlimax - boredom - contentment - restlessness - self-discovery - the ambiguities that surround the idea of remaining sober for life - regrets and recriminations for a past we cannot change - and so on and on and including acceptance. I like your comment about abstinence being easier than moderation, Sheila. And I know what you mean about being scared at the thought of drinking again Kazz.

I was thinking very similar thoughts towards the end of last week. My BH and I have booked a nice sunny holiday to look forward to - it's only a matter of weeks away too. And immediate thoughts surfaced about the wines of the area, the local beers and my ability to attempt to moderate? Then the thought process ran like this. I could have some wine with dinner - would I then have to wait a night or two to prove to myself it's ok? - how long would I have to leave it before drinking again? - I mean, if I started to have a glass every night would that be so bad? - and the odd refreshing beer - it's so normal for so many people, surely I could normalize my drinking!? - would I be able to spot the signs I was returning to old ways? - would I be strong enough... etc. etc. And then I thought - WHY FKN BOTHER? Life is much simpler without alcohol, why complicate it all again? If I have these thoughts, what would it be like for my BH who has been through enough with all of that old hedonistic horsewater of mine? (with apologies to horses) - she would certainly be on edge, waiting for the doomed descent into old drunk and drinking manifestations. And no matter how much (or how little, I suppose) I think I could have one or two, it's frightening to imagine reintroducing the struggle.

So I won't. It does help that my BH says that my sobriety is the best thing that's ever happened to her, and that my DD is muchMuchMUCH happier. And so am I.

True, there are times when I look into the future and think that it's a long time sober that lies ahead (God/fates/health/whatever permitting) but I don't really fixate on that. I temper that fear with the regrets of a thirty year blur and remain ever vigilant. That and the control I feel I now have.

Neal

;)?
"...all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it... and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?"

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Sheila » 21 Aug 2011 11:07

Neal ...I've always admired your wonderful way with the written word ;)? and the description of your thoughts about your looming holiday are exactly what went through my mind too when my OH booked our special week away in November .... 5* all inclusive :o My first thoughts were, I'm ashamed to say, "What a waste of an all inclusive package" :oops:
Then I got to your "WHY FKN BOTHER? Life is much simpler without alcohol, why complicate it all again?" bit, and decided that soft drinks are sometimes just as expensive as alcohol ones, so I'll still make sure I get me monies worth ;) .... Sorted \:)/
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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Tink » 21 Aug 2011 20:21

Just found this thread. Love it!

Neil, short and sweet for me for a change and I just want to say spot on. ;)? You rock.

Sheila, You just keep moving from one strength to another and give me much encouragement. (::) \:)/ ;)?

Don't say it enough but I take so much comfort in being in such wonderful company. You all are inspiration and without you all I would not be where I am , sober and satisfied. :D <:)> (::)

Love to all,
Tink
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Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by doogyrev » 24 Aug 2011 08:22

Neal,

I have just read your post above. You articulate everything i am feeling (i wish i could express myself like you can). Long term sobriety is now my goal...I have done 1 month AF so far. I lost my job a month ago because of a binge and I know it contributed to lots of others problems in my life. I can't change the past but I can choose what I do today. So onwards and upwards.

I will look at your post Neal when I am struggling.

Doogyrev

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Sheila » 24 Aug 2011 08:36

Sandy \:)/ my cyber Sis <:)> Hugest Congratulations on reaching 2 Years Alcohol Free!!! You are such a wonderful support here to everyone, and I've lost count of the number of times you've 'been there' for me ... Thank you \:)/ <:)> \:)/ <:)> \:)/
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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by Jjjj of Old » 24 Aug 2011 09:04

\:)/ (::) ;)? <:)> Sandy!!! <:)> ;)? (::) \:)/

You are an inspiration to all! To repeat what everyone else is saying:

Thank You!!!

Have a truly fab day,
Mark
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

Post by marie-claire » 24 Aug 2011 10:54

    SANDY, what a shining superstar you are! CONGRATULATIONS ON TWO BRILLIANT SOBER YEARS! \:)/ \:)/ \:)/ \:)/ \:)/ \:)/

    And thanks sooooo much for all your kind encouragement and support along the road. <:)> <:)>

    MC x
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    The most massive characters are seared with scars.
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    Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

    Post by George » 24 Aug 2011 12:00

    Hey Sandy

    You are the proof that it can be done. You have done so well, two years is a huge amount of time so a big round of applause (::) (::) (::)


    Not only that but you're an alcohol-free non-smoker too, well done again, don't worry - the kettle's on :mrgreen:
    “Now I’m sober and I realize, I didn’t drink to escape the world, I drank to escape myself”
    ― Phil Volatile, Crushed Black Velvet

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    Re: Beyond the 1 Year Milestone

    Post by Sandy » 24 Aug 2011 23:10

    AAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
    Today of all days I keep losing my internet connection!!!!!
    Thank you guys
    I will keep on trying to post but i keep losing my internet and my posts are swallowed
    Sandy

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