Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by johnny_fever, Feb 15, 2007.
1 year on Friday. A great year it has been.
Congrats to everyone celebrating any increments of sobriety since I last visited this post. Its that time again with Oct 15th coming around the corner. This year is extremely important to me. Its my 23rd year of sobriety. That means I will be in recovery as long as I was drinking & druggin'. Still doing the basics & Loving Life. Fever
34 years June.
Congratulations on 34 years. Hard to believe this thread is 10 years old. Glad to be around to still post. LOL
A friend of a friend, but I should really take the time to get to know him truth be told... as many of you know thats easier to say here than to the mirror or the people you live with. My Dad has been a good friend of his since may of 96.
Congratulations to everyone who's made another day (or set of days)!
It's a self-diagnosed disease, and I don't take peoples inventories, but I do make observations!
Sounds like you diagnosed yourself. Trust me. If you belong in this great community (and here's the observation: you probably do!), if you walk with us, your life will get better. Trust me-I've not seen this fail in my 34 years in this community. Intellectually, I'm sure you believe and understand that you deserve to get your needs met, to have satisfaction and serenity. Problem is, living a reality influenced by alcohol and/or drugs, at your core, in your gut, maybe even at some cellular level of consciousness, you don't believe you deserve these things. You may think you are a piece of shit living a lie. I did.
You have trained yourself. Taking that step from life as you've lived it to a completely new one is difficult and scary. We all became addicted because it worked for us. And now I'm asking you to hold it as a possibility, that giving up your old friend will be better. We did. And it worked. It takes time, sometimes a lot of time. But if you authentically throw yourself into this endeavor, I PROMISE YOU, IT WILL GET BETTER. There are friends you've never met yet, waiting for you to put the key of acceptance into the locked door that restrains you. Beyond it is a new unimaginable world. Not necessarily an easy path, but so much more comfortable than the other! As each sober day passes, you will generate a new way of being and a renewed sense of self, a healthy, deserving, lovable, capable member of society and community.
Sheeesh....rant mode off! Sorry if I went on, but if you belong here, it would be wonderful to see you saved from the later stages of this allergy. We all went through much pain and losses to reach our bottoms-and most recovering people can't help but want to help others avoid the terrible isolation and shame we all experienced-some would say, unnecessarily!
Thank you for your kind words and support Phil, its a hard thing to know for me for certain and its kept me on the fence for a long time. I know I'm not casual, I get far more out of it than that. I can see in other people that it doesn't effect me the same way as them. That being said, at the same time a combination of growing up in a household thats overly against it and being at an age where its being abused all around me (25 years old) has left me a little in the dark with my own ability to identify its role in my life. Part of me feels I should be able to have 2-4 rye's or a little green while cranking the tunes after a long day at work, but part of me knows its it my family (grandpa, uncles, cousins, etc) and I'm prone, and I do it a lot more often than most. Everything for me is pretty extreme by way of likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests... So is it just the way I do things or is it a problem?
I know its a great community and theres a lot of success with it, but when I've gotten close to considering it an issue, theres also the element that my dad is a pretty prominent member who's helped a lot of people over the years, and we're in a small city. I feel like there will be a lot of pressure to stay in it for the wrong reasons once I go, I don't know if I can handle feeling trapped there or the extra thoughts in my head of what they all think of his son if I can't stay the course. It leaves me feeling like I don't really have anyone to even bounce it all off of because like I said, my age group sees it as pretty normal, but they don't see how well I can put it back and keep composure or how often I do when they aren't around, my parents think anyone who drinks more than socially has a problem (so obviously I do) and the support group feels out of reach because of a combination of the above. For the record I smoke most nights right before bed, probably 2-3 times a week while I have down time and don't have to be somewhere, I drink a little more seldom nowadays because of my chrohns but if I'm out and offered, I pretty well always accept unless theres a reason to stay sharp and I never really just want one. However I wont take a second unless offered, never would ask for it. If I don't have green, within a couple days my drinking usually creeps up but not to the same level because it kills my gut.
I guess another way of putting it is you're right, I do feel like I live a lie to an extent, that part I can't figure out is, "Is the lie I keep telling myself that I don't have a problem or that anybody who drinks more than socially has a problem?" Did I "train" myself or was I trained? I've grown up my whole life subconsciously being fed that what I do is wrong, but because it was such an extreme stance, and now I have no perception over where the middle ground is. My sister feels guilty every time she drinks, and she probably has 2 drinks at a party every 2-3 months. So I'm sure my parents stance has screwed with our heads to some extent. She certainly doesn't have a problem but feels she's doing something wrong too. Sometimes my mom will still hide her 2 empties from having company before my dad comes home out of habit. I can see he's is definitely a dependant and my mom and sister have tendencies to be co-dependant. I still can't tell what I am, I identify with both.
For the record I have amazing parents, whom I love very much, my mom just saw my dad at his worst and fear dictates her actions around substances and my dad for a long time didn't even want anyone to have anything in house to tempt him.
Regardless THIS has been really good for me, I've never shared any of this with anyone, and never really thought of it as this full package, only identified parts of it as I'm feeling the particular pressure of the part in the moment or partial connections. It will be interesting to see how this mini break though in insight effects my perception. If anyone has any advice or input feel free, sharing here already feels like a small weight off my chest although a little nerve wracking.
Good stuff rajoo, Most of the guys & Gals at my home group have close to 40 years. with 22 years I still feel like a humble student. Listening to the old timers for advice. I am glad we don't graduate. I never want to stop pushing further. I am very happy being in the middle of the heard. Fever
Congrats BigELCat & Apolek. Glad you could vent Crawfishking
Your concerns about not meeting expectations or failing are valid but do not exceed the benefits that you are missing out on.
You can go to a meeting without being trapped. It is not like the Hotel California where you can check in but never leave.
From your post I sense you have to work out how alcohol is involved in your life.
From my experience if you are asking these kind of questions there is something going on. Where there's smoke there's fire.
You may want to not worry so much about if you have a problem but whether you could be having a better life.
Challenge to us is not having a drink for lets say 3 days.
Ok a normie does that all the time we on the other hand will tough it out and make up for it on the fourth day.
And saying see I can do it. I do not have a problem.
All I can say is I waited until I was 51 years old before I turned it around. Regrets? Yea should have not been so pig headed and done it sooner.
I hope you find peace and joy in life.
"I am glad we don't graduate", a very interesting comment. At a meeting yesterday, a lady sitting next to me said something very similar and ended her comment by saying "because I would not know what to do with my life then".
When I was in rehab denial kicked in for a millisecond and said. Maybe I am not an alcoholic. Remember that one day i didn't drink (pat myself on the back) The truth being told I was so sick I couldn't get off the floor. Normal people don't pat them self on the back for not having a drink. I knew in my heart I was alcoholic. I knew I was a slave to alcohol & drugs. Every decision was based on the how, when & where I was gonna drink. Normie's don't wake up in the middle of the night and have a drink so they feel better in the morn.
A day in the life of Fever before recovery.
Come to. Not wake up. Rush to work maybe late Maybe not. Morning thoughts. God I feel like shit & I'm killing myself. Maybe I shouldn't drink after work. 1030 am or so I start feeling better. The mind f__k begins. Well maybe after work I will stop at the bar and have one beer. But no shots or drugs (always bull doze that boundary) get to the bar. My beer counter is broke and loose track of drinks and time. Then of course its time pull out the bull dozer. Now were into the wee hrs of the night. running all over the worst parts of the city. Going home and watching the clock telling myself If I go to bed now I will get 6,5,4, 3 hrs of sleep. Telling myself all night IM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN. Darn well knowing I was powerless and a total slave. Wake up the next morning like ground hog day. The madness starts all over again. Even nights where drugs were not in the mix I was totally powerless. The only thing I could tell you was what time I was going to start drinking. The rest was a total mystery. Another mystery was how someone could leave the bar with a half empty drink. Fever
I'm honored that you responded so openly to my post. I see it as your loving yourself/taking care of yourself. I think a necessary part of recovery is total self acceptance, warts and all, and that once reached, is that possibly self love? If not, it certainly must be a necessary step towards that healthy position!
I can relate to your discomfort with your family around addiction. My father was an alcoholic and although there was much admirable about him, what booze did to him disgusted me. I swore I would never be like him. I had my first drink at 22 and immediately felt empowered, embarked on a 14 year journey into darkness!
Nevertheless, I "won" in life. I started my own business (foreign car shop) successfully, raced cars very successfully, and had the respect of my peers. Inside, I always felt like a fraud-an egomaniac with an inferiority complex-waiting to be de-frocked.
I entered a 13 year marriage from hell with a girl "everybody wanted". Our divorce with 3 children was my bottom at 36. How I wish I never picked up that first drink; only under some medication could a healthy person endure the pain of that relationship! How different my life would be if I hadn't squandered my youth!
Family is usually a problem. They are often the last people who can help despite good intentions. You alone need to discover/decide if you are alcoholic or not. It sounds like you are ready to explore the question seriously and authentically. I can understand how challenging this can be inside the family. One of the things I learned is that all problems are solvable! I got paralyzed at 48. I'm 70 now. If I was still drinking, I'd be dead now. My life is extraordinary! Acceptance works!
So, I encourage you to explore the question/problem outside the box.
One pretty standard conversation with a newcomer: "If you don't think you're alcoholic, then not drinking/smoking is simple, right? Then don't use for 90 days and if you then decide you don't have a problem, fine-and look at all the money you saved!"
Consider doing this alone. People that drink normally have no powerful urge to do so. Try this out and report back to us.
Also, there's considerable presence of AA on the net. I've never visited or know where to find it, but people do.
And, let me give you some hints based on my experience: AA is pretty orthodox in regard to "God", or higher power as you define him. I'm an atheist since 15 yo. Initially I felt out of place with all this talk of doing the steps, taking inventory, turning my life over to the care of "god".
Shit-not my style. But I did hear something-it was that I wasn't higher power, I was lower power.
I had spent my life trying to control so much that was, metaphorically, on god's side of the street.
My point? Don't let orthodoxy scare you off. Take what you want and leave the rest! AA has no rules! All that is required is a desire to stop drinking. If you belong here, you will find your place, and you have the right to make it work for YOU.
Enough of my preaching. When the student ready, the teacher will appear.
Some great comments being shared. As others said, I am not qualified to diagnose anyone, but I can observe when someone is doing some of the same things I did. It is my belief that a "normal" person drinks all they want when they drink,be it one, three,or getting wasted. I honestly can't recall a time that I did. I have drank until I ran out, until I passed out, or until circumstance of varying severity dictated. As always, this is only my personal experience. YMMV.
9 years Feb 14th. EASY date to remember but also a hard date to NOT shut the door on. Anyone doing the prison thing? That will keep you right.
Ditto. I wish I had known at 25 what I know now at 60. Have only the one year under my belt. But so glad I have that. I look at it simply as a second chance, on everything. Life simply could not be better, but it keeps getting better anyway.
Johnny and others have described it perfectly. When you're using, it's a life lived less then what it could be. It's a life more complicated then it should, or has to be. It's a life of stress. Where nothing is easy. Where the silly, stupid things become much more important then they should. I've found sobriety to make everything easier. Imagine if I could've had that feeling at 25.
Grab a legal pad, draw a line down the middle and write down on one column what positives using brings you, and on the other the negatives. Keep at it, and see if the negatives start pretty quickly to outnumber the positives. That will help give you an answer.
I hope it all works out for you.
I knew at 19 and stayed dry for a decade after my first experience with Bill in 1983. Stopped talking to Bill and his friends and well, I'd don't have thirty something years and a retirement package so...yeah, stick with it if you're young. Chicks dig it too.
Eleven years alcohol free coming up on Oct 6. Two years weed free coming up Nov. 10. Loving every minute of it and never goin' back again - 55 yrs. old.
Gawd, I wish there some way I could just get rid of some of the memories of the stupid, stupid, stupid shit I did and said. 35 years, and I still wake up in the middle of the night cringing at those memories.
Fantastic and congratulations Dave.
A lady and an AA veteran in our fellowship said it best when she chaired a meeting that the best benefit of our program is that it gives us "freedom from alcohol". What a concept? Imagine the time and money I wasted away while being enslaved to alcohol with no hope in sight other than wait for tomorrow. Cycle repeats and repeats waiting for that magical tomorrow.
I somehow managed to keep my business (barely), home and family but when I think about the pain and suffering I caused my family and employees, I get humbled. They did not ask for nor deserve the pain and suffering.
Separate names with a comma.