View Full Version : The Beast is still here...

October 16th, 2008, 12:25 PM
I was reluctant to post this because I was afraid to discourage all who are trying or maintaining living AF....but I needed to talk to someone about it, and I have talked with my dear friend Star at length the past couple days......she never came right out and said it, but I think she wants me to post....

As you know, I am a little over 14 months AF and have had no real problems remaining so until last Saturday night.....My in laws were here visiting and we went out to eat and when it was time to order drinks, The Beast immediately pops into my head and says..." go ahead, order a bloody mary....you can handle it now....have a drink with your father in law..."

Well, I immediately told the Beast to fuck offand I ordered a virgin bloddy mary. My father in law had 3 rum and cokes....We had a great meal and evening and I thought that was that.....

The Beast didn't think so.....

You see, my FIL is also an alcoholic....was a bad one.....my wife's mother divorced him 30 years ago. But about 10 years ago he quit drinking....just like that. Now he only drinks on special occasions, like visiting us, and he will drink 2-3 drinks and stop.

Well, the in laws go home the next day, but since Saturday night I have been almost obsessed with having a drink.....I keep thinking... " I'm stronger than he is...why can't I do that?"....." I have 14 months AF....can't I test the waters...have just 2 drinks and walk away..."

I have been going round and round with this....and it scares me.....

It scares me and excites me at the same time. I cherish my sobriety, so why would I even be entertaining the thought of "testing the waters"....it's insane.

I haven't drank......but I sure have been thinking about it.....

I just wanted to let everyone know to not get complacent.....after 14 months, this hit me hard and fast, and I won't lie to you....I'm still struggling.

But, Thank God I went to Star.......we have been talking and she's really helped me keep my eye on the ball....Thanks, Star....I love you...

So, keep your eye on the ball everyone......you never know when The Beast will come out of nowhere...we have to be in this for the long haul.....


A Work in Progress
October 16th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Thanks so much for this post, Don, for talking "out loud" to us about this, and admitting how hard it is. I have certainly been in the place you are in, and when I gave in to The Beast, it seemed OK at first. Very easy. No problem. And then... well you know the story. It took me years of misery to get back off the alcohol.

I do hope you stay strong. In a book I just finished reading (Drunkard is the name, it's a good memoir), the guy says: "Nobody EVER looks back and regrets NOT having had a drink... "

best wishes,


October 16th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Stay strong Don. The Beast is definitely trying to trick you. Don't listen to him.

October 16th, 2008, 12:55 PM
A Work in Progress;443194 wrote:

I do hope you stay strong. In a book I just finished reading (Drunkard is the name, it's a good memoir), the guy says: "Nobody EVER looks back and regrets NOT having had a drink... "


WIP, that is so true.
Don, I know exactly where you are at. I have been there so many times over the past 2 years, but especially during the last 6 months. You see someone have a drink and the voice starts to talk to you, " Go on, you're strong now, just have one, you can control it, what harm can one drink do? " and on, and on, and on. I think we know the harm one drink will do, because it never stops at one. For years I'd try and convince myself that I could moderate, but I couldn't, for me it was out of the question.

It is a good idea to come on here and post about things like this, because otherwise people out there trying to go AF will think to themselves, " why am I the only one having a hard time, the long termers seem to be doing ok. " Well, some days we are doing fine, but there are bad days as well.
Now, whenever that voice comes into my head I can think of two very good reasons to ignore it, one, I would be throwing away 2 years of AF just for the sake of a drink, and two, FEAR. The fear of having that one drink. Because I know where that drink will lead me, straight back into that prison it took me so long to escape from.

I love being sober so much more than I ever enjoyed being drunk because the consequences of sobriety are all GOOD ONES.

Louise xx

Starlight Impress Forever
October 16th, 2008, 01:45 PM
I am glad to see that you`ve posted about your current frame of mind, Don, simply because I don`t feel qualified enough, if you like, to advise you, although I`ve tried to help as best I could.

I really think that we very much need the input of the longer AFers here, like Louise, Mags, Neil, brigid et al and I`m relieved to see that some of that input is already forthcoming and hopefully some of the other longer termers will pop in here if time allows.

Don and I quit drinking within days of each other, only I slipped in mid-January. I was under a lot of pressure at that time with illness in my family, but I don`t think that in itself was what caused the slip. I slipped because I fell prey to the very thinking that Don is talking about here.

Before I drank.........Don kept telling me not to do it, saying how I would regret it, but I was feeling very rebellious, telling Don how I felt that it wasn`t enough for me to be able to keep the Beast at bay........Oh no!!!!, as I told Don........I would never feel as if I`d beaten the Beast until such times as I could "take it or leave it", by which I meant that I would be able to have just a couple of drinks every now and then and walk away.

As I`ve posted in the past........my slip didn`t herald the beginning of some beautiful transition into my being a successful moderator........my slip caused me to be blacked out drunk. Thankfully, I managed to put the slip behind me the very next day and I have never drank since........it is thanks to the support and encouragement of Don and other members here that I managed to do that.

I tested those very waters to which you now refer, Don and one night`s drinking was all it took to almost submerge me. I consider myself one of the lucky ones.........not every long termer who slips will return to AF........for some, that one slip could well be the finish and see us once more become the drunks we once were. Testing those waters is akin to playing with fire and I feel certain that you won`t do it, nomatter how strong the temptation........

So, Don and I have talked at length and are left wondering.........my own opinion is that these thoughts will invade our thinking every now and again, perhaps for many years to come........Louise`s post echoes that. I think we`re hardcore alcoholics and to allow ourselves to imagine that we`ll ever be cured is almost ludicrous........we can never afford to test those waters..........the stakes are too high.

As for your FIL now drinking moderately..........well, isn`t he a lucky boy!!!.........am genuinely happy for him, but I think most of us would find our luck running out if we were to try to follow suit.

I honestly believe we`re living "The Neverending Story", but that`s O.K.........just as long as we stay clear of the shark-infested waters.........

It will pass, Don.........you`ve worked so hard for sobriety........you truly deserve it.:l

Star x

October 16th, 2008, 02:34 PM
I'm so glad you shared what you're going through Chief. It's hard to imagine after that much time it would still be so hard. Truly sucks!

You will continue to be an inspiration and I always look forward to yours posts and insight.

Thank you.:)

A Work in Progress
October 16th, 2008, 03:01 PM
Star, your experience obviously was awful. I am so glad you were able to come back from it. In some ways, though, I think it is even more difficult for those (like me and many others) who decide to drink again, and have an easy time of it for a while. If, on the first time we return to drinking (and maybe the second and maybe 4th or 7th times...), if we only have a few drinks during those first occasions, nothing like "before," not getting horribly drunk... then we get sucked back in more deeply to the pattern. I certainly did and many others follow that pattern, as well.

Anyway, Don, you are facing this beast right now, presenting himself in the guise of a reasonable friend... one of the most difficult of all of his disguises to uncover and resist. Be strong.


October 16th, 2008, 03:05 PM

I want to interject one thing here. It is perhaps lost in the entire picture BUT I want you to know and understand that we truly are alcoholics. Truly.

Your desires, which make you guilty, are to be expected, absolutely.

Do not feel badly or think there is something "wrong" with you because you suddenly experienced a "he can do it, I can't" kind of thinking.

You, me, so many here, are hard core alcoholics. i.e. One drink can (and hopefully does not) lead to many more years of misery.

I am "one of us." Truly. I know about what you speak.

However, do not feel badly because of it. It is a physical issue that we did not ask for but are stuck with.

I talked about this with Mags a few days ago (gotta love Mags, she knows of where we are!!), we did not ask for this, we did not "make it happen" but we are what we are. Our physiology makes us alcoholics. Reasons as yet unknown. But, our souls, once we have been drunks, cry out for the beast, NOT OUR FAULT.

Do not feel bad for how you thought or what you want, even now, yes, I know...

Just let the "real" Chief win. The one that knows, he cannot drink. Nor can Cindi. Nor can Star.

Yes, it sucks, but it is not hugely sucking. There are others in this life who deal with so much worse "is sucks." Just go, "This sucks, oh well," and move on.

Don. "Do not get into the ring with the beast because that f@er will win." You know he will. :l

I love you so much for posting this. You are a blessing on this earth. You, too, Star.

Thank you both for being here.


October 16th, 2008, 03:06 PM
Hey Don -

Definitely glad you got that out. I know the place you're in too, I think. In the very long stretches AF, there were times for me when, yes, the physical cravings were LONG gone. Life was good, there was no 'reason' to drink, but something deep down was......'curious', shall we say? On some level that curiosity is valid - it's been a long time. Al's everywhere. You're feeling "solid". WTF not? But yes - that's where the beast can start "erasing" your clarity about what that would do to you in reality. It's a natural thing for us Don to drift there occasionally. BUT - the good (great) news is that you're catching yourself at that place where the "curiosity" morphs into irrational fantasies about "being able" to drink. You cannot. You will be back in the same wretched place. In 2 weeks, 6 months, who knows. REMEMBER how you felt ? REMEMBER!!!!

This moment will pass. Keep talking about it until it does. This is just a blip in the road, and you'll be not only stronger, but wiser, for riding it out. Are you running and stuff? Tire yourself out! And eat and drink well. Do something fun. Indulge yourself a little !

And you're giving us all an excellent example of how NOT to fall down the rabbit hole.
You just keep on giving Chief :).

Love you!

ww xox

October 16th, 2008, 03:08 PM
Oh, and I am so happy WW is here, too. She knows.

She cares.

She understands.


October 16th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Thanks everyone....it really means alot to me to have the response and support you have shown....

I've been reading some of Neil's long term posts....it seems he went through a similar experience....his posts are always so enlightening....

It's just that this totally caught me off guard, and The Beast won't seem to let up. I told Cindi I think he thinks he has his foot in the door.....

I just have to guard that fucking door.....

It's a long term deal....no doubt. We are never cured. I went running this afternoon to try and clear the cobwebs.......felt good...

I just need to stay focused....I need to be relentless......I need to succeed because if I don't, I'm not sure I have another sober left.....that's what scares me. Remember, my dad was an alcoholic and ended up committing suicide because he could not quit drinking.

I don't want to ever have to go through day 1 again......

Thanks again everyone......I will be on the boards......the last thing I need to do is try and get through this on my own......

I love this place....sometimes we have drama and bickering, but when the chips fall for one of us....the troops rally.......

Love to all,

October 16th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Don, I"m glad I came onto mwo today and saw this

Something similar happened to me at 9 months.

You know what kept me sober then? I went into the my story section here and read how many thousands of stories are there from people who dont post on the site, but who poured out their agony as to what drink does for them and it is not good news. In my heart I knew that if I went back to it, I was heading back into what I call the 'my story' madness. Its just not worth it.

If I may be so bold Don.. getting sober is so much more than not drinking (I know I'm saying this to the converted here). This is an opportunity for you to work out what it is about this situation that harms your defenses.. what is the emotion you are trying to escape? Identify and work on it.

Go for a run. And yes, read Neil's posts.. they are great... they talk of the steely determination that is required. Remember you are a non drinker period. Hang on to that for all its worth.

And, I'd have to say that in my experience at 9 months, when I got over it and out the other side something big changed. I am being honest when I say that after working through what it was for me, I have not had such a craving again. For me it was (and always was) about escaping emotion and after 9 months I tackled that and tackling that is a way of life for me. Since I'm tackling it and living emotion much better I do not have cravings.

And I'm rolling in on three years sober now. Too much to give up on now, because as you know, it takes effort to get sober, but it takes less effort to stay sober than it takes to get sober.


October 16th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Thank you, Brigid......I was hoping you would post....

I'm not sure there's an emotion I'm trying to escape.....I've been working on living as a non drinker, and as you know, that means looking at every aspect of your life differently. It's been hard sometimes, but enjoyable others.....I think it just goes along with being a non drinker after so many years as a drinker....it's a journey indeed. When I first quit I thought, "oh good, this will solve everything..."

Doesn't really work that way now, does it?...lol

Anyway, thanks, Brigid.....you are one of my heros.....


October 16th, 2008, 04:28 PM
about time too;443402 wrote:

And I'm rolling in on three years sober now. Too much to give up on now, because as you know, it takes effort to get sober, but it takes less effort to stay sober than it takes to get sober.

Oh Brigid the wise, I shall remember those words above because they make absolute sense, and its lovely to see you here. Congratulations on almost 3 years by the way, and thats not for staying sober for that length of time, more for what you had to do to stay that way, if you know what I mean.

October 16th, 2008, 04:28 PM
Hi Chief
You are showing me the battle never ends and neither can our mind set to not drink.Through reading about your latest fight it helps me to realize their is no letting down your guard.This is the education I need from someone who has been very successful and will continue to be. The simplest of situations can present the biggest tests.I will be more aware now.

Stay Strong and Keep Fighting.
AF 5-16-08

October 16th, 2008, 04:35 PM
I've had this discussion with you before.. I can only talk from what happened with me... and for me drinking is about escaping emotion. For me its when I am less perfect than I think I am.. or its when I dont live up to my own expectations and my own expectations are just too bloody high (I'd say).

Of course, you are a different person with a different set of circumstances. Maybe (I'm only guessing here) you want to be 'normal' and you see 'normal' as being able to have a few drinks... maybe this is an issue for you still.. (sorry if I'm off the mark here).. Anyway, this is something that plays with my mind on occasion.. but for me learning to be myself sober has meant that I've had to come to terms with this aspect of myself. I simply do not drink a few drinks. It just does not happen. If I drink, that buzz leads me inescapably to blackout. That is my honesty. Sure, I reckon I could try it once and fool myself, but I know where it leads me. That is what honest sobriety is.. realizing this fact.

Seems like you are holding onto your honesty.. so keep at it and dont give in. You know how it is when you read about people starting out here and how hard they find it... and you will them to succeed.. well you know what it takes to get sober.. you know how hard it is.. why give up on the work you have put in so far? I can see no reason.

You will get there Don.

And hi Louise.. I see you are going well tooxx

October 16th, 2008, 04:50 PM
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg286/themachine2/beast.gifYes the Beast is still around. He will never leave. We must always tame the savage beast the rest of our lives.......Hang in their we can do it ! IAD.

October 16th, 2008, 04:56 PM
Darn the Beast!!!

October 16th, 2008, 05:07 PM

I can see no reason to give in to the Beast.

Damn, I am looking through one eye. It sucks.

But I can do this and so can you.

I Love you HUGELY,

October 16th, 2008, 05:32 PM
Don -

I hear you romancing the drink. Get the beast's foot out of the door.

The romance, played out, looks like this: You take a drink. Oh yes - you get that AHHHhhhh.... . It's good! Everything melts away. The knot in your head from thinking about this (and everything else!). And this bliss lasts......... about a half hour. You will then spend the rest of the night, and possibly the next x number of days, weeks, months, years, chasing that AHHHHHhhhhh. You will not get it back. You may die trying. And tomorrow you will wake up feeling like dog shit on your own shoe - physically, mentally and spiritually.

AND, you talked about life changing as a non-drinker. Has it changed enough to suit your new sober self? When I first quit drinking, I thought the idea was to "do" my life as before, just without alcohol. But I changed so much, as you said. And deeper down - not just the habit of drinking. I have no problem being in drinking situations, but it is just not the same. And it doesn't have to be. There's so much more to this journey. "fun" doesn't mean what it used to, exactly. Maybe Brigid's mention of longing for "normal" is in here too. Maybe you're grieving the loss of your old lifestyle (self) a little. And wondering where to go from here?

You are in your own uncharted territory. That doesn't mean lost! You're longing for or a drink as a remedy.
Navy Man - break out your navigation equipment and don't panic! Explore!

Much love ww xox

October 16th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Yes, you are all right....

As you know, I flew as aircrew in the Navy for 20 years....I'm just looking at this as I'm flying through a major thunderstorm....I'm right in the middle of it and I have 2 choices....I turn around and go back to day 1, knowing I have to fly through that storm again, or....I keep flying, using all my training and assets available to me to get through the storm....

And WW...yes I do very much remember chasing that initial buzz....

You guys are great.... I'm o.k.....I'm not in any kind of panic mode.....it's just something I'm having to deal with all of a sudden...

It's funny though, since posting and reading your responses, I feel energized.....it's like my mind is processing all these thoughts...both the irrational thoughts of taking a drink, along with the very rational and loving thoughts of all of you, and my mind is acting like a computer....delete this....download that....lol

I'm glad to be here...


October 16th, 2008, 06:45 PM
so....... you're in a bad storm and can't see shit, it's IFR and your instruments are temporarily whacking out. Air Traffic Control! (um.......that would be us :))

..... Straight ahead good buddy ! ......... Storm breaks up just ahead......;)

(forgive the mangled attempt at pilot humor :H)
glad you're here too -
ww xox

Starlight Impress Forever
October 17th, 2008, 01:30 AM
Wonderful that you`re feeling strong again, Don.

Sometimes I think it`s good for us to "feel the fear"........the fear of relapse can be an invaluable tool in itself.........it is for me.

Star x

October 17th, 2008, 02:28 AM
thanks so much chief, i was having a good chat yesterday and something came up like " we are all in one jail, free to walk around do our bussinesses but cant go and leave the jail forever" since two weeks ago i have been having this mind of tasting win, i have never tested it in my entire life, and suddenly this mind has been bothering me, funny i even go to an extend of finding the names of non-alcohol drinks.
i know this is not leading me to somewhere good, but it keeps coming. grrrrrr how do i keep this though out.

October 17th, 2008, 03:35 AM
hi chief,riviting story,ive also been there many times,and it will always come back and haunt you,kinda like halloween,someone once told me,people around you will hurt you the most,he knows your pang[alchohol] why not go out and have the ones who no you the best or love you the most ,not drink ,they no your pain ,if it bothers you so much,just dont go out,it was my councillor tht told me tht,as much as we try to fool are selves the AL ,will never go away,we should have a built in alarm,but we dont,you can do it,just say no and keep comin here,i hope this helps,a long time abuseer,gyco

A Work in Progress
October 17th, 2008, 06:50 AM
maasai;443718 wrote: thanks so much chief, i was having a good chat yesterday and something came up like " we are all in one jail, free to walk around do our bussinesses but cant go and leave the jail forever" since two weeks ago i have been having this mind of tasting win, i have never tested it in my entire life, and suddenly this mind has been bothering me, funny i even go to an extend of finding the names of non-alcohol drinks.
i know this is not leading me to somewhere good, but it keeps coming. grrrrrr how do i keep this though out.There really is no way to banish the thoughts that bother us; the more we try to force them out of our minds, the stronger they will get. That is just how the brain works, unfortunately. But what we CAN do, that is very helpful, is consistently shift our attention away from the troublesome thoughts, whenever we realize that they have come into our consciousness. Eventually, they just go away of their own accord. If (when) they come back, just do the same thing. It is like ignoring certain bad behaviors in children; soon enough, the behaviors will stop.


October 17th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Thank you so much for the honest thoughts. I have also been struggling with these thoughts. You ALL have helped me so much today! PEACE!


October 17th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Hey Chief:

Figured I would get in here, and offer up my perspective.

There are still times when my mind says, "Damn, a drink would be perfect right now! Just escape all that stress for a bit, and things would be just peachy!"

Then, it happens within a second or less, and I no longer wrestle with it, my sober self says, "BS. First, a drink will cause more stress in the end. Second, you are escaping nothing, and things will still be the same after"

But the most important thing I now realize, is that yes, I could muster up the sheer force of will to stop at one or two. But then, wave after wave of intense desire for drinks 3 through 50 or whatever would be worse than ever. That would be emotionally crippling in a way that would make the desire for that first one seem small in comparision.

So the thing is, to get that knowledge firmly rooted as TRUTH. I know for myself, the truth is that I could stop at one by sheer force of will, but then it would trigger things that in the long run, would be hell to deal with. JUST NOT WORTH IT.

This is the way I have to think now. This is the thing I have to make solid in my gut. Booze is just not my "buddy" under any circumstances, either at just one, or just 50 drinks.

In the end, you must decide for yourself, what that desire, if acted upon would end up doing to you. Do you believe, in your gut, that if you had one or two, and then stopped, would you be better off? This is where the brutal honesty with ourselves must be done, if we are to survive.

Best of luck to you my friend.


October 17th, 2008, 10:38 AM

Thank you so very much for your honest and thoughtful post. It is very important that we hear from those who have some long term sobriety behind them--both their joys and their struggles. I am almost 6 months AF and it is good to hear that it is important to not get too cocky or feel too safe about my sobriety.

Thanks again and keep on going through that storm. There is sunshine on the other end.


October 17th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Thanks all.....

Great post, Neil....I was hoping to hear from you....of course, you are right on the money.....

The thing that's driving me crazy is I know all these things....I know if I drank 1 beer it would be all over....sure, I could probably muscle my way into only having "a few" the first day or so, but I know what would happen....I would be right back to square one.....

So....if I know all this, then why am I having these thoughts?....and why all of a sudden, after 14 months?....these are the questions I'm trying to figure out......

It's just bizarre....

I'm o.k., though......just flying through the storm....


October 17th, 2008, 11:29 AM

Here is my theory, of why these things get us at weird times.
Just my current pet theory of course.

I figure that during our drinking days, we drank to cope or to become "sociable" in situations 1 through 525 say. It put an imprint in our brains, that this works as a great survival system emotionally or mentally, since the unpleasant stress, or reduced inhibitions were temporarily suspended.

So, after our brains and bodies figure out that this system is actually destroying us, we get sober. This may take just a couple of years, or in the more stubborn cases (like mine), over 35 years.

So then situations 1 through 525 arise, and with that the urge is triggered again. After a while, we get better and better at dealing with the triggers and situations. After a year, or two, or three, we get quite a few things worked out. There are some situations, like number 57 out of 525 that are what I call the "killer" triggers, and they cause a massive storm. Been there, done that many times. So we have to figure out a new strategy to deal with it.

Brigid may have had the better description, on escaping that number 57 out of 525. As we get each thing in ourselves worked out, then we go on, and are fine for a while until the next one hits. Say number 108 out of 525. Then a storm hits again. We get through it though, by applying things we learned.

Getting sober is learning how to deal with all those things over time. Learning how to live again, without the crutch of the bottle to tide us over.

So I fully expect number 238 out of 525 to get me any day now. It will just happen, and maybe the only way I could avoid it, is to stay in my bed and never get out. Well, that is no good, so I got to get with my own program, and do battle.

It is part of the process what you are experiencing now. We help each other by saying I've been there too. The thing is, your storm right now, is maybe one I have not been through yet. So that is what keeps me on my toes, and drives my determination. We can share these storms here on this forum, and it does help.

Will I ever get all 525 out of 525 worked out? Probably not in this lifetime, but I can keep on working. I get better at it, every time I fly through a storm. Getting through those hurricanes is rough, especially when you are in the eye, and think the storm is already passed, only to hit the wind going the other way hard.

But we learn, and the air clears a little more after each one.


October 17th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Thank you, Neil.....makes perfect sense.


October 17th, 2008, 12:39 PM
hey chief my mother is and has been a sober person by nature her entire life. and sometimes she has fantasies or thoughts of sitting down by herself and drinking a whole bottle of rum. She never does of course.

I sometimes daydream of smoking cigarrettes, some weird uncosnscious thoughts cause when I am lucid I think cigarrettes are just awful

it's the mind playing some crazy tricks.

just let it pass like a fleeting dream

October 17th, 2008, 05:37 PM
As always, Chief, thank you for your honesty and no bullshit demeanor.

October 17th, 2008, 06:53 PM
you said this...
then why am I having these thoughts?....and why all of a sudden, after 14 months?....these are the questions I'm trying to figure out......

this is the nuts of what you need to be working on now. Keep at it... by working on these issues, things change. Face yourself. You are ok and you are strong enough - working on it is working forwards.. and thats the only way to go.


October 17th, 2008, 07:50 PM
My dear Don. We've been friends a long time and have been on this sobriety thing for a long time together. You and I and Star. It's never easy. I have written about this several times on long term abs and then stopped writing about it since no one seemed to want to read about it any more. The Beast never goes away. At least he doesn't for me. You know I've been sober for about four years, but I still know the Beast is in my house somewhere. The bottles aren't anymore, but I still know the Beast is.

He is waiting. He sneaks up on me at night when I am tossing and turning and can't sleep due to anxiety. When I go through one of my depressions, he is licking his chops to pounce on me. And sometimes he just tries a sneak attack for no reason and I have to wrestle him back into his closet. I'm so fucking tired of this. So fucking tired of it. But I know I have to do it and I know I have to do it the rest of my life.

Don't get me wrong. You know me well and you know I am much happier sober than the life I used to live. I'll take this life any day.

I know you well also. I know how much happier you are sober. I know you will let this time pass and get through it. You have so many dear friends here who will go through it with you.

WW is so right. Sobriety brings so many profound changes that we never even expected when we threw away the bottle. I am still feeling so many of those changes. I think that the longer I am sober, the more profound the changes become. Change can be hard to deal with, especially the deep changes. How did we used to deal with hard things in the past? We reached for the bottle. We can't do that anymore so are also learning new ways to deal with new changes. It's tough. That's when the Beast comes in and tries to take advantage.

He's not gonna get you Don. I know you and love you and won't let him. And I know you won't let him. Call me anytime, buddy.

P.S. Hi Trixie - good to hear from you xoxo

October 17th, 2008, 08:03 PM
Thanks, Mags....I'm almost through the storm.....The Beast is still talking, but I can tell he's getting tired...

I think I've just about got him cornered....

It means so much to me to hear from people who are farther down this road than I am.....it's not about quitting drinking...it's about learning to live without drinking...

Thanks again....your the best..


October 18th, 2008, 02:51 AM
[QUOTE=irishlady;443227]WIP, that is so true.
It is a good idea to come on here and post about things like this, because otherwise people out there trying to go AF will think to themselves, " why am I the only one having a hard time, the long termers seem to be doing ok. " Well, some days we are doing fine, but there are bad days as well.

Hi Don,
see this yesterday but could not post im not a long termer.....im glad you posted, no one is going to judge you . you are not going to discourage anyone. i will keep on trying as long as it takes.
Irishlady is so right, plus i bet you feel a lot better that you have posted this now, keeping this to yourself is dangerous. i always say to myself this place is a healing place.
Dont take this the wrong way i always thought you were super human that you would never let the beast in your thinking thoughts that you dismiss them straight away.
Just to let you know you are my Super Hero.
re-reading your post something stood out for me it might not be nothing but you say about this person Fil have stop drinking 10years and now he drinks on specal occasion....maybe at the back of your mind your thinking thoughts about him my lead you to be thinking this way...testing the water.
I think so long as you are scare that is good think, but excite, my brother uses that one if he has any money in his hand.
im glad your your almost through the storm.
So long as you dont invite or welcome the beast in your house he will not enter through that front door, even if the door is open.

Thank you for sharing this honest post.

Take care


October 18th, 2008, 04:02 AM
Wow, lots of people I really respect here. At only 4 months I think about the issues mentioned here a lot. Some of my friends say they have cut back. Because of me, they took a look at their own drinking. While being supportive, I don't think they really understand like the people here do. I think I'm different than my friends. Some of them don't realize the extent of my drinking. I think I have an addictive personality. Not just to alcohol. I know the Ahhhhh feeling. I know the momentary relief from stresses etc. It is hard to deal with issues in your life without that little relief. I am having so many unwanted emotions going through divorce at this time and I would love to escape them. But I need to understand them rather than flee from them and I have to do that sober. I don't dare have a drink. I know what will happen. I carried a bee sting kit for years and years and finally had an allergy test done. It was negative but the allergist told me to not be foolish and go fishing or hiking somewhere remote without one. The reason was that at any time if I were to be stung, my body may remember and react like it did to that one yellowjacket. It was unpleasant. It was life threatening. So I think that if I were to "test the waters" with a drink or two, that reaction may very well happen to me and I don't want to risk it. My friends ask me will I ever drink again or is this just for now. They make excuses for me. They say they think I drank so much because of my husband. That it is situational and when I am through this divorce and find a new job I will be so much better and I can be a "normal" drinker again. I don't think I was EVER a "normal" drinker. I just say "I don't know right now" but deep down inside I do know. If I try to be what I'm not I'll end up being what I am. I can't do that again. I just can't. I'll probably hang around this forum as long as I can type.

Thank you for all your wise words. I for one am very grateful for the open honesty.

October 18th, 2008, 08:03 AM
greeneyes;444711 wrote: I know the Ahhhhh feeling. This struck a chord with me greenie, as I constantly wonder why I crave "Ahhhh" more than others I know. I happened to be cruising around MWO's research center the other day and was reading about amino acids. It mentioned that they are helpful for those with Reward Deficiency Syndrome. Is this the term we should be using when we say we have addictive personalities? It also refers to "winning", which might explain gambling addictions, etc. Just a thought...but it helps me when I take all of my supps/amino acids/All One - to think I may be quieting the voice that is screaming for "Ahhhhhh"!

Thanks Don, for this great thread. Stay strong! :h

October 18th, 2008, 08:37 AM
That's interesting river. I do think it has a lot to do with amino acids, seratonin, dopamine, etc. Also I would find some bit of satisfaction in sucessfully hiding it, sick as that is (winning). Like I got away with something - while I was destroying myself.

October 18th, 2008, 03:07 PM
Don, I said it yesterday at the chat sight, you are my new role model. Thanks for sharing- Deb I think I am going to print this out, and carry it in my wallet- and bring it out when I need to


October 18th, 2008, 05:36 PM
Hi Don

Are you sure your father-in-law really only does have 2-3 drinks? Or can he just control it when he is out with people. Has he been able to do this without lapses?

I guess I am a little skeptical.

I know a lot of people call this thing the Beast but that is not really a symbol I like to use. To me it sounds perfectly understandable that you would feel like you want to join in with family and maybe a little competitive with FIL. If he can do it why not you?

I think maybe some people can make that transition from being a bad alcoholic to one under control, at least in theory it is possible. The question is, how much risk do you want to take? And what does your track record show about the likelihood of success? Your track record shows the chances are low. so then it becomes this idea of taking a huge amount of risk, going against all the things you learned and gained in the last 14 months, for what sounds like proving a point with your inlaws.

The consequences of taking that huge risk against what you know about yourself from direct experience are what keep people on the straight and narrow. Sounds like he is taking that risk.

For what it's worth, I don't think having a few rum and cokes doesn't make someone manly. It takes a lot of strength to walk away from something you love but which almost destroyed you.

October 18th, 2008, 06:59 PM
I am only on day 75 or so; I'm not a long termer by any stretch but I value the content of all these posts by people who are. I need to read things like I have read here to keep me in the mindset I need to stay in. I have had very few cravings in these past 75 days (after the first week or so) but I do know these feelings come from "out of the blue" when they come to me. I hope I am as strong as you are and all the other long termers are to resist when that time comes. Once again I would like to thank everyone here for all the wisdom that is shared- it has been (and will continue to be) the help I need on this journey. My best to you Chief; I'm glad the storm is subsiding for you! Kriger

October 19th, 2008, 03:10 AM
Reading the posts in this thread has been inspiring this morning. Thanks for all the openness and honesty shown. I feel a lot stronger today having read them.

I've tried recently to look at my drinking from the perspective that I could take it or leave it; hoping in turn that this would alleviate the pressure of 'the beast' in my head. I thought if I was to say I could never drink again the pressures would be too great for me. So I gave myself the option to drink if I so desired hoping that without the pressure of trying to mount up all this AF time it would just come naturally to me and I wouldn't want to drink anyway (which in most cases I don't). But I realise through reading these posts that today I'm not even entering into the battle and as Neil mentioned I may as well be laying in bed with my head under the covers. Admittedly I've had a lot of heartache recently but I know I can't afford to be idle anymore and wallow.

Today is a new day for me in my thinking and it's thanks to all of you and especially Don for sharing his 'troubles'.

Love and Happiness

October 19th, 2008, 05:55 AM
hi chief.i wanted to do a follow up,I have to start doing tht,like drinking,many of us dont look back on the comments we have made,probably because, our brains over the many years of abuse of a substance, has made us like tht,your thread is AMAZING,so is the support from your FREINDS here,,, and you showed a desire to control yourself,does the world stop for us ,cause we cant say NO,i recently went to my councillor,AA did not do the trick for me,,like b4,and the book tells you tht,it does not work for all,and then we have here,note the name ,new,Myyyyyyy WAY OUT,options,i do beleive in my heart,bill and bob who created the program and finished it between 1934 and 1939,there are other outs,not just one,modding is a risk after 10 months tht I had of from sobriety AGIAIN,,I had choices,i did ntohave a problem stopin,just a problem stayin stopped,I also beleive I ,speak for myself,, I , have self will,to say NO, to say I have to get out of this situation,cause it is affecting my will to stay sober,it is but YOUR CHOICE,to say NO,and your choice to go back to the other WAY,on tht note keep the thread going and good luck on your life decisions Gyco another struggling person

October 19th, 2008, 06:27 AM
Gyco and everyone else,

Gyco said it well for me. "I did not have a problem stopping... just staying stopped."

I hate this about me. I can go for days, weeks, months and be SO HAPPY I have quit, then one day....

The beast "talks" to me. I listen every single time.

I am one of the weak ones. One of those who let "him/her" take the reins of my life and lead me where they will.

I am a control freak. An engineer, a mathematician, a DBA that "knows" I cannot let anything else rule me but I do.

I hate that about myself.

You guys have figured out the right way to look at this disease. I haven't. I remember the AAAHHHH too well.

So, I keep falling flat on the 230 out of 525. I do.

I am tired of being one of the failures. I really am. Mags called me yesterday and said "Quit beating yourself up."

Well. If I don't beat myself up, when will I quit? If you can understand what I am saying.

I hurt my husband, I hurt my grandchildren, I hurt my parents. I hurt me.

I am tired of it.

Sorry to post a "non" positive thread but that is where I am today. I just want to quit wanting to. I do not do abstaining, be it, food, cigarettes, alcohol, over working, whatever.

Perhaps, truly, I am one of those who will not beat the beast but let him kill me. That scares me but it is a truth that I must look straight in the face of and decide where I want to be.


A Work in Progress
October 19th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Cinders;445505 wrote: ....
I am a control freak. An engineer, a mathematician, a DBA that "knows" I cannot let anything else rule me but I do.

I am tired of being one of the failures. I really am. Mags called me yesterday and said "Quit beating yourself up."

Well. If I don't beat myself up, when will I quit? If you can understand what I am saying.

Cinders, truly, I understand where you are coming from. Controlling things feels so familiar. It feels as if we should be able to control our thoughts, our emotions, our impulses.

And being punitive with ourselves feels so familiar. It feels as if we MUST be harsh with ourselves when we fail, otherwise (we fear that) we will fail all the time.

But in these matters, it turns out that paradox is more often true. The more we try to control some things, the more out of control they get. And, the more harsh we are with ourselves, the more likely we are to "act out." To put it another way, The Beast thrives when we are being harsh with ourselves... because it gives him the opportunity to offer us a very seductive way out of the unpleasantness that we sometimes create within our own conscious minds.

In an approach called mindfulness-based relapse prevention, we learn much more about "acceptance" than about "control," and about using self-compassion instead of harshness. We don't use those methods because we are weak, but because they are effective. And the truth is that we have to become very strong to learn acceptance (of our inevitable thoughts, impulses, cravings, emotional lows) and self-compassion.

This is an approach that is receiving quite a bit of support in the scientific literature. It is very helpful with depression and anxiety disorders, as well.

There's a wonderful book that talks about all this, called Mindful Recovery, by Bien and Bien.


Starlight Impress Forever
October 19th, 2008, 09:40 AM
I believe in you, cindi. :l

Mags, your post really struck a chord with me. I`ve never really thought of it like that before, that despite the bottles no longer being in my house, the Beast is still resident and "licking his chops" like the vulture he is by nature, but that is indeed how it is..........

Another thing you said really spoke to me.........how when depression and anxiety strike, the temptation to drink can peak. We`ve spoken about this before, and I do think the secret to long-term success lies in us learning to savour living our lives in a sober, not sombre,state.........not always easy.

I think I used to just allow myself to be overwhelmed by the enormity of sobriety and how we can no longer simply "be" as we were before becoming sober. It is no longer a one-off achievement as I used to think.........it`s an ongoing experience. I do feel totally inadequate living this experience, but I now feel the tiniest little spark of confidence telling me that I can do this. It`s going to be a long road for sure.........I need to find ME again........I don`t really know how to, yet I know she lies within me as she has done all along.........

Star x

October 19th, 2008, 10:10 AM
This is to Cinders, but it can apply to a lot of folks struggling.

One thing I used to believe with all my heart, that was that I was weak, and just did not have the strength to stop drinking and destroying myself. As I have written many times, it took a very close brush with being dead from pneumonia (because of drinking and smoking) to bring things into focus.

So what I have to say is this. I found that I was ultimately able to strengthen myself emotionally, by strengthening myself physically and mentally. Our bodies, are not separate little pieces of machinery. A brain, a heart, a liver, all being separate little pieces operating independently from each other. Our bodies are a whole, contiguous system.

I found that when I exercised, in a myriad of ways. Running, weightlifting, bicycling, rowing, chopping wood, whatever that thoughts of drinking and thoughts of smoking seemed to magically disappear for a bit. Even in my first week of quitting smoking, I had to stop what I was doing every hour or so, and go outside, and walk briskly outside in the cold air to ?purge the urge? as I call it. I got a pedometer, and starting keeping track of how far I went in my walks. That information, satisfies the mind, that the body is gaining strength and endurance.

It was desperation, to not be dead that drove my efforts. Pure survival. I had come way too close to the end, and something inside down deep said ?Not now, not this way?

Physical strength will give emotional strength to do battle.

I began meditating, at first just a couple times a week as that was all I could handle. Then more as I went on. Meditation, done with the purpose of quieting, and silencing all thought is just as difficult as running or bicycling or weightlifting. It requires little baby steps, and not trying to become a Zen master in just one day, or trying to become an Olympic athlete in one day.

Bit by bit, meditation organizes the thoughts, and gives mental strength. Somehow, by magic, after a while, the physical and mental actions of exercise and meditation give emotional strength. It is just by osmosis somehow, and it is magic.

Mental strength, will give emotional strength to do battle.

So for me, it was not just about supplements (even though I still take them to control anxiety). Funny thing is, that I am slowly using less and less of them over time. Something is happening, over the long haul, which is encouraging, and drives further desire to get even stronger. I am healing.

="font-family: Times New Roman;">So please, do not resign yourself to a philosophy of not having the strength. I did at one time, and almost died in a very unpleasant way. The fact that you are alive, and writing things here, means that you have the desire to get the strength you need to become sober.

I guess the thing I want to emphasize, is that the booze destroys our inner strengths in a global way, and in order to get those strengths back, we have to fight back in a global way. When I realized that, then I could go forward. It may seem weird, that adding a little muscle mass, or having the capacity to walk another 100 yards, or losing a few pounds gives one emotional strength, but it does.

Feed your mind with whatever motivational books or recordings you can find, that appeal. Amazingly, a lot of stuff is free on the Internet. I think R.J. gave some links a while back to the Hayhouse radio series of podcasts, and that is another thing I do that requires not much effort at all. Books and audio programs are like nutritional supplements in their own right. Many times, I have derived strength from the well chosen words of a great author.

You can get strength to win. You can help yourself. Even if the booze has beat the total crap out of you, and you feel all strength is gone, you can start by reading. Just like this post you just read. I get strength from writing things like this. It is win-win.

Be well.


October 19th, 2008, 10:43 AM

You are NOT one of the one's who will not beat The Beast.....You are a fighter, a true fighter who keeps getting up when knocked down.....you have proven this time after time.

Please don't allow yourself to have these negative thoughts about yourself.....like Neil said, when you find yourself getting in a funk or catch yourself listening to The Beast, change what you're doing. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, do something that requires effort and a little work to get your blood pumping and your brain working. I know it sounds simple, but it works. I can't tell you how many times I've gone for a run this past week or so when The Beast was on my ass with a vengence......but I didn't drink.

We all love you, Cindi.....get yourself up and out of this drinking thinking......do not give in....no matter what....

Don :l

October 19th, 2008, 11:23 AM
I agree with Neil and Chief ... Cindi don't give in... I was like you before I eventually gave up ... I was so bad and kidding myself I was moderating etc
You know me from May 2007 when I first joined here and I have had a lot of struggles (let's not go there !) and I am still sober, but you can do it too ... please keep trying ... days af here and there are better than drunk every day....

Even if I caved in now I will be glad of those 18 months and will start again ... just keep checking in and letting us know... I am here if you need to pm me ....

Heavenly x

October 19th, 2008, 01:37 PM
Your post has really helped me - I'm on day 49 Af and struggling with "the beast" tonight - yet had been doing really well over last few weeks. I started my own thread tonight asking for help as I really fancied a drink and someone replied and directed me to this thread and it's helped a lot - thank you

A Work in Progress
October 19th, 2008, 01:44 PM
Fantastic post, Neil. Exercise and meditation are probably the two best "supplements" that anyone could possibly use in recovery... Strengthening our bodies/minds is of maximum importance in this work...


October 19th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Sausage...I just posted on your thread....

You are in charge of this whole deal......you are.


October 19th, 2008, 05:52 PM
I just want to thank and praise you long term af'ers that stick around here and take the time to offer your advice and experience.

:thanks: :thanks: :thanks: :thanks:

October 20th, 2008, 01:12 PM
I can sooooo relate.

October 20th, 2008, 01:56 PM

I am glad you posted this.

I have been reading today all about our addiction and apparently, once we have changed our brain chemistry, and we do, it takes many, many years for it to get back to normal, which would allow moderate drinking.

But, then we are stuck with the original problem that led us to abusing alcohol to begin with.

There is so much out there on our disease but only a few researchers working on it. Really sad when you read that 1 out of 10 adults abuses alcohol.

Of those who do, 40% usually die from the effects of alcohol.

I am so grateful RJ did so much research and I am grateful there are a few out there trying to help.

Glad to see you here and hope you get back to a good long sober stretch. The anxiety from drinking is incredible. I get it, too.


October 20th, 2008, 02:06 PM
Don, you know you've been an inspiration to me, I steal your quote "its harder to keep drinking, than to quit", all the time. I've really had struggles lately, most that read the 30 dy. thread know about it....so I won't go into it....its no excuse anyway! I'm starting AF today, again....lol...I just do great mod'ing, then fall off the bridge, the Beast just takes pleasure in giving me the shove too.... It really does make EVERYTHING worse to have the anxiety of counting drinks, then failing to keep "tabs", and wake up with that utter dread and sickness, and disappointment and shame.... Lordy, waking up sober and popping out of bed, is sooooo much easier! I agree with Neil, as long as I work on my mind and body, not drinking is so much easier NOT to do, if the rest of your "being" is taken care of.... I pray alot, and that helps, I pray for strength, I see the Beast as the Devil himself, so when I start thinking of taking a drink, I immediately try to "pray him away"...the Beast that is.... I tell him he may be evil, and big, and bad, but he has nothing on My Big Guy. I'm still in the battle too, but, this site, and everyone sharing, and helping, will help me be a success...has before, will again... I just wanted to tell ALL OF YOU how much I appreciate this site, your honesty, struggles, and support.....Love you guys a ton and a bucketful! Cindi, you WILL be ok, you "pray it away" too girlfriend! Chief, Bear is "upstairs" pulling for you too, you might just turn a face to the clouds and give him a shout out.....lol.....I'm sure he'd like to hear from one of the guys for a change, Cindi and I have probably worn him out!

October 20th, 2008, 02:09 PM

You know, whenever I go out back at night and look up and see the Big Dipper, I say Hi to Bear.

You will be great, TIT. You know what you have to do, just like I do.

Let's pray together, girl. We are tough women, both of us. :l


October 20th, 2008, 02:09 PM
Oh, this morning, I was reading my devotionals, and this really hit me after I read this thread.....so I thought I'd share the passages:
Proverbs 13:10, "Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, but wisdom is gained by those who take advice"
Proverbs 16:18, "Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall"
I guess we just need to always remember that if we get "cocky" about letting the Beast in, we're gonna take a dive!

October 21st, 2008, 09:28 PM

I just now found and read this thread--all the way through. There is so much thought and wisdom in these posts. Let me add just a slightly different perspective by way of contrast. And as a runner, you'll understand.

Many years ago I was running a hilly section of the Boston marathon course with a Kenyan runner. The group I was in was mostly Americans and we attacked the hills one at a time. Near the end of the run the Kenyan moved past us and said something softly under his breath. After the run I appraoched him and asked him what he was saying back on the hills. He said, "why do you Americans always fight the hill?" He next said with laughter "the hill always wins when you fight it". I asked, "how do you run it then?" He replied, "the hill is always the same. It is never mad or happy when I run it. It is just the hill. So, I let the hill come to me and I let the hill run under me and I never rush through the pain. The pain will stop as the hill will stop."

His point, I think, is to let the hill, the work, the pain come to us and in doing so it is always manageable. The mistake he observed is the inclination to believe that you can dominate something like a hill. Is life any different than running? I know this perspective has helped me as I have traveled this AF road.

Keep at it buddy.


October 22nd, 2008, 12:52 AM

October 22nd, 2008, 01:21 AM
July ... beautifully poignant analogy.
Thank you.

A Work in Progress
October 22nd, 2008, 07:32 AM
Oh, yes, July, that is a fantastic story, and very very helpful imagery. Thanks.


October 22nd, 2008, 09:25 AM
He next said with laughter "the hill always wins when you fight it". I asked, "how do you run it then?" He replied, "the hill is always the same. It is never mad or happy when I run it. It is just the hill. So, I let the hill come to me and I let the hill run under me and I never rush through the pain. The pain will stop as the hill will stop."


Thank you. I can very much relate to this.....I guess the key is to let the hill run under us instead of over us.....

Thanks, my friend...


October 22nd, 2008, 09:41 AM
Wow! That's a great story, and makes sooooo much sense! Thanks tons for sharing, I'll start remembering to let the temptation just run under me too, and not try to battle it....it is just there, so let it go beneath us.... I love it!

October 29th, 2008, 04:18 AM
wow.. July...
what a wonderful spot to remember such a lovely story.

November 11th, 2008, 11:23 AM

I don't know if you'll read this, as I'm coming into this thread late. I just read the whole thing all the way through. Your alcoholic thinking is exactly the type that has pushed me into my many lapses. I won't do that again.

I want to tell you about my brother-in-law. He tends toward addictions: food & work & alcohol. Unbeknowst to the family, he was drinking A LOT: according to him a bottle of scotch a day (he's a really big guy...maybe that's how he did it). He swore it off & stopped drinking. He was AF (as far as I know) for over 2 years. Unfortunately, he works around alcohol (wine distributership). He started lapsing: a few sips here & there, a beer socially, etc. Now, I'm noticing (takes one to know one) that he's drinking to get drunk every time he drinks. I love this man. I feel bad, but this is his battle (as I have mine). That said: I KNOW that I would never, ever be able to feel satisfied w/just one or two. I was always looking for the longest buzz I could get.

I don't really feel qualified to share on this forum, but reading this thread reminded me about my BIL's story.

Good luck, Mary

November 11th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Mary, I'm so glad that you bumped up this thread today.

Don, of course I sorry to hear that you struggled. But since you did struggle, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing that struggle. And I also thank all of the long time abstainers for all the thoughtful posts about your own experiences.

This information is priceless to me. Thanks for all that you give.


November 11th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Don...get out of the ring right now with the beast....kick his f@#k**g a#^@ to the curb.

These were your words of wisdom for many of us as we struggled along. You will be fine, I'm sure of it.

The beast loves to sneak in when we least expect it. I hope your feeling better.

November 13th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Thanks everyone......yes, I am much better. The Beast is a worthy adversary, but he is back in his hole, where he belongs....

I think the key is to be aware that these "Beast Thoughts" can come from no where , and when you least expect them....

Hope everyone has a great Beast Slappin' day!!!


November 13th, 2008, 02:23 PM
I like this thread. this is the one I read when I feel like it's OK to get wasted. It wakes me up, reading everyone's comments.

November 16th, 2008, 08:45 PM
the beast will always be there and you can never let your guard down. I thought I had the BEAST licked due to health problems brought on due to alcohol. Due to my obsession to cure my health issues and my subconsious mind to get back to dricking I thought I would TEST with a couples of beers an yes my health got worse and I learned that the Beast will always be there around every corner and you must stay awake at ALL times

November 17th, 2008, 11:38 AM
Don, I just keep loving to bump up this thread. You and I have talked so many times. It is so important for us to know that the Beast never goes away. That may sound a bit paranoid, but it really isn't. It is just reality.

That doesn't mean we have to be so afraid of him anymore. We have strength. I look at the Beast these days and he looks ugly and I say, Hey big guy - I'm bigger than you! All five feet one of me. If I don't have the strength myself, I have learned to call on my husband or my wonderful friends here. Nothing wrong with that.

Give a hug to Emily for me.

February 3rd, 2020, 08:17 AM
I have to admit I've been MIA here for the last 5 years, but one of the voices that pulled me back was Chief... I'm not certain he's here anymore, but he is one of the calming voices that pulled me back here.

I wrote this last week, and it was my encounter with "The Beast":

I have to admit that some weeks are better than others, where I'm happy and forward looking.... and then one day of cravings turns into two days, and the little voice of temptation sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear that sobriety is over rated... that I over reacted... that I am smart enough to moderate "again".

I get distracted easier, quiet thoughts get interrupted with "fucking" this and "fuck that"...

Last night, I was that f'ing close to caving in.
I was in this f'ing state of mind and went out to dinner with my husband and son.
When the waiter asked for my drink order, I said, "just water for me", and he must have heard, as he parroted back to me, "a glass of Riesling" in the noisy restaurant. ??? WTF?

"No! Water!" I outwardly smiled and cursed that f'ing temptation.

My soothing moment that once again grounded me was after dinner, when we got back home and I got our dog ready for his nightly walk.
My 22 yr old son gave me a huge "kitchen hug" and said, "You okay, Mom?"
Feeling sorry for myself, I said, "What's the fucking point, Ed?"

He hugged me tighter and said,
"The point is the fucking same whether you drink or not". :hug:

That was the kick in the pants I needed, from someone I love and adore...
So today, the f'ing pity party is over. I'm on the other side, I rode through the storm.
Tomorrow isn't promised, so today, I will protect my Quit.

P.S. Kitchen hugs are better than chocolate chip cookies."

Chief, I don't know if you are still on MWO, but your wisdom, 12 years later, still speaks to my heart. :heartbeat:

February 3rd, 2020, 08:04 PM

I just now found and read this thread--all the way through. There is so much thought and wisdom in these posts. Let me add just a slightly different perspective by way of contrast. And as a runner, you'll understand.

Many years ago I was running a hilly section of the Boston marathon course with a Kenyan runner. The group I was in was mostly Americans and we attacked the hills one at a time. Near the end of the run the Kenyan moved past us and said something softly under his breath. After the run I appraoched him and asked him what he was saying back on the hills. He said, "why do you Americans always fight the hill?" He next said with laughter "the hill always wins when you fight it". I asked, "how do you run it then?" He replied, "the hill is always the same. It is never mad or happy when I run it. It is just the hill. So, I let the hill come to me and I let the hill run under me and I never rush through the pain. The pain will stop as the hill will stop."

His point, I think, is to let the hill, the work, the pain come to us and in doing so it is always manageable. The mistake he observed is the inclination to believe that you can dominate something like a hill. Is life any different than running? I know this perspective has helped me as I have traveled this AF road.

Keep at it buddy.


I just read this old post today... and as I was out walk/running my dog, the thought of the Kenyan runner's approach towards a fixed obstacle... as I trudged up a hill, I thought about how I fight the hill... and believe it or not, I made it almost to the top today, a first for me!

July, thanks for the analogy.
The fight is often the the same, we dress it up in different dresses. We try to make it complicated, we try to reason why we should approach the hill in a new way... but if we are truthful with ourselves, the "hill" is the same fight to stay sober.