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xtexan
October 29th, 2006, 11:58 PM
Guten Morgen Mein Herrs und Fraus:

I don't have to go into work tomorrow, so I am being the night owl.

I was thinking about Brigid, and her one year anniversary a bit today.

It got me to considering what it is I don't miss about the booze after these past several months.

It's easy sometimes for me to forget the bad things, and just remember the fun times I had when drinking. It's the trap so many fall into, and I have been victim so very many times.

Right now, the things I do not miss about drinking.

-Stomach all screwed up on a Sunday evening, and dreading the gut pain the next day.
-Overall hangover feeling of fatigue and tiredness. Going to work, when I want to sleep all day.
-Dehydration, and struggling to get my body back to some state of normalcy.
-Being stupid and dumb while hungover, because I can't think enough to tie my shoelaces.
-Every joint and muscle aching
-Smelling like a mixture of ammonia and cat piss from the booze coming out of my pores.
-Headaches, that no amount of aspirin will cure
-Having to wear sunglasses indoors because eyes are bloodshot, and hyper-sensitive to light
-Remembering sometime at work on Monday morning that I forgot to pay a bill due on Friday
-Being tortured, because I don't remember what I said to my boss Friday evening while beginning the weekend drunk.
-Being tortured, because I don't remember what I said to ANYBODY Friday evening while beginning the weekend drunk
-Suddenly remembering getting slapped by some woman I was downright rude to, when I thought I was being sexy and romantic.
-Wondering how I ever drove home, and how I ever parked the car in the driveway straight.
-Wondering where my cash money went, when I had $300 to start with, and now only have $5 bill.
-What the heck is that stain on the carpet?
-Why does my car smell so strongly of beer?
-Cigarette burns on the furniture, and on my clothes
-Cigarette burns on my fingers, from letting it go down too far, and being numb.
-Bruises on knees, elbows, or whatever from falling down, and not remembering.
-I lost YET another pair of glasses?
-I lost YET another set of keys?

Believe me, I am just getting started on the list, but figured I better cut it short. Anybody else remember the "good old" days of doing any of the above?

None of these things has happened since I became abstinent. I will make a longer list for my PDA to refer to if I ever get to thinking about the "good" times again.

Be well.

Neil

helen mary
October 30th, 2006, 05:26 AM
What an amazing post, I too only remember the "good" feeling of an evening of drinking. I forget that I fell off a friends garden chair, walked home with no shoes on, completely showing myself up in front on my brothers new (only just met her) girlfriend! Aggghhhh, never again.

I now,

Read, sleep, eat, clean - all normally! I will never forget one particular bad head, it felt like hell and I had to go to work. :cool:

dilayne
October 30th, 2006, 01:17 PM
Today, I don't miss a thing about drinking. My husband and I committed to being AF 2 weeks ago, and honestly, it's been just a load off. No thinking about drinking at all...I'm focusing on what I love about being AF instead of remembering the negatives of drinking..for me, it's a fine line to remember the destructive nature of alcohol and crossing the line to dwelling on it too much. It's one of the reasons I didn't adapt to AA and a tendency to keep the 'stories' and memories alive (at least in most of the meetings I went to 18 years ago)...when part of me really needs to be present and positive in order to create a healthier future..at the same time, I realize how important it is to remember those things so that we don't fool ourselves into thinking we can handle it, if in fact our track record has proved we can't...the desire to abuse alcohol can, as AA says, make the mind do some very cunning manipulations in order to get it ..so I'm not quite sure what to do with that..today, I feel good about myself, I feel clean and healthy inside, I feel rested..I have no guilt, no remorse, I'm at peace with my husband and my honoring the commitments I've made for myself and my health and well being. I am enjoying the increase in time, energy (and money) that I'm gaining from not spending it on alcohol and using it much much more productively..I'm looking forward to going to my grandsons football game tonight, which I may have found an excuse to not go to before, because I probably would have preferred to go straight home and have some wine, because I was so 'tired'..Because...OK, that's enough of a reminder for me today! Back to the positive!!! Good topic..as always!
Dianne

2 weeks AF today!

bren
October 30th, 2006, 03:53 PM
Hi Gang: Great topic,I celebrated a birthday yesterday its been 6 months since I've quit drinking! And I'll tell you, I've done lots of stupid things over the last five years which have been costly to both me and my family. Yesterday really proved to me why not to drink! It's very rare that my husband, three kids and I do things together anymore because 2 of the 3 kids are 17 and 18, but yesterday we played a really cute card game that involved spoons (like musical chairs) and it was darn fun. I haven't heard that kind of laughter in our house for along time....why on earth would I ever want to drink again when I'm getting my family back.....

Bren!

xtexan
October 30th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Anniversaries!

Dilayne, two weeks can make all the difference. For all the roughness of the start, it's hard for me to remember how two weeks seemed impossible once. There was a time in my life, when one day would have been unthinkable.

bren, Oh yea! Six months! You got it going. Thats when my age old physical problems started to clear up. I know what you mean about the family laughter. Thats sort of the time when my family started to think that maybe I really was going to make a go of it this time. They were very wary, due to collapse of my past attempts.

Right now, the air outside is in that rare and perfect state. I opened all the windows and doors of the house to let it in. It's at that perfect temperature, and humidity. So I shut off the AC/heat system. It's coming in right now through the window by my computer desk, and does it ever smell clean and crisp. I'm in the middle of the forest here where I live, and it has that perfect pine scent to it. This autumn is so strange for me. My senses have gradually gotten sharper and clearer over the last 10 months, and I see, smell, and hear things the way I did when I was little. It's pretty awesome for me. So many times, that return of the sharp edge to the senses would seem like an attack, and of course, I would hit the booze again to tone them down a bit. It takes time, but things do heal up, and find balance.

So nice out there right now. Perfect. I spent some time today playing with the dogs, as they love it too.

Be well.

Neil

lushy
October 30th, 2006, 08:34 PM
Wow guys! Once again all of your posts just make me wish I was in the place you are. I plan on going 20 days AF starting Wednesday but I am dreading it, frankly. I know you are all still probably struggling in some ways, whether small or big, but you have jumped that major hurdle it sounds like, and I want to be there. I am hoping these 20 days will open up something in my wine soaked brain to make AF days much more of a normality in my life. Sorry to post here, but you all wrote such great stuff and did not want it to go unnoticed.

Guest
October 30th, 2006, 10:30 PM
I walked past a bottle shop today. It was really interesting. When i started out here i had to avoid bottle shops totally so i'd walk into shopping centres the long way round simply to avoid the shop.

Now, you know how when you actually dont like something, it doesent matter how much or how well it gets advertised, you just dont like it.. so I dont like fast food... it doesent matter how clever the ads are.. that food just does not look enticing to me...

And today, I found that I was not thinking how nice the bottles were, or looking longingly at the labels.. to me, today, it just looked like advertising which it is and I was not tempted by it at all. This may not always be the case, but something in me IS/HAS changed on this front. I actually stopped and looked and... nothing....

Its like the REALITY of my relationship with alcohol, now that it is honest, recognises the tricks of advertising and so they no longer have that hold on me. I need to watch this and ensure it isnt a trap.. but I was very happy about it.

So I'm happy today.
brigid

mikeupnorth
October 31st, 2006, 09:43 AM
Hi everyone, and Happy Halloween!

Di, I see where you are coming from about focusing on the positive and creating a healthier future. I really want to do that, and am taking steps in that direction. The future looks brighter to me now than it has in many years. I can see so many possibilities that I thought were closed to me....

On the other hand, I have this tendency to see drinking in a positive light. It's like the battered wife who, a few weeks after the bruises heal, forgives her husband and forgets why she left him. She can't bring to mind all the horrible things he's done to her; all she can remember is the loving things he's said and done over the years, and all she can hear is his apologies. All she can see is the dozen roses he has brought her. No matter that he's insincere. She falls for it every time, unless she can keep alive the horror and savagery of the beatings. She needs to keep her anger in order to survive. Alcohol, for me, is every bit as cunning as that abusive spouse. And I am every bit as susceptible as the battered wife. So every once in a while, I have to remember the abuse I suffered. (Funny that they say we abuse alcohol. The result is the exact opposite.)

And the result of this reliving of the horror is that I am re-energized in my efforts, and hopefully less likely to fall into the same trap I fell into for so many years. I am also that much more happy and grateful to be sober.

My list is amazingly similar to yours, Neil. But here are a few things that pop to mind:
I do not miss going to more than one liquor store to hide (from the clerks!) how much booze I buy
I do not miss spending HUGE amounts of money on liquor
I do not miss checking my car in the morning, because I can't remember whether I drove or not
I do not miss looking in the police report of the paper, just to make sure I'm not in it (hey, when you have blackouts, you never know!)
I do not miss having to come up with excuses for running late or being absent from work
I do not miss trying to piece together the evening before from what clues I can find
I do not miss breaking promises to other people and to myself

Anyway that is just the beginning. Life is beginning to feel so much better and I have no doubt that it will continue to get better as long as I stay sober. I'm still pretty new at it -- 40-some days -- but I'm beginning to feel some growth and transformation going on. I'm looking forward to seeing the new me take form! (And I never want to let alcohol get in my way again.)

Mike

P.S. Lush: good luck with the 20 days. We all started out with just one day.

bren
October 31st, 2006, 01:15 PM
Hi Neil: I know how difficult it is to quit something that you "think" you enjoy so much! I'm finding the longer I go without the easier it becomes in most instances! I however, have had some pretty serious stuff happening to me in both my work and personal life and I tell you it has not been easy! I just keep thinking, the old me would drink to keep the pain away, when it actually makes it worse......so for all of you in absville no matter what think "positive".....just one thing how long does it take for the brain to get stronger?

gabby
October 31st, 2006, 02:53 PM
Yes, thank you Neil. As I approach just 5 months on Friday. And in fact feelin a few cravins lately. I am so happy to have those 5 months. And thinkin of you Brigid too. I want that year. I dont notice the liquor stores like I used to. They used to just call me. Lately I have noticed again. Of course not stopped. Mike I share that hiding from the liquor store clerks. I used to go to different ones too so they wouldnt see me as such of a regular. Funny huh? I sure knew I was there. As my check book too. I wonder if they think I died now. lol Just like we do when we dont see someone for a while. Maybe I should go in and buy some gum. :H
Miss you guys, just busy workin a lot now. Still readin tho.

lovecarps
October 31st, 2006, 07:37 PM
The virtues of not drinking

Aloha all,

Mike you are amazing. I remember your chats from a year ago and always felt a kindred spirit with you. You and a few others sent out lifelines to me that really made all the difference. And of course Brigid. Love you so much!! Congrats on the year, sweetie. I'm pulling up on a year on November 10. I think!!- I remember having a doctor appt on the 4th and then being sent on a roller coaster ride of docs, psychs, and pharms to decide the scrips that they might put me on (campral, topa, etc) and in the end by the end of the week, they all bailed on me and wouldn't prescribe anything. So I believe it was a week later that I said "fuck you" to them all and went forth on my own. Of course I'd been on mwo for about a month- lurking. I'm not doing any scrips, but am on Kudzu and L-glut and the whole gamut of vitamins and All-One. In the year that I've been off alcohol, I've won 6 major tennis tournys (in my area) and continue to be amazed that my body bounced back to the "old days" so well. I was freaking functional so my workmates would never guess in a million the hell that I went through.
Mike, what you said about alcohol abuse and we're being abused by it. That turn of phrase is really profound. I've never thought of it that way because I was always blaming myself for being weak. I know now that it's not a character flaw or that we're bad people. I know intellectually, but emotionally I still feel like a bad little girl sometimes.
I still have a ton of issues to deal with and work out, but it's so much easier facing them rather than numbing out. And Brigid and I email each other often to discuss some of the issues and it makes me feel so much better that she's dealing with some of the same things and we can chat and work them out together.

My advice to any newbies is to get determined and stick with it. I was thinking about some of you who have a couple of weeks under your belt and I remember those days. I remember circling the liquor department at the grocery store and spending an hour talking myself in and out of buying a bottle of wine. I had 2 weeks abs (or AF) and I was sure that I could handle that one damn glass of wine. The habits that we develop can be so powerful and you really have to work hard at re-working them. I never thought I'd be able to cook a thanksgiving or christmas dinner without a glass of wine in my hand. But you know what? A glass of diet soda or sparking water can work too. As long as you have determination!
And you remember everything the next day with such clarity. And the laundry doesn't pile up and phone calls at work don't go unanswered. It's so much more living- not numbing.

Anyway, hope you guys have a great Halloween. I'm heading home to carve the pumpkins and get ready for all the ghouls in the neighborhood. Hopefully, we won't have too many teen pranksters!

Take care and know that one day without alcohol builds on another and determination will get you through.

Take care!
Kel