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irishlady
December 4th, 2006, 06:06 AM
In answer to a new members question yesterday both Neil and myself posted an answer, and I must say here Neil, your reply was bloody awsome, and I have nothing but admiration for your dedication.

When I clicked on to the long term abs board today another member had posted on yesterdays thread and said they. and perhaps other newbies sometimes think we longtimers find it easy, just taking supps, exercising, listening to the hypno tapes and cd's etc, and it did seem as I re-read some old posts that, yes, it does come across like that sometimes.

The last thing I would want to do on here is to sound smug or complacent about my progress, because it hasn't been easy, although now I have reached the stage where I am so well armed against the enemy ALCOHOL it is somewhat easier to ride out the cravings and shut my mind to that little voice in my head telling me I can have just one drink now and I'll be fine.

I tell you it has taken a lot of blood, sweat and yes, tears to get here and there is no way i'm going to throw it all away. I was at the stage so many times when I would think......thats it, I'm going to stop drinking, and apart from trying not to buy any and to stop thinking about drinking I just sat on my backside waiting for the cravings and thoughts to go away. Then I realised, this has got to be like anything you want badly enough in life, you have to work damn hard to get results.

In a way it's no different to deciding you want to be, say, a teacher or perhaps a bus driver, yes you can have the thought, but then what? To make it a reality takes a lot of hard work, study and dedication, but the rewards are tremendous.

Then there is the ongoing work, because, you will always be an alcoholic. when you reach a stage where you no longer drink, or you are even comfortable being with people who are drinking, it doesn't mean you are cured or you are better now, in a way you could liken it to someone who has been diagnosed perhaps as a diabetic, yes they take any meds prescribed, cut out sugar, alter their diet and take exercise BUT they will always be a diabetic, and it's the same with an alcoholic, you wil always be one, just one drink and you will be like the hound with the scent of the fox in his nostrils, you won't be able to stop.

Remember though, that each time you do manage to conquer your cravings you will come out the other side a lot stronger and you will have eaten a little bit more of the elephant. ( See Neils analogy on elephant eating from yesterdays post. )

The last thing I will say is this, everyone on this forum has a problem with alcohol to a greater or lesser degree, but everyone started by putting one foot on the bottom rung of the ladder and slowly pulling themselves up, so if you are new to all this and your now standing at the foot of the ladder looking up, and thinking it looks a hell of a long way to the top, please just put your foot on that first rung, I won't promise you it will be easy but I can absolutely promise you that you won't be alone, and you will get all the help and support you need to get you to the top.



Well thats enough from me for today, wishing you all good luck in your own personal ladder climbing,

Love Louise xxxx

southernbelle47
December 4th, 2006, 08:58 AM
Gees Louise........well said!

It is hard work but so worth it.

Nancy:l

mikeupnorth
December 7th, 2006, 12:15 AM
Absolutely, Louise: well said.

For anyone who is new and struggling, we have all been there. It is a tough road, whether you are on Day 1, Day 90, or Day 300. Sometimes, people struggle after years of sobriety.

And just a note regarding medication specifically. I've tried this both with and without prescription medication. It is possible to do it either way, of course. People have been quitting drinking for millennia without the help of prescription medications. In my case, I felt like I had painted myself into a corner by attempting to quit so many times, and I could not seem to get past 10 days without giving in to cravings.... I would be obsessed with the thought of drinking. What medication did for me was help stop the obsession long enough for me to work to build up my own resources. Medication is in no way a cure for my alcoholism. If Campral or Topamax or any other meds could cure alcoholism, we'd see everyone taking those drugs being cured left and right -- and that's just not happening.

The key to the medication is that you still have to do the work on yourself to overcome drinking. Popping a pill is easy, and it doesn't solve anything. (Yes I am grateful for Topamax and for its anti-craving effect. But no, it is not responsible for the change in my attitude toward alcohol: that is me.) Topamax will not keep me sober in the long term. If I put all my eggs in that one basket I am doomed to failure. I must have a program that gives me ways to think, feel and act differently -- or I will drink again. Topamax is a way to help keep the dogs at bay while I work on those other more important things.

I've chosen not to go the AA route this time for personal reasons. But I agree with AA's founders in that this disease of alcoholism requires a wholesale change in thinking and behavior in order to achieve lasting sobriety. And that -- as you pointed out, Louise -- is a lot of hard work. It is a long ladder to climb.

I guess my fear is that people who find us think that it's either too easy (popping a pill, taking a vitamin, listening to CD's) or too hard (soooooo much work!!) when it's really neither one. Life is life and anything that is worthwhile requires commitment and effort. This is our health and our very lives at stake here. I can't imagine why we wouldn't be willing to do anything necessary to make it work for us.