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Flip
January 12th, 2007, 12:13 AM
Hello there Long Termers....

Its my first time here int LTA, but I am trying everything I can to stay here. I was AF for nearly six months early last year, and was confident that I had it beat - that I was never going to drink again. I was really enjoying being sober - the benifits were amazing. After the first couple of months I couldn't believe I'd ever have have a problem again. I was taking campral and seeing my Dr every couple of weeks. Then, one weekend after spending an entire day in a pub, not drinking, I woke up and had decided I was going to buy a bottle and have " just a couple'. I did just that and it appeared to work - I went to bed after having only two drinks and felt really in control.

Within a week I was back to my old drunken self.

My dad died and my mum got really sick (cancer) in November. I drank too much. Way too much. So I decided that when I got home I was going to stop again. I started taking Campral, went to a self help group, bought and read books, got a counsellor and found a good friend who has been sober for a whole year. I even told my boss, my mum and all my friends that I was never going to drink again.

I've been sober for 44 days now. BUT, I am starting to panic.. I am soooo scared I am getting complacent again, that the obsession, the frenzy will return. I know that once I have convinced myself that I am going to drink, nothing will stop it. It's like someone else is inside my head (I know it's the addiction talking) but it takes over, and even while I am screaming "NO DON'T BUY IT", my addiction is there paying for the bottle and the excitment is starting to build.

I can feel the beginnings of it already - last time it took 6 months....

I know that I have to get myself back in the "zone". I know that I can talk myself around, but I am still having that panic. I don't think I can keep doing this forever, even though I know I must.

Flip

Popeye
January 12th, 2007, 12:31 AM
Hi Flip

I don't know much about being AF for very long as I am only starting out really, so I'm afraid I can't give you much advice.
Ido know, however, that after my mother died not too long ago, my head was all over the place.
To have your dad die, and your mum get sick so recently must be terrible for you. I'm so sorry. You have done well staying sober through that.
I'd just like to let you know that I'm thinking about you and wishing you the strength to keep going down the sober route.

mikeupnorth
January 12th, 2007, 09:11 AM
Dear Flip,

I can relate to so much of what you've said. Especially the part about feeling like it's another person inside you taking over when you decide to buy the bottle and drink. That is very much how I feel. Luckily, I've been able to put that part of me to sleep for quite a while now.

My first attempt at sobriety lasted for 9 months and then, like you, I became complacent and cocky and that was my downfall. I thought I had this thing beat and I had a single beer. Within a few weeks I was back to my old drinking pattern. That was in 2000. Since then I have struggled to quit again, and it wasn't until this past September that I was finally able to do so with some sense of commitment and finality to it.

I'm only sober 4 months now but things definitely feel different for me this time around. I know that my dance cards with alcohol are running out, and I've wasted enough time. It's time to get on with the business of living my life. Here are a few key things I've learned about staying sober from my own experience and from others who have done it, both in AA and here at My Way Out.

* As an alcoholic, I'm never "cured." It's like having diabetes -- I can address the illness and live a healthy, normal life, but I always have to do things to keep my illness at bay. It's hard at the beginning, but after that I can switch into maintenance mode... but I'll always need to be aware that it's there, and take good care of myself so that it doesn't come back and catch me by surprise again.

* I can't expect a pill to fix me... (I'm taking topa and it does work wonders on the cravings.) But in the long term, I have to do inner work on myself to address the reasons that I turn to alcohol in the first place.

* That person inside me who takes over and makes me drink is ME.... it's "drinking Mike" and I have the control over him... I can do things to keep that part of myself weak and the sober part of me strong. Whenever that part of me starts to creep up into my consciousness I beat it back into submission. I don't give it a foothold in my consciousness, because it WILL take over if I let it.

* I ALWAYS have the choice to either drink or not drink. No one forces alcohol down my throat. I have made the decision to never drink again and I am going to stick to that decision no matter what. Drinking is simply not an option any more. If I have a craving, it will pass. Cravings never killed anyone, but alcohol has killed many people.

* Alcohol is a dangerous, addictive drug, much like heroin or crystal meth. The only difference is that alcohol is legal and socially acceptable. It is also akin to lighter fluid or diesel fuel. I have the power to think of it in any way I choose, and if I think of it in these ways, it is much less appealing.

* Alcohol does absolutely nothing positive for me. Every effect it has is negative. So why would I want it in the first place?


It sounds like you have some very heavy things going on right now with losing your father, and your mother being sick. I probably don't have to tell you that drinking doesn't make that situation any better. In my experience it only makes me feel worse when I'm already feeling down.

I hope you'll stick around here and post often... this is a wonderfully supportive community, and I don't know if I would have made it these last four months without the support here at MWO. Welcome.

Mike

africaneil
January 12th, 2007, 09:40 AM
Hi Flip,

As Mike said - 'Alcohol does absolutely nothing positive for me. Every effect it has is negative. So why would I want it in the first place? Alcohol is a dangerous, addictive drug, much like heroin or crystal meth. The only difference is that alcohol is legal and socially acceptable' or as Jack Nicholson called it in As Good As It Gets - 'the last legal drug'...

I'm on day 28. I think Mike has put forward some very useful tips and advice.

The main times I have found a bit challenging thus far have been in environments with people who are drinking. Getting quite that close to alcohol is still a bit hard, so I generally avoid doing so (or at least for protracted periods).

What has also, just today, been a bit difficult, is reflecting on something I have said, sober, and wondering what on earth would make me say that. Something that probably came across as arrogant.

The main difference between now and when I was still drinking, is that now I am interogating the situation in my mind and figuring it out, in my quest to be a better person. And I KNOW that this process will be a whole lot easier sober than if I had looked for solace in a bottle.

Now my awareness is growing and I am facing life and dealing with it. I am far from perfect, but life's ups and downs are so much easier to deal with.

So I will continue to mull over my 'incident', and I guess a short apology will sort it out, as well as looking at how I can work on that aspect of me.

Flip, hang in there, be strong. I keep reminding myself of all the negatives of alcohol and the positives of sobriety. And there are many.

Flip
January 12th, 2007, 05:19 PM
My sincere thanks to you all! With your help I made it through last night! I think I will be stronger for the experience - maybe its been a bit too easy so far... perhaps that was my wake up to keep fighting and not give in like I did last time.

I DON'T EVER WANT TO DRINK AGAIN!

Mike, your post is wonderful. I hope you don't mind, but I've printed it out so I can read it when I need to.

Neil, I recently said something when sober that I regreted, but when I apologised, the response was not what I expected. The person told me that what I said was true and had helped them think about themselves more clearly. So you just never know what will happen.

Paul, thank you for ALL your wonderful posts - I always read them and think, what a nice guy Paul is! even if you just add a small hello it means a lot to the person who has posted. Two months down the track I think Dad's death is just starting to hit me, I got through the first month without any issues. And the future for my mum is unknown at this point.

I have every intention to hang out here in Long term Abs - should we change our name to "Lifers" lol

with love and big hugs
Felicity

prezmustchange
January 14th, 2007, 05:55 AM
thank's for your very honest post Flip. I can really relate to how that drinking thinking starts up in the head and how panicky we can get because we know it can get to a point where it might overwhelm us. I think that's where we need our sober freinds desperately, because they can settle down the thinking and remind us that we have a choice that we can make to live a better life without booze.
Even though I'm currently only 2 days AF, and I hope to remain AF, I have had years of sobriety in the past. My biggest mistake was not talking honestly to sober freinds about what was building up in my head. Nothing is inevitable for me except what will happen to me if I just have one little drink. I truly believe and accept that I'm one of those people who had better abstain.
Good on you for sticking with it. It is worth it.
all the best
prez

Flip
January 15th, 2007, 08:45 PM
Hope you are still going strong Prez.

I had a small epiphany a few days after this post when I realised that I had slowy been cutting back on my campral - STUDIP IDEA!!!! Went back to the recommended dose and I'm back on track. the counsellor said I shouldn't consider stopping it for 12 months, so I am really not going to worry about what happens when I have to stop taking it. That will happen soon enough. Now is the time to enjoy be sober - DAY 49!!!!

Flip

LittleErn
January 15th, 2007, 11:59 PM
Keep up the good cakey everybody. Even if you're on day one, you're on the right track.

lagojohn
January 17th, 2007, 01:07 AM
Flip wrote: Hello there Long Termers....

Its my first time here int LTA, but I am trying everything I can to stay here. I was AF for nearly six months early last year, and was confident that I had it beat - that I was never going to drink again. I was really enjoying being sober - the benifits were amazing. After the first couple of months I couldn't believe I'd ever have have a problem again. I was taking campral and seeing my Dr every couple of weeks. Then, one weekend after spending an entire day in a pub, not drinking, I woke up and had decided I was going to buy a bottle and have " just a couple'. I did just that and it appeared to work - I went to bed after having only two drinks and felt really in control.

Within a week I was back to my old drunken self.

My dad died and my mum got really sick (cancer) in November. I drank too much. Way too much. So I decided that when I got home I was going to stop again. I started taking Campral, went to a self help group, bought and read books, got a counsellor and found a good friend who has been sober for a whole year. I even told my boss, my mum and all my friends that I was never going to drink again.

I've been sober for 44 days now. BUT, I am starting to panic.. I am soooo scared I am getting complacent again, that the obsession, the frenzy will return. I know that once I have convinced myself that I am going to drink, nothing will stop it. It's like someone else is inside my head (I know it's the addiction talking) but it takes over, and even while I am screaming "NO DON'T BUY IT", my addiction is there paying for the bottle and the excitment is starting to build.

I can feel the beginnings of it already - last time it took 6 months....

I know that I have to get myself back in the "zone". I know that I can talk myself around, but I am still having that panic. I don't think I can keep doing this forever, even though I know I must.

Flip71 days AF here. My mantra is "Alcohol is poison. Alcohol will kill me. I want to live." I say it over and over again all day long as I pray. Stay strong.

Flip
January 17th, 2007, 01:40 AM
Hi Lagojohn, you are right. Everytime I look at alcohol now I think "that is poison, who would want to drink that?"

Day 50 and growing stonger every day!

Flip

Newyear
January 17th, 2007, 06:01 AM
Hey Flip and all who posted here. This is my fear. I was mentioning this in another post here but you said it much better. I'm at 82 days af today. Hearing stories of being af for 6months or 9 months and then having a drink and sliding back into old routines is what I see looming out there for me. So why does it still seem alluring? I almost feel like I am 'due' such a slip. Can't believe the tricks of the mind! I've even said to myself that it would probably be better for me to slip like that so I would know for sure I need to not drink. I need to slip like that so I can come here and post and say 'yep, I did it and I was wrong and now I have seen that I can no longer drink'. What a terrible demon this is.
Well, I know I won't try slipping today and that's what I can do for now.
Have a great day everyone- stay warm and stay safe out there on those slippery roads.

:l Lisa

Flip
January 17th, 2007, 04:47 PM
I remember an incedent when I was giving up smoking a long time ago. I'd been a week without a smoke and I said to my (ex) husband that I was 'dying' to have one - just one. I told him that I 'deserved' it for being so strong and not smoking for a whole week. He then said to me, and this is what's stuck in my mind for over 20 years now, "It is not a reward, it is a punishment - for when you have it you will have to start from scrach all over again. Reward yourself by NOT having one!"....

For a dickhead he was pretty smart that day!

Newyear
January 17th, 2007, 07:28 PM
thanks for the reminder :)

I feel like 'i know this!' but it helps to hear someone tell you again.

thank you-
Lisa

Java
January 17th, 2007, 07:32 PM
Thats a good way to think of it flip!