PDA

View Full Version : Moving on to Life



KENSHO
May 12th, 2015, 07:35 PM
Feeing really down and exhausted today. And lonely. Miss this place. I need to share about this journey and I am so stuck as to where I fit in. Makes me sad.

So I thought I'd start my own journal here. Writing makes things real for me, and I like that.

Anyhow - this is the kind of day I would have drank in the past. None here today. Not sure if I'm fighting something or what, but I feel like I've been run over by a truck. Just very tired.

Not a great first post, but honest. Here's to getting through today and looking forward to tomorrow. Ciao.

KENSHO
May 13th, 2015, 08:03 AM
Feeling better this morning. Got sleep! Still need more. I'm feeling BURNT from too much work! But today should be easier. SO glad to not be drinking.

jane27
May 13th, 2015, 11:10 AM
Hi Kensho, Glad you are feeling better. I'm feeling crummy today myself. Have to remember that its not the end of the world and I'm not a passenger. (Need to get my butt up and try and turn it around). So glad too, that you are not drinking. xo

KENSHO
May 13th, 2015, 11:26 AM
Thanks Jane. Nice to see a friendly face. I should let you know that I have had one or two drinks the last six months, and have been in a very good place and not abused it. It seems that many aren't ok with that or don't believe it is possible and it's definitely NOT ok to post about it. But I thought I'd put that out there in case that makes you or anyone uncomfortable. I've received some serious cold shoulder to this point so there it is.

Hope your day gets better.

Resolve
May 13th, 2015, 01:36 PM
Kensho - nice to see that you started your own thread (and I like the title)! Sounds like you're still burning the candle at both ends and I hope it lightens up for you. I'm sure having your own business makes it that much more stressful at times since you bear the responsibility of its success. I actually like feeling crunched for time and being busy since I think it makes me feel more productive, but it catches up with you, whether lack of sleep, less working out or just mental fatigue. I guess the important aspect and challenge is carving out some you time in a way that works for you and your life. Finding relief/release has been my ongoing "in search of" and still finding my way there too.

As far as feeling stuck, if you mean being more in a mid-point of sobriety where you're not a newbie, but not a long-termer and finding the right place to keep talking about what's going on, I'm with you there. I hope you keep posting away - you've always brought great perspective around here. Maybe it's your left coast zen?

jane27
May 13th, 2015, 03:51 PM
Thanks Jane. Nice to see a friendly face. I should let you know that I have had one or two drinks the last six months, and have been in a very good place and not abused it. It seems that many aren't ok with that or don't believe it is possible and it's definitely NOT ok to post about it. But I thought I'd put that out there in case that makes you or anyone uncomfortable. I've received some serious cold shoulder to this point so there it is.

Hope your day gets better.

Kensho, No worries. Even though my short term memory is seriously disappointing me these days, my mental imagery of 97-2014 is clear as a bell. I couldn't possibly pass judgment on you for being imperfectly abstinent. This isn't church and I'm certainly not God. One of the coolest things I've learned truly as the result of MWO, is that relationships evolve, tempers flare, moods pass, and the people that matter wont give up on you. I've both gotten and given the cold shoulder. In most all cases it passes (though it sucks mooseballs at the time). The fact that the friendships I've made on here have sustained a hiccup or 2 has only made them stronger. I like you tons, believe in you and remember some of your early posts. You've come a long way! xo

Samstone
May 14th, 2015, 07:51 AM
Kensho,
Cold shoulders are definitely ridiculous, part of the MWO is the first letter "m"= My. We are each different and so find our way differently. I actually came to MWO hoping I could moderate but decided to abstain. I was not interested in doing drugs because of side effects and expense, plus I knew in my gut (which had become rather large due to drinking beer, my favorite) that I had to quit. Now I have realized FOR MYSELF that it is a matter of embracing and enjoying a sober world, not preaching about it but just relishing each day with a clear head. However there are those who try the other way and some are successful, and should be able to express it. There is no cookie cutter. Suppose to be a free damn country, well sort of.

Hope you are doing well
Sam

frances
May 14th, 2015, 09:25 AM
Kensho - I am so glad that you have found your own way out! And I am very sorry that you got a cold shoulder after being honest and open about your own experience. Take the positive here, leave the negative, and be happy for what you have been able to do in your life. And I know you are! I think people, from experience here, have seen folks try what they call 'moderating' and it isn't really moderating and they wind up overdrinking and it is not good and they frequently wind up in a bad place. I myself have been there done that. In fact, some of the moderators on the moderator threads do that - they post often about their drinking and it is frequent drinking, and it is not uncommon that it is overdrinking from what I've read there. That does not sound like being 'out' (as in 'out' of the AL mess) to me.

I don't know what to call 'rare' drinking...'exceptional' drinking....I don't know - but one drink in a month is just not the same thing. There is nothing at all wrong with that and if you are successful then that is in fact something to be happy about and proud of!

I'm glad you will stay here and keep getting the benefits from this site. I have been quiet about my own success in this area for fear of negatively influencing others. I don't want to misrepresent or be a fraud. I guess that's what I have been. I had one drink in February, none in March, and 2 in April (one drink each on two separate occasions). None so far in May. Consider me 'out' of the closet lol.

Frances

KENSHO
May 14th, 2015, 10:15 AM
Good morning. Feeling a little better today. I still feel like I'm fighting something and am very tired. I used to drink at these instances, thinking it would "cure" or at least "numb" the pain or illness. Thank goodness I'm not adding that toxicity to how I feel now!

Reggie, I'm not interested in bad-mouthing the Nest. They were a very warm and welcoming place for me when I arrived here. I needed to STOP completely to understand what alcohol was really doing to me. I needed to STOP completely to understand how much better life is without alcohol. I couldn't have done that without the encouragement there, and I will be forever grateful.

Thank you Samstone :heartbeat: I think you were the first person to respond to my initial post here at MWO. I don't want to falsely encourage anyone to drink. I don't wan't to say I'm right, or others are wrong. I just want a place to be able to be honest. And for me mostly, that is being so very grateful that I do not include alcohol in my daily life any more. I view it as a villain and a toxic, addictive substance - and I am a better person in every way now that I don't abuse it. I have learned to cope differently with situations that come up. I have employed tools that help me when the old habit says, just have a drink. I don't ever drink when I am angry, lonely, stressed, hungry, bored. In fact, I very rarely drink at all.

For me, and I say FOR ME - because we are all different with different journeys - one occasional drink reinforces why I choose not to do it very often. Like sugar, I instantly feel like crap when I have it. I am NEVER going to risk losing my clarity, productivity, increased creativity, being present for my family, and not feeling toxic. And I will note that the consequences of one drink are very different than 4. No one seems to believe it, but I do not want 3 or 7 or 10 more drinks after one. And maybe that makes me different than some people.

I guess what I want to say is that each of us has to find OUR OWN WAY. For some people, never touching alcohol again is the answer. I completely understand that. But I don't want to be accused of lying or being delusional if I have a different story (though I know it's coming from a place of concern). I just want to be honest and share how dang proud of myself I am that I have changed my life for the better. I do not abuse alcohol any more. I do not struggle with it. I am happy and I face life's challenges and rewards with all my faculties. THIS has worked for me.

Can we all agree to be helpful to each other and celebrate our continuing understanding of how harmful alcohol has been to each and every one of us - and share the steps we are taking to change that? I hope so.

So back to today - no plans to drink anything in the near future. I have events and dinners all the time and I quietly say no and move on with my evening - because I honestly don't want the shit baggage that goes along with abusing alcohol.

Have a good and honest day.

Samstone
May 14th, 2015, 06:13 PM
Hey Kensho, I do remember when you came in... always have enjoyed your posts. Been giving your thread some thought, I think in the Nest it is very important for folks to try not to drink or condone drinking because there are so many who are struggling. Please understand I don't think that's what occurred with you, I am just thinking out loud about the Nest and its workings. Not really sure what happened and in the end it doesn't matter, I'm glad you're here and we're all able to carry on an open discussion. I sure ain't here to judge any one! Firm believer in not throwing stones in glass houses.

The fact is sometimes I forget that desperate feeling a person can have when first stopping. I give myself a mental reminder so I don't have to go through that bullshit again, part of my own defense mechanism.

KENSHO
May 15th, 2015, 12:25 AM
I agree Samstone. I specifically didn't want to disrupt the environment in the Nest - because I think it is, as someone recently put it, "fragile". That is why I approached someone outside of that forum to share my experience and discuss it - because it wan't appropriate to share there. I sort of expected what was said, but not how. I felt brushed off, tossed aside, see ya later, good luck. I considered this person my friend, so it hurt. I'm not trying to be stoic or different or dramatic - just sharing my experience and wishing to fit in, to discuss, to be honest. It's not a big deal. I'm still not drinking much at all, I will still bet my life that I will never go back to abusing alcohol, and I still enjoy sharing those moments that I think of alcohol - either it pops into my head and I politely tell it I'm not interested or I realize that it didn't pop into my head at all, and isn't that great?. I love how it feels not to drink, and I used to want AL every day - that has to be useful information to someone. I'd love to be encouraging to new folks and share the tools that have worked and still work for me - but those random, rare drinks I've had in the last 6 months (and this thread) make that a very delicate thing now.

KENSHO
May 15th, 2015, 10:32 AM
I fear that a new person might see this thread (though I rarely ventured from the nest when I was new), and see that I have been able to have some alcohol. It's a message that could have negative consequences. I don't want to be viewed as a hypocrite - and I largely feel "invalid" now saying "I love not drinking". I want to write to LilBit and Hanna and send encouragement and support, but I'm not sure anything I say now would be helpful. Makes me sad - I should have probably kept my behavior to myself. But then, what good is an anonymous support site?

It is a bit confusing to say "I love not drinking, but I drink" - wait, what?. It has made sense to me to this point - but I'm sure it sounds a bit like BS to others. Is it? All I wanted to do when I reached out initially to a long time member was to ask for help in understanding my situation. But that person is not able to see any way other than total abstinence - and that's ok. I would never want to jeopardize someone else's quit. In fact, I'm still not totally sure that not BS'ing myself. Why am I able to still have a little alcohol? My guess is that either I:

1. didn't drink long enough or hard enough to become a never-again person
2. my chemistry is just different - because I know some people try one drink after a length of AF time and can't stop at one, or
3. I'm BS'ing myself and am setting myself up for disaster

SO, in an attempt to understand all of this, I asked myself these questions last night and tried to answer as honestly as possible.

SO why, if I like not drinking (which I sincerely do), do I still have a drink once in awhile?
- because it offers me a connection with other people (which I don't feel that often - I tend to have a hard time being close to people)
- because it makes me feel in control - as I am able to control it without much effort
- because it reminds me I've overcome something difficult
- because the effects immediately remind me that its not worth it to have very much (one - MAYBE two)
- because I can
- because it relieves some of the extreme of total abstinence, actually makes alcohol feel like less of an issue in my life

SO why, if alcohol doesn't feel like much of a problem for me anymore, do I still want to post here?
- because I feel less alone when alcohol thoughts arise - and they DO still arise
- because I truly feel like I could help and encourage others (though not sure now)
- because i'm afraid if I don't keep actively being grateful for the things I appreciate about not drinking, I will forget and go back to destructive behavior
- because it is a way to procrastinate with work
- because this has been a very intense journey for me and I feel connected with people here
- because it is a place to journal a few daily thoughts, which has always helped me

I don't know where that leaves me, but it's not in any category that is threaded here. I just want to live my life and stay healthy and encourage others to stop abusing alcohol. But maybe others would say that I just want to have my cake and eat it too. Oh well. The fact still remains that I am eternally grateful for this place, and very, very happy that I don't put this toxic substance in my body on a regular basis.


On another note, going camping this weekend. Used to be a ticket to nightly drinking - not interested. I also climbed in my window well and saved a baby bird this morning. Interesting start to the day! I hope everyone here has a good and honest Friday.

jane27
May 15th, 2015, 11:41 AM
Kensho, Thanks for taking the time to share your feelings. I mainly just wanted to say that- but a couple of other thoughts spring to mind- can I suggest not boxing yourself in on this one, and instead just regard it as an experience? As long as you're honest with yourself like you were in this post, I believe you'll be staying on course with your true north. I think what is plaguing you is simply your conscience and the combination of feeling great for the period you didn't drink, & pink cloud backlash which seems even bigger because of the cold shoulder stuff you talked about.

Why not send Hanna & Lilbit support? Its impossible to know whether or not it would be helpful, but there's no two ways about it- its a thoughtful thing to do!

How do you see the camping trip going? I know if it it were me and I'd come off any period of time quitting, I'd be off like a brides nightie (got the one from Ava). The fact that you're not feeling interested is good; if you get through the experience without feeling like the power dynamic changed, that'll be another good data point to record.

Awesome that you saved a baby bird! "My" duckina's (the mallard in my back yard) eggs hatched 2 days ago. She and the crew haven't been back to the nest since. Maybe that ship has sailed. I did see her and the mister out for a stroll yesterday morning. The pool cover came off yesterday afternoon and I'm a little worried about that. Hopefully the strong smell of the chemicals will prevent them from going too near.

Wishing you a great day and weekend. xoxo J

ps Don't ever think that you don't have value here. Your post this morning inspired me to write. That's 1 person you helped today!

NoSugar
May 15th, 2015, 12:03 PM
Hi, Kensho,

What you describe sounds like extremely successful moderating. You're achieving the goal that many people have when they sign on to MWO. So, there surely are people you can help! If you can communicate to them how you've gotten yourself to where you are now, you will have helped them immensely. I have a couple friends who left MWO because they want what you have. I would love to have them back here, posting in a thread that is right for them.

I've done similar risk/benefit analyses to the ones you've done and in fact, just posted about it this morning in the daily abstinence thread. Like you, it took some time AF before I could even look at the situation objectively enough to weigh the pros and cons and as it turns out, my bottom line was that the occasional drink carries too much risk for the benefits I think I'd gain. Your conclusion is different. I'd encourage you to label your thread in a way that it can be found in a search by people who share your goals.

Despite my pro-abstinence stance as the best approach for people who make it to this site, I fully support any efforts when I understand the goals. I think I misunderstood yours before you started this thread.

As always, all the best to you, NS

scottish lass
May 15th, 2015, 03:42 PM
Hi Kensho - well done for finding your sweet place with drinking and not as appropriate.
I think, as others have said, we are here to find "our" way, mainly because what we were doing was not working for us. What we were doing was different for each of us, and so will be the result.
I am feeling the need to be a little selfish and do what I need, hopefully with support of people here. I do settle in places where I feel supported and that works well. I need to protect myself and i cant worry about how everyone else will respond. Sadly I have made a few errors and upset a few people from time to time - but that is not going to be mine to own (unless I really did goof). I have to do what I need to do to survive and make a new life - and that is why I am here on an anonymous website. If people don't want to read this, there are plenty of other threads - I am trying really hard to not read where I get my knickers in a twist and enjoy the places that I do settle - we are all grownups here!
It seems that you are here to do what you want and need to do, and that is great! Well done for working it out! Your recipe may not work for everyone, but there is not one size fits all..
Keep posting and get what you need to have a better life - we are all after the same, just take different roads!

Trying To Be Happy
May 16th, 2015, 11:44 AM
Hi Kensho,

I just want to say thank you too. I have found this thread to be very illuminating. I am eight months into my journey, which has been predominantly alcohol free. I started on medication with a doctor and counsellor specialising in addiction through an outpatient clinic here in Australia and spent the first 3 1/2 months not drinking at all. I then decided to have a "calculated break" - by that I meant to try having a couple of drinks to re-examine my relationship with alcohol. I planned for it to last four days - it ended up being a couple of weeks but did not ramp up to previous levels. Before I did that I posted about it here - and got a lot of feedback saying it was a bad idea, protect my quit, etc. I understand the feedback was coming from a good place, and that they were trying to help me. I just don't regret the decision. I learned a LOT about myself not drinking, but that period also helped me see how it could creep back up really easily, and I stopped again, with no medication. I have since successfully abstained. I know where the advice was coming from, and like you, I completely respect that some people just need to quit and never drink again. I just think that while for a good number it can send people down the path of destruction again, for some of us it can be a helpful thing to explore what our feelings are about alcohol.

In a way, it forces you to stare it in the eyes in a way you don't do by totally abstaining. I get pragmatically that abstaining really helps a lot of people, and really, if you don't drink it is not like there is a problem with that - it is a nasty, toxic, substance that does very little for our health. I just think if you are capable of insight and reflection, and are not a highly physically addictive drinker (in the way that you lose control as soon as you have a sip) then it can have some self-educative purpose. I do think that the period of abstinence before doing so is crucial though. A month is good but for me it took a while for me to feel safe to try it. It wasn't even my intention to try it at the beginning. I don't even really want to moderate - I just don't want to go back there again! Being truly open to whatever the outcome is is also crucial I think. You can't moderate because you just want to - otherwise we wouldn't have got ourselves here in the first place. I think you have to understand your own relationship to alcohol to work out what works for you.

I know I am saying what you already have worked out - I just wanted to thank you for your thread. It is clarifying things for me - I really appreciate your words, and the thoughtful responses from other posters. Thank you, all!

scottish lass
May 16th, 2015, 07:35 PM
Saturday is my day to get a walk in, and it was a beautiful day - I "borrow" two dogs and today managed 5.8 miles - and I do a lot of thinking.

I was thinking about this thread, and not wanting to hijack, but had some thoughts. I have visited the moderators threads and never really clicked there. I think that the counting, limiting, rationing etc is what bothered me - I have never been good at calorie counting, and this felt the same. As with many people, that is what I thought I came for, but Kensho, you might have it.

I want to be a "social" drinker - on my walk I was thinking rare social drinker, but I am not really a social person - so that wasn't quite hitting the nail on the head.

I have teen girls - and hopefully one day they will get married and I want to join in the toast. This summer my dad turns 80. I have special memories of sitting in the late evening with my father, after Mum had gone to bed, smoking a cigar and sipping on a malt whisky. I would love to sip a whisky with him this summer - he is getting frail, I only go home every two years, and that would make a special memory.
I want to be able to have the occasional drink. I do not want to feel guilty. I also do not want to go back to drinking a bottle a night. I want to wake up feeling great, I want to keep working on my self esteem. I want to keep all that I have gained, but once in a wee while, I want to have a drink and I want to be ok with that.

I don't see this as moderating. TTBH, you seem to be saying the same.

I am scared to try as so many people seem to try and fall down Bryds rabbit hole - but you seem to have succeeded Kensho.
This is a very thoughtful and thought provoking thread, and it is letting me think about some feelings that have been buzzing about.

NoSugar
May 17th, 2015, 07:15 AM
SL, if I remember correctly, you drank only occasionally during the year before you quit. As you look at it now, was that better? I see Kensho's approach as one to consider if you're not willing to stop drinking entirely for whatever reason - it certainly is better than active, addictive drinking. Ideally, it is a step towards ultimate abstinence. However, it isn't clear to me why you'd let it back into your life after you'd successfully freed yourself. Those circuits in your brain almost certainly would be reactivated. I hope you don't risk all you've gained. xx, NS

KENSHO
May 17th, 2015, 07:07 PM
Hi there. Back from camping. Nice time! It snowed - but we were so glad we didn't chicken out. There were only 4 other sites taken - so it was quiet and lovely. I did have a glass of wine. My husband asked, as it was our 11 year anniversary. So I had one. I didn't want more - and I slept well.

I would like to take the time to respond more later, but did want to say a couple of things quickly. One is that I did some reading about "alcohol abuse" vs. "alcoholic" and found a few different schools of thought. There were several web pages that believed there are two types of drinkers: problem drinkers who abuse alcohol, and full fledged alcoholics. It seemed consistent to what I read that people who are in the latter category should completely abstain from alcohol. Some people believe that those in the first category might be able to moderate and not relapse into a destructive pattern of drinking.

I think that if you are considering "moderating", you need to take a very close look at which group you fit into, and then honestly assess if it is worth a risk to consume alcohol. I firmly believe that some people - be it genetics, brain chemistry, behavioral patterns, associations, etc. cannot moderate without quite a struggle - PERIOD. Please, PLEASE do not take my words as a green light to go out drinking. I am sharing my experience because I feel it is part of my journey. I came here wishing to stop abusing alcohol and stop drinking daily - and my experience is possibly quite different than yours. Please assess your own place. From what I briefly read, very few alcoholics are able to successfully moderate.

That said, I also believe that those who post here need to be honest about their medication use as well. Use of medication is a very different type of moderation, and is a different topic altogether.

Thank you all for sending me support and for posting your thoughts. I do feel there must be other people who are going through what I am going through.

I would like do another "initial" post and clearly state my situation - and AGAIN - I urge each person to honestly assess their own situation before deciding to try and moderate. I know that one thing that makes me not feel ashamed or upset with the occasional drink is that I am not always wanting more. I absolutely would not want any alcohol tonight and can tell you for certain that none will be consumed this week. But, I will continue to be honest and share what I'm going through because it is the only way to get any benefit from a forum such as this. And who knows, maybe I'll fail miserably and end up back at a place I don't want to be.

Back in a bit - going to cook salmon and corn fritters with arugula and dill. *Love* spring herbs and fresh cooling!

KENSHO
May 18th, 2015, 10:35 AM
If you have't watched, or better yet read, WILD by Cheryl Strayed I highly recommend it. I read that book in the height of me trying to understand my relationship with alcohol. Besides some passages of strikingly beautiful language, Strayed captured how nature and quiet can help us face our demons and then allow us to listen to our basic needs. My husband and I used to backpack a lot, and for me, being in the woods and working up a sweat with everything you need to live for days on your back brings a clarity I don't find in the daily rat race. Life feels simple, clean and there is time to think while focusing on nothing more thanputting one foot in front of the other.

I drank in my 20's, and often for the wrong reasons (is there a right reason?) - mostly for discomfort from social anxiety. But it was when we got a house, undertook the responsibilities of a full time job (I started a business), and had children that needed both our money and our time - that I began to feel a disconnection with myself. I drank more because the pace was too fast and I felt I couldn't keep up - I wanted an escape. I would love to have more time now to sit in nature and reflect and breathe clean air.

Anyway - this morning I have puffy cheeks. Retaining water? Not sure how one drink on Saturday could affect me today - but the point is that I have very negative associations regarding alcohol. The list of ways it affected me is a mile long - and none of it good: puffy face, slow and nauseous mornings, horrible sleep and nightmares, distance from my family and relationships, a poor complexion, obsessive thinking, lying, spending too much money, feeling like a fraud, anxiety, depression, liver pain, eye twitching, sound sensitivity, extreme irritability, on and on. The only thing it gave me that I wanted was an escape from my life.

To reconcile these, I first quit for several 30+ day periods, and a couple 60+day periods. I think many people have to quit for longer. During this time, I was able to see the above symptoms subside completely, and not drinking felt WONDERFUL! But I still had this problem that I was used to escaping my life and my issues. SO, one by one, I've had to face those issues and deal with them. I learned basic stuff like: sleep when tired, eat when hungry, cry when sad. Without alcohol, I was able to discuss a few things with my husband calmly - without triggering his defenses, and he heard me. I have been able to give my children attention they need and deserve, as well as set limits with them that I previously let them walk all over. I have begun to be able to say "no" to new projects when I have enough on my plate. In a nutshell, I gained problem-solving abilities and emotional balance that allowed me to address a lot of the issues I thought were the cause of my drinking. I also found that eating better - i.e. lots of fruits, veggies and good protein, lots of water, a few quality supplements, and - avoiding the sluggishness of high grain consumption - made a difference. I spent time in the Nest, and listened. I wouldn't have been able to stop drinking in the first place without the nurturing, tough love and support that lives there.

I still have issues that are hard. I have trouble focusing and so in order to do my job, I have to get hyper focused, and there is a temptation to be a workaholic. I need to learn better time management. I also need to be more social. It has never come naturally to me to be in a room with lots of people and just chit chat. I don't know what to say. Trying to learn to just be light and be me in a crowd.

BUT the point that I so clearly understand is that I don't want the physical and emotional effects of alcohol any more. I hate feeling them. I hate being drunk, I hate being hungover and I hate being outside my life. I want to be in it, every moment. That is where I belong. And I have been fortunate enough to have challenges that I have been able to face and address.

I think that people have different levels of physical addiction to alcohol. And I think everyone has different challenges in their lives and that some are much, much harder than what I have lived through. For these reasons, each person has to get through this process in their own way. There is absolutely no question in my mind that EVERY person has to A) go without alcohol for at LEAST 30 days - if not 90 or more - to gain the perspective that is needed to address life without alcohol, then B) begin the process of developing new coping skills and ways to deal with challenges. Without A or B, the cycle just continues to repeat. If I could add a C) - it would be to be brave. This is one of the hardest things I've ever faced.

One thing that has really helped me is that I don't want to hide from life. Bring it. Give me all you got - I'm a fighter. I wanted to beat this and live the life I was given.

Because I don't view alcohol as a solution any more, and because I really don't care for its effects, I am able to have some on occasion. I think it's stupid, dangerous, unhealthy, and our society capitalizes on it. Because my view of alcohol has shifted from a romanticized or fun necessity for enjoyment - to a distraction from real life - it is no longer something I want or need to feel "complete".

SO someone recently asked, "how did you get to where you are", and I would say, 1. stop drinking, 2. spend some time with yourself, 3. begin to solve your problems and learn you can function, and function better, without alcohol, and 4. change your associations with alcohol. And if the addiction will always take you to back to uncontrollable drinking, stop drinking altogether.

scottish lass
May 18th, 2015, 01:22 PM
Kensho - just bought Wild and looking forward to reading it - even more now!
Yesterday's supper sounded delicious:happy2:.
I love the way you are thinking through all you have done and are doing, and how it makes you feel & react. What a worthwhile task. As NS pointed out in the year before I quit, I was not drinking much - but I feel that year was different as I was trying not to drink, so I was not succeeding in what I was aiming. I have gained TONs and do not intend to throw any of it away, I also want to learn from my gains.

KENSHO
May 18th, 2015, 01:56 PM
SL, I agree that moderating when you are always wanting more of something is very different than not really wanting "said thing" and having a little if the opportunity comes up and you allow it. Moderating the first way is struggling. The second situation is not. Many people don't believe the second way is possible. But I can tell you, and you seem to agree, that for some, it is. At least for me, for now. I do not have a crystal ball, but I am very happy with good dinners and great books and sweating on a trail, and enjoying my children's laughter - and alcohol just gets in the way of these things.

KENSHO
May 18th, 2015, 09:37 PM
Working late tonight. I've been procrastinating doing this accounting paperwork - I truly hate it. Time to get it off my plate. I used to drink on nights like tonight (well, I used to drink every night) - but I haven't had a drink for the stress of working late in many, many months - like 9 or so? Feels good to find other ways to deal - because my work suffered and I suffered the next day! Not an option any more. Mostly because it's just not worth it. Here's hoping I'm quick at my data entry!!

KENSHO
May 19th, 2015, 09:20 AM
Rainy morning here. Not much sun yet this spring! Great for green grass, not great for outdoor activities! My brother in law is coming to visit this weekend. He is the one who used to keep large bottles of pedialyte in his refrigerator because it helped tame hangovers. They may or may not be surprised when I don't partake. I could not be more disinterested in the effects of alcohol at this time.

I've always been a little hypersensitive about my body and been very "tuned in" to its happenings. Maybe that is why I notice the effects of alcohol on a magnified scale. There are a variety of reasons I want and need to be at the top of my game right now - and AL just doesn't fit into that picture.

I do miss a community here. I may start up a thread in the moderators section. The only thing is that I want to talk about how great life is without alcohol - not count drinks or feel like I'm starving myself of a substance I want. That's the tone I need to be around now. Any interest? Sort of a "Top of your game" thread?

Ginger999
May 19th, 2015, 10:10 AM
Hi Kensho! I saw your post about "Wild". I thoroughly enjoyed the book. We are hikers and used to be long trip backpackers. Sticking to day hikes now that we are older. Lame excuse but there it is!

I've read back through your thread. I'd consider myself an alcoholic. I can not stop once I start. It's never enough for me. I'm happy for you if you are able to moderate. My hubby drinks that way. Wants a beer, has "a" beer. Nope not me. I want "a" beer and have a six pack. Want a glass of wine; have a bottle.

I hope you can create your own community here. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do that. Make it your own and they will come.... I'll be watching for a new thread from you. I can never moderate but I'd love to follow along on your journey. Good luck!

frances
May 19th, 2015, 10:29 AM
Hi Kensho - I'd be interested. I'm still posting in NN and do not plan to ever mention anything other than abstinence there. But I'd be happy to be able to be open about what is happening in my life. I am not trying to be hypocritical and I do believe that abstinence is the best approach for many, and probably the vast majority, of people here. In general, I don't participate much on any thread here though (I think I'm an online introvert as much as I am one 'in real life'!), so not sure how much I'll contribute but would love to see and read and post when I can! I do track when I drink now just so I can validate that it continues to be in control, but my drinking is so infrequent it is not worth discussing on any thread here, at least not to have that be the main point of the posts. I'm 'in' if you decide to do it!

I also wanted to mention yesterday how much I agreed with your earlier post when you said that moderating when you are always wanting more of something is very different than not really wanting "said thing" and having a little if the opportunity comes up and you allow it. That's where I am right now and don't have any reason to believe at this point that it will change, though I am aware and conscious that it might and I stay on guard for that.

KENSHO
May 19th, 2015, 10:35 AM
Hi Ginger. Thanks for the support, even though our journeys aren't exactly the same. I am so happy that you have learned what works for you and are doing that! Let's none of us waste another moment letting alcohol be the boss. We're so much better leaders of ourselves - alcohol doesn't deserve a place in the driver's seat. :)

scottish lass
May 19th, 2015, 12:19 PM
The great thing about this site is that there is no one way - finding our own way to what we want for ourselves is what this si all about. Box me in and I want to punch out :)
Maybe there is a need for another area - and "in-betweeners"
I will also happily follow along. I am continuing to ponder what my path will be - I am content where I am for the present, but the thoughts continue to bop around in my brain and it is great to be able to put a voice to them. Processing thoughts definitely helps to work out reason. A drink because it is wanted once in a while is really different than drinking at something, or to try to change something....

KENSHO
May 19th, 2015, 12:35 PM
"A drink because it is wanted once in a while is really different than drinking at something, or to try to change something...."

SL, unless that drink puts you in jeopardy of going down a slippery slope. I think some people's chemistry responds to one drink (for WHATEVER reason) with wanting more and maybe not being able to stop. I have noticed something in myself when I drink two or more nights in a row - my body begins to think about it more and I have more thoughts. If I rarely have any, this does not happen. I would guess each of us responds differently.

Oh, and no boxing. (and no punching!) :)

KENSHO
May 21st, 2015, 11:29 AM
Feeling very grateful to not be drinking. Lots to do - and lots of stress, but sleep is much better medicine than alcohol. I've enjoyed watching the baby robin I saved grow and thrive. His mama is bringing worms to him and his brother, and their tails are growing. They must be about 2-1/2 or 3 weeks old. Makes me feel good that my back yard is a sanctuary for this kind of life. (I'm quite sure I would not have stood at my kitchen window and watched them when I was drinking - either too focused on being numb or too tired and sick from being hungover).

Looking forward to a fun weekend with in-laws. I wonder if they will comment on me not drinking? Today is the kids' last day of school - so I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit and having the time with them that I keep saying I want to have. Also a teensy bit nervous about having less work time. Interviewing today for a very large project - not sure I want it, or can do it - but its worth a years salary alone. Good opportunity to evaluate priorities. Maybe I can put it off for a few months? Not sure if $$ is worth pulling my hair out? Because if I don't pull my hair out with stress like this, I want to drink. And that is not a position I need to be putting myself in. But a year's salary......

KENSHO
June 7th, 2015, 01:45 PM
I'm hungover! After 2 drinks! I HATE the way alcohol makes me feel. Not drinking much makes the times I do extra potent. I don't seem to have the problem of returning to 4 drinks per night if I imbibe, which I am very thankful for. But I really feel that I am happier without alcohol. Here's what I notice (after only 2 drinks, and a few weeks since the last):
- sensitive hearing
- foggy head and slow thinking
- minor headache
- retaining water
- feeling toxic
- more irritable
- hot flashes

On the other hand, last night I was given a compliment that is one of the nicest things anyone could say to me... she said she walked into this restaurant and saw me with my 5 yr. old daughter. She was struck at how I was interacting with her, and that I was smiling and enjoying it. She said so many parents in restaurants just want their kids to "be quiet" and sit down - but I was giving her real attention. I could have melted - it is one of my biggest priorities - to give my kids real, genuine attention - if even for just a few minutes each day. THIS is what I want to focus on - and alcohol is not required to make it happen. Alcohol gets in the way of this. I never want to make alcohol a priority in my life again - what a waste of time!

KENSHO
June 12th, 2015, 01:38 PM
I watched my husband drink for stress last night. While he didn't go crazy, what he became was a distant, irritated person. I smelled his breath and was so grateful to be not drinking. This morning, he was more irritable than normal, and said he was moving slow. I see these things and am so very happy it's not me.

So I'm just going to share some thoughts here. I want to post when I am glad I am sober. I want to post if I have to start over. And I want to post to support others. But for some reason, it is not a goal for me to never drink again. It IS a goal for me that alcohol never interferes with my life again, and that means I rarely do it, and that if I do, it is not much. What does that make me? A girl who wants it all? I person in denial? Someone who "wasn't bad enough" to have to completely stop? I know, I know I've heard it over and over - if you are here, you need to stop completely. But where IS that line? Is it possible that some people aren't full-fledged alcoholics who come to this site? Are there degrees of addiction? I think I would consider myself someone who was addicted to alcohol - because I wanted it every night. But I don't any more. Some would say that's not possible. I didn't drink two liters a night. I drank 2-4 drinks. I snuck it, I lied about it, I hid it and I hated it. Does that make me a card-carying alcoholic?

When I share daily how grateful I am to be fully interacting with my life without alcohol, I have very little desire to drink. This last month or so, I felt like I had no accountability, and it was harder. I wasn't sharing with others how glad I was to be clean and clear. I think it is an exercise we all should do - to consciously state what we are grateful for, and often. It is part of what makes us happier, regardless of our vices.

I understand that this is a drinking site, for alcoholics and people who struggle and have previously struggled with alcohol use. That's me (raising hand). I struggled because I wanted it every night, and I hated the way it made me feel and act. I don't feel like I struggle much now, but I fear that if I don't participate in sharing my gratefulness with others, I will revert into a more frequent use situation because there are so many alcohol influences out there - everywhere I turn. For instance, I am going to a party tonight with my husband for his co-worker who is moving away. The people in his field drink like fish. I don't want any. Really, I don't want ANY. I know it will make me feel and sleep like shit. My daughter has a dance recital tomorrow and I want to feel top notch to enjoy it. I'm bringing my sparkling "La Croix" stuff, and that will do me fine. I want to tell you all this because it makes me stronger and I feel great about myself when I don't do it. So can I share that?

My goal is not to "never drink again". My goal IS to live so that alcohol does not impact my life and is not a focus. And if it is not a struggle for me to live this way, and if sharing about it is helpful to me or others, that's what I'm going to do. I will share if I DO have some, and how that makes me feel. I will share if I struggle or if I don't - and mostly share how much I love living life without the haze of this stupid liquid. I am being honest and trying to be as true to myself as I can. I want to live with authenticity and bravery and joyfulness and gratefulness, and would love if others would share too. So there it is.

Moving over to "Monthly Moderation - Living Fully".

Samstone
June 13th, 2015, 07:01 AM
Kensho
read your post with interest, I think the whole thing about AL is to not worry about "not drinking" but but to enjoy the moment sober. It gives you a chance to be who we really are, not who we are through AL. Any time there is a "not" something involved, it is a negative, so instead of "not drinking", I think "I'm alive and well" or something like that. It has made me very comfortable in my new skin. Just a thought....
I hope you find that "sweet spot"
Sam

KENSHO
June 16th, 2015, 12:47 AM
I'm not sure where to start with this post. I think I have been selfish. I think I should not have discussed allowing myself to drink in the way that I have. I wanted to be able to tell the whole truth - that I had had a few drinks. But I feel that it has been irresponsible on a site where people with alcohol problems need only a small kernel of hope to bargain their way out of progress.

I had a real problem with alcohol just a short year ago - not necessarily judged by quantity, but by frequency, need and inner turmoil. I got to a fairly comfortable place abstaining for 30-60-90 days, and allowed myself to drink in between these instances. My reaction to these drinks confused me because I did not revert to old habits or experience strong cravings. I tried to discuss this with one person, and was met with such a wall that I felt like I just needed to state my position and move forward.

But I don't feel my actions have impacted this place in a positive way. I appreciate the kind words I have received in lieu of "finding my own way". I am yet to fully understand what that is. But I know these things:

- I hated the way I was drinking - how it made me feel, how it took my self-respect, how I was flat and dull and only partially participating in my life.

- I love not drinking - how it makes me feel, how present with myself I am, how I am bright and sharp and fully participate in all the minutes of the day.

Alcohol does not need to be a part of my life or anyone else's life and the very last thing I want to do is encourage anyone to drink.

KENSHO
August 26th, 2015, 10:07 PM
Tired of saying so much in the Nest. I just need to put some things out into the universe. So very tired and bummed and pissed. I am really surprised how much I am craving alcohol the last three nights. Makes me mad. But what makes me madder is that I told my husband I "might not" be drinking much this weekend (i.e. won't), and his response? "I just hope you are social". Really?!? Jackass. I said, I am not going to drink just so I can be social. He has said to me in the past, "just have a drink and loosen up!" Part of this is true, feeling tight, but to a large degree, I am an introvert. Coupled with how very tired I am with my current workload, it is going to feel even harder to be "fun". Fun to me right now would be sitting in silence near a stream - or with my family only and no pressure to talk, be fun, be the life of the party. I will never BE the life of the party. I would love to say, "You married an introvert", but truthfully, I've always drank in social settings. And though it may have loosened me up, I think I also said some stupid things. Not drunken stupid typically, but just awkward.

SO I guess I'm going to have to draw some boundaries. God I sound like a rewound tape... Not long ago I was saying how wonderful not drinking was and how much better I was at setting boundaries, and now it feels hard. A few drinks. And I mean a very few - and back to the beginning? That's unbelievable to me.

My "switch" didn't trip immediately when I started to drink again. I didn't want it, and I didn't use it for stress or other "cures" - but WOA, once I did - BAM! Right back almost where I began. I am so mad right now!

In fairness, why would he think I couldn't handle a few? It wasn't until recently that I "snuck" drinks - he probably thinks I CAN have a few once in awhile. Does he not crave AL? Must not.

KENSHO
August 27th, 2015, 08:21 AM
This is lovely Reggie. Thank you.

KENSHO
August 31st, 2015, 09:41 AM
Feeling a bit blue this morning. It's cloudy and the light is changing, and I SO loved sleeping in a bit. Getting up at 6:30 just feels wrong to my body! It's downright painful! I seem to do so much better going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 8:00. That's about right.

My kids are struggling a bit right now. They had a great summer, and back to school has been a transition. When I see them struggle, my first reaction is to think it's my fault - that I'm not a good enough mom on some level. I work a lot (though I try very hard to be present every evening and morning). But I could work less and pick them up after school. What drives me to care so much about career when my kids are so young? I really want to be there for them - what the hell am I doing? They need me. BUT at the same time, struggling is a part of life and they will go through it. It is also part of their journey, and it's not "all my fault". I suspect they will get in the groove and so will I. I do want to get some of these projects off my plate and be with them - not because it will damage them if I don't, but because I WANT to be there with them through this part of their life. I want to volunteer at the school, pick them up a couple days a week right after school so they don't go to aftercare. I love them so dearly - it just hurts to see them hurt.