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    1. #21
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      Relapse in Retrospect

      JackieM;1537036 wrote: NS-
      I have been doing some more thinking on the relapse issue. Since I started drinking again, I make one or two attempts a year to quit. It seems like every time I fall at the two or three month mark.
      I think it is because by that point the fog has fully lifted and I don't know what to do with myself. I realize I still have a crappy job and a crappy marriage and I end up going right down the chute again. I just cannot seem to get un-stuck.
      The coming out of the fog stage is probably where real, un-drunk emotions really start to climb to the surface. These are feelings that need to be dealt with and not drowned out with alcohol. I am 43 years old and apparently still don't know how to handle these feelings-hence the constant struggle.
      I also need to wrap my head around the fact that I cannot change other people and how they act towards me. Yes (Lord Yes!) my drinking has caused problems in my relationships. I understand the damage I have caused. But I also realize there are some issues/relationships that are not going to be fixed just because I do not drink. That is a tough one for me.
      Take care.
      Jackie
      Hi, Jackie

      It seems you keep repeating something that isn't working for you. I came across some quotes by Rumi concerning change. They of course don't offer practical advice but perhaps will give you an idea about something you could do differently.

      :h NS


      1. Challenge Fear

      "Run from what?s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious."

      2. Be Bold

      "Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth."

      3. Have Gratitude

      "Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life."

      4. Take Action

      "Why should I stay at the bottom of a well, when a strong rope is in my hand?"

      5. Have Faith

      "As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears."

      6. Embrace Setbacks

      "If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?"

      7. Look Inside

      "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."

      8. Learn From Suffering

      "The wound is the place where the Light enters you."

      9. Don't Be Concerned With What Others Think Of You

      "I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think."

      10. Do What You Love

      "Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love."

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    3. #22
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      Relapse in Retrospect

      June, thanks for that list - I can just see how a person could take those steps - it is so critical to stay alert to all of this, like Molly said. And Samstone, you are so right. In a conversation about the possibility of moderation today, I was reminded that I would not get what I (used to) want from a moderate amount of wine. So why drink?

      Sunbeam, you are the only poster I've read who successfully moderated and then chose to quit entirely. Since moderation is the initial goal of so many who join MWO, the fact that you chose to be AF should show all of us what a difficult choice moderation must be. I can imagine that it would be in my head all of the time!

      Thanks for the input, everyone!

    4. #23
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      NS
      Who is Rumi?
      Thanks
      Sam

    5. #24
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      Samstone;1537816 wrote: NS
      Who is Rumi?
      Thanks
      Sam
      Hi, Sam.

      He is a 13th century Persian Poet:Rumi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      His quotes tend to end up on posters for teenage girls to hang on their bedroom walls :H but nonetheless, he captures many ideas that I find worth hanging on to, thinking about, and sometimes sharing .

    6. #25
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      NS
      so is it something like studying the Tao?

    7. #26
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      Relapse in Retrospect

      3June2013;1537153 wrote: 11 Steps to a Relapse

      Change in Attitude - For some reason you decide that participating in your recovery program is just not as important as it was. You may begin to return to what some call "stinking thinking" or unhealthy or addictive thinking. Basically, you are not working your program as you did previously. You feel something is wrong, but can't identify exactly what it is.

      Elevated Stress - An increase in stress in your life can be due to a major change in circumstances or just little things building up. Returning to the "real world" after a stint in residential treatment can present many stressful situations. The danger is if you begin over-reacting to those situations. Be careful if you begin to have mood swings and exaggerated positive or negative feelings.

      Reactivation of Denial - This is not denial that you have a drug or alcohol problem, it's denial that the stress is getting to you. You try to convince yourself that everything is OK, but it's not. You may be scared or worried, but you dismiss those feelings and you stop sharing those feelings with others. This is dangerous because this denial is very similar to denial of drug addiction or abuse.

      Recurrence of Postacute Withdrawal Symptoms - Anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and memory loss can continue long after you quit drinking or doing drugs. Known as postacute withdrawal symptoms these symptoms can return during times of stress. They are dangerous because you may be tempted to self-medicate them with alcohol or drugs.

      Behavior Change - You may begin to change the daily routine that you developed in early sobriety that helped you replace your compulsive behaviors with healthy alternatives. You might begin to practice avoidance or become defensive in situations that call for an honest evaluation of your behavior. You could begin using poor judgment and causing yourself problems due to impulsive behavior without thinking things through.

      Social Breakdown - You may begin feeling uncomfortable around others and making excuses not to socialize. You stop hanging around sober friends or you withdraw from family members. You stop going to your support group meetings or you cut way back on the number of meetings you attend. You begin to isolate yourself.

      Loss of Structure - You begin to completely abandon the daily routine or schedule that you developed in early sobriety. You may begin sleeping late, or ignoring personal hygiene or skipping meals. You stop making constructive plans and when the plans you do make don't work out, you overreact. You begin focusing on one small part of life to the exclusion of everything else.

      Loss of Judgment - You begin to have trouble making decisions or you make unhealthy decisions. You may experience difficulty in managing your feelings and emotions. It may be hard to think clearly and you become confused easily. You may feel overwhelmed for no apparent reason or not being able to relax. You may become annoyed or angry easily.

      Loss of Control - You make irrational choices and are unable to interrupt or alter those choices. You begin to actively cut off people who can help you. You begin to think that you can return to social drinking and recreational drug use and you can control it. You may begin to believe there is no hope. You lose confidence in your ability to manage your life.

      Loss of Options - You begin to limit your options. You stop attending all meetings with counselors and your support groups and discontinue any pharmacotherapy treatments. You may feel loneliness, frustration, anger, resentment and tension. You might feel helpless and desperate. You come to believe that there are only three ways out: insanity, suicide, or self-medication with alcohol or drugs.

      Relapse - You attempt controlled, "social" or short-term alcohol or drug use, but you are disappointed at the results and immediately experience shame and guilt. You quickly lose control and your alcohol and drug use spirals further out of control. This causes you increasing problems with relationships, jobs, money, mental and physical health. You need help getting sober again.

      There's also an interesting page of reader's responses to the question "What are you biggest relapse triggers and how do you deal with them?"
      Hi 3j,

      Thanks for putting this up. As someone who has tried countless times to quit, I recognise here some of the things that have gone wrong. Now I can look out for them rationally before they appear and start working on practical strategies to adopt if and when they rear their ugly heads again.

      Thanks again

      Neddy

    8. #27
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      Relapse in Retrospect

      I'm bumping this because it seems like there are quite a few new people posting on MWO who have relapse stories. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who is willing to share what happened and what they learned.

      We're all more alike than different when it comes to this addiction -- it we keep our minds and hearts open, we can teach and learn from one another instead of unnecessarily repeating an experiment that has been conducted countless times with the same outcome.

      All the best - :h NS

    9. #28
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      NS, thanks for posting the link to this thread in the Nest, and thanks to all who have shared their stories and contributed. This is very real and very practical support, which is what MWO is all about. Thank you.

    10. #29
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      No Sugar, thanks for the post, lots of great information..... agree with Samstone, I was one who had the desire to just get wasted, loved the buzz, the AL glow, and at times in my life, both stressful times and celebratory moments, it is still very much present. For some of us I feel we are only a couple steps ahead of a relaspe especially living in such an AL dominant society. Sometimes, I think I would be better off living in an environment, like the menonites/amish, where AL is not present in their lifestyle.

    11. #30
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      Relapse in Retrospect

      Give Me Strength's relapse in retrospect story

      This is my story of freedom from AL and relapse. I'm 51 happily married, 3 Good kids and a reasonably successful job. So far so good.

      I was sixteen and just started college when I was first introduced to my friend AL, its been an amazing friend because its still with me years after all my other friendships have long gone. The first twenty years until I was 36 were just good memories. Or that's what I thought, looking back more closely In order to write this short piece I see the shadows for the first time.

      At work there were times, too many to mention when I called in sick or worse being in meetings or giving presentations whilst trying to conceal my breath and the shaking. The 1/1 meetings where I would be holding my chair with white knuckles.

      I have to say nothing much dramatic ever happened, no park benches or total blackouts but I lived everyday just to reach 6 pm.

      At home the Birthdays and Christmases gradually became all about the drinking, the wrapping of presents the tree decorating once so very special became chores in between drinks. The once great Christmas evening in front of the TV for the special show and the Family games afterwards became something the rest did as I sat in the corner sipping /Actually gulping my drinks. Looking back one of the worse aspects is I was the special day cook something I once cherished. I was quiet good a roasts and trimmings but whilst others tucked in I became sick just thinking about food as I filled up on booze in the kitchen. The same old excuse was if you do the cooking somehow you don't enjoy the meal as much.

      Christmas 1998 was a disaster with arguments and spoilt Xmas lunch. This was the first time my dear wife questioned my drinking. In January 1999. My first attempt at controlling my drinking. Not for me but to prove I was not an alcoholic to my wife. I remember as if it was yesterday. Our first son was just two and I was so numb without drink, so bored I would take the dog out and walk and walk but it was an utterly horrid existence.

      I lasted three days and gradually reintroduced the drinking hiding the amounts more than ever and trying not to upset anything by being angry or getting too drunk. I think my wife was relieved that things were back to normal. It was also the last time I let AL cause such a disaster at home. Drink was to important to me to risk another showdown. Another ten years passed before I first realised for myself that living for 6pm and drinking five hours a night was not right. That's when I first started to look on the internet and research alcohol abuse. During 2008 I must have had ten or more attempts to stop or slow down. None were anywhere near successful.

      On January 1st 2009 I set about my first serious attempt to give up for ever. Six months later towards the end of July that year I was flying, I had not known so much happiness in my adult life. I had been living in a fog for thirty years and within weeks it had lifted. I remember one morning on the train commuting to work looking at others to try and spot anyone hungover. I was truly self righteous and smug. I felt stronger than ever. The journey had been surprisingly easy, especially since my last attempt ten years earlier (lasting all of 3days) had been so horrendous.

      Then the moderation bug grabbed me, " what was I thinking" I was different to all the rest, my problem was just a bad habit and because during my drinking years I never got into too many problems I could control it. So the summer holidays began and by the time they finished I was back to exactly the same routine (6 o clock til 11 o clock) seven days a week except Sundays, when for some reason I had always started before lunch whilst cooking Sunday lunch.

      However I wasn't that disappointed because until this attempt I always imagined it was going to be impossible to give up for any length of time. So I told myself "enjoy and I will stop in a little while; maybe for good".

      The weeks turned to months and then before i knew it, i endured another drunken Christmas in 2011 I was in a very bad shape again physically.

      So I prepared to go sober in the New year (January 1st 2012) this time with the sole aim of moderating. This guy is dumb I can here you all saying. The thing is that there was a kind of war between the abstainers and moderators here on MWO at the time and I bought into the Mods thinking. I still maintain that until a person sees it for themselves you will never convince them that moderating is not an option. Sobriety is a destination but each individual needs to go through the stations before we reach it and some of us get off at the station called moderation. It looks like a good place from the train but only each individual can determine whats waiting in the ticket hall. I did three months clean as recommended on the modding site and then I began my well earned life as a normal drinker????

      I started well just Friday and Saturdays but same old same old same old same old infinitum. By the end of April I was (6 til 11) seven days except Sundays, well......... You know that bit.

      January 2013 this year, after 4 months lurking on MWO never posting just soaking up advice. I went on the wagon again. However in April on the 1st night of a visit to my wife's family in Ireland I'm invited to a 10:30 pm visit down the pub, music and laughing it was so typical irish at its best. Kind of what you see in the tourist adverts to visit Ireland.

      Well this time I said "moderating was not an option", ha ha I had learnt my lesson finally. However there's nothing at all wrong indulging tonight and picking up where I left off tomorrow . Tomorrow night came and the sensible thing was done. I agreed with my friend AL that I could drink for the rest of the trip to Ireland and start again when I get home to England.

      On August 11th 2013 exactly 6 days and 10 hours ago I stopped drinking for good.

      The bad news is and it's very bad, we're visiting my dear wife's family in Ireland next Tuesday. How's that for dumb planning.

      I read here that you need to be 100% before you have a chance of sobriety for good and 99% isn't good enough. Well I'm desperately looking for the last 1%.

      Mine is a slow death I'm not going to rock the world especially when drinking. I don't have the desperate stories of others and haven't faced crisis such as broken relationships or Lost jobs etc. However I know that If I don't sort this I will slowly slip below the waves without trace. Just a shadow and a wasted life.
      GMS

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