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  1. #11
    Registered User.

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    8th February, 2010.
    Posts;
    1,081.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Hi available,

    thank you very much. I really appreciate it. Be well,

    Hill
    Sober since Feb 7, 2010.

  2. #12
    Forum Subscriber. Slo's Avatar

    Join Date;
    22nd June, 2013.
    Location;
    Midwest USA.
    Posts;
    1,388.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Thank you, @hillsidetime, for letting us know after 10 years of experience that a new life CAN be constructed that does not involve booze for a person! I went into my first few quits naively thinking that it does not matter what is in my glass as it’s just a beverage! And found out that it does matter. Now a year and half into my final quit, I am wiser and more cautious, but still working at and largely succeeding at creating a satisfactory life for myself that does not include it while the others drink around me, and the culture tries to demand it. I am counter culture now! Ha!

    I deeply appreciate your post. Thank you for sharing your success!
    Last edited by Slo; March 12th, 2020 at 08:34 AM.
    Once a pickle, never a cucumber again.

  3. #13
    Registered User. NoSugar's Avatar

    Join Date;
    16th January, 2013.
    Posts;
    7,795.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    I have not posted in a while, and I hesitated to do so. In our social media driven world, posting is so often done to garner accolades, that I figured that if I post, I was doing exactly that. After thinking about it
    for a few weeks, I am going to post. At some point, I would like to pay it forward, and maybe help another person in their journey towards being sober. Perhaps my reflections can add some things for a person
    to think about, and maybe offer a little support in some way, as they work through their own challenges.
    Thanks for getting past your hesitation, @hillsidetime. We all need role models and examples of people who maintain their quits in various ways. This post alone was a forward payment . Take care, NS
    Last edited by NoSugar; March 12th, 2020 at 08:57 AM.


  4. #14
    Forum Subscriber. Byrdlady's Avatar

    Join Date;
    4th February, 2010.
    Location;
    NC.
    Posts;
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    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Congrats, Hillside! I remember you from when I first came to MyWayOut. Your avatar was a sunset, I believe? I’m so happy to hear that you have remained on the AF path. I look forward to seeing more of you! Here’s to the next 10! Byrdie.
    All you gotta do, is get thru this day. AF 1/20/2011
    Tool Box
    Newbie's Nest

  5. #15
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    8th February, 2010.
    Posts;
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    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Thank you Ginger,

    I love your pic

    Hill
    Sober since Feb 7, 2010.

  6. #16
    Registered User. NotHappyHourHappyLife's Avatar

    Join Date;
    12th February, 2014.
    Location;
    USA.
    Posts;
    342.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Hill, not just Congratulations, but THANK YOU for reading my mind. I just sat down and wrote this in my journal, and I was going to post it on my own thread, but I think it fits here..... I am behind you on this path, but your post reaffirms to me that this pathway isn't a lonely one.
    For the most part, the "Gee, I want to have a drink too!" part of my brain is switched off, but it does occasionally rear its head, coaxing me to have "just one". I won't give in. I hope to come back here in 9 years and tag onto your post, while you celebrate your 20th year.

    Thank you.

    The BRAIN and Forgiving.

    The brain is a complex, forgiving part of the body. Over time, it will minimize the pain sensors, allowing you to heal and to move forward. I remember that childbirth was painful, but I cannot recall the intensity of the pain.

    We are fortunate that our brains can forgive and heal, but it can be a double edged sword when it comes to negative behavior.

    Looking backwards, I remember the joys associated with alcohol. I remember the laughter around the campfires... beer in hand. I remember the fun of going to weekend events like car races, concert fests, state fairs... with a Big Gulp of "diet coke" (and rum). I remember the family tradition of wrapping Christmas presents on Christmas Eve watching the Pope serve Midnight Mass... with a "nice" glass of red wine. I remember hot summer days, working outside doing yard work, and the refreshing "reward" of an ice cold beer.

    My brain is healing and forgetting the negativity surrounding booze. And as the distance becomes farther, the romance surrounding alcohol grows.

    I hear whispers swirling in my mind... "You didn't need to quit." "Of course you can moderate!" "Life is fun, why are you punishing yourself?" Such thoughts were enticing me yesterday as I stocked up for the pandemic, strolling down the beer aisle and thinking, "why not?"

    Why not, indeed.

    Suck it up, Sunshine! Tough Love can be hard to play out in a brain that is trying to forgive and heal.... but so be it. I tore the bandage off and remembered:
    -The foggy memories after those nights around the campfire. Did I do anything stupid?
    -The necessity for a designated driver (never me) after a weekend event in order to get home- that lack of control that was irresponsible and definitely not material for a Mother of The Year nomination.... and add to that the fact that my children were often nearby, witnessing "Fun Mom" become "Drunk Mom".
    - The dull headaches on Christmas mornings from staying up too late and polishing off that wine, followed by fake smiles during gift opening as I tried to remember if I wrapped all of the presents... and anxiously looking forward to cooking the big meal, as that meant I could sneak vodka and Baileys into my "Christmas Coffee".
    - The one Nice Cold Lawnmower Beer would admittedly turn into the first of many.... but since beer would fill me up, it was often followed by the GOOD STUFF, and the Sunday that followed would start, again, with a dull headache, fogginess, and lost memories.

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    Tough Love means that I can't let my brain simply forgive and forget. While I can't change the past, I must protect the future. I have to remind myself that the laughter, the joys, the experiences from the past could have, indeed, been much better without the "romance" of alcohol. While I don't want to dwell on them, I wasn't a saintly drunk. I callously hurt people. I embarrassed those that I love the most. I apologized with a caveat, "I didn't mean it, I was drunk". I often "mis-remembered" to protect myself from the ugly person that I can be when I drink.

    Tough Love means that I must Protect My Quit.
    "God didn't give you the Strength to get back on your feet
    so that you can run back to the same thing that knocked you down."

  7. #17
    Registered User.

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    8th February, 2010.
    Posts;
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    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Hi Happylife,

    it's really nice to hear from you. From your post, it appears that you are one year sober. Congratulations, you should be really proud of yourself. Keep up the great work.

    You make a really good point that the part of our brain that gives voice, that thinks it would be a great idea to have a drink, "just one", seems to never go away. You are right, our brain - over time -
    seems to decrease how negative some of our experiences have been. I suppose, this is actually a great adaptive feature to help us move forward, however, like you explain, it can
    also temp us in many ways.


    I also look back on all those joys and fun times associated with my decades of drinking. I am certain my brain has embellished things; I doubt it was as much fun as I remember. Plus I also am sure that i embarrassed myself, and my family, a lot.
    The other thing, is that as time goes by, we age and our lives change, and our friends change (or enter new phases of life) - as a result, even if we started drinking, trying to recreate those old experiences, they simply
    would not be there. Life has moved on. It is like wishing to have another teen aged summer love - it can't happen anymore, we are no longer teenagers.

    Some people are very successful with moderation, and if that helps them, that is awesome. It does not work for me. I am not able to have a good relationship with alcohol. I still can feel in my bones, how much I like to drink past the point of moderation.

    You are so right about - repeat. Every week was the same. Figure out how to buy enough booze, and hide the spending from my wife, and hide how much I am actually drinking, and drink and drink. Stay up late drinking alone.
    Make really bad decisions. And, repeat next week.

    Really important things in life, are often very difficult. Personally, for me, I feel the same way as you do, that for my brain, I could not forgive and forget. I have to take control of my active brain, and my thinking - and do a complete
    reboot at times. I have to crush those thoughts as they begin, with my knowledge that I do not have a good relationship with alcohol, period. And that is the truth. And therefore, pass me a club soda, or a coffee, and let's get
    back to enjoying life. The odd time, a craving will hit - and I still practice "urge surfing" and navigate those evil waters.

    I think in time, we can work on forgiving ourselves. This is a challenge. It is complicated because of the hurt we have caused others in our lives. Things take time.

    I wish you well,

    Hill
    Sober since Feb 7, 2010.

  8. #18
    Registered User.

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    8th February, 2010.
    Posts;
    1,081.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Hey Slo,
    and I really appreciate your thoughtful post. I am so happy to hear that you are a year and a half sober, congratulations, you should really be proud of yourself. You make a good point that we really do
    need to be cautious if we have a major life goal for ourselves of being sober - alcohol is such a guileful opponent.

    It is true how much our culture tries to demand that we drink. Not that people are mean about it, it just happens, in many settings, often. That social aspect of not drinking, was one of the most challenging hurdles in my journey - certainly where a lot of humility got draped on me. For me, over time,
    that challenge decreased, and no longer causes me stress or unhappiness nor is it awkward any more etc. This took time.

    Like you say, we are counter culture ! Viva la sparking water and tones of coffee !

    Take care,

    Hill
    Sober since Feb 7, 2010.

  9. #19
    Registered User.

    Join Date;
    8th February, 2010.
    Posts;
    1,081.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Hi NS,

    I appreciate your kind words, thank you.
    Be well,

    Hill
    Sober since Feb 7, 2010.

  10. #20
    Registered User.

    Join Date;
    8th February, 2010.
    Posts;
    1,081.

    Re: 10 years sober. It's hard to believe.

    Hi Byrdie,

    thanks so much for touching base. It is nice to be remembered from back in the day. The old avatars didn't make it through the cyber troubles I guess. I will have to figure out
    how to get one going again.

    I hope you are well,

    Hill
    Sober since Feb 7, 2010.

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