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Thread: Day 11

  1. #1
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    Day 11

    Good Morning Absville!

    Well, well, well...here we are on the eleventh day of our flight! How time flies! :lol

    So many interesting posts yesterday--and lots I'd like to respond to this morning...unfortunately, in a few minutes I have to pull myself together and go "move the car."

    For those of you who live in more civilized places where your car is parked in a driveway or somewhere connected to where you live, those of us who have to park on the streets of New York have the wretched task of having to "move the car," every morning or risk getting a $45 ticket....we have alternate side of the street parking so that one side of the street can be cleaned each day...this means that for an hour and a half (usually between 8:30 and 10am) no one can be parked on the side of the street that's being cleaned...this generally means that either the night before you move the car to the other side of the street or you have to go out in the morning and move it...if there isn't a parking spot on the side you have to be on (and there usually isn't), then you have to double park for an hour and half....and run out again to move it back to the side of the street at 10am! If you don't have your car out of the way by exactly 8:30 you WILL get a ticket (better not be a minute late because they are patrolling the streets like vultures) and at 10am they are back again to catch those who haven't moved their double-parked car--again, they are there seemingly seconds after 10am. Obviously, people get tickets all the time because it's easy to forget to move it, or you can't get out there at EXACTLY 8:30 or again at 10.

    So, everyone who has a car in the city (and can't afford several hundreds of dollars for the monthly fee at a parking garage) basically has to structure their lives around "moving the car." Mostly, people accept the parking tickets as the part of the cost of owning a car in the city. It's why so many New Yorkers choose not to own a car at all!

    Okay, so WHY have I regaled you with this complicated tale of woe???!! Because the ordeal of having to figure out WHERE to park the car and WHEN to move the car--having to keep track of the time and which side of the street is the "right" side of the street every day reminds me of my own attempts to control my drinking.... I had to construct these complicated rules and regulations for myself--rules and regs that I frequently couldn't maintain, just like sometimes I am unable to move the car on time--either way I get a ticket! For me, the "ticket" I get for be unable to stick to my rules about drinking inevitably becomes a loss of my time, my health, my self esteem, my dreams--a loss of my SELF.... A $45 ticket is mild in comparison!

    I choose to own a car here because I love driving up to Vermont on the weekends but I have to be realistic about the consequences--lots of time and energy devoted to avoiding a ticket...I choose to stay abs because I just don't want to have to spend all that time and energy avoiding falling into my own alcohol nightmare....

    For some of us, mods with drinking is no big deal--it's like having a regular, non-ticketable place to park the car. For others, drinking involves a complicated system of knowing where, when and how to drink moderately--liking avoiding getting a parking ticket. Others of us, make the choice to stay abs--and avoid the whole complicated system we find ourselves having to live by...

    Either way we make a choice and deal with consequences...it all depends on knowing our limits, how we choose to spend our time and energy, and what we are prepared to risk....

    Okay, enough of the extended metaphor here, I'm sure you all get the point I am (laboriously) trying to make here! :eek

    Better go before I get a (parking) ticket! I'll check back later...

    Happy Abs day all!
    :h
    susan

  2. #2
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    Day 11

    One last thought:

    "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."
    Janis Joplin
    :P
    susan

  3. #3
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    Day 11

    thanks

    Thank you everyone for replying to my questions yesterday. All were great responses and gave me alot to chew on. I really appreciate the notion that my goals and vision for the future will change as I change on this journey of healing.

    Heres a thought seed to plant: Down the road I think we would benefit from a long term ABs discussion group. As many of us make it past our first 30 days our thinking and topics will be different. Just a thought to throw out there and see what we do with it.

    Thanks team!

    Matt

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    Day 11

    Re: thanks

    I everybody!
    Day 35 for me here. Hangin in good. Have cravings but they pass. Love readin everything. Just tired. Goin to 100 mg yesterday. Defintally notice more mental quickness. Just wish physically more engery would set in. The key is not givin in the the tireds and not sittin down. Love that Joplin quote. Hope everyone has a great day. Gabby

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    Day 11

    Congrats on your big 11!

  6. #6
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    Day 11

    Hi Gabby, good to see you're hanging in there. I had to give up the Topa when I caught sight of myself in the mirror w/ dark circles under my eyes - and so tired & dragging all day, felt like falling asleep at the wheel... etc, unfortunately my brain or body just wasn't taking to it. Hope it passes for you! Congrats on 35 days!!

    Great analogy Susan. All the hoops we have to jump through to maintain balance with our drinking - or should I say maintain secrecy, and the appearance that we're normal - it's a job in itself. I have a car too, which I drive to work with, so I do use it a lot. On the Manhattan side it's what my friend (who relocated to Colorado!) calls "extreme parking" . In Brooklyn, still got the alt side laws, but not so intense. I just read a part of Caroline Knapp's "Drinking..." and she says... "The rituals, the little routines, that alcoholics use to break the drinking into segments and minimize its visibility are very preoccupying...all that planning takes energy." So I'm glad to have reclaimed that energy for constructive things.

    Matt, you know I've been thinking about that exact thing, about asking RJ to create another forum for long term Absers.. I think it would be great - for one thing it might help keep more experienced Absers here as many of them seem to "move on" pretty quickly. My only hesitation was in thinking whether or not it was a good idea to divide Absers based on their time...? Not sure about that one. Let's hope we hear feedback from the group on this...

    Great day all,
    Deirdre

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    Day 11

    I think it's a great idea to have a long-term absers board! Matt's right, the issues become different as abs time increases and it would be great to have a specific place to share that with others facing the same thing...

    Long term abs folks tend to have come to an acceptance that, for us, abstinence is the only way we are going to be able to live our lives...that is really quite different than someone who is doing a period of abs in order to help them achieve mods...and I applaud ALL of us not matter what our ultimate goal is!

    In the final analysis, this is about choices (yet again!)--and I think it would be great both to have the monthly abs "event" as well as a place for "lifers." And, of course, this in no way means that anyone would be "prohibited" from posting on any board he/she chooses--just like the boards now! Everyone is welcome to read and post as they choose...the only req is (as always )to show support and respect for each other's paths--no matter what they are... And perhaps long-term doesn't have to mean a SPECIFIC amount of time, so much as a realization that long-term abs is the right path for YOU.

    In that way, we might retain more long-term absers and be able to benefit from their wisdom AND it might be helpful for those trying to decide between abs and mods to see what long-term abs looks like, and if it might be right for them. Certainly I know I have been inspired by the posts of those with many months (even years) of abs!
    :P
    susan

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    Day 11

    JULY 11!!

    I realize that calling the daily thread "Day __" is leading to some confusion...some of our fabulous newbies are posting according to the number of days they are abs, rather than on the current day's thread. It's a shame that we might miss someone's achievement so from now on the daily post will have the DATE, rather than just a number....

    Sorry for any confusion! And congrats to everyone on their abs days!
    :h
    susan

  9. #9
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    Day 11

    Hi All,

    I think it is a great idea to have a long term abs board also. I agree that it shouldn't have to be a specific amount of time achieved before joining the board but more the frame of mind that long term abs is the path you have chosen. Great idea Matt!

    Donna

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    Day 11

    Hi Again All,

    This is a LONG post so forgive me!

    Yesterday?s discussions stirred a lot of feelings in me. I am clearly at a crossroads with this whole thing and it is one I do not take lightly! Deirdre, you say that you don?t see the point on drinking unless you can drink as you did at your worst. Well, it is the exact opposite for me. I don?t ever want to drink again if that is my only purpose.

    Before drinking became a problem for me, it was fun, plain and simple. Certainly there were times of over indulgence such as vacations and the occasional party, but for the most part it was romantic, and soothing, and something that was shared between a husband and wife or good friends. It wasn?t until the depression and demons took over my life that the drinking was used to cover pain that was so unbearable that I would have done ANYTHING not to feel it.

    Somehow I found this program. From the first day I started I decided that I was going to get my life back. That was my goal. That still is my goal. I have spent the last several months putting back together what alcohol and depression ripped apart. It has not been easy. There have been days that I have cried so long and so hard for a past I once knew, a past without alcohol abuse and without depression, and I asked myself how I could have possibly let it all happen. I could sit here and feel guilty about it until the cows come home but really, what good would come of it. The truth of the matter is, I was sick, and much of it was out my control.

    With that said I now, thanks to RJ and this program, I have control back in my life and my eyes are WIDE open so the question is where do I go from here? Taking topa for me has been so much more than a tool for putting the brakes on drinking. From the first week on this program I experienced relief from paralyzing depression. As I got further into it, I came to find out that topamax was a drug used to treat bipolar disorder. My doctor had been trying to treat my depression for the last several years to no avail, and then all of a sudden, I start taking topamax and POOF, it?s gone. Truly, this drug in mind is nothing short of miracle and I am not sure which halted first the depression or the drinking, but I am pretty sure it was the depression. I am NOT suggesting by any means that this is what anyone else will experience; I am just reporting my own experience.

    So, can I have my old life back where drinking was fun and depression was a word in the dictionary? I truly don?t know. I do know that what I have been through has changed me forever! It has made more compassionate towards those with depression and with drinking problems because now I have suffered through both first hand.

    I need to talk with my psychiatrist and discuss the long-term use of topamax as a medication for depression. I do not know enough about my illness yet to know if it is cured. I sure feel like it is, but I do not know if that is the drug talking or not. As for drinking, the same thing pretty much applies. The brakes have been put on there too. Will all that change though if I go off the topa? I guess the only way to answer either question is to stop taking the topa and find out. However, I will not this without the strict supervision of my doctor! Depression is certainly not an illness to be taken lightly nor is a drinking problem!! Surly, through this program, I have accomplished what I needed to and that was to end the viscous cycle I was in. I am forever grateful for that. I however never expected the added benefits that have been opened to me. Truly, the Lord does work in mysterious ways!

    So Matt,

    I know I took a long time in getting to an answer to your question from yesterday but the answer is not an easy one. You do change throughout your recovery. My goal has remained the same throughout mine, however what has changed for me is my thinking. I never had any of the thoughts I stated above before this program and it wasn?t until the fog lifted and the pain subsided that I was able to start to see where I was headed. I am no longer afraid of a future without alcohol if that is what I need to have because in all honesty I almost lost everything and no amount of alcohol is worth that.

    The biggest change for me has been the realization that it is ok to ask for help. If that help comes in the form of pill, so be it. I do not relish the thought of taking a pill for depression the rest of my life, but if that is what I have to end up doing, you can bet that is what I will do. The same goes for drinking, I will do whatever it takes not to go down that very dark road again, and I will use whatever tools are at my disposal to spare me and my family the pain and suffering we went through, and I will be one happy camper doing it!

    This program is all about finding your own way out and leaning on the support of the people here. You can and should proud of whatever path you choose to find your success. I know those here have worked long and hard to find their way, I have too, and I am darn proud of everyone here because truly this is not easy.

    It is like that story ?Yes Virginia There is Santa Clause?. Well yes everyone, there is a way out this hell, and all you have do is choose the path that is right for you. If that includes taking a pill fine, if not that is fine also. I agree with Brigid in that change can and does happen, but it happens for each of us in our own time, in our own way, and honestly, this is an amazing place for it to happen!

    Donna

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