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    Thread: Living Fully

    1. #1
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      Living Fully

      EDIT TO POST 8/24/15: If you are reading, please read to the end. I began this thread with high hopes and a lot of confidence. I've since learned that I am not able to "have some" without it becoming more than I would like. I have no desire to give false hopes to anyone reading. There may be people who are able to achieve extreme moderation, but I no longer believe I am one of them.

      This thread is "LIVING FULLY". 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. 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. I learned to quit and I learned to cope differently. And I learned that alcohol has a very small place in my life now. 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 DO happen to struggle - 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.
      Last edited by KENSHO; August 24th, 2015 at 12:03 PM.
      Kensho

      Done. Moving on to life.

    2. #2
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      Thanks for this thread Kensho,

      I recently came out of 2 years abstinence and even though being abstinent was once a goal it is no longer.In the end I found it to be a nightmare of its own kind.I now drink on weekends and socially,previously I was your run of the mill compulsive alcoholic.I have Baclofen to thank for the new found freedom and my ability to be able to take it or leave it.It is not my intention to promote my way or anything like that I would just like to say here,but I too can relate to your goal of not wanting to have AL destroy or control my life without having the goal of never drinking again.

      Thanks for starting this thread once again and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

      Cheers Stevo.

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    4. #3
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      Hi Kensho. My situation is that I went 9 months without drinking at all. I had an occasion that was unintentional around Thanksgiving 2014 when I had two glasses of wine, but after that I went back to abstinence. Since then every month or two I have an occasion or two where I have had a drink. What I have realized for me is that my problem drinking was largely due to habit. If I don't drink often, I seem to be able to handle it fine. And what I have found is that when I have had a drink, I have not wanted more and I have not gone back to wishing I had it every day. The occasion comes and goes and things go back to how they were (with me not drinking).

      I have had probably about 10 occasions over the past 8 months where I have had a drink - and the majority of those occasions have been one drink. There have been NO occasions of overdrinking. If I have a dinner party, for example, my Mom's birthday at the end of May - I have had a couple of spritzers where I put about two ounces of wine in a glass and mix with seltzer. When everyone leaves, I'm done. Before everyone comes, it doesn't even cross my mind to drink. In the past, I would have started long before the guests arrived. This most recent occasion (mom's bday), I had those two spritzers over the course of the evening (and amounting to less than one glass of wine). My mom had 3 glasses of wine so there was still some in the bottle at the end of the evening. I poured it straight into a glass and thought I would go ahead and drink that while I cleaned up. interestingly, I had a sip, didn't like it (!!) and poured it down the sink. I have truly come a very long way! My feelings about alcohol are completely and totally different now.

      Based on my past experience, I feel pretty certain that if I went back to drinking multiple times a week or even every weekend, that I would go back to where I was. But for now, if a rare occasion arises and I want a drink, I will have it. I keep track, so that I (hopefully) will recognize if I seem to be drinking more often than I should or more quantity. So far, it has been roughly a couple of times a month having one drink. Seems ok to me. And I am very conscious of where I was...I was truly not happy and I drank daily and often too much...I had become obsessed with drinking. I would drink after I dropped the kids at the mall since I had time to kill, I would drink after I dropped the kids off to practice because I had time to kill, I would drink on the way home from work because I couldn't wait to get home to do it - I hated who I was then and I am very conscious of this and that is why I continue to stay on this site - I think it is extremely important to stay on top of this and remember.

      For now, this is my way, and I am ok with it because it is working just fine.

      I don't have the answers to your questions. I'm not sure if this is truly possible but it seems to be working for me right now.

      I have not 'moved' to the moderators threads because in general the drinking described there seemed to be much more frequent than I wanted and I prefer an abstinence mindset. But I am always reading everywhere and would love to share in the joys of "not drinking most of the time" with you!

      Thanks for the thread.

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    6. #4
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      Hi Frances and Stevo! Nice to see you.

      Stevo, I am so glad you have found a balance for yourself and you seem happy. I used to consider medication. I tried naltrexone for two days and hated it with a capital H! I am not very good at accepting foreign things into my body, and truly, I would rather abstain completely than do the medication thing - it's just not for me. I think it has helped a lot of people though.

      Frances - thank you for sharing your story. I'm just glad to hear of anyone who does not feel in the grips of alcohol any more. I hear you about being very conscious of behavior, as I do feel it could be a slippery slope to change a mindset from total abstinence to "some is ok". The brain can confuse "exactly what amount is ok". For me, one or two drinks a month is enough. More and I feel terrible and start to get confused. I think the tone that has worked for me is that no alcohol is the best. And that is what I want to remember and live by. If I have a little (and as you said don't revert into wanting more and more), then I am ok with it.

      Last night we had dinner with friends at a Mexican place. Margaritas around, except me. It did sound good, partly because I was so hungry. Once I ate, I felt much better. We came back to our house for ice cream and sat out on our deck with a fire. Conversation turned to being sick after drinking too much. They talked about it like it was a sort of trophy thing that has happened to them, and told the details. I was disgusted. I absolutely HATE both being that drunk, and feeling nauseous. It's not worth it to me. I didn't leave, rather I listened and was very glad it wasn't me.

      So I'm still not sure what to call my behavior, and I've been thinking about it a lot. Either I am trying to be abstinent and I cheated a couple times, without ramifications - or I consider myself a rare drinker. Which? Don't know. But I know I love being sober, and with-it, and "there" for my kids and friends and family, and on top of my work game. I do not want to be a daily drinker ever again. The thing is that I wonder if I am setting myself up to go there with allowing a "little" in my life. So far, no.

      Have a great day, and enjoy your alcohol-free time!
      Last edited by KENSHO; June 14th, 2015 at 05:07 PM.
      Kensho

      Done. Moving on to life.

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      I have no idea what to call this either. SL said on another thread that she didn't want to call her recent drinking a relapse. I'm not sure to what extent she drank, but I have the same feeling about my own situation. A relapse, to me, is going back to your old patterns. I don't think that drinking in control (i.e., one or two) and very rarely should be considered a relapse. I'm not sure about calling it 'cheating' - that also seems to have more of a negative connotation than I would like. If I overdid it, got drunk, had a hangover, or something like that then yes, that would be negative. But I feel pretty good about how things are going for me so I prefer to stay away from a negative term. I'm stumped on what it is. I do like 'rare drinker'. That's accurate, as in "I drink on a rare occasion".

      As for people talking about being sick after drinking too much....I hate to think back to those days. I almost never in my life got sick in the same night as the drinking was taking place, but there were a number of really really hungover days where I could not even get out of bed. Pretty shameful. I never want to feel that way again, that is for sure!!

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      I would call it freedom from AL.If you can be its master and it doesn't rule you then you are no longer its slave.

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      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.
      Last edited by KENSHO; June 16th, 2015 at 08:39 AM.
      Kensho

      Done. Moving on to life.

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    14. #8
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      Kensho your post is in the monthly moderation(you are posting about moderation)section of the forum.If someone decides to drink and says that it was because of you then they are not owning their own actions.I am not a big fan of AA but I have done a hell of a lot of it and in the Big Book that is called an alibi(according to the Big Book every alcoholic is looking for one).You are writing for your own therapy and people should be able to take it or leave it,not try to tell you that you are jeopardising others sobriety because you are being honest.I would like to insert some choice words here for whoever has made you feel this way but am thinking it is not a good idea.
      Whoever has made you post what you did before is the person or peoples being selfish as they obviously feel that your recovery is of lesser value than theirs or their style because you have chosen to moderate.DO NOT LET THEM DO THIS.

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    16. #9
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      Hi Kensho - just chiming in to add that I totally understand your feelings but you know what? Stevo is right.

      I'm not sure if it's yourself or someone else making you feel this way - my guess is that much of it is coming from yourself (and I have had the same thoughts so you are not alone!). As for being met with a 'wall' by someone when you talked to them about it; well, that is their own defense mechanism and should probably just be accepted and move on - I would try not to worry about that too much but I know it is disappointing.

      It's your choice how you want to proceed but I am looking forward to keeping in touch with you and hearing about your success and helping you if you think you are going off track. And I'm sure others here feel the same!

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      Feeling healthy and energetic today. LOVE that! The tiredness of workouts has transitioned into feeling a little stronger and more fit. I have to keep it up though! Feeling very clean as well, and I absolutely love that feeling. Nothing better than not feeling toxic. How did I live with alcohol in my system every day for so long? I think after awhile, being away from sobriety makes it hard to remember what it feels like to be alcohol free. What a HUGE difference. I feel ready to tackle the day! Hope everyone has a good one!
      Kensho

      Done. Moving on to life.

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