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Thread: It's my turn

  1. #351
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    Re: Its my turn

    it is so incredibly mind blowing to see that I first arrived here 11.5 years ago. I was a hot mess then and began my journey here to find myself and serenity. At the time I thought all I have to do is just stop drinking. We all know the bulk of that story and I actually chronicled much of it here. I am glad I did as it served a purpose to remind me just how difficult sobriety is, was, could be and would be. Sober forums provide ample proof as to just how difficult and elusive sobriety is. I kinda feel bad for not hanging out here more regularly especially when 10 days ago I popped the cork (pun intended) on TWO YEARS sober! So surreal to write 2 years sober when I tried 14 other times and was lucky to get 2 months sober before I gave up. Without this journal I would have never known I had 14 day ones on record here. Probably can add a few more I forgot to write down. And before you ask I will just tell you I don't have a great answer as to why I was able to finally stop drinking for two years now. I am sad to admit that it really came down to a choice. A choice to live or die. August 2018 I was probably 3-4 months from dying from my alcoholism. I had easily 5 straight years of a bottle of more of vodka a day and I was a goner. Yep, staring death in the face woke me up but even having death as the inevitable if I ever took a drink again, did not make the task any easier. I had no choice but to not drink, I didn't and it was rough! It took every bit of resolve, commitment and concentration to grab control over my out of control mind. Out of desperation of having exhausted all my other recovery options I surrendered to an outpatient program and also found out I had PTSD. That proved to be the engine behind my need to self medicate and numb away the stress and anxiety that consumed me. Childhood trauma had knocked my ship off course and never developed healthy coping skills. Any time stress surfaced in my life it only piled onto my social anxiety and I did all I knew to do and retreated, I hid, I cried. Life was terribly unfair, cruel, mean, at time loving and other times life abandoned me to a dark corner where I pacified my fears anyway I could muster. Drugs and alcohol found their way into my life and that helped me cope and survive and eventually take me withing an inch of my life. I am pretty certain EMDR treatment is what helped me change the tide of my alcoholism. For 2 years I have done the impossible and made it possible and enjoyable. I never thought I would be this happy or even a little happy. Sobriety is such an incredible gift that I will take my last breath protecting. Thanks to all of you who were here when I needed a place to chill and have a kind word expressed. I am forever in your debt. Thank you!
    Last edited by 4theboyz; August 26th, 2020 at 03:58 PM.
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

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  3. #352
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    Re: Its my turn

    Hi 4 da boyz!

    Beautiful post. Congratulations on 2 years sober! Wow, that's some achievement eh? I'm super happy for you and glad you made the choice to take back your life. I wish you lifelong happiness and contentment. Bravo! x


    'I am part of all that I have met, yet all experience is an arch wherethro', gleams that untravelled world whose margins fade, forever and forever when I move'

    Zen soul Warrior. Freedom today-

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  5. #353
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    Re: Its my turn

    Quote Originally Posted by 4theboyz View Post
    it is so incredibly mind blowing to see that I first arrived here 11.5 years ago. I was a hot mess then and began my journey here to find myself and serenity. At the time I thought all I have to do is just stop drinking. We all know the bulk of that story and I actually chronicled much of it here. I am glad I did as it served a purpose to remind me just how difficult sobriety is, was, could be and would be. Sober forums provide ample proof as to just how difficult and elusive sobriety is. I kinda feel bad for not hanging out here more regularly especially when 10 days ago I popped the cork (pun intended) on TWO YEARS sober! So surreal to write 2 years sober when I tried 14 other times and was lucky to get 2 months sober before I gave up. Without this journal I would have never known I had 14 day ones on record here. Probably can add a few more I forgot to write down. And before you ask I will just tell you I don't have a great answer as to why I was able to finally stop drinking for two years now. I am sad to admit that it really came down to a choice. A choice to live or die. August 2018 I was probably 3-4 months from dying from my alcoholism. I had easily 5 straight years of a bottle of more of vodka a day and I was a goner. Yep, staring death in the face woke me up but even having death as the inevitable if I ever took a drink again, did not make the task any easier. I had no choice but to not drink, I didn't and it was rough! It took every bit of resolve, commitment and concentration to grab control over my out of control mind. Out of desperation of having exhausted all my other recovery options I surrendered to an outpatient program and also found out I had PTSD. That proved to be the engine behind my need to self medicate and numb away the stress and anxiety that consumed me. Childhood trauma had knocked my ship off course and never developed healthy coping skills. Any time stress surfaced in my life it only piled onto my social anxiety and I did all I knew to do and retreated, I hid, I cried. Life was terribly unfair, cruel, mean, at time loving and other times life abandoned me to a dark corner where I pacified my fears anyway I could muster. Drugs and alcohol found their way into my life and that helped me cope and survive and eventually take me withing an inch of my life. I am pretty certain EMDR treatment is what helped me change the tide of my alcoholism. For 2 years I have done the impossible and made it possible and enjoyable. I never thought I would be this happy or even a little happy. Sobriety is such an incredible gift that I will take my last breath protecting. Thanks to all of you who were here when I needed a place to chill and have a kind word expressed. I am forever in your debt. Thank you!
    Thank you very much, very motivating story!!

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  7. #354
    Registered User. Pavati's Avatar

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    Re: It's my turn

    Congratulations, 4! Two years is an amazing milestone. Onward and upward!

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  9. #355
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    Re: It's my turn

    Health and Recovery.
    I quit drinking expecting that my life would improve what I did not expect was how much my overall health would be affected. Below is a list of “ailments” many of which I had already assumed and accepted as part of both getting older and the repercussions of burning the candle at both ends that I was living with on 8/17/2018 the day I stopped drinking alcohol:

    High Blood Pressure 100/160 HR 91. Today 129/75 HR 59
    Debilitating Gout, joint aches and pain. Today all cleared up
    Dry skin/rashes/ashen. All cleared up and healthy glow again
    GERDS/ Barrets with pre-cancerous lesions. Today, Acid Reflux gone and Barrets resolved (gone)
    25 lbs overweight. Today, 15 lbs less, 10 to go.
    Sleep Apnea, Today it is resolved
    Insomnia, today I sleep like a baby
    Fainting when standing up. Not once since I quit drinking.
    All of these health challenges, which I was taking prescription medications to address thinking it was part of getting old and dealing with for years now, has vastly improved or resolved completely all because I stopped drinking! The list of health benefits of stopping the drugs and or alcohol is something that IMHO should be discussed more freely. I understand the sensitive nature and randomness of discussing health issues online but feel we can do so responsibly. I say this because I really like my doctor and did discuss my alcoholism with him for a decade but he never once directly tied my health issues in with my drinking. I saw him last Monday and he is floored by my 180 turnaround since I quit 2 years ago and I asked him point blank why he did not make that connection back when. He said I hid my drinking well and my symptoms were text book for a guy in his 50’s and treated them that way. My point being is that even your trusted doctors may not make this connection to our health woes. Even though he did not come out connect my health woes to my drinking…I knew my drinking was causing me problems. Finally, my dad died from cancer due to Barrets Esophagus and I assumed mine was hereditary and probably would kill me too. My dad was an alcoholic so I guess I could argue the genetic connection from that angle and now in light that mine is gone since quitting drinking, I can only think he would still be alive today if he didn’t drink at all.
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

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  11. #356
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    Re: It's my turn

    Thank you for the detailed description of your ailments. Indeed, how our health can better avoid bad habits.

  12. #357
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    Re: It's my turn

    ~"Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words," noted Wilson.

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can,
    and wisdom to know the difference.


    I wanted to take this moment to share my thoughts on these few but incredibly powerful and influential words of the famous Serenity Prayer and how they have impacted my recovery and my life overall.
    The first time I ever really read those words was Feb 2009 in my very first AA meeting as I surrendered my life to recovery so I could get sober and cure my addiction to alcohol. I, like so many others I hear and read about, bristled at the “God” component of the prayer as I am far removed from religion and no longer had this connection to this “God” in this prayer and was a deal breaker from the get-go. I was offered the option to substitute whatever it may be that would serve a similar role of guidance as I ventured forward on my road to recovery. That did not and has not happened and used this as an excuse to not pay too much attention to this “prayer”. Plus I felt I was pretty smart as it was and did not need a prayer to help me see the wisdom of making best choices in life (Said the alcoholic)

    Anyway, my first clue that made me take a closer look at this prayer was at my dad’s funeral where my mom had printed the Serenity Prayer on his prayer card that was handed out at his funeral. At this time I was floundering in my 5th year of recovery in AA. This had to be a sign from above and had the prayer card laminated and it now has a permanent home in a pocket of my briefcase.

    Fast forward to today where I am now 2 years totally sober in my 11 year journey down the road of recovery and I can look back and see just how relevant and instrumental these 25 words were and are in my recovery and my life overall. Breaking down this prayer we have the core elements needed to live a productive and sober life. It’s all there! All the lessons I have learned about tearing down the barricades that addiction erected in my life to allow me to live and function as a sober person in this world were there the whole time. “Acceptance, “Courage”, “Change” and “Wisdom” and here is why I feel those 4 words were what helped me find the key to unlock the shackles of my addiction.
    I had to accept I was an alcoholic who could no longer manage my life without alcohol. I had to find to courage to admit this and seek others to help me learn to help myself. I had to then find the strength to make the changes in my life, my behaviors and my goals to create a new sober life without the option of an alcohol or drug to deal with the problems life inevitably throws our way. And then there is wisdom. Like so many addicts, I knew I was addicted to alcohol but I lacked not only the courage to accept that I was an addict, I also lacked the wisdom to know the difference that despite my incredible ability to solve every other problem I ever faced but could not fix this problem of my addiction. It took me to finally realize I lacked this wisdom and needed the wisdom of others who already recovered, therapists and finally my family who I had done so much for it was now time for me to admit I needed all their help to get sober once and for all. Probably the wisest decision I ever made.

    Where it all comes together is how I now view life, how I react to life’s problems and how I employ my new found “wisdom” and how it has changed me forever. I no longer get mad or blindly angry at pretty much anything. I have fully accepted that I can never drink again which makes being sober so much easier knowing drinking is no longer an option for me and makes finding other real solutions to whatever it is so much simpler.
    I encourage everyone who may have sidestepped these 25 words of the Serenity Prayer to give them another look as to get and stay sober really does require acceptance, courage, change and wisdom to tie it all together. Consider the Serenity Prayer as your sober survival tool that can come in handy more times than you may realize today but will be crystal clear when you are able to look back over what it took to get and stay sober.
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

  13. Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    Re: It's my turn

    Consequences

    Day 894 Sober

    I cannot remember even one “Day One” where I set out to fail at it. Every one of those dozens of attempts I was certain I was going to break my cycle of hell and never drink again. My first real Day One was the one I broke through my protective wall of denial and declared that I will never poison my body with alcohol ever again. I say “real” day one because only God knows how many times I previously pledged to him my sobriety in trade for removal of my suffering only to drink weeks, days hours later. All those mental dress rehearsals for going sober as in officially do it up, AA, therapy the works I went all in. Back then I had no clue what I was up against only that my drinking was out of control and all I had to do was just stop. So I did and in 5 and a half months I relapsed. First of 15 more attempts and 14 of them I failed.

    I preface this post with all of that as the longer I hang out in sober forums the more I see just how freaking hard this is for every person that tries to get sober. Each time I tried to get sober I was absolutely convinced I would do it this time out because of what I had learned the previous time. I can only imagine that the circus that plays in each of our skulls while we try to recover is the same clown show we all where we know the flower will squirt us in the face if we get to close and we do anyway.

    What is crippling my own brain is seeing how each time I tried to get sober I did know more, a *LOT* more than I did the last time out and after a decade of trying I had the knowledge, I had the tools, I had the support and yet I drank and this last relapse I was sinking fast. Health, relationships you name it I was going to lose it all and my addiction got so bad I didn’t care then what price I would pay, I just wanted more vodka to make the pain stay away. And then it did get worse, I was now pretty sick and this time the stakes were much higher…I was going to die if I didn’t quit and it would be real soon too.

    At 892 days sober, I feel pretty confident I will never drink again. I can’t or I *will* die from doing so. I mentioned I know a few things about recovery and I think I can finally answer the question of what was it that made the difference this time out getting sober. My answer is the consequence of my drinking was finally much too great and I knew it, I believed it and I believed in my own ability to finally take ownership of my problem and do something radical and permanent in my life going forward.

    Ha! To borrow the pandemic analogy is my last attempt was what I essentially did during the pandemic. I put myself in quarantine for 2 weeks nothing but work, exercise, meetings, bed) and lock-down for 3 months (work, exercise, meetings, bed, hobby/recreation classes, going out to restaurants and places that did not serve alcohol) and since then I have “social distanced” literally keeping anyone with booze 6 feet from me and no more than 15 minutes and I change scenery. My life now depends on me staying sober. The stakes are than high and the consequences so great that I finally have a very clear path I know I must travel, I have plenty of guardrails, barriers and people who are my GPS to help me stay focused on my sobriety. And I have all of you folks that give purpose to my journey and help me stay confident in my choices.
    Once the stakes are high enough you will find a way to make the right sober choices at the right times you must make them.

    FWIW, if you want more of my thoughts, I have a ton of stuff at a facebook page I admin here. THere I go by VIG. Be well Log into Facebook | Facebook
    Last edited by 4theboyz; January 26th, 2021 at 09:07 AM.
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

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  15. #359
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    Re: It's my turn

    Yesterday was the anniversary of my first post ever here on February 18th, 2008 and the first recollection impression that jumps out at me is how clueless I was as to what was happening to me. What I do remember was how that new epic hangover was the clear message that I needed help and on that day I walked through the doors of AA for the first time. For the next 10 years, every morning I woke with a hangover I would swear at my situation and pray for a way out. Each time I swore off booze, nothing changed and the results were the same. Nothing changed because I did not know how to change something I could not see a way to change or what I even needed to change for that matter.

    I knew I drank too much, I knew I was stressed, I felt unappreciated, I felt my life was not my own, I worked so damn hard for so many years and anything I had to show for my efforts was done for the benefit for others and I knew I was miserable.

    What I did know was I was stressed because of my job, so it would make sense to find other work. My marriage also was driving me to drink so it would make sense to cut her loose. Raising 2 kids on top of all of that had me in a corner as that was also something near impossible to escape out from under. Each time I tried to ditch the booze those 3 elements of my life would consume me and alcohol was the only thing that kept me from jumping off a ledge and now it was killing me. I had to quit or I would die.

    Knowing I would die if I did not quit was a game changer. One would think that now knowing another drink would kill me would be the beginning of a sober happy ending. Far from it. Now that I was not drinking I could not be more miserable. I hated going to AA because I had been to hundreds of meetings over the year and I still had an insane urge to drink. I was prescribed Benzos to calm me down and once again I did everything I was supposed to and more and still I felt this insane urge to drink. This time I swapped AA for an outpatient program and I went all in and did everything they suggested I do, but I still could not nail down why it was I needed alcohol.

    My life now depended on me figuring this all out and I was beyond desperate and my desperation made me anxious and anxiety is what got me to this level of addiction. *HEY! Wait a minute!!* What did I just say?? “anxiety is what got me to this level of addiction”. **FINALLY** there is was my first real clue. So what was making me so anxious? I had to get more specific than just “life” and I had already established my business, my marriage and raising kids was uber stressful and stress make me anxious and I already determined that removing those 3 things would only mean other things would take their place on the podium of 3 things that make me anxious as there was more….a LOT more. But you gotta start somewhere and my last Day One August 17, 2018 I rolled up my sleeves and got to work pulling out and taking a hard look at everything that made me stressed or anxious and what I learned to do was to pick this “person, place or thing” that was making me anxious and asked the question “why”, what about it was making me anxious.

    Long story short, I was self-medicating. Chasing down my anxiety always took me back to the big three and the motive to self-medicate the stress of my work, marriage and kids, but what was odd is the motive did not fully account for why the trigger always instigated this urge to drink. And then all the detective work paid off and I realized early childhood trauma that was never addressed and was a ghost that kept haunting me every time I got stressed, those fearful moments would take over and my response to stress was to retreat and hide and vodka was that blanket I could pull over my head and hide from my work, my marriage, my kids and *ALL* the other stressors making me afraid and miserable.

    I will always have to be on guard that I never make the wrong choice ever again, but I stay in the game, I do exercise everyday, I write, I read, I share at meetings and online. I began to substitute sober choices for the people, places and things that otherwise stressed me out. I began to take a much bigger role in my physical and mental health with daily exercise, taking breaks throughout the day and learning to pause when things start to heat up so I can stop whatever it is from getting to be too much at any given time. I learned to spread the stress out and learned the value just taking in the little things that life was offering me all this time.

    Keep looking for answers as they are there and probably right in front of you. Anytime you get an urge, take time to look as to what the triggers are and why they are even triggers in the first place and then do something to fix that! If your ship is sinking, you can toss overboard the things that are weighing you down until you are able to stop sinking. Once you stop sinking you can then work on making permanent repairs to your life so you can sail through life smoothly.
    Last edited by 4theboyz; February 19th, 2021 at 01:26 PM.
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

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  17. #360
    Registered User. 4theboyz's Avatar

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    Re: It's my turn

    This is for all of you here who gave me a place to write, cry, learn and share this crazy ass journey.

    1000 Days

    For one thousand days I have woken up and have had to make a conscious commitment to my sobriety to not drink. And as one would hope this task has gotten easier each day I do this. I do think about not drinking a lot and not sure yet if I could or will not ever think about it because that thought actually scares me. I am afraid if I don’t think about it then I am opening the door to forgetting all the pain I went through and the equal amount of pain I put my family through and I will relapse.

    My sober journey though started much earlier than that horrendous last Day One 1,000 days ago, it started 4,388 days ago on my very first Day One on February 18, 2008. That day was the first time in over a decade of fighting progressively worse and more frequent hangovers that I finally had enough and went to my first AA Meeting. I can still remember that suffocating vacuum I was in as I walked down the hallway of that church through the doors into that room full of people who seemed unusually happy and calm for a room full of suffering alcoholics. I was in horrendous physical and emotional pain and I hear laughter that shattered the fear and confusion I had in my head and suddenly I felt at ease which was short lived as once the meeting began it all started to sink in that my alcohol addiction was indeed official and things were about to get real in a way nothing can prepare you for.

    That day I also did the one thing that I am convinced has enabled me to find sobriety and that is to write. Back in 2008 there wasn’t this burgeoning sober community online, in fact, I could only find one over across the pond called MyWayOut.org and there I started an online journal that I have a written record I call my Black Box as it has a full record of all my challenges, victories and failures in addiction and the fact that I am able to go back and read the details of each of my 14 relapses and because of those words I finally saw a pattern in that I would not drink, white knuckle my way through the days, weeks and months and KABOOM I was back in the bottle. I knew I could make that effort to not drink, I proved that over and over, but there was always a set of circumstances that simply overloaded me and I had to drink to calm the fuck down.

    In all those years of writings words started to jump out at me like the one above…”overloaded”, “Anger”, “Stress”, “Frustration”, *ANXIETY” and even “fear”. What is common to those words are is they are all emotions and feelings the very things I used alcohol to numb. These words were the same words I talked about in the AA meetings, in my therapy meetings and in meetings with my Doctor who came to my aid with a prescription to Benzo’s but none of these things never completely removed my need to drink.

    Long story shortened, the first word in my list contained *THE* reason I drank…I was overloaded. When I started to decipher all those words in my list I noticed something else they had in common and that is that they were all optional emotions and feelings. I had to choose to be angry, I chose to be stressed, frustrated, anxious or afraid and once I realized this I started to ask why. Why was I stressed, frustrated, anxious or afraid and DUH it was because I was overloaded. There was that word again and so I did the one thing I had not done in those previous 10 years of trying is I cut back on obligations, I changed how I felt about things and put a great deal of effort into changing how I “reacted” to challenges. Today I take my time to choose more positive ways to “respond” and not react to life’s challenges and this keeps me out of that danger zone where these optional emotions and feelings will reside and instead of numbing them I choose other more positive ways to feel about things and even better cut them out of my life altogether.

    I have so much more to share and much of it I already have over at mywayout.org and look up 4theboyz and you will find my journal here… It's my turn and since last September I was invited to co-admin a Facebook page where I have a LOT of my writings in the files section here at #dailysobercheckin Log into Facebook | Facebook

    My bottom line is I never gave up and I am glad because I am now sober 1,000 days and so can you, just never give up and always say “I don’t drink” and you won’t.

    #1000dayssober #dailysobercheckin #recovery #addiction #sobriety
    Is Addiction Really a Disease?
    Watch this and find out....
    http://youtu.be/ekDFv7TTZ4I

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