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Unread 05-03-2016, 09:05 PM   #1
Rockinsteady
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Default I've valued this forum for months now and am finally introducing myself

I really like this forum, because people here are kind and funny and realistic/level-headed. I am here because I am looking for support for my decision to stop using alcohol. I made that decision almost eight months ago now, and have stuck to it. I thought I could do it once I decided to, and it's been a change with a fair amount of ease. I'll share a quote from the best "stop drinking" book (Sober for Good) I've read--that's not saying much, because I've only read a few, but I do really like it because it describes so many ways to "recovery," many of which make a lot of sense to me. It says "I've made a million vows to control my drinking. I've only made one vow to quit." That's been true for me, because it was darn challenging to manage my intake but it's been much easier just to say "Okay, I'm done with that noise." I'm pretty determined in general, but it was a relief to decide that I am just bad at drinking. Like, not a C- or D+ but a solid F, despite many years of trying. Once I realized that, I accepted my "failure" and moved on. So, I'm not really struggling. Mostly I am just very happy with my decision to quit and all the benefits that decision has had on my life. I even chose a user name that has aspirational value to me, as I hope to just keep "rocking steady" on the alcohol-free path, and my confidence that I can do so is high.

So why am I bothering to post here or read people's posts, if I'm doing well on this journey? Mainly, because I want to remember why I've chosen to stop drinking. I want the reality checks (although my drinking nightmares provide some already). It could be pretty easy to forget how much damage alcohol did to me when I drank it. Of course, there are lots of people in my life who could remind me of my own experiences along these lines. I took my first drink at 12 or 13 and never was really without it until I quit, except for a four-month period when I was 19 and decided to "take a break" after my DUI and a two-month period a few years ago when I'd recently learned of my mother's terminal cancer diagnosis AND had a romantic break-up and figured I really better not deal with the added handicap of alcohol. Then, over 20 years later, I quit on my 39th birthday, after about a week and a half of giving it serious consideration and talking to some friends whose opinions I valued. The catalyst for thinking about it was one final really bad night. Many of you are unfortunately familiar with nights like those, and mine included doing embarrassing and unsafe stuff, losing some of my possessions, breaking a promise or two, and of course waking up miserable, ashamed, and furious at myself the next day. I decided I refused to do some of those things in those ways ever again, and the only way I could guarantee that was to not use alcohol ever again. I thought about some labels for my problem and never really concluded anything (I did not seek professional assessment). But I asked myself whether my life would be better if I never drank again, and clearly answered yes.

Alcohol was the main source of shame in my life and a major source of anxiety and grief. Things are just so much easier now, without the interference of drinking. I didn't realize how much I was thinking about alcohol! Now I have a bunch more processing space in my brain that's free for other topics and plans. It's been like scraping the barnacles off the bottom of a boat.

So, I hope to hear reminders of the reasons I quit. I hope to hear others' stories and benefit from their wisdom, as well as just hear how others are doing their recovery and living their lives in recovery or recovery-in-process. I also hope I may be able to inspire or encourage others sometimes too. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this fine forum!
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Unread 05-04-2016, 12:40 AM   #2
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Hi Rockinsteady and welcome! You have joined a great group of folks that is for sure. So happy to hear that you discovered all the problems that alcohol can create and have been able to abstain! I think it is very important to have a support group to help continue your recovery." It" is always lurking, ready to take advantage of any narrow opening. By being a member here will help you be accountable.Glad to have you aboard. One day at a time!
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Unread 05-04-2016, 04:51 AM   #3
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Good morning to you Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

Welcome, welcome to this amazing and loving family.

What a journey you have had there and thank you for sharing it. Everyone here has their journeys all of them challenging, yet then again that is life. What we all share is that on our journeys alcohol near as damn it killed us! We have experienced that very dark and very lonely place.

How right you are when you say you had no idea how much time alcohol took up. I think when when i was drinking there was infact nothing else on my mind. If i had none it was getting it, when i had some it was drinking it, and when i was coming to the end...how was i going to get more?

Those mornings, as if we were completely blind to ourselves....oh so ill. I can vividly remember saying on sooo many occasions as i was feeling like death warmed up...."its ok....i'll be alright after a drink"...

What a life eh? Days rolling into weeks, into months into years...life whooshing by, yet the drinker missing the lot.

Guilt....Oh...my old friend guilt and shame. Very...verrryyyy easy to pop an arm round those 2 and have them escort you to the bar.
So that being said, what a remarkable achievement you have already made. You sound so very thoughtful, reflective and have a very clear focus. The one thing alcoholics never seem to believe they have and that is wisdom. No one here would admit to being wise, yet on my journey here, each and every brother and sister, (oh that's just Tryn. I see all the members here as my brothers and sisters), have shown me wisdom at time that has "saved my bacon". Some of us struggle terribly still, some have more time sober. Yet 1 thing we all want, we all share and we all support each other in the pursuit of, none of us want to drink.

The folk you will meet here are the most beautiful, experienced, yes wise, loving, non judgemental, understanding and compassionate bunch of people you will ever meet.

We are all here for each other my friend, we are here for you. I look forward to hearing more about you and your journey.

Once again, welcome my new brother.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Rockinsteady
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Unread 05-04-2016, 06:04 AM   #4
Alexis
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Hey Rockinsteady, great to have you along for the ride

Thanks for sharing your story, i can already tell you will be an inspiring part of the family.

Keep talking!

Love xx
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Unread 05-04-2016, 01:02 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. Can't add much to what the others have said, but I look forward to seeing more of you.
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Unread 05-05-2016, 09:44 AM   #6
R. Lee
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Rock, Welcome to our site. Now you are one of us. Please keep posting.

You sound like most of us. 39 was about my age the 1st. time I quit drinking. I lasted 7 months. I had 23 more years to go before I had my fill.

As you state most of us did not like how we behaved when drinking. For me a sober life is so much better.

Glad you have joined us on the road to recovery.
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Unread 05-07-2016, 04:23 PM   #7
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How you doing? x
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Unread 05-15-2016, 10:22 PM   #8
Rockinsteady
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Default Thanks for the warm welcome!

Wow, thank you so much everyone for the warm welcome! I tried to post last week but I see it did not work for some reason...learning curve with the new group, I suppose. I appreciate your kind words very much! Tryn, you are so right that it is easy to "belly up to the bar" with guilt and shame, as they are pretty reliable drinking buddies. Good point. And R. Lee thank for the cool nickname!


I am continuing to do well and am still very glad I've made the decision to stop drinking. I got another alcohol help book/memoir to keep me thinking about my recovery. I spent time this weekend with people who were drinking, as it seems like people so often are, and noticed that one of my friends actually left the place we were at when she learned they didn't have a bar. We were roller skating for a friend's birthday and she couldn't enjoy it without alcohol (even though I think she is actually a really fun person and doesn't need it at all). I also spent time with a friend (at a board game night) who sometimes drinks too much and she wasn't and I really enjoyed that. I also noticed that, contrary to what a lot of people talk about when it comes to their plans for their weekends, or even just my assumptions about what people do on the weekends, I spent time with maybe 10 or 12 people this weekend and only one of them seemed to be using alcohol to any significant degree. It helps me redefine what the norm is.


I also realized I am in the rare position of getting a "do-over" of a prior drinking fail. A few years ago I was on vacation and visited a group of friends, and one of the things we did was attend someone's moving-away party. I drank way too much and did some stuff that angered some people, worried my host, and embarrassed me when I heard about it later. Most of the people there were strangers to me, and I made a pretty bad impression. Well, next week I am going to visit the same group of friends, and guess what? I've been invited to another moving-away party, and this time I get to NOT act like a jerk! Nice!


The person I'll be staying with during most of my trip has told me she wants to quit drinking too (and she has a variety of good reasons), but doesn't have the strength. So, I'm hoping I may be able to provide a good role model for her and if she wants to pick my brain, I'll answer her questions. If nothing else, I can at least be her designated driver. I'm going on this trip by myself, and my boyfriend said he worries about me much less now that I don't drink anymore. I feel the same way he does.


I am also going through some really frustrating health issues, and when I think "Gah, I feel like crud, I wish I could breathe and sleep better, when will this be over?" etc., I also sometimes think how much worse I would feel if I were also hung over, headachy, or other physical symptoms of alcohol use and then I think "Okay, this isn't so bad, I can handle it."


Thanks again for your kind words and also for checking in on me! I appreciate it very much and am glad to be here.
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Unread 05-16-2016, 09:34 AM   #9
R. Lee
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Rock, I am glad that you are doing well. Remember to take care of your issues 1st & then you can get well & help others.

I have to avoid people places & things where there is drinking involved.

Good luck & have a great day.
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Unread 06-02-2016, 07:56 PM   #10
Rockinsteady
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Wow, it's been almost 9 months but I had some cravings yesterday. I was having a high degree of frustration and stress and was feeling angry, devalued, and a little trapped. I did end up "binging" on roses instead, which was only $8 and did not give me a hangover. So that's good.
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Unread 06-03-2016, 05:48 AM   #11
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well done for getting through proud of you! x
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Unread 06-03-2016, 10:10 AM   #12
R. Lee
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Rockinsteady, Way to think through that 1st. drink by diverting that thought with roses. Congratulations on 9 months sober.

Come back & share more. You have much to offer.
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Unread 06-03-2016, 10:47 AM   #13
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yes reward yourself, not the alcohol binge that will make you sad, not happy. Congrats! 9 months is a long time.
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Unread 06-03-2016, 12:53 PM   #14
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Well done. I'll have to remember roses...
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Unread 06-03-2016, 02:08 PM   #15
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Good evening Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

Huge congrats for 9 months sober and what a fantastic way to bring up that milestone with a wonderful bunch of roses. I hear why, i applaud it even more.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Rockinsteady
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Unread 06-09-2016, 08:23 PM   #16
Rockinsteady
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Thank you for your support! My nine-month mark was yesterday and I'm proud of it. Roses were my answer to the whining voice in my head saying "It's been a horrible day, so I DESERVE." It's easy to fill in that blank with "a drink," and certainly I have done that in the past. I was proud that I was able to do healthy things instead, not to mention keep my head on straight and gain some perspective on the challenges I was facing. Alcohol always made my perspectives worse, and never really made me feel a hell of a lot better anyway. One of my coworkers expressed admiration for how I was dealing with the work-related problem I was having, saying that I was dealing with it "like an adult" (she is a social worker so I particularly value it, coming from her) and I think that's one thing that being alcohol-free lets us do: to be braver and more level-headed. I should add that I've also been reading a little self-help book about patience, and that's another powerful tool to give myself the freedom to respond how I truly want to, rather than lashing back automatically. I definitely am not perfect on that by a long shot, but at least I'm not drinking anymore, and that is a HUGE help in that arena.

I did have another alcohol nightmare the other night. It was one of the most common type I've had, by far. It was one of the ones where I just FORGET that I don't drink anymore, and get partway into a cocktail etc. (it was red wine the other night) and think "Oh no, I accidentally broke my 'clean' streak, OMG oh no!" I feel scared at the idea of drinking again, but I guess I feel heartened that even in the dream I am very much against drinking. I've only had two dreams where I was drinking and was okay with it, and one of them was set in an apocalypse. I'm not kidding. I guess that means Hell will freeze over before I drink again? Do you guys have drinking nightmares too?
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Unread 06-10-2016, 09:26 AM   #17
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Rockinsteady, Congrats on 90 days sober. You sound great. As our minds clears we can change how we accept things, treat others & so on Keep up the great work.
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Unread 06-10-2016, 03:29 PM   #18
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It does wake me up and feel anxious if I have that dream. Take care, enjoy your sober life.
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Unread 06-10-2016, 05:09 PM   #19
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Yep, I've had those nightmares. They can indeed be unsettling.

About things we can do differently without drinking, e.g., your friend's comment that you were dealing like an adult... I've noticed the same thing. And realized that when I do realize that I'm coping with something by letting my emotions happen and then figuring out what's next, that's actually the grownup thing to do. Go figure!

You talked about a self-help book... one thing that really helped me was reading and listening to Pema Chodron talking about dealing with uncertainty. We always want to know what's going on, and it causes us suffering to not know or not have control. I think that was a big reason for why I drank -- that suffering -- and it's been an interesting experience to try to open up to the idea that that "middle way" can be a peaceful place to be.

Anyhoo. Keep it up, sounds like you're doing great!
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Unread 06-11-2016, 06:52 AM   #20
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Good morning dear Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

You are an inspiration to me, i am sure to others in this amazing family.

Taken on "oneself" can be daunting, it can also be life changing. It sounds like you are on top of that one my friend.

I "doff" my hat to you.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you dear Rockingsteady
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Unread 06-14-2016, 09:30 AM   #21
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Rockinsteady,

Welcome! My son is diabetic, drinks too much, and is 39 years old. I hope he "gets it" like you have soon. I worry about him.

We are so delighted to have you with us. What strength to quit by yourself.

Keep writing. Sincerely, Susie
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Unread 07-13-2016, 07:19 AM   #22
Tryntryagain
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Good afternoon Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

How are things getting along for you? How is your heart and soul? Are you sustaining sobriety, if so share it with us, and you are struggling, share it with us. We learn off each other.

We learn how to work towards and then sustain sobriety is what all of us really want. We learn we have love and strength in our souls, we learn that when it all goes wrong, there is always someone there, we learn when we are flying, there is always someone there.

Here, everyone watches each others back. That is family love.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Rockingsteady
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Unread 07-25-2016, 12:53 AM   #23
Rockinsteady
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Hi everyone! I'm midway through my tenth alcohol-free month and I'm still really liking it. Alcohol just seems more and more like a part of my past, i.e., "over." It's sort of like a cigarette addiction I had in my teens, and even like my casual use of marijuana in college...I'm just done with those things and don't want them. I don't think using marijuana once would hurt me, but to me, for me, it just seems passe, even though it's actually fairly trendy now, since I live in a state that recently legalized its recreational use. Cigarettes and alcohol would hurt me, but I don't want either. I imagine my desire for alcohol will go from negligible to absent with more time.

I've been very glad to be able to serve as a resource for a couple of people lately. A friend was at a gathering and seemed to be intoxicated even though it was only about 7 PM. She asked me to get together with her for brunch, and I said yes because I like her, then she leaned closer and said more quietly that she wants to try to stop drinking alcohol. I was willing to take that time and do that for her...and even better, my brother has recently asked me how I was able to quit. His life is definitely handicapped by his use of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco (and I don't know what other substances, at least in the past), and he is a parent so his use isn't just affecting him. I'm sure many people find motivation to become healthier in their desire to be good parents to their beloved children. I was really glad he's expressing interest, and so far he's been free of at least alcohol for two weeks (assuming he's being honest), which is fantastic. It seems like my health choice has been inspiring others to consider making their own, and I feel happy and proud about that. As gmasusie said, we can see when others we care about are hurting themselves with drink, and it hurts us. Gmasusie, you can tell him that I have found that 39 is an excellent age at which to quit drinking! That way he can start a new decade of life alcohol-free. I recommend it! :-) I also called up a very old friend of mine who's been putting away a 12-pack of cider a night and talking about maybe making a change...he's also got a wife and little one at home and that seems to motivate him too...we didn't even talk about alcohol, as we have been lately, but I just wanted to keep the door open. So many people try to go this alone, and if that works, I'm all for it, but as all of us here know, it can be so useful to have companions on the journey.

My heart and soul feel very good right now, today in particular. I spent time last night volunteering with a political organization I really like, getting signatures from strangers and then enjoying the beautiful community event after my shift. I felt so pumped afterward that I pumped myself up even more, by pumping some weights, which felt great. Then after waking up this morning (with no hangover, yay!) after a nice sleep, I went to a soaking pool for an hour, went for a run in the sun along the river (and ran into a couple friends), visited a friend, did some errands, watched The Simpsons, and cooked myself a delicious healthy dinner. Ask me how much of that I would have been able to do with even, say, two cocktails on board? Forgetaboutit. I like to be able to get so much done and still enjoy the sun and breeze on my skin as I move my body at the speed that's right for it, and laugh with people and at/with myself.

Thanks for letting me know about your drinking nightmares and resources that have been helpful for you, including of course this excellent group. I really appreciate all the love!
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Unread 07-25-2016, 08:47 AM   #24
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well done, you are doing amazing! I notice too, on sober days how much i can get done if i need too...drinking means at least 2 days after, unable to do a thing.

Thanks for being part of the group, you are great xx
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Unread 07-25-2016, 09:16 AM   #25
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nice to hear! thanks for the support, also.
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Unread 07-25-2016, 10:25 AM   #26
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Rockinsteady, Congratulations on you continued sobriety & helping others with alcoholic problems.
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Unread 07-25-2016, 02:00 PM   #27
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Congrats on your sobriety. Keep doing what works for you..... and never forget. Alcohol will call you, sometimes loudly, sometimes just a whisper telling you one will be ok. Think through that first drink. We are never cured.

Enjoy your sobriety!

Be well,
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Unread 07-25-2016, 02:45 PM   #28
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That all sounds great! Congratulations on your new way of life.

Support really can make all the difference.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 07:57 AM   #29
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Good afternoon Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Some wonderful words of wisdom shared here. You are doing so well. You have shown yourself courage, determination and a desire for change. It sounds so easy, it is so challenging.

My wishes and thoughts to you for your continued sobriety and choice of your way of life.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Rockinsteady
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Unread 08-03-2016, 06:51 PM   #30
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How you doing Rock? Let us know when you can! xx
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Unread 09-13-2016, 02:12 AM   #31
Rockinsteady
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Default I've achieved one year of freedom from alcohol!

Thursday marked one year of freedom from alcohol for me. It was great to hit such a big landmark, and I was really proud of myself. I've been setting aside time to study my "alcohol notes" once a month (most months anyway) this last year, to remind myself of all the reason I've made the decision to quit. There sure are a lot of reasons! This time, I was at a nice restaurant, sitting at the bar, and the server jokingly criticized me for ordering "just" a club soda (which I think is delicious, by the way) and said that tequila would be better. I told him "Actually, today I am celebrating one year of being free of alcohol!" He quickly changed to talking about how much money we can save by not drinking alcohol. So, that worked great! And one of the benefits I've seen from not drinking the past year is indeed saving hundreds (probably more than that) of dollars. To celebrate, I spent some of that money on some fancy spa scrub/massage thing and went to one of my favorite classes at the gym, plus went to the dentist and took my car in for a checkup, since I was being so grown up and capable and everything, plus I had taken the day off work to celebrate the occasion anyway.

My boyfriend says he is really glad I don't drink anymore, which is great because we just moved in together a month ago. I turn 40 next Monday, and I haven't lived with another person for ten years. So, it's a real transition, and it has had its challenges. We all know how much worse those challenges are with the burden of alcohol, though.

I also, just tonight, realized I have a really good reminder of my drinking days, right down the street. The house we've moved into is just one block away from a pod of food carts, and it turns out that one of them is a beer cart/trailer owned by my ex-boyfriend (of maybe four years ago), with whom I have a chilly relationship. I was very annoyed by this bad luck, but now I'm thinking it's, in a way, fantastic luck. Guess why? Because it's a physical and obvious reminder (with signs and sometimes actual balloons) of the time when I used to drink, and how it was pretty awful. Mostly, the relationship was bad because it was bad, but our drinking sure didn't help. And I see that he is still drinking, and in fact has opened a little tiny ratty-looking business selling alcohol. It reminds me of the shabby and constricting effects of our drinking and how glad I am to not be with him or with alcohol anymore, and even serves as a cautionary example to me. So, I'm hoping that instead of thinking "Jeez, how terrible it is that I happen to be right next to his beer trailer!", I'll now start thinking "Wow, what a great reminder of what I DON'T want! I'm glad I've have chosen to not drink anymore!"

Thank you all for your wonderful and kind support and for checking in on me. I so appreciate your warmth and humor and encouragement!
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Unread 09-13-2016, 04:20 AM   #32
Alexis
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Congrats on a year sober, you have a great outlook which is inspiring. Please keep dropping by, you give a lot to this family

Love & peace & good luck moving in with your boyfriend!! x
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Unread 09-13-2016, 10:26 AM   #33
R. Lee
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Rockinsteady, Congrats on 1 year sober. Keep it up.
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Unread 09-13-2016, 12:35 PM   #34
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Congratulations. You made a great choice!
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Unread 09-20-2016, 05:32 AM   #35
Tryntryagain
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Good morning Rockingsteady. Bright blessings to you all.

I wanted to pass by your place as other than your incredible landmark, we have not heard how things are for you. I was so touched with your words to me at m,y place, the phrase you shared around the rewards are already mine......and so they are.

That day i took the sentiment with me. Another tiny little step that makes the footprint of me. I am so grateful for such a compassionate intervention.

I hope your journey is proving to be enriching at this time.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you dear Rockingsteady
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Unread 09-20-2016, 08:24 PM   #36
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Thanks for the congrats on my achievement of one year, and for your kind wishes! And I'm glad I can contribute in return. Tryn, I'm glad you liked my quote so much!

Yesterday was another milestone in that I turned 40. I decided my theme for the occasion is "badass," since as we get more mature, we often gain strength and courage. And I do feel stronger and braver just from not drinking, so then entering my 40s is a bonus.

I had a party with friends and we played board games and ate pizza and really good cake. I didn't serve any alcohol, but some friends brought some alcohol drinks. I've been very open with people about my decision to quit, so I'm sure everyone there knew I don't drink anymore, so I was glad they felt comfortable enough to do so anyway around me. It was not a traditional party since it didn't have booze and it had a nerdy theme, but I really enjoyed it.

My boyfriend and I are also having a housewarming party in a couple of weeks and I think we are not having alcohol at it either. (I don't feel strongly about it, although I do prefer not to have alcohol in our house on an ongoing basis, which is totally fine with him.) I did notice that I avoided inviting some people that I like because I was afraid they would get drunk and then I'd have to deal with that. I'm looking forward to the party, but I like my own space enough that I don't want to have anyone stay all night (the party is in the afternoon).

On a sadder note, I am worrying about my brother. As I may have mentioned, he got his 3rd DUI a couple of months ago, while driving the family business' van at more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit. He didn't hurt anyone, but he did hit a couple of mailboxes, which is really really not good. I didn't know he'd had his 2nd DUI. But he tends to hide these things, as so many of us did. He works with my father, and my father was the one who told me about it (my brother seemed mad that he told me). He was really pushing my brother to get treatment, but I don't know if he still is. My brother never talks to me about it unless I ask, and when I ask he says things are going great. He says he hasn't gotten a counselor but he's attending AA and really likes it and almost has a sponsor. I am just worried that he is being less than honest, as he has been for most of his life. Does anyone have any thoughts about how I can be helpful to him and how I can take care of myself as well?

Thank you!
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Unread 09-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #37
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Rockinsteady, I have to be very careful about people, places & things where alcohol is concerned. Good luck with your party. Have a escape plan even if the party is at your house.

I hope your brother has hit his bottom.
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Unread 09-21-2016, 01:18 PM   #38
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Hey Rockinsteady,

Sounds like you're doing well and being honest with yourself. Good luck with the party.

About your brother, I have no advice, really, but I can sympathize with your position. Must be tough. With the hiding and not talking about it, it sounds like he may have a good amount of shame, which does lead to more drinking. It would be great for him to work that out with an addiction counselor, but you can't force him to go.

I hope you can get him to open up with you a bit so you can give him a gentle nudge.
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Unread 09-21-2016, 09:21 PM   #39
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best wishes to you and your brother. Sometimes lots of alcohol around you can trigger drinking or just one sip,etc. I'm glad you are vigilant about staying sober, take care.
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Unread 09-23-2016, 10:35 PM   #40
Rockinsteady
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Thanks for your good wishes! I'm feeling pretty good about the party and don't mind having alcohol around, even at my place, for a specific event. My limits will just be getting rid of any that for any reason gets left behind, and that will be easy enough. I'm also kind of glad to host a party WITHOUT providing alcohol, because it's just showing that, hey, that really is an option. If it's my birthday or my house, I get to choose whether there is booze, and I prefer not to have any. And yeah, I can totally leave anytime I feel the need (driving is easy if you don't drink!).

I hope he's hit his "bottom" too, and I agree that he likely feels a ton of shame, and my heart hurts for him because of that. It must be exhausting to never feel comfortable being "real" about what's going on. I sometimes feel frustrated at how much B.S./impression management he does, because it's a bit insulting to one's intelligence, plus it's just such an impediment to genuine connection. I want to keep checking in with him but also don't like the idea of nagging. Has anyone else been in "his" position before, and if so, what ways was it actually helpful for people to keep asking you how you were doing? And were there ways that were not helpful?

Happy almost weekend, everyone!
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Unread 09-24-2016, 07:12 AM   #41
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Good morning dear Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

May i just say from the outside to read your letters are really refreshing and inspiring. Your year sobriety comes across as you think and write so clearly. I can see what is happening for you on your journey.

I want to try and paint a picture Re your brother. You say he feels a "ton of shame"....and just like Blightys dear ole Big Ben chiming midday, so that went of in my head for him.

I see alcohol addiction like a "burglar". So in your mind you see the chap, stripey black and white top, (never can see how that image can about worldwide), with his eye mask on, creeping away with some kind of "horror film laugh/smirk" carrying his bag of SWAG, over his shoulder. Re SWAG.....RE alcohol. The burglar?....guilt and shame.

If ever there was a reason why a alcoholic can not stop, is them both. We become the person with the SWAG, (SWIG?) over our shoulders, and as long as we have our "loot" we are ok.

It takes real courage, "real" meaning that which comes from our hearts, to put the SWAG down.

Nagging.

My dear Rockinsteady, my brothers and sisters here nagged me for years!!! If they had not, well, i would not be here.

It was not nagging though. If you, Rockinsteady love your brother as you do, you are simply doing the best you can with your love and support. IF....if feels like nagging to your brother, then that is his bag frankly. Love does what it does.

That does not sound terribly positive, yet it is. I have worked with quite the most amazing therapist over the last year, (yet another one), this one quite different. The times when it appeared to him, "nothing was getting through"...it was....not then....yet it did.

You are not nagging, you are loving.

All of this said, YOU have to be important and loving to you too. You have your own journey, your own challenges, your own life.

One final answer to your question, "...was it actually helpful for people to keep asking how you were doing?"..........for the drinker?.......no...it's a pain in the ******* arse. And i would have got quite defensive, and if that did not work, aggressive.....

Yet if you, or they had not, i would be dead.

Nagging? >>>>> Saving lives.

Just don't forget to nag yourself!

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you dear Rockingsteady
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Unread 11-27-2016, 01:32 AM   #42
Rockinsteady
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Thank you, Tryn! I'm now at over 14 months, yay! I really like your imagery, and I appreciate your encouragement. My brother is getting married (for the first time) at age 38 on Thursday. I keep hoping these milestones will help him prioritize. I noticed on Thanksgiving that his best friend was drinking around him (as were several people there)...and since the election I've been worrying about pretty much all of my family, some of whom are Muslim, some of whom are Jewish, some of whom are brown...I am SO glad I don't drink anymore, because this has been a super stressful time for me and I know alcohol would just be a disaster. So at least I'm not dealing with that burden also.

I like your slogan "nagging saves lives"!
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Unread 11-27-2016, 05:36 AM   #43
Alexis
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Hey Rock, congrats on an amazing milestone, how was your sober thanksgiving?

Congrats to your brother too on his wedding!!

Sorry to hear you are worrying about family, makes me so so sad that people will be fearful. I hope and wish people will stick together in times of trouble, and i still think that the majority are on your side. Unfortunately its the idiots who shout loudest.

Heard a good quote recently.

“Empty vessels make the loudest noise.”

True hey!?

Anyway, congrats again! Keep going xx
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Unread 11-27-2016, 10:44 AM   #44
R. Lee
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Great job Rockinsteady. Keep it up. You are worth it.
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Unread 11-27-2016, 03:42 PM   #45
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Congratulations! very proud for and of you! Best wishes, things will be ok as we have lived in diverse ways, let no one tear us apart.
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Unread 11-27-2016, 05:11 PM   #46
Millie
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Hi Rockinsteady. I'm worried about everyone too. Scary times.

Truly best that we are awake and alert so we can do whatever is necessary. Proud of you for staying sober.
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Unread 12-22-2016, 03:35 AM   #47
Rockinsteady
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Thanks for your encouragement! I really appreciate this group. Millie, I especially agree with your point that this is a time when we really extra need our wits about us, and being sober helps so much with that.
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Unread 12-22-2016, 06:59 AM   #48
Alexis
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How you doing Rock? Looking forward to christmas? x
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Unread 12-22-2016, 05:43 PM   #49
Tryntryagain
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Good evening Rockinsteady. Bright blessings to you.

My brother you mention that you really "appreciate this group"......we really appreciate you. I believe it turns it from a group, into a family.

For sure the concept needs to be in your heart, and boy is it for you my dear brother.

I am not yet 14 months sober, yet i am on my way. A way you have found, with courage and self awareness, all of us, like I Am Trying, have it in spades......"tuning into you"...a different ball game altogether.

You have done so. How can a stranger feel proud of another stranger?

On the street, i would "bunker down".....i did NOT want to know who was to the left of me....who was to the right....life worked for me that way.

When i found out i HAD to look left and right whether i wanted to or not, what do you think i saw?

I saw you. I saw my dear R Lee, my dearest brother Saint.....i saw people, now my brothers and sisters on a journey of whatnots and neverminds.

Through this energy of addiction survivors, ....so we find "each other".

In doing so, we find ourselves.

Thank you so very much for helping me on my way.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Rockingsteady
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