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Unread 03-23-2014, 08:40 PM   #151
Saint
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Michael,
So glad to see you posting. Yes that is exactly what everyone is trying to get across..... we need to address the underlying reasons why we use whatever our substance of choice is. Only you can determine the "why" although you seem to be on the right track. You need to be true to yourself in order to find the "peace" of mind you so desperately seek. The drug, whether alcohol or tramadol or something else is used as an escape from the real issue at hand. Continue your soul searching. We are here for you Michael. Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way.

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Unread 03-24-2014, 01:44 AM   #152
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Hello Michael - I know that I have not responded to your posts before, but your latest has struck such a deep cord with me. One of my dearest friends experienced such a similar fate in life. He is now HIV positive due to his drug use and alienation from his family. Know this, there is nothing wrong with you, you are a reflection of god in everything that you are, on any day. I do not believe in "God", but I am quite sure that if there is a higher power, sexual orientation is not an indicator of worth. Do you love, do you respect others, are you kind, do you take ownership for shit you do wrong in life - these are the indicators of morality. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, show you love. And, quite frankly, you might want to stay away from Texas (not so accepting) Be true, be whole, be real, be loved.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 09:24 AM   #153
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Hi Michael, I'm so glad you're looking into the 'whys' of switching substances. That's a heavy burden you've been carrying and it makes leaving that 'church' an even wiser decision. If they cannot accept Michael for who Michael is, then they are not worth your time. Be true to yourself and continue to be the Michael we know - caring, compassionate, with a kind heart.

Don't change for anyone!

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Unread 03-24-2014, 11:50 AM   #154
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Michael, Look in the mirror & love who you see.

When you have tapered off this drug think through that next urge.

You have been truthful here & that is so important.

Keep us up to date. You are a good person.
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Unread 03-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #155
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Thank you all so much for the encouragement. Since I made this decision a couple of days ago, I am already feeling so relieved. My emotions have already began balancing out due to the fact that I no longer feel the need to compartmentalize different parts of me, for different situations. Michael is just going to be Michael.
I just got done counting the Tramadol that I have left, and I have worked out a tapering plan. Starting tomorrow I will take 2, then one and a half for the two days after, then 1 for two days, then a half for the last two days. That will make April fools day my first day completely off of the tramadol. I pray that that day will mark my last foolish attempt to mask my feelings with substances. Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 03-24-2014, 05:38 PM   #156
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Michael, That sounds like a good plan.

Good luck & come here as often as you can to gain strength. We are here for you.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 11:21 AM   #157
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Hello Michael, Bright blessings to you.

Back in the day i ultimately found out there were 2 types of drug. Both are mood altering substances. I had my "drug of choice" then and it was alcohol, although i would use anything that would alter the way i felt. I learnt about "substituting" 1 drug for another, and it was only when i found the 2nd type of drug i truly learnt something.

Everything i always took to mask my true feelings i had no control of their effects. I was always out of control, and in the end i became a victim of their consequences.

When i stopped drinking and slowly began growing a relationship with myself, i started to like me and love me. I could see i was not a bad man, perhaps misguided and gullible, but not a bad man. THAT was enough for me to "give myself a chance", and through it i found the other type of mood altering susbstances.

Happiness, contentment, acceptance, hope, love, laughter and compassion. Each one, a mood altering substance. When i am feeling none of these things, and my instinct is to reach out for the "quick fix", i simply think of R Lee and i "think through the first drink", or whatever it is i am reaching out for to change my mood for me, i can never be in control of that. I will come here to the family and have a moan, this family will hold me until it passes, because we all know, life can be so very hard. It is why the love in this family is truly special, all of us understand, and none judge.

I think your plan is an execellent one as i feel this is potentially dangerous unless you taper off, much like alcohol.

Keep your focus in tough times, you can do it Brother.

Loveness to you Michael.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 12:19 PM   #158
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Thank you so much R.Lee and Tryn! I needed to hear what you had to say.
Today is day one of my tapering plan. I got angry last night and took 2 hydrocodone and a tramadol. I was almost instantly higher than a kite, and stayed that way until I passed out 3 and a half hours later. Today, I have to deal with reality to a certain extent. Half of me feels that this is too much for me, but the other half of me reminds me that I have come through much worse. I need to turn up the volume on the latter half. I am flushing the hydrocodone down the toilet, and just keeping the tramadol to taper off with. I can't be taking the hydrocodone anyways because they are about to start random drug tests at work. The tramadol won't show up in urine because it is a synthetic opiate, but hydrocodone will.
I am getting ready to work out now, then I am going to shower and get prepared for the class I lead on Tuesday nights. Today is going to be a good day. Blessings.

Michael
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Unread 03-25-2014, 06:10 PM   #159
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Michael,

Your anger is a recurring issue regarding your use of substances to block out your emotions. I am glad you have thrown out the hydrocodone, and am weaning yourself off the tramadol. What is your plan on dealing with the anger? Deal with the issues causing us to use, to self medicate and we have a better chance of staying sober.

Us addicts tend to think it OK to consume alcohol in the large dosages we do, to consume powerful drugs that are not prescribed to us and we take while not under the care of a physician. WE THINK IT IS OK while it is not. WE THINK IT IS NORMAL, while it is not. We on some level realize we have a problem but we rationalize, normalize the use of drugs so we feel ok with it. R LEE has mentioned in the past "We don't have drinking problems, we have thinking problems". The above is an example of that in my opionion.
Change how you think and look at alcohol and drugs. I used to come home from work and chug tequila from a 1 gallon bottle. I think it was normal. I think of how I must have looked from the point of view of someone looking at me. Not so flattering.

Keep working it Michael. For me it took time, forgiveness and acceptance of who and what I am. The good and the bad. I learned to love myself and work on changing the things that need changing. Progress not perfection.

Hang in there,
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Unread 03-29-2014, 11:19 AM   #160
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michaelc232-Good morning, thinking of you and wondering how things are going today? I think the snow is gone and Spring is creeping in, slowly-if nothing else that does lift the spirits some. Hope you are well.

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Unread 03-29-2014, 03:53 PM   #161
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Michael,
Also thinking of you and hope your tapering plan is successful and on target. One day, one moment at a time if necessary. Think through that next drink or drug. You've come a long way. It's called growth and sometimes it's hard work and painful at times but so rewarding. Progress....Keep working it. No one gets to define who we are but us.

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Unread 03-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #162
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Michael it is not good when we have not heard from you.

Tryn needs some support from you.
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Unread 03-31-2014, 02:34 AM   #163
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I apologize for not responding, I have been busy the last few days. Also, my tapering plan did not go as planned. R.Lee, you know me too well......
I didn't even make it through one day without throwing my plan out the window. But now, I am really in a bind. I had alot of bills this month, and some outings planned, so I am almost out of money with only about 13 tramadols left and 11 days till payday. However, I know that this predicament is a blessing in disguise, because it forces me to either taper off of the drug, or be completely out of them in about 4 days. I would rather taper off than have a few more days of pleasure that will only lead to misery. I have cut all of my Tramdols in half, and am starting my tapering plan again. Each day, whenever I feel super irritable, I will take a half. At the end of the day, if there are any left for that days regimen, I will take it to help me sleep. This is the only thing I can think of to do. Pray for me, and please encourage me. I know that I have to want this more than anything else, just like I wanted my freedom from alcoholism. I love you all. Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 03-31-2014, 08:14 AM   #164
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Hi Michael, if I may make a suggestion here. You said 'Each day, whenever I feel super irritable, I will take a half. At the end of the day, if there are any left for that days regimen, I will take it to help me sleep.' In my opinion, that is defeating the purpose of tapering off. What you will be doing is perpetuating the addictive behavior by self medicating - that is you're taking something to 'remedy' a problem, real or perceived. If you're irritable, you're irritable. Remember that everyone get irritable and try to work through it. If you are having trouble sleeping, instead of taking the tramadol, there are some natural things like melatonin, valerian root, chamomile tea. Some people find that benedryl helps them sleep (that's what's in a lot of the "PM" medicines like Tylenol PM" - and for some it helps with anxiety because it is an antihistamine.

Set up a schedule of what times you will take it and try to keep that schedule. It could help you to not give in and take it when for purposes other than tapering off. One thing that has helped others in the opiate forum is writing out a 'gratitude list' and keeping it with them. So if they get the urge to take something or more of something when tapering, they can read their list to distract them and/or remind them why they need to stay strong.

Please try to taper off, you don't want to quit tramadol cold, as you said, you don't want the misery.

Check in with us more often and we'll encourage you and cheer you on!

You will do this!!

Nancy
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Unread 03-31-2014, 10:47 AM   #165
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Hi. Nancy hit the nail on the head. Setting up a schedule is a fantastic idea, one that you should not deviate from Also, taking something when you feel "irritable" is old behavior and old behavior can come easy to us. We must stay in today, kicking this addiction's ass!!! I have always said, addiction is addiction is addiction. You fought like hell for your sobriety, continue to fight like hell for this! And I know you are. Don't concentrate on how many pills are left (which I know is hard), but concentrate on sticking to a schedule. If you do this one day at a time, like anything else, you will succeed!! I have faith in you. I may not have posted a lot in your thread, but I do read it. You have been given some awesome feedback. Your a winner, no doubt about it!!!
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Unread 03-31-2014, 11:54 AM   #166
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Thanks Nancy and Julie. I will definitely take your advice on keeping the pill taking to a schedule. That's a really good idea. Thank you for your encouragement and support. You guys are awesome. Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 03-31-2014, 03:50 PM   #167
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Michael, When you get done tapering then think that next drug or drink through. You know sober people who you can call when you are in trouble.

You are in my prayers.
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Unread 04-02-2014, 01:17 AM   #168
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Michael,
How are you??? I was thinking of Nancy suggestion to check out the opiate forum. It may be beneficial for you. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Do what it takes to stay sober Michael. Hope you are well and not struggling. Keep posting!

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Unread 04-02-2014, 03:51 AM   #169
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Thank you Saint and R.Lee. I am well. Still tapering off, with no side effects. My moods have been surprisingly stable, and I have been focusing on the positive. Tomorrow I am down to 1 and 1/2 a day for the next 2 days. Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 04-02-2014, 07:28 AM   #170
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Good job Michael!! So good to hear that your moods aren't all over the place, that sure helps!

Keep posting, ok??

Nancy
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Unread 04-02-2014, 08:56 AM   #171
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Hi Michael!

I want to let you know that I'm proud of you for your honesty. That is a huge step in the right direction! Keep checking in with us, we are here for you and we care! Jenm
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Unread 04-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #172
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Good job Michael. Think through that next craving.
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Unread 04-02-2014, 05:14 PM   #173
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Michael,

To echo Jenm thanks for coming back and admitting what's going on. It is not an easy thing to do but as she mentioned, so important to your sobriety. I know only to well the ups and downs of addiction and how it can steal our hope. I'm proud of you Michael for staying in the game. Keep working it.

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Unread 04-02-2014, 09:07 PM   #174
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Today is my first day taking only one and a half pills. It's been rough. I still have a half left, but I am not taking it until I am ready to go to bed. I have had alot of irritations today, and have been a real jerk. Half of me just wants to stay to myself because of my attitude, but I know that isolation will only make things worse. Not feeling it today, tomorrow will be better. Blessings.

Michael
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Unread 04-02-2014, 10:30 PM   #175
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Michael Can you contact anyone you know who is sober to help you right now. What happens when that last half pill is gone.
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Unread 04-02-2014, 10:53 PM   #176
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Thanks R.Lee, I just took the other half and I am feeling okay. I'm going to go to sleep now, I have to be at work super early tomorrow. Tomorrow is my second day taking 1 and a half, then I will go down to 1 for two days, then a half for two days, then I am done. I definitely have people lined up to call if I need to. Blessings.

Michael
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Unread 04-03-2014, 09:18 AM   #177
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Hey Michael -

Stick to your plan, and don't talk yourself out of it. Don't begin the cycle again. You can do this! Keep yourself busy with work and activities. Are you still working out? That always helps me keep my mind off things. If I have a tough day or need to get my mind away for a bit, I hit one of the classes at the gym or teach my own or even go for a walk. It is amazing what it does. Please take care and know that you can do this! Jenm
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Unread 04-03-2014, 02:23 PM   #178
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Hey Jen. Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I am still working out 5 days a week, and have lost 37 pounds now. Being healthy and strong is definitely helping me get through this.
My mind has been really fuzzy today, and I have felt very distant and mentally lethargic. I just want to be alone, but I know that that won't do any good. I'm going to try to stay out of my room and around everybody today. Blessings.

Michael
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Unread 04-03-2014, 03:09 PM   #179
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Michael,
Hang in there. Glad you will be around people today. Do they know you are tapering? People that understand what you're going through can help get you through this. Think through and follow through with your tapering plan.
One day at a time. Congrats on the weight loss. Maybe a good workout today will help clear up some of the fuzziness, get the endorphins moving through your body.
You got this.

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Unread 04-03-2014, 09:47 PM   #180
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Thanks Saint. So, I forgot to tell everyone the good news, I am going to see Jillian Michaels live, (I'm a HUGE fan!) on Tuesday for a motivational speech on "Loving your Life." I just realized that Tuesday will be my first day completely off of Tramadol. Coincidence? I think not....
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Unread 04-04-2014, 09:17 AM   #181
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Is there such a thing as a coincidence, Michael? Or does He put people, places, and situations in our life when we need them? Jillian was through here last week, a couple of the gym girls went to see her and LOVED it. Enjoy! Even if you don't want to, keep busy and around people. I know when I would isolate it would seem that my mind would go exactly where I didn't want it to. Take care! Jenm
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Unread 04-05-2014, 01:05 AM   #182
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Thanks Jen!
Today went really well. I was off work all day, and got to relax. A giant 1000 piece puzzle has become my new best friend for when I get frustrated, LOL! It really helps to get my mind off of things.
Tomorrow is my last day taking only one pill, then I go down to a half for two days and then I am done. I'm definitely ready to be done. Blessings.

Michael
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Unread 04-05-2014, 01:51 AM   #183
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Glad things are going well for you Michael. I was wondering how your day was going. I was reading through hockey girl's posts and was once again struck by your compassion for other's struggling with addiction. Your intuitiveness and ability to relate to others is a gift. When you give back you also get back.....for me it's a sense of peace. It helps calm my soul and also as R Lee says, "You help me stay sober." At first I questioned that statement. How could I help RLEE stay sober? After all he's been sober twice as long as I and has much more experience than I. For me it reminds me to stay vigilant. That I am just one drink or drug back to where I started.
Keep working it! Progress not perfection!

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Unread 04-05-2014, 07:43 PM   #184
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I can only do the 25 piece puzzles that I buy for my 5 year old son. Sometimes I can handle the toddler 50 piece puzzles. My head doesn't work that way, you give me one of those big puzzles with 50 million pieces and I spend 10 minutes trying to find ONE piece that fits and I get mad and quit. I'm glad it works for you!

I just got back from a 2 day women's retreat with my church. It was so uplifting! I am off work tonight (first Saturday night off since December) and I am taking my 3 sons to see the movie God's Not Dead. My oldest son is struggling with his beliefs and my younger 2 sons have placed their faith in Christ. I am so encouraged that they are all going to the movie with me! Today I am grateful that I am sober. My boys are healthy and happy and grandma even had them do some household chores while I was at this retreat! Please take care and know that a pill and/or a drink is simply not worth it. It just isn't. Play the tape all the way through. We are here for you! Take care, Jenm
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Unread 04-07-2014, 11:39 PM   #185
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Michael,

How are you today? Thinking of you.

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Unread 04-08-2014, 07:05 PM   #186
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Hello there everyone. Sorry I have not posted in a couple of days, our power was turned off again due to poor financial stewardship, go figure........ Anyways, I kinda got my days mixed up, so today will be my last day on the tramadol. I will take a half of a pill today, and be done with it. Going to see Jillian Michaels in a couple of hours, so excited! Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 04-08-2014, 10:31 PM   #187
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Good luck Michael. Think through that next drink or drug. My best to you.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 12:02 AM   #188
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Thanks for posting Michael! We're here for you.

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Unread 04-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #189
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Thank you Saint and R.Lee!
So, as you all know, I went to see Jillian Michaels last night, and she was AMAZING, as expected! She talked about eating right and working out of course, but the most important thing she talked about was "self." She talked about living your life and getting the most out of it, and it was worth every penny. There were a couple of things that she said that were just fantastic. I wrote them down and figured I would share them with you guys.

"We are too busy living the life that we think we should, to live the life that we actually want."

"Why do you want to do the things that you so desperately crave? You need to figure out why you want them, because until you find your 'why', the work that it takes to get there will feel like punishment."

"Fear is temporary, regret is permanent."

But yeah, I had a great time, and I am super stoked about finally being off of those damn tramadol, and living fully sober again. I am also just 2 months away from moving in with my friend, and getting away from all of this negativity.
Thank you all for being amazing friends, and always being here to listen. Love you guys! Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 04-09-2014, 02:10 PM   #190
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Michael, She had some good advice. I am glad you heard what she said.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 03:11 PM   #191
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Michael,

She is a wise woman. Words that ring true and yet have been past down over the generations....

Insert the words sobriety into Jillian's statement and that is what I think about the path to sobriety.

"You need to figure out why you want them (sobriety), because until you find your 'why', the work that it takes to get there (sobriety) will feel like punishment."

I tried to fight my alcoholism by controlling my drinking but never acknowledged that I was alcoholic even though part of me knew, never accepted it and so I always failed over the years to control the drinking. It wasn't until I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and finally accepted I was alcoholic that I was able to put the work in to get and hopefully, stay sober.

Paste her words to your mirror so you are reminded every day. We ride the wave of enthusiasm but the daily grind so often gets in our way preventing us from achieving our goal. Never forget her words.

Glad you are well Michael and thanks for sharing her words and they positive impact they are having on you. I'm happy for you.

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Unread 04-10-2014, 06:10 PM   #192
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Ok, so yesterday and today were kind of frustrating, but that was to be expected.
I am getting sick and tired of the people I live with, and the self righteous attitudes that they indulge themselves in on a daily basis. There is no fighting between us, but I find it hard to stay around them when they act so judgmental. This however, always leaves me with 2 choices, either sit and listen to them until I feel like I could strangle them, or isolate myself. I try to escape to friends houses, or go for walks as much as possible. I have to keep reminding myself that this is only 2 more months, and that there are always lessons to be learned while standing in the face of adversity. I'm making it, one day at a time. Blessings!

Michael
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Unread 04-10-2014, 09:03 PM   #193
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Stay strong Michael.
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Unread 04-11-2014, 02:09 PM   #194
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Michael,

Did you ever hear that saying "Everyone's entitled to their own opinion regardless of how wrong they may be" : ) . Everyone time I thing of that it brings a smile to my face and I chuckle some. Seriously though they are entitled to their opinion, you may not agree with them, like their position, or find them utterly disgusting people, but, that is what they believe... You can try to convince them otherwise but will you still be angry with them if they continue with their present position. Is it that you are right and they are wrong? Food for thought Michael. In the meantime as RLee says, hang in there.

And think through that next drink. HALT - Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.... the big four 'triggers'.

Have a good day Michael,
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Unread 04-11-2014, 02:16 PM   #195
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It's not the fact that they are wrong and I am right, I have already settled that fact in my mind . What makes me angry is the hypocrisy. They get in the pulpit and preach "No judgement" and "We love everybody" and then when everyone leaves, and the doors are closed, they allow their patronizing and judgmental views on homosexuals, addicts, politicians, and anyone who doesn't agree with them, to flow freely. For the most part, I keep my mouth shut, or just walk out of the room, because like you said, there is no use. It's like arguing with a brick wall. I am trying to deal with my anger, and allow this to be a learning experience.
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Unread 04-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #196
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Michael,

Don't let them rent space in your head for free. I get where you're coming from. Hang in there.

Regards,
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Unread 04-11-2014, 11:03 PM   #197
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Michael, We can not change others behavior only ours. It will be good when you get the chance to move.
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Unread 04-11-2014, 11:24 PM   #198
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Thanks Saint and R.Lee!
Today was actually very good. I woke up and had my coffee and read, then went shopping. I was looking through some of my boxes in the garage and found 3 "goal shirts" that I had bought 2 years ago while on a fad diet, and trying to lose weight. Now that I have actually lost weight, the shirts fit perfectly. That was a great self esteem booster!
As far as the tramadol goes, I don't even think about it much throughout the day. I know that the temptation will still be there on bad days, but it's not near as hard as dealing with my alcohol addiction. I am just going to keep focusing on myself, my weight loss, and dealing with my anger. I have to keep reminding myself that I am still a work in progress. Blessings.

Michael
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Unread 04-12-2014, 08:25 PM   #199
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We are all a work in progress Michael. You're doing great.
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Unread 04-13-2014, 12:47 PM   #200
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Hello Micheal, bright blessings for you, and to you.

Thank you so much for your insights that are close to me on my journey. Your energy and focus and inspiration and i am sure to many. I find your humbleness, "a work in progress" enourmously aspirational.

Thank you.

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