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Unread 01-11-2015, 09:14 PM   #1
SecretTiger
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Hello all,

As others have said, this is a very difficult thing to write.

I'm 41 and have basically been an alcoholic for the last 20 years, with the last 10 being the worse. I've been functioning - holding down my jobs, looking after my family, etc., - but I need to quit drinking.

This is the second day of not drinking for me. I was looking for an online support group for the first time and this one stood out for the level of support and the welcoming atmosphere. I spent yesterday going through many of the posts and I realized that when I was off drink for 7 months a few years ago, I was a 'dry drunk'. Reading what everybody says here was incredibly humbling.

The advice to take it one day at a time and think through the drink really hit home. I'm going to try my hardest to follow that and any other advice I can get. I don't think it's going to be easy, but I'm feeling positive.

I'll be honest, this is the first time I've thought about staying sober without putting myself at the center of it. This time, I've seen how what I do affects others and this has also been tremendously humbling.

I'm also trying to change my way of thinking from negative to positive. Instead of thinking I can't drink, I'm trying to think about the many things I can do. Instead of thinking about one thing I'm missing out on, I'm trying to think about the incredible amount of things I can enjoy.

Thanks for listening and I hope to contribute.
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Unread 01-11-2015, 11:53 PM   #2
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Thinking positively is a good start. We can share with you what worked for us. I made a list of how alcohol had adversely affected my life. I read that list every morning and every time I had the urge, just to remind myself why this positive step was so important. I had to go to some meetings for the direct support of others to quit. However, this site is one of my strongest support networks.

Welcome! Keep up the good work. Don't hesitate to call or go to the urgent care or ER if you experience withdrawals.

Keep talking to us. Love, Susie
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Unread 01-12-2015, 12:01 AM   #3
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Thank you, Susie!

My problem is more binge drinking than drinking all day, but I will watch out for any withdrawal symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if something happens. Thank you for the advice.

Also, thank you for mentioning the list. I started making one last night after looking through these threads and it's not a very nice thing to read. But, as I said, I'm trying to be positive and think about the wonderful people I have in my life.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 02:03 AM   #4
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Think sobriety SecretTiger. We move towards and become that which we think about. Make sobriety the most important thing in your life.Learn about addiction. Knowledge as they say, is power. Keep coming back and post, vent, etc. We have all been where you find yourself today. We are all different yet much the same. Be kind to yourself during this period and don't get on yourself if you 'slip'. Learn from the past, make peace with it and move on.
Thank you for taking a chance on yourself!

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Unread 01-12-2015, 02:27 AM   #5
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Thank you, Saint!

Your posts have been some of the most helpful things I've read, so I really appreciate you taking the time to reach out. Think sobriety - I like that. Thank you! I think it's that way of thinking, and suggestions like that, that can make the difference. When I tried to quite drinking before, I've always thought "no more booze" rather than "think sobriety", i.e. I took the negative stance rather than the positive. Although they basically mean the same thing, the thinking behind them is different. At least, that's how I feel.

I know it's going to be a long and difficult road, but I'm so glad to have found this place and be now able to talk to people who know how all this feels.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 09:37 AM   #6
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Two days done.

Tomorrow could present a challenge. A work situation isn't ideal and I've used this as an excuse to drink for a long time. I'll try to keep the advice I've received so far in mind and try my best to get through it.

Thanks for the support so far and thanks for listening.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 10:59 AM   #7
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Great job keep your head up and stay focused on you and keep talking and getting advise
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Unread 01-12-2015, 11:22 AM   #8
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"You can rewire your brain to be happy simply by recalling three things you are grateful for every day for 21 days."

I don't know where I heard this, but hope it helps! It helps me.

Susie
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Unread 01-12-2015, 11:32 AM   #9
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Good afternoon Secret Tiger. Bright blessings to you.

Welcome, welcome. Congrats on 2 days sober. I am an alcoholic over here in Blighty, and through wanting to and the support of all here i am sober today.

You have a great awareness around your drinking which is so very helpful to you. A very real understanding of the destruction it does cause. Chosing not to drink and thinking one can't indeed, a much more sustainable position to be in.

1 last thing, you mention that you know this is going to be hard work and whatnot, please remember how very difficult drinking is! Yes the journey to sustained sobriety takes thought, determination but Secret Tiger, its full of new feelings that bring joy, new attitudes that open our minds and hearts, it is a journey of redemption and redeployment! You are doing so well.

Be peaceful, stay focused and be gentle with yourself. Loveness to you Secret Tiger.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 01:28 PM   #10
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Welcome SecretTiger, be easy on yourself each day in any reflection of your past. The past is gone, everyday can be new and exciting, but like R.Lee and Saint say think sobriety and one day at a time. If you get the urge just think through the miserable end of one drink, it never is just one. These are the nicest most humble people of any support group, vent and share your life as we are all in this together. Have a nice sober day.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 01:44 PM   #11
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Hi SecretTiger, Welcome!

Congrats on 2 days sober. That is a big deal! I have to do this one day at a time. One hour at a time if needed. Try not to get ahead of yourself. Just DON'T DRINK TODAY. Just today. Get through that, then try it again.

Trust me - I have been exactly where you are. YOU are helping to keep me sober today. You can do this! It is well worth it. Just do not drink today. Take care, keep checking in! Jenm
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Unread 01-12-2015, 06:18 PM   #12
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SecretTiger, Welcome to the site & congratulations on 2 days sober. Glad to see that you realize that you have a alcohol problem. This is so important.

You have taken the time to read our post. That shows that you are willing to work at this.

My program is pretty simple. I stay in today. I had given up on myself & thought I could never drink again. Never drinking again seemed impossible so I did not try for the last 20 years of drinking. By staying in today means I do not worry about staying sober the rest of my life. I just work on today even though I never want to drink again. I work on today & if I'm alive tomorrow I have a choice.

You have not loss you job or family yet. Keep coming here & keep us posted on how you are doing. Think through that 1st drink. Take it a one moment at a time. Do not set you self up for that next drink. You can do this.
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Unread 01-12-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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Thanks everybody for reaching out, it means a lot.

You're all so right: drinking is harder, it's never just one drink, and it's important to take it one day - one moment - at a time.

Susie, I actually read about that yesterday and I'm going to give it a try.
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Unread 01-13-2015, 09:29 AM   #14
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My third day without alcohol. I had a bit of a pang earlier, but took it one moment at a time, thought about it, and knew I didn't want it. Thankfully I was with my best friend who is being brilliant, and I wanted to come back here and report on one more day without having a drink.

Just being able to say that makes me happy, and being able to share it makes me even happier.
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Unread 01-13-2015, 10:29 AM   #15
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SecretTiger, That is the secret to getting sober. Think through that 1st drink & taking it 1 day at a time.

Congratulations on day 3 without a drink. You can do this.
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Unread 01-13-2015, 12:57 PM   #16
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SecretTiger,

Congrats on 3 days sober!!!

Remember the cravings to drink is your mind and body being physically and mentally addicted to alcohol. As Gmasusie alluded too it takes 3-4 weeks to create a new habit, that being a sober lifestyle. It takes significantly longer to rewire the brain to where the cravings reduce in intensity. Months in fact. They never truly completely go away. THey become a little tap on the shoulder, "hey just one beer would be OK". That is the danger over time of staying sober. Recognize and accept that strong cravings, as well as the innocent taps on the shoulder, will come and realize it is normal. It is OK to have these cravings. It does not mean one is weak. The important thing is to not act on these cravings.

Keep in mind alcohol is poison for us. People don't sit down and drink one or two gallons of milk. Confide in trusted friends or family and ask for their support and understanding. It is important to get some form of support. Most can't get sober on their own.

Once again congrats SecretTiger and thank you for posting and most importantly for believing in yourself.

Peace,
Saint
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Unread 01-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #17
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Hi SecretTiger

Believe me you are doing the right thing, great job on day-3, One day at a time friend. It's all in your head. Engage yourself with lot of good things, I started with great advice from this group and fantastic people here...I wondered what do I do to keep drinks away...
a) Watch TV as suggested here - I watch almost every day - what the heck i feel good.
b) Eat on time...never be hungry. Eat good food...
c) Try to take long walks or run...
d) If you get into argument walk away, take a moment for yourself and relax.

Most importantly, simply don't drink. Remember,each of us have only one liver and one body that God has given, honor it. Money won't help health much.

Let go the past, try to be new you, because there is so much left in present you and ahead of you...

those are my 2 cents, I am myself novice and trying...pardon me if wrote the way I did and you didn't like...

Have a great day!
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Unread 01-14-2015, 02:59 PM   #18
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keep it up SecretTiger, # d is very good iamtrying, thanks for the good tip.
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Unread 01-14-2015, 06:38 PM   #19
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SecretTiger,

Welcome and congrats on day 3!

Everyone is different. I was one of the lucky ones who had very little trouble with withdrawal. However, I had to go to a support group face to face to quit, even after lurking around here for about a year, going to doctor, therapy, etc. They had me make a list of the ways my life had become unmanagable because of alcohol. I look at that list every morning and I check this website a couple of times a day.

You do not realize it, but you are already helping those of us who are here. As those with experience and wisdom (Jenm, RLee, Saint, etc....) have said, being reminded of where we came from helps us stay sober. Welcome! Tell us more of your story.

This is the place and the group that keeps me sober.

Susie
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Unread 01-14-2015, 06:41 PM   #20
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Hi!

I was told once "Don't drink even if your butt falls off". I have no idea why that has stayed with me all this time, but whatever works I guess. You are doing great! Stay sober today. Try again tomorrow. You can do this, and we are with you! Jenm
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Unread 01-14-2015, 07:57 PM   #21
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Thanks, everyone! My fourth day of sobriety and I'm feeling good.

One thing I'm noticing already is how much time I have - time with my family, time to exercise, time to read, etc. It's a wonderful thing.

As the wise people here have taught me, I'm taking it one moment and one day at a time.
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Unread 01-14-2015, 08:17 PM   #22
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Enjoy that time! When we were drinking, we did not even know where the time went.

Susie
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Unread 01-15-2015, 10:10 PM   #23
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Day five done.

I'll admit, it wasn't a great day in some ways, but that made it greater in others. I had to confront some feelings that would usually see me throwing back the drinks, but I chose to deal with them one at a time, a moment at a time. Moment by moment, I made it through the day sober.

I'm not much of a talker - I kind of embody what Epictetus said about us having "two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we talk." Yesterday I was quieter than usual, but those close to me gave me the space I needed when I wanted it and the support I needed when I wanted to talk.

I know how lucky I am, to have them and to have all of you.
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Unread 01-15-2015, 10:15 PM   #24
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SecretTiger, Congrats on 5 days. You have the basic's down like living life on life's terms 1moment at a time. Keep it up & you will do well. Glad to have you a winner here too.
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Unread 01-16-2015, 01:33 AM   #25
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Secret Tiger,

Life and its ups and downs doesn't change that much, but our ability to deal with it and come out ready to continue the journey improves greatly when we are sober.
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Unread 01-16-2015, 09:20 AM   #26
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Wow - 5 days SecretTiger that is awesome! I will never forget the days when something 'bad' would happen and my mind would immediately go to a drink. That's why we think through the first drink. I am grateful today that my mind does not go there immediately. It takes time, but it does happen. Not to say there aren't times though still. This is why we must stay active in our recovery. I am an alcoholic and I will never be cured. Staying in today, in God's word, and with people who know what it is like helps me to stay sober today. Take care! Jenm
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Unread 01-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #27
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SecretTiger,

Great going ...cruise along...good part is you don't have to do anything, simply stay away from drinks..that's all...

Have a great day
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Unread 01-16-2015, 07:43 PM   #28
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Right on.....
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Unread 01-16-2015, 09:33 PM   #29
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Got through another pretty unpleasant day without resorting to drink. Enjoyed a lovely, relaxing 10km run and felt great that I clocked up 6 days!
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Unread 01-17-2015, 12:46 AM   #30
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The days may not get more pleasant, but our ability to deal with them improves.

Susie
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Unread 01-17-2015, 12:26 PM   #31
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SecretTiger, Congratulations on 6 days. Imagine your unpleasant day & drinking on top of it.
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Unread 01-17-2015, 09:07 PM   #32
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Congrats SecretTiger. We need to live life on life's terms, sober. I hope your run helped to release some tension.

Hang in there and think through that first drink.

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Unread 01-18-2015, 10:12 AM   #33
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Hello Secret Tiger. Bright blessings to you.

WOW!!! 10k's? Goodness me you have some really useful tools to help you with this journey into sustained sobriety. Your attitude really impresses me in that you have really thought about this, haven't you? There is a liveliness and energy around you. I wager that will see you through and will empower you to promote all that you are. There is an awful lot there. Keep up the good work, i promise you it does get more managable, just like habit, sobriety becomes one as well over time.

I have to reiterate Saint, it is ALWAYS the first drink that gets us. Think through that first drink Secret Tiger.

As an aside i want to thank you in your early days of sobriety and all that entails, thank you for supporting me through my journey of late. Everyone is special in life, those that give their love, support and experience for the benefit of another, the most special of all.

Be peaceful, be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Secret Tiger.
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Unread 01-19-2015, 08:14 AM   #34
SecretTiger
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Hello all. Well, I managed to get past a week - 8 days and counting!

Thanks for all your messages, they really help. This is the first time I've sought help and share how I feel and, I have to say, you've all been amazing.

On that point, Tryn, what kind of a person would I be if I wasn't there for you as you've been there for me? I know none of us can be there in person for each other, but knowing that there are people out there who are going through the same and genuinely do care is a great comfort.
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Unread 01-19-2015, 11:33 AM   #35
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Here, here!
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Unread 01-19-2015, 01:31 PM   #36
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SecretTiger, Congratulations on 8 days. Keep it simple, 1 day at a time & think through that 1st drink.
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Unread 01-19-2015, 01:35 PM   #37
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You made it through 8 days, Secret Tiger! That is fantastic. Ditto to everything R Lee said and also Tryn and just don't drink today. No matter what. Jenm
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Unread 01-19-2015, 03:51 PM   #38
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Hello Secret Tiger. Bright blessings to you.

What sort of person would you be if what........?

You are the person behind Secret Tiger. You have motivated me through a difficult time, RIGHT AT A TIME, you were going through a very difficult time of your own.

You came here to find support, and it is here aplenty, but the first thing you chose to do was give love, understanding and support to me and others.

When i first turned up at this familys door, Carly opened the door. I poured myself through it, and she did not pick me up, Carly showed me i could get up for myself. Of course i thought she was talking nonsense, but she was trying to show me that i had what i was looking for. I just needed to believe it.

Drink makes us believe we can have the world when actually we are losing our grip, with a cold floor to sit on. Sobriety gives us challenges we just do not believe we can achieve, we can not fathom. Oh yes WE can. I can't.

1 personal observation i would like to share, (not terribly popular), if you have to count days, it will only mean you are counting down. Recognition of landmarks is a celebration for us all, but 1 day at a time, and goodness....they pile up ever so quickly!!!!

I can remember 8 days, 3 bags of sweets that i could not chose from, and mango juice.

Sustained sobriety means that will never happen again!

You have a wonderfully bright future if you want sobriety. It is literally at your fingertips.

Be peaceful be healthy and be strong. Loveness to you Secret Tiger
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Unread 01-20-2015, 07:57 PM   #39
SecretTiger
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Hello all! I hope you're all well.

Tryn, I understand what you mean about counting the days, and I've read very similar things elsewhere. Right now it's helping me to count the days of sobriety as I'm getting there day by day. As I said in the beginning, I'm trying to see positives, so rather than thinking "I haven't had a drink for 9 days" I'm thinking "I have been sober for 9 days." It's working well so far - I've felt great since deciding not to drink day by day, which is different to how I thought when I tried to quit before: "I don't feel like crap today."

I've got a lot of challenges right now - my work situation being the biggest - but I'd much rather be facing these difficulties sober than hiding from them drunk. They won't go away by pretending they're not there.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 12:05 AM   #40
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Great attitude Tiger! Keep up the positivity. Susie
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Unread 01-22-2015, 07:36 PM   #41
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Thanks, Susie.

Nearly at the 2 week mark, but taking it day by day. I've noticed that my body is craving fresh vegetables and fruit, which is brilliant. When I was boozing I tended to eat crap, which I genuinely think not only adversely affected my physical health but also my mental health.

Over the last ten days or so, I've felt more energetic, more alert, and much more positive.
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Unread 01-22-2015, 08:54 PM   #42
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Keep it up SecretTiger. Things about you will continue to improve.
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Unread 01-23-2015, 10:27 AM   #43
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Isn't it cool!
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Unread 01-23-2015, 03:13 PM   #44
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so nice to hear and you are doing so well, keep going day by day. May you have a peaceful day.
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Unread 01-23-2015, 05:14 PM   #45
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Good evening Secret Tiger. Bright blessings to you.

I am so happy for you. As R Lee says, things somehow improve, change, and life becomes a different challenge. Once drink is put down, challenges become things that we want, we feel ready for, 1 day at a time.

My strength, peace and loveness with you Secret Tiger
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Unread 01-24-2015, 08:14 AM   #46
jenm
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Hi SecretTiger!

Your journey so far has been such a blessing to me - seriously. It helps me remember how hard it is to 1) admit there is a problem and 2) do something about it. You are doing this, and it isn't easy but it really can be simple. I'm proud of you. Jenm
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Unread 01-25-2015, 09:29 AM   #47
SecretTiger
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Thank you, everybody, it means a lot. 2 weeks!

I celebrated by doing a 5km tempo run and, I have to say, it was one of the best runs I've had! I used to think that alcohol was affecting my stamina and now I'm convinced it was. As I've said, my running has been on and off because of drinking, but I've always tended to hate short, fast runs because they left me drained.

Today was much different - I got home feeling refreshed and felt like I'd hardly set foot out of the door.

Still taking it day by day, though. I got a mighty 'tap on the shoulder' last night as I was walking past a bar I used to frequent. I pictured myself in there and how I would end up if I went inside, and that was more than enough to convince me to walk straight past and catch my train home.

I hope everybody has had a great weekend.
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Unread 01-25-2015, 09:48 AM   #48
R. Lee
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SecretTiger, Watch out for people, places & things that go back to your drinking days.

Congratulations & keep it up.
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Unread 01-25-2015, 09:56 AM   #49
Tryntryagain
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Good afternoon Secret Tiger. Bright blessings to you.

R Lee is spot on. Temptation, is tempting. Be aware.

When Saint, R Lee and us all tell us to think through the first drink, sounds great. What does it look like?....different to all of us. The tap on your shoulder, and the beckoning of the bar, you said, "i pictured myself in there and how i would end up if i went inside"........for me, that is thinking through the first drink.

Good thinking Secret Tiger.

Keep strong, save time to relax and reflect. Loveness to you Secret Tiger
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Unread 01-25-2015, 10:34 AM   #50
gmasusie
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I feel good about myself when I realize I consciously dodged a bullet. It means my judgement and strength are improving!!!

Did you feel a touch of that?
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