• Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 day, 14 hours ago

    @lee-2 you look SO young in your profile pic I’m so sorry I assumed your age. I love taking minimalist approach to things and simplifying too – it just helps to feel more organized as even if we do not try we collect stuff that’s for sure! Definitely be careful – I only deal with local people and cash and if you are nervous meet them in a public place cash only. 🙂 xoxoxox

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 day, 15 hours ago

    You are doing a lot @lee-2 – you sound like me so much sometimes when I was younger. Just try not to put that you have to do too much every single day on your shoulders. You are doing so well. I posted some stuff to sell but had no luck! What would I call that? Unproductive hopefulness? LOL. Anyway, you have a lot of insight to yourself and that’s really wonderful growth. Your exodus has got me curious because I do want an exodus but I don’t know that it’s going to work for me at this stage in life. Urgh. 🙂 Keep us updated on your exodus situation!

    • I’m 53 @sober4real That ain’t exactly young. I think it helps to sell things when you make things look more attractive. Stage them in your photographs. One of the things that I sold today was a bike so that wasn’t very hard. I may have to take a different route with some of the more expensive things. I posted a few antiques and have only gotten scam replies for them so far. Some are really blatant and people still fall for them. People make fake money orders, cashier checks and all sorts. They will clear in your bank at first but then will later be recognized as fraudulent, when it’s to late. I’m not in a rush, just thought I’d have a go at it while I am still unemployed and have time. I have a ton of stuff and am just beginning to simplify now. It will be awhile before I actually leave.

      • @lee-2 you look SO young in your profile pic I’m so sorry I assumed your age. I love taking minimalist approach to things and simplifying too – it just helps to feel more organized as even if we do not try we collect stuff that’s for sure! Definitely be careful – I only deal with local people and cash and if you are nervous meet them in a public place cash only. 🙂 xoxoxox

      • It’s a fuzzy black and white photo, you can’t see the wrinkles. I also didn’t age to much in my heaviest years of drinking. Recon I was pickled.

  • kitten posted a new activity comment 3 days, 3 hours ago

    sounds fun, @lee-2, the job, a neighborhood cafe. keep on.

    • @kitten. I went in for what I was told would be training but today they said it was an audition and that they were doing the same with a few others this week and I’ll find out later if I actually have the job. Not sure if I even want it now. Who auditions to sell food? Especially sandwiches and eggs.

      • And there it is… boom!.. the unpredictability of the world and why visualizing the achievement of an objective is so pointless and mis-directing.

      • Right you are @DaveH. I’d sent out my resume to numerous places last week and now I am just now beginning to get some response. I really didn’t care for what I experienced today, I’d much rather wear the tie.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 3 days, 7 hours ago

    Hi @lee-2 What a great result finding something new so quickly. Now you can get on with doing what enables you to go on your big explore.

    You talk about predicting the future and goals and this reminded me of a discipline I learned that really helps me. I still use this completely routinely to this day and it is to do with the past and the future.

    My mind is an avid time traveller, but usually a discouraging one. If I dwell on the past then my mind goes to unsatisfactory experiences and resentments. These are better left alone… I’ve done all the thinking I need to on these, and I have done what’s necessary to put them to rest, but unguarded my mind will still wander there. For these times I have “It’s OK to look at the past, but don’t stare”. I have a short mental list of things in particular I will not allow myself to dwell on. These are my “favourite” resentments and they do nothing but bring me down if I let myself linger on them… so I don’t. They are done, unchangeable and in the past. I’ve done what can be done to make things right and they are accepted as unchangeable. But occasionally they still pop back in. If I catch myself thinking on any of them then I deliberately do something to shift my line of thought elsewhere.

    The other thing is the future. My problems with the future are twofold: I am absolutely atrocious at actually predicting it and I always imagine events in the future too big. These actually cause me quite a bit of trouble if I don’t actively manage them. If I let me mind roam freely in the future then things are either very dark or incredibly successful… there is never any “ordinary” or middle ground. When I first stopped drinking I quite literally held myself only in the day, I wouldn’t allow myself into the past or the future at all, but as my sobriety gained resilience I adopted a different strategy. When i saw a dark future I’d remind myself how poorly I could predict the future, and that I could only control a very l…[Read more]

    • I’ve spent a lot of time, it seems, trying to stop the mental time traveling thing but it can still get the best (worse really) of me whenever there is significant change involved. In the end it has a lot to do with open mindedness, which I am spectacular at looking out but looking in needs some work @DaveH. I won’t be ironing shirts and wearing a tie for a while and that will be nice I suppose. It’s money either way and that’s how I need to look at it. The job itself remains the same, it’s just in a different atmosphere and with different people. My boss looks/seems extremely healthy which is the complete opposite of the last. Almost everything is the opposite of the last, now that I think about it. I am the only element that is the same, walking into it, and this is what I need to watch.
      I’ve just recently put a few antique pieces of furniture on the online market just to see how it goes and so far I’ve gotten 2 offers from criminals who’d like to send me bad checks via mail. Apparently this is a big scam these days. I’m doing some research and not in a rush but will slowly begin to get rid of things that I don’t really need right now.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 4 days, 13 hours ago

    Hi @lee-2 It is interesting that you’ve recognised that with respect to some of the amends you need to make that “This is not something that I could do straight away”.

    Making amends for wrongs we have done to others is an explicit part of the AA program, but most institutional recovery programs will include this too. The whole purpose of “amends” is to gain relief from our past. In the AA programme this is done in two stages. Steps 4 and 5 relieve us from the burden of holding secrets and steps 8 and 9 free us from the pain of having done things in the past that have hurt other people. The amends steps give us relief from our past by bringing closure to the issues that haunt us.

    We need relief from our past because of the way our minds handle unresolved information. Our brain requires that information is orderly, and settled. What it rejects is information that is contradictory or poorly supported. Our brain particularly rejects circumstances that have unwanted outcomes that are still outstanding. What our mind does with these things is that it keeps bringing them back for us to think on to attempt to find resolution; this is why we are haunted by them…. our minds automatically keep bringing them back.

    The way to resolve these issues is to bring them, one by one, to a position of certainty… is there something that can be done to rectify them? or is there nothing to be done? Either of these is closure, and it is uncertainty that keeps the issue being brought back to mind. We get relief from ending that uncertainty and the relief we get is permanent.

    Making an amends to someone is desperately difficult. It requires us to declare, without reservation, complete accountability for OUR actions and the consequences of them, and it can take time to be able to fully do this. Until we are able to do so then we are not presenting ourselves honestly. It is extremely difficult to stand in front od someone and identify precisely how we wronged them, acknowledge…[Read more]

    • Hi @DaveH I’d thought the same, there must be something wrong and I’d asked. She said that everything was ok and she just wanted to see me. I’ll find out soon enough I suppose. We’ve only communicated through text messaging thus far. My messages here are disappearing. Your last one did just now as well. I haven’t been editing anything, not sure what’s happening. I just finished watching a series that was made from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” It’s speculative fiction but distressing either way while some of the subjects already exist. More the reason to keep my passport up to date and under my pillow. Joking about the pillow part but who knows what will happen here in time. Not for me to decide apparently.

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 4 days, 14 hours ago

    So wonderful @lee-2 you just keep growing and growing! xoxoxox

  • Liberty posted a new activity comment 6 days, 22 hours ago

    That really is the greatest thing @lee-2. I found once I could really see that I was going through a process, and trust a little that if I did certain things I would get to where I wanted to with stopping – I did. It’s a funny balancing act but was part of learning to support myself like a good parent, with rules and structure and compassion, rather than punish myself.

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 week, 4 days ago

    That sounds like a solid plan @lee-2 just remember wherever you go there you are! 🙂 So wherever we are we still have to do the work in sobriety. I’m excited for you that you are making the plan and doing the things you need to in order to make your dreams come true!

  • Liberty posted a new activity comment 1 week, 5 days ago

    Wow that means a lot @lee-2, thank you ♡♡♡♡
    I hope so too- sure we can manage a get-together somehow 🙂

  • Jesss posted an update 1 week, 6 days ago

    Hi guys. I’m back. I decided to run away from u all….and drink. Day 6 here. I set up my account last night. I was going to post about what’s been going on with me but i woke up early with a missed call from my mom. My dad is in the hospital now. With pneumonia. I feel like a broken record with things right now! This feels like bad dejavu. I am terrified. My mom came so close to dying just last month from this. My dad has emphysema. And prostate cancer that they think has spread to his lungs. I am having coffee then going to see him. I feel like i need more strength then i have right now. I am determined not to drink through this….determined. @lee-2 @liberty sent me a screenshot of your post. U are so kind a sweet and u had me crying my eyes out! Thanks so much for that💗. And @sober4real @kitten & @morgan thanks for your thoughts as well. Sorry i left u guys…

    • I am so sorry @Jesss! That is so hard. Keep checking in. Day 6 is great. Xo

    • Welcome back, @Jesss. So sorry about your parents. I started my drinking career after my hubby died, then my mom a year later; was able to quit for a while, then restarted after my dad died.

      Can’t say I recommend that route! Had to process ALL the grief when the little guy in my profile pic died and I was sober yet again.

      Stay strong, dear one.

    • You may feel like you need more strength than you have – but the strength is there and it will come out when the need is dire. You can get through this and you can do it without drinking. You have all of us here who have your back, don’t hesitate to post as often as you need and let us know how you’re feeling. <3

    • It’s so wonderful to see you back here @jesss! Words cannot explain. I know how hard life can get and would like to think that we may all get the same type of encouragement when things hit us hard because they will and do. My struggles are far different from yours at the present time but I’ve been through nearly the exact same thing as you are 9 years ago. I didn’t have the support that I desperately needed, much like the one you get here and went about things recklessly, to say the least. We don’t have to do that. Keep connected and I will do the same. We are worth our own trouble! Much love to you!!

    • tough times. really tough. so all my good thoughts to you, let us all hold you a little.. You will get through it, just little bit by little bit.

    • i think talking about an antidepressant would be a really good idea with your doctor! booze is not the go to, to help you get through a hard time in life. it might work for abit but we all know its not the answer. to deal with your depression or anxiety antidepressants can work and did for me. my anxiety was just to bad without them! ive gone through similar life events and its heartbreaking! i think talking to your doc about medication is an option for sure. some people say eating right and exercise if that works than good but i needed more

    • Welcome back dear @jesss, if it feels terrifying that sounds like a healthy response to an overwhelming situation. I’m so glad you’re here so we can all wrap around you. xxx
      Just one step at a time.

    • hey, @jesss so happy to hear from you. take care of yourself, sounds like a lot of family stress, sadness. post when you can, you know we are here. love that you are on day 6. be well.

    • @jesss I’m so glad you checked in. Family stress is hard but do not forget how strong you actually are! You can be there for your folks when they need you and that’s such a gift. I totally understand where you are at. Just take it day by day and write a gratitude list and don’t allow negative self talk that gets you into that slippery mind set. You can do this! Much love! xoxoxoxoox

  • kitten posted a new activity comment 2 weeks ago

    @lee-2 – I am a past runner. I have run from most every state, it feels like, one environment to another, from mountains, to ocean from coast to coast, from rural to urban. seems to me it is all the same (meaning i still have to deal with me), so my only advice is remember, it is expensive to move, but worth if that is what you want. And, I always ran on a dime, so not sure what money has to do with it. If you run to the east coast, just let me know, would love to see you. how do you know they are advertising your position? it doesn’t sound like a great environment to work in if people are hating on each other all the time. geez, it seems like if you could just get a bit of peace, figure it out on your time.

    • Lee@ replied 2 weeks ago

      Can’t even talk about it anymore. Fuck running, I’ll walk there.

      • Not sure where you live @Lee but here it is illegal to let someone go and re hire for their job unless you have taken them through several processes and documented it with them, maybe you could discuss this with them, if you still have the slip that will stand you in good stead. Frighten them with threat of legal action, get a really good reference from them and walk, sounds like your best option. Sorry this has happened to you.

  • Liberty posted a new activity comment 2 weeks ago

    Oh that’s really shit, I’m so sorry @lee-2.
    Vent as much as you need to. xxx

    • Lee@ replied 2 weeks ago

      I should have known from the beginning @liberty. They spoke poorly of one person in particular as they were in the process of hiring me and let him go a few months later. He was rather rotten but I’ve realized that they find fault in everyone and play a stupid game. I’m just so sick and tired of people of this nature and there are loads here as there are loads of heavy drinkers who carry equal amounts of mental and physical illness. I also know that it’s everywhere but it’s much more so here.

      • Lots in there @Lee@ – how unsettling and scary it all is – maybe write your options down – even hazy crazy stupid ones, including selling and getting the fuck out, including drinking yourself into the gutter – and then start putting lines through the options you definitely don’t want – keep an eye on it every couple of days, tweak and amend, and carve yourself a way through this highly stressful situation. And let us know how you get on – we care – so sorry you are dealing with negative people-slating meatheads! X

  • kitten posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    @lee-2, i remember wrapping myself up in all of the feelings of not measuring up because of all the time that i wasted drinking. Really go back to that rotten poison or keep moving forward and through all of those feelings. Love hearing how you move through it.

  • Liberty posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    How did I miss this great comment @lee-2 😀
    Chortling into my soup.
    Definitely messy.

  • SteveF posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    Yes you have made some serious progress @lee-2! Don’t listen to that negative voice because you are right, it’s a hoax. Don’t let that voice rob you of all you have accomplished. You are doing great. Some self care is in order. Be kind to yourself.

  • SteveF posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    @suzkep @liberty @enzedgirl @lee-2 @scared @lynnelowe @hammer123 @womackm @jocord @tom4500 @erica375 @kitten. Thanks for your comments. It’s 2 days later and I’m totally over it. I think this was a case of walking into something that I was totally unprepared for. If I’m going to socialize with drinkers, I always have a game plan. This thing just blind sided me (which is never good when it comes to alcohol). Always be prepared and always have a game plan! Next time I’ll be prepared! Have a great AF day everyone, and thanks for being here!

  • kitten posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    keep on, @lee-2.

    • Thanks @kitten. I would not know what else to do, really. Going to far backwards would be insane. I don’t want anything to do with the old drinking lifestyle. It was empty and sick. I just recently became to tightly wound somehow and let my own self expectations rule me. I am where I am and can’t think myself out of it and if I look at the entire picture it’s not bad at all but I’d stopped doing that. I really do know why I drank so much now. This mind does not stop!

      • @lee-2, i remember wrapping myself up in all of the feelings of not measuring up because of all the time that i wasted drinking. Really go back to that rotten poison or keep moving forward and through all of those feelings. Love hearing how you move through it.

  • jmtn posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    I like that. @lee-2 I’m getting better at this every day. 🙂 Thanks!

  • kitten posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    it really is a great place, @lee-2, we can learn we are not alone in our feelings about getting the booze out of our lives and how life starts to flourish after the poison comes out.

  • kitten posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    i agree with what @liberty said, @lee-2, we can say we knew her when.

  • Liberty posted an update 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    @lee-2 you can really write. Do you realise? It’s a road waiting for your footsteps. We can say we knew you before you got famous 🙂

    • That’s very nice of you to say @liberty and it means a lot because it is often the only way that I can communicate. My words don’t come out with my speaking voice very well at all. I’m not sure exactly why. It’s strange. I sing better than I speak and it’s not that my speaking voice is horrific in any way. There’s just a buffer somewhere between my mind and my mouth that won’t allow certain things to pass.

    • i agree with what @liberty said, @lee-2, we can say we knew her when.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    Hi @lee-2 Isn’t it fascinating to discover who are once the toxic consequences of our drinking are removed. I also like this… “I am also beginning to accept myself, flaws and strong points.” I got sober, not perfect. That’s an odd realization but I found I didn’t have to be perfect any longer. It was Ok to not know all the answers and it was OK to be wrong sometimes. But I found that this change wasn’t just limited to me, I found that it extended to other people too. Just like it was OK for me to makes mistakes or be wrong I found I was able to let others make mistakes too. I didn’t deliberately set about trying to become more tolerant, of both myself and others, it is just one of the things in me that changed. But it is a big one… it makes the world sooo much easier to live in.

    • I’ve been reviewing some of my post since the last slip @DaveH and have taken notice of the changes that have occurred. There are far too many to list although one of the biggest ones lies within my first sentence here. We can only aim to do things better if we are not satisfied with the last results.

    • I’d also managed to slip away from what I’d posted there 2 days ago @DaveH. It’s feels really odd how suddenly this has all become a battle for me, once again, but it has nothing to do with wanting to drink, it’s just all the mess that’s left behind.

  • Liberty posted a new activity comment 3 weeks ago

    What a great reply @lee-2

  • whynot posted an update 3 weeks, 1 day ago

    Day 100 is nearly done for me. It’s not really day 100 though. I started trying to get here years ago and some of the things I did in those years helped. I joined a religious/spiritual community and began to develop ties within. My Monday meditation group just called to wish me a speedy recovery from my surgery last week. Social connections (that don’t revolve around alcohol) are more important to me than I knew.

    But these are early days still and I’m dealing with what @lee-2 describes as the long list of uncomfortable things too long ignored. And, if I were as brave as @leslielily, I’d have looked full on at the hole I dug for myself and would be pretty angry. I look sideways at it and my gut hurts. What a dumbass, what a sucker!

    But also I am grateful. My life is far from perfect, but in many ways good. I see that recovery is possible and I’m starting to bounce back. I’m also grateful for this wonderful community. Thank you!

    But it is still early days

    • Congratulations on your 100 days @whynot ! That’s a magnificent achievement and one to be very proud of x

    • I can’t think of anything braver than getting to 100 days without alcohol! xoxo

    • Congratulations! Be very proud of yourself!

    • @whynot, take that hundred days and run with it, you know where the hole is so just don’t fall back in. Sounds to me like you’ve already begun filling it with some pretty amazing stuff. Prioritize that “shit” list and take small bites at it. We can only digest so much at a time, mentally and physically. I can’t say “don’t be angry with yourself” knowing that it’s not possible but what I can say as look at the anger as being productive. You finally give a shit about yourself enough to be mad, right? I’m having to do that with my day count right now. It really does mess with your mind to loose over a hundred days. I know that we don’t really loose the sober time and all of that good stuff but it pisses me off, to no end, that I did that to myself. I care now, about myself. It’s been a real long hard road getting here but I do now, which is the complete opposite of how I felt before. Just try not to be mad for to long as there’s much more productive things to do.

    • Thanks for these encouraging words. It’s great to be able to celebrate achievements. The earth keeps spinning. All I have to do is hold on and not drink. Hacking small pieces off the shit list occasionally is doable.

    • Congrats on 100 days! A long hard road that has a pot of gold at the end and a rainbow.

  • SteveF posted a new activity comment 4 weeks, 1 day ago

    Thanks neighbor @lee-2!

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    HI @lee-2 I don’t think I got your other message unless it was here on LS; I haven’t had any email. Writing stuff down really helps in a couple of ways: it commits things to memory more powerfully, but when we are looking for solutions is when it really helps. Ours brains work faster than we can write. So when we write something down it makes our brain dwell on what we are writing. As we dwell on it then more and more information is brought to mind that may be helpful/related. Usually once I’ve written stuff down it has had the effect of making me see the issue more clearly.

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      Hi @DaveH. I’d sent you one but had somehow managed to send it to myself via email but I then forwarded to you.I may have written the wrong address. Have you checked again?

    • Hi @DaveH. You may want to check your junk mail again. I sent more junk

      • HI @lee I’ve fixed that now, so your mail properly arrives in my inbox. Keep stopping to check yourself for how you’re feeling and keep doing what’s working.

      • Lee@ replied 4 weeks ago

        Hi @daveh. How I am feeling and what I am doing. That’s a very interesting concept right now as the answer to both is “I don’t know!” There’s just so very much happening right now in so many different areas, my brain feels numb. Not like I drank, just numb. Like it’s sleeping.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Hi @lee-2 This reply ran very long so will come to you in two pieces.

    I saw your comment a few days ago about not going back to meetings for a while but didn’t comment on it then; I’d already said plenty. However, you’ve mentioned it again and now this thread is so far down the feed so that no-one but you and I will read it. Usually I don’t get into specifics about AA as I sincerely don’t want to interfere in any way with something that may be working for someone else, but I will here, as I say only you and I will read this.

    One of the things I was very concerned about in the first few months was the likelihood of relapse and how I would respond to it. I spent some significant time working out what I would do if I DID drink again. What I recognised was that there was a fundamental benefit I was getting from AA and it was this… alone I could not stop drinking, but among others who’d managed to do it I could. I managed to fully embrace the truth of that and that for me and realised this: if I did drink again then AA was the only place I knew of that could help me get sober again. Whether or not this is actually true I don’t know, but it was the evidence available to me at the time. I worked hard building convincing justifications that I would need to get back into the rooms if I did drink, because there would be a very major barrier to me doing so. That barrier was pride. What I heard in the meetings was that people that stopped going to them started drinking again. But words alone aren’t convincing. What I saw in even those first 3-4 months was that this appeared to be true. So for my own benefit, if I didn’t want to go back to hopelessness and misery I needed to be able to get back into the rooms and to do that I had to overcome my own pride. The rationale I came up with was to recognise relapse as education, not failure, a win not a loss. I think you are in a similar position. But I still knew that walking back into the rooms would be personally extre…[Read more]

    • Follows from my immediately previous reply.
      Your last question is “how necessary is it to continue” (with AA). I can’t say for you, I can only tell you my experience. I stopped going to meetings regularly after three years. By that time I sufficiently confident that I could manage myself without regular meetings. I’ve been since, as and when it was necessary to set me right again, but I no longer attend regularly. I can’t say whether or not a similar course is good for you I can only tell you why I did it and what I got from it.

      I see recovery in three distinct but overlapping phases:

      1/ stop drinking
      2/ Become well (approx=do the steps)
      3/ Stay well (self-awareness and maintaining and improving wellness)

      Regardless of your abstinence day count you are well into phase 3 with phases 1 and 2 taking much smaller significance. So your question about whether or not you should continue to go to AA is very pertinent. I’m going to say some things that are very pro/con AA next and this is the part you will not see me say in a more visible post.

      Someone turning up at AA is statistically no more likely to recover than someone engaging in any other treatment programme. The key to whether or not someone will stop drinking is not the program they follow but their readiness to change. However, far more people get sober with AA than any other program, principally because it is far more widely available than anything else.

      I continued with AA for a long time in spite of what I saw as some very significant shortcomings.
      1. The AA program was devised by and for: White, American, Christian, middle class, middle aged, men.
      2. The AA program used “faith” (Christian faith) as a central tool in recovery. People in meetings go to significant lengths to try and bend words to get around this, but it is still fundamentally true.
      3. The AA program is fixed in 1939. It has not changed to embrace scientific advances.

      The reason I continued with AA is that it gave me very great b…[Read more]

      • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

        Hi @daveH. Hope that you received the other message. I had sent it to myself by accident. I’m feeling better. A little sleep always helps and certain aspects of my worries are beginning to look trivial and the rest manageable. Writing stuff down and getting it out helps. Well typing it in this case.

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      This is extremely helpful @DaveH, at least to be able to recognize that there is a particular symbolic status involved in the program. I get that feeling that I’ve let them down and I did feel snubbed. None of my closest friends were there, the small handful that I feel as though I can relate to and trust. My brain was just so bogged down last night and it is getting that way again as this day comes to an end. I don’t see the remainder of the post. Will keep looking.

    • Hi @daveH. Finally getting back to this. There’s so very much validity here in these posts, it’s become my recent nesting place. The thing you’d mentioned about the gains being left by what is taken away is such a soothing reality. All this stuff is lifted just by not drinking. I can add gratitude to that in one way that has become quite profound. Being here and doing this, what I am doing right now makes me incredibly grateful to be alive. My entire being has shifted and is heading to a better place and the nicks and wounds were/are all just parts of it. All of my time spent here and wherever or whatever I do that pertains to my recovery validates just that and the fact that I am recovering. It’s back to work tonight. The last 3 days have shot by. at least I was able to begin working some on the less fortunate things as well. Yes, that alcoholic “turn my back” trait still needs to be addressed. I’ll find anything else to do. I’ll dust the dust itself. I just received a return call from a lawyer who’d helped me with a DUI case years ago. I’d asked for a reference of someone that could help me with the debt. We just had a nice chat and it felt really
      good to to honestly tell him that I was doing well and glad that I didn’t need the same type of legal services anymore. He laughed when I said how it’s funny that I don’t get pulled over while driving anymore, since I stopped drinking. Here comes a bit more gratitude. I’m lucky that I wasn’t a complete asshole throughout all of my many years of drinking. I actually know some very decent humans in the field of law here and feel much better about giving one of them money in exchange for help, knowing that they will do the best job possible for me and will likely work with me in terms of payment if necessary. Not sure where these thoughts were before when I was covered in doom. These people did not even exist! Nor did my fingers or the phone. And you! You give me all of this credit for being self aware and…[Read more]

  • Eola posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Thanks, @lee-2 🙂 x

  • Liberty posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    You’re very articulate & astute @lee-2 so those are good assets for that.

  • DaveH posted an update 1 month ago

    Hi @shells7 How’s it going? and @lee-2 How’s the world looking today?

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      Comsi comsa @daveh. Fair enough, at least I feel somewhat buoyant. Just dealing with the ghost of the past or “Side effects” as you say. One thing I’ve come to realize is that the more time I have sober, the more it sucks to lose it, whether it be 1 drink or 100. (It’s never one, should have started with 10 or at least 4) I know that I didn’t loose 127 days but that number looks better than 8. 8 is boring, Turn it upside down and it looks the same. I’ve never been a big fan of numbers. I like words. “I am sober.” You see, that’s much better. I despise the number that I will soon be giving a lawyer in order to reconcile my debt. The sad part is that half of the money spent was on booze or recovering from it, lost jobs and the list goes on. No post cards were sent from far away interesting places! A posh rehab somewhere would have made more sense. Problem is, they wouldn’t have let me drink. The world looks fine except for some cutting edge reality soaring in. I’ll find my way through this part. At least the lights are on. I appreciate you checking in, thank you and @malibustacey for keeping me on my toes.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Hi @lee-2 That is all just shit, it really is, but it is what it is. Getting sober has a very nasty side effect that’s not often mentioned: life doesn’t suddenly become great, life becomes real! Something I’ve found that helps when I’ve really backed myself into a corner is this… “Advance towards the problem”. Often I found that if I moved to the problem the problem also moved towards me. i.e. when I did something to try and help it then I got double the value from it. There’s another great benefit from doing this. We don’t have to completely fix a problem to reduce the stress it causes us, we only need to make progress on the problem. You will navigate your way through this: you’ve discovered you’re much stronger than you realised.

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      Hi @DaveH, Thanks, as always, for your very sound advise. I never dreamed that I’d be 53 years of age and in this state, or any realm of being as I simply didn’t dream. Not in those terms anyway. I knew what I didn’t want. That house with kids and the white picket fence because the one that I grew up it had big warning signs posted all about it reading “DANGER, dysfunctional alcoholics inside.” I skipped even trying, didn’t want to put anyone else through that hell. No regrets there at all. Did try marriage (against my will, really) to another alcoholic and then the real circus came to town. White picket fence read “FREAK SHOW, free admission”. That all ended nearly 10 years ago and plays a big part in my debt. The webs we weave.. Half of my family are dead as a direct result of alcohol and drugs. I am a survivor and have been at a steady incline. Strength? Yes. Anguish? Decreasing as I gain strength but at times, as you said, I feel cornered. Just got. I’m just a pawn in the situation right now but will soon make my first move. These US credit companies are very gangsta like and will make you feel as though they’ll have your head. Going to do loads of online research before monday and then will present my case to someone official. In the meantime I am OK. Soberly and half merrily moving along. Really happy to be back at work. There seems to be a great demand for expensive wines and roasted duck lately, we’ve been very busy upon reopening and hopefully this will continue. Side effects? Geezus, must change everything to avoid….

    • This was and will always be gold @DaveH, your advice here, that is. Seems like light years away but it’s not. A bullet has to be retracted before it’s shot. Looks like theoretical science to me in this case. Do we not love when things make sense?

      • That may not have been the best analogy @DaveH, the bullet, geeze, was I tired last night, but you get the picture, a few steps back doesn’t necessarily mean falling back into the abyss.

  • SteveF posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Very powerful post @lee-2. You continue to inspire with your honesty and willingness to lay it all out there. I tend to filter everything. I hope one day to be brave enough to lay it all out there as you do.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    Hi @lee-2 You say “I’ve got a mind full of knowledge on addiction at this point but if I don’t stop and listen to what’s really going on inside of me it’s useless. This I’ve just learned. “
    Bravo! As we go further into recovery the challenge becomes less about dealing with cravings, emotional volatility, fear of missing out and so on, it becomes about successfully managing what’s happening inside our own minds. When we are able to separate out the unwanted junk manufactured as a consequence of our addiction then we are able to dismiss it and stop it from damaging us. But it takes heightened self-awareness to do this, and you are well along that path now. Again, Bravo!

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      Things have certainly changed a bit since I’d posted that @DaveH. Just a bit more unwanted, consequential, addiction manufactured junk to be dismissed. At least it doesn’t need to go through my liver. Bravo for that!!!! I’m glad to have stumbled back to this post.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    HI @lee-2 “I can’t help feeling like I’ve let myself down yet my brain is going through some sort of recycling process, resetting perhaps and it’s exhausting but good I’d imagine …. I do feel as though I may have needed this.”

    Of course you feel like you let yourself down, but just look at how well you negotiated this. 1/ Nothing disastrous happened that is killing your conscience. 2/ You didn’t hurt anyone else; you don’t have to apologise to anyone except yourself. 3/ You’ve learned a really great lesson… “I was beginning to underestimate the power of my sober self and the freedom from misery”.

    Be angry with yourself, let it run its course (you can’t directly stop it anyway), and then let it go. As you let it go celebrate your gains. I often heard people in/around meetings go on and on about their “gratitude list” (these are usually people who’ve been through some formal rehab’). But their lists didn’t move me much as the things they mentioned weren’t particularly significant to me. I did however find immense gratitude elsewhere, not in the things I had, but in the things that were absent, and you have mentioned this… “the power of my sober self and the freedom from misery”. It is easy to see a benefit when it is something we have gained, but it is not so obvious when we benefit from something disappearing. I didn’t gain confidence, my self-doubt disappeared. I didn’t become calm, my anxiety disappeared. I didn’t gain friends but my loneliness disappeared and so on. A really simple statement of my gains is in the first three of “the promises” (pages 83/84 of the big book, 4th edition).

    “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”

    These are ENORMOUS gains that are marked more by what is lost rather than what is gained. I lost the continuous feeling of fear, anxiety, sense of impending doom and hopelessness. I lost b…[Read more]

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month ago

    HI @lee-2 Your remarkable self awareness is what will show you how to get past this… ” There’s still this little voice in my head that tells me that I don’t deserve to be better.” … right there is what you have to dismantle. In the 127 days I watched you you showed that you very clearly DID deserve better. Nothing is lost, so press on and take your successes even further. What you deserve is freedom from misery and nothing and no-one can deny you that except yourself. Be bold, aim high, and fly; you are totally capable and deserving.

    • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

      Thank you @DaveH. I was doing quite well and then I wasn’t. I can’t help feeling like I’ve let myself down yet my brain is going through some sort of recycling process, resetting perhaps and it’s exhausting but good I’d imagine. I haven’t lost the momentum. I can’t imagine even trying to live my old life and don’t think I’d last very long. Nor do I want it. It feels dead to me now. I do feel as though I may have needed this, a quick harsh face in it type of thing as I was beginning to underestimate the power of my sober self and the freedom from misery, as you mentioned. Those dam mind games. I’m really hoping to be able to detect them better in the future when they arise. There will always be a crack in the weight of the world as it’s being lifted. Progress not perfection right? I’m not exactly ready to prance back into an AA meeting. I had begun chairing them before this. There are so many things that I enjoy and get out of that program except the starting over process. This, again may just be my pride.

      • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

        I just began reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”. Purchased it in 2015. Guess it wasn’t the right time! Has anyone else read this?

      • HI @lee-2 “I can’t help feeling like I’ve let myself down yet my brain is going through some sort of recycling process, resetting perhaps and it’s exhausting but good I’d imagine …. I do feel as though I may have needed this.”

        Of course you feel like you let yourself down, but just look at how well you negotiated this. 1/ Nothing disastrous happened that is killing your conscience. 2/ You didn’t hurt anyone else; you don’t have to apologise to anyone except yourself. 3/ You’ve learned a really great lesson… “I was beginning to underestimate the power of my sober self and the freedom from misery”.

        Be angry with yourself, let it run its course (you can’t directly stop it anyway), and then let it go. As you let it go celebrate your gains. I often heard people in/around meetings go on and on about their “gratitude list” (these are usually people who’ve been through some formal rehab’). But their lists didn’t move me much as the things they mentioned weren’t particularly significant to me. I did however find immense gratitude elsewhere, not in the things I had, but in the things that were absent, and you have mentioned this… “the power of my sober self and the freedom from misery”. It is easy to see a benefit when it is something we have gained, but it is not so obvious when we benefit from something disappearing. I didn’t gain confidence, my self-doubt disappeared. I didn’t become calm, my anxiety disappeared. I didn’t gain friends but my loneliness disappeared and so on. A really simple statement of my gains is in the first three of “the promises” (pages 83/84 of the big book, 4th edition).

        “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”

        These are ENORMOUS gains that are marked more by what is lost rather than what is gained. I lost the continuous feeling of fear, anxiety, sense of impending doom and hopelessness. I lost b…[Read more]

      • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

        Hi DaveH, Just a quick THANK YOU! So much of this resonates with me. Back on my feet 100% and today is going to be a busy one but I am looking forward to re reading and responding to this. We are all so fortunate to have you here!

      • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

        Hi @DaveH Finally got back to this post, It’s days later and as you know, I’m facing new challenges. I was in very good way this afternoon until I went to an AA meeting this evening. Nothings changed there so It must be my own mind badgering myself. I shared about my last drinking episode and felt terrible after. Feels like I’ve lost respect, but once again, this is probably an inside job. I know it will pass. I just can’t help but feel ashamed as I’ve relapsed so very many times. I don’t feel like that here at all. I’ve learned a lot in in AA, everything you mentioned here holds true and I’ve worked these steps a few times. I’m just wondering how necessary is it to continue. How could I’ve learned to forgive myself and others through these steps and then suddenly feel like a monster because I drank one day. I’m very tired right now, that could also be part of it. It’s been a tough few weeks. Did you experienced relapse while attending meetings?

  • SteveF posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    Been catching up with your posts @lee-2. Sorry you stumbled but that’s all it is, just a stumble. You know how to do this and I’m sure you’ll be prepared next time the urge to self destruct creeps in. We have a summer home in North Carolina so we can escape the heat and storms so we were spared having to go through that mess. I feel for you but there are better days ahead. xxxx

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    I’m sorry @lee-2. 🙁 Glad you are getting right back on the horse.

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    Hi @lee-2 So your pride’s got a bit hurt but you are right back into it… “My bit fucked thinking process went to just fucked and now it’s back to a bit fucked which is way better then completely fucked always.” As MalibiStacey said… “Respect!”

    As you have pointed out yourself you are now back to “a bit fucked”; you are not back at the beginning. The downside of counting days is that it is easy to lose sight of just what that count means. There’s a difference between sobriety and recovery. The aim in recovery is mental wellness, but this is not proportional to the number of days of continuous sobriety… which is what the day count measures. So your day count might go back to zero if you drink again but your recovery does not as you so clearly show when you say your head is “back to a bit fucked which is way better then completely fucked always”. While your day count might have gone back to zero your recovery is barely dinted and most importantly you recognise this. The link MalibuStacy gave you is written for people who are completely brought to their knees by relapse, but that is not you. You know that you have lost little in this slip. You still know everything you did before and the good days are not lost. All that is lost is a number on a counter that isn’t really that important if your goal is becoming well. That said however you DO need to be extra vigilant for a while. With those drinks that you took you re-traversed some mental pathways that had been dormant and were losing strength. These have now been reinvigorated so just be mindful that alcohol is going to pull at you pretty strongly for a while again. It’s also the right time to have a good look at what happened… though I suspect you already know. You say “It feels like I invited the snake to bite me.” so I suspect you know that you’d stopped doing something that was helping you or you re-started doing something that you shouldn’t. But another likely issue you might look for is the min…[Read more]

    • Something happened after my excursion to higher ground @DaveH. I was so happy to be home but then the circus began in my head. The last time I drank, before this it was extremely painful at the end, damage was done and it hurt. I also started small and it took a few weeks. This time that’s not the case but it stings like hell. Feels like I just jammed my head right up my ass real quick to see if it still fit. I’m not so worried about having reopened the gateway to my addict brain. Just pouring the stuff out this morning made me ill. Something very strange and different happened this time, it’s almost like I did it to spite myself. It wasn’t to prove to myself that I could drink successfully, those days are long gone. The things I couldn’t change were the weather conditions, being told to stay in place by authorities, my already flooded job. I maybe could have found a way to exercise gratitude, that will have to become a future plan. I risked going out and got a bottle of whiskey and just went strait for the jugular. I’ve never had such a tough time drinking. I could barely get it down. I really didn’t have all that much of it, by my standards anyway, but then I just cried myself to sleep. Awful enough. I think I just needed to cry and couldn’t. Things have been pretty tough here lately. That’s just proof that part of my brain is still malfunctioning and it needs more than 4 months of sobriety to balance out. I think that I may get to far ahead of myself with this whole thing. I’d recently read an article about the process of “Wet brain” and how alcohol burns more brain cells than any other drug. It’s a very creepy process. Maybe I wanted to see if I could actually feel it happening. Kidding! Cunning is right. I feel like I need to stop being mad at the part of me that allowed this to happen and if I’d been at peace with myself before ,it wouldn’t have happened. I did set myself up for it, somehow.

  • SteveF posted an update 1 month, 1 week ago

    @lee-2. I’ve been thinking about you down there in NOLA dealing with that shit storm. Hope you’re dealing with it ok and have no flooding problems. Whatever your situation, booze is not part of the solution. I read one of your earlier posts and I too have a love/hate relation with that Banana Republic called New Orleans. Great food and great culture but damn, the political system is bankrupt. Keep the faith! This too shall pass!

    • Thanks for the thoughts @steveF. I thought you were here as well. I got past 4 months and caved a bit with the stress but it was very short lived and over. I was born here and have lots of family but have left before for significant periods of time. Giving it a year with my new job and will see what happens but right now I feel stuck and am not very happy. My work flooded as well and that left me feeling pretty vulnerable.

      • Been catching up with your posts @lee-2. Sorry you stumbled but that’s all it is, just a stumble. You know how to do this and I’m sure you’ll be prepared next time the urge to self destruct creeps in. We have a summer home in North Carolina so we can escape the heat and storms so we were spared having to go through that mess. I feel for you but there are better days ahead. xxxx

      • Hello, Lee@, from Mobile, AL. Didn’t realize you were right down the road. I had a stumble too, over July 4th weekend when I was visiting friends in Texas. But I had made it further than ever before (33 days), so I am just subtracting those days from my total and carrying on! So Day 42 for me, and best wishes to you, my Gulf Coast neighbor.

        • Lee@ replied 1 month ago

          Hi @bridgette, suppose I could have just subtracted a day but that seems to mess with my head to much. I’m not a numbers person and besides, each sober day is worth celebrating. I’m just glad this week is over but you know we are not out of the woods until late Sept.

  • DaveH posted an update 1 month, 1 week ago

    Hi @lee-2 We haven’t heard from you for three days now so I’m guessing things are pretty rough where you are. I hope you are safe and just want you to know that you are being thought of.

    • Thank you @DaveH and apologies for the delayed reply. We got lucky with this one, so far, but the panic and stress leading up to these things is horrid. My work had flooded before the storm was even close. We managed to put it back together pretty quickly but then curfews and other precautions prevent people from going out, therefore we’ve been closed. The media also went mad with this one, that’s typical. I booked a room on higher ground for a night but then didn’t stay in it for very long. I went home at 2am when it was just misty and windy outside. Now most of the storm has moved north or dissipated. There was/are conflicting stories about our compromised levees and drainage systems. It’s very apparent that they were not fixed properly after Hurricane Katrina and the man responsible for this (our ex mayor) sits in prison. These storms are extremely unpredictable and certainly feed the hate part of the love/hate relationship I’ve always had with this city. Excuse my slang but the last couple of days have just been a complete pain in the ass. Glad to be home and dry.

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    Me too @lee-2!

  • DaveH posted an update 1 month, 1 week ago

    Hi @lee-2 I hope you’re staying safe and not too wet.

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    I am definitely joining in on not drinking with you @lee-2!

  • jmtn posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    @ginny @megs @leslielily @lee-2 @aprilsfool @mandles I just realized that I should share with you all…I started taking multivitamins a few days ago, and focusing on vitamin Bs. I have had a lot more energy during the day. I still get tired at night and want to go to bed early, but it has helped. All that alcohol intake was preventing our bodies from absorbing certain vitamins, so that might be a part of the fatigue. Thought I’d share in case it helps you, too! I’m going to ask a doctor about recommended doses for me soon.

    • Thats very good information @jmtn! In my case with the leg pains, it occurred to me that I was drinking extraordinary amounts of water – and therefore peeing all the time. One of the first signs of low potassium is leg cramps … duh! I immediately began upping my potassium via my diet. I’m sure that did the trick. Just as I’m sure the B will help your fatigue. Damn! Alcohol sure wrecks havoc! So glad you found that out. It will make being sober even happier.

    • @jmtn Ah! I didn’t even think of that! Good recommendation, thank you! (I also am always wanting to go to bed early at night but I don’t see that as a bad thing, tbh – keeps me out of trouble!)

      • @aprilsfool Good point on the potassium! Alcohol totally messes us up in so many ways…I’ve been learning so much through the books I’ve been reading. I’m trying to have a healthy diet, too, but it just wasn’t cutting it.
        @leslielily Nothing wrong with early bedtime! Keeps me out of trouble, too. Weirdly enough, I have enough energy to crank on some needed chores tonight. First time I’ve been able to stay up and be productive in quite a while!

  • jmtn posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    Well done on Day 16 @mandles! I appreciate you all sharing your experience of feeling tired. At Day 21 I’m still experiencing feeling super tired, too. Here’s one more reason to add to the pile of why we don’t want to revisit these early sobriety days ever again! 😉 Have a wonderful day everyone. @ginny @megs @leslielily @lee-2 @aprilsfool

  • Lee@ posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    @jennah, when I signed up over a year ago I had no clue as to what I was doing and put an @ at the front of my name. Thinking its @lee-2?

  • Sober4real posted a new activity comment 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Right on for 120 days @lee-2! 🙂 So happy you are here.

  • jennah posted a new activity comment 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    It’s hard to know if I’ve tagged the right person. Are you Lee@ or @lee-2?

  • jennah posted a new activity comment 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    You continue to be an inspiration @lee-2 🙂 Keep adding those days!!!!

  • DaveH posted a new activity comment 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    HI @lee-2 I love this observation: “Quieting that part of the brain that’s self-sabotaging can be difficult”. It isn’t just difficult to stop the self-sabotaging thoughts, it is impossible. There is no way to prevent these thoughts from coming, but we can lessen their conviction and lessen their duration. There is a part of our brain that still demands that we drink: the reward system, and we have no direct control or awareness of what is happening in there as it operates completely automatically. The reward system is where the cravings comes from and there’s nothing we can do to stop them coming. But the cravings create a problem for our human brains, and that is that they come entirely as feelings, and these feelings have no supporting rationale. Our brains require information to be orderly, so our mind searches for an explanation that will justify and validate the feeling. This is how the sabotaging ideas get formed. But these ideas occur in a part of our brain that we ARE aware of… so we can interact with them.

    The best way to deal with these sabotaging ideas is to anticipate them. When we know in advance that they will come then we can recognise them as they arrive and dismiss them quickly. e.g When we get the challenging though “Maybe you weren’t that bad, plenty of people drink a lot, maybe you’re just a heavy drinker” We can respond “Oh, I wondered when you’d show up. I see you and I know you are not true. Yes, I WAS that bad, maybe all those other people that drink a lot have the same problem as me, I was not just a heavy drinker I was a compulsive drinker and it was destroying everything around me”. We can anticipate the sabotage, then recognise it and dismiss it.

    The sabotaging ideas present themselves in three categories: ideas that say that it is not possible to stop drinking, ideas that we can’t enjoy life without drinking and ideas that say it isn’t necessary to stop drinking. They are ALL lies.

    Example ideas saying “It isn’t p…[Read more]

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