• safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thanks @clowance He would not agree to that. He still insists it’s IBS. There was a cancellation, so we are going in next Thursday April 18.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thank you all. @janus2 I do think it’s serious. And @winner IBS would be a blessing, and I think because he’s relatively young and our doctor likes and respects him, he’s missing the real issue 🙁 Can’t get in for two weeks. Canadian health care is great but has its limits.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Congratulations! The first week is so hard.

    • A huge thank you to every one above for my first weeks congratulations. It really helps strengthen my choose not to drink when I wake up to a bunch of positive and supportive messages x

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    @agirl I will definitely be coming with him. He’s my doctor, too, and is “old school,” as in he isn’t afraid to break the rules now and then! Thank you.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    @sober4real He is really grateful for the change, but it doesn’t seem to affect his behavior. Thanks for the support!

    • @safeandsound I can relate to his response – I’d be happy for people I loved too but that doesn’t make it any easier to quit. What does he say about it? Does he feel hopeless about quitting? I know it’s so hard. You are welcome.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thanks @robynb I really didn’t know where else to turn. I can’t sleep.

  • The love of my life is very sick. I’m 99% certain that this has to do with his alcoholism. His stomach is distended starting below the chest, and he has so much air in his stomach at all times that it makes it hard for him to eat. He sometimes throws up foamy stuff. He’s 42. Due to my own behavior, I don’t have any support left. He never gets mean like I did but drinks a TON. He’s been to the doctor (6 months ago, who said it was IBS) and two specialists, but the specialists were 3 years ago. I’m going to make another appt. tomorrow, but this is seriously messing with me. I have to stay sober to be there for him. Sorry for the depressing post, but I am tired of keeping this to myself. He’s very successful in his career–my last post was about his promotion–but that makes it easier to ignore it. Edit–thank you for listening! The other problem is I can’t tell our family because they are already worried, and it has gotten worse.

    • Prayers, @safeandsound. That’s such a worry. You do not need to be sorry, this is a good place to come with your worry. Hugs.

    • Prayers to you and your hubby @safeandsound– knowing how hard it was for me to quit this time around I don’t know next steps to suggest except to make a doctor’s appointment. 🙁 Has he seen how much healthier you have been since you quit? Stay strong. xoxox

    • Oh I’m sorry @safeandsound Yes highly likely he does have IBS as a result of drinking. Is hubby up front with his doctor about his drinking? Because sounds to me like hubby needs a wee bit of a scare to kickstart sobriety. Hugs and everything will be ok You will ne able to be there for him as a super strong sober person xx

    • You don’t need to keep it to yourself, it’s too much @safeandsound. How frightening. It does sound concerning, I’m glad you’re getting the Dr to have a look. Let us know how it goes.

    • Don’t be sorry for the tone of your post, that’s what this place is for. It is so good that you can be sober at this time when your husband needs you. Gosh yes- he needs to go back to he dr. Will he let you attend with him to make sure the real story is coming out? I have called my daughters dr before when I was concerned about her. They couldn’t give me any of her information but were able to take my concerns (the real story) into account when they saw her.

      • @agirl I will definitely be coming with him. He’s my doctor, too, and is “old school,” as in he isn’t afraid to break the rules now and then! Thank you.

    • So my dear, either pancreas or liver, get it checked now.

    • Lots of love. Not depressing, but worrying and we are here to share our worries and pain.
      Xxxx

      • Thank you all. @janus2 I do think it’s serious. And @winner IBS would be a blessing, and I think because he’s relatively young and our doctor likes and respects him, he’s missing the real issue 🙁 Can’t get in for two weeks. Canadian health care is great but has its limits.

    • Can you go to urgent care? Where you’re describing the swelling could be his liver, and that could be dangerous……. xx

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    I’ve seen all the Marvel movies, thanks to my “boy” (i.e., husband). Mindless entertainment has never looked so good! Seriously, I drank to stop thinking, and these movies help me do that.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for your responses!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thanks, @trace. That’s the mature way to handle it! I’ll try. And I kind of have to since resentment has always been a trigger. p.s., he deserves congrats–I’ve rarely seen anyone work so hard. So thanks for that too!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Congratulations!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    “Fucking bastard cancer” is right. My dad passed away from it (very suddenly due to a misdiagnosis), and I still think of him every day. I also like the lesson that grief is the price we pay for those we love. Many hugs to you. Can’t wait for the new book!

  • Today my husband got a huge promotion (minimal pay raise, but still!) As I’ve mentioned, at Christmas I had a spectacular blackout after 2 months of sobriety, and our family is barely speaking to us. It’s all my fault, but it still hurts that they couldn’t write to congratulate us on the news. The comments here are definitely helping me stay sober at a dangerous time.

    • Not everybody is going to ‘get it’ and understand @safeandsound – and not everybody is capable of forgiveness – that bit is about them and their journey and you have no control over it. Totally sucks, but the situation isn’t set in concrete. From my experience, the best that can be done is to just put some space around it – drop all expectations of what you would like from them and DEFINITELY what you think you ‘need’ from them. Park it, in other words, and get on with the business of building your best life and controlling the things that you can. Massive congrats to hubby, awesome!

    • Congrats @safeandsound. I love your screen name. That’s what I like being these days. I’ve been there w the spectacular blackouts, so awful. With more time, hopefully things will be all good. x

    • I like that term “just put some space around it – drop all expectations..” Wonderful.

    • @safeandsound the very wise words of @trace are great advice.

    • Other people’s behaviour says far more about them than it does about you.
      Congrats to your hubs for his new job, and to you for your sobriety journey xx

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    @delgirl68 The exact same thing happened to me several times over the last few months. I was able to be moderate when I relapsed for a night at a time, but that didn’t change the feelings of guilt and self-loathing. Now I have 33 days and know I will be tempted again (monthiversaries seem to be my triggers!) so I’m more prepared for it. You’re right; it’s so much easier the first month when we are really scared and miserable. Then we start to feel better, then . . . see @daveh‘s response to my post yesterday if you have time. It really helped me.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    @JenB I identify with this. For me, I couldn’t accept the healthy, non-puffy, clear-skinned image of myself in the mirror. I didn’t feel like I deserved it. Don’t do what I did, which is to drink again after periods of sobriety! (back on track now)

    • Definitely don’t want to drink – just feels like a bit like a ‘something has to go wrong’ feeling determined not to self sabotage. I am glad you are back on track, good work 😃

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Congratulations!! I love those positive messages I sometimes “hear.” They are rare but so important.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    @jocord this is really inspiring. And thanks for your reply yesterday–helps to know other people have “trigger months” and can get through them.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    What a healthy response to irritation! Running in the “green spring” sounds lovely.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    I agree about this site, and you’re such an important part of it. 💕

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    I’ve saved your comments into a “Relapse Prevention” file that I will add to in the coming weeks.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    My goodness, what a treasure trove of advice here from all of you and especially the very long and thoughtful reply of @DaveH!! I feel empowered and much more positive. I need to get rid of the roadblocks and prepare for future cravings, focusing on what actually worked before. As you guys said, knowing I have a trigger time is important–glad you turned that on its head for me. Much love!!!

  • The last day I had a drink was 32 days ago. I always relapse at around 1 or 2 months, so instead of feeling happy, I’m a bit nervous. Any tips on not creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? In positive news, the depression has lifted!

    • Hang in there. Experience is a great teacher. Being aware is powerful. Stay on script, have a plan. You’ve got this.

    • Yay! Stay vigilant and always plan ahead really helps. ❤️❤️

    • I understand @safeandsound. I was on edge until I got past 4 months-that was my slip up point. I just put my head down and kept doing what was working everyday, day by day. As the others have said, plan ahead and be extra vigilant. I did it, you can too!

    • The recognition that this is your danger time for relapse is hugely powerful in and of itself.

      Make a list of all the strategies and helpful things you’ve done that have got you this far.

      Choose those that are most supportive of you bring AF and make a plan for how to keep using them through the next 2-3 months.

      Consider what other strategies or self-care activities might strengthen your clear plan to stay alcohol free and smash the story that you “always” relapse at one to two months.

      You can do this thing. We’re all here with you 😊😊😊

    • Hi @safeandsound This is extremely common and understanding it is key to getting past it. You mention two things in your post “I always relapse at around 1 or 2 months” and “In positive news, the depression has lifted!”. The two are linked!

      Firstly, you mention that the depression has lifted. This is the result of your brain re-adjusting its way back towards normal having previously adapted to a regular and heavy dunking in alcohol. But oddly, this part of recovery rocks our boat quite badly. What happens is that while we feel better in ourselves (this is a direct consequence of stopping drinking that we often don’t correctly attribute to our abstinence) we also feel the daily chore of staying alcohol-free. We are happier in ourselves but this emboldens our addiction… and in some respects we are and will forever be somewhat addicted. The part of our brain referred to as the “reward system” operates entirely independently of our conscious thoughts… and THAT part of our brain still wants us to drink. The intensity at which it pushes us to drink diminishes in part (see “Secondly”, coming up) but it never goes away completely because it is a feature of our brains that “what has become known cannot become unknown”. While we may wish that our reward system had never identified alcohol as a really good thing, we can’t ever remove that knowledge once it is there.

      After a significant period of staying off the sauce we start to feel better and our brain begins to embrace the idea that we have beaten alcohol. You need to stomp on this idea firmly and aggressively whenever it presents itself. If you EVER pick up drinking again you will very quickly revert to precisely the same predicament you were in previously. This is a physiological certainty: it is how our brains work. So whenever you think “perhaps I’m cured”, “I can probably handle it now” etc, etc kill the idea immediately! You are not cured, and never will be. You can’t control drinking now any bett…[Read more]

    • I love your reply, DaveH! Thank you!

    • My goodness, what a treasure trove of advice here from all of you and especially the very long and thoughtful reply of @DaveH!! I feel empowered and much more positive. I need to get rid of the roadblocks and prepare for future cravings, focusing on what actually worked before. As you guys said, knowing I have a trigger time is important–glad you turned that on its head for me. Much love!!!

    • @Davey such a good post. Thank you its helped heaps

    • I would say plan, have a plan for every eventuality! If you know this is the time when you get tempted then plan ways out of giving in to those feelings xxx
      Awesome that the depression has lifted, that is a beautiful feeling!

    • Thanks @daveh great post “I dust myself off and move on”

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    @morgan yes, exercise is the best! I haven’t done it lately due to back pain. Thx for reminding me I need to get back into it!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    So impressed by how much work you’re doing to stay on track! I’m still afraid of my emotions and not ready to work on them quite yet, but I’m inspired.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Thanks–all positive methods even if the outcomes aren’t what you’d like. @robynb So glad you said that. I ALWAYS cry when I try to meditate! Makes me feel like a weirdo. And one time I started crying in yoga class during a certain move! (the teacher was very kind about it and said it happens). We all have so much pain . . . keep on keeping on, everyone.

  • Bowling party was a success! I drank Diet Coke and ate cupcakes. One of our group, it turns out, has tried quitting in the past, so I got to talk to her a bit. But Monday woke up with terrible depression, the kind where you stop caring about anything, and that has continued. I think I figured out what it is, though. I’ve been taking curcumin for the first time, which is supposed to raise dopamine levels. Whenever I’ve taken herbal supplements in the past, whether to relieve anxiety, increase metabolism, or sleep, I have a “hangover” that makes me feel really low. Apparently I’m really sensitive to ANYTHING beyond food I put into my body (even melatonin and magnesium!) So I’m going off the curcumin starting tomorrow. I wonder if anyone else has this weird sensitivity. Maybe that’s why alcohol affects me so strongly, almost always leading to blackouts. (??)

    • I think I will try the curcumin. I’m not sensitive in the same way. Sounds like you actually had a serious allergy to alcohol and your nervous system is very sensitive.

    • Oh yay so happy the bowling party went well!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • You are indeed a sensitive soul. I find curcumin really helps, I feel quite chirpy. Nice. You may be better with a list of dopamine raising foods.
      Does exercise help?

  • safeandsound posted an update 5 months ago

    It’s my husband’s birthday today. As a surprise, I got reservations to go bowling with two other couples we’re friends with. We haven’t been in years! I would have never done this if I were drinking. I’d be too hungover to make the necessary plans to get everyone together and couldn’t count on myself to be in good shape to drive even at 6 p.m., which is when we’re going. These people will be thrilled I’m not drinking, so no worries there. They’ve all seen me at my worst! Getting fancy cupcakes to bring. Should be fun and such a change from our usual, which is getting drunk together and going to dinner within walking distance. So grateful to be alcohol-free today. I can be there for him instead of being out of it and mostly thinking of myself. We’ve even gotten into fights on birthdays before. What a relief.

    • That sounds like a lovely surprise – and that’s great that you can see how much being able to do this is down to being sober xx

    • Ro replied 5 months ago

      Awesome really cool surprise hope it all goes well and your old man loves it 😊

    • Wow that sounds like fun!!! Enjoy lovely ❤️❤️❤️

    • Lovely! ❤️

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    Congratulations on Day 5! Those early days are the hardest to get through. You’re on your way!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    Wonderful!! Enjoy!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    @wakingowl Please let me know how that movement session goes. I have the same history and often feel the same disconnect.

    • @safeandsound This was good for me! The hardest part was having to tell my story so we knew where are are working from…though each time you tell it it gets a bit easier. We did basic breathing exercises and a full body relaxation scan, then some movement work, I had to look at the scared abandoned child in me, I cried quite a bit but when all was said and done I felt more grounded than I have in a long time. My friend suggested EFT ( the “tapping” method) as a grounding technique to help release and deal with all the negative emotions this healing work is triggering. and I’m checking into that.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    I’ve felt that way, too. One thing that helped was when someone said, “You don’t have to drink.” Amazingly, I thought I did, like I was trapped. I’ve found out that it’s true, and I’m happier and healthier without the stuff. @freedom1025 love your words of wisdom. The “having a plan” is so important. Otherwise you’ll give in to the triggers. My plan often involves sugar 🙂

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    Thanks for the encouragement, @clowance @timidwarrior and @enzedgirl!

  • safeandsound posted an update 5 months ago

    I haven’t been posting much but have been reading this site every day and commenting on others’ posts. I had a really rough go of it for three days, but it paled in comparison to the tragic events in NZ. It was so strange–for three straight days I could not stop thinking about drinking. The physical craving was back, which makes no sense because I am way past withdrawal. Everywhere I went I saw signs for drink specials, even on campus! (my favorite cafe and wine spot has new beers daily). At one point I started crying after walking to the store because I had to pass 5 restaurants and two bars and couldn’t take it any more. But I didn’t drink. I held on out of pure stubbornness. Haven’t felt the desire at all lately! How random is that?? Also, last night I realized I really need to deal with some issues regarding my mom’s death. It’s always at the back of my mind and pains me daily. We had a very close relationship but things were out of control at the end of her life, and I couldn’t see her. Long story. But maybe that’s where the urge came from? I’ve been dreaming about her. Has anyone else ever had this sudden craving? I have 41 days minus 3 slips, and counting since my last drink (didn’t get drunk) is 19 days for reference.

    • Firstly – congratulations for hanging on and getting through.
      I’m learning that a lot of problem drinking is to numb difficult emotions, so I’m not surprised to hear about the craving when things are hard – I think it’s been taught to our subconsciouses that a drink will make us feel better. Poor sc’s are wrong, but they think they’re trying to help and so send us the cravings.
      I’m sorry about your mum xx

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking safe and sound – HUGE congrats on getting through that onslaught AF.

      and also was thinking just what you said – so maybe intense urges to drink precede a piece of development, a great realisation – there’s work to do around your mum’s death.

      Much love and strength to you!

    • Well done lovely on staying AF through all those intense urges, that’s awesome stretching of your sober muscles!!! Try and sit with your feelings and see where they take you, you may be on the verge of a realisation as mentioned above. Stay strong and look after yourself ❤❤❤

    • Thanks for the encouragement, @clowance @timidwarrior and @enzedgirl!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months ago

    Wow, that all sounds so healthy. Building up a solid foundation for when the next temptation comes. Congrats!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks @bonniecakes! I feel exactly the same way about being more present. And the self-hatred, while not gone, is diminishing. Good to be reminded of the positives!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Congrats on the new job and more importantly, 8 days. That’s a milestone. @robynb so true!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    I was tired, nauseous and headache-ey for about the first three weeks. Then everything seemed to shift into high-energy gear. It’s worth the wait!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    @mrs-d just wanted to thank you for “Little by Little” and “Why I Love Sobriety.” Positive reinforcement works wonders with me! So well-written too.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Yay! So happy you had a good time and saw how much better it is sober!! I’m able to give things my full attention now, so I imagine a concert would be great.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks for your positive post! Enjoy the trip!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Well done! Congrats!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Congratulations! I’m a blackout drinker, too, so I know how extreme it gets and what a big deal those 18 days are!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Cry all you want, @tipsytoegal! It helps sometimes. You are undertaking such a huge challenge and confronting it with bravery, not wine. Wishing you the best on your new start.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    LOVE the rough seas metaphor. I’ll remember that when I feel stressed.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Stay strong. Then you’ll never have to go through this again. I know it’s awful! Hugs.

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Me too! Also “it is possible to live with sadness and worry and not let it consume you.” Thanks, @saoirse!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Thanks @saoirse! That’s a cool way to look at it.

  • First public outing in months was a success! A group of acquaintances and friends went to a lecture. I declined to go to the pub after because these people would be shocked I wasn’t drinking and definitely ask questions. But I did meet them for dinner later. I quietly ordered a tonic and lime, which came in a drinks glass and looked just like a G&T. I was able to really listen to what was going on and participate, partly because I wasn’t worried about how long I should time it before I ordered another drink, wondering if I was starting to slur or if what I said went over the line: the usual. Instead, I was fully present. And as a result, I laughed harder at one point than I think I have in several years. I couldn’t stop. Most of the table was in hysterics, too. Two takeaways: 1) I really wish I had friends like this to hang out with (I’ve alienated most friends, and as for the others, including this group, they’re busy with work and young families and I’m probably not on the top of their list of invites due to drunken craziness), and 2) WOO-HOO!!

  • safeandsound posted a new activity comment 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    @delgirl68 he is thrilled I’m not drinking. I was just thinking about the example idea earlier, like maybe he’ll be inspired. He’s already drinking less, but that’s not saying much because his consumption is so high. He responds very negatively to nagging of any kind, so for now I think I’ll let him come to his own decision as @clowance said even though it’s hard to do. Thanks for your responses!

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