Getting Started!

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Participant
5 months ago.

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  • #121388

    Participant

    Hi All,

    every morning I am ready to quit.

    Ask me at 4.30 in the afternoon- different story!

    So frustrating. So much pain, sorrow, worrying. Lies. Money. I hate it.

    I’m starting this journey today. I’ve done the 30 day program two years ago already, and those were the only 30 consecutive days of sobriety in the past 25 years for me. So I know it works..

    If anybody wants to buddy-up, needs help or can offer help, please reply!

    PS the structure of this forum makes it a bit difficult to have longer conversations as you move on to a different thread each day. Any ideas how to productively use the forum to stay in a conversation of the entire course of the program?

  • #121395

    Participant

    Hi Daniel. I just started again a few days ago. Now on day four. I tried awaile back and didn’t get past day one. I’m early in the process and the emotions are just starting to sink in. I’m not too good at dealing with emotions. That is a scary part for me. Back in August is when I knew I had to do something about my drinking. I’m sure I knew before that, but the front of my brain finally listened to the back of my brain. I was drinking too much to just stop all at once. I figured I would cut it in half by drinking just one bottle of wine a night and not start until 5 PM instead of 10 AM. I look back and one bottle a day is probably cutting by more than half but who was counting. I got myself down to two glasses a night, thinking ok this isn’t bad. Then around Thanksgiving it started to turn into three glasses, then before long it was a bottle again. That’s when I decides to go to the 100%. I find it is easier to go 100% than 90%

    I think we can just keep this string going and not worry about the day.

    I’m rooting for you.

  • #121397

    Participant

    Thanks for your words. I can relate. Up until today I was consuming half a bottle of hard liquor a day. Like you, I thought cutting back slowly would work. But then when I was down to two cocktails a night I started drinking more again and soon was back to where I started.

    So today is my first day sober. It’s 7.40pm and I think I’m going to make it.

    Emotions.. like you ‘unwanted’ emotions are a big reason for me to drink. Trivial things like being hungry before dinner time, or just being tired (like today) make me think ‘hey have a drink or two’. Funny when I look at my kids and they are tired or hungry they seem to be able to deal with it much better! They just eat something irrespective of the time, or when they are tired they sneak under a blanket for a while.

    See you around.

  • #121398

    Participant

    I agree dinner time is tough. I try to plan a distraction around 5pm trying to make it to seven. i don’t know how old your kids are, but it is the best reason to stay sober. I was drinking heavy while my kids were growing. Not a full on drunk yet, I regret not being 100% for them. They are grown now. 10 o’clock where I am. I hope you made it.

    Bill

  • #121402

    Participant

    made it through day 1!

    Today my challenge will be making dinner for the family. Saturday night, cooking.. you can imagine how that went in the past. Looking at my journal right now and my notes from day 2. Planning to do the exercies after dinner.

    Bill how are you hanging in there? Everybody else how is it going?

  • #121403

    Participant

    Daniel that’s great. I was just going to message you to see how it went.
    I tested myself last night and I went to my old drinking hole. I took my sparkling lemonade and did just fine. No one asked and no one cared.

    When I got home, I did the day four action items. That made me want a drink more. I wrote my leter to my dad who killed himself when I was twelve. Half a century later and still the defining moment of my life.

    Hang in there Daniel, I’m in your corner. Make through dinner and it’s downhill and on to day three.

  • #121405

    Participant

    Nice.. you challenged yourself and looked it straight in the face. Seems to me you are serious about this.

    Sorry about your dad. I hope you can forgive him. My dad wasn’t around when I was growing up. I hope I can do better for my kids.

    Yes I made it through dinner alright. I had a few moments, like yesterday, when the thought was there to just screw it. Like yesterday. Kind of annoying those thoughts but it helped that I have decided upfront that even when the thoughts come the option is not there for the coming 29 days.

    And thank you. It really helps that I know you are there. I’ll check in here tomorrow.

  • #121406

    Participant

    Good morning Daniel. Welcome to day three. I hope you are getting the support you need from your family. Days three and four were tough for me, day five not so much. Like I know what I’m talking about. I would wish you luck, but we both know luck has nothing to do with it. Stay the course and check in when you can.

  • #121410

    Participant

    Hi, thanks for hanging in there with me. You are right, day three is hard. I am getting sort of stressed out by all the work for the 30 day solutions, which is not a good thing. Stress building up, and on the other hand I know I could do other things to de-stress like going for a run, reading a book, riding my motorcycle, playing with my kids and so on. I wonder what the right thing to do is. Last time I did the 30-day, at the end I made it sober but I was really stressed out. Is it better to take care of myself first and stay in touch with myself? Or is that an excuse for letting go and abandoning the program?

    When I don’t drink I like that feeling when I wake up at night, or early in the morning, and I am relaxed and feel ‘whole’. And during the day, when I feel the stress creeping up on me, then I take a time out and breathe, go to the park or just rest in bed and get back to myself. Then it’s all good and I don’t need to drink.

    But all of this work, on top of the daily stuff like ‘work’ and family and everything, just stresses me out even more.. Kind of a conflict. What is the right thing to do?

  • #121411

    Participant

    I think different things work for different people. For me it is staying active and distracted from my urge to drink. I went to a wine tasting last night with a friend and just drank my lemonade. No problem. As soon as I got home to an empty house I wanted a drink. I find myself at the gym a lot. Take the dog out to exercise. (she is getting in really good shape). Fixing meals for my son and me when he is around. I’m thinking of taking an online language course even though I have enough trouble with english. For me I have to have something interactive. To damn cold here to ride the motorcycle.

    Day four was the most diffacult for me. Lots of emotions come out. That seemed to help. The last two days have been easier. I can focus on how good I feel. I feel good about myself and I deserve it.

    You sound a lot like me in that you have always been taking care of everyone else and there is not muct time or energy left at the end of the day for you. You deserve and need that time, and all your loved ones will be better off for it.

    Peace and out. Lets check in tomorrow.

  • #121415

    Participant

    Hi and thanks for being here, it means a lot to me!

    You are right.. it’s that end-of-the day feeling when being worn-out, tired, sometimes stressed, hungry, thirsty, bored. What to do with it?

    I agree something interactive, something interesting is needed. And I also find that staying busy with exercise or other things really helps to get through that ‘witch hour’. I know that when I make it to 8pm then I’m going to be fine. It’s 6.15 right now and I’ reading a nice book, then going for a walk with my wife and look at Christmas decoration around the neighborhood.

    Yesterday I learned something. I felt the stress building up. And the thought of doing all the ‘action items’ for day 2 stressed me out even more! Then it is most important for me to ‘become myself’ again. Take a time-out. Breathe. Tell the people around me I need some time to relax. And then I just let the thoughts pass, wait until the clouds move on. Sooner or later I’ll be in my happy place, and that’s where I need to be. Everything else comes later.

    Hey I’m turning 49 next year and all of my life I have worked hard and taken care of business and the people around me. That’s not sustainable. I need to take care of myself now, so I can be there for the others in the future!

    Peace to you, and hope you stay in the zone!

  • #121424

    Participant

    It’s a new day Daniel. You made it trough day four. Who did you write your letter to, if you don’t mind me asking? I’m glad you are taking the time for yourself and are getting the support you need from your wife. In the past, when I tried to quit I never got a lick of support from mine even though she was complaining about my drinking. Ironically it was her addiction that cause me to leave and divorce her.

    I don’t know how my kids got through it. A dad with a drinking problem, and a mom addicted to hydrocodone. My son lives with me part time. He is a bit of a nomad working at a local ski resort for the season. When he is here we are almost a family, at least more than he has had in a long time.

    I’m 61 and was able to retire a couple of years ago. Retiring with out a plan was part of the problem. Too much time on my hands. I wish I got thing under control earlier while both kids were still around. Daughter is married now and lives in the San Diego area, wanting to start a family. I hope I’m a better grandfather than a father. sad.

    Thanks for being there. Nice to have someone who knows what the struggles are. Strange how I’ve told things to a total stranger that my closest friend don’t know.

    Hang in there, I think today will be a little easier for you.

    Bill

  • #121434

    Participant

    Hi Bill,

    yes it’s a new day. Thanks for sharing your story. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You did what you could at the time and under the circumstances. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you, either.

    I think it’s great that you have your son around sometimes and it sounds like you have a relationship with him.

    And no, I am not getting any support from my wife or anybody else (other than you!), and that’s ok. I feel it’s my problem and I have to take care of it. Even when marriage is sometimes stressful and hurtful, I have to find a different way to cope with it. Alcohol is not the right answer.

    As for the 30-day program, I have to confess I am still at day 2 or 3. I want to get the before- and after-me really right. It has to be such that I can really identify with it. I don’t need any buzzwords in there but it has to feel right for me. I need to find the right frame of mind to do that. I think today after work I’m going to stop at a park and write it down.

    Here’s my vision statement (I wish there was another word for it, ‘vision statement’ smells like work-bs):

    I am healthy, fit and well-rested.
    I feel peace and freedom and love my life and the people around me.
    I am succesful in what I do.
    In the evenings I relax and allow myself the recreation I deserve.
    I sleep sound and wake up feeling great.
    I have no desire to drink. I really don’t care about Alcohol anymore.

  • #121437

    Participant

    Hay Daniel. Sorry to here you’re not getting support from your wife. Mine use to say way don’t you just quit. They don’t understand that this is a process. If it was easy no one would have a problem. Yesterday topic in the “30 days” had to do with will power. Will power can get you through the short term, it takes internal change to make it last. They talk about that drinking person inside of you that keeps trying to come to the surface. I can’t let that guy come up for air.

    I know what you mean about the phrase “vision statement”. Let’s get all the managers in a room, every copule of years, brainstorm it for a couple of hours, go back to the people that report to you, get their in put and bring it back to senior management, then they go ahead a write what ever the hell they wanted it the first place.

    My vision statement sounds like buzzwords but I think I will revisit it later in the program. Some parts of the program work better for me then others, but it helps get me through the day.

    So it looks like it’s just you and me here. I look forward to you posts

    Stay strong

    Bill

  • #121439

    Participant

    Hi Bill,

    you hanging in there? If I could read between the lines I would say maybe one of those days where it’s hard to find motivation to keep going?

    My day yesterday was actually pretty good. I spent some more time with my before- and after-me (I call them drinking Daniel and real Daniel) and really imagining it.

    Also I made a very specific plan for the time between 4.30pm and 8 because I know that’s my witch hour. So I came home, did some yard work outside, had dinner, went for a walk with my wife, had a hot shower and read my book.

    Twice, my thoughts went like ‘ok that’s it I’m going to have a couple of drinks tonight’ but it went away.

    I might get started with the ‘forgiveness’ stuff tomorrow, I know it’s tough stuff so I might as well tackle it. Last time I did the 30-day program I came up with a list of about 40 people I’m angry at!

    As you can see I am taking my time this time. I don’t want to get stressed and I want to do it ‘my way’ so I don’t have any resentment. I think last time I did this I kind of hurried through it, and got stressed, and there were so many things that piled up in the back of my mind that somehow a voice inside me said ‘that’s really stupid I don’t like this’. And in the end I was stressed out and unhappy. So I’m trying to treat myself with more patience and compassion this time. No pushing.

    Hey maybe someone is reading this and getting some help out of our exchange. I sure do!

  • #121440

    Participant

    Alright, i’m glad you had a good day yesterday. The forgiveness day is tough, but I think you really need to get in out. Taking your time can be a good thing too, get the current step right before moving on to the next. The goal is the journey not just 30 days

    For me it was core values day. A bunch of good stuff for me in there. I think I’m gone to work on it for a couple of days. I’ve always consided myself to have strong values. Integrity, honesty, generosity and compassion to name a few. I don’t think drinking has every made me violate these values, but I don’t think I’ve live up to them the way I feel I should have. When we live up to our values we live in better harmony with ourselves. As I write that I look back a year ago and would have said that’s a bunch of crap.

    I feel good about this and you should too. If someone is reading our post I would hope they would jump in. If it’s just you and me, my brother, that’s ok too.

    Keep the journey moving forward. I’ll check in tomorrow.

    Bill

  • #121442

    Participant

    Hi,

    Last night was very strange for me. The evening was fine but had a hard time sleeping. I woke up several times, really stressed out. Not sure about what, but I was restless, irritated and really angry at everyone and myself. It went like that all night and I just couldn’t turn it off. At some point there was a thought ‘if this is what sobriety is like then I’m pretty sure I prefer drinking’.

    But now, being awake and the day has started all of that has moved away and I’m asking myself what the heck was that? Where did that come from? I really had a good day yesterday and no reason at all to be stressed or angry. What was happening?

    Today the weekend starts. I am looking for ways to keep my motivation up. I need to revisit the old and new me again. Maybe the time travel if I can somehow carve out a quiet half hour.

    And yes, forgiveness. I’ll write a letter to my wife and myself.

    Values.. mine are very similar. Respect is another one that’s on top of my list. But I really think that drinking has compromised all my core values to some degree. I mean how can one be really honest and compassionate when drinking everyday and deal with hangover and emotional distress? How much more generous could you be if you didn’t spend all that money.. how much more could you be there for others if you wouldn’t have to think about yourself and drinking all the time. Those are just my thoughts of course and I might be too hard on myself but honestly that’s the way I see it.

    OK I really have to stay strong today. I feel my motivation somehow fading and Fridays are a real challenge for me I know that.

    Looking forward to hear from you tomorrow!

  • #121443

    Participant

    Sorry you had a bad night. I wonder if the back of you mind was gearing up for your forgiveness letters. Time to put that behind you. I’ve been sleeping well but the dreams are vivid. Sometimes they are good, sometimes not so.

    I know weekends can be tough. Being retired they just don’t have the significance they use to for me. Free time is difficult.

    I have respect on my list, and your right I can be more committed to my values without alcohol.

    I’m starting to feel the urge to have a drink right now. My son will be back tonight .Going to go get something for dinner and help take my mind of of things.

    Stay strong, Reach out if you need to.

  • #121444

    Participant

    Hi there @na5hBi1160 and daniel69 !
    You two are riding this “Sobercoaster” together like your lives depended on it! And it may well depend on it from my perspective as a graduate of this exceptional program!
    Here is a great no nonsense pep talk from another Sobriety Cheerleader, Craig Beck. I enjoy watching this when my enthusiasm for Thriving in Sobriety is flagging. Enjoy. And stay strong!(I won’t wish you luck, we know luck doesn’t figure into this particular enterprise!)
    Onward! Sina

  • #121445

    Participant

    Whoops, here’s the link!

  • #121446

    Participant

    Hey Daniel. I thought I would check in and see how the week end is going. I hope it hasn’t been too difficult. I went to another Holiday party last night and didn’t have any trouble and there were a few heavy drinkers there. They had one of those white elephant gift exchanges and about a third of the gifts were bottles of hard liquor.

    I finding it amazing how much I’m eating. I think I’m substituting food for drinking.

    Anyway, I hope this note finds you well. Stay the course.

    Bill

    P.S. Any idea who this Sina person is. I made the mistake of “friending” her and don’t know how to unfriend her. I’m wait for her to try to sell me something.

  • #121447

    Participant

    Hi!

    thanks Sina for posting the link, I’ll check that out. I think Sina has been around on this site for a while and is trying to help where she can.

    Going to a holiday party today.. but I already know whom I will hang out with and who to avoid. So I should be fine!

    Funny that you mention eating Bill. I was just amazed about my appetite, it won’t stop!

    But when you think how many calories are in alcoholic drinks, it starts to make sense. I need to keep working out though, will go on a run later.

    Thanks for hanging in here with me, I’m fine right now but I know sooner or later it will get difficult again.

  • #121448

    Participant

    Hi guys, it’s been nice to follow you two. I haven’t butted in cause I thought this was the way you two can go back and forth and be there for one another. You are not alone out there. Some only stay for a while, while others come and go, and others have been here for years. Some are very prolific, like me when I need it, and others are silently listening. Everyone has a different way of experiencing the site. Just look at the newest members ticker, someone is always joining. Yes Sina is a 30 Day grad and has been in Dave’s Inner Circle also. She was very helpful for me in my first 30 and I like her input and links she shares. I hope you both know that every one of us out here is rooting for each other, and hopefully ourselves. It is always easier to hope that everyone else succeeds and scary to know it might actually work for me. So you go you sober people you! Cheers with a Pellegrino.

  • #121449

    Participant

    Pegacornj, thanks for jumping in. I hope others can get something out of our discussions.

  • #121451

    Participant

    Hi @na5hbi1160! Happy Sober Monday (California time).
    The only thing I am trying to sell you on is Thriving in Sobriety!
    Here’s a little background on me…my rap sheet!😏
    I was one of the first wave of Graduates of the 30 Day Sobriety Solution not long after the book was released. I, and several other people, bought the book after we listened to Tommy Rosen’s interview with Jack Canfield during an online Conference given by Tommy, a leader in the Addiction Recovery field and author and voice of Recovery 2.0. ( Google it for more info). We even started our own Secret Facebook page to support each other as we worked the Solutions together! I am an Administrator for it. (And you are welcome to join if you would like. Message me if you would be interested in it.)
    I took Jack Canfield’s 30 Day Challenge which he threw down on April Fool’s Day of 2016 because I am no fool! Jack himself participated with daily emails to the participants.
    I continued to post here during and after “graduating “, although the Journey doesn’t end after completion, it just begins!
    Dave Andrews invited me to be a Volunteer and lead a Mastermind Group for his Inner Circle 3 last year.
    I hope you enjoy this Interview. It was the one which launched many people on the Journey to Thriving in Sobriety!
    Onward Fellow Sobriety Seekers!

    https://secure-hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/a/4/4/a44c5b722c1a920c/RP013.mp3?c_id=12482967&cs_id=12482967&destination_id=400272&expiration=1545065663&hwt=836a4c892862e064496e4c6161ecf962

  • #121452

    Participant

    Hi, glad to see some life in this forum. Maybe you can help me with something.

    While I am doing the 30-day program -going to work on my ‘SMART goals’ today- I am really struggling. I feel like most days are a ‘close call’. No doubt I need loads of willpower and when I’m finally through the day and I lay in bed sober around 9 or 10pm I am glad and exhausted I made it. Not to mention the weekend.

    When I watch the Craig Beck video (thanks for sharing Sina) then I am exactly in that place that he says is doomed for failure. Because willpower will run out. And I sort of agree with him and that’s the way I feel.

    But what can I do? What should I even think? I feel I am running towards a cliff. Or is it ‘normal’ to be struggling with myself in this way and Craig Beck is just trying to sell yet another program by way of making people hope they can do it without willpower or struggle? I’ve read his book years ago, it was actually the first ‘self help book’ I bought.

    Basically what I understand is ‘as long as you have to use willpower and push yourself, part of you still thinks there is something good about alcohol, and as long as that is the case you will sooner or later fail’. But that’s exactly where I’m at. What now?

    • #121456

      Participant

      Oh, I so get it. Most of my life has been with this sad excuse for happiness. All my waking moments were either drinking or planning. So now what?! It is losing my best friend and there are days I feel the loss keenly and long for it to all be back the way it was. I lament my old friend and dream about the way things were when I could just drink the day away and not have to abstain, think, handle the emotions or the pain. I begin to way the scales toward the dark side, reminding myself what a good time I had.
      That’s when I put on the rubber band and snap it against my proverbial wrist. That is when I go double check those reality moments I wrote in for my before me on day 2. That’s when I connect to those lies I tell myself to make it easy to stop fighting. That’s when I check in with my core values and all that I have ruined because of it.
      That’s when I go for a 10 minute time-out, what I call a 10 minute meditation. (Google it and many come up, even 2 minute ones for that “I don’t have time for this because I have to make up my mind to drink so I can have the rest of my afternoon to do it” moments.) There is a whole chapter on meditation, but I think it works so well to end that stress that it should be started earlier in the game. Just try a quick guided one that you like the voice or the music or topic. I keep it bedside with headphones so that when I wake up and my body still wants more rest but my head is going round and round…It works for me!
      The hundred percent was a rough one for me because I was afraid it was going to work and it would be forever. Once I got the 100% (for at least the 30) it became easier to ease the stress of the inner mind combatancy. The one that drove me nuts trying not to drink. Once I put the 100% into place (for the 30) it became a hard NO that I (and YOU) can do.
      Just remember the 30 is a reboot for your system and for your mind to know that you CAN live without. The same ole, same ole will still be there, but at 30 you may actually have a good game plan to live with. Go the distance guys, it’s worth it, you are worth it!

  • #121453

    Participant

    Good morning all. Sina, I appoigize if I misintrupeted your intentions. I guess I have a suspicion mind especially when it comes to posting information about myself on the internet. Privacy is one of my core values which is one of the reasons I have always avoided social media. This forum is the closest I have ever come to that.

    I have to say I stalled a bit on the Core Values Solution. There was a ton of information there that pertained not just to my drinking, but other factors in my life. It required more than one day. As it states in the program, if you don’t keep moving forward, you can’t keep the bicycle upright. Onward Ho!

    Daniel, How was your Holiday function. Were you able to enjoy yourself? I’m finding that not drinking aroud people isn’t difficult. It’s the time alone when I struggle. Boredom must be one of my triggers.

    The comment, I think in day 11 about alcohol being a poison (auto fuel) is something I would like to incorporate into my self conscious. How many of us would put gasoline in our orange juice in the morning.

    Daniel, hang in there buddy and to anyone else out there reading all.

    Bill

  • #121454

    Participant

    OK Bill you are right with the bicycle analogy. I kind of let things slip over the weekend and that lead to my fall on the christmas party. I had a glass of wine and a beer. And now I regret it. Duh! And no, it wasn’t difficult to enjoy myself. At some point, the way it usually works, the women are inside chatting and drinking wine and the guys stand around in the backyard not exactly sure what to do, then someone brings a sixpack IPA and that’s that.

    Now I have to get back on track. I just did the forgiveness solution with myself. Now I’m going to move on to the next chapter, day5, believe in myself. I’m ready for it! Onwards.

    • #121458

      Participant

      Blips are so very annoying Daniel. And they can be a positive experience for the lesson learned and resolve strengthened. The key is in not berating yourself in my view. This is a good time to review the Bonus Solution of Day 14, The Relapse Solution. (I wouldn’t call this a full on relapse, that’s when you abandon all hope and drown your sorrows!)
      @pegacornj, thanks for some excellent strategies for dealing with the inadequate motivation which Willpower, in and of itself provides.
      More to follow. Great work guys, you’re inspirational!!
      Onward!

  • #121455

    Participant

    Ok, You slipped. Get back up and keep moving. At least you didn’t dive off the deep end. Some days are easier than others. Sometimes I feel like I have this licked, then I’m jonesing for a drink. Keep going.Check in tomorrow.

  • #121460

    Participant

    Good morning all. Daniel, I hope your not beating yourself too much. I believe in you and am proud of you.It would be easy to ditch this after a slip, but your not. Your doing the right thing.

    I’m sitting here by the fire with my coffee, dog at my feet, thinking about my dreams last night. I had a rather disturbing one about when I had to put my mom into an Alzheimer’s home. I guess it’s time for another letter. I think I’ll watch “Field of Dreams” tonight and really beat myself up.

    Ok, too much sadness for now. Time to do my 30 DSS reading. if anyone is interested I attack the 30 DSS in a three pronged approach. Read with my coffee in the morning. Listen to the audio book at the gym. This helps me get through the day. Then to get through the evening, I do my action steps after dinner. May not work for everyone.

    BTW Sina. I don’t know if you have any input into this site, but after two weeks, I just found the links to the “Guided Imagery” it sort of buried in there or maybe it’s just me.

    Peace and happiness to all. Keep fighting.

    Bill

  • #121461

    Participant

    Bill, your 3 pronged approach sounds intensive and effective!
    As far as this Website, which is the sole responsibility and brainchild of Dave Andrews (Jack steps away after launching books he has co produced with promising authors), I have little input unfortunately. I’ve been urging Dave to finish developing it for a long time. He has difficulties I won’t recount here at this time.
    Glad you found the Guided Imagery!
    Onward, Sina

  • #121463

    Participant

    Hi All on this thread! I seem to recall someone talking about the huge shadow which Boredom casts now that drinking isn’t the go to solution it once was. Although I can’t find the post now, I thought it might be helpful to share this from Annie Grace, my friend and one of the most inspiring Sobriety Cheerleaders in the business (and it is big business!).
    Boredom is one of the big Sobriety killers, so it pays to examine the experience.
    Nietzsche stated that “Flight from boredom is the mother of all art”.
    There is a link between boredom and creativity. Free time gained from cessation of drinking can lead to boredom.
    Onward, my not do boring friends!

  • #121464

    Participant

    Hi,

    Bill I have similar experiences with dreams and emotions. It seems sobriety really lets things come to the surface. Some dreams seem like rather random stuff, while others send such a clear message that you can’t ignore it.
    What I also found however is that all those emotions are temporary. They come and go, like clouds in the sky. That gives me hope sometimes, even when I can’t see the light temporarily.

    I have a quite similar daily routine- mornings I journal and review the previous day, then later in the gym or on my way to work I listen to the next chapter, and in the evenings I do the action steps.

    I am still confused by this willpower thing. No doubt it takes me willpower each day to make it through the evening. Does that mean I am doomed to failure because willpower will run out sooner or later? Do I have to change the way I think? How?

  • #121465

    Participant

    Good morning to an exciting sober day.

    Thank you Sina for the “boring” video. Boredom is such a strong emotion. If you think about it one of the cruelest things we can do to a person in to put them in solitary confinement. Boredom can make you go crazy or do incredible things. Remember Andy Dufresne.

    Daniel, the further I go in this program, the less I need to rely on will power alone. As my thought and feelings about drinking change, the urges aren’t as strong or frequent. God knows I still need willpower and will probably need it everyday, just not as much. The program has helped me think differently about alcohol and myself. I hope it continues. To tell the truth I’m getting more and more scared about what happens at the end of the 30 days.

    Today is my day 14, day 17 of sobriety. I’m going to celebrate by taking myself to my favorite Chinese restaurant in Spokane.

    Thank you all for your support. It is a tremendous help knowing you’re out there

    Peace and love
    Bill

  • #121466

    Participant

    Hi Fellow Sobriety Seekers.
    Seems that Willpower as the sole weapon in your quit drinking toolbox is ill advised by all the Sobriety Cheerleaders I could find.

    Annie Grace, in a recent pitch for her “Intensive” training said Willpower is doomed to fail (and she thinks it is even counterproductive) simply because it is a Conscious effort, whereas our desires are embedded in our Subconscious mind.
    Through years of programming, provided by “Big Alcohol” and other marketing giants, as well as the addictive properties of alcohol itself, our subconscious core belief is that Alcohol=Pleasure. That’s why Craig Beck (and others) tell us to flood our brains with the truth. The truth that debunks the falsehoods of Alcohol’s pleasures. Kind of like reverse brainwashing!
    As we begin looking into the Whys of our drinking, as well as discovering other Strategies to satisfy the Needs we looked to Alcohol to fulfill, we start to change our Subconscious beliefs, slowly but surely.
    One book I am currently reading is “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal PhD. Some interesting studies are cited which can enable us to harness our minds to accomplish change.

    This ongoing investigation, which casts a bigger net of curiousity every day, is part of the gift that my problem drinking has bestowed. So…
    Onward!

  • #121470

    Participant

    Where are you Daniel? Are you OK?

  • #121472

    Participant

    Hi,

    all good here, was my last day of work yesterday prior to holidays so had my hands full finishing up stuff.

    Thanks for the encouragement Bill, I appreciate it. I think it is true that less and less willpower is needed as the urges come less often and less intense- but I know they will come still.

    I am quite aware that many people say willpower is doomed to fail. But I would be lying if I said I can stay sober without using willpower. That’s just for me, where I’m at. Perhaps others have a different experience where they can become sober without any willpower at all. Although I find that hard to believe.

    For me the reality is that while I am working on the 30-day solutions and my attitude and beliefs about alcohol, I have to use willpower to stay sober when urges and thoughts come. I do believe that it will get easier.

    Working on the ‘outcome solution’ today. Bill where are you at?

  • #121474

    Participant

    Hey, Daniel. Good to hear things are ok.You sounded discouraged after your last post and I was a little worried about you. You’re through phase one. You should have a good foundation for the next steps.

    I’m on day 15 of 30 DSS day 18 of sobriety. I did have some strong urges yesterday afternoon but was able to power through them. After dinner I ended up hanging out with some friend. They know about my journey and tell me they are supportive but treat me differently. Kind of like I have an illness and am somewhat contagious. If it is contagious a few of them could benefit from catching it. I guess I’ll start looking for a new place to hang out and some new friends. Side note, the bar that I used to hang out at is closing its doors, going broke. Did I spend that much money there?

    I hope you have some nice holiday plans with your family over the extended weekend. I know this is going to be tough. If you would like, I could send you my cell # via privet message if you feel the need. Anyway I’m here for you.

    My son moved in to his winter apartment full time now. I’m talking to the dog a lot more. He has Monday and Tuesday off and Monday we will probably make the drive to go see his mom, my ex. I haven’t see her in a year and half. On the bright side I’ve got a date tonight. I don’t quite have my head is a place to start new relationships right now, just putting a toe in the water.

    Keep it moving guy.

    Bill

  • #121476

    Participant

    Hi Bill,

    you are right, I am really struggling at times. It would be great if we can exchange cell phone numbers and text each other. I think you are way ahead of me but I know you have tough moments, too. I have no idea how to send private message, if you can figure it out that would be great. I won’t be messing with you promise.

    I’m going to the yearly Christmas party with my coworkers in an hour. My friend, russian guy, hosts it. He is a heavy drinker and the kind of guy who really wants you to get drunk. Last year I came hope totally wasted, it was horrible. I am going to say I have to be home at 5 because we are going to another party.

    Arrrgh I have to make it somehow!

  • #121477

    Participant

    Hi Daniel!
    By now you are at the party with your Sobriety Sabotaging Russian Friend. I hope you have a great time and are satisfied with the outcome, however the chips may fall!
    To communicate with Bill in a private message, here is what to do. Let me know if it works. I am usually on my smart phone, but now on my laptop.
    On the Home page, on the laptop, click on “Your Community”. Then in the drop down list, click on “Site -Wide Activity. Scroll til you see one of Bill’s posts. Click on his screen name and you should land on his Profile. From there you will see how to Friend him and also Private Message him. You two can decide on how you want to proceed, whether there or by email or phone. If using your phone to navigate this site, you will see how to get to Site Wide Activity under the “Where to?” at the top right of the Home Page (at least on my Android phone).

    If you two do decide to correspond in a different way, I sincerely hope you don’t abandon posting on this site, you are inspiring untold numbers of you Fellow Sobriety Seekers here!!!

    Onward! Sina

  • #121478

    Participant

    Hi Sina, thanks we got in touch.. Bill somehow figured it out.

    I have to tell you all about the party. It was really an eye-opening experience. Like Bill said, parties are actually not that difficult once you learn how to deal with it, but being alone can be challenging.

    When I arrived, my co-worker and one guest were sitting at the table waiting for the others. They had already emptied half a bottle of Whiskey. My friend pushed a full glass in my hand and said ‘cheers’. I pretended to sip on it but didn’t. Later I went to the kitchen to ‘get some food’ and dumped the glass in the sink.

    The other guests arrived, we ate together and it was really nice. I had to empty my glass one more time like previously.

    After lunch most of the guests were drunk already and it got easier for me, and interesting to observe.

    Next was beer-pong in the garage. I just said I don’t play because I drive with my family to another party later and I can’t smell like beer sorry. But I enjoyed watching the game unfold. It struck me as so paradox. The objective of the game is of course to avoid having to drink. Why would you play a game to avoid getting drunk? Especially when you’re drunk already? I mean, do you want to get drunk or not? Either way, why play the game?

    After a few rounds, people got really hammered and things went downhill. My friends kids were watching and it really hurt me to see that. The older one kept saying he wants to play like his dad so they set up the game with water instead of beer and everybody was watching the kids play ‘pretend beer pong’. Me being the only sober person in the room was the only one who caught the awkwardness of the whole situation. It was just plain wrong!

    Next was ‘vodka roulette’. They had never plaid it before and people were too drunk to figure out the instructions. I read it and explained it to them. Then they played…

    At the same time we were doing Karaoke. I’ve never done it before but I did this time. It was fun!

    It’s the same procedure more or less each year. Except that this time I watched it from a sober perspective. And I’m so happy about that. But I feel sorry for my friends and the kids.

    But actually I had fun at the party. I really like the people even when they are drunk.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  daniel69.
  • #121481

    Participant

    Congratulations on navigating the party in style Daniel! Hats off!!!
    I have a few hilarious stories of debacles witnessed from a Sober perspective in early Sobriety. I won’t recount them now, except to say that most have an underbelly of tragedy. Here’s a non alcoholic toast to Thriving in Sobriety!
    I’m glad you 2 friends connected.
    Onward!

  • #121482

    Participant

    I just tried to post and it didn’t take for some reason.

    Anyway, wow Daniel it sound like it was a frat party. It must have been difficult to have a drink in your hand and not sip on it just out of reflex and habit. I’m happy you made it out of there unscathed. I hope everyone made it home safe. Doesn’t sound like a lot breakfasts are going to be served this morning. I don’t want to sound judgmental but carrying on like this in front of the kids is just not right.

    About ten years ago my son was on a tournament baseball team that traveled the Northwest. At the end of the day the parents would congregate in one of the rooms and get hammered. I’m sure some pot was going on too. Not that I’m against it. But not appropriate with the kids around. I don’t know how much they saw because they were running around the hotel like a pack of wolves. I remember one of the moms throwing up in the bushes while the game were going on the next day.

    My son is twenty-one now and doesn’t drink much. A much more mature attitude towards alcohol than I had at his age. I know he and his buddies go camping a couple of times a year and drink a lot but that’s about it. I know he smokes pot a couple of times a week but give the choice between the two I would prefer the pot. And I know he doesn’t drive impaired.

    Last summer, his best friend, one of the kids on the baseball team I was talking about, was killed a car accident around three in the morning on one of the dark mountain roads we have up here. It was really tough on him and our family. I can’t tell you how many meals he had or nights he spent at our place. We would even take him on family vacations with us. They won’t say if alcohol was involved in the accident, but I found out there was some coke in his system. It would be hard to believe there wasn’t alcohol too. The kid had a tough life. As long as I had known him his mom was in prison. His dad, who didn’t drink, busted his ass to keep a roof over his head. My son changed when that happened. It shattered that feeling of immortality that you have when you are young and you realize nothing is for ever. Tough lesson. I talked to my son about my drinking when I was going through the cut back stage of my journey and he has told me he appreciates my efforts.

    Anyway, I don’t know why I’m going in to all that this morning. Congratulation on your success last night. Shoot me a text or give me a call when you have a minute.

    Stay strong

    Bill

  • #121484

    Participant

    Hi,

    quick check-in here, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

    Taking it a day at a time here. I’ve been slacking with the 30-day progress. Did day 7 today, with some good info on nutrition. I think I’ll try a cup of fruit or a banana instead of a drink.

    I will step up my 30-day game over the holidays; with a early-morning run or walk to listen to the next chapter.

    Stay strong everybody, don’t give up, there is hope! I can’t see the light on the end of the tunnel yet but I believe it is there.

  • #121485

    Participant

    I’ve been slaking on the 30DSS. I’ve kept up on the reading, but I have some homework to do. Feeling good and staying the course.

    Best wishes to all, and to all a goodnight.

  • #121486

    Participant

    Happy Holidays Friends!
    Onward! Sina💖

  • #121488

    Participant

    Well today I decided I’ve had enough. I’m hanging up the scotch for good. I’m tired of feeling like crap and the anxiety I feel about not remembering everything is getting old. I stopped for almost a year about 8 years ago and that was an awesome time. I thought I could reintroduce alcohol again and manage it but that was not the case. I’m really focusing on the fact that I can change it and I just need to do it. Glad that there is this forum to have some folks to reach out to and not having to sit in a room spilling my guts out in person. That made me uncomfortable and why I never stayed with other programs. I’m still a little confused on how this whole things works, but I have the audible book and have not listened to very much of it. Well I just wanted to introduce myself and say “hello”.
    Dan

  • #121489

    Participant

    Welcome Dan. You have made the first step and the right step. I’m on Day 17 of 30 DSS and about 22 days of sobriety and feel great. Not that I don’t get the urges but I’m able to power through them. The best thing about then program is how it changes my attitude towards alcohol. As you go through the program you are going to take a hard look at yourself. You need to do that. I won’t wish you good luck. Luck has nothing to do with it. It’s work. Feel free to reach out. We are in this together.

    Daniel, I hope you had a good holiday, and cruised right through.

    Stay strong everyone

    Bill

  • #121490

    Participant

    Hey Dan, welcome!

    I had a few slips since starting but I found the most important thing is to keep going.

    Right now I am in a good place, sort of on a roll, cruising through the holidays without much effort. But the urges, thoughts and desires still come. There are times when I don’t seem to be able to see forward. Then I just try to stay on course, distract myself and get through it. The next day is always better, especially when you managed to stay sober.

    Sina, you mentioned Dave Andrews (the author) a couple of posts back. I can’t stop wondering, what is going on with him? Is he still committed to this program? Will it ever get beyond the ‘beta’ stage?

    • #121491

      Participant

      Hi Daniel, I have been lobbying for completion/oversight of the Companion Website since 2016. In fact I’ve been a bit of a thorn in Dave’s side about it. And I’m grateful that he has allowed me to remain here!
      Dave has been going through some personal life challenges for the past year and a half or so.
      I just messaged him with wishes for a smoother sailing in the New Year.
      I think his priorities in stewardship of the 30 Day Sobriety Solution program and Website are different from what I would like to see. I am sincerely hoping that he doesn’t squander the opportunity to help many more than he already has.
      I don’t like to dwell on my disappointment because it could distract people from achieving goals. The Program works even with the Website in it’s neglected state!
      I keep my hopes alive, because I believe this program has an even wider Vision for helping people Thrive in Sobriety. Wider in it’s scope of issues addressed than some of the other ones on the Market which are also excellent, like those of Annie Grace and Craig Beck, to name just 2.
      Onward Friend! Hats off to you!!!
      Sina

  • #121492

    Participant

    Day 1 coming to a close. It’s 10:30pm and didn’t have a single drop of booze whatsoever. Had some cravings but nothing too bad. I hope my sleep will not be too messed up tonight and the night sweats stay away. Take care all and hope all is well.
    Semper Fidelis,
    Dan

  • #121494

    Participant

    Great Dan. I hope you slept well. From my own experience, the first few days I had trouble sleeping. I got better and I sleeping better now than in years. Beware of dreams, they are coming and some can be disturbing. Things from my past. Things I had to face.

    Make sure you are doing the journaling and the action steps. The program won’t work without it, it isn’t magic, it’s work.

    What I like about the program is the approach that drinking isn’t the problem. It is a symptom of the problem.

    Daniel, I hope you are well.

    Peace and strength to all.

    Bill

  • #121495

    Participant

    Thanks Bill,
    I started my journal today and wrote some thoughts down. I slept ok. Seemed like my body just shut down and I slept deep but not really rested. I woke up groggy and it took a couple hrs before I wasn’t feeling tired. Had some “twitching” feels while I was trying to fall asleep but I was finally able to sleep after about an hr. But not waking up hungover was amazing for my confidence. I was really happy about that. I know there will be rough times ahead but remembering how good mentally I felt from not being hungover or drinking anything the night before something I will use to get me through those times. It’s nice to remember everything you did the night before. I’m going to do the time travel exercise today after work. I’m looking forward to that. Thanks to all of you for being here so we can support each other.
    S/F
    Dan

  • #121496

    Participant

    Greetings everyone! I have to admit that I read this entire string starting back on December 7th through today much like I would read a Clancy novel. The correspondence between Bill and Daniel69 left me hanging and praying that I would continue to read good things. I have and, for that, I’m grateful. Today is Day 15 for me so I’m a little behind but encouraged from what I read. It’s also nice to find an active chat string on this site since many of them are left unresponsive. Danw12010, my best to you! I remember the twitches when I would first fall asleep but they do pass and I’m still absolutely amazed at how well I sleep at night now. Something I haven’t done in 18 years. Hope we can keep this chat going. It really is nice to hear updates from others who are dealing with the same or similar challenges. Thanks to each of you.

    P.S. Someone needs to commission a study regarding guys named Dan and alcohol abuse. Sure seems like there are a lot of us. 🙂

  • #121499

    Participant

    Well, made it through my 2nd day with no alcohol. Even went to dinner last night with my bro-in-law and his wife and felt at ease with not drinking. It did take awhile to fall asleep and had the twitching. Also, I had some strange images float in my head when I was not really asleep just drowsy. But woke up happy and not hungover, I feel good. I did a rough calculation also and I’ll probably save $600 at least per month just being sober. I don’t care who you are, that’s a chunk of change.

    I agree with those of you who want this thread to continue. It’s a good thing for us/me. It’s funny though, because if any of my friends or family knew I was on a forum talking about my problems they would be shocked. To everyone I’m the stoic oak that doesn’t share his feelings and just deals with the situation at hand. The last 5 yrs have been extremely challenging. My wife even said one time “she doesn’t know how I handled it all.” But I do.
    Short story and maybe later I’ll give details. 2 major back surgeries in 2.5yrs, 2 surgeries on my right hand and I have to have a 3rd hand surgery on January 14th. Let me tell you that changes your life. Lots of things you cant do anymore or without a lot of pain to go with it. Wow, haven’t talked this much about this stuff with anyone but my wife and that was only just recently. Thanks everyone for letting me ramble on. I wish you all a successful journey in sobriety.
    S/F
    Dan

  • #121501

    Participant

    All right DanW. (Getting tough to keep you the Dans straight.) I was in the $600 a month club too. That’s a car payment. With all those surgeries it’s a wonder your’e not hooked on Hydro too. I’ve got a bunch of screws and pins in my back too, along with some bondo.

    You sound like me with and Daniel69. Not a lot of trouble not drinking when out with people, it’s when I get home I want to drink. I used to think I couldn’t get to sleep if I didn’t have a drink or two or three…

    Go ahead and ramble or vent, I sure have. That’s what we’re here for, support and camaraderie. A safe place to get things out. How was your “Time Travel”? It kind of wakes you up and slaps you in the face.

    Daniel, welcome to the thread. Daniel69 and I were hoping some others would log in. Nice to know we are not alone.

    Daniel69, I hope your’e still crushing it.

    Peace and strength to all. Hang in there.

    Bill

  • #121502

    Participant

    Hey everyone!

    great to see others come aboard.

    It’s not easy I have to tell you, I am still struggling. I am getting over a nasty cold right now and yesterday night I felt so crappy that I thought of my grandmother who would make ‘warm beer’ for my grampa when he was sick. How could grandma be wrong..? Just a stupid excuse, I know my addiction.

    Danw, I have the same ‘twitching’ thing sometimes when trying to fall asleep. I found that when I stretch for a minute the muscles that twitch (in my case legs) it not only goes away but I fall asleep in a hurry.

    To anyone reading this: keep in mind the most important thing is to keep going. Even when you slip or mess up. Get back up and going again no matter what. You can do it.

    Oh one more thing. I’m sure you remember Daniel is the one who got thrown into the lion’s den and he emerged unscathed. Because he believed in something he was able to make it through the impossible.

    In that spirit.. it’s 7am here and I’m going for a walk to listen to day 10 ‘core values’ then do the homework later today.

  • #121503

    Participant

    Bill, I agree the drinking at home is going to be a challenge. Usually on the weekends when I’m tooling around the house I’m drinking a beer then transition later to scotch or whiskey. This weekend should be interesting. I need to figure out a distraction.

    I attempted the Time Travel last night after we got back from dinner and everyone was in bed. However my 5yr had a bad dream so it was dad to the rescue. Today I’m doing it when my wife is still awake to save the day. I feel like I’m falling behind a bit but this weekend I should knock out day 2 and 3.

    Daniel69, hope you’re feeling better. Thanks for the stretching tip, and rock on with day 10.

    Take care all,
    Dan

  • #121505

    Participant

    Hi,

    today was really interesting. Working on day 10 core values, I realized that independence and self-reliance are really important for me.

    It makes sense, when I drink, I think things like ‘I don’t really care who says what, I do what I want’ or ‘I want to feel better now so I do what I want’. Having something that makes me feel better, independently of other people or circumstances is a big thing for me.

    Ironically, what I got is the opposite. I am dependent on this stuff. How I feel is a direct function of my intake of some chemical substance!

    That was a big insight for me. And -coincidence or not- for the first time today I don’t really feel the desire to drink.

    I don’t expect this to be the ultimate light on the end of the tunnel, but it was a big step forward for me. You never know.. as I said before the most important thing is to keep going!

  • #121508

    Participant

    Good morning gents. I hope everyone got through Friday night unscathed.

    Daniel69, sounds like you had a real breakthrough. The CoreValues solution is a real eyeopener. I’m happy for you.

    DanW, the first weekend is a challenge. I just make sure I have something in my hand to drink. Right now I have a Gatorade bottle I filled with diet cranberry juice and club soda and carry it around like it was a beer. It’s not too bad.

    Daniel, how is it going for you? I have changed my pace for the reading to a solution every other day. So I think you are the lead dog now.

    Nice to all be in this together. That’s all for now. Four inches of snow in the driveway, I get to fire up my new snowblower.

    Peace and strength going forward.

    Bill

  • #121521

    Participant

    Hello All! Today is my day one. Dec 30, 2018. I’ve never really gone longer than 3 weeks and usually just 3 days before I hit the wall and cave. Like Daniel said – in the morning – Yep – this is. . . .That drive home from work past the liquor store and it is over. Just don’t buy it and you cannot drink it – right?? Sounds so simple. Alcohol has controlled my life for the better part of 15 years and I am just over having it rob me of the things I really want to do and have in my life – like say, a life? I’m also restarting my miracle morning and integrating this into my plan. As I ride my bike it the morning I can listen to the book. Good Luck all~ BevAnn

    • #121526

      Participant

      Welcome to the journey.

  • #121527

    Participant

    Hi BevAnn and welcome to the group! I let alcohol control my life for over 18 years and, like you, decided that was enough and chose to focus on better things I wanted in my life. This will be my first New Year as a single man in 19 years and yet I still feel grateful and empowered for what life is bringing me. My best to you and hope that today has treated you well. Please keep us posted.

    To the other members of this group, Happy New Year and best wishes for a continued successful journey!

    Daniel

  • #121529

    Participant

    Happy sober New Year to all.

    I sure wanted a drink last night. I was arguing with my son and just about said fuck it, I’m having a drink. My mind is clearer this morning and I’m sure glad I didn’t falter.

    Do you all have plans for a sober New Year’s Eve? I think I will head down to the local bar I used to hang out at and watch people drink. The bartender there actually supports my sobriety. I plan to be home well before midnight, my dog freaks out when the fireworks go off.

    Peace and strength to all. Thanks for being here for me.

  • #121530

    Participant

    Good news and bad news,
    Good news I survived the weekend without drinking or freaking out about it. So I’ve been sober for 5 full days and I feel great.
    The kind of bad news is that I’m still on day one of the book. I was having such a great weekend with the family I never made time for it.

    elcome BevAnn. I too have been controlled by alcohol. This was my first weekend sober in I don’t know how long. It was awesome. I spent some fun quality time with my wife and kids and actually remember all of it. It doesn’t take long to see what you’ve been missing. It’s like a fog has been lifted. I was always there before but I was distracted constantly thinking when I could get a drink, especially if we did something away from the house. I didn’t do that this weekend and really enjoyed myself.

    I’m hoping to get back on track with the book. Tonight might be a good night to do the Time Travel to distract me from what typically took place on this night and start my New Year pointed in the right direction.

    Stay strong and stay safe tonight,
    Dan

  • #121531

    Participant

    Hi All! So glad to see some life here.

    I am still on the ‘beliefs’ (I think that was day 11). I have to take my time with this, it doesn’t seem realistic to change on such deep of a level in just a day and then move on.

    In the book on day 11 there was an analogy that I keep thinking about: The auto-pilot. Your direction, what you want, is set by your beliefs and values. With effort, you can steer against it, but once you get tired and let go, it goes back to the default.

    Freedom and independence are really important for me. And there is this ‘belief’ in me that giving up drinking means giving up my freedom. And I don’t like it one bit when someone or something tells me what to do. Especially when they are not walking the talk.

    So, I am going to spend a bit more time examining those beliefs of mine.

    Bill, sorry about your the argument with your son. When my wife yells at me my first thought is usually ‘ok that’s it screw everything I’m going to have a few drinks’. But some people say arguments are part of a healthy relationship. Kind of hard for me to accept but maybe there is some truth to that.

    Tonight we will have friends over for dinner and newyears eve. The women drink but I know my friend doesn’t. His dad is in AA. So, it should be nice and easy.

    I wish all the best to all of you! Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself and the people around you!

  • #121532

    Participant

    Bill, glad you navigated last night successfully.
    New Year’s will be quite around my house. The kids are going to the in-laws and my mother(who lives with me) will be heading to my sister’s for a few days. My wife and I plan on enjoying the eerie silence together. If I make midnight it will be a miracle.

  • #121533

    Participant

    So it’s Day 18 for me on the book and Day 21 of sobriety. I loved this post when I first discovered it several days ago but it now reminds me of why I also despised AA meetings years ago during one of my many attempts to quit (this is now the longest I have gone without a drink in over 18 years and I love it). Why is it that when a group of three or more drunks (or ex drunks) get together it simply becomes a self-indulgent pity party about how tough and miserable life is without drinking? And then my favorite part is, just like an AA meeting, everyone closes by saying some silly BS like “hey, thanks for listening to me drone on and on incessantly and, by the way, I hope you all are doing well also!”. Completely phony from my perspective and something that I don’t find encouraging simply because I guess I choose to be more optimistic and forward thinking. I can only imagine the posts tomorrow about how the struggle was so real and the temptations were so horrible and yet, through it all, perseverance paid off and you live to tell another tale tomorrow about how the struggle is so real and the temptations were so horrible. I think this is the reason that I despised the concept of sobriety for so long. Almost every recovering drunk was a miserable f**k who lived in the past and wallowed in their day to day existence. I’d close by saying best of luck to all of you but I really don’t think I’m that interested in what you’re enduring. I think Allan Carr summarized it best in regards to either smoking or drinking; if you are really a non-drinker/smoker then move on with it. People who don’t drink or smoke don’t sit around wallowing in the fact they don’t drink or smoke. For God’s sake get over it and move on with things other than NOT drinking. There is more to life. Hope you find it.

  • #121534

    Participant

    Very good Daniel! I agree with you… a person should do whatever works but there’s more to it than sitting around talking about not drinking. While in college I had to attend several 12 Step program meetings and all of them were like people going about their daily lives, breaking for the meeting, bashing themselves and others for being alcoholics and then going back to their daily lives.

  • #121535

    Participant

    What ever it takes Daniel, if moving on is your thing, good for you. To the others, especially those just starting, I want to encourage you to keep going.

    Personally, I don’t just sit around thinking about not drinking. Sometimes you need a place to vent. I’m not just sitting around thinking about the past. But things in my past have caused me to drink and need to be dealt with. I am embracing the future and a better life. I don’t see this as a life long struggle.

  • #121544

    Participant

    thanks Daniel, that’s a good reminder. It doesn’t help to whine about how hard it is. Better to see it as a positive change and be glad it’s behind us. I hope we all get to that place where we we just don’t care about it anymore.

  • #121546

    Participant

    Day one(again). Nice to see a activity here. Hoping to do better this time. My family deserves better than this. Hope to see y’all around!

  • #121547

    Participant

    Hi everyone. I’m new on here, I’m on day 2 and I have to say it was a weird one. I struggled during the day, but as the night went on things just got easier and I felt better, more relaxed. Last night I was reading this thread, and it was so inspiring. I hope it’s ok to be the newbie on here (!) because I was hoping to meet some people in this community to turn to if I need some support or just to express the things I know I’ll be going through to people going through the same thing. I look forward to this journey and sharing my experience with others.

  • #121548

    Participant

    Welcome Gabig142. It is nice to have another on the journey. Some have come and gone, a few of us have stayed. Today is my 30th day of sobriety only on 18 of the 30DSS. This is a nice place to vent, hopefully get some encouragement, and ask questions. Remember the program isn’t magic. You have to do the work. If you do you it will change the way you think about alcohol.

  • #121549

    Participant

    Thanks, Na5hbi1160! I know I’m going to need to let off some steam at times or just read more of people’s experiences on here to remind myself I’m not alone, so I’m happy I found this thread. I’m in the UK, and I think most people here are in the US.

    Talk to you tomorrow. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • #121550

    Participant

    Gabig142, it must be early there. Great, we taken the thread international. I was in London last May with my son.

    Stay strong

  • #121570

    Participant

    It’s about 11:30pm here, and I was just taking my dog outside to do his business (!) and I just had an overwhelming feeling of “screw it, have a beer.” It’s Friday, which typically is a day I would have a few beverages, so I think that’s why I had such a strong craving for something be it beer, wine, gin, whatever. It’s almost the end of my third alcohol-free day, which is good, but I’m feeling a bit nutty right now, and temptation is still knocking in my head.

    I finished Day Two of the book today, did my “homework” but I have to admit, I was seriously having doubts about it all. It’s like I have it fixed in my head that this kind of thing doesn’t work. I guess I’m very distrustful of anyone telling me that what they’re telling me is the way. Am I making sense?

    It was a great day that turned on me a bit at night, and now I can’t shake it off. On the upside, my dreams have been great!!!!

  • #121572

    Participant

    gabig142, In a way you’re right. It doesn’t work by itself. You’re doing the work, that’s what counts. I had little faith in it when I started, my mind set was, I can just do this, I don’t need any help. When i’ve stopped before, I always wanted a drink but was able to power through it for a while. Every day I thought about having a drink. Then I thought I’ll just have one, then was two. The next thing I knew, well you know. Not even a craving now. Thirty plus days sober, don’t even really count anymore. Give it a chance, just think of it as a plan

  • #121577

    Participant

    Hi!

    Bill that is so great to hear. It is getting easier, and when you don’t even think or care about it anymore you are in a great place!

    Gabi I had this in the first two weeks often, that the thought came into my mind and at some point I was really sure I would now just ‘screw it and have a drink’. I made it through on sheer willpower but the next day I thought ‘wow this was close I don’t know how long I can hold up’.

    It’s a weird thing, but then I realized it’s just a thought. It doesn’t really matter; what matters is what you do (or not). So, I decided just to do something else, and the thought would go away. And nothing bad happened. Going through this cycle a couple of days for me was really important. Then it gets easier!

    Also I am naturally skeptical, my ‘bullshit indicator’ goes off all the time with this sort of thing. So I am taking my time with the solutions and try to do it my way so it really makes sense to me.

  • #121589

    Participant

    Brilliant advice, guys. I really mean it. I think I have to be a bit more thoughtful when it comes to writing in my journal and yes, do it my way rather than write what I think I’m supposed to write. I read back on the “Before you” and the “New you” and thought “What a bunch of shit!” It’s just not authentic. I think I’m holding back on the ugly truth because I’m not sure I want to revisit it. I’m at the end of day 5 of no alcohol, and there are moments it’s so easy and then, like right now, there are the longer moments of wanting to sit back with a tasty can of beer, and then another, and then maybe another before I go to bed.

    Fuck it, I’ll say it. I love to drink. Getting drunk was never my thing, just that comforting fuzzy feeling that I got in my head that made everything seem like it was all going to be ok. And it’s the opposite that happens! I’m at the stage of missing the friend I’m letting go of, and it sucks.

  • #121590

    Participant

    Gabig142, You are saying goodbye to an old friend. The new friend is better. The old friend will not give up without a fight. That’s where the journaling comes in. I think it’s day four of 30 DSS where you “write the letter” That was tough for me, a lot a deep shit can out. I always knew it was there but never addressed it.

    Keep it up, you’re doing great.

    Bill

  • #121593

    Participant

    Gabi I think you are onto something. I had a moment when I realized that drinking gave me actually the exact opposite of what I wanted. I always wanted fun and relaxation. But what I got was sorrow and stress. Heck, sometimes I would drink to quench my thirst but alcohol would make me so thirsty that I wake up at night! The exact opposite!

    It’s raining a lot here right now. I like to go for a hike when it rains. So I put my rain gear on today and went up the hills. It was coming down really hard. After a while I sat down at the side of the trail and started thinking. About this conflict in me that is still there. That I like to drink but I want not to like it.. I am still confused about the whole thing.

    The question is, what should I think about drinking?

    In front of me, on the trail a creek had formed, and it was flowing quickly right in front of me. The water was brown from the mud stirred up.

    Would it be a good idea to drink that?
    Probably not. You might get away with it once or twice but over time it would make you sick. There is mercury in the rock here.
    What if you really wanted to drink it?
    Why would I?
    What if you were really thirsty? It doesn’t look so bad, and it’s nice and cool, probably really refreshing.
    But I have my water bottle right here, that’s better for me.

    So, when I want a drink, what do I really want?
    Water?
    Something to eat?
    Relax?
    Have fun?

    Then I should do just that. But to drink dirty water just because it’s nice and cool would be foolish.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  daniel69.
  • #121643

    Participant

    I’m at the end of my 10th day of no alcohol, and today was fantastic. I haven’t felt so happy in a long time. I suppose there are a few things that would account for my mood…being alcohol-free, a new-found energy and bursts of enthusiasm and positivity. I’m listening to a lot of music again, which is always a good sign. It’s really important to me, so when it’s absent from my life, you know something’s going on with me. I’m reading again, I have art projects on the horizon.

    Where are you guys, Bill and Daniel? I hope you’re both doing well. Write back to let us know about your progress, anything really. You’re my inspiration so it would be nice to hear from you!

  • #121645

    Participant

    Hey Gabig, I’m still here and feeling great. I’m about 40 days sober now. Going out and meeting new people even starting to date. I’ve stalled on the book at solution 19, but I’m in a good place. I’ll pick it up again and finish it soon.

    I’m am totally jazzed for you. So great you have found happiness and enthusiasm for life again. You’re doing great, keep powering forward. It changes your life.

    Bill

  • #121649

    Participant

    I m trying this. I am a firefighter/paramedic and it is time to help myself.

  • #121650

    Participant

    Firefighter, welcome to the group. It’s a good program, you have to do the work and be honest with yourself. If you do it will change your life. Feel free to reach out. We have people from different background on board, but our experiences have been similar.

    Bill

  • #121671

    Participant

    Hey Bill, Gaby and everyone else!

    still here, doing great. I don’t want to spend too much time anymore thinking about ‘being sober’ or ‘drinking or not drinking’ or ‘thriving in sobriety’ etc. I just want to leave the whole thing behind and move on with life.

    But I do want to help others, if I can in any way. It is great that people speak up and chime in here, and I am certain there are many more just reading along.

    Like Bill I haven’t kept going with the ‘solutions’ everyday, but focused on what I think I have to do, in my own way and in my own words, to get where I want to be: not caring about drinking alcohol anymore.

    Looking back, I think much of it has to do with getting over the first 1-2 weeks. Your brain plays tricks on you and you don’t really know what’s going on. The daily ‘solutions’ help by distracting you, but in my case I might as well go to the gym or take a walk. Whatever takes my mind off drinking-thinking.

    After that phase it gets easier.

    Today I read something interesting that made me think. ‘Stimulate vs. Soothe’. When you are stressed, have you learned to stimulate or soothe? It’s something I am still learning. Let relaxation come by itself. It takes more time than flicking a switch, but it works.

  • #121677

    Participant

    Daniel and Bill!!! It’s so nice to hear from you both. For some reason you both make me feel better about things after I read what you’ve written!

    I’m doing really, really well. I agree about the two-week itch of thinking about/wanting a drink. I’m at the end of day 14 and today really tested me, in fact it happened about two hours ago. My partner received a call and found out that a friend/work colleague of his that I also knew died this afternoon. My heart was racing, I couldn’t help but cry, and it all seems so unbelievable because I talked to him last Sunday and said ‘good luck’ as he was going in for pretty serious surgery on Monday. And now he’s gone. There was a moment when I thought ‘I need a drink. Someone I know just died so of course I need a drink.’ But I didn’t do it. The thought just disappeared. I told my partner this, and he told me how proud of me he is. So, I’m ok.

    Firefighter, hello and welcome! This is a great place to ‘talk’ and learn about other people’s experiences. Bill and Daniel were the ones who inspired me to join this forum (we need a good name for it!!) so I hope we get to know you and that you’re comfortable to write about what you’re going through, good and bad and everything in between!

    Gabi

  • #121682

    Participant

    Gabi, sorry about your friend. I admire your resolve, I think I would have caved under those circumstances.

    It’s nice your partner is giving you support. It means a lot. Keep powering through.

  • #121704

    Participant

    Hi,

    this thread may have reached the end of its useful life.

    But I know there are people out there who are still struggling, and maybe someone is reading this. Maybe you have ‘relapsed’ and feel guilt and shame.

    I have two messages for you:
    1- don’t give up. Keep looking for a way. It is possible. There are different ways for different people.
    2- if you feel like you could use some help please feel free to send me a personal message. I will reply.

    All the best to All of you. Thanks to the folks who have chimed in here and especially to Bill who has personally helped me getting through some rough spots.

    Daniel

  • #121711

    Participant

    Hi Daniel:
    This is the first thread opened on my first day after purchasing the book this morning…registering…creating and writing in my journal…. it was really cool to see 30 day successes right off the hop. When I read the first couple entries, I immediately thought…did the make the 30 days..will this thread let me know?

    Asked and answered….thanks to all who contributed here as it helped this gal’s first day!
    Lola

  • #121720

    Participant

    Hi to all. It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here and wanted to put my two cents in. A little background about me for those new to the thread. I am about 50 plus day sober and have been on this thread since the start.

    I want to reenforce the power of the daily affirmation. I still read it out loud daily before my workout. The other day I notice a strange feeling, today I figured out what the feeling was. It is happiness. For the first time since I can remember I am happy and am allowing myself to be happy. If you tell your self something enough times at some point you start to believe it. I have even met a new friend and think it might develop into something, and if it does I will be going into it without alcohol holding me back.

    So, if you’re just getting started this journey, let me tell you it is worth it. It mat be a struggle at times. The struggles go away and you will stop even thinking about alcohol. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    If anyone is looking for some companion reading to go along with 30 DSS you might try “The Heart of the Buddha”. Extremely enlightening thoughts on the relief of suffering and obtaining happiness. If you have read anything about the Buddha you will understand how alcohol interferes with obtaining happiness and the “eight fold noble paths”.

    Daniel if you’re out there I wish you well. To others stay with the journey. You are worth it.

    Bill

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