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Thread: Sober - However you got there, whatever keeps you here.

  1. #31
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    Sober - However you got there, whatever keeps you here.

    Books I recommend:

    "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs

    "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp
    Last edited by allegro; 12-08-2012 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    When I repeatedly ordered non-alcoholic drinks by a pool in Vegas, a waitress said "ARE YOU PREGNANT OR SOMETHING?"
    In the waitress's defence, Las Vegas only exists for people to completely fly off the rails, but I understand your point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dra508 View Post
    I approve this message. I don't have addiction issues, but have found meditation to help a lot of issues that I now realize was anxiety.
    Could either you or @allegro recommend anything to read about meditation? I've been interested in practicing it, but I have no idea where to start.

  4. #34
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    I've been practicing Vipassana meditation for about 2 months now...I'd recommend for starters tbe book "Mindfulness in Plain English". A very well written intro to 1/2 of vipassana. The second book I'm chipping away on is called Beyond Mindfullness: A Guide to Deeper States of Meditation. Good, simple introductory books about the practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the duder View Post
    I've been practicing Vipassana meditation for about 2 months now...I'd recommend for starters tbe book "Mindfulness in Plain English". A very well written intro to 1/2 of vipassana. The second book I'm chipping away on is called Beyond Mindfullness: A Guide to Deeper States of Meditation. Good, simple introductory books about the practice.
    Thanks! I'm also going to look through the reddit page for meditation and hopefully find something that suits me. I'm really not that spiritual so I don't feel comfortable getting into a meditation routine/technique that is majorly spiritual.

  6. #36
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    Sober - However you got there, whatever keeps you here.

    Also, "The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds" by Joel and Michelle Levey

    Dr Andrew Weil has also written some great stuff about breathing that you can easily find online. Simple mindful breathing is one of the easiest forms of meditation, and you can do it anywhere.

    Be careful on how you define (or avoid) "spiritual." Most meditation is based on mindfulness, which is focused on awareness and ancient life lessons about being mindful. Mantras (not required) can be as simple as my favorite: "I Am Here."
    Last edited by allegro; 12-08-2012 at 11:02 AM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Also, "The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds" by Joel and Michelle Levey

    Dr Andrew Weil has also written some great stuff about breathing that you can easily find online. Simple mindful breathing is one of the easiest forms of meditation, and you can do it anywhere.

    Be careful on how you define (or avoid) "spiritual." Most meditation is based on mindfulness, which is focused on awareness and ancient life lessons about being mindful. Mantras (not required) can be as simple as my favorite: "I Am Here."
    Cheers for the tips! Last time I went to a counsellor they taught me a bunch of breathing exercises which are pretty helpful. With the spiritual stuff, I'm gonna keep an open mind with it all and try my best not to be dismissive of anything unless it really rubs me the wrong way.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaned View Post
    Cheers for the tips! Last time I went to a counsellor they taught me a bunch of breathing exercises which are pretty helpful With the spiritual stuff, I'm gonna keep an open mind with it all and try my best not to be dismissive of anything unless it really rubs me the wrong way.
    I actually have never read anything on mediation, have only gone to "classes" The yoga place I go to emphasis' mediation and breath work and occasionally has separate workshops or retreats. The most spiritual thing they say is "being open to grace". A couple of months ago my parents took me to a three day workshop they've gone to before that was called Zen Christian Mediation which sort of worried me going in, especially when I find out the leader of the mediation was a Jesuit priest! Turns out he lived in Japan for a long time and is actually also a Zen Master so the spirtual side was very tempered. If anything, when he spoke, it was more about Buddhism than Christianity. Anywho, just points so that you aren;t scared off by mediating with others. I actually find it easier.

  9. #39
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    Sober - However you got there, whatever keeps you here.

    What I find interesting is how this thread has turned to discussion of spirituality and its place in recovery. As an atheist, looking at a 12 step program last May after my 2nd DUI it all clicked with what I FELT was right. What didn't was the word God. I quit attending and went back to full tilt bingeing all summer, cuz it's what the duder does!

    Now, with 5 hours of outpatient per week and having a sponsor, and being TRULY open to recovery, the "god of my understanding" is not intimidating. Humility is what is needed, and knowing that there are things bigger than you in the world will surely help make you feel at place. Also, looking more at a spiritual perspective than a religious one is key. There is a difference, and it is important.

  10. #40
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    I regularly drink and sometimes to excess. When it happens in a group setting, there's rarely a time that I don't regret my actions. Last night, I was drinking with a bunch of co-workers, and it started off splendidly. At one point, I had a bit of a breakdown, and I managed to do it away from everybody with the help of one of my best friends, who was the ultimate shoulder for me for a few really key minutes. Other than that, everything seemed fine as it was happening, but now, the next morning, I'm insanely embarrassed and I feel like I may have made myself look like a complete tool.

    This is one of those things where everyone was drunk, everyone was probably acting the same way, and this is all in my head, but it's still a terrible feeling to have. It makes me feel as if I've let my friends and colleagues down in a way. And this isn't the first time. Whether it's in my head or not, it's awful to even have the idea that people I love would look down on me for being an idiot.

    I've been recognizing more and more that I have a bit of a problem. I drink because reality is just so boring, and it sucks feeling wound up like a spring all the time. I'm going to stop drinking for a while, but I hope I can do it without feeling desperate.

  11. #41
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    I can relate. That used to be my life. Every week there'd be a day when I'd wake up embarassed, ashamed, upset and paranoid because I had done - or had thought I had done or said something bad, or misbehaved in front of my friends and colleagues. There are still people to this day who won't speak to me or have a problem with me because of something I said to them when drunk.
    But reality is so much more exciting now that I am off that emotional rollercoaster.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clownboat View Post
    I drink because reality is just so boring, and it sucks feeling wound up like a spring all the time. I'm going to stop drinking for a while, but I hope I can do it without feeling desperate.
    I haven't had a drink in a while now, and to be honest everything is infinitely less boring. I was worried that everything would feel dull, but really things are more interesting and clearer... it hasn't been a very enjoyable process, but I think I'm starting to really appreciate this perspective a great deal better.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 12-21-2012 at 02:11 AM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Books I recommend:

    "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp
    Reading this now and finding it very interesting (and quite relatable).

    Sober people: how do you manage to go out clubbing or dancing or whatever without booze? In studentland, it's completely inconceivable and I feel like I'd just end up a social recluse.

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    For me, I'm finding the less I go out clubbing/dancing/whatever, the easier it is. I'm slowly leaning more on my sober supports (people I meet at meetings, sponsor, friends who don't "drink like I do") and they are crucial to me staying sober. I'm not saying to completely avoid it, that's impossible/absurd, but definitely have people around you who don't drink heavily (or at all) with you, or an "exit plan" in case you feel uncomfortable/an urge to drink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clownboat View Post
    I drink because reality is just so boring, and it sucks feeling wound up like a spring all the time. I'm going to stop drinking for a while, but I hope I can do it without feeling desperate.
    As Jinsai said, reality really isn't boring especially if you replace one recreational activity with another. If you have any inclination to do any kind of out doors stuff I would recommend camping/hiking/climbing/etc more often. Take up something that builds character and a sense of wonder like astronomy. Take an interest in strange Americana roadside attractions. Tour subcultures and write a blog about it. Life is actually pretty fascinating, and people are too when you look a little more closely at them. Anyway, I'm just trying to give you a few ideas.

    I have a little different problem. I don't miss drinking specifically, actually I specifically don't miss drinking. I miss oblivion. The stress buildup in my head is incredible sometimes, and it's difficult to find a release. I do find it in some of the activities I mentioned above, such as camping, but my favorite spots are three hours one-way out of the city. I've started dabbling in urban exploration as a substitute. Wandering around the aqueducts of the LA River is fucking amazing, so is sneaking into abandoned buildings.

    I spent a huge chunk of 2012 wishing I weren't alive. Five continuous months of almost total depression will do that to you. Finally, I got a few free counseling sessions as part of school healthcare coverage, and the woman there encouraged me to get blood tests. After speaking with me for a couple sessions she said that my problem isn't due to some skewed outlook on life, and could very well be beyond my control. It was a huge relief to hear that. I haven't had time to get the tests yet (there are some hoops I have to jump through to get coverage), but just knowing that I have a game plan helps.

    The reason I bring this up, other than getting it off my chest, is to illustrate the point that getting sober alone won't solve your problems. Being sober will put you in a position to be able to deal more effectively with them, but in many ways it's just a first step.
    Last edited by Magtig; 01-13-2013 at 02:44 PM.

  16. #46
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    91 days sober today. It's been a love/hate process, but I definitley like being sober every morning far more than waking up in a panic/rush/hungover.

  17. #47
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    While I havent been sober for any real amount of time at this point i have recently started to cut way back on my drinking even though i didn't drink a lot (amount wise) i still sort of retreated back home at the end of the day to hide out and drink. I occasionally go out but thats never been a real issue. That is until the other night when i went out with a guy from work and after a few drinks and two rather large Jameson shots i found myself at home with dude knocking on my door sometime after bar close. This was a surprise to me as i don't remember much after about midnight. From what he said i was just hammered and didn't make a huge ass of myself but being as this is the second time i blacked out while drinking with him and his his penchant for large Jameson shots i've decided to seriously curtail my drinking. I would like to drink occasionally again at some point but being as it has caused me various issues that are becoming rather apparent i think its time to call it quits for a while. I've had some friends on FB do the same over the past year and much like what has been said here they all found it to be an improvement and a good life choice. Reading in here has helped too. What Aggro said about, "being afraid of the big bad world," and other comments such as Magtigs' and Duders' above along with recently ending a relationship i feel now is the time to finally start to get my shit together and this i feel would be an important step in that direction. So far i've only drank a couple times in the last couple weeks and the days i haven't i can tell a big difference if not on those days but the next ones for sure in relation to how i feel both physically and mentally. I am also going to call up the counseling services at the college as they have a sliding scale for costs that i think i can swing. Hopefully they can help me a grip on my shit better than griping a bottle has up to this point. Which until recently wasn't a huge issue but after all that has happened due to drinking i think i owe it to myself and everyone else i know to get my shit straight as i can.

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    I used to smoke a ton of weed. Like a preposterous amount of weed. I was selling it too and it got to be ahuge problem. I was high all the time like some vacant husk... time just lind of washed over me. On the old ETS there some of my posts are a great example of how this wasnt working out. I got robbed at gunpoint... i got pulled over with a pound in the trunk and got away with it by he sking of my teeth.

    I tried to quit really often, but even tolerance breaks were difficult for me. Part of the problem was that it was such a part of my life, o couldnt go aan hour without someone trying to smoke with me. The only way i was able to break away was by shifting my social life around. I also started to seethat my career in video was becoming a real possibility, instead of something that would never happen. So i was very motivated. I started hanging out in the substance free dorm, with the nerdier crowd. It sounds wierd but embracing my inner nerd really helped me overcome the challenge of quitting weed.... i picked up magic: the gathering again. Its hard to afford magic AND drugs. but there was some overlap and a few relpapses. I feel responsible for bringing some of those guys over to that lifestyle.

    My career started to blossom... i hit a harder rock bottom and i just necame more motivated. Its been about two years since drugs. Its rarely tempting to go back and i think its because ive put pther hobbies in its place, amd because ive effectively demonized most of my own use. Its the time i look back in a positive light that i am really tempted, so i try to remember why it wasnt good..

  19. #49
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    Here for the drug sobriety. I still drink like a fish that drinks a lot.

    I feel like I might be on the edge of a relapse (for both drugs and ED) and that scares me, so. yeah. brb scouring this thread. tyia. <3

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    I remember when I started this thread, and how frightened I was about the idea of NEVER DRINKING AGAINNNNNNNN (spoken in a deep, monolithic tone). When I embarked on this journey a year ago (after DWI #2), I made it 3 weeks and felt that was enough time to show that I had control. Then I started back into the heavy drinking - not to the point of blacking out every time - but I genuinely felt like shit about the amount I had drank. I knew I was gonna be facing court stuff (outpatient rehab + mandated AA attendance for a reduced charge), but that wasn't going to hit until I made it back to Buffalo to finish my masters degree, so I made the summer my last hurrah.

    Out of fear of consequences, I threw myself into all of this stuff. I didn't want to mess things up further. As I invested into this process, I realized a lot of things. Far too many to put into a message board post, but the general points are that:
    1.) I wasn't just a "problem drinker" - I'm an alcoholic.
    2.) I thought I had/have everything under control, and can do everything. "I know I've got too much on my plate, but I took it all, and no, thank you, you can't help me. I've got this." was my mindset.
    3.) As an atheist, any talk of higher power no longer turns me into a shallow, Hitchens/Harris/Dawkins quote spouting dickbag. I've softened on my views and have come to understand the difference between religion and spirituality - as well as gaining the ability to appreciate the benefits of either or both. (For anyone interested, this is a BRILLIANT book.)
    4.) I've taken an affinity for meditation and a keen insight into trying to practice mindfulness.

    6.5ish months sober and really, really content with my life right now. Kind of random/disjointed post, but I'm guessing the point is that if you're thinking of using, you're doing the right thing by looking to others for help and advice.

  21. #51
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    So within the last two weeks i've only gone out drinking a few times once was my birthday and a couple nights after that. That said i haven't drank at home by myself at all in that time. And after cutting myself some b-day slack i have since returned to my hopefully regularly scheduled program of abstention. Also i think i may start to hit up some AA meetings to keep myself reminded to stay on point. I've recently started seeing a counselor through one of the colleges here in town a few weeks back. I don't expect a black and white change but overall i feel positive about these choices.

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    13 and 1/4 months sober.

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    So the past few months I've noticed that my drinking has lead to me doing increasingly stupid things while I'm drunk. Thankfully none of them have caused any problems yet. It hasn't been affecting my work, my social life or anything else. If anything, it's lead to me being more social and having more fun. But I've done some things that could have ended badly & were rather stupid (I'd rather not go into details).

    I'm just wondering from those who are sober because of having a problem with drinking, what led to you recognising that and deciding to go sober? We all do stupid things when drunk, but where's that line for you that when you crossed you realised "I have a problem with drinking, I shouldn't do it at all."

    There's such a culture around drinking while at Uni in Australia, and I do enjoy it quite a lot, so I'd rather drink than not. But I have this horrible feeling that one day I'll do something stupid and I'll end up ruining my life or others. I just dunno if that's reason enough to stop drinking at all, or if it's just something that I need to keep in mind when I go drinking so that I keep myself in check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thaned View Post
    So the past few months I've noticed that my drinking has lead to me doing increasingly stupid things while I'm drunk. Thankfully none of them have caused any problems yet. It hasn't been affecting my work, my social life or anything else. If anything, it's lead to me being more social and having more fun. But I've done some things that could have ended badly & were rather stupid (I'd rather not go into details).

    I'm just wondering from those who are sober because of having a problem with drinking, what led to you recognising that and deciding to go sober? We all do stupid things when drunk, but where's that line for you that when you crossed you realised "I have a problem with drinking, I shouldn't do it at all."

    There's such a culture around drinking while at Uni in Australia, and I do enjoy it quite a lot, so I'd rather drink than not. But I have this horrible feeling that one day I'll do something stupid and I'll end up ruining my life or others. I just dunno if that's reason enough to stop drinking at all, or if it's just something that I need to keep in mind when I go drinking so that I keep myself in check.
    This was me around 2006/2007. I was still in university and in my 5th year of classes (due to changing my major after my sophomore year). During my first four years of university - as a student athlete - we had strict, self imposed guidelines about partying during season. During the "dry season", we did not drink or go out and party. Since, in my 5th year, I didn't have to be accountable to our team and adhere to our "dry season" guidelines - I found myself getting hammered more frequently and doing more and more stupid shit. I really enjoyed drinking, but thought the exact same thing: "this might be getting out of hand." Friends would say "No WAY! You're FUN when you're wasted!" - and who doesn't want to be "FUN"? I sure as fuck do!

    Fast forward to 2012 and my 2nd DUI, it hit me that I had a problem and it was out of hand. I was by no means a "down and out drunk" with no job or future, but I sure as fuck was - and still AM - and alcoholic. A lot of other things that clued me in to that fact, other than the arrests. One was that, I found that I typically drank more than my friends. I would often come home from the bar and have a few more beers - by myself. When I lived in Sweden, I hid whiskey bottles in behind other stuff above my fridge so friends who came over wouldn't think I was an alcoholic. I had a pantry filled with bags loaded up with empty beer bottles/cans because I didn't want to take them to the recycling center because, you guessed it, I didn't want people to think I was an alcoholic. I would get anxious as soon as I got home and would have to crack a beer before even letting my dog out. I would put beer into an old McDonald's cup so I could have my second beer while walking my dog around our neighborhood - just to relax.

    Anyway, like I said, I totally identified with a lot of stuff you said. Drinking or not drinking is your choice, but if you are afraid of the consequences of what you do when you drink, then you probably aren't a "normal" drinker.

  25. #55
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    Getting into a serious relationship and having a baby later in August this year. I've changed for the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the duder View Post
    This was me around 2006/2007. I was still in university and in my 5th year of classes (due to changing my major after my sophomore year). During my first four years of university - as a student athlete - we had strict, self imposed guidelines about partying during season. During the "dry season", we did not drink or go out and party. Since, in my 5th year, I didn't have to be accountable to our team and adhere to our "dry season" guidelines - I found myself getting hammered more frequently and doing more and more stupid shit. I really enjoyed drinking, but thought the exact same thing: "this might be getting out of hand." Friends would say "No WAY! You're FUN when you're wasted!" - and who doesn't want to be "FUN"? I sure as fuck do!

    Fast forward to 2012 and my 2nd DUI, it hit me that I had a problem and it was out of hand. I was by no means a "down and out drunk" with no job or future, but I sure as fuck was - and still AM - and alcoholic. A lot of other things that clued me in to that fact, other than the arrests. One was that, I found that I typically drank more than my friends. I would often come home from the bar and have a few more beers - by myself. When I lived in Sweden, I hid whiskey bottles in behind other stuff above my fridge so friends who came over wouldn't think I was an alcoholic. I had a pantry filled with bags loaded up with empty beer bottles/cans because I didn't want to take them to the recycling center because, you guessed it, I didn't want people to think I was an alcoholic. I would get anxious as soon as I got home and would have to crack a beer before even letting my dog out. I would put beer into an old McDonald's cup so I could have my second beer while walking my dog around our neighborhood - just to relax.

    Anyway, like I said, I totally identified with a lot of stuff you said. Drinking or not drinking is your choice, but if you are afraid of the consequences of what you do when you drink, then you probably aren't a "normal" drinker.
    Thanks for sharing man. As I'm sure you know much more than me, it's a tough call to quit alcohol when it's not having that much of a negative impact on your life.

    It's also difficult because it's O-Week at my uni this week, so every night there's an event with cheap/free drinks that I know I'll have a bunch of friends at which I haven't seen in ages. I have the feeling I'm worrying about nothing, as once Uni starts up I won't really have the time to drink as I'll be pulling 9-5 most days of the week.

  27. #57
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    I've found this guy's channel on sober recovery interesting. I thought his videos would definitely be worth posting in this thread. He's punkmofo on YouTube.

    http://www.youtube.com/punkmofo
















  28. #58
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    One year and 11 months sober...almost as long as this thread's been alive! Woot!

  29. #59
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    Bump: 3 years and 5 days sober. Married, a home owner, killing it at my job, minimal financial stressors at this point. Looking back at some of my old posts here - both this thread and the drunk tank when I used to drink - and it's crazy how different things are. Many thanks to those of you who offered your kind words of support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christo View Post
    At then end of 2010 I had managed to get myself in a place that I can only describe as emotional hell - and this was almost entirely due to a strong alcohol habit. The year culminated in a really nasty incident which made me really begin to realise that I may have a problem with alcohol. So, at the beginning of 2011, I gave up drinking entirely. At first I found it incredibly difficult, especially with friends of mine at the time. In order to stop myself from the temptation I would actively remove myself from any situation where alcohol would be present - which obviously was a great deal of things. After 5 months of being a near recluse, I managed to put myself back into situations and control my urges to drink. This period of sobriety was honestly the best time in my life. I felt productive, calm and healthy.

    In November, I began seeing someone who was not good for me. In any way. I began to fall back into old habits, as well as new ones. I was drinking more than I had ever drunk in my life, mixed with drugs, which after 10 months of sobriety, meant that these inner 'demons' (for lack of a better word) of mine came back...and with a vengeance. I should also note that I have a mild case of clinical paranoia, which, coupled with alcohol, spirals out of control and causes real deep pits of depression. I would wake up daily and just want to kill myself, but picked up a bottle instead. When this relationship ended, instead of getting better, I actually became worse. I managed to ruin strong friendships of mine (some of which to this day are still broken) and make some of the people closest to me begin to resent me. They were all very supportive: I was party to numerous forms of intervention, but chose instead to continue down my path. At the end of the day, only you can help yourself.

    I won't go into too much detail, because the incident is still pretty fresh in my mind, but it took something very serious to really admit to myself that I may be an alcoholic. I started to speak to someone, and whilst I can't say it immediately helped, admitting to myself that I had a problem really helped put things into perspective. I began mending friendships I'd fucked up and tried to reduce my alcohol consumption. I knew I needed to kick alcohol all together but it was really tough for me to go cold turkey. I began to stop lashing out at friends of mine, but the depression was still there, and fuck was it blinding at times. I'm fairly good at hiding these parts of myself from those closest to me, so those who I told about being severely depressed were surprised. I think they thought because I was functioning socially that my problems with alcohol were over. But they were not.

    I've been 3 weeks sober now finally, which doesn't sound like a long time, but has been an important reminder that I am capable, and hopefully will not make the same mistakes again by falling off the wagon. I think if anything, I'm more determined to stay sober than I ever was before.

    Normally I'd keep these things to myself, but it does feel good to have it out there. And allegro is right, quitting drinking is the easy part, completely changing your life to be sober is another thing.
    Wow. Didn't remember posting this. Kind of eye opening to me right now - I've just started going to AA after 4 years of basically tearing my life apart with booze. Makes me wish I'd done this much sooner. But hey ho, it's a lesson learnt.

    & hi. It's been a while.

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