Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 91

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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dela-where?
    Posts
    691
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)

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

    So, I remember the ol'ETS that had a "sober" thread to counter the "Drunk Tank". As I've spent plenty of time posting in the latter, and after some shit hit the fan for me to realize I need to stay sober, I feel this is a viable thread for those of us looking to post if we need a reason to vent/share success/etc. I saw the AA thread and share similar reservations as others who posted in that thread - basically that there are multiple, statistically supported ways to sobriety - this thread is NOT intended to debate the merits of one system or another - a place to discuss sobriety.

    **AGAIN: This is NOT intended to be a "recruitment" thread, nor one to judge others. As this is a discussion board, with TONS of great, open-minded people, I'm sure there are a fair amount of ETS members who are sober, straight-edge, or want to just "take a break" for a while. Why not talk about it with like-minded people?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,932
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    I feel judged.

    Seriously, though, good to see this thread back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    263
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Uncomfortable truth: I went to a party recently that was so unhinged, it made me want to become a cop. Since most of my ideas for good times come from the Hunter S. Thompson playbook, this is a big deal indeed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dela-where?
    Posts
    691
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Fixer, the only reason I'd judge you is for killing people's families.

    BlueCalx - yeah. I'm a bit nervous about heading back to the beach this summer, as binging is a pretty common occurance with my lifeguarding friends. I was a bit nervous about going to a concert last week, but I stayed sober and had a GREAT time (I mean, it was M83, so you couldn't have a bad time...)

    Guess I'll see who is my friend or my drunk's friend.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    916
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    I went from regular drunk to completely sober when I found out my wife was pregnant in late 2010. Was pretty easy for me since I did tons of embarrassing shit while intoxicated and always had terrible hangovers, and plus it was only fair that I stop drinking if she had to. Since July last year when our daughter came I can count the amount of times I've consumed alcohol on one hand. I don't have the craving/urge for it anymore, and I'm determined to never get drunk again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    263
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    I've never touched alcohol (besides two times my mom unknowingly gave me alcoholic fruit drinks). Never had an urge or intention to, it just doesn't appeal to me. I feel like such an outcast when it comes to social gatherings and such. It seems like a good chunk of our culture (American), especially around college age people, is very centered around drinking. I used to hate it, and be kind of an asshole about people who drank, but I usually don't care now. Unless it's excessive and puts people in danger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,786
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    ^I'm interested - do you see any aspect to drinking alcohol other than it gets you drunk if you drink lots? I find that a lot of people think this, but (unless you have an addiction) it's just like whether or not Dr Pepper or milk appeals to you. Bit like how some people get addicted to chocolate but for others it's just one of the foods that exists along with cheese and sweetcorn.

    Similarly, there seems to be stigma if you drink one posh glass of wine over 10 beers when you go out, but nobody judges you for eating one belgian truffle over a whole box of supermarket own-brand chocs (stupid analogy, but hopefully you understand).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Concrete Prairie, Texas
    Posts
    2,811
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    There is definitely a stigma amongst some that drinking wine for the joy of wine is considered weak rather then having a beer or a mixed drink. Some sort of unwarranted machismo. Also, for teens/early 20's I truly don't think they've figured out how to ration/temper/enjoy alcoholic beverages within the social group. It's all about getting hammered.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    At Lunch
    Posts
    9,308
    Mentioned
    732 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dra508 View Post
    There is definitely a stigma amongst some that drinking wine for the joy of wine is considered weak rather then having a beer or a mixed drink.
    Ha, not in MY neck of the woods! It's an expensive hobby that's very hip, but can lead to major problems. Didn't you see "Sideways?"

    Even Master Sommeliers can end up being major alcoholics. Too many "tastings."

    The growing thing around here is BYOB with no corking fees, so you can bring your own $20 bottle of wine instead of giving the restaurant an 80% markup. Except people are bringing 6 bottles in with them.
    Last edited by allegro; 05-15-2012 at 05:30 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dela-where?
    Posts
    691
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    So I'm going to try the sobriety thing again. I was doing well for a while there, but I slipped up. It just feels like reality gets incredibly boring every now and again, and when it does it gets really tough for me to stay sober.
    This. Exactly. Arranging in frequency of occurrence from most frequent to least (if ever anymore) frequent:
    - There are days I don't drink at all.
    - There are times I have 2-3 in the evening after school/work.
    - There are times I have 6 after school/work.
    - There are times I go out with friends at 8:00 with no plans and end up gong-show drunk trying to figure out a way home from wherever it is I am at.

    So much of it has to do with "boredom" for me or just a lack of something to do. It doesn't effect my studies (3.89 last semester) in grad school + "20" (read as 20 on paper, 35 - 40 in reality) hours coaching per week. Because of my work, I've got to be up early - about 5:15 every day - except for Wednesdays and Saturdays. That being said, I don't go out often, though I drink often, but not so much as to "need" it or whatever. I dunno. So much of it is me feeling like I'm on a slippery slope that I feel sobriety is the only answer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ontari-ari-ario
    Posts
    3,044
    Mentioned
    124 Post(s)
    Jinsai, I read your original post (mostly gone now), and thought I should tell you that there's no shame in seeking help. You must know there are plenty of groups around who can help you manage this. Of course doing it alone it seems impossible, because it kind of is, and you need a support network specificially geared towards recovery. When the time comes you'll seek that out and hopefully find it.

    Why do I feel the need to post this when you're clearly not yet 100% comfortable talking about this openly? Because we've had our problems in the past (all over the old board, certainly), and I want you to know that I'm generally not a disagreeable person, I just was overreacting, and none of that shit we bickered about matters in the grand scheme of things. You're a talented guy and I think you deserve a good life as much as anyone.

    I hope you find some peace and solace.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    At Lunch
    Posts
    9,308
    Mentioned
    732 Post(s)
    You know what they say:

    Quitting drinking is easy. Learning how to live sober is the hard part.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    115
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    At Lunch
    Posts
    9,308
    Mentioned
    732 Post(s)
    Seems like everybody who finally wakes up to the fact that their drinking has become, um, problematic, got to that point after a series of stupid injuries or some kind of major "incident" (or incidents). By the time I gave up all hard liquor forever, many years ago, I'd fallen down (and up) stairs on NUMEROUS occasions, lit an oven while there was a considerable about of gas in it and nearly blew my face off and then spent hours in the ER, and stabbed myself in the eyeball with a small American flag (long story), among other things.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    2,620
    Mentioned
    88 Post(s)
    Gave up drinking in May 2010, and I have never felt better. The difference is night and day.

    After spending my 20s in a drunken stupor, it was time to quit. I kind of regret all the awesome things I didn't accomplish because I was too busy getting wasted all the time. For me it wasn't just about having fun - though of course there was that too - but, I think, about hiding from something: a big bad scary world, which sort of goes away when you're drunk. Except it doesn't: often it comes back worse. You start realizing that the alcohol is making things worse, not better. For me, it was giving me health problems: a hernia operation age 33 that I am pretty sure was in part caused by the drinking. I was also a mean drunk, mean and rude to the people around me at the time. I find it hard to hang around people who are drinking heavily, now. I used to find all that drama exciting, now it alienates and wearies me.

    I feel a lot more grounded now: something changed in me, and I didn't want to get drunk any more. I still have the occasional drink, and have got a bit tipsy here and there from time to time, with a few beers or a cocktail before dinner. But I can't enjoy it like I used to: I am far too aware of the negative feeling that comes with it, the paranoia, and the miserable feeling after I've had a few. I used to drink to get close to people, and be together with them; now the warm feeling goes away quickly, and the drink makes me feel lonely and lost. Occasionally I feel like all I want to do is get drunk; but then the feeling passes in a few minutes. And I know I would feel like shit for three days.
    Last edited by aggroculture; 09-08-2012 at 11:19 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,485
    Mentioned
    61 Post(s)
    I'm not sober. I rarely drink and have never had a problem with doing so, but I just don't want to most of the time. But, I do enjoy a good beer or a gin and tonic. Etc.

    That said, this seems like a hard view to really express elsewhere since drinking is such a part of everyone's lives... or well, it seems that way sometimes.

    But, I seriously don't get the whole "I made out with someone! I did something else I wouldn't do so easily sober!" mentality that so many people seem to constantly have. Yeah, getting drunk and reckless is awesome, bro.

    And, honestly, yeah, sure sometimes it is but WAAAAH SO MANY PEOPLE'S SOCIAL LIVES ARE CENTERED AROUND BOOZE and WAAH BOOZE IS NOT A GIANT EXCUSE TO BE A DUMBASS AND ACT UNLIKE YOURSELF except sometimes.

    I don't know if I'm even getting this point across well, but that's how I feel.
    Last edited by playwithfire; 09-26-2012 at 02:03 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,813
    Mentioned
    281 Post(s)
    In the past year or so, especially in light of my time in Egypt, I've become increasingly aware of how completely addicted and affected so many societies are by alcohol.

    I'll have a beer on Friday at lunch (it's free where I work), and that's the extent of my alcoholic drinking. Six years ago (before I got this job) I drank even less. I'll expound later when I'm not at work. I've had a small essay bouncing around in my head for the last few months.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    1,124
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    You know what they say:

    Quitting drinking is easy. Learning how to live sober is the hard part.

    Pretty much sums up where I'm at right now.

    I drink most everyday but rarely get shit show drunk or maybe i do it's hard to say cause im usually just sitting around my apt being bored and trying to stay out of trouble, which i can usually manage but lately that's become an issue hence my stint locked up the other week, DUS/DUI. Got new wines at work and had a wine tasting and instead of going straight home i swung through downtown to see some people at the bar. I wasn't hammered by any means and only had like 5 blocks to go but they got me for no front license plate, or so he said. I had no issues being sober at the halfway house, granted i couldn't drink anyway but it didn't really bother me, but back in the real world its proving to be difficult to abstain. Similar to what Jinsai said about being bored i imagine.(?) I do see my time as a booze hound nearing its end here soon as i can't afford to get in trouble or worsen my already fucked up self anymore than i am. That and it would be nice to be one of the few cooks i know who isn't a total drunk. Fuck i don't know, with all the crazy shit people do anymore knocking back a six pack and getting my buzz on doesn't seem like that bad of a thing, but it seems that it's getting to be. I do see it being an issue with many other people i know besides myself as well which is playing a big part in my thinking that it may be time to put the bottle down.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Detroit-ish Area Bacon Taste: Deliciously Maple
    Posts
    488
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    im not alcohol sober, but ive been pill sober for 1320 days. ive seen and done a lot and it fucked with my head a bunch.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    1,124
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Pills seem to be about the worst thing next to opiates that one can get hooked on, known many people who have had issues with them and a few who have died from it. Which makes all those commercials for the next best pill on the market all the more troublesome in my opinion.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,936
    Mentioned
    53 Post(s)
    Today I've been drug- and alcohol-free for 22 years. o_0

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Dela-where?
    Posts
    691
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Pushing a full month at the moment of not drinking. After the epiphany that lead to me making this thread a while back, I spent a lot of the summer giving drinking a go again. By the end of the summer, and now having court-mandated intensive outpatient therapy 3xweek + 2 self help meetings per week, it's safe to say that I prefer myself more sober than not. I haven't felt this good in a long, LONG time. Like, since high school (98-2001) when, funnily enough, I never drank. I've shared this decision with everyone closest to me - family and girlfriend - and they're nothing but supportive. Very stoked to say the least, and look to encourage those who "think they might have a problem" or have had legitimate issues with alcohol/drugs to give a solid effort into sobriety. Shit's GOOD.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    At Lunch
    Posts
    9,308
    Mentioned
    732 Post(s)
    ^^ I wish I could hit the "Like" button 800x :-)

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    At Lunch
    Posts
    9,308
    Mentioned
    732 Post(s)

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

    Jinsai:
    Well, ya know, alcohol is a depressant. It also causes anxiety. For the first few days, you're gonna feel like crap because your mind and body are trying to get you to drink. Tell both to shut the fuck up. Seriously. Out loud. Regularly. You can reprogram yourself but it takes a lot of regular work. This is called behavior modification. Reprogramming cause-and-effect.

    Like we've said, though: quitting is easy. Learning how to live sober is the hard part. You WILL eventually get to the point where The Duder is at: where you feel so great every day, you have zero desire to go back to feeling like shit.

    Understand: Alcohol is POISON to your liver. I had a good friend die a nasty death from liver disease at a fairly young age. Booze also ages you. And contributes to heart disease. Alcohol abuse is probably WORSE than smoking as far as causing deaths, especially when you consider all those DUIs.

    But if you're feeling despair because you're not numb from booze, now we're talking booze as a means of avoiding something bigger than alcohol. That's gotta be fixed, too. Get some counseling? Behavior modification or integrative medicine kind of counseling.
    Last edited by allegro; 09-22-2013 at 10:50 PM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ontari-ari-ario
    Posts
    3,044
    Mentioned
    124 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    anyone have any advice to give someone who feels complete despair when they try to cut alcohol/etc out of their life?
    Not saying it's guaranteed to work for you, but I've heard many positive stories from people who attend AA meetings as a regular part of their recovery. Being able to share and empathize with others in the same boat is a powerful tool.
    Last edited by botley; 11-30-2012 at 11:57 PM.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ontari-ari-ario
    Posts
    3,044
    Mentioned
    124 Post(s)
    Maybe you know this already, but I know of many people that participate in the organization who are not religious in the slightest (and who actively disdain even the thought of worship or cultism) — yet who are able to maintain faith in the idea that life is worth living even when it seems entirely beyond your control, thanks to the principles of recovery. There are probably many recovery organizations in your city that have no trace of religious affiliation. Everyone should be so lucky! It would be great if that were the case everywhere else.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,936
    Mentioned
    53 Post(s)
    Jinsai, I'm not sure how much help I can be. I never worked a program, and I started really young and packed it all in early in my life.

    But I do know having a strong and varied support system is imperative. AA is an obvious place to start; for so many people I know, it's instrumental in their sobriety. (And there are online and telephone meetings at all times of day and night for when you can't get to a local meeting or connect with your sponsor or someone from the call list.) Identify a trusted circle of family and friends. Talk to them about your plans and ask for their support (and discuss the nature of support that would be helpful to you). Also, change doctors. You need a medical advocate, and one who knows how to help a patient detox and repair their brain. (And you can PM me if you want; I'm a good listener at the very least.)

    I'm cross-addicted, and two of the most important lessons I've learned are:

    1) I'll be ready when I'm ready, and I shouldn't look at failed attempts as failures or I'll feel the future is hopeless. I learned things. Progress is positive. (But you also can't use that as an excuse to pick up. A bit of a mind game with yourself, I know.)

    2) I can never go back. If I have one line of coke or one vodka tonic, I'll be on a full-blown binge and may never quit again. If I have one drag of a cigarette, I'll be a full-time smoker again. If I eat a bite of sugar, I'll be on a year-long binge. Reminding myself that I can never go back (which can be hard sometimes, because my sick head is super good at trying to convince myself otherwise) helps me get through each day during rough patches.

    Edit: I just saw your post about AA. Try this:
    http://agnosticaanyc.org/worldwide.html#California
    Last edited by jessamineny; 12-01-2012 at 12:36 AM.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    At Lunch
    Posts
    9,308
    Mentioned
    732 Post(s)
    I didn't have a support system because everybody on the planet drinks or smokes or judges and I'm a pretty private person. But I developed an inner support system and I read a ton of books. I also had to completely restructure my life for a while to reinforce my no smoking or no drinking life, i.e. don't go to places or events where people are smoking or drinking, etc. I think I stayed out of bars and clubs for at least a year after I quit smoking (which was harder than quitting drinking).

    Talking with people online who have been in your shoes is a pretty good start. Ignoring the naysayers is pretty hard. Resist the urge to punch them (or use them as an excuse to go back). An ex-wife of a friend, upon hearing that I quit smoking, LAUGHED and said "HA!! How long do you think THAT will last!?" When I repeatedly ordered non-alcoholic drinks by a pool in Vegas, a waitress said "ARE YOU PREGNANT OR SOMETHING?"

    Also, like jessamine said, don't view past attempts to quit as failures. People quit all the time, you can do it too. DO NOT buy into that BULLSHIT association between art and alcohol. Its a crock of shit.

    Also, finally: Meditate. Read about Zen meditation. Study it. No religion required. Shogun masters used meditation. It's awesome.
    Last edited by allegro; 12-01-2012 at 08:12 PM.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Concrete Prairie, Texas
    Posts
    2,811
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post

    Also, finally: Meditate. Read about Zen meditation. Study it. No religion required. Shogun masters used meditation. It's awesome.
    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.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    London/Edinburgh
    Posts
    123
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    My therapist recommended I read a book called Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood. It's not a self-help book, but more a memoir chronically one woman growing up and her relationship with alcohol. I would recommend it to any other young women who have issues with booze - I've seen a lot of myself in it and it's made me go "shit, that's not healthy" a lot too.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions