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Thread: Time to get Sober - Life Beyond Abstinence

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    Time to get Sober - Life Beyond Abstinence 
    #1
    Well I tried to go without a thread but sometimes I just need a place to vent and doing so in the Social seems like Im just whining

    Ive been without a drink since sometime near the end of January.
    However I still partake in the occasional psychedelic adventure. And Ive been smoking pot like its going outta style.
    But what bothers me most is that Ive spent the last 6 months doing almost exactly what I did when I was drinking.
    So Id go as far as saying Im not sober.

    I often wonder why the stagnation?
    I chalk it up to years of ingraining bad habits and perhaps due to poor nutrition and some sort of resulting imbalance.
    Or perhaps Im just lazy

    Does anyone have any tips to get motivated after kicking their doc?
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    #2
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    I feel you, man.

    One thing that's helped me (though I'm still largely in the boat you described) is rebuilding a bit of a social life. Being around good friends who make me laugh and who know I can do stuff besides drugs has helped me feel better about myself and has--at least most of the time--made drugs seem less compelling.
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    #3
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    For me it was easier to quit the habit than starting to do something beneficial for me and my community.

    Luckily when my ORT started two years ago I had to do some community service because of economic crimes I committed in 2007 so I had to atleast get up and do four hours of chores every other day so I had atleast some kind of organized time table.

    I then started to socialize after getting used to meeting people again and luckily I met my fiancee too.

    Now I try to keep occupied and have a stable daily rhythm and it seems to keep the cravings at bay. I still volunteer at the same place I did my community service.

    Why not try out some new stuff or something that you liked before?
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by simco View Post
    I feel you, man.

    One thing that's helped me (though I'm still largely in the boat you described) is rebuilding a bit of a social life. Being around good friends who make me laugh and who know I can do stuff besides drugs has helped me feel better about myself and has--at least most of the time--made drugs seem less compelling.
    Its difficult for me to build a social life because I work a split shift and usually crash between 6-8.
    However, most of my friends are just getting in from work and doing dinner at this time. And they still drink. Which is fine. But I dont know how many times I said no thanks, I quit drinking before they stopped asking. Now I dont hear from them. Or if I do its "oh you should come by tonight, I should be home by 7" ... But by that time Im ready for bed. And then they get bitter and cant be bothered to find the time when Im actually around on a weekend (as Im usually off visiting family/out of town friends).

    Ive joined some local groups on facebook though and Im hoping to meet some new friends there. Maybe even a lady friend. ha

    Quote Originally Posted by MrRoot View Post
    For me it was easier to quit the habit than starting to do something beneficial for me and my community
    ....
    Why not try out some new stuff or something that you liked before?
    Yes I started working with a friend right around the end of my last binge in Jan. Since then business has increased >4x in those 6 months and is only limited by our inexperience in the business world (read hiring/training employees). Its a customer service based job though and talking to the clients, who were home, during the first few months was difficult. But its become much easier now as my depressive and anxious states fade and I see glimpses of my old, social, self.

    Ive been intending to get back to yoga/meditation/exercise (even walking after work) but it hasnt happened.
    I have however started fishing, usually at least, weekly. There isnt much around for water other than a man made lake and some little rivers (tributaries) but Ive managed a few little fish anyways. Its more about getting out for a hike/some sun.

    Today I joined the gym I clean for. Figured since Im there 5 days a week I have no excuse.
    Im hoping this will get the ball rolling on all the other aspects of life Id like to change. We will see
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    #5
    So exhausted today.
    Despite 3 hrs of extra sleep last night and a short day at work today.
    Perhaps it was all the sunshine fishing this morning before? Perhaps its the months of short broken sleep? Perhaps its my shit diet and lack of exercise?

    Either way I was in a mood by the time I was done fishing (which totally defeats the purpose) and work afterwards was bunk. Thankfully it was a short shift.

    Then I get home to a msg from my ex telling me they wont arrive until Saturday around lunch, despite our normal meeting (to exchange our daughter) on Friday night.
    So that makes 3 weeks in a row my little time with her is reduced for one reason or another.

    And suddenly my crap day turned shitty.
    I was angry and sad and and and ... ARGH

    So I did the dishes.
    Now Im just sad and annoyed and tired. And I just need an escape.
    Im going to bed
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    #6
    Well that was definitely an uncalled for freak out.
    I think its because im hangry all the time. My diet is embarassing, if I eat at all.
    Since quitting drinking and eating properly/"enough" (forget healthy for the time being) and any real physical exercise in January Ive lost close to 20 lbs.

    Work was interesting tonight.
    The people I am usually cordial with were overtly friendly tonight and I ended up having actual conversations with a couple of them. In quick succession too.
    It was definitely challenging as far as my anxiety went and afterwards I really needed to ground myself to keep from flyin away.

    But what is really making me anxious is the conversation that is to follow this morning.
    I am to meet with my business partner and I plan to renegotiate our agreement.
    Ive been getting the very short end of many sticks since joining, despite doing a disproportionate amount of work. And now that shes off for two weeks (at least) with surgery and Im working as many hours as possible, which will be shared between us, its time to talk about how we divide things (because originally they werent divided equally).

    Back to bed for a few hours though.
    Wish me luck
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    #7
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    If nothing else, it's time. It's a game of out-waiting.
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    #8
    Well a few days before my birthday and fed up with the way things have been I decided to drink.
    Ive been drunk more days than not in the previous 3 weeks.

    I drink in the evenings and then again in the mornings after my first shift. Sleep for a few more hours then head into work for the day.
    I told myself last night was the last time.

    I was off today so I cleaned up around the house and did some things that have been hanging over my head.

    Embarrassed I took it this far again.
    ...
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    #9
    Well an early day at work meant trying to deal with more of the looming issues.
    This time the car.

    I knew a while back that I needed a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test when my stickers came due on my birthday.
    Well given the price tag i cheaped out and instead of replacing the whole piece just welded on an after market part at a fraction of the cost. But apparently my guy was half asleep or something as he chose to replace the one downstream of the censor. (apparently my car has two cats ... who knew). Well fuck me, obviously that didnt do a damn thing for the light. And given they recently changed the system from an actual emissions test to simply running a diagnostic to see if there are any censors being trips Im SOL....

    So now Im out the first fix plus this outrageous bill I was trying to avoid.
    Which has been a contributing factor in these stressful times of late.
    ....
    So after work I got the mechanic to clear the errors and then needed to drive around for the codes to reset (my words not the mechanics ha)
    But even though the check engine light isnt on there are still two codes that wont go out.
    Argh

    So I said fuck it and came home and smoked a bowl.
    ...
    Lately I have been smoking a lot to combat work stress and if Im honest, simply out of habit.
    I started smoking near constantly when I quit drinking. Cut back some and then when I started working 3/4 hours a night most days I was back at it again.

    And I think this eventually became stressful. I wouldnt smoke when my daughter was home on the weekends and it got to the point that I would be grumpy without it.
    So I tried to cut back and did for a few days here or there. Even for the majority of the week before I started drinking again, as my daughter was up during the weeks in the summer.

    Im all for switching out in favour of smoking but Im not for exchanging one addiction for another.
    It made me just as miserable without it as when Im drinking. Though with drinking the shitty feelings seem to arise almost instantly when I come down. But with put it seems im so saturated that it takes a couple of days before Im there
    ...
    But this weekend will prove interesting as I am to go away to a festival, where there will be much over consumption. Im not concerned about drinking here though, its not really the place haha it should prove interesting. Theres an artist I really want to see the first night Im quite excited.

    With everything going on itll be a nice break. And the best part is its right close to my daughters moms place.
    Actually they bought me the ticket as a gift when one of their friends coudlnt make it and it came up for sale. I was touched they thought of me.
    So Ill check out the artist early friday night, after a nap of course ha...
    And then get my daughter on saturday for the rest of the weekend. I couldnt justify going and missing a weekend with her.

    Another one of the things that have been on my mind lately is my little time with her.
    Shes growing up so fast and now that I only see her on weekends it seems like its on fast forward.

    And with me working so much at the start of july it felt like summer went by so fast. Though we spent a few weeks together, I was working during the days. And though we spent a lot of the weekends together too, at her Moms or visiting mutual friends/family (which was also stress - lots of travelling) this made it seem even more exaggerated.
    ..
    I suppose the one benefit of having been down this road before is the lucidity Im gaining in my actions. If I am to be honest there is always the same pattern.
    Its just stopping the behaviour before it reachs a certain point. Though I was unable to stop before that point, I take some consolation in the fact that I stopped myself, **hopefully** after my shortest run (lapse) to date haha...


    Anyways Im sorry if you actually read this. Its more of a me ranting kind of thing haha but it feels good to be processing and letting go as opposed to having them keep churning.
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    #10
    Well I havent been successful in ceasing this most recent lapse.
    Last week was better as I cooked and ate healthier, kept up with chores and laundry and drank less while work continues to pick up.
    But something is still way off.

    Life is just so... Meaningless?

    I drink to escape. And everyday I do so the call of the void becomes stronger as my depression ebbs and flows

    Im trying to fill my time with something meaningful but its been sooo long...
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    #11
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    aihfl's Avatar
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    Hi TOC, nice to see you still around. And I'm not saying this to blow sunshine up your ass, but if you have been drinking less, that is a step in the right direction. We didn't become addicts overnight, as they are so fond of saying in NA, so it's going to take time to extricate ourselves from these very deep holes we have dug for ourselves. Have you seen a psychiatrist about the depression? Celexa was a game-changer for me. A rehab psychiatrist prescribed it for me and it was a game changer. When you don't feel like shit about yourself and the world around you, there's much less incentive to seek comfort in a substance.
    Struggling with addiction? Join us at Sober Living. We can help.
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    #12
    Heart
    Hi tired,

    I agree with AIHFL, maybe have a talk with your doctor, I know Celexa has helped him out, maybe it would be something worth trying?

    Just wanted you to know I'm rooting for you, I'm glad you're here you seem like a very intelligent and great guy with a lot going for you!!

    Big hugs,
    here for you anytime,
    your friend,
    Ash.
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    #13
    Thank you both for your responses.
    I have felt so isolated of late and your replies mean so much to me right now.

    No I have not seen my doctor. And I do not have any plans to do so. As of yet.
    Why am I reluctant? In my opinion the last thing I need is another addiction.

    Arguably it would be a case of harm reduction. But on the other hand, kicking whatever prescribed would likely be harder than stopping drinking, from some of the stories Ive heard/read. And as it stands I dont consume that many units of alcohol per day. However, Ive been drinking 4/4 days this week. In my opinion its more of a psychological dependence than physical. Though if I am to be honest, if this continues for much longer I am afraid that Ill put myself in a hole much deeper than I am in now.

    Which begs the question how will I stop?
    Well, Im still working out the finer points but I have been looking into iboga treatment centres near me. In the meantime,as reluctant as Ive been lately, Ive got a long weekend coming up and Lord knows how much a psychedelic ass whooping puts my drinking in its place.. so it seems like I just need to stop thinking about it and get down to business.

    Again, thank you for your replies.
    Im hoping that the next time I post Ill have a few sober days under my belt.
    For now, day shifts coming and Im a few drinks in and could use some sleep.

    toc
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    #14
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    TOC, when I had my house in Southern Vermont, I looked into ibogaine treatment across the border. And every single last one of them cautions that it's not a cure, and if the appropriate lifestyle changes following the ibogaine treatment aren't made, you will find yourself back at square one.

    If you're not having physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop, you don't need me to tell you that you don't want to get there, but as tolerance builds, it will become inevitable past a point of no return. I can't imagine having to go through another horrible withdrawal again; the shaking, the sweating, the chills, the dry heaves, the intense anxiety and general malaise...You get the picture.

    As for the antidepressants, you kind of hit a nerve there. Antidepressants don't make you high. You don't feel them doing anything except gradually you realize you're feeling a lot better about yourself and the world around you. I'm not using them to "check out" like I did with booze. Antidepressants don't cause me to be an irresponsible fuckup and neglect my professional and personal commitments. To label it as "another addiction" is disingenuous at best.
    Last edited by aihfl; Yesterday at 14:59.
    Struggling with addiction? Join us at Sober Living. We can help.
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    #15
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    Yeah anti depressants are really misunderstood. They are like taking a water pill as far as you feeling it is concerned. But they aren't a cure all by any means. It's the lifestyle changes that make or break an attempt at recovery.
    Addicted? Want to stop? We can help! Come to the sober living forum!
    http://www.bluelight.org/vb/forums/269-Sober-Living
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