Truth and Tough Love #2

Just putting the drink down isn’t going to make your life magically amazing. Sobriety takes work. Having a great life takes even more work. In fact, improving your life is a lot harder than putting the drink down. And the best way to learn how to live a better life is to learn from people who have good lives. I stick with the winners and as a result my life is amazing beyond words.

Put in the work and stick with the winners and you will have an amazing life.

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Really was trying to track the last one to say Final Word. But, I’m not active enough to do things like that

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I tend to go back and forth on this topic, but I generally land on the “pull up your big girl panties and change” side of the fence. I know that for me, until I was ready, I was not ready. I was always holding on to the option to return to drinking, sometimes subconsciously, more generally consciously.

Sobriety goes a lot easier if you stop drinking. Sobriety only takes hold if you work at it. Sure, these are generalities, but they are borne out by my experience. And once I committed to being sober, I knew I had to put 100% effort into staying sober, and not finding a way to weasel around it.

And this applies today, too. If my kids die in a fire, will I drink? If I lose my job, if my wife is unfaithful, if I am stricken with illness - will I drink. I know this one thing, deep in my bones. Every thing is gonna be alright, I can stay sober. Every little thing.

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You would be one of those people I listen to. Reservations can be a scary thing. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I lost a kid. I’d like to think I wouldn’t drink. But I honestly don’t know for sure. I do know the first place I’d be is a meeting.

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This is what I love about you Dan.
Your solid commitment to your sobriety was one of my major influences.
I have followed your lead.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, has or will get in the way of me being sober.
And I’ve had some crap to deal with this year that would have had me drinking if I hadn’t have been so commited.

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Yes, it’s important to recognize and celebrate when we can deal with what we need to handle. One thing that has helped me tremendously lately is contemplating death. I do this consciously - I have an app that delivers me five quotes a day on death. My best friend died a couple of months ago, we’d been soul brothers since I got sober. But I know now that death is just a conversion of matter and energy - it is not a permanent disconnect from that beautiful soul. And so much of what I see in other people is a fear of death - but why do we fear the one event that we will all face?

I would drink over bad weather, for crying out loud. I didn’t need the stress of looking for work or legal trouble or spoiled plans as an excuse. And actually, a good nor’easter was an excellent time to drink - not so many cops on the roads as I was driving about in my private bar, aka my vehicle. And today, I do not drink. I hurt and I curse the gods and I’m pretty sure I should get divorced some days, and I think I’m the shit king of stink some days. But. I. do. not. drink.

Bless you, brother Geoff! And if you ever get down London way, swing by 21B Denbigh Gardens, Richmond and give the house my regards. I lived there as a young fella from age 8 to 10.

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I have these worries, and wonderment…I try not to let my mind go there, but it’s inevitable. I can’t guarantee I would remain sober through all those–most yes… But I can’t contemplate fully on it as it’s a hard thought for me. I do know that my sobriety is solid today and I am putting everything into it daily to remain sober. Things I thought I wouldn’t have to do to stay sober, I’ve done. Implemented tools I didn’t think I would ever regularly use, I’m using.

Whatever it takes for me to stay sober, I’ll do it because with sobriety I’ve gained everything I had been looking for. But it all takes work…I work two jobs, I own two homes (which is wonderful, but is a lot of responsibility), I have two kids…and I put in just as much work every day to maintain my sobriety as I put into any of those things.

All are definitely worth it, but they’re not just going to fall into my lap, I need to make it happen.

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I’m in the same boat, my friend. Well, about the not drinking part. When I inevitably lose someone I will take your lead in that, but I’m good for now.

For me, it was an all or nothing decision. I either drink and die a drunk, and accept what that entails, or I simply don’t drink anymore. I chose the former more times than I can count, now I choose the later. That was my final answer.

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Grief…grieving over the death of a marriage, or more accurately, attempting to avoid feeling it, what set me on a drinking path so many years ago. Thinking drinking would help with the grief of my mother’s death is what I used as an excuse to relapse.

I have given no small amount of thought to what I would do when I again faced a life tragedy. Would I drink? I didn’t when I lost several uncles, including the one I loved dearly and to whom I owed much. I didn’t when I lost an aunt. I didn’t when I had to put my dog down. Why?

It is because I’ve learned that the only thing drinking does is prolong the grief. Sure, it promises brief respites, but right there in the tiniest of small print, is the truth: avoiding is not the same as processing and healing.

We are built to experience the full range of human emotions. Joy, happiness, contentment, worry, fear, sadness. Our minds can take tremendous blows to our peace, recover and thrive. Substance abuse does nothing to tune this ability. It only imbalances it.

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“I know that for me, until I was ready, I was not ready. I was always holding on to the option to return to drinking, sometimes subconsciously, more generally consciously.”

(Sorry, not sure how to properly quote)

This is likely a silly question… but any advice if we’re not ready, how to BE ready? Like if there’s been no major consequences, rock bottom, others telling us to quit?
What made you ready?

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I know that it wasn’t me who you asked but I was ready when I realised I wound rather kill myself than continue living in active addiction, I know I’m different in using drugs target then drink but it’s often this level of desperation that brings many of us knocking on sobrietys door.
As for what your can do to make yourself ready I’m not sure but maybe the realisation that you have not yet lost so much but that you will if you continue down the same path.
There are 3 destinations for addicts and alcoholics – institutions, death and recovery. I know which one that I prefer and it seems that so do you as you have been here for a while now.
I wish you well. :+1::slightly_smiling_face:

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The understanding that there are those who slide slowly and then go over the edge, and those who are just fine one moment, and go over the edge the next. It’s not the fall that kills, it’s the sudden stop at the end.

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I kept coming around to AA, drinking before meetings, after meetings. When I was ready I knew where to go. But how to get ready? I had an out of body experience, so that’s not helpful, but just the way it was for me.

To make a quote, add the > symbol at the beginning of the line.

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I just woke up on the floor and said this is it! Gotta stop.
Said it hundreds of times but this time it stuck.
This time it felt different.
Unfortunately I don’t know what to say to answer your question Salty. Guess one would just have to keep working at it in whichever way worked.
Keep fighting the fight. One day I would hope it sticks.
They say Progress not perfection.
To me if someone is working on themselves then eventually something would click and it would be easier.
But I’m no expert.

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Hmmmm… I’m guessing someone probably needs to hear this today.

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I totally get this one. I am resistant to saying that “I’ll never drink again” because I really don’t know what will happen to me in the future and I really don’t know how I will react to a LOT of things. All I know is that TODAY I won’t drink. Even if my kids die today I am sure I could get through the day and get to a meeting. I don’t know how I will react tomorrow.

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I can tell you how it was for me as my bottom was a rather “high bottom”.

My mother died April 1, 2013. While she technically died from full organ failure likely from her diabetes…my mother was also an alcoholic, drinking multiple bottles of wine a day which no diabetic should ever do. The day she died the first thing I did was drink. It took until December 2016 before I finally said to myself “you are doing to yourself exactly what your mom did…if you keep it up you will be dead at 69 too”. But I just couldn’t string together any significant sober days and eventually I went back to full blown drinking. Finally in November 2018 I had had enough and I committed to really doing this. And that committment meant doing the work. Not drinking was not enough anymore. I tried therapy and I tried AA meetings.

BUT WHY WAS IT DIFFERENT THEN??? There is no magical moment. There was no bad event. There was no fight. Nothing like that. I literally just became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I couldn’t take the sleepless nights and daily hangovers anymore. I have heard that from many people. Instead of focusing on the alcohol I’m giving up…I’m focusing on the the hangovers and the thoughts of self hatred that I’m giving up.

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Newsflash: When you ask questions you are going to get answers.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised from this, but it’s amazing how many people come here, ask a question, and then get upset with the answers. Listen, if everyone thinks A, and you insist B, the answer is most likely A. Over the last few days I’ve seen quite a few members get upset because people gave them answers they didn’t want to hear. Well, these are the answers you probably need. People here aren’t going to co-sign your bullshit. If you don’t want to hear the answer to a question, it might be best not to ask.

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