What it was like then and what it's like for us now. For those with a year of sobriety

There are a lot of us who have over a year of sobriety and I thought it may be helpful to those who are trying to get sober or newly sober to hear what is was like when we were actively using and what it is like for us now and most importantly how we got here.

I imagine you will see a story that is very similar to yours.

Since I am not a wordsmith and my views on sobriety can be viewed as harsh I would like to elect @DowntroddenGoat to share if he would like to and if not pass it on to someone who has a year of sobriety.

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I will work on this — but it may take a bit, as I am a bit tied up for anything beyond shenanigans.

Feel free to grab someone else to keep this going in the meantime and I will post when I can.

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Ha. How was that for a railroad??

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I’ll get one goin too @Forged

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How about you @Gabe.G then pass it on.

I love this idea. This will be such a helpful thread for those who are new, as well as those who have had trouble getting past a certain number. Thanks!

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Lol. I will also try to do a short compilation, but my thoughts on A year in the life apply. So many of our journies are scattered across this forum.

Funny though, my last text message ended, “The world is weird sober.”

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For what it was like: I had an emptiness and excruciating emotional pain within me for as long as I remember. I was always so consumed with myself and my feelings and my brokenness and never could figure out what was wrong with me. I started with sugar, boys, cutting in grade school and then found alcohol and weed and pills and escstacy in highschool - went to rehab at 16-then by college it was high doses of Adderall to function everyday and binge drinking nights and weekends then once I graduated it progressed and I was drinking in the mornings and through the days and nights more and more until I would be in intolerable suffering and stop…sleep, workout, feel better and then start again meanwhile I still had a lot of “friends” and went out to parties and shows and all that until I got to a point where I started isolating and drinking cooped up in my apartment cuz I needed it and was too paranoid and anxious to be around people and when I drank I would get too fucked up and I was tired of waking up in random people’s houses. Went to rehab again at 24…got a better understand of alcoholism and that it’s a disease and needs a daily recovery program of action and isn’t a one time fix it and move on. Got a sponsor started going to tons of meetings and getting involved and working the steps. Still had too much of my own will power going on and quickly moved out of sober living got 2 jobs and a nice place and stopped working my program of recovery and started hanging out with my drinking coworkers and eventually joined them and was right back where I left off only this time I couldn’t stand the sickness and pain it brought so I found an addict friend and did heroin for the first time. Didn’t give a f about anything at that point and wanted to die and escape existence as I have my whole life but I was determined then, I couldnt stand the pain. Overdosed and stopped breathing and went to ER…woke up in hospital with a breathing tube down my throat and was so irritated, I couldn’t stand to be in my skin and couldn’t wait to leave and shoot up some more heroin. Alcohol stopped working. I turned to meth to feel normal and to drink “normal” then came the in and out of jails and hospitals. So many times I can’t even count. White girl from the suburbs college education now in the hood with a drug addict boyfriend living in my car in very bad situations with very bad people. Went to a detox rehab again at 26 completely out my mind paranoid and dying inside. Sobered up doing the deal for short time then met another dude and fucked eveythin up again this time I am in a different state homeless with nothing but the jacket I had on. Had nobody to help me and was again in state of intense paranoia and terror and was all alone stranded in the middle of fucking nowhere. Eventually found my way to a city and slept under a bridge at night and lived in the rooms of AA until i could get the assistance I needed and I’ve been sober since. Just celebrated a year on the 22nd.
What it’s like now: everything is different. I have built my life and self back up from nothing and it was all by the grace and love of a higher power that I allowed to take over my life that I had completely ran into the ground. I never wanted to live before , sober or not I was miserable and had such a hard time existing in my skin and in this world. Everything was painful and hard. I have an inner peace and calm and acceptance today I’ve never ever known. I have a zest for life I’ve never known. I have soooo many friends who are sober and incredible inspiring beautiful people who love me unconditionally. I love myself! Which I never ever thought would be possible for me, I’ve always hated myself and carried so much guilt and hate and anger but today I am free. I am full of love and gratitude most of the time and i am super chill. It’s crazy that I am not crazy anymore!! I’ve always been either high or low and even this past year of recovery I was up and down and all around but something happened close to the year mark and I just kinda stay in the middle now. Pretty mellow. I would have thought back then that the life I am living now and who I am would be straight pathetic and boring and stupid af but I couldn’t be more grateful and happy that I can have a calm simple life full of love and REAL connection and HUMANNESS! I accept my humanness today and know that everyone else is just like me and we all suffer and need one another to survive and thrive. I used to be so alone and isolated from the world and today I am so connected and thrive from the relationships in my life. I’ve stayed away from men completely this year and have for the first time in my life made close relationships with only women and it’s been the most rewarding and rich thing I’ve ever experienced. I feel excited and happy to be alive today and I feel free. And I’m sober. It’s a miracle, I am a miracle. AA, sponsorship, the fellowship, the steps, plus refuge recovery, meditation, yoga, art, shamanic community and groups, healing retreats, lots of hiking and play dates with other women I admire…I do it all! Cuz I need it and I have tried it all to find what works for me. My disease wants me dead so I show up everyday and do the work and when one thing isn’t working I try something else. One step at a time just living in the here and now. :purple_heart::purple_heart:

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Thank you very much would you like to pass it to someone?

BOOM
6 is better than 1 right? Lol

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@Geo
@Chance
@siand

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@Buts
@GVLNative
@keiti

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Ok fuck it here I go.

Why did I drink: Now this is a embarkation from what many people including myself think or have thought.

I used to think I drank because I was happy, sad, angry or bored, childhood trauma, adult trauma, et al…

The real reason I drank was to feel ease and comfort which for me was the effect of alchohol.

Some of the gory details:
My family was forced to endure nightly tirades of verbal abuse as I drank vodka at first with water and then straight from a whole glass. I drank this way for about 3 years. The family got to see a pretty nasty side of me that they had never seen.

FIRST BREAKING POINT:
One weekend I was in the middle of a spree and my wife left with the kids. I drank hard and over slept.
I showed up for work after drinking the night before 2 hrs late and reeking of booze. I was taken to employee health way too drunk not to agree to go and blew a .279 bac.

From there I went to rehab where I talked myself out of there after 3 days. The night I left I was taken to a AA meeting and got my first sponser.

Within a week I was fired.

Second Breaking Point:

I managed to stay clean for almost 3 months where I promptly relapsed hard. One of the few memories I have of that weekend was my youngest daughter walking up to me and telling me to fuck off. I didn’t say a word and they left. I was happy that they did because I was going to drink like I had never drank before.

I proceeded to buy to handles of Smirnoff and I guzzled it down and blacked out. When I awoke I drank to black out again.

When I finally awoke I thought it was Monday but my wife who brought my drinking buddy to the house looked at me in shock because it was Thursday. They left taking every credit card, and means of transportation with them. I was alone for almost two weeks.

I don’t think I slept for that time either. I would try to close my eyes and I would have hallucinations. Horrible things. I could see patterns of art in the carpet and I heard horrible noises coming from outside the bedroom door and the closet.

Eventually my family came to visit me. I could barely walk or talk. I was a mess.

Things start to get better

I had one friend from AA that I didnt tell to fuck off and he took me from meeting to meeting every night. He also took me to a retreat where one of his sponsees seized and had to be taken to a hospital via ambulance.

Time passed and I was getting better both physically and mentally. I started working on my way of thinking ( we call it the 12 steps.) It didnt make a whole lot sense to me but I was desperate not to drink again so I thought fuck it I’ll do it.

I took a job out of state where I lived on my own and somehow managed to stay sober. Partly out of fear and partly because I was killing my family. I had this mantra where I assumed responsibility for everything. That was REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME. Mind you it wasn’t a fully formed livable concept. If I was angry about something then it was my fault that I was angry. That worked but if it rained that was my fault to. That shit is martyrdom and that does not work long term.

Another point that’s really important. I DIDN’T DRINK. Walking down the grocery aisle freaked me out. I would stare at the floor and jet out of there.

I went to meetings, I stayed on TS and somehow stayed sober.

Then I moved home and my family was happy that I was back and I was happy to be there. I am still happy and grateful to be home.

So what do you call a horse thief that is a drunk who gives up drinking? A horse thief!

I wasn’t drinking but I had some of those same alcoholic thoughts. Pain is a great motivator for me so I started working the steps of AA and just like our book says other people will start noticing the change before you do and that happened to me.
Where I am at now

It was slow and subtle and it eventually got to the point where I called my sponsor up and said. “Hey everything is going really well and its freaking me out” his response was "that’s peace and serenity. Keep working and you will know more of it.

Fuck man. Peace and serenity was so unusual I couldn’t recognize it. Someone had to tell me what I was experincing.

My hope for you:

I am a drunk just like you. I am not unique and though you may think you are you are not. So if I can get sober so can you and if I can know peace and serenity so can you.

My life is comfortable and I enjoy it being that way.

I hope those of you who read and those who dont can eventually feel the same way.

Lastly, If I ever drink again it will be because I choose to do it. I can no longer blame any of it on any outside problem big or small.

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I’ll have to write something up tomorrow. Great thead idea.

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Thanks man we do have some experince that folks may find valuable.

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What a great idea!

Here we go :blush: My life in a nutcase:
I’ve got my first drink when I was 13 or so from my parents. A mix with a little of alcohol in it and loads of orange juice. It was something for special occasions. When 15 years I drank mixed drinks at parties, just a few.
When 18 I started living on my own in a different city and school. Partytime! Drank a lot sometimes mostley in the weekends. Gratuated, got a boyfriend and a job and drank normaly.
Separated after 10 years and moved out and got a new job. Started to drink more because I felt sad about the separation and feeling lonely and bored.
Started to drink allmost every night because I hated the new job. Quit the job and fount a new one. Got a new boyfriend and we got our 3 children. Stopped drinking when pregnant. Start noticing my drinking increased. I didn’t felt drunk anymore of it. My warning signs were gone. When I was outsite my house I was carefull with my drinking because of it. But when I came home after that party the urge was massive! I started to drank secretly at home. Drank rum en filled the bottle with water so my spouse wouldn’t notice. Hide bottles in my dressing closet. Got blackouts and hangovers allmost every day now. But still managed to go to work and handle the kids.
One night I drank that much I collapsed and couldn’t stand up again. I felt so bad. My spouse had to put me in bed. I couldn’t walk ore talk. The only thing I could mumble was “sorry”.
Next day was my first day one.
I quit with help of a Dutch website and forum for addiction. Relapsed 3 times and every time after 3 months. Then it stuck for 5 years.
After those 5 years sober I thought I was cured.
I’ve got my proove I was not. First weeks I could drink moderate, but the voice was back in my head right away! How I hate that addiction voice :cold_sweat: Whitin a few monts I was drinking heavely again and my mind was running overtime:

*When can I drink
*How many can I drink
*Were can I hide those empty bottles
*Etc…

I felt trapped…
One day my daughter said to me “mom, I liked you more sober” and that made me think about my life even more. Did I want this for my life and children? Next day or so I discovered TS and signed in and started reading.
At my last day of my drinking life 2 weeks after her saying that I drank a bottle of wine. My cat trow my empty glass on the floor with his tail.
I was cleaning up the pieces, feeling ashamed because my partner thought I dropped that glass myself with my drunken head. It could, but it wasn’t. I saw myself barefoot between those pieces of glass en decided it was enough.
I quit and checked in every day at the check in tread here on talking sober. It helped to stay focussed. I relapsed after 3 weeks or so but got back on the horse right again.
Now I’m 403 days sober, more then a year! :tada:
(Sober date 18 sept, 2018).

What helped me?
Being gratefull for the things I have and fight for it, perseverance, finding new hobbies, being here on TS every day, talking about my emotions and learning new coping strategies for dealing with them, exepting I’m an alcoholic and I can’t use alcohol ever again.

Well long story and difficult to explain for me because English is not my foreign language. I’m Dutch you see :hugs:

My life now? I love my sober life, it’s so much better then a drunken one! :heart:
Sure I have difficult days! But my head is mine again most of the time! I’m proud of the sober me! I take charge again, not alcohol! :facepunch:
You can do it too!!


I pass it on to @aircircle if she wants to tell her story :hugs: 🙋

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Nice topic, thanx for starting it.
Just got myself a 4th bookmark :+1:

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I’ve got a week to think about it then! :rofl:

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Well done everyone on their sobriety

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Well here I go, where did it start, I dabbled with amphetamine since I was 21, that got to an everyday habit, wake up in the morning and drop 1g of speed. Heck I thought it was fun. Work hard and play even harder… I was working sales it was the lifestyle. This went all the way through one break up to another relationship. I then met my husband and moved miles away from home to be with him. I instantly stopped my daily habit because I had no access to a dealer. This went well for just about 3yrs, I had 2 kids and got married, we were both working and it was idyllic for a short while.
Things started going wrong, the husband started smoking weed, I’d lost 3 family members in a short time to cancer, my uncle, my nan and my aunty, I had a very poorly newborn with health problems and needed to be admitted to hospital numerous times, I had no job the husband was out of work and we were living on state benefits. I started drinking to help me relax, nothing much just 2 glasses, on a Friday, then crept up to a bottle. It stayed that way for a while. My marriage started breaking down, the husband threatened divorce when my youngest was 2, he started getting insecure. His paranoid mind lead him to believe that I was flirting with men. He took away my phone on numerous occasions, read text messages and emails, hacked into and changed passwords on my email and social media accounts and told me what social media I couldn’t use. He isolated me from friends and family and I felt so alone and struggled. I got a job at the nursery school that my kids went to and even my job had to be approved by the husband because he didn’t want me working with men. I started drinking more and more. 1 bottle went to 2 on a Friday, then it started through the week on a Tuesday too, and I’d add days in too when I could, I ended up working as a Head chef in the nursery and did 42hrs a week. Not bad for someone with alcoholism and 2 kids and an abusive husband. I went through the social care system once because of domestic abuse and managed to hide my drinking habit but it all came crashing down a few months later when I tragically caught my youngest son in the eye while drunk and left a mark. That was a very low point, I tried to commit suicide but failed and then I phoned social services and reported myself. I was done. I was a nasty person drunk, it was the only time I had guts to give back the abuse that I was receiving from the husband. I had no self esteem left, I hated everything about myself and my life and I was done at that point.

I made so many excuses as to why I couldn’t do recovery, I have kids, I have a job I don’t want people knowing, I’m not like other drunks, you name it I used the excuse.

Well after the incident with my son I was left broken and wanted recovery. I’d relapsed numerous times on ST every 5 days in fact, I wasnt really trying then but knew I wanted to.

I started recovery, I went to my doctor and got put on a concoction of drugs to help me through including thiamine and two lots of antidepressants, I got referred for cognitive therapy, then I went to alcohol recovery services where I engaged with groups and started smart recovery. I quit my job, I found things to do like parenting courses and cookery to keep my skills up to date.
After being sober for 4 months I started attending AA, and I had a misguided conception of the service too, contrary to popular belief it is not religious, yes they do use the word God but also higher power, take from that what you will.

I ended my marriage (still pending divorce) I’ve reconnected my passion, I support my children who I have custody of, I am a recovery coach for the alcohol recovery services who helped me.
My life quality is far far greater now than it ever was when I was drinking. I’m so much healthier, mentally and physically, I have achieved so much in my sobriety than I ever did in my marriage of 10 years. I am able to make rational decisions and have healthy relationships with people. I have control over my own thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

I am Michelle and I am an alcoholic, I am 15 months sober

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