Ready to be sober

Wow. I'm really nervous writing this, but I finally have reached the point where I can not continue on with how I have been living my life. I'm ready to make a change to be sober.

I'm in my mid-40s, married with kids, nice house, good job, but alcohol has been slowly ruining things for me. It has escalated over the last year or so to the point where I have been drinking nightly, either passing out or falling asleep early, dragging myself out of bed and on to work, feeling miserable all day, and then doing it over again and again.

My family life is not good because of this, my wife is frustrated, my kids are old enough to know what I am doing, and I just can't continue on with things as they are currently.

I have been on meds for depression and anxiety and was using alcohol to cope, but it's not even that any longer. I find any excuse that I can to drink, and even though I don't want to, end up there anyway. The longest I have been sober recently was about 4 years ago when I first started the meds and that was about 4 months before I went back.

I have been to a therapist, but haven't seen her recently. I went to an out patient treatment facility, but my insurance wouldn't cover it and it was very costly. So, here I am. I am over my own misgivings and admitting that I can't drink. I want to improve and am here. So, here we go.

Thanks for reading and listening to me ramble.

  • 293 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • "I find any excuse that I can to drink..."you admit, @Vette60. I suppose we can ALWAYS find an excuse to drink (or drug in my case). My reality was finding a REASON not to. You sound like you have a good life, one that would be a shame to lose, over drinking! Some friends on here have beautiful and strong statements concerning their sobriety. @TWSJ has wonderful insights to AA. @Leaker has profound statements on his life before and now, after, "the drink". @Tommy has many years under his belt without alcohol. I hope you read and get something inspiring to help you here. Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your desires and reasons to quit!
    In my prayers... o:)
  • @Vette60 hello and welcome. It is GREAT and FANTASTIC that you are here. Why? Because you are seeing a problem, and want to improve BEFORE you hit rock bottom. You are seeing the trend, and you are doing something while your drinking is still an embarrassment as opposed to something far worse.
    @Goodtr8s has the right suggestion to start reading. There are volumes of information and experiences here. What I will say is start to read some of those, and if something starts to resonate with you, pay real close attention to that. That's bad news that your insurance wouldn't cover the treatment, but the good news is, you might not even need that. Once you find some ideas that resonate with you, that will help you figure out what your next step is. There are 1,000s of books on the subject of recovery and beating the monster of alcoholism, so narrowing things down will help. If you skip spending $20 on booze for week, you can quickly squeeze the cost of any self help book into any budget.
    There are of course the tried and true AA, or SMART. Consider joining a therapy group. Maybe not right at the start, but maybe a little later on. Or don't; it's not a requirement. I started my journey off the dark path of addiction largely in your shoes (drinking because I felt like it, because I thought it helped me, because I didn't care, because I thought I was still in control, etc) but a simple 300ish page book helped me earn my freedom, after I almost lost everything. Point is, don't ever think there is just one way to treat your disease, or that the situation is hopeless or that nothing will ever work. It will be a tough road full of twists, turns, and the occasional setback, but if you keep at it, you will earn your freedom and be the person you want to be.

    Keep the faith!
  • @Vette60 hey there! so glad you're here....and @Leaker is right, it's a good thing you're recognizing this before rock bottom comes! i think it's just you finding out what YOUR recovery path entails... it can be a mixture of things... meetings, counseling, reading, a sponsor or mentor, coming here, etc.. and just keep trying... no matter what, you just keep trying and if you need to try something new, go ahead... and if something isn't working, try something different!

    just know you're not alone and we are here. please don't be afraid to reach out for professional help should you need.... no room for ego or pride!!!! we want you to overcome this addiction and deal with any root issues going on too!!! :)

    come here anytime!
  • Thank you to those that have replied thus far...I am encouraged to make this work and just ordered one of Alan Carr's book today. I have read Alcohol Explained by William Porter and that did help get me moving in the right direction.

    I was able to stop at the house at lunch today and dumped the rest of the beer that I had in my garage frig. That is a place that I often flee to have a beer or many more.

    I don't want to have that reality that I have lost what I current have because of drinking as @Goodtr8s said in the comments to me...

    So, into the evening of day 1 and here's to tomorrow.

  • BTW, @Vette60, I like the title of your first forum here:
    "Ready to be Sober"
    ...because, if we are not READY, it probably won't happen! So, so many people here and at meetings I've attended have expressed it to be...

    Most excellent, cleaning out that fridge in your garage! I hope your children notice the difference in you over time. Our friend here, @Ocean stopped drinking and her children were some of the first to notice!

    Here's to tomorrow, indeed!
  • Thanks for the update @Vette60. @ocean has been a great example on her journey. She's been fantastic and sticking too it, but has never been shy about sharing her doubt and uncertainty. Yet, she has her techniques, and her dedication, and meets every challenge. She's also been really great about sharing the positive changes she's noticed in terms of health, appearance, and demeanor. Stopping drinking is fantastic since one doesn't need to worry about the terrible behaviors that flow from drinking, but stopping also has so many other benefits that one doesn't see until they stop, letting their mind and body begin to heal.

    Have a good day 2.
  • Thanks. I’m feeling good this morning. Although I didn’t sleep well it was nice to go to bed when I wanted to and wake up not soaked in sweat. I’ve started to think about all the reasons that I have not to drink and they really, really do outweigh all the excuses that I was making.

  • @Vette60 wonderful update! great that you emptied the excess out and ordered that book! i think you'll really benefit from it! there are some allen carr videos on youtube too i believe...

    glad you're feeling good! you're really doing this!! and you'll definitely feel better more and more! proud of you!
  • @Vette60 ,
    I too used to take anxiety medicine . Now , being sober a while , I don't take them any more . I'm not sure the absence of alcohol is the only reason I don't need them . But I know that I don't dwell on things like I used to .
    I don't argue against therapists . But , I do sometimes wonder if anyone can educate themselves to understand addiction without personally experiencing the power of addiction . I go to AA . More important than the meetings , for me , are the new friends I've made that I go and have fun with . Fishing , dinner with the wives etc .
    I too am a man in my 40's ( 48 , got sober at 47 ) . Wife , house , kids , boat ,,,,,,,,,,, sound familiar ? The average age of people in AA is 47 . 75 % men . In other words , you are finding yourself in a position that so many of us do . You can change the rest of your life . And I now believe you can have a good time doing it.

  • So, I went to the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up some items needed for dinner tonight and didn't buy beer for the first time in I don't even know...
    Felt really good walking out of there without it. Enjoying a glass of ice water now before I get started with dinner.

    One of my biggest hangups with all of this before I joined this forum is the whole feeling like there wasn't anyone else out there that I could comfortably discuss this with, despite therapists and even knowing several folks that quite drinking because it was becoming a problem for them. It just seemed all to personal to share or deal with...this has been a really good start for me.

    I politely declined an invitation to go out this weekend with some guys that I am casually friends with. They were heading to a local brewery here to celebrate its opening. Not really ready for that.

    Thanks all so much.

  • @Vette60, what amazed me about the book of Mr. Carr's that saved me was how it covered every single one of my "what if?"s, some of them even before they happened. It covered the insomnia, the sweating, it even covered things like the dreams about still drinking. It was reassuring to know that I wasn't unique, and that everything was just all part of the process.
    It is good that you turned down the invitation to go to the brewery opening. But don't worry, in time you will gain the confidence, the tools, and the habits that will allow you to go to something like that. If you choose to. If it sounds like a good time. Early on, it can be tough to be around people that are drinking, even if they accept and support your decision to stop. One has to learn and get comfortable with the sober lifestyle, but then they can go back to things that they genuinely enjoy, just without the alcohol. Heck, I even have open bottles of alcohol at my desk for office social events. It's there; but it's not for me. I just keep it handy for when it seems like the right event. Wow, typing that out makes me sound like a terrible person and an enabler. Eh, oh well.
    The truth I learned is that I wasn't giving up anything, and I was gaining so many great things. Once I accepted that, and internalized it, I was able to really put the addiction and cravings into perspective.
  • Alcohol is such the social animal! I have all confidence, @Vette60, that you'll be able to attend a grand opening or ANY social environment, enjoy and mingle with company, and sip on something other than that beer, wine or alcoholic drink.

    Congratulations on your grocery store trip! What's for dinner?!

    You are right in that this is a great place to share, to be among "like" people and it not get too personal. "...a really good start for me.", you said.
    You're getting some excellent insight from @Leaker and @TWSJ. (I knew you would) It also helps me to re-read answers and replies. Reading them more than once reinforces the message and empowers me at the same time.
    I hope you sleep better tonight. Man, do I remember those horrible sweats and restless body nights! In my prayers! o:)
  • Turning down going to the brewery I am sure was out of character for you like it was for me when I went to an all inclusive wedding & drank mineral water yet I found myself in what I call the other side of life.....I helped people find their way to their rooms, held back someone's hair while she got sick, spear headed the dinner reservations....etc....The life I am leading now is one that does not include shame, embarrassment & recklessness! Do I miss drinking? YES!!!!!! Because I am addicted to the craziness of what it brings. I would have been the first one to run off to do shots as soon as I stepped off the plane, I would be the first one in line to the swim up bar & I would have met more new friends in 5 minutes than I have had in my whole life....however I would have embarrassed my family to death, slept through dinner & everyone who loved me would be worrying as to what I was going to do there is no worry!! My new life without drinking is actually still fun as I still have a zest for life & people actually have said " Wow, you don't drink, I wish I were you..." I still wish that I could drink like a "normal" person but I can't so now I drink mineral water with cranberry & a lime, while I am 15 pounds lighter, my BP is now within a normal range, my cholesterol is down, my skin looks great & my head is getting fatter by the minute (at least its not my liver)! Take each second at a time & always remember you are worth it! My positive thoughts & prayers are with you all!
  • Hi @Vette60 I totally get it! I too was suppose to celebrate a brewery opening a couple weeks ago for a gf I’ve known since I was 12... her brewery yet I know myself and a few too many often leads to relapse! So many amazing supporters here cheering you on :smiley:
  • Thanks all for the encouragement and support. It means a lot. I’m looking forward to watching on TV a soccer friendly with my kids and not falling asleep in the middle of it.

    The Alan Carr book arrives today. Can’t wait to start.

    Oh yeah, @Goodtr8s, I made baked chicken, rice and fresh veggies. Not too bad. I have the rice veggies and a Muffaletta sandwich that I really was in the mood for. One of the other spots that would be drinking time for me besides the garage would be when I was making dinner. I would easily make it through a few beers. Felt nice last night not to do that and just kept refilling an ice water glass instead.

    Have a great day all.

  • @Vette60 that's wonderful you were able to cook without drinking! good for you!! sounds like you're making great progress and glad the book arrives today! :)

    you're doing this!
  • Hi all.

    Just wanted to check in. Today has been a bit tougher based on how I am feeling. Lots more anxious feelings, aches and pains and even a brief panic attack. I was tempted to try to flee like I have in the past, but I hung in there, breathed deeply and feel better.

    Still not 100% though. Also, feel pretty wiped out. Went home for lunch and nearly fell asleep. Will try to get to bed early tonight.
  • @ocean

    I really appreciate the response and encouragement. I know exactly where you are coming from because there have been too many times where my switch would not shut off and I ended up doing some pretty stupid stuff at events that didn’t necessarily need them. I really was never one to pass on the next shot or beer.

  • I like the way you put that as my switch never shut off either until I passed out! I have been sober since June 11th, 2017 & believe me if I was still drinking I would have lost everything!!!!!!! I am so proud of you & believe in you 100% because if I can do this YOU can too!!!!!!! Just take every single second at a time & remember you are not alone!!!!!!!!!
  • Hi All.

    Morning check in for me...felt pretty good last night. Another night of cooking without drinking - nothing exciting, just leftovers. Did have a bit of a blowup at my son regarding Xbox usage. Even after I shutdown the internet access (thank you Xfinity App) he was still griping. Such is life of a 12 year old boy, I suppose.

    Looking forward to a good day at work and another good day overall. Challenge coming up this evening. When I would take my son to soccer practice, there always seemed to be a nice craft brewery nearby. This time, I won't be going. I plan to go to the library that is close and ready more of Alan Carr's book. Started last night and made it through the intro and just part of the first chapter.

    We collectively (wife and I) are horrible vacation planners and are in a bit of a standoff on when to go - running short on time. Definitely plan to go to a beach, but still not sure on where and when...let's figure that out tonight.

    So, on to day 4. Thanks - it feels good to put this in writing - make it more real and out there and less hard to skate past and not do what I say!

  • I'm late to this thread, @Vette60, but I want you to know that I'm super proud of you for deciding to get sober. You've taken a huge step in the right direction, my friend! Keep taking things a day at a time and know that we are here for you, to offer up help, support, or just a listening ear when you need it. Please let us know how you like the Alan Carr book once you start reading it. I think it may really help you.

    Sending you positive, sober vibes. And tons of encouragement and hope!
  • Hi All.

    Just wanted to check on this fine Friday as I begin day 5. I had a good day yesterday and did not let alcohol control me as I would have previously. I took my son to soccer and my old routine would have been to head to one of the various establishments that are a few minutes away and have a few beers until his practice was over. Not this time. I went and had a bite to eat and a lemonade. Took that lemonade and went to the local library branch. It was such a nice night, that I sat outside by a small pond there and read a book (not the Carr book) and really just took everything in.

    As I thought about things this morning, it was a much better way to spend my time and really much more enjoyable than sitting by myself at a bar drinking beer. Really.

    I have been reflecting on where I was one week ago and where I am today - I'm much happier with my self today. I know there will be bumps along the way, but I am feeling good and looking forward to continuing on this journey.

    Thank you all.
  • @Vette60 ,
    I was reading your post and @Leaker response from a few days ago . I agree with Leaker that in time you will get use to being around people who are having a few drinks . My wife drinks a glass , sometimes 2 of wine most nights . It doesn't phase me ( though I can smell it a mile away ) .

    What I do find myself not enjoying at all is when the "Transformation" takes place . The guy who starts to get louder , more talkative , finds himself witty , humorous , and brilliant ............ when all he really is , is an obnoxious drunk . And I'm pretty sure I don't enjoy it , because I was usually the leader of that pack . So , when witchin hour starts , I generally find a polite excuse to bow out gracefully .

    One other trap I would warn you against . I first came to this site in Feb 2016 . Back then I posted 3-4 times a day and stayed sober for 7 months . And then....... I got comfortable . Confident . Complacent . I got the old " Just 1 beer wont hurt anyone syndrome " . 1 beer turned into 20 , and another several months of brutal yo-yo relapse . Alcoholism is a progressive disease . It does not go away just because you've been sober a few days , weeks or even 25 years . I've met several people in AA with 25 years sobriety who went into full relapse and were shocked to find it harder to quit again than ever .

    I sometimes flinch at the old "One day at a time" thing , because I have to have hope for tomorrow to stay sober today . Otherwise , what's the point . But I have to remember that I truly am only sober today . But if I'm sober today , the chances of a great day tomorrow go up 10 fold !
  • @Vette60 hey there! congrats on day 5 sober! that's remarkable!

    your decision to go the library and enjoy reading and nature is delightful. what a great way to spend some time.... kudos to you for doing that!! glad you're feeling better and getting more clarity on what it is you want out of life...

    @TWSJ has given some great insight and advice (hi @TWSJ!)

    know that we're here to listen and encourage you. we want the best for you and your family... and should you run into any "issues" , reach out for help. many won't out of pride, but i think everyone needs some help sometimes. and, it allows others to help, and helping just feels good, ya know?

    proud of you! hope you have a beautiful day!
  • Sounds like you did indeed have a good day yesterday, @Vette60. Nicely done! And congrats to you on Day 5!

    Definitely read that comment @TWSJ wrote to you and take heed. He has given you some excellent insight.

    I'm so glad that you're feeling much happier with yourself today compared to a week ago. That's progress, and that's a wonderful thing!

    Keep at it, my friend. And remember that you're not alone. We're always here for you.

    Happy Friday and have a great weekend!
  • @TWSJ
    Thank you for posting what you did - that there is one of my biggest fears because it has happened before...maybe because of my work schedule, or something else, I didn't drink for a week or so. Thought to myself, look at that, I can be fine without, what's the big deal if I grab a six pack, and then dove headfirst back into the hole.

    What really lead me to get to this point is that I really noticed that things were getting worse and worse, more and more alcohol, being deceptive about it and really couldn't stand how I felt about myself mentally and physically.

    The last week before I posted here on Monday was just horrible - I barely could function on the day after drinking but then jumped right back in the following after. Hey, I made it through that, why can't I do it again. ENOUGH!

    I am really trying to keep how awful I felt in mind to help me stay on the path - why would I (or anyone else) want to feel that way? I really don't.

    I too get it about being the loud, talkative, funny, sometimes angry guy. I tended to think I was hysterical when out with others, but at home after drinking by myself I tended to be just mean and nasty. A real @sshole at times.

    Here's to a great Friday and a good weekend.

    Take care all and again THANK YOU.

  • Keep doing the next right thing, @Vette60! :)
  • Hi All.

    Just spoke to my wife and my first big social challenge is in front of me tomorrow night. We'll be heading over some friends to celebration a birthday.
    Kids and couples will be there.

    These are normally BYOB affairs, so I will be bringing my own seltzer water instead of beer. Always brought beer in the past, always.

    Biggest thing is the whole why aren't you drinking thing since I always was in times past...I'm not quite ready to share with others the journey that I am on, but will NOT be drinking...


  • @Vette60 I have to concur with @TWSJ completely. I too find that transformation period shocking now. I call it "critical mass", where there is enough booze for people to start being stupid. I know I was one of those too, judging from the videos people would show me the next day, or stories told. Nothing was worse than seeing people in the morning (well, afternoon usually) and getting the, "heeeeeey buddy. ya doing? So what's the last thing YOU remember?" Ugh. I deserved the ridicule, and I do NOT miss it.
    I'll also concur about the complacency. One has to always be aware. But, don't be afraid of that one. Early on it might seem daunting, and take a lot of focus. But, over time, with the right coping strategies, it gets easier, and takes less focus. For me, coming up on 7 years sober on 1 Oct, it is normal to not drink, and thinking about drinking is the odd and unnatural part. I'm a non-drinker, and that is just who I am.

    So, how to go to a party and not drink? There are lots of suggestions on this forum as well as elsewhere. I always say a solid one is, "No thanks; I am driving". If people don't respect that one, THEY are the ones with the issue. You can also go with the, "I hit the bottle and it hit me back pretty hard; I'm taking a break" or "I'm feeling a little under the weather", or a whole variety of things. Truth is better than lies, but in a pinch or under a lot of pressure, anything is better than relenting. I'd say stay away from the, "I gave up drinking" early on because people will just roll their eyes, say, "Sure you did. I'll check back next week", and then give you a ton of grief if there is any kind of relapse. In time, once you are confident, you can do the, "No thanks, I stopped drinking". THAT feels really good to say!
  • You go, @Vette60! I like the fact that you are comparing last week to today. Or, reflecting like this:
    "I have been reflecting on where I was one week ago and where I am today - I'm much happier with my self today. I know there will be bumps along the way, but I am feeling good and looking forward to continuing on this journey."
    Keeping those thoughts on YOURSELF is very important, in my eyes.
    Our friends here have given you some great insight, advice, personal stories, kudos, and support. I just love reading what @TWSJ and @Leaker share...
    I hope you can take some of it to heart, the way I do.
    Good, good, good luck and good vibes on your social event tomorrow. I like @Leaker's advice on saying something OTHER than "I've stopped drinking" at this point.
    Is your wife supporting you yet, or does she think this is just another "week or two fluke" you're going through? I pray she is on board with your journey.
    Let us know how it goes and what strategies did or did not work for you!
  • @Vette60 hey there! happy saturday! i hope you have an amazing day!
  • @Leaker your sobriety date is my b-day :) woohoo!
  • Hi All.

    Thanks for the support and advice. I'll poke around the site a bit. The folks that I will be with tonight I have known for quite some time. I agree that I WON'T go down the I quit road, but can find a happy medium. Plus my wife talked about a Rose wine that her friend is bringing, so I am the driver tonight!

    Feeling good on Day 6!

  • @Vette60... I think @Leaker's tips on what to say at the party are great ones. Also, please know that if you begin to feel uncomfortable at that party at any point, it's perfectly okay to leave. It's always better to remove yourself from a situation instead of being uneasy in it. Just remember that.

    I'll be sending you lots of positive energy tonight! B)
  • Hi All.

    Sunday check in - things were fine last night at my friend's get together for his birthday. It ended up being a much smaller group than I initially thought. I didn't feel out of place at all with my ice water. Didn't even need to explain myself to anyone or worry about anyone offering me a beer. Plus, my friend E wasn't drinking either. She had an early Sunday morning event, so nothing for her.

    Here's to a great Sunday. I have some yardwork and garage work to do - those things were always drinking times for me. Not now, not today! Onward to Day 7.

    Take care all and have a great Sunday.
  • @Vette60 Great to hear the party went well, and it is another learning point. All that anxiety, and it turns out to be not a big deal. I found that one out on my journey. Maybe there will be one person who goes, "This guy needs a beer!" and is hurt when you turn them down, but most people it seems easily accept it.

    I will also point out that you found one other person who wasn't drinking; chances are there was always at least one other person at every event. You just didn't realize it. However, they can be a great help at events like this. Find the sober people and "circle up". That way, when the party reaches critical mass and people start getting foolish, the sober group can keep on with their conversations, and not get dragged into the stupid. You can just sit back and go, "Oh geez, look what Ricky is doing now. Ugh." and laugh/commiserate as needed.

    Now you can do yard work without a headache. Without STARTING it dehydrated. Without sitting on the mower or pulling weeds stewing over what happened, what you did, or what you said. No need to worry if you and Ricky are still friends, or if so and so is going to call you to yell at you, or whatever. Waking up with a clear nugget and a clean conscious was the first thing I really noticed and appreciated in my recovery. And that never gets old.

    Happy Sunday, keep the faith!
  • Thanks @Leaker with your comments and support. You are right about there being someone else there that's not drinking. Wasn't bad at all. Plus, it was a pretty mild evening for everyone. I don't think anyone had more than 2 beers or glasses of wine. Mild for some of those friends. It can get pretty over the top at times. But, I still had a nice time despite my alcohol free state. Who would have thought. It's interesting how things get pounded into your memory.

    Yard work is going well. Front yard done. Enjoyed a couple of glasses of ice water and an ice cold ice tea. Also, realized that I needed to get more gas. That too could be an excuse to buy more beer. Oh, here at the quik-mart, might as well get another 6 pack. Not this time. Got gas, even went inside and bought an ice tea and pretzel! Hah. Feel really good about it.

    On to the backyard.

    Thanks for all the support!
  • Hi All.
    Well, one week ago I made my first post here in a time that I was feeling really awful about where I was headed with things. Today, while i realize it was only one week, I feel that I am in a much better place. The change that I made? I made a commitment to stop drinking. Wow.

    I've managed to do things that would normally be big drinking triggers for me. Buy groceries without buying beer, do yard work, make dinner, work in the garage, go to the pool. As the week went on, I feel much better physically and mentally. I haven't had the horrible sense of guilt for what I did the night before that would just tear me down. That and the physical symptoms made my days darn near impossible to deal with - I ended up wanting to do nothing more run away from the problem and I did this by pulling the covers over my head and sleeping. The light finally went off and I realized that I really needed to confront the problem rather than continually try to hide from it.

    I realize that there will be challenges to come, but I really wanted to let others know, if they choose to read this, that it is possible to make a change. I'm ready to begin a new week but, a new day first. I'm of from work today with my daughter and despite it being rainy and dreary outside, I am feeling really bright and sunny.

    Thank you all for your support.
  • @Vette60... So glad that the party on Saturday night worked out well. You've come a long way in the week that you've been here. Just keep going!!

    Happy Monday! Have a great week! And remember that we're always here for you!
  • Hi All.

    Just a quick touch base. I went over and checked out SMART recovery and signed up for their forum as well. Started to poke around a bit too.

    I just wanted to share that I went out to lunch on my off day with my daughter (had to pick-up a new bike for her since she outgrew the other) and in the past, I would have certainly had a beer or two while at lunch. Ice Tea this time.

    I dropped off my daughter at dance and didn't feel the need to stop and buy beer. Why should I do that? I'm sitting here at home waiting for my son to arrive from basketball camp and drinking a cup of coffee - not BEER! Would have been doing something else just last week.

    I know my wife has told me that one of the things that would frustrate her the most is when she would arrive home after me and I would already be a few beers in while making dinner or whatever. It really start the evening off the wrong way. I think that I am finally beginning to see her perspective on things when she would challenge me over and over again to imagine if the roles were flipped how would I feel. Well, before I made this commitment to change, I really felt well, that wouldn't be bad, at least you wouldn't be mad that I was drinking, but I get that wasn't her point at all.

    Onward with this evening. Thanks for the support!
  • @Vette60 hi there! this post makes my night! i'm so happy to hear this, and proud of you! what a way to be an example to the kids too...and i bet your wife is happy to see the change.

    glad you're feeling better! enjoy your sober evening!!
  • Hi All.

    Just touching base. I really feel that writing these posts each day helps me set the tone for the day that I want to have and the goals that I want to achieve. I have also gone back and read through the thread and that has helped me as well.

    Today begins Day 8. Nice to say that. I feel good this morning. I'm starting to feel that I am sleeping more fitfully and waking up much less during the night. My wife commented that my snoring has diminished greatly - seems that I really was bad when I was drinking. I'm glad to hear that as well.

    I was dealing with some anxiety last night after dinner. Trying to reflect why, but I'm not 100% sure what the trigger was. Similar symptoms that I have always have had. But, instead of retreating into bottles of beer, I dealt with it head on. I took some deep breathes, said a few prayers to myself and got involved in something else. My son and I worked a bit on a huge lego kit that I bought him for his birthday. I ended up continuing on with that after he went to bed. It was very soothing to be really focused and enjoying something. Believe it or not, legos are also a lot easier when you are not drinking. Hah.

    Onward into my day. Thank you all for your support.
  • @Vette60 good morning to you! so happy for you, that you're experiencing life in a different way...a better way, sober and free! that's remarkable!

    i'm sure the whole family is enjoying this side of you too... (and i bet legos IS easier sober haha)

    have a beautiful day, and so grateful you are here journeying with us! :)
  • @Vette60... Thanks for the update. You are most definitely turning things around, and I'm super proud of you! Your changes won't only help you, either; your entire family will benefit. How awesome is that?!

    Keep doing the next right thing! And remember to lean on us anytime you feel like it. That's what we're here for!!! :)
  • Hi All.

    Thank you all for the continued support and encouragement. It really means a lot to me as I continue on.

    This post is as much for me as it is for the group. It's the beginning of what I'll call the witching hour. The day is winding down and I don't have any responsibilities until I need to pick up my daughter from dance at 7PM. That's right. A whole two hours free.

    The old me would have looked at that time as an opportunity to stop at the nearby craft brewery and have a few while I was waiting for her. Not the new me. I'll be heading home instead to take care of a couple of quick things - maybe the laundry that's on my to do list. I'll let the dog out and enjoy another type of cold beverage instead. Then I'll go get her. And I'll be worry free.

    Feels good to write that and commit to it.

    Thank you all again.
  • @Vette60, YOU ARE A HERO! In reading these posts, it's so very evident that everyone around you is being positively affected by choices the "new you" are making:
    *Your friend, E, had someone to "not drink" with. *Your daughter's "big girl" experience with a new bike was a loving, memorable one. *Co-workers were a bit safer on the floor! LOL! *Your son's proud and confident Lego partner was back! I can imagine the communication and feedback that took place! (it is soooo cool that you kept focusing and enjoying them AFTERwards!)
    *Your wife's heart and feelings have been validated in one of your posts, and she noticed your snoring all but gone in another!
    *People at the pool, at the grocery store and in the neighborhood are ALL being positively affected here! *Even the dang DOG got in on the action! :- O
    **Then, there is YOU...@Leaker notes that you BEGAN the yard work with a HYDRATED body! The headaches, the guilt, your self esteem are all on you, my friend!! A hero in your own right.
    Yes, writing and Journaling can really help. Let us know if SMART Recovery is something you see yourself working...
    I also read about your anxiety. @DeanD says, "keep doing what you're doing" if it's working for you. Your journey and it's struggles are acknowledged, @Vette60. I'll keep you in serious prayer that, answers come.
    Sorry this is so long. It's just that your story is worth writing about!
  • @Vette60

    Thanks for the updates and the progress, you are a real inspiration.

    What I am seeing is that you are in a positive cycle. You are seeing the good in not drinking, which leads to staying sober, which leads to more good. It's a great place to be in. I will echo others and say to stay focused on that. It'll help when/if the monster shows its ugliness and starts pushing for a relapse. With all the great things going on though, that monster is going to have a tough time winning over the new you. Keep it up!
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you to all that have responded to my posts here. Wow. I feel really validated this morning with the decision that I made last Monday. It's truly a wonderful feeling and one that I do not want to let go.

    @Goodtr8s, thank you so much for the summary of my posts. It really puts things front and center. I'm actually looking forward to taking my son to soccer tomorrow so I can go to the library again, sit outside on the swing by the pond and read! Hopefully the weather holds out - if not, I'll find a nice quiet corner inside to enjoy my book.

    Waking up feels so good. I haven't had the night sweats, the snoring and the miserable boby aches. I am experiencing such a wonderful joie de vivre. All without Alcohol! Work has become less miserable, home lilfe is much improved, Yes, I realize that this is a long road ahead, but I am looking forward to continuing this journey.

    Thanks all again and have a great Wednesday. I know that I wil!
  • Really proud of you for how far you've come in just over a week, @Vette60. I look back at your original post and see how you started it: "Wow. I'm really nervous writing this." And now I see you as a comfortable, newly sober person. It's a beautiful thing, my friend. So glad you found us and let us accompany you on your journey!

    Happy Wednesday!

  • Morning check .

    I hope all is going well with the group. I've having an ok day so far. Was running late for work - my own fault. Fell asleep on the coach last night (not due to booze) and didn't really sleep well because of it. I noticed that even though I am sleeping better, I am still feeling pretty tired at the end of the day. I'm sure that as I move along that will improve.

    A bit of anxiety this AM because of the tardiness to work, plus thinking about what I have to do, etc. I'm going to work through it though rather than try to hide from it.

    Last night I stopped at the grocery store for items for dinner the next two nights. Picked up a bunch of seltzer water, but I did buy NA Beer. Hmm...was passing that section and really started to think about having something while making dinner. Didn't get the high-test stuff, was able to work through that. But, that NA six pack came home. Had two of those while making dinner and overall, they were pretty crappy. Would rather have a seltzer water instead. So, we'll put that exercise in the memory backs for future reflection.

    I don't think my son is going t soccer tonight - he has been at a basketball camp this week, so no library trip. But, I think that I can do something productive with him during that time. Maybe a bike ride or walking our dog. Something to get outside and be active.

    The nice thing is that I will have time to get dinner together - tonight's menu is cedar planked salmon, rice and grilled brussel sprouts. Starting to get hungry thinking about it.

    Thank you all for the continued support.
  • Thanks for the update, @Vette60. FYI, you made me incredibly hungry by posting your dinner menu for tonight!

    Just a word of caution to you: I would be very careful with the NA beer. I know people in recovery who thought drinking NA beer would be okay for them, but it led them back to drinking. I do not want that to happen to you. (FYI, NA beer does actually have alcohol in it. It's just a very small amount.)

    In case you're interested, here's the link to a well-written blog about whether or not people in recovery should drink non-alcoholic beer. It's written by a woman I know. She calls herself the Sober Señorita.

    Should You Drink Non-Alcoholic Beers?

    If you read the blog, let me know what you think.

    What time should I be over for dinner?????? ;)
  • Glad to hear you’re doing well @Vette60. Good inspiration for me! I’m back at square 1, massive hangover headache and pretty unhappy with myself. But as I’ve heard from others, “nothing changes if nothing changes”! Determined to conquer this beast though! @DeanD , I thought the blog about NA beer was informative, including a couple of points of view. We have a big weekend planned with some friends next weekend, and I actually think having NA beer on hand might make it easier for me to pass on everything else that will be floating around. I’ll have to give that some thought.
  • @Wings... Sorry about the hangover/headache. Just remember to never stop trying. If you mix willingness and hope enough times, I know you can achieve long-term sobriety. And if NA beer helps you do that, that's okay. Progress...not perfection. Always.

    Sending you headache-healing vibes and very gentle hugs today.
    My personal recovery has to do with opiod/opiates, but, 15-18 years ago I stopped binging on alcohol. It had a "holt' of me and wouldn't let go! I became pretty functional doing the pills. ( such the faker!) They gave me what I call an, "opiod calm", which l abused to the moon and back!
    Back to your story, alcohol is soo verrry available and you pass it daily, like at the grocery store. I can't imagine the temptations! To try a NA beer seems only natural while you work day to day on this new journey. For you to call them "crappy" and to chalk it up to exercise appears to be VERY healthy!
    I hope others read this, relate to it and follow through, as you did! Hooray for seltzer water and the like!
    You go, @Vette! In my prayers, for sure!
  • Hi All.

    Just a quick response to everyone's comments. @Wings, hang in there and keep the faith.

    @DeanD, I read the blog post. I thought it was very interesting and I can certainly see both sides of things. It was interesting since her beverage of choice was tequila, and while I would drink hard liquor, I never had any compelling desire to continually drink it. Same thing with wine. If it was around and I was out of beer and still wanting to go further with things, I would drink wine. Beer was my choice, my favorite. So, with that being said, and after having finished two more of these NA beers, I am going to stay away. I think that there can be for me, too much association with things at this stage. I sorta could feel it in a way as I was drinking those when making dinner tonight. (I've got a timer running so I can flip the brussel sprouts).

    So, no NA beer for me now. I realize that that is not a good choice due to what I am associating with it. I'm off to go get a Seltzer instead. Plus the timer is going off!

    Later to all.
  • Hi All.
    Friday morning touch base. Dinner was really good last night. Here's the the chef! Seriously though, it was nice to work through dinner not drinking, able to enjoy it afterward.

    Feeling good this AM. My son has a playoff basketball game tonight and I help coach, so that should be fun. If they win, they play in the finals tomorrow. Also, that will help with not drinking since I am heading straight from work to the game. No stops on the way!

    It's interesting to look back at my posts over these almost two weeks. I'm really happy with where I have come, but realize there is so much more to go.

    Oh yeah, another reason to stay away from the NA Beer. It's just a stinking expensive as the real stuff. Rather spend on soda.

  • <<Oh yeah, another reason to stay away from the NA Beer. It's just a stinking expensive as the real stuff. Rather spend on soda.>>

    @Vette60... Right??!?!?!???

    Have a great Friday, my friend. And good luck to your son in his basketball game tonight!!
  • Hi All.

    Saturday check in for me. Find myself working once again this week. However, there is a big change from two Saturdays ago. I feel so much better because I haven't been drinking. Two Saturday's ago I could barely function at work. I spent most of the day trying to avoid interaction (hard to do at a manufacturing plant) and hung out in one of our fabrication rooms that wasn't being used. Not a good way to spend the day. I was anxious, aching, couldn't concentrate. Horrid.

    Today is a much better day overall even though my son's basketball team lost last night. Tough one because they were off their game - they jumped out to a lead in the first quarter, but really fell off in the 2nd and 3rd and played a strong 4th. Overall it was a fun summer for him and his buds.

    Can't believe that we are into August already. Finally picked a week for vacation, now just need to figure out where to go. Some beach on the East coast of the US for sure. Now, which one?

    Goals for the day: Be effective while at work. Do NOT stop at the store on the way home for BEER! Have a good evening with the family. Maybe go to the local pro soccer club game tonight. We'll see - the weather here has just been awful lately. Wet and humid.

    Take care all and thanks for the support!
  • @Vette60 i'm really loving your updates... so happy for you! you feel better and i'm sure your family notices a difference too!

    2 weeks is incredible!

    that's great you help coach your son's basketball team. i'm sure ya'll were disappointed in the loss... but great you're all out there on the court! hoops was always my favorite sport to play !! (still is haha)

    humid... i hear you. as far as a beach? so many to choose from! i have enjoyed many along the coast... think my fav. is the charleston area, b/c i like the area, my kids always liked myrtle or north myrtle due to the strip...outer banks is quiet :) anyway, you'll know and it will be so fun no matter where you go!!

    enjoy your day!
  • I see a sober vacation in the near future, @Vette60! Congratulations on two weeks!
    Your updates are awesome! Detail by detail, the evidence you present shows a
    competent, more satisfied man going for the gold in your marriage and in fatherhood! I see a fully involved father who is gaining the respect you deserve.
    Man, I see ALL areas of your life improving WITH goals for the future, no less! ( I know Atlanta has a pro soccer team...)
    I am so very proud for you. It is my prayer that you continue to grow in your personal day at a time.

    Two weeks was strong start for my sobriety. Even though I relapsed at about 10 1/2 months in, I rebuilt, on that early foundation. NOT advising you to slip or relapse! Just saying to you, that 2 weeks is awesome!
    ( I've been clean 4 months and 3 weeks!)

    Thanks again for sharing your journey here, on the forums, with a bunch of strangers/fellow friends in recovery of some sort.
  • Hi All.

    Sunday update from here at work. Only working 6 to noon today. So, not too bad. But, you know what was nice about it? Being able to get up and into the shower without feeling miserable, guilty and generally horrid. While I wasn't thrilled about getting up and to work at 6AM, it's a heck of a lot easier to handle when I have a clear head, guilt free conscience and feel good physically.

    Stopped on the way for a giant coffee and donut and am able to concentrate on what I need to do and go about it in a much more productive way.

    Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from my wife asking me to stop at the store on the way home from work to get things for dinner. That, just two weeks ago, would have been a fantastic reason to buy beer and I am absolutely positive that I would have done just that. Hmmm, why not buy a six pack or two?

    What did I do this time? Bought my needed dinner items, walked past the beer section and told myself that I didn't need it and it would only bring misery not happiness. Even stayed away from the NA beer.

    I had the entire house to my self as well since my wife and kiddos were at the pool swimming with friends. But, no beer!

    Just to keep you up to date with my dinner menus, made grilled asparagus, oven fries and burgers. Two thumbs up from my family! I drank seltzer water with some big lime wedges on lots of ice. Didn't feel bad having three of those while making dinner. Even had another after!

    Here's to a good day all. I really do appreciate all the comments and support. I means a lot to me as I continue on this journey.

  • work and major anxiety attack. Deep breaths, relax, and get busy. I hate how these just come out of the blue it seems. Need to think about what can trigger these and work to lessen. Just hate the feeling both physically and mentally. Seems like it has been building as the morning has moved along.

    Only 2.5 hours left and I can enjoy the day with my family. One thing that I know that I won't do is stop and buy beer on the way home. That would have been a previous coping method for these. Hey, I'll have a couple of beers to relax and that would quickly turn into a six pack or more and then completely wipe out my usefulness during the remainder of the day.

    Ok. Feel better typing this out too.

    Thanks all.
  • Sorry about the anxiety attack, @Vette60. Hope the deep breathing and typing it out helped you through it. Only 2 hours left, my friend. You can do this. Then you can have a great day with your family. Sober! :)
  • @Vette60 i think many of us can relate to anxiety attacks... for me, they can come from nowhere too.... i've learned to "sit with the anxiety"...breathe, and tell myself this anxiety won't kill me (b/c it feels so awful sometimes; like i'm out of control), but i'm not really out of control. it's the body speaking to us, and on some level, it is asking us to pay attention... and get quiet within ourselves... so yeah, breathe, relax... know that it's going to be alright.

    and your dinner sounds fabulous!! :)
  • Hi All.
    So, I let the anxiety attack consume me and carry over into the remainder of the day. I took a nap when I got home and that helped somewhat, and I was ready to go swim with my family, but thunderstorm rolled through and put an end to that.

    We all went to my son's soccer game and instead of being engaged with the other parents I stayed off to myself. That was the wrong decision because I found myself at the bar ordering a beer. (It's a multi-purpose place that hosts lots of different events, thus the bar). Had the beer and watched the rest of the game. Had another beer when we went out to dinner.

    My wife had an event and I was with the kiddos getting them ready for bed and I could feel the pull and wanting to continue to drink. I found an open bottle of wine and poured a glass and had some of it. I was able to stop myself and really think about this is NOT the road that I want to go down again. I don't want to wake up miserable, aching, guilty. So, I dumped it.

    While I don't feel great about what I started, I fee; better about how I finished. Lesson learned and looking forward to a better Monday. My son heads off to sleep-away-camp with 4 of his buds today. He's excited and nervous all at the same time. I'm sure he'll have a blast.

    Thanks for listening and the support here. It means a lot to me.

  • @Vette60 hey there. i think it's great you were able to pour that glass out b/c you wanted to stop drinking. that is progress. you "played the tape through", which can be helpful for those who want to stop drinking or cut down.

    sounds like your son will have a blast... hanging with his buds will be fun!

    you have a wonderful day!
  • @Vette60 , very glad to hear you were able to stop yourself and have the determination to keep on your path. I hope you’re feeling really good about that decision today!
  • @Vette60... You're a human being, and no human being is perfect. Is it a bummer that you slipped up and drank? Sure. But is it the end of the world? Absolutely not. The road to recovery is not a straight line. There are pretty much always bumps in the roads and detours that people have to take in order to find long-term sobriety. But if you realize your mistake--which you've done--and do your best to get back on the right path, you can start another sobriety streak.

    Getting sober isn't easy. In fact, it's damn hard. So don't be too hard on yourself, okay? Just try again. And learn from what happened over the weekend. That experience can be another tool in your recovery tool box. And the more tools you have in there, the better your chance for success.

    We're all behind you 100 percent.
  • Thanks all for the support. I have pretty solid plan in place for what I want to do tonight.

    While my son is away, I want to clean up our aquarium. It’s a bit neglected and having it clean and ready for some new fish when he comes home will be a nice surprise.

    Also, will be stopping at the store on the way home. No beer for me!

  • Having a plan is good, @Vette60. Cleaning the aquarium sounds like a good distraction. Plus, it'll be nice for your son to be able to get some new fish when he comes home.

    One day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time. Whatever it takes.

    You got this.
  • Is that the first time you've heard the phrase, "played the tape", @Vette60?
    That's exactly what happened between the time you fixed the glass of wine and then, poured it out! It seemed to have come naturally to you, too! @Leaker and @TWSJ can vouch for that one!
    So what if you had a couple of beers. (I'm sorry your anxiety flared up!) SOMETHING triggered in your brain, the "tape" played, and you knew you needed to pour that wine out. Hopefully, with this kind of thinking in your "tool-box", you'll be able to use it whenever you need it! Please don't beat yourself up, like I did too many times...
    You now have 2 lessons (among others, I'm sure) under your belt! Congratulations!
    I hope your son has a fun and safe time at sleep-away-camp! Do they start school soon? What kinds of fish will you and he put back into the aquarium??
  • @Vette60... I can't see this whole thread right now, and I don't remember if you're seeing a therapist or not. But if you're not, it might be a good idea. They might be able to help you deal with your anxiety, which would in turn maybe help you stop thinking about the alcohol as a "medication" for that anxiety. Just a thought.
  • @Vette60 ,
    Have you thought about making a connection with other people in recovery ? I struggled with anxiety for years . Having someone to talk to , who is going through the same thing ?
  • Hi All.

    So, I got all the stuff needed to clean up the aquarium, but I was feeling pretty wiped out yesterday, and had a nasty headache. So, after dinner I ended up crashing on the couch. Not necessarily how I wanted to spend the evening, but there was no drinking involved. Feel good today, and better about being able to get the aquarium work done tonight.

    Regarding my anxiety and meds and therapists. So, I started to see a therapist and taking meds about 5 years ago. I was really dealing with some debilitating feelings at the time that were impacting me in a big way. I wasn't able to really function at work, nor at home. I started on Lexapro and have been taking that since then. Also, taking wellbutrin as well. Realize that the drinking impacts the effectiveness of those mends too, another reason to stop.

    I haven't been to see the therapists in a few months, and I was in to see the psych doc who prescribes the meds prior to starting this journey. I plan to schedule a therapist visit to start up with those discussions again, since I do feel that there is a benefit.

    Regarding others in recovery - I really am not ready to go there. I don't know. I'm just hung up right now on that. I have a few friends that I know quit drinking because of problems that would be more than willing to share with me, I just am not ready to cross that bridge yet. We'll see. You all here have been great and I appreciate your concern, willingness to share and encouragement.

    Here's to a great Tuesday.

  • @Vette60 Good morning! Glad that you were able to rest last night and refrain from drinking. It's all right that you're not ready to share your journey with others right now. If you choose to do so, you'll know when the time is right. I'm glad that you're going to back go back to the therapist, as I always believe that can be beneficial. I hope you have a wonderful day and a pleasant evening as well!
  • Happy to hear you'll be revisiting therapy, @Vette60. And I totally get how you feel about not being ready to connect with others in recovery. Move at your own pace, my friend. That's okay. One thing you may want to consider, though: Maybe "attending" an online AA meeting might help you. You wouldn't have to share or interact; just observe. Maybe that would be a way to "connect" without actually connecting. Just a thought.

    Hope you can get to the aquarium tonight. And if you can't get it all done tonight, that's fine, too. Just do what you can and continue with it tomorrow. No pressure.

    Keep doing the next right thing. We're here for you. Always.
  • @DeanD

    I’ve been checking out the SMART recovery website and see they have many online options. I’ll continue to read and review. Think that could be the way to go.

    Plus I made an appointment for this week with the therapist, so that’s checked off.



    School starts soon enough. Day after Labor Day here. As far as fish, nothing to crazy - it’s a 29 gallon freshwater tank. So, some sort of tetras, algae eater, etc. There is a eel lurking around and a red tailed shark, but that’s about it.

    Thanks all for the support and responses.

  • Awesome, @Vette60. Proud of you!!!

    FWIW... When I was in my teens, I had 8 aquariums of various sizes, including a few 30-gallon tanks. I got so much pleasure out of that hobby. In fact, my first "job" was working in a pet store in the tropical fish department. I worked in trade for fish and supplies. It was so much fun. Then when I moved out of my parents' house, I kind of gave up the hobby. To this day, I still miss it. Maybe I'll get myself a little tank and get back into it again.

    Have a great rest of the day, my friend!
  • I'm so proud of you @Vette60! You're just doing all the right things and going through all the channels and avenues open to you! SMART recovery just may be what works for you. Anything you choose will take commitment and effort. You can do it! B)
    When I was a kid, we started school after Labor Day...It's just too da** hot to begin school so early here in GA!
    I keep Cichlids in my large tank when it's up! I can't wait to have my own place again so as to get back to it! @Deand! You really should consider getting a tank set up and bring back a passion of your youth!
  • Hi All.

    Happy Wednesday. So, I had a bit of a contentious end to the work day yesterday - interaction with our new plant manager about priorities and two weeks back, that would have meant a stop at the store for a six pack or two of BEER. That beer would have been consumed for sure - I would open the first as soon as I walked in the garage, before I even got into the house. It was then just one less to put in the garage fridge. Oh course, that would have led to me passing out on the couch, waking up and dragging myself to bed, probably some sort of disagreement with my wife and a horrible, anxiety filled day here at work when I really need to be engaged.

    Not last night. I made the comittment when pulling out of the parking lot that I would go straight home. Cut up a lime and poured myself some seltzer with a few of those limes wedges. Very refreshing and I could drink as many as I wanted!

    I did a bit of work on my son's aquarium last night. Got the tanked walls cleaned up. Will get the decorations done tonight, and probably change the water as well. Fish will come Friday. @Goodtr8s, funny, my cousin who lived in GA, her kiddos always were in school earlier than ours. Well before Labor Day. Cichlids are pretty neat - my cousin had a really nice Cichlid tank setup before he moved. It was really cool to go Animal Kingdom @ Disney and see their Africa display that had a huuggge Cichlid tank - more like a small pond. Awesome stuff.

    I feel really good about being able to prove to myself that I can do it, I don't have to fall into that hole again and again. So, here's to a good, productive day.

    Thank you all for the continued support and encouragement.

  • Big props to you for skipping the beer and sticking with seltzer and lime wedges, @Vette60! And you made progress on the aquarium, too! Nice job!

    You CAN do this, and I'm happy that you are proving that to yourself. Keep doing that, my friend!

    Happy Wednesday to you. I hope your work day goes smoothly!
  • Hi Guys.

    So, last night wasn't the best one for me in my journey. I "rationalized" that since daughter wasn't around last night and my son was at camp, why couldn't I drink. That lead to a stop at the store, a purchase and drinking. I finished what I had bought and made my way downstairs to do some work on the aquarium. While I was doing that, the trigger of why not have something else went off and I started down that road.

    But, I was at least able to stop and realize what I was doing before I completely wiped out. I switched to Seltzer and made had those the rest of the night. So, that's one more thing for me to think about and log in my memories. Need to be able to intercept that monster before it has that grip on me.

    I have my therapist appointment this morning so, and I'm looking forward to talking through these things with her.

    On a good note, the aquarium is just about done. I'll finish that up tonight. Plus my daughter has soccer practice, so that's a good chance for me to walk while she is there. There are some nice trails to explore, so I'll do that.

    Onward, upward. Thanks all.
  • @Vette60 , Sounds like the night might not have started out so great, but ended on a positive note. Glad to hear you realized that’s not where you wanted to go and stopped. Sounds like good progress to me. Stick with it!
  • You're making progress, @Vette60. Believe it or not. You may have had something to drink last night, but you are realizing your mistakes and thinking about them. I think that's progress. Sobriety is a learned behavior and, like other learned behaviors, it takes practice. If you decided you wanted to learn to speak Russian, would you expect yourself to be perfect at it right from the start? Of course you wouldn't! You'd practice, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, practice some more, etc. And eventually, your brain would "get" it and you'd be on your way. I like to look at sobriety in the same way. Practice, make mistakes, learn from them, practice some more, etc. If you mix willingness and hope enough times, and keep practicing, you will get there. I know you will. So don't give up!

    I hope your therapist appointment goes well. Let us know how you're doing later today. And know that we're here for you whenever you need us. No judgment, either! Ever!
  • @Vette60 Hey there! Thank you for sharing. I totally agree with everything Dean said. Recovery is a learned experience and you are learning. You'll learn what you can handle and what you can't handle. You'll learn whether you'll be able to only have a couple and that's it or if you won't be able to have any at all. As you know, some people can't have one sip or they'll be back on that route of abusing it in no time. Others are able to learn how to have a couple every now and then. Each person unique in that way.

    I'm glad about therapy and that you get to be able to go walk tonight while your daughter has soccer practice. Enjoy some nature and some time enjoying the beauty of it!
  • Your rationalizations were legitimate, @Vette60. I'm glad to hear you're thinking twice about things and that you haven't experienced any serious consequences. I can't add to all the stuff @DeandD and @dominica have said. I majored in Spanish as a Second Language in college. I spent weeks at a time in Mexico, immursed in the language. Dean is spot on as to the learning process of such matters and training the brain! Spot on!

    @Wings, how are you doing on your journey? I think it's great that you are contributing and supporting here on the forums!

    BTW, Saturday is my real birthday (#Leo) and I will be 5 months clean of Tramadol or ANY opiates! B)
  • @Goodtr8s, hope your birthday celebration is awesome!! And thanks so much for the encouraging words and support; they really help a lot!
  • @Goodtr8s Hola!! Happy birthday to you!! Celebrate your amazing self!! I think you are such a good soul...and proud to call you friend!

    Mexico. I love it there! I wish I knew more Spanish. Learning slow, but sure. :) I know not all of Mexico is grand...and some parts downright dangerous (I have stories lol) , but some parts are amazing.... simple...and markets that I simply LOVE!!
  • Good morning, @Vette60. Just wondering how things went for you last night. If you have a chance, please check in with us and give us the lowdown. And happy Friday to you!
  • @Goodtr8s... Happy birthday to you a day early! And congrats on 5 MONTHS clean!!! Shazam!!!! B)
  • Morning All.

    Happy Friday. Meant to post last night and got caught up in a bunch of stuff. Good stuff. I didn't drink last night. The work day ended up going sideways at the end of the day and there was a lot of scrambling around and extra time spent here. That would have typically led me to stop at the store on the way home, especially since my daughter and wife were at soccer practice. I worked through that last night, came home, ate dinner and was enjoying a book when my wife and daughter got home. Much better situation. No guilt, no worry, nothing to hide!

    I managed to finish up the lego set last night and get that displayed. The aquarium needs a bit of tweaking - plant that I added is just too big, so that needs trimmed up and my air pump isn't quite working right, so that needs looked at too.

    My therapist appointment was really good. It was nice to talk through things and the changes that I have committed too. She thought that coming here was a really good decision on my part, because in the past, when I was working to stop, I didn't include this component in that effort. As I expressed previously, you all have been incredibly helpful both by posting in this thread and being able to what has been shared in others. The aspect that I am not alone really makes a difference as I am just not comfortable yet taking things outside of these online groups. We covered a bunch of topics, from dealing with my kids, to my parents and focused on the difference that not drinking is making.

    The only downside today is the other night, the drinking night, I slept wrong and my neck is killing me. Cant' turn my head fully to the left. Did some stretching and took some aspirin.

    I'm looking forward to a good day. My son comes back from camp this afternoon. All the moms are picking up their boys and taking them to lunch. Should be fun for them. Then, they are heading to the pool. I'm looking forward to joining them after work. I'll be packing up a cooler of seltzer rather than beer!

    Have a great day all. Truly appreciate all your continued support!
  • Awesome update, @Vette60. Except for the part about your neck. Sorry about that. Hope your Friday is relatively stress-free and that you and your son have a good reunion today!

    Remember: Sober is better!!! :)
  • @Vette60, I feel honored, that you are searching for online support for your journey this go around, and you have chosen US to confide in and to help you be accountable in your own way. I'm not comfortable talking with others about my recovery, nor do I have the time and space to go somewhere else with others to do so. I understand.
    The therapist aspect sounds intriguing though...Good for YOU!
    I hope you have a sober, safe, sensible and shared family kind of a weekend! Your job seems like it can bee upsetting at times, so, I just know you have earned it!

    Thanks up there ^ ^ for the birthday wishes, @Wings, @DeanD and @dominica! I pray your weekend is a great one, as well! o:)
  • Hi All.

    Just a quick weekend update. Friday night ended with me sleeping on the couch n the basement because I decided to drink. Not so good. Yesterday, was much better. Even though I felt kinda crappy both emotionally and physically, I was able to go pickup a patio set that we won in an online auction - my son helped with that. Got that power washed and started to prep it to get repainted. I kicked the temptations to drink aside and when I was at the gas station to fill up, decided NOT to fill up on beer as well and bought ice tea instead.

    Also, I look back this morning and was thankful that I didn't drink because my daughter was sick last night. I was able to help her with a clear head and not being drunk and incapable. I feel really good about that.

    My daughter was feeling better this AM and she is off with my wife for a bit. I'm getting my son situated and will be heading out to cut the grass. Already got my water jug on ice for that. So, I feel that I am off to a good start today and in the right frame of mind. Thanks all for the support and have a good Sunday.

  • Good evening, @Vette60! Sounds like you are too busy to drink much!
    You say you slept on the couch in the basement because you "drank". You don't say to what extent you drank...did you become drunk and obnoxious? Were you too drunk to climb steps? Were you being respectful to your wife and just stayed "put"?
    I'm not judging by no means! "But, by the grace of God, there go I" and all that!

    I'm glad your daughter had a full functioning dad while she was sick AND that she is feeling better!
    Again, thanks for allowing us to share in your recovery journey! You rock! Keep it up! B)
  • Hi @Vette60 , glad to hear you’re dedicated to staying on track despite the occasional missteps! For myself, I find that I need to focus on how much better I feel when I skip the drinks, both physically and mentally. That’s a strong motivator for me.
  • @Vette60... I think you need to figure out WHY you drink when you do. You seem to be doing really well until you hit a point where you just give in to temptation. Is it because the cravings are too hard to ignore? Is it because you need to escape some part of reality that's stressing you out? Is it boredom? Maybe if you can figure out the WHY, you'll be able to do better the next time the urge to drink presents itself. Just a thought.

    We're here for you. Come and lean on us anytime you're feeling wobbly. :)
  • Hi All.

    Thanks @DeanD. That's a discussion that I certainly want to have and need to have. I'm starting to think though that a bit and need to make it a focus of my next therapist appointment. I think some of it is really getting my @ss over the fence to convince myself that I really can't drink in a socially acceptable way.

    Yesterday is a perfect example of why I still have that internal debate. I cut the front grass and it was so hot and humid that I stopped to eat lunch before I tackled the back. Well, I decided that rather than sweating away in the hot sun, I would take my son to the pool. Ran into my neighbor there and he offered me a beer. I politely declined and enjoyed the remainder of the afternoon chatting and swimming. Had a soda and a bunch of ice water. We all went to my sons soccer game and I had a beer there. Went to dinner and had a beer with my pizza. Came home and that was it for the beer, period. Two while out and no others. Feel fine today. What I would consider a perfectly acceptable way to drink. So, why was it like that last night and other nights it's completely off the rails?

    Some of it is that it is very controlled. Soccer game, with my family. Dinner, same thing and nothing else at home since its not there.

    Thank you all for the continued support and thought provoking questions. Means quite a bit to me.

    Take care.

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