Freedom Express

Hello my dear people. I cannot respond from my phone. So I start a new thread. I stay out of work today. I slept the entire day. I am feeling better. I am going to an AA meeting tonight. Have not been in awhile. After yesterday backing into a car. My mind needed a rest. Goodness. @Dominica hmmmm. Let's see. We could go to the grand canyon!  See the sites. And I we can hop off train. Grill out by the Colorado river. And I want to put my worries and fears on paper. Put them in a bottle. And watch them float away out of sight!! Watch a sunset over the canyon. And hang out with each other. @deand @TWSJ @Leaker @Goodtr8s  Maybe we start a camp fire. And sit around enjoying the company. And share our thoughts and fears. Sounds fun to me. Well I have made it on day one. Not one gamble. I will go to the meeting tonight. And share my heart. I thank all you guys for such kind words of support. Big love to you all.
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  • @dominica @Goodtr8s
    Good morning all you dear people. I had a great weekend. Not one single gamble!! Today makes one week. I am feeling good today. WTG goodtr8s. very nice!! I see you guys wanna head outa country? How about we start in Europe? I pray everyone is well. Lets do this!!

  • Poor little zebra. @Leaker I suppose only the strong survive!! 
  • @Tommy @Goodtr8s Congrats on Day 2 Tommy and congrats on day 57 @Goodtr8s. I think the Grand Canyon sounds pretty amazing and I've never been there so that's even better. I do hope that you're feeling better today Tommy. It's a Brand New Day!!  :)
  • Hello all my brothers and sisters. I am back to work today. I stayed home yesterday. Slept ALL day. I was emotionally exhausted. When I back into a car I didnt see. I knew my mind needed rest. Today is day 2. Not one SINGLE gamble. I was thinking.@dominica @deand @TWSJ @Leaker and @Goodtr8s As we had fun at canyon last night. I say today we ride mules down to the bottom of Grand Canyon. To the deepest spot there is. Dean said he would bbq us up some good food. We camp set up camp there. Have smores tonight and a recovery meeting!! Topic? And have some good food. We can take our troubles and cares, and tomorrow we ride back out. Leaving the cares behind. Shoot. We may even fish in the river there. And maybe swim also, I want to thank the crew of The Freedom Express for your constant support. Love. And understanding. I have decided that I may not go for ever without gambling. But if I can make it through day 1. Which is always th hardest. Then by george, I will make it today. Because.... addiction to anything sucks big ole rotten smelly yukky ostrich eggs. Today? It can bite my ass. I am in charge of my actions today!! So there!!
  • @DeanD YUM!!  getting hungry!! :) 

    LET'S GO!
  • @Leaker Yes. I will find some others. I like suduko. I also have a plastic model car to build. I am certainly going to fill that void with something positive!! Yes yes. @deand Lets raft this afternoon!! All of us on a giant safe raft!! I can hear the laughter already!! How fun would that be!!
  • Congrats on 4 days, @Tommy!!! And I think it's great that you're studying up on gambling addiction. Knowledge is power!!!!
  • Diclofenac (sp?) @Tommy and @TWSJ, this is the prescription my dentist gave me instead of Tramadol...IT WORKED! 
    It's some kind of super anti-inflammatory. I didn't even ask for any kind of opiods at all. It was really hard. Really hard. (I'm allergic to mouth pain!) LOL! Any way, but by the grace of God, I made it through the peak pain period! 
    How is YOUR weekend going @Tommy...? And yours, TWSJ?

    I'm ready for a new adventure on the Freedom Express! If we have our passports, can we visit somewhere outside the states??
  • @Tommy how are you doing this weekend???  

    and yes, @Goodtr8s let's go global! i want to go to bali, nepal, india, for starters. lol
  • @Tommy Hey Tommy! Congratulations on one whole week! That is awesome! I know that you are seeing gambling for the evil it is. And I'm proud of you for resisting all urges.

    Yes I think Europe sounds amazing! I've never been there . I think the Freedom Express train is the way to go , and I'm ready anytime you are. sending you positive vibes Tommy!
  • @ocean congrats!!! yay and so happy to read this!! yes, welcome to Freedom Express!

    keep on doing what you're doing, because you're doing great!!
  • Thank you!!!!! I really felt tortured! Imagine something so bad for you having such a hold on you!!!!! By the way, I am off my blood pressure pills! It used to be high and my dose was doubled but since I stopped drinking, I stopped taking them and my BP is very good! I am so happy that I am sober yet I have those times where I wish that I could drink "normally" but forget that notion!!!!!! Your support means everything!!!!!!
  • Great job @ocean, way to go. That was a huge test, and you passed. Use those experiences and motivation to go forward. From the sounds of it, if you can make it through the cruise, you can make it through anything. Remember, you chose to live your life without alcohol, because you gain nothing from it, so there is never a good enough reason to go and drink.

    Congrats again!
  • YAY!! My friend, @ocean! What a wonderful story you have! We are so proud that you're sharing it here, with us! Your details sound really scary! All those opportunities to drink with the desire so strong! Your sobriety was threatened and you kicked a**! 
    Good news on your blood pressure, too. I remember you predicted it in one of your early posts...and indeed, it happened! OMG! You are a hero. You rock! 
    I KNOW you want so badly drink socially. @dominica put it best, it is just poison for people like us...
    Again, I'm personally so very impressed with your bad self. I'm glad you have good memories of you cruise!
  • Well thank you everybody!!!!!! You are all an inspiration to me!!!!! Did I mention that the frig in my cabin was loaded with booze? I also had to endure sitting beside someone drinking ice cold pinot grigio during a 1 hour show.....I felt like I was on a reality T.V. show called "lets torture this woman to death...." Now this weekend I have an open bar/champagne wedding...but I am prepared to drink iced tea with lemon & I booked a hotel to stay over months ago because I knew I could not drive home as I would be "bombed" I forgot that I am sober!!!!!! Have a great day everyone!!!!!!! You are all in my thoughts and prayers!!!!!

  • It's good to hear from you @Tommy. Grand Canyon to discard some burdens into the Colorado River sounds good to me! 
    Today is #57 for me...but, I've decided to accept pain medicine for my upcoming dental work. I'm allergic to pain in my mouth! 
    So, will my counting of days clean start over if I'm not taking them for pleasure" Will my desire for the opioid calm grow strong in me again? 

  • Great job on day 1 @tommy. It wasn't anything magical that got you through it, just you making the choices you know you have to make. Draw strength from where ever you need to in order to keep making those choices, and day 2 will be gamble free too. Don't let the monster get to you with his doubts and fears. You are stronger than that.

    Keep the faith!
  • The Grand Canyon and the Colorado river sound great, @Tommy. I've never seen either one, so I'm hopping aboard! I will be happy to cook for the group, too. You catch 'em, I'll fry 'em! Deal??

    One day at a time, Tommy. Be strong. And know you have a trainload of support behind you.

    @Goodtr8s... Congrats on Day 57!!! 
  • Yes. Thanks @deand Day 2 has started well!! Thanks for your support. Congrats on 57 days @Goodtr8s  I am gonna be totally honest. The desire goes away after awhile. If it was me, [and its not] I would take advil or tylenol for the pain. In my experience it only takes one. If I was to take a norco, it would be like throwing gasoline on a lit match. There is no doubt. It would take over my mind and thoughts. If you must. OK. But let me go on record as saying its not a good idea. Thats only me. I had 5 months off gambling. I let my guard down and bought a scratcher ticket. And it was like a house a fire. It took off like a freakin jet!! Now 2 months later and thousands of dollars not even mine. I am in a world of hurt. To climb out is gonna be tough But today is day 2. Better than none i suppose.
  • Ya can't get to Day 3 without Day 2, @Tommy! One day at a time!

    Love you, brother!!
  • Pills were never part of my regime , but recovering alcoholics ( like me ) avoid them unless absolutely necessary . And then , only under someone else's dispersion . I guess I'm saying I agree with @Tommy . I don't need the first beer . But I sure as hell need the 2nd beer , and the 20th . And maybe a couple shots of Jim Beam to go with them . But as long as I don't drink the first one , a glass of tea is just fine . I'd try the Advil first !  
  • @tommy, that is the perfect attitude. Who controls your life? You, the one with your best interests in mind, with goals for the future and a plan to get there? Or the monster, that just wants you to sit and gamble until you are literally gambling away the money to pay for your internet connection, or food? I know what I'd want to have running my life, but that is the choice you have to make every time you are faced with it. The choices might seem exaggerated, but they really are that drastic and stark.

    Keep the faith!
  • I'm getting some brisket ready to cook low and slow. And some stuffed jalapeños...wrapped in bacon. And some mac 'n' cheese. We are gonna eat well on this trip!
  • We're riding the mules to the bottom of the canyon and @DeanD is cooking for us! Love me some brisket, but, be loving some fresh trout even better! And the stuffed!
    Thanks for the advice about my upcoming struggle @TWSJ. @Tommy reminded me that if I can do 57, with a mindset, I can do 58! There was a time I'd look forward to an chance to acquire pain pills. My appt is tomorrow @11:00 and my plan IS to use simply Tylenol and ibuprofen. SHOULD I feel the need before I leave the office...I'll ask the Dr. for some Tramadol. It's not like I'm just getting a tooth filled or even pulled. It's more than that.
    I'll need positive juju from DeanD and some mental vibes from @dominica. Prayers please..

  • Yumm on the food @deand That sounds great. And double Yay for @Goodtr8s You can do it!! I am sure. Tramadol if you must. Beats opiods. Good for you. Keep on keeping on. And @dominica Thanks so much for support!! I made it to day 3!! Last night I did some work. A lady gave me the check. I wanted to go online. Bad even. So instead I called my friend from the program, he and I been through the steps together twice. I totally committed to go 24 hours. Which is 630 tonight. Then I will call again. I may even go to a meeting tonight. @TWSJ dude. We have alot in common. From fishing to alcoholic. LOL I saw where you said 20 beers and a couple jim beam shots. OH MY. Put on some Hank Jr. and that WAS me. Not anymore. Hank Jr. Bass fishing and Coffee for me now. And I like it that way. OK my beautiful friends. After or brisket. We will make home made ice cream in a real maker. with a crank handle!! Then we can enjoy ice cream and the company. Have us a meeting. And watch the stars come out!! And I will share my thoughts. Today is day 3. NOT ONE single gamble. I been watching youtube videos about different people. I have gone pretty low on the scale. So I found a video on "How to beat gambling addiction" The guy was saying to replace it with something else more productive. Read a book. Call a friend. Try to help others. Or even a movie. I thought. Hmmmm. That sounds pretty good. AS I am an addict. With addict thinking. I thought. I gamble on my phone AT work during the day. What on earth could I do productive during that time of desire. Then It hit me!!! How about WORK? Shit. Thats why they pay you?? Is to work. Lets try that!! LOL LOL I tickled myself. So today I have actually done that. And got quite a bit done. Love and positive vibes to everyone!! And I pray we keep moving forward. After the ice cream and stars. We will ride out tomorrow. And hope back on the train for some kicking breakfast. And we can head off to where???
  • @tommy, good on you for the progress so far, and for taking some hard looks at where you falter. That is some great insight and perfect execution on realizing you gamble at work, so fill the down time with more work. I'd say try and find other activities though as back-ups. One can't fill the day with work. Sometime the brain and body just need to relax and rest. What then? That is where the alternate activity comes in. Reading? How about checking in here and seeing if you can help someone? What about checking stocks? Learning about fish? Trying to do one of those word of the day things? Or sudoku?

    I guess the point is, if work just doesn't sound appealing, and there will be days when that is the case, the temptation to succumb to doubt and revert to the "familiar comfort" activity will pop up. Having other options will help a lot.
  • Congrats on making it to Day 3, @Tommy! Yay!!! I don't know where the Freedom Express should head to next, but I hope we can do some whitewater rafting before we pull up camp and move on. :)

    One day at a time. Always.
  • I would love to go rafting with my brothers and sisters from the forum, @Tommy. It would be a blast. And I know we would all pull together to guide that raft through whatever the river throws at us. Because we all care about each other. :)

    Let us know how you're doing today, Tommy. We're here for you. Always.
  • @deand Yes. That would be great!! I had a step study group. We used to get together outside of meetings and bbq. It was truly special. I am good today. Today makes 4 days. I already feel much better. I been studing gambling addiction. There is a saying in AA. Someone who is still in pretty good space. They say, well good. But this is what will happen if you continue. They call them the "yets" And the gambling is no different. I must remove any denial. And say ok. I can still salvage this. But if I dont stop. I will suffer the yets!! That is a fact. So thats my goal today. To NOT gamble one single gamble. And make a list of gambling yets. Then convienc my stubborn prideful sometimes arrogant self, that the truth is the truth. NO matter how big of a cats meow I might think I am!!
  • You can add Bocephus to things we have in common . My first ever concert at the age of 13 was Jr at the Fox in ATL . Sad to say I got drunk , even back then . That was 34 years ago . But I'm Sober today ! Going to see Willie in October . Be interesting to see him sober . I was drunk the last time I saw him , and Merle , and CDB , and David Allan Coe , and .......... You get the picture ! Maybe they'll have an AA meeting at the set break !
  • LOL at @TWSJ I have seen him. I have been to many many concerts in my sober days. Its much more fun. I can remember it the next day. I never saw Merle. He is my ALL time favorite. Been listening to him my entire life. I went to see Keith Urban last week. He can really play the guitar!! Not my choice. My darling wife had to see him. But i was quite impressed!!
  • Your update this morning made me smile from ear to ear, @Tommy. Congratulations on 1 week!! That, my friend, is amazeballs!!!! I, too, am proud of you!!!!!

    I'm all for expanding the Freedom Express' travels. Europe? Count me in, 'cause I've never been, either. I'm just hoping there's a really long bridge for us to travel over the pond on. Hahaha.

    Love all you folks! So happy you're all here!
  • Ok dear folks. I had a change in plans. @dominica @deand @TWSJ @Leaker and @Goodtr8s
    I have decided I want to go to Africa. And see the bush. I have always loved big cats. I want to see a real bengle tiger in the wild!! Maybe a lion also. So.... I ask TWSJ to stoke the fire with coal. Get the boilers up to max. lets all meet in the dining car for a good healthy breakfast. Fresh coffe and bacon smell wonderful. And we can plan out our trip. We can hire a guide when we get there. As we will be camping. And being tiger food is not what I have in mind!! All ABOARD....... I am feeling quite well today. As i may not can make it forever without a gamble. For these next 24 hours I can. And WILL!! Addiction is ugly. So for today we as a team can beat it down!! Put it in its place. BEHIND us. As we roll on to Freedom!! Gambling can bite it. As it sucks big ole nasty rotten green ostrich eggs!! I got this for today.
  • Next stop... AFRICA!!! I'm on board, @Tommy!!! Can't wait to go on a safari with my brothers and sisters!!
  • Sorry I've missed a few days...I have family from out of town! Can you say precious grandchildren!
    YES! @Tommy I'm all aboard for Africa! I've always wanted to shoot a Bengal Tiger!! (WITH A CAMERA, OF COURSE) :- }
    I'll be back with something special for our trip...gotta get back a chess game with grandson!

  • Hey, @Tommy... How are you doing today, my friend? Are you packing for Africa??
  • Serengeti National Park looks good...but, I've always wanted to see Victoria Falls! What do you guys think? TWJS? @Tommy? @deand and @dominica? @Leaker?

    I've heard form @ocean and I'm sure she'd like for you all to know she made it through her daughter's wedding "staring down" vodka shots and came out sober! Kudos to her! Sounds like she's come a long way, eh?

    I enjoyed the last few days with my daughter and her 2 little ones. I get so very lonely as I work is here, in Duluth, and ALL my family lives Greenville, SC. 
    EVERYbody works and/or goes to school. It's hard to get away. I thank God my girls never took up my addictions or bad habits! I don't have to worry about them...(@dominca, thinking of you!)) 

  • I am glad you enjoyed your family. @Goodtr8s It nice to see you here!! Maybe @ocean may want to hop on Freedom Express!! I do not know much about Africa. I just want to see a bengal tiger!! Preferably from the confines of a jeep. lol. Lets take off tomorrow morning for Africa!! Who is in? What may we see?? ps. Is that duluth ga? or SC?? I am from Georgia!!
  • God Help me as I leave for a booze filled cruise tomorrow!!!!! Can't make it up!!!! 7 days of being upgraded to the PREMIUM BOOZE PLAN by a family member who did not know that I stopped drinking in June.....This is gonna be like a kid in the candy store being told you can't have any!!!!!...I bought books/magazines and plan on reading and I am sure that I am going to feel bad for myself as the "old" me would have been drinking up a storm!!!!!! Right now I am not looking forward to going which I know is awful....My hope is that I get on board and meet at least 1 sober person!!!! I am on my 60th day & I am proud of myself and today I got that little voice saying 1 drink wont matter & I shut it right off as I know that there is no way in hell that I can be satisfied with just 1 drink! I know why I quit when I did and have to remind myself of it for the next 7 days and for the rest of my life.....there is no going back to drinking as my kids would be sooooooo sad & I cant & wont let this happen....please pray for me as I do for all......Maybe I will lock myself up where they keep the life rafts! 
  • Ooooooo! It's a safari! I'll set the mood:

    Good to see spirits are high. Well, @ocean is a little jittery, but that's ok. Remember, faith is your shield, and with it you shall know no fear.

    The cruise will be what you make of it. You will be great, and we will hear all kinds of stories about it from you, who will be super happy (and a little surprised) at how much fun you had with no booze
  • @ocean...just think of all the non-alcoholic drinks a cruise has to offer! 
    You're in our prayers and we're here for you to rant anytime you need to while out on the open waters! If you happen to come by Kenya, Africa, stop by and see the group who are on safari!!
    @Leaker, nice video!! But, was that a dead zebra?? LOL!

    Thanks, @Tommy Yes, it's Duluth GA, Gwinnett county! I have no family this far south on I-85...
  • @Goodtr8s... Sounds like you had a great time with your family. Good for you!

    @ocean... Congrats on 60 days!!! I can understand your trepidation about the cruise. Just remember to keep your eyes on the prize (sobriety). And I'm sure the bartenders on the ship can whip up some mighty fine mocktails!

    Remember: We're here for you, even if you're on a cruise ship and we're not. We're just a few clicks away!

    And as far as Serengeti National Park goes... I'M IN!!!!
  • Very cool @Goodtr8s I grew up in Decatur. Right outside Atlanta. My brother still lives in Gwinnett county. Off of Surgarloaf Prw
    And welcome to the Freedom Express to @ocean. Cool group of people here. I was a raging alcoholic in my day. I can understand your worry. A few things I have learned. An alcoholic like me, can go anywhere, at any time. As long as my motives are pure. Also look around the ship for an AA meeting. You need not go. Unless you want too. Wait on them to come out of meeting. Pick someone and tell them your situation. As an AA member myself. I would be honored to be asked. AA are good people. Some of the finest. The way to stay sober is to work with another drunk. Also go in with the mindset, that drinking is not an option. When it comes to mind. Push it out!! Good luck and have fun!! 60 days. 2 months is an amazing feat!! 
  • @Leaker haha. Kenya bound!! :) 
  • Circle of life, circle of death!

    Or, putting in the context of the forum, Mr. Zebra pushed it up a little too much at the bar last night and passed out in the middle of the plain. Now the kitties are dancing around him before taking out sharpies and drawing stuff on him.

    Don't be Mr. Zebra. If you drink, drink responsibly. But a zebra that chooses the sober life never has to worry about overdoing it and looking the fool.
  • Hi everyone! I made it back from cruise & maintained my sobriety! In a nut shell.....this was very ,very, very hard & I took it personally when the drink of the day was mai-tai's! I watched the bartenders freely pour all kinds of rum and I really wanted to jump overboard! Instead, I ordered a virgin mojito & the bartender actually laughed which made me feel more of an outcast! I had to avoid feeling sorry for myself and instead I focused on how I would come back "thin", no bloat/no blackouts etc.....I worked out a lot, read, swam, went to shows! Every beach we went to, had a bar loaded with drinks that I love!!!!!!!! I was sooooo tempted to just get one & I felt like I could do it yet I just kept remembering why I stopped drinking to begin with & I saw my kids faces and then ordered a frozen "going ape drink" (cause that's how I felt) was bananas & ice......The worst part for me was when I was given 2 mai-tai's to hold while a family member searched for her room key...I felt like I was holding those drinks for an hour when it was probably less than a minute! There was an AA meeting everyday onboard but they were held every night at 7 & this time was not convenient....Anyway, I made it!!!!!! Also, our fridge was loaded with beer, wine,vodka,rum & whiskey......I was that little kid in the candy store!!!!!! Today marks my 68th day....this past week was TORTOUROUS!!!!!! But I did it !.......Thank You for all your support!!!!!!!! I need it!!!!!! Sending my gratitude, friendship & Love to all!
  • WTG @ocean That is a great testimony to anyone who might read that. I am very proud for you. 68 days is amazing. I can promise you, it does get easier. The Freedom Express is taking a trip up to Northern Ca. And have a picnic by the 2000 year old redwoods. We can celebrate your victory!! Never let it be said, it cant be done. Rock on ocean!!
  • Hey, @ocean... I am giving you a standing ovation in my living room right now! Congratulations, my friend! Sixty-eight days is indeed amazing. And getting through that cruise unscathed is even MORE amazing. You are indeed an inspiration!

    Just reading your post, I'm reminded of how "in-your-face" alcohol is in our society. It's ridiculous, really. Life can be fun and exciting without alcohol. It's too bad it's pushed on everyone so heavily. 

    The week may have torturous. But you made it. You kicked ass, my friend!! I am sooooooooo proud of you!!!!!!
  • @ocean yay!!! that's awesome! and yay about the BP pills too! 

    you're doing it...and for the times you wish you could be a social drinker, well remember that alcohol is a poison, and now why would you want to drink poison in any amount? :) go for that natural euphoric feeling!!
  • You are creating a happier and healthier life for yourself, @ocean! Yay!! It's so fabulous that your blood pressure is good without your medication! That's a huge bonus, isn't it??

    I'm so proud of you. You're such an inspiration for others, too. 

    Keep doing what you're doing, because it's completely badass!!! :)
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