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Is anybody else in recovery or clean and sober?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Suicideking, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. ladave

    ladave Tele-Meister

    Sep 25, 2017
    Los Angeles
    Just celebrated 2 years.

    Could not do it without AA...tried everything else.

    I too have difficulty with the higher power concept. I have found it's only an issue if I choose to make it one.

    You can be an Athiest, a devout Christian or anything in between and the program will work for you if want it to.
    uriah1, LeftFinger, Mjark and 3 others like this.

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Congratulations on two years!

    Early on I was caught up in obsessive thoughts about the higher power thing, and came up with a sort of double edged higher power concept where doing the stuff a believer did would work even if there was no higher power at all.
    Praying kept me from thinking I was always in control, kept my ego in check.
    Living by spiritual principles gave me some guidelines to replace some of my less successful thinking.
    Helping others as programs suggest put my own existence in perspective, and kept me aware of the fact that others are as important as me.

    What and how much I believe changes, but I try to keep my actions on track.
    I also collect evidence that suggests I got through things I couldn't have pulled off on my own, suggesting that some "other" power was in play.
    Faith just builds up...

    Feeling grateful!

  3. Lake Placid Blue

    Lake Placid Blue Friend of Leo's

    Sep 24, 2016
    Technically I’m clean and sober (I know, we’ve all met THAT guy). When I was a kid my biological father dragged me and one of my brothers to Meetings every time it was his weekend. The rooms were always filled with smoke. I always listened to the stories of what people lost (family, money, houses, jobs) and how hard the struggle was to stay sober. As a result I have always been turned off by alcohol, drugs (and tobacco). I have never had a desire for any of it. My brother on the other hand grew up to be a chain smoking alcoholic and addict. He still struggles. My biological father had over 30 years sobriety.
    I have a lot of respect for those of you who struggle to stay clean and those of you who succeed at it. From what I’ve seen it’s really hard. But it works if you let it.

  4. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Friend of Leo's

    Jul 22, 2012
    Haven't had a drink for 3 years now. The Holiday Parties were hard. I probably stayed at them for 45 minutes and then bailed.
    Hope everybody made it thru the holidays ok.
    One day at a time ...

  5. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    its a hard one to control but i find after not drinking for so long I dont care if i drink again, i may be have 2 bottles of wine a year and havent had more than 3 beers all year but it was 3 years between beers , I dont miss it at all , stay strong every one!
    dan1952 and Toto'sDad like this.

  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Nice that this thread popped up again, I sometimes think of posting in it around the holidays (Hellidays) since I know it can be hard on people whose families use heavily at celebrations, and speak unfiltered for recreational hurting of each other.

    I think it took maybe five years to learn to have fun in typically substance required situations, including the holidays.
    While being around drunk people is a lot like being alone, yet also is a sensory overload, it really doesn't bother me much any more.
    As performers we have some people skills that give us an edge in these situations, and if we can overcome our feelings and just get loud and obnoxious, they will hardly know the difference.
    Trying to remember how many years before I could dance in public without using, but that was pretty unfathomable the first few years.
    Started at recovery dances, which are a little different because everyone is fully aware and can see our fears doubts and insecurities!

    At my BILs wedding everyone else was drunk and high, all the of younger were on the dance floor, so I fired up the exhibitionist in me and started sort of break dancing.
    I'm sure I looked like an idiot, but drunk people can't really see that since they are acting like idiots themselves.
    What they do see is quiet and uncomfortable. Wave your arms and make some noise!
    It turned out to be a lot of fun and some even remembered my antics.

    While I totally get those who feel the 12 steps are not for them due to the higher power thing, I find that the stuff inside me that keeps me sick and stifled: fears, doubts, insecurities, shame, guilt, self obsession; can be vastly reduced with step work, and then comes the realization that the steps were a "higher power", and that 12 step programs are spiritual, not religious.
    Unfortunately since 12 step programs are run entirely by sick people (getting better), many groups promote religion and/ or create a little monarchy of pompous old timers looking down on newer members as if they were their own higher powers.
    Took me a while to find healthy meetings with healthy messages.

  7. bobspez

    bobspez Tele-Meister

    This thread is so old I may have responded before but I can't remember. I was hospitalized and very close to death (even had last rites) 20 months ago and had to stop alcohol due to all the other meds I now have to take. I have had alcohol 4 times since then, 3 times due to frustration with not being able to sleep, and once to have a sip of my wife's drink at a Christmas party.

    I was a heavy drinker for most of my life. For 25 years, from the ages of 19 to 44 I was drunk at least 25 nights a month. But I never missed school or work, made a good living, bought a house and raised 3 children with my wife. I drank because I enjoyed decompressing after work, or partying with friends.

    At 44 my 14 yar old son told me he had a drinking and drug problem. I took him to a couple of AA meetings and enrolled him in an after school local treatment group and didn't touch liquor for 5 years. I wanted to show him it could be done. I think doing it for a larger purpose than myself made it easy. I didn't miss it.

    At 19, my son moved out of the house and attended a local college, so I started drinking again. But instead of drinking to get drunk, I cut my consumption in half and just drank to get mellow. Generally I would drink occasionally when we had friends over for dinner, and most nights would have 2 or 3 nightcaps befrore going to sleep.

    I did that for another 20 years until I was hospitalized. Coming home in a wheel chair it took me about 6 months to be able to walk without a walker or canes. I accepted the doctor's advice, and stopped cold again, except for the 4 occasions in 20 months I mentioned above.

    I never had any withdrawal effects from stopping 20 months ago or 27 years ago for 5 years, so I guess I wasn't an alcoholic or addicted, I just enjoyed drinking but was able to quit with very little effort. I don't have a problem being around former drinking friends, I'll pour them what they like and pour myself seltzer, or watching TV with my wife if she has a glass of wine. Every now and then I feel like I would like a drink, but in only lasts a few seconds. Would I enjoy being able to drink? Sure. But I can't and so I don't. I rarely think about it. It's just another thing (like not having caffeine, not shovelling snow or cutting the grass) that this 71 year old has given up doing. But if you think of the things you can't do instead of the things you can do, you are only hurting yourself.
    dan1952, Toto'sDad and 24 track like this.

  8. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    I found that after I stopped drinking and embement some 30 years ago some times its a struggle, but I found at least for now I have clearity to see things as they are not as I want them to be and i feel much better every day, I never did anything half way and I was full on destruct .I noticed alot of my kids school mates parents were hurting bad and at least 2 families lost thier kids over it, very sad to watch .and I wish them well !

  9. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Meister

    Sep 8, 2009
    Duncan, B.C.
    I'm celebrating fourteen years clean and serene today. Recovery rocks!

  10. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 19, 2010
    Congratulations !
    LeftFinger and dan1952 like this.

  11. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Wonderful! Keep up the good work...

  12. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    I'm older than you are, and I quit smoking in 88, booze in 97. I quit both cold turkey, and haven't looked back. I've been tempted a few times. Fate will put you in a position where you go ahead with just one drink. This almost happened at my granddaughters wedding in January, when it came time to toast the bride, they brought my wife and I a glass of champagne. My son noticed what was going on, and stopped the proceedings until two glasses of sparkling cider could be produced for my wife and I. My wife never had a drinking problem though she used to drink. She has been a tee totaler longer than I have though, and just doesn't drink. MY son handled the situation so smoothly, it didn't cause even a ripple. He was just honest, he said my mom and dad don't drink, lets hold up here until we get some sparkling cider for dad and mom. They had it on hand, so in short order the proceedings continued.

    To anyone wanting to quit, just quit. Sure the body still wants it, but your mind controls your body, the body only affects the mind.

  13. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    Thousands of AA meetings and a few attempts to drink "normally" later, I have been sober for 3 years, and the idea of drinking holds no attraction for me now at all. We keep some beer and wine in the house, but I never want a drink. At all. Prayer worked for me. I know it's not for everyone, and I don't want to break any forum rules, so that's all I have to say about that. Suffice it to say that life is easier for me not drinking.

  14. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Prayer worked for you. It worked. That's what's important!...congrats!

  15. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    A lot of wisdom in this post. Thanks!

  16. bobspez

    bobspez Tele-Meister

    You've got a great son. And congratulations on your granddaughter's wedding. Seeing a grandchild married is a real milestone. And if you haven't had a drink in over 20 years I don't think you will.

    As I posted 3 month ago I had 4 drinks in the past 2 years (and none since I posted 3 months ago). I didn't quit because I wanted to, but under doctor's (and my wife's) orders. Some nights I'll think I could use a drink, but I don't. Sometimes I'll say to myself, I'll wait until my wife is asleep and get up and have one, but I don't. I think once you get past that moment of wanting one, you can keep going without it.

    LeftFinger and Toto'sDad like this.

  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Hey WT just responding to your point, not personally...

    It's worth noting that in recovery (or when we start to wonder if maybe we need to go there), there are all sorts of ways to try prayer that are not the least bit religious!

    For example you can say: "Oh God what have I done?"
    Or: "Oh God get me out of this and I'll never do it again!"
    Now and then there's: "Why me God, why me?"

    Maybe later there's: "I don't know if there's a God, but I know it sure as hell aint me!"

    There are also some creative possibilities like: "OK God, I really don't believe in you because, well, I just don't. But I got this problem see, and I can't seem to lick it on my own, so if you're there and can help me out, could you give me a clue and maybe steer me in the right direction?"
    This one requires getting some mortal help like maybe a 12 step sponsor, or one of the various paid recovery programs, because near as anyone can tell, God (if there is such a being!) doesn't stop by your house with a shovel offering to clean out your filthy basement.
    In 12 step programs though you'll find some real idiots that do funny stuff like pray, party without booze or drugs, and help strangers clean out their filthy basements for free. So there you go!
    ermac68, dan1952, LeftFinger and 4 others like this.

  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Nice, congratulations!
    I particularly liked 14 because the medallion said: XIV...

    Hitting 20 years on May 13th, and tomorrow is my home group business meeting so I have to set a date to celebrate.
    It's an odd thing, celebrating the anniversary of what seemed just about the worst day of my life!
    But looking back we can laugh about what we thought at the time and how impossible staying clean seemed. I thought those people in recovery were crazy.
    Little did I know...

    How do you celebrate in BC?
    Cake and balloons!?
    Some groups do that but it's not for me.

  19. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Yes. The topic here is saving lives. Or, in some cases, just improving lives. When it comes to saving someone's life it's really not important to have a lot of negative discussion about something that has worked for so many. It's way more important to me that someone work positively toward saving their life than it is that he believe exactly as I do. 12 step programs seem to work and part of the reason is that people are able to relate as you have explained above. I'm a believer in that!
    JuneauMike, ermac68, dan1952 and 2 others like this.

  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    I hadn't really thought about this, but after 12 1/2 years clean & sober, I never once went in to get a coin/chip/medallion, or whatever for any of my anniversaries. I haven't attended a single meeting since 2006, either. I guess that the changes I made to my lifestyle were so severe (I moved 40 miles away from my stomping grounds, broke ties with all of my drinking buddies, and literally reinvented my entire life) that drinking simply isn't even a consideration for me. I kinda went overboard on the "eliminating triggers" thing...

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