What is as good as alcohol now?

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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Dean C » Wed May 22, 2002 8:18 am

Alcoholism is progressive. That means, over time, it gets worse, never better.<P>By the time I was able to stop drinking, any pleasure from drinking was far in the past. There was no pleasure, to anything. My life was just as described in <I>Alcoholics Anonymous</I> (copyright AAWS, reprinted with permission):<P>"For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt -- and one more failure.<P>"The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did -- then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen -- Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!"<P>Without alcohol, I had to learn how to do all the things for which I had previously needed alcohol, such as having fun, relating and socializing with people. I had to learn to face reality and find a way to enjoy it. I did. Reality, life replaced alcohol. To me, today, the real thing is far better than anything I experienced while drinking.<p>[ 05-22-2002: Message edited by: Dean C ]
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Susan » Thu May 23, 2002 7:12 am

Wow! That's an interesting question. :p <P>I haven't had to drink in years now, and the joy of life, the everyday "pleasures" are not something you can even compare to the years I spent drinking ! :roll: <P>Happy Trails,
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Blue Moon » Thu May 23, 2002 9:38 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Cairns:<BR><STRONG>What gives you the same pleasure now as what alcohol did previously? generally speaking what are the most common things amongst everyone that gives the same pleasure as alcohol once did?</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Alcohol warps our perception of reality. I used to enjoy drinking, but didn't like the after-effects. I never liked me. Honesty took a long vacation, and that generated a number of problems.<P>Today, I'm sober. This means I have some self-respect, peace of mind, and ability to live inside my own skin as me. Alcohol never gave me any of that. So on that basis, sobriety gives me something alcohol never did.<P>My old drinking buddies never call, and don't even seem to know if I'm dead or alive much of the time.
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Clark » Fri May 24, 2002 1:28 pm

One of many pleasures I have today is the complete absence of REMORSE !
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby joe@aalivechat.com » Sat May 25, 2002 5:07 am

That's a great question.<P>Back in my early twenties, when my alcoholism really began to take hold, I could still "feel that warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow," as Pink Floyd would say.<P>But like many day-in, day-out alcoholics, there was no joy for me in my drinking the year or two before I admitted I needed help. In the end, it was just a resentful trip to the liquor store, drinking alone, getting numb, resenting I had to drink, and waking up the next morning with a brick in my head.<P>These days, I don't have to take that trip any more. And while I can't say I jump out of bed every morning and do cartwheels at the prospect of each new day, I do have the self-respect of facing everything life throws at me -- the joys and the sorrows -- completely, and fully, present. For me, that's not a small thing. <P>I also find that when I'm living the 12 Steps as best I can, the joys resonate longer, and the sorrows fade more quickly.<P>Honestly: I don't think I'll ever re-experience the quick-fix euphoria my early days of drinking gave me.<P>But I also see that fix for what it is now: a lie I crawled back to again and again, always hoping it would be true to me, and always feeling it cripple my spirit just a little bit more.<P>The kind of euphoria I get off on these days is watching one alcoholic helping another, and if my own house is in order, getting the opportunity to help another alcoholic myself -- or simply to help another human being. <P>It's the kind of euphoria that, for me, builds imperceptibly inside me, and strengthens my spirit the same way weights sculpt a body builder.<P>Alcohol never did that for me.<P>Never will.<p>[ 05-25-2002: Message edited by: Joe@Spammer ]
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Dean C » Sun May 26, 2002 10:08 pm

"We have shown how we got out from under. You say, 'Yes, I'm willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?'<P>"Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead."<P>(from <I>Alcoholics Anonymous</I>, p. 152. Copyright AAWS, Inc. Reprinted with permission.)
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby curtis s » Wed May 29, 2002 7:10 pm

Perhaps because my bottom was fairly high I still enjoyed drinking and drugs at the point when I stopped. I most definitly did not enjoy feeling sick the next day everyday, the remorse over things I did, and the feeling that I was a walking, talking lie. I thought that I was enjoying my increasing cynicism and my "get over on the world" mentality but in truth I wasn't really. But drinking was fun. Some of the things I regretted deeply afterwords were fun at the time.<P>I think the thing that most consistently feels good now, that I would compare with the high of the first few drinks, is the feeling of being with good friends, people that I can be my real self with. People I love and am loved by. That is the feeling I was looking for in substance abuse. There are other things-spending the night in the woods under the stars (no tent allowed) and falling asleep to the smell of autumn leaves, the quiet time just before sunrise, shooting rapids in a canoe. Taking my kids and their friends to the beach. <P>Some things just aren't the same without booze. I will probably never enjoy dancing as much as I did when I drank. Even if I liked today's music (I favor late 60's and blues) I just can't quite relax enough. Drunken camaraderie in sleazy pool halls WAS fun for me, and it is not the same sober. In fact it isn't fun at all and I don't do it.<P>I have to go back to the people thing. Because I was becoming incapable of a real relationship with anyone, I could not have the true friends and my family that I have today. One of things I was very proud of in recovery was that for many years in my neighborhood every child knew that if you missed the bus to school that Curt would give you a ride and that if you came home to an empty house you could go to Curt's house until mom or who ever came home. Folks would drop their kids off for breakfast if they had jobs that started earlier than school did. Many parents told me that I made their life easier and one used to call me the guardian angel of the neighborhood. (I was able to do this because I worked out of my house) I am quite certain that no one would have trusted me with their kid if I was still drinking. I enjoyed this role greatly. Unfortunatly things changed when we moved acouple of years ago.<P>I imagine that we all enjoyed drinking at one time although we came to hate it eventually. Let's hear about stuff that compares to what we were hoping to get by drinking<P>Don't drink and go to meetings<P>Curt
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Patsy? » Sun Jun 02, 2002 9:03 am

Alcohol changed my perception of everything and it did this very quickly with the first couple of drinks. I no long felt less than, anxious, irritable or discontent. I no longer felt like I didn't fit in.<P>AA changed my perception of everything and it did this with the 12 Steps. Very very slowly the 12 Steps changed the way I felt on the inside...not only regarding the way I saw myself... but the way I saw the world and all its people, places and things.<P><BR>I am not sure even to this day that what I got out of a bottle of booze would be called pleasure... it was more a feeling of "Wow, this stuff is a miracle" LOLOL<P>Today I feel the same way about AA and the 12 Steps "Wow, this stuff is a miracle" ... the difference being is a very simple one:<P>Today I do not have alter my mind, my mood or my perception with any kind of alcohol, substance, or drug so that I may feel good about my life.<P>AA for this drunk is about LIVING. Life on Lifes Terms.<BR>I do not come to AA so that I do not drink today... I come to LIVE and to pass it on to those who come through the doors of AA, hurting, lost, in pain, confused, and who have a desire to stop drinking.... just like those wonderful recovering people in the halls of AA did for me when I came through the doors of AA. AA gave to me something that even alcohol couldn't give me... acceptance, tolerance, and love :D <P>In Recovery,<BR>Patsy
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Re: What is as good as alcohol now?

Postby Leonard(o), Puerto Rico » Sun Jun 09, 2002 10:45 am

What is better? Shortly after being two years sober I said to an AA friend, "I don't think I will ever have FUN again!" She agreed, she had a year. I seemed to be so serious and I was so "releaseless" and I didn't think I would laugh again. I thought that being "vigilant" was all there was to sobriety. Gradually I became aware that I was, in fact, GRACED and I could start to relax and enjoy my new life. I was safe. It was a "new" life.....meaning, I didn't know how to be "in life" or really appreciate it fully before. My "old life" had become so countoured and contrived to fit my drinking and using insanity...REAL pleasure, superficial or deep, was not part of my experience. My sensations had been all used up... my sensations were crippled or dead. So were my emotions. I needed to heal in every respect....I NEEDED to learn to see things "differently" and in a way that reflected "actual" pleasure and pain....REALITY. After getting a little understanding of "reality" (it took time for me...sometimes still does) I developed a sense of humor, joy and a deep warmth of feeling for the simplest of happenings. The most sincere of small jestures and kindness of friends or strangers, gives me pleasure/happiness...I didn't notice anything but "sensationalism" before. I like it better this way....lots better.....I'm no longer a "sideshow" in my own life....I'm in the center ring of the "Circus."
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