Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments'

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Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments'

Postby Northern light » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:10 pm

Hi. I'm new to this online forum, so I'd just like to say hello. I'm Three and a half months sober, have got a sponsor and am reading the big book at the moment. I'm going to a couple of meetings a week and feel like I'm doing quite well. This afternoon, I went out for dinner with some friends of my partner. They are all big drinkers and ordered lots of bottles of Wine with the food. I ordered a large bottle of sparkling water and an alcohol free beer. The food was good, and I chatted and it was fine. At the other end of the table, they were laughing and joking and I felt envious and resentful that I can't drink like that now. I certainly had a moment when those glasses of Wine were being poured. Everyone was going on to the pub as there's entertainment on later. I decided to come home, as I knew there would be a lot of drinking, the music would be too loud to talk properly to anyone and I'd be bored. I'm sitting by the fire watching TV and I'm fine, but sometimes it's still hard to take myself out of a risky situation like that. In my experience, change can be a lonely road. So, I wanted to post on here to feel part of something and not alone.
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby Brock » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:15 pm

Welcome here Northern light.

Even though it’s some years now since I was relatively new to AA as you are, your post bought back memories of the times I thought not drinking meant I was missing out on things, especially ‘the fun things.’ After we do the steps, (which I am pleased to see you reading the book and having a sponsor, means you will do hopefully soon), the book says we can go anywhere we have reason to without fear. My own tastes in fun have changed, and a loud pub is not somewhere I enjoy, I am not sure anyone who is not half drunk would enjoy it anyway. But from time to time my wife likes an outing with a bit of noise and booze, and I feel comfortable going, but happier to come home, and even happier the next morning, when I feel fine while fetching the headache remedy for her.

There is no doubt sobriety leads to some lifestyle changes, but I wouldn’t swap my old partying life with the one I have found now. I also feel there is some peer pressure to live a certain lifestyle, we can sometime feel like a teenager might when told they can’t go to a party, ‘but everyone’s going’ they say. But when we boil it all down there’s not much we are missing in truth, and what we gain I have found outweighs what we might miss, many times over.

You are among friends here, from all parts of the world, please feel free to post anything anytime.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:37 pm

Well hi there Northernlights! we are here 24/7, though we do not always answer immediately, we are "contact with other alcoholics" and it has always brought me relief. You will find MANY threads here about how to care for one's sobriety when in dangerous situations.

I prefer to keep myself out of those situations to begin with, but have had a few which I really needed to attend ~ Like my son's rock band's first bar gig... I took a girlfriend from AA with me and we both had a few sodas. Luckily, his band was the opener and we left before the whole bar was blotto. That is when I have left most such things... when the drinkers get to drinking and acting like fools. I am lucky to have a great wealth of new friends in AA who will share the Story with me! Instead of being uncomfortable in any way, we laugh and tell about the drunk who got to dancing and did this "hind end shake thing" that was silly... but as he got a little more loaded, that move got a little more difficult and he forgot to yank up his pants... Sure thing, my friend pointed it out and with glee we watched until we saw the old drunk's hairy butt! Then we looked away - it was too hideous. :lol: :lol:

That used to be me, with pants that fit thank goodness, but it is sad & tragic and funny all the same! Then we leave that part of Step 1 and remember we can be restored to sanity, provided we don't stay out in the bars too long or too often! The moments may still come - sneaking into dreams and rushing in on a hot summer day, but the intensity of them wanes and you will learn how this program is ..."a design for living that works even in rough going".
My wife and I abandoned ourselves with enthusiasm to the idea of helping other alcoholics to a solution of their problems. It was fortunate, for my old business associates remained skeptical for a year and a half, during which I found little work. I was not too well at the time, and was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment. This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink, but I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in rough going.

We commenced to make many fast friends and a fellowship has grown up among us of which it is a wonderful thing to feel a part. The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty. I have seen hundreds of families set their feet in the path that really goes somewhere; have seen the most impossible domestic situations righted; feuds and bitterness of all sorts wiped out. I have seen men come out of asylums and resume a vital place in the lives of their families and communities. Business and professional men have regained their standing. There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us. ~ page 15 of the Big Book

Glad you made it through and glad you have an opportunity for a better way of life now. Get moving in working the Steps for yourself. Your story will help save the lives of others.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby Northern light » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:24 pm

Thankyou Brock and Paige B for your replys. It's early days for me and I very much appreciate your support. I'm looking forward to working the steps and hopefully embarking on a voyage of discovery that leads me to a more fulfilled life.
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:07 pm

Yes, throughout the book the authors talk about the vulnerable phase of recovery. The alcoholic if he/she doesnt realize this, will be tricked back into taking that first insidious drink and set upon the craving part. They talk about the power we tap into once we realize that and take action.

The 10th step promise talks about, being placed in a position of neutrality. We are restored to sanity (the truth about our ability to stay away from a drink and the amount of drink we drink). This has to be our way of life. Its like a daily pill.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:15 pm

"alcohol free" beer is not 0%. It is 0.5% which is enough to cause problems for a real alcoholic.
...a score card reading zero...
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby Mike O » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:59 am

The "position of neutrality" DOES come - that's a promise that has certainly been fulfilled in my life.
As a musician, I spend a lot of time in bars, clubs, drinking environments. The nature of the work is in the entertainment business and folk like to drink whilst being entertained. Quite a lot of that time involves just hanging around, waiting for soundchecks, waiting to play, and so on. Very boring at times. My band members all like a beer or two. Despite the boredom I have no inclination or temptation at all to drink. 10 years ago, when I first started down the 12 step road, this would have been incredibly difficult for me.

The steps do work.
:D
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:37 pm

More Hope in today's Daily Reflection
January 28th
THE TREASURE OF THE PAST

Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have—the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them.

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 124

What a gift it is for me to realize that all those seemingly useless years were not wasted.
The most degrading and humiliating experiences turn out to be the most powerful tools in helping others to recover.
In knowing the depths of shame and despair, I can reach out with a loving and compassionate hand, and know that the grace of God is available to me.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby Roberth » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:49 am

Hello northern lights and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. You are not alone in the way you feel. I was envious of people who could drink in the beginning as well. At 3 months sober I was invited to the birthday party of a guy I when into the army with which had the same birthday as my then wife.
I talked to my sponsor about it which he told if I was going there to test the sober waters I shouldn’t go but it if I went to celebrate his and my wife’s birthday I should be okay.
A funny thing happened once I got there. No one questioned why I stopped and I even heard a couple of “good for you.” I was the one with the fear about it.
Come to find the only that care if I drink or not is other alcoholics, sober one want to help me stay sober and practicing ones tend to move a away.
I don’t know about anyone else but I loved drinking beer so I have always be leery of non-alcoholic beer being a trigger for me.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby Angry1541 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:30 am

Hey NL,

I can relate, there have been moments (in the my 5 years sober) where I have been in situations like that. One was with my boss when I was new to the company and we traveled. I sat with him and co-working as they proceeded to get pretty wasted and I drank water. It was awkward for me, until I saw them wasted and how they acted and that really turned me off -- that was a year or so into my sobriety.

I suggest meetings, meetings, meetings -- especially in the first year -- I can't overstate how much they helped me. I didn't get a sponsor and do the steps until 2 years in -- and I don't sponsor others, but totally needed the meeting. I mean, my wife was very against my drinking, but I don't think that would have been enough to stop me -- even with the huge accountability he provided.

So keep it up -- be VERY careful in trigger situations and know that being sober isn't odd, it's smart.
~Chris

Just for today...

I am going to stay sober.
I am going to a meeting.
I am going smile and laugh.
I am going to refrain from taking my anger out on other people.
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby tblue818 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:53 am

Hi, Northern Lights and All ~

I'm glad that you made it through that trying evening; however, you *may* not be out of danger yet from 'finishing the drunk'. It isn't alcohol that is baffling, cunning and power; it's EGO that is baffling, power, cunning....and patient. You may have given Ego an substantial inroad, if the emotions are left untended.

I've heard the experiences of a few seasoned undrunks who 'successfully' drank/drink near-beer. To me, it always seems more than a little bit of insanity to simulate old drinking behaviors. The 'motive' I've most often heard is that they like the taste of beer. If whisky tasted like strawberries and I loved strawberries, I'd gladly give up that taste to protect my sobriety.

Maybe think of a road with the double-lines in the middle, one for each foot. On each side of the road is a gully of drunkenness (rigid AAers vs half-measures). The object, as it was explained to me, was to remain as close to the middle as possible. That way, if I go a bit 'off the beam', I have time to correct, or others have a chance to bring it to my attention. If I have one foot in AA and one foot over the edge of the gully, not only is my sobriety endangered but it is a miserable sober existence.

About concentrating your attention on the drinkers.... It was suggested to always look for at least one person who was not drinking and watch that person/people. My ego would tell me I was the only one not drinking - it's a lie. It was actually a surprise to me how many people did *not* drink at social occasions - and they were enjoying themselves. (And if *everyone* was drinking, I was definitely in the wrong place.)

To me, there's a Step One problem. Mental/emotional, Physical craving, Spiritual bankruptcy. You found yourself longing to be with the group at the other end of the table, drinking. It was Step One where the 'benefits' of alcohol were crushed as the lies they were. I didn't see 'fun' the same way anymore. Fun was having the option to do other things in my life, to have the money to pay bills, to feel the Hope of an entirely different life/mind....fun was seeking for and finding the next amazing 'mind tool' or an identification with another alkie in an area I hadn't noticed yet. Envious of those who still found 'fun' in alcohol? No (but it was a process). *They* were the ones who had no clue how different life could be when looking through New Glasses.

There's a scene in the Matrix movie: Adam's St. Bridge - Stitch, Trinity and Neo. Neo doesn't like the option presented to continue on to Morpheus.

Trinity: Please, Neo. You have to trust me.
Neo: Why? <He has opened the car door to get out and is *looking back* down the dank, dark, lonely road they were on.>
Trinity: Because you have been down there, Neo. You know that road. *You know exactly where it ends.* And I know that's not where you want to be....

Tool for checking motives with Awareness: "The motive I tell others *after* the action is often very different than the motive *before* the action." What was the motive to attend that social gathering? Was there an exit strategy in place before going? Was there a motive behind ordering sparkling water where a glass of ice water might have sufficed? Rigorously honest motive behind the near-beer is really needed...please don't fluff it off. At 3 months or 30 years.

The good news is that you shared your experience and something about it bothered you. Trust that. "Envy and resentment" are emotions. In AA, there's an app for that!

Keep trudgin' and Feed Hope...
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got."
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Re: Three and a half months sober, but still having 'moments

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:56 am

As we commenced to live the AA way of life, then sobriety is a by product. We dont struggle. Unfortunately you hear in meetings that "we stand a good chance if we don't pick up, just for today". No, it doesnt work like that. We stay spiritually fit and we are placed in a position of neutrality.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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