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The planned relapse

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:10 am
by highcostofliving
Feels like I've been walking on the edge here for a while now... and then a lady with 30 years got up at a meeting this weekend and hit the nail on the head for me. I'm planning a relapse.... been doing it for the last few weeks... I keep going to meetings and doing what my sponsor says, and asking God to take away my desire to drink, all that stuff. But in my mind, I feel like I'm a ticking time bomb... the only thing keeping me sober is that I haven't had a good 'opportunity' to drink yet... (maybe that's the program working, since I haven't created the opportunity)...

So what I found when she said that, is yeah, I've been literally just putting drinking aside... for now.... I keep thinking soon, there's going to be a weekend alone or a time soon when it'll work out... it's terrifying and comforting (awesome alcoholic thinking there). So right now, that's what I keep going back to. Don't worry highcost, you'll have your moment to drink again... all the excuses are lining up... well, I never tried the Big Book challenge of going to a bar for just one drink... etc....

Anyways, just some thoughts for today... Day 48.... still hanging in there. Thanks for reading.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:35 am
by 1Peter5:10
Hey Highcost, at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all I'm going to make a suggestion.

Help another alcoholic, today if possible. Nothing makes me value sobriety more than 'fighting' for it, in myself or others.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:56 am
by waller_alkie
I second what 1Peter5:10 says. Help someone. If they're in the program, great. If not, that's all right, too. The thing is, you have to get out of YOUR head. As long as you are rolling the idea around in your mind, you're not really thinking about anything else that is ego-deflating/character-building.

Your ego/disease will likely minimize this suggestion, but do it anyway. Try hard to ignore the voice in your head that tells you it's BS right now. That's not the voice you want to listen to.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:43 pm
by Roberth
Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.

Page 89 of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Hello Highcost, don't feel alone. Bill W had problems in the beginning as well. It is estimated that Bill work with 600 guys which none of them stayed sober before he hooked up with Dr. Bob. He was ready to give up when his wife pointed out he was still sober and he had never been sober that long. I think Peter and Waller know what they are talking about you might want to take their advice.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:06 am
by Blue Moon
Sounds like you're in that place where you can't drink, and you can't not drink. The mental obsession returns, and we then drink again. Every relapse starts when the individual is stone cold sober, and ends with a drink.

So you've already "re-lapsed", AKA lapsed back into a prior mode of thinking. You just haven't acted on it - yet. So congratulations on day 48. Your next action will contribute to determine whether it becomes day 49, or day 0.

If you want to drink, that's up to you. But if you want to recover, i.e. no longer have to think and feel this way, we have a solution. That solution involves a lot of action. It needs hardly any thinking, because it was designed for people who were low-bottom drunks who had forgotten how to tie their own shoelaces.

So what is it about reality that's making a drink look more appealing? What is it about yourself that's preventing you from moving onto the next Step of the 12 for recovery? For me, there's little point in my being in a "12-Step Program" if all I'm going to do is sample the coffee at meetings.

Sober life is good. Not perfect, but good. But I will admit, it took me longer than 48 days to really see the potential. Stick around for the miracle.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:40 am
by avaneesh912
Don't worry highcost, you'll have your moment to drink again... all the excuses are lining up... well, I never tried the Big Book challenge of going to a bar for just one drink... etc....


I see you have still not realized the fatal nature of this disease. Pray for clarity. Hope you dont run into the blank spots like the Accountant or the Car salesman. Then you will be wondering what the heck happened after the relapse. Dont buy into the belief system you will be able to call your sponsor before picking up. Maybe 2/3 times you will but there will be a time where the emotions will be so un-bearable, a drink will be really good.

Edit: BTW wanted to add. You don't plan your relapse. It just happens. We think we have a choice in drink, We dont. We have a choice in managing the internal discomfort by working the 12 steps to the best of our ability then we get to enjoy the sobriety. Thats another misguided belief system that if I don't pick up I have a fair chance. Nope. Its the other way around.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:41 am
by highcostofliving
Thanks for all the insight.... as usual, lots of good stuff on this board.

I'm working through the Big Book with a sponsor, and have been guided online through most of the steps... it's all kept me sober for 49 days now..... I'm working on my spiritual growth every day... though I still have no belief in any sort of god, I'm at least looking for him, honestly looking with an open mind/heart....

I'll try to help others, that is definitely good advice. As far as the 'planned' relapse.... the lady was getting her 30 year coin, and what she said hit the nail on the head for me, that's where I got that phrase, because that's how it feels to me right now...... example, I have no responsibilities this Sunday night - wife and kids are out of town... and I'll be going to an NFL game with friends.... In my head, I've taken the day after off (I need to use a vacation day by the end of the year), so I could get away with a hang over. In my head I've made the excuse about trying out the bar challenge from the Big Book as a way to 'justify' it to my sponsor. In my head, I'm only 49 days sober cause I know there's going to be a moment in time I'll be ok with drinking (in my head)....

I can't drink/can't not drink - well put blue moon, that's pretty much exactly it!

I hear a lot about - get out of my own head...stinking thinking, all that... but it seems impossible to just turn it off.... I'm running on 2-3 hours a night of sleep cause I can't stop the damn hampster upstairs from running.... I don't know how much more 'action' I can do at the moment, I feel like every waking minute is fighting this off right now... I'm ok when I'm with my wife and kid, or at a meeting... but the moment I get to work, or the moment I'm get in my car, or the moment I try to sleep... BLAM! The gears fire up and it's all things alcohol...

I feel worn out, and exhausted..... I'm meeting with my sponsor tonight, so this is a little venting and a little putting words down to try and get straight what I'd like to discuss.... I also really like all the comments/posts/advice.... I'm not all doom and gloom, despite my post here... but I am exhausted and I do feel like I'm in some sort of holding pattern until I can drink again... but here we are, day 49.... thanks for reading.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:48 am
by Spirit Flower
I hear a lot about - get out of my own head...stinking thinking, all that... but it seems impossible to just turn it off.... I'm running on 2-3 hours a night of sleep cause I can't stop the damn hampster upstairs from running.... I don't know how much more 'action' I can do at the moment, I feel like every waking minute is fighting this off right now... I'm ok when I'm with my wife and kid, or at a meeting... but the moment I get to work, or the moment I'm get in my car, or the moment I try to sleep... BLAM! The gears fire up and it's all things alcohol...


I memorized "How It Works". Then when I can't sleep, I repeat it to myself over and over.... eventually I fall asleep. But in the mean time, I keep my thoughts out of dark corridors.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:31 pm
by Mike O
Hi highcost...
where exactly are you at with the steps, at this point?
Congrats on your work so far. Well done
:D

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:48 pm
by highcostofliving
Mike - I ran through to step 9 with an online sponsor at the early stages, to get me going and keep me moving while I was looking for a real life sponsor.... so I've kind of done a practice run (I think very helpful in my first few weeks), but I think to do them in earnest it requires more face to face talking - at least I hope so. Right now my sponsor and I have met 1 time in two weeks, tonight will be the second in 3 weeks (we had to skip a week with the holidays).... so we're just getting started.....

Honestly feels like he's not that interested, but he does seem to be on the ball as far as knowledge and what to say.... going to ask him tonight if he is waiting for me to be more assertive in the work, cause right now I'm sort of leaning on him for direction... maybe it's his way of teaching patience (it's a life long disease, right, why am I in such a hurry!)... I don't know.

So short answer... we have barely discussed step 1.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:40 pm
by Blue Moon
highcostofliving wrote:I hear a lot about - get out of my own head...stinking thinking, all that... but it seems impossible to just turn it off.... I'm running on 2-3 hours a night of sleep cause I can't stop the damn hampster upstairs from running.... I don't know how much more 'action' I can do at the moment, I feel like every waking minute is fighting this off right now... I'm ok when I'm with my wife and kid, or at a meeting... but the moment I get to work, or the moment I'm get in my car, or the moment I try to sleep... BLAM! The gears fire up and it's all things alcohol...

"Don't think of a red balloon. "

"Whatever you do, stop thinking about a red balloon."

"The balloon is red. Don't think about it!!"

What are you thinking of?

Now think instead of a grey elephant. What are you thinking of?

You cannot turn off the alcohol obsession by focusing on the obsession. You turn it off by focusing on something else instead.

So it's not about taking more action, it's about different action. For example, if you are lying awake at night, don't spent the time restlessly wishing alcoholic thoughts away, instead go wash dishes with the headphones plugged into some AA speaker CDs/mp3s.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:28 am
by avaneesh912
we have barely discussed step 1.


Not a good thing to do. Its so important step that you want to get with someone or get hold of some workshop on the big book and atleast listen to the "More about alcoholism" chapter.

In "Working with others" they give us clear instructions on how to illustrated the powerlessness and un-manageability concepts:
Give him an account of the struggles you made to stop. Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.


The mental twist they talk about is all the crap that goes on in the head and eventually the pain gets so unbearable, we say the f word and succumb to the desire. We have lost the fight here.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:30 am
by Doddering Moron
"Bill W had problems in the beginning as well. It is estimated that Bill work with 600 guys which none of them stayed sober before he hooked up with Dr. Bob."

I know I didn't get sober until I found out how some talkers may cause so much relapse.

No one plans to relapse -except these holier than thou sponsors who collude in creating the down-elevator vortex by simultaneously accelerating one leg of your life and decelerating another.

In other words, read the book, rely on it first and talk to other AA's who have some decent long term sobriety.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:43 am
by clouds
Get back to reading those chapters 'More'About Alcoholism' and 'There is a Solution'.
Its there and in the personal stories of other alcoholics I found my understanding of how I am alcoholic and what I need to to do to stay sober. The hamster cage brain can be cured by acceptance of th powerlessness and unmanageable life that is part and parcel of alcoholism. Once accepted at a deep level there's nothing left to do but turn to step two and onward. Steps one through three are preliminary to step 4. Without them a fearless and thourough step 4 would be difficult.

So take heart, acceptance of your own alcoholism by seeing it is the first step. Your recent experience is giving you just that insight, now use that to strengthen the understanding.

Tbh if someone with 30 years said that in a meeting it would be somewhat surprise to me. In my own experience its rare I have any desire to drink anymore. I know I'm not cured of alcoholism and I don't take sobriety forgranted, its a gift, conditional on the maintenance of my spiritual condition everyday. Thats the promise we inherit by keeping on doing the steps in our daily lives.

Re: The planned relapse

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:26 am
by highcostofliving
Thanks for all the support. I don't get to make a lot of meetings early in the week, so it's nice to have a place to go to dump some thoughts!