41 years without a drink or drug.
41 years ago I was a liar a thief and a adulterer. I was a 25 year old addict with absolutely no moral compass. Most of my friends died or had enough of me long ago. I showed up at my first AA meeting in 1977 and never looked back. I had no intention of “radically” changing my lifestyle but staying sober longtime demands changes. There has been a lot of pain over the years, most of it due to my resistance to really looking at my character defects. Fortunately the longer we stay sober the more we realize these personality defects are burdens that are holding us back from being loving , useful members of society. God has done for me what I never could have done by myself! If you are “a real alcoholic” or drug addict, get your butt to a meeting and give it a year, it can totally change your life! Thank you all for being there for me online and in the rooms. Jim B. Philly, PA
hi Jim congrats ..... There is a guy in one of my meetings who has 40 years this year. He is the guy who gives the chips out and it was months before I knew he has so much sober time .He seems to have the gift to relate to the newcomer as if he had only just left the madness. The sheer joy he has giving those chips out makes me understand step 12 and lifts my spirits. We new comers need 'old timers' like you to give us hope, when you give freely what was given to you. May God as you understand him bless you. Alie Wales
Hey there, Jim, congratulations on 41 years! That's amazing. Seriously amazing! Hope that you are not having to dig out of a ton of snow today. Let's keep on keeping on!
Well done mate. That’s a bloody good effort.
You're an inspiration! Thanks and Congrats!
To all the dear hearts who suffer tonight
To all the dear hearts who suffer tonight
I suffer with you
I save some heartstrings for you
I lower my ear down, touching their vibrations
Lean in with me and we are connected
An old therapist said to me
What does it mean when you have obsessive thoughts?
I said I don’t know
He said It means you are avoiding feeling
So I look for the feeling
I stroke the fleece blanket that comes to my chest
Wrapping me up like a still-warm corpse
And let the ache and the tears come, heaving
I want to be held
Let the Tempurpedic pillow be my god then
Or the rain tapping the wooden window frame
Or the half-digested food squirming in my system
Or the sweet smell of wet hair from my shower
I heard today: Thinking is a sixth sense
That’s all. Just one of the senses
It isn’t Me
And after all this, I didn’t do it perfectly
But I did it
I am here
I am sober tonight
Right now, always now
Leaning in with you
Tilly, you are a wordsmith. That was so beautiful. I read today, “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul.” It gave me comfort just like you did.
I'm not usually one for poetry, but I seem to have a speck of sentiment in my eye after reading this. A very nice piece.
Today, after posting to this community for help and the overwhelmingly positive response I received, I subscribed
I'm going to work hard to better myself. I just wanted to post to thank all of you. Your posts make me feel good about this endeavor and I look forward to returning as a happier and healthier person
Keep up the great work guys.
I’m glad you subscribed. This sub has been a huge help for me. For real, I can’t overstate that. Welcome aboard and best wishes to you!
(Every night before bed I comment on a new post to show support. Doing that helps me keep my sobriety on my mind and on track. Tonight it was your post. Thank you for helping me stay sober tonight.)
I'm honored, thank you!
Welcome! We're a pretty rad bunch here, I have to say. This sub and reading This Naked Mind are why I'm sober today. Keep posting and reading. It really helps.
Hey! Welcome 🙂
Friend laying down harsh and helpful truth
This keeps bouncing back into my thoughts at times. I figure I'd share. I was hanging out with some buddies last week, doing the usual movies, playing street fighter, trash talking etc. One of the friends present used to have drinking problems but was able to get it under control. After my decision to quit he wholeheartedly supported it and knew I had to QUIT and couldn't control it.
Well, eventually someone asked me 'so how long are you not drinking?'. I just casually said I set out for a year and then who knows. The specific friend I mentioned earlier immediately butted in and said this: "I know you and I know how it goes, dude. It can't just be one. When January rolls around why even say 'just one beer'? You have nothing to gain and everything to lose."
That just left me sitting in my seat, feeling a bit shocked and stupid. To even entertain the idea of drinking is to welcome the certainty of throwing this all away. I simply can't drink. Maybe the reality just hadn't settled in fully. A bit after that moment, and even now, I keep thinking about his words and it has strengthened my resolve to never drink. Not a year, not five years, ten or twenty. I'm never drinking again. Ever. The rest of my time on this planet is gonna be booze free.
Awesome friend. Give him a fist bump from me. And awesome resolution. Here’s one for you 🤛🏻
Good for you. IME, you'll come to find this makes things a lot simpler for you in the long run. You won't be weighted down with the whole "Maybe I can have just one. Or two. Or maybe just six tonight but not again." debate that so many people seem to stress out over. You don't drink. Done. Everything grows from there.
I told one of my friends IRL today that I hadn't had a drink in 3 weeks and I was quitting. This was a friend that I used to joke with when I was super hungover, "ugh, I'm neverrrrrrr drinking again". I must have said that 50 times to him over the years and it always got a laugh. Especially cause I would usually follow it up with a, "until later tonight".
However, when I told this friend he knew I wasn't joking. We've talked before about how I wanted to get sober, but I never made such a long run at it before.
So, this time he had nothing but support for my decision. Told me it was awesome that I had quit and he's happy I'm feeling all of the positive effects.
Anyway, thanks for sharing. Friends who support your sobriety are great!
Thank you! It's strange. I guess that little 'maybe' thought just hadn't been completely taken out. I thought it had. Glad I faced reality and facts and I'm hoping it's completely gone now. I tried the whole 'cut back' or 'I can be responsible' thing last year and it never worked. I'd do fine for a day, maybe a week tops and then I'd celebrate by drinking. It was stupid.
I used to loathe Mondays.
Every. Single. Monday. I would wake up, hungover or even still buzzed from Sunday's binge. It was awful. I would shower and that is where I would decide if I should call into work or tough it out for the day. I'd say it was 50/50 tbh, either way I would feel absolutely miserable either at work trying to mask the smell of booze, or at home trying to wait until a decent hour to crack open a beer or take a shot.
Now, I love Mondays. A lot of people hate it because the weekend is over, and they have to go to jobs they hate, whatever the reason. I love my job even more now since I quit drinking and I love working with a clear mind so I can put in 110%. I wake up on Monday mornings and feel ecstatic and thankful that I am no longer hating myself for drinking the night before. Rather, I wake up and thank God for another sober morning. Mondays are not bad at all when you can wake up sober and know that everything is ok and that I'm ok and that life is great.
To those waking up with a hangover today or wanting to quit- stay strong and take it a day at a time.
Hungover, and HATE today. I’ve got to make changes.
You’ve got this. Perfect day to start!
I still hate Mondays, but only because I dislike my current client ;-)
Still, a sober Monday for a crappy client beats a hungover Monday any day. Congrats to you for enjoying the start of your week!
I don't have a Monday to Friday job but I can say I used to loathe mornings....swore I was not a morning person. Turns out I was just always hungover! I honestly love mornings now. Even the mornings when my dog wakes me up 2 hours before my alarm!
I'm back again
Ok so I decided to delete Reddit for a while and try to go it alone and pretend I never had a problem with alcohol, that I'm 'normal' like everyone else and I don't need support. Moderation was working for me, or at least I thought it was. Then I got drunk Saturday night. No fights, no puking, no falling or anything like that, but I just know I drank too much. So here I am again. I have lost so much weight, I'm healthier and happier, but I now know I need support. IWNDWYT
Glad to see you here. Failing like that sucks, doesn't it? The failure and the shame of deciding not to drink and then drinking... kinda... makes me want to drink. And it's downhill from there. It's awesome that you're back so quickly for support.
On being "normal," that's a tough one for me, too. When I moved to a new town, I wanted so desperately to go out to the bars and meet new people, drink normally, BE normal. I couldn't. I'm not that way genetically, much like a diabetic who just can't eat cake. Sure, it sucks, but it's just the way it is.
What I did find was a couple of friends who were cool with me not drinking, who understand. I told them I don't drink anymore because I used to drink a lot and it caused problems. They nodded, seemed like they had heard a similar story before, congratulated me, and we moved on. I think a lot of people are like this. I think using the word "alcoholic" is still uncomfortable for a lot of people, but everybody understands being out of control of yourself and wanting to be a better version of yourself. I think framing your struggle in an understandable way makes it easier for people to sympathize.
Anyway, I share your desire to be normal and for inability to do so. But whatever, I'm a better person for it. IWNDWYT
Welcome back! It’s good to know you have support 😉
Welcome back! Good to have you. I know I couldn’t do this without the crew. I will not drink with you today!
It always ends up the same as before if not worse. Glad you saw your mistake and relapse is a part of recovery for most people.
The smell of vomit is still disgusting. The taste of alcohol is awful. Hangovers are a million times worse than I remembered them. Being drunk is a million times less entertaining than I remembered it being. It was a waste of time, money and health. I wish I didnt drink last night but it is a reminder of what my old life was like and Ill be fucked if Im going back there again. I want 100% sobriety in my life. I dont want to be the party guy, I dont want to be the stoner, the drug guy, the big drinker. I want to be the guy jogging in the mornings before work, the productive guy, the 'I dont know how he has the time' guy not the 'I dont know how hes still standing' guy. I wasted to much of my life getting fucked up and Im not wasting anymore.
I too fell off the wagon. This morning is just as you describe except for the vomit. I too want to be the sober guy. Damn it is hard. Here we go again. Off to reset my badge.
Being drunk is a million times less entertaining than I remembered it being.
I relapsed a few weeks back and had the exact same experience. I just felt fuzzy and sleepy, so I actually stopped drinking (something I've never done before), poured out my drink, and cleaned up the kitchen before bed. Hopefully I can remember that feeling and how pointless the whole thing is for me in the future.
Your honesty and ability to share about it benefits you and immediately helps others. You can be the guy you want to be. Let that guy lead.
As a serial relapser, I know how you feel. I keep adding new tricks to my bag of tools and I'm going longer and longer. Walks, NA beverages (lots of them), cookies, ice cream, small household projects. You can do this! It helps me to remember that it took me 30 years become an alchoholic - reversing that is going to take time, and continuous efforts, some large, some just tiny.
Happy sober St. Patrick's Day people!
It's that time for another St.Patrick's Day and being irish i always enjoy them. When i was younger, i used to hear that an Irishman likes a good drink, a good woman and a good fight. Well, i gave up fighting when i gave up drinking, and i am married so im not womanizing anymore. What that leaves is a man happy to dispel the stereotype of what Irish people are like. I hope you all make it through this weekend unscathed. Cheers!
What that leaves is a man happy to dispel the stereotype of what Irish people are like.
And it leaves this Irish woman happy to dispel that stuff too :).
Happy St. Paddy's Day u/eyesdurth!
If you’re near San Antonio I’m Hosting a fundraiser tonight for the San Antonio roundup
I remember the best st patricks day I had was with one of my ex few years ago. we went to savannah, georgia. oh man it was so lit that day there.
Cheers from Texas! I had the good fortune to spend 4 months in Ireland on a college exchange program a couple of decades ago. Hope to return for an extended visit someday. Gonna steer clear of the poteen though...although it'll warm your innards on a drizzly, cold eve...
St. Patrick's day doesn't change alcohol
Sorry but I need to do some real talk. It doesn't matter what day of the year it is, alcohol will still be exactly the way we left it. It'll still cause hangovers, fights, vomiting, risky behaviour and depression.
No it isn't any different just because someone put some shamrocks up. It still counts even if your great aunt's cousin twice removed was half Irish. Yes, although it is arguably more like eating potting soil, Guinness is still an alcoholic drink and will result in a badge reset.
Stay strong brothers and sisters 👊
St Paddy was always just my excuse to drink on Mar 17. On Mar 16, I would have a different excuse, and a different one for Mar 18.
There's always a reason for each day, just didn't have to wrack my brain trying to come up with one for Mar 17.
Thanks, I needed this! Saint Patrick’s day was my relapse day last year, and even though I’m really strong in my sobriety I have to say I’m pretty anxious about it. I’ve got solid plans in place (a double header AA meeting after work) but I’m still feeling a bit shit about feeling weak today. It’s my biggest hurdle to get over, Saint Patrick’s day was always “my day.” But I know it’s not worth it to give up my sobriety. IWNDWYT
Even in my heavy drinking years St Patrick’s day was to be avoided like he plague. Amateur hour. Also one of the three worst days in NYC. Along with Santa Con and Puerto Rican Day Parade
Yes friend! I'm Irish every day and you are not more or less drunk due to St. Patrick. It always counts.
Fuck how we see Irish people! Fuck Guinness. Fuck alcohol. Lean on us all. Reach out if you're feeling like drinking, cause I definitely am and would love a friend.
I had a dry first date and it was awesome
I had a first date recently. You know the story. Meet a cute guy, exchange numbers, plan to meet up. I got a ginger beer, he got an IPA. It took us 2 hours to finish our drinks because we were too busy talking, laughing, flirting. When we did get another drink, he switched to ginger beer too. Without a second thought, but I have a feeling he was trying to make sure I felt comfortable.
Why I didn't drink hasn't come up yet, but it has been a total non-issue so far. It's amazing. It's nice to finally realize that the people I know (and the person I met) don't seem to give a hoot whether I drink or not. Alcohol made me anxious, and I was worried people would judge me for not drinking, but the less people do the better I feel. I am very grateful, and I will not drink with you today.
I love this. It was something I was hoping I’d come across on here at some point. Sober dating is my biggest fear, and it makes me happy to know that it’s (DUH) possible. People have always told me not to date in my first year... but tonight at meeting, someone asked the question and our speaker said, “don’t be afraid of life. Be willing to make mistakes. Don’t wait. As long as your sobriety is #1, do whatever you want. LIVE.”
I also think alcoholics make a big deal out of people not drinking. People who don’t drink problematically don’t care lol.
Dating is where the non-drinker has a total advantage over the drinker. As soon as you get over the anxiety, you'll realize that you are smoother and way more put together than half the other fools on the field. It also opens you up to a whole new demographic of less-trashy folks to get nasty with.
Yep. Most of my friends don’t bat an eye when I say no to a drink, and most people don’t know I’m an alcoholic. But when people would deny a drink around me, I’d get so damn angry.
That's awesome! Dating while being a nondrinker is a big anxiety producer for me so I'm glad to hear your first date went so well!