Kicking that relapse!

Next month I WOULD HAVE BEEN one year clean of pain pills after years and years of abuse. Last month I broke the promise I'd made to myself and relapsed. I have to admit, the relief from all my outside pressures and anxieties was welcomed and much needed. Well, sirs, THAT HONEYMOON IS OVER!
No "refills", no "borrowing", no more searching for Tramadol or any other such agent! My youngest daughter's birthday is this month, and starting yesterday, I'm going to deal with pressures and anxieties in different ways. I've done this before and I WILL do this again...2 days clean and counting...
@DeanD, @dominica, @Leaker, @TWSJ, @Tommy, @Ocean, and any one else who has read my story, here I am! <3
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  • @Goodtr8s, welcome back to the fight. Relapses happen. What is important is not that you relapsed, but rather why you did, and getting a plan for how you aren't going to do that again. Maybe you will relapse again, but as long as it is for a different "reason", well, that's progress I think.

    Tough break on missing the 1 year mark though. I am sure that is pretty devastating. The world is full of "couldas, wouldas, and shouldas". It might be interesting to sit and think about how many of those are the direct results of your addiction. That might lead to even more motivation to stop for good, and give an extra boost as needed. I know there is a laundry list of couldas, wouldas, and shouldas, as well as plenty of other examples of how I fell short due to my addiction.

    Keep the faith!
  • Glad to hear that you are Back! Actually better than before as you are even stronger now!!!! We are all human and dealing with addiction is so friggin hard!!!!! I admire your strength to pick up where you left off!!!!!! I have been struggling with the voice that is telling me that its ok to take just 1 drink!!!!! You will be my inspiration to quiet that voice!!!!! I am about to attend an event next month that has always been a pure drinking fest and everyone will be drinking all day & I plan to refrain.....To make matters more difficult I am also in an all inclusive destination wedding....I keep waiting for all the alcohol related events to end but realize it 's never gonna happen....I need strength to cont. to make the daily decision that I am not going to drink....You are strong! You are an inspiration! You are already back on track!!!!!! Stay positive & remember you certainly are not alone!!!!!!!
  • @Goodtr8s... Don't beat yourself up, my friend. Just pick yourself up, take a deep breath, dust yourself off, and start all over again. And yes... You are STRONGER now!! And we're still here for you!!! :)
  • @Goodtr8s hey you! i'm so glad you're back! yes, you will do this again. you did it before and will again. you've gotten some great advice and feedback and i am in agreement with it all.

    lessons learned all along the way huh?

    life will always throw in some pressing issues, stressful things, and pain here and there. it just will.... how are we going to deal? even when it hurts so badly or everything just feels so out of control? what will we do?

    we are with you. learning how to cope in healthier ways, or at least in ways that don't take us down that addiction rabbit hole.

    again, glad you are here. and know that we are always here for you!
  • @ocean good to hear you are doing well! stay free!
  • @ocean, great point on the events never ending. My mom struggled for years to stop smoking, and it seemed like everything was just perfectly spaced to keep her in the pitcher plant. "After Christmas I'll stop". "After the February stuff I'll stop" After my birthday in May I'll stop", "After the summer trips". "After Thanksgiving". "After Christmas". There's never a good time to stop, but there is always the perfect reason: regaining control of one's life.

    As an epilogue, eventually my mom and dad both stopped smoking, and drinking. It wasn't through a deliberate action either. They just looked around one day and realized "Wow, we haven't drank or smoked in like 6 months". "Feel like a beer and a cigarette?" "Nope". And that was the end of those two 40 year addictions.
  • @Leaker that's awesome that your parents stopped just like that! :)
  • Guys, I have had some excellent feedback here and feel strongly that I can do this again. 11 days have passed without a pill and I have to admit that daytime has been a struggle. Last year when I stopped, it seemed like nighttime was the struggle...@Dominica, this is where I see the "old lessons" and the "new lessons" coming together, in a single too,l for me to use. I'm GLAD I have something to compare it to this time. I'm GLAD my "self-talk" isn't all negative this go round. I'm GLAD I am trying again.
  • That's the spirit, @Goodtr8s!! You CAN do this again!! I am super proud of your 11 days, my friend. That's AWESOME!!! You have every right to be GLAD!!!

    Keep going. One day at a time. Even one hour or minute at a time. Whatever it takes to keep moving in the right direction. And always remember that we are here for you, no matter what!

    You got this!!!!
  • @Goodtr8s hey you! so good to see your name pop up today! :)

    I'm smiling ear to ear reading your post! Yay! 11 days is GREAT! you're doing it despite cravings or life showing up! Also great you're getting insight into the old and new lessons :) That rocks!

    Thank you for sharing with us! The FREEDOM TRAIN is back! @Tommy @TheDayIsToday @TWSJ @Leaker @DeanD @ocean (how are you doing?)

    keep it up!
  • I'm doing good 2dominica. Hunkering down for some more snow tomorrow in my neck of the woods, but at least I don't have to be anywhere until later in the day.

    @ocean, great to hear things are more positive this time. Also, they are different, and that is good too. If it was exactly the same as before, it would be pretty demoralizing, but new means a new challenge to keep you sharp. Right? The fact that you have a more positive dialogue with yourself is also good. We are often our own worse enemies, so it is refreshing when we can also play the cheerleader. Plus, you have us ship of fools (train of wackos?) along for your journey this time. That's new too, and hopefully another positive.

    Have a good weekend, and keep the faith!
  • another victory for me! I drank my mineral water & cranberry while everyone was drinking fire ball shots! Plus I got up early and took a nice run feeling refreshed as I would have felt like a mess if I drank!!!!! Now I got to get through Easter, a Baseball Game, an all inclusive resort wedding & a tequila themed bridal shower...It never ends!!!!!!! All these events involve my family and good friends.....I am still a fun vibrant person who people continue to gravitate towards....only difference is I dont drink alcohol, I have no bloat, have lost weight, my skin looks great & I am free to do whatever I want whenever I want to as I am present!!!!!!! Using all this for my continued motivation to stay alcohol free and to motivate others.....

  • @ocean, "I am still a fun vibrant person who people continue to gravitate towards....only difference is I dont drink alcohol" Your words, not mine. Sounds like you have seen the truth of the situation. The truth that is so carefully hidden behind the ads and the cultural assumptions that one must have alcohol to have a good time. One must have a buzz to "cool". No one likes a sober loser who is a total buzz kill. The truth, however, is much different, much simpler, and has set you free.

    I'd encourage you, and anyone else struggling, to take what you wrote, print it out, and tape it to a mirror, the fridge, or their current vice and just read it. Think about it. Let the wisdom of those simple sentences sink in. Fantastic!
  • Wow! I'm so proud of you, @ocean! Just remember: If you're ever in one of those situations and start to feel uncomfortable, it's perfectly acceptable for you to leave. Always put yourself first!

    Keep doing what you're doing, my friend. Because you are totally ROCKIN' it!!!
  • Thank You!!!!!! I just received a large bottle of Proseco as a gift & I wanted to die but just for a minute as I took a breath to remember why I stopped drinking alcohol in the first place. The old me would have drank the entire bottle & felt gross the next day! Actually the more I say no to drinking, the easier it has become yet there are those moments when I get that friggin voice telling me its fine to have one but I know that for me, I believe that would be impossible!!!!!! Again, thank you for your continued support! I have now maintained a sober life since last June & thank God I did as my life would have been a mess!
  • @Ocean, you are a hero, a champion to the cause! Your reasoning and emotional responses are invaluable! I'm so very proud of you!

    Instead of REMEMBERING the reasons why I need pills, I'm RECOGNIZING the fact that I don't ! "The tape" that recovering people describe and that I've only read about, FINALLY hit me this weekend! (at least I pray that has been the revelation) @Leaker, does this sound familiar to you? I need some confirmation as to the excitement I'm feeling... :/
  • @ocean that's so great you realize that social drinking is not for you! and realistically, i happen to think that the majority of "social drinkers" wish they didn't have to drink to be social either and millions are "closet functioning alcoholics"... suffering in silence.

    you're not one of those!!! so yay for that!

    i hear you... our brains want us to think we are giving up something... but we are not! we are GAINING so much!!!!

    grateful for your new life and you being here to share this journey with us!

    :)
  • @Goodtr8s For my recovery, I never had a "eureka" moment, where everything clicked and I saw the light. It was only after a while that I looked back and realized what I was thinking, and what I was doing, and that I had made some critical realizations and discovered the secret to a sustainable recovery. However, my experience is just that, mine. But, I was excited when I was able to reliablely say, "no" to the monster, and it actually respond to me rather than keep pestering me. That was a very exciting feeling.

    It sounds like you had that eureka moment, which is great. It is also great that you are looking at it from the other side of the equation now, that you don't need the pills to be happy as opposed to thinking of why you "need" them.

    @ocean, same to you. Congrats on having temptation dropped in your lap (by a well meaning person) and being able to resist the temptation. I had that moment too, and for me, it played out a lot this this: starting at about 3:30 (some course language and terminology). While I didn't have that same grin, and it was a different situation, I definitely felt that same way on the inside, and after the moment subsided, this exact scene popped into my mind.
  • I love the grin and the strength behind it, @Leaker! I see @Ocean feeling that good, too!
    @dominica, what you said to @Ocean was so heart felt here. She is so happy to be herself, now. She sees it, feels it, and acts on it! Isn't she awesome? I think she has a year anniversary coming up, too...(I blew mine!) But, I'm okay.
    For me, the hardest part has been the raw feelings that the pill helped to numb...

    @Tommy, we're missing you!
  • I was making cookies the other day (slice and bake of course) & my daughter asked how long? I said about 2 minutes & she said..."what? 2 min. its been like 9 months!
    This just keeps me motivated (not to bake) but to stay sober! Just when I thought no one was watching......I realized that everyone is on this journey with me.....Love to all & my prayers & thoughts are with everyone!!!!!!

  • @Leaker love that video clip!! i think i need to watch that movie :)

    @Goodtr8s i hear you about "feeling feelings"... just talked about that last night and i feel the same at times. but learning to feel is part of the healing journey... challenging as it may be. you're doing it though.. and yay for that!! :) i hope things are going well for you!

    @ocean so glad you're staying motivated!! and yes, people are watching, observing, etc. all the time. i hear you on that.

    so grateful for all of you in my life! <3
  • @ocean... I love that comment from your daughter! Talk about motivation!! Wow!!! Bless her heart! o:)
  • @dominica, it's a great movie. A little harsh at times, but hey, it's a prison drama. In and of itself it is a fantastic movie about triumphing over adversity and never giving up. You can really get a lot more out of it, I think, if you look at it from the perspective of it being a metaphor for addiction. The prison is the addiction. SPOILERS AHEAD: Andy gets sent there unintentionally. He didn't do anything wrong, but he gets sent there. At first he is terrified, and watches others suffering from the situation. But eventually he gets comfortable. It is hard, and there are miserable experiences, but he slowly adapts to his new life, and makes friends that seem just like him. He even works to turn this prison into something that resembles his old life, and makes it work, despite the pain, and even the isolation. However, he is always looking to get out, but can't tell anyone. Eventually, he decides that it is time to leave, and the time is right. It takes a lot of effort, and is fraught with danger, but he gets out. He leaves everything behind, save for one great friend that he keeps with him. After he escapes, he is a changed person, and he starts a new life. It is nothing like his life before the prison, but it is something fantastic, and something he dreamed of the entire time he was locked away.
  • @Leaker i will watch that movie sometime soon! (i didn't read your spoiler alert) lol

    will comment after i watch :)
  • I'll have to watch that movie, too, @Leaker. Lord knows why I've never seen it. I think it's on cable just about every night. Next time I see it while flipping channels, I'll stop and watch.
  • @TWSJ, are you still keeping up with the boards? I miss hearing from you, too.
    I hope you are well...
  • @DeanD, I've been meaning to thank you for the Nat King Cole song! I love it!
    It's been 22 days since I made up my mind and still am clean. The physical withdrawal was pretty rough, but the mental was somewhat easier this time...
  • @Goodtr8s ,
    Still sober . Thanks for checking . I hit a lot of AA meetings still , but don't get into the computer enough lately . I hope everyone is well , and remember , no matter what trials stand in front of us , it is always A Great Day to be Sober !
  • "No matter what, it IS A Great Day to be Sober and/ or Clean"
    I like it, @TWSJ
    ;)
  • "Addicts and alcoholics will tell you that their recovery began when they woke up in pitiful and degraded enough shape to take Step Zero, which is: 'This shit has got to stop.'"
    * Anne Lamott

    @DeanD, I just HAD to copy and paste this! Step zero IS the actual first step in the sequence of recovery!
  • I had to think of "that Shit" all day yesterday as I struggled so hard with that voice which told me "you can have 1 glass of wine....it won't kill you..." It was my routine/reward to clean/cook etc...and then reward myself with a nice cold glass of chardonnay prior to everyone coming over for Easter! Yes! Chardonnay was always the "reward"......I really struggled but I go back to why I stopped drinking alcohol in the first place & I visualize my son looking at me and asking " what happened last night?...." that was the night I blacked out & left my puppy outside.....That was almost 10 months ago......Not going back there...I still need to forgive myself.....
  • @ocean hey there! glad you got through the day without alcohol! it's certainly not always easy....but worth it. great to remember your "whys"...

    you'll forgive yourself when you're ready and willing. think of what happened as an opportunity to learn valuable lessons...and you have! no right or wrong... you're not wrong..or bad...or anything negative. so when those guilty "thoughts" arise... tell them (b/c you are not them) where to go. you're not your thoughts...you.are.a.beautiful.soul <3
  • @Ocean, sounds like you had some really harsh thoughts and, perhaps, even almost caved! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. You'll be glad you didn't. I DID CAVE, and have regrets about THAT! I believe you gave yourself the BEST reward THIS Easter. Your son and your puppy and you newly married daughter...they are some of your best reasons and you've been able to LIST other rewards that are now reasons, (your weight, blood pressure, etc)
    Hang in there lady! You've almost a year under your belt! I couldn't be more proud to know you on forums, messages, in prayers for each other. You are a good partner in recovery!

    I'm now, 25 days clean of pills. It's not been easy. I just DON'T make them available. "Out of sight out of mind", now that they are about OUT of my body...

    Now, I suggest you re-read what @dominica sent, many times. She's the best!
    o:)
  • @Goodtr8s hey you! congrats on 25 days clean! woooohoooo! i'm so happy for you! it may not be easy, but it's worth it :)

    hope you had a good holiday weekend with your family! and i pray life is treating you well. you deserve it!!

    always here if you need! hugs!
  • @Goodtr8s... Your welcome for that Nat King Cole song. I love that song so much. I love that Anne Lamott quote, too, so I'm glad you liked it, too!

    @ocean... Good on you for being strong!!!!

    @TWSJ... Sober is better!!! Keep going, my friend!
  • Thank you everyone for your encouragement & support!!!!! Nice to know that I am among such wonderful company!!!!!! It has always been so hard for me to accept that my thoughts are not who I am but shit its hard!!!!! Going to another social event after a long day at work and of course I will be the only one not drinking!!!!! I really do not have any friends who are sober although I can think of a few who wish they were in my shoes!!!!!! Its tough for me as I am very sociable and love to do things and love people in general.....I just keep having to stay strong......I have never judged anyone but I am very hard on myself and I need to give myself a break!!!!!! Love and friendship to all! My prayers are with you!!!!!
  • It IS hard, @ocean. But the hard work is so incredibly worth it! Stay strong and go easy on yourself!

    Love and friendship right backatcha! <3
  • Thank YOU!!!!! By the way, I was at a bar last night and someone commented on how "pretty" my drink looked and asked what I got.....I said club soda & cranberry & I thought the person was gonna die from "shock"......I have another huge event that for the past 9 years of attending I started drinking from morning til night....my friends will do the same this year but I will be drinking mineral water and I will remember everything I plan on doing that day!!!! This journey would be easier if I were "boring" but that will never happen......
  • @ocean congrats! that's pretty awesome! i hear more and more people (esp some of the younger crowed) backing away from the whole "gotta party hard" thing.

    so proud of you! and happy for you!
  • @ocean... You are killing it, my friend. Keep up the good work! And I'm glad you don't plan on being boring! Being sober doesn't have to be boring!!! :)
  • @ocean, YOU GO GIRL! <3

    I had the chance to get some pills in my possession without being sly or coy or rude...a simple "opportunity" (addiction IS an opportunistic disease) but, was able to walk away. Just turned my head, prayed, "devil, be ye behind me!" and walked out of the situation. OH! The Freedom Train, PTL, and hallelujah all in one step! 28 days this go 'round!
  • @Goodtr8s YAY! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!

    that truly is wonderful, and i know you being able to walk away makes you feel good... that freedom is definitely worth a lot..... i have a friend in recovery who always says, "no matter what, i NEVER have to pick up again. never. no.matter.what"

    so be it!!

    have a beautiful day enjoying your freedom :)
  • Thanks, @dominica. And thanks for the advice up there ^^ on dealing with negativity against myself! I don't have time for that kind of "stinking thinking", but, it DOES creep up, it does.
    You're probably right...I'll forgive myself with time. I try not to dwell. I look at the immediate positives around me. Thanks again for encouraging and reminding me!

    I guess I'll tell you guys, I'm going through a divorce. The true, physical and mental process began a week or so ago. The weight that was lifted when we agreed to do this was immeasurable! To be shed of TWO albatrosses from around my neck is going to better my life by leaps and bounds. I simply cannot wait!
    :p
  • @Goodtr8s... I'm super proud of you for passing up that "opportunity." Your progress is an inspiration, my friend. Congrats on 28 days. Just keep going!
  • @Goodtr8s you are going through some things for sure... know that we are here to support you however we can along the whole journey...

    thus starts a new life chapter... write it the way YOU want it to go.
  • @dominica, thanks for the feedback. WOW! "A new chapter..." I haven't thought of it in that respect. I've been in survival mode for so long, now.
    I AM looking ahead. I AM taking stock. I AM excited.

    32 days... o:)

  • @Goodtr8s :) what's the title of your new chapter???
  • Thirty-two days is AWESOME, @Goodtr8s!!!! This chapter is going to be your best one yet!!! <3
  • Hey there, you two...@dominica and @DeanD ! YOU are always checking on us, well, it's time we checked on you! Both of you have a kid in or in need of recovery! How's it going with them? Sons if I recall...are you happy with them? Still have concerns about their safety? Do they live near you? Give us a little update!
    ;)
  • @Goodtr8s thank you for checking in! means a lot!

    i am doing well... my son is not in recovery...he is still drinking. i am not sure how often, b/c i don't ask. every once in a while i check in with him on the topic, but he's not thinking he has a problem. i call him once a week just to catch up. he's 23...he works and lives with his dad, who is an alcoholic who enables him. i live four states away and see him every few months.

    i still worry at times, but i don't let my thoughts stay there. i keep living my life...and resist the temptation to cause myself or beat myself up (if only i'd done this or didn't do that or why is this happening? ) it's not easy having a loved one with addiction issues. not at all.... i pray for him...i've let him know about my concerns and options should he want to quit and can't... it's his journey...and just like it took me a while to deal with my alcohol issues when i was young, i have to let him figure it out...in his timing.

    this forum and the people in it help. reading on the topic helps...

    thank you again for asking!!
  • Thanks for asking about me and my son, @Goodtr8s. My son is clean and sober, but he struggles mightily with severe depression and anxiety. He also had surgery last week to repair a massive hole he had in one of his eardrums. They had to create a new "eardrum" from some tissue they took from his neck...and implant an artificial bone in his ear because the one he had in there had deteriorated. This is all a result of countless ear infections as a kid.

    My son is 28 and has been back living with us for the last 2 years. To say it's been difficult would be an understatement. He's been in and out of emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals, sees a therapist and psychiatrist regularly, and has tried several different meds. Unfortunately, nothing seems to help him. My wife and I keep hoping that one day we will find something that does, though.

    Thanks again for caring. I truly appreciate it.
  • Well, guys, attending church is every bit fulfilling as I remember. I'll be teaching Vacation Bible School next week! Like riding a bike, reading curriculum and prepping for the activities came to me naturally. However, I was a little slow in reading the scriptures assigned. You guys say a prayer for me??
    @Ocean; @DeanD; @Tommy; @dominica; @TWSJ; @Leaker...
    Thanks! :p
  • I do EVERYDAY! You will do just fine! I will say an extra prayer for you in church today! Keep Positive! You got this!
  • @Goodtr8s that's awesome you're enjoying church! and teaching bible school!! very cool! and yes, prayer is headed your way. you'll be great, and Spirit is all over this.... :)

    i drove through atlanta last night and thought of you.... i drove straight through to nc, which wow. it's long. i'll be headed to marietta sometime this trip home to visit a friend for a few days.... so maybe we'll be able to meet up for coffee... will message you concerning that when i know the dates....

    happy sunday and praise God!
  • Yes, @dominica! That would be awesome to meet! I'm in Duluth. It would be a cinch to meet up!
    Thanks for the positivity and prayers!
  • So happy to hear that church is fulfilling for you, @Goodtr8s. And how wonderful that you're teaching Vacation Bible School. What a great way to give back to young people!

    I must say, I'm a bit jealous when I hear of people from the forum meeting up in person. If any of you guys are ever up in the Detroit/Michigan area, please let me know, okay?

    I am saying a prayer for you, @Goodtr8s! Keep doing what you're doing!
  • Yes, @DeanD, it's not likely that any of us will be "passing through" the Detroit/Michigan area! :D
    One of these days, it would be nice to meet up with someone here!
    Thank for the kudos, too. When I look back on these days of separation, breakup and divorce, I'll be able to say all my decisions were made while I was clean and sober. Of this, I am pleased.
    I'll catch up more later! Hope your son, wife and you are hanging in there. Please know you're in my prayers.
    <3
  • @Goodtr8s... Not likely, but ya never know, right? In any case, hit me up if you're ever in the area.

    Glad you're doing well, my friend. Sobriety is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

    Thanks for the prayers. We are hanging in there. One day at a time.
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