Sobriety (off topic or not)?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 1637 of total 1637 in this topic
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 12, 2010 - 01:36pm PT
Tomorrow night, good lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be at a month. I did 2 years and 2 months with no problems, until I relapsed. F*#k has it been hard this time around.

I'm the Hankster, I'm supposed to climb sick sh#t and the hit the pub and get faced for ever. At 40 years old, this style is just not that glamorous anymore. All the cool pictures on the Taco have everyone holding a beer. I can't be one of them and it kills me.

I've been climbing hard for 27 years and drinking was always apart of the scene, when did it all change? No DUI's, No job loss, just shame at unacceptable behavior. F*#k.

I'm going to pick up my chip Sunday morning for 1 month, it just feels so empty somehow. I mean, once you get to 1 month, who friggin cares? Not looking for sympathy, it's my deal. I just needed to get this off my back.

Now back to politics and religion!

Caylor
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Feb 12, 2010 - 01:42pm PT
Hank, you've already proven that you are a fear-fighting monster on rock and jumping off of rocks, buildings, etc....

Now you're taking it to the next level and facing that primal fear of letting go of an identity that has helped you survive in the past (or at least it seemed like it helped) but now it doesn't serve your needs. Keep charging. You'll win as long as you keep getting up when you fall down!

Everyone who thinks you are cool because you fit a certain image is not your friend. They won't be there for you when you are old and unglamorous and in need. You have the chance now to find out who your real friends are, and appreciate them for who and what they are. Consider the best part of your life still ahead of you. The part where you can authentically connect to people around you without wearing a mask, where your sense of self is a rock-solid anchor based on what is inside of you, and not blowing in the wind of people's whimsical adorations. Thus speaketh nutjob, internet mask-wearer learning every day how to have less of a mask in real life.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 12, 2010 - 01:45pm PT
Hang in there Hank, it's worth it.

I really like the fancy coins that you can buy for yourself.

I figured, hey I'm saving a few hundred a month on booze, why not treat myself to a 22 dollar coin?


bmacd

Trad climber
Beautiful BC
Feb 12, 2010 - 01:47pm PT
Booze is for animals ...
photo not found
Missing photo ID#140272

Evolution includes forgiving oneself.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Feb 12, 2010 - 01:53pm PT
Someone (maybe BVB? Not sure) a while back posted a note similar to yours, but said that one upside of the whole deal was that after a relatively short time off the sauce, his climbing improved significantly.

Sexual appetite and performance supposedly increase as well. But we'll wait to hear from you on that one.

Take it a day at a time, and hang in there.
apogee

climber
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:01pm PT
My wife is a therapist in a substance treatment facility at a nearby hospital, and has witnessed and experienced first hand the challenges you are facing. The physical impacts of alcohol are tough, but perhaps the hardest part is the re-establishing of one's identity without alchohol, and dealing with constant social challenges of being around people you have known for years while being sober, and without alcohol as common denominator.

Best of luck to you, Hank- you are on a most difficult path, but you are sure to have the skills and strength to navigate it.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:01pm PT
booze is not the glue of climbing and base, find that other thing that is the glue for you, and that will be your focus.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:04pm PT
at this point in my life: father of two sweet young lassies, workafukin-holic, sporadic nomad, bill payer, home maker,
and just generally confused,

booze gets me from point a to infinity in manner just skewed.

and i like it.

at 35 im holdin up well thus far.
skandanavian genes god bless them!

good luck with your trip hank.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
Thanks guys, just a little kick in the butt is what I needed. GAWD this sucks.

Caylor

edit too add- F*#K the Scandanavians and their whole I can handle my booze ways. Bastards!
Park Rat

Social climber
CA, UT,CT,FL
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
Hank,

Warren Harding did not want to be an alcoholic, he felt powerless to stop drinking.

Late in life he said.

"Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be winos."

You can make it, hang in there! There is a lot of support here.

All my best to you.

Susie
nature

climber
Tucson, AZ
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
IF you say it sucks then it does. So don't say it sucks and it won't.
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:07pm PT
Good Luck Caylor. I have seen so many lives destroyed by Alcohol. You are on the right path and I will pray for you.

Juan
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:09pm PT
You can do it hank! Just focus on the reasons for quiteing and forget about all the rest. Proud of you thus far.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:09pm PT
You post some very cool pictures Hank, as well as very interesting thoughts.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:10pm PT
It's not true that the cool photos show people with beer/alcohol in their hands. Go back and look again. Show yourself that such photos are rare. Much more photos showing fun without beer/alcohol in hand.

Congrats on the one month. It's something to be proud of.

I think you look way damn cool without the beer.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:11pm PT
Hank, your post made me think of what Kevin Fosburg wrote here once in reference to Walt Shipley (not in ref to alcohol). It's one of the few things I've read on ST that I've kept in mind:

"There is another challenge though that I'm sure Walt would not hesitate to affirm if he were around, the challenge of coming down from that ineffable space and living our lives in a way that is of use to those we love. I think it's possible to use the kind of brave passion Walt so uniquely embodied and bring it to bear on our daily lives in a creative non-self-destructive way."

best of luck, and great work so far. I see the destructiveness of alcohol all the time in my work.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:13pm PT
I have heard people say that their relapse really f*#ked with what some refer to as "the gift of sobriety."

I think it's possibly because the first time one gets sober, it can be like a real rollercoaster ride, amazing, frightening, if nothing else - intense. I remember at 90 days feeling as if I was LIVING on a tightrope; that was how precariously in balance my sober life was.... And of course, one day at a time that experience continues.

So long as you don't pick up.

From hearing what others who have gotten sober a second, third or however many times, it seems like the thing they had in common was an awareness that all the sh#t is right there, around the corner, waiting. One drink away. On stinking drink. And you're back at square one. F*#k.

And that takes some of the shine off that whole One Day At a Time idea.


Well - I don't know what to say. I did have a 1-year period of not drinking just before I moved to New York. But it wasn't a "sobriety" thing. I had stopped drinking, but didn't know anything else, hadn't gotten "the gift". So when I started drinking again, it wasn't any issue to me.

Then I got sober, and it has stuck. So far. I have heard enough people in your boat to know I had best do what I can to try to keep it up. I don't have much discipline....and it's not hard for me to imagine how dismal the outlook might be bouncing back and forth, or just staying drinking.

One thing to consider is that, in that time of sobriety that you had, you may not have "turned the corner" and seen what your life may be with real sobriety as a foundation. If that is the case, you CAN make that happen. The way to do that is through service. The coffee commitment, reaching out to the newcomer, early to the meeting and setting up the chairs. All that crap. There's a secret that gets shown in the service crap; sort of like an AA secret handshake. Nobody will tell you what this is - so don't bother asking. But you will know it when it happens...

Along with service, the suggestions I can make would be:
 Keep a good eye on what the hell it looks like to be drunk and what happens to drunks - because you AIN'T DRUNK RIGHT NOW and you want to stay that way. Go along with others to some of those institutions meetings(jails, mental hospitals, homeless shelters).
 To share at meetings about the "one month; no one cares after that" feeling.
 Go up to the "I'm so and so and this is my first meeting" people at each meeting. Stick out your hand and welcome them. They're scared, pissed off, confused, all sorts of things. And you know how they feel. They will appreciate your kindness. Even if it's just a gruff "Hey, welcome. Keep coming back. Do you have a meeting book yet?"
 Make the 90 Days a worthwhile goal to go for. Here in NY a person can qualify after 90 days. DAMNED RIGHT it is fun to make people listen to your blather(instead of having to listen to theirs!).

Dude - everything we searched for in drinking is there, available for us through the sacrifice of that very substance. And as corny or "f*#k you and your shiny sobriety, happiegrrrl" as it may sound, I absolutely promise you that this is the truth.

It's there - just down the road. Just ahead, around some corners. Sometimes a lot of corners...but it is there. I absolutely promise you this. But you have to keep walking TOWARD the light.

And while you're walking, hold the lantern up so the poor suckers behind you can see the path. They need your help.
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
Hank, I do not know you, but I do know what ails you. I dare you to seek the small phrase and story in the literature that speaks of focus. Specifically on the problem and solution. Ask when you arrive early(hint), and then not only read it, live it and great things can result. I would also put a little time in listening to the one who knows where it is right off the top of their head.

Been there, done that. Man it was such a long time ago. Wouldn't change a thing either. It'll pass, just like it always does.

Bob
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 12, 2010 - 02:37pm PT
my scandanavian gremlins got no complaints yet.
i still wrestle saplings outta the ground bare handed (6" tall or less).

my heart, though, is issuing unfamiliar sounds... something about questioning
whether those nectars are medicinal, or fluid illness.

i got no answers here. the whispers between your ears are not mine.
that's why we all dance so funny.
luggi

Trad climber
from the backseat of Jake& Elwood Blues car
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:00pm PT
Caylor...we all have our demons in all different forms...probs for recognizing it...and dealing with it. There are a lot of people that don't have the courage to do what you are doing, the easy sh^t is climbing. Life is too short to live it looking through the bottom of the bottle. Post anytime when you feel that urge.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:09pm PT
Be happy that a month has gone and your sober. Live one day at a time because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is but a dream. My dad is 10 years sober this fathers day. He was never a mean drunk he was just drunk. he just quit and has never looked back. I don't know what they say about drinking Non Alchol beer but my dad does and it has never led him back to the real deal.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:21pm PT
If your tempted to take that first drink, call me immediately, day or night. That's all you have to do for the moment - avoid that first drink. And go to meetings.

JL
Jingy

Social climber
Nowhere
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:26pm PT
here's to hoping for the best outcome for Hankster...

It's a daily thing.. just remember to live in the moment, but also that you have a future that inclues many good times to be had with friends on and off the rock, and family.

Good luck.... one day at a time
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:44pm PT
hank,
re-reading your original post, you are telling tale of the evolution of your's self.
from my account, this is a quite dynamic existence. things that made sense before, utterly befuddle me today.

and i know that i cant begin to expect what will fill my gob and heart tomorrow. its a great journey, for all the change.

it sounds like your soul is just ready to move on. don't look back and hold those times with envy. that sucks. you got tomorrow to look forward to - and all of its enjoyable wobbles.

let today be the threshold between the past and... yep.
Tea

Trad climber
Behind the Zion Curtain
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:47pm PT
hang tough Hank! You can do it!

bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:50pm PT
Hang in there, Hank. Good luck and God bless!
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Feb 12, 2010 - 03:56pm PT
One of the greatest gifts in my life was someone else's sobriety.

As much as I ever hold anyone in my athiest prayers, I notice when one of you 'topians who has posted about getting sober posts something...anything. I see you here, and I'm hoping that you're able to make sobriety work out for yourselves in this crazy community where so many of our friends can't or won't make the change even when the party sucks more than it doesn't.

It might seem like no one cares that you're sober after a month, but it's probably a very rare bird for whom that is actually true.

Internet love to you.
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Feb 12, 2010 - 04:06pm PT
Good luck bro. Stay strong!
PP

Trad climber
SF,CA
Feb 12, 2010 - 04:14pm PT
good work Hank ! I made it through 1 night last night and was really excited. I knew I was going to sleep better feel better in the morning and basically get off on the right foot. hoping to make it through two nights but being friday night could be harder but it would be nice to get the weekend off to a good start rather than a mild hangover. It is becoming clearer to me that even minor amounts of booze make it alot harder to do the things I really want to do with my life.
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 12, 2010 - 05:35pm PT
Hankster thank you so much for this thread! I have been contemplating starting a thread called "Climber As Alcoholic/Addict" On topic indeed. We all know them and some of us are them. I personally have been fighting hard but losing the battle right now. I just went out again after 7 days beer and pot free. My best is 60 days.
I can really relate to your situation. Same age and lifestyle. Witch is why I feel like such an outsider at meetings. I've never met one of our "tribe" at one. It's hard to picture myself at a campfire in Camp 4 or Hidden Valley without a beer and pipe. Or any place else for that matter. These things have always been a part of my chosen "counterculture" lifestyle which climbing used to fit into so well. Now the stuff that gave life richness is crushing me.
Being agnostic is not making it any easier. What are your thoughts on prayer? Should I go through the motions even if I'm a skeptic?
Chief

climber
Feb 12, 2010 - 05:47pm PT
Way to go Hank!

I never met a beer I didn't like and have lived by Benjamin Franklin's axiom,"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
It does get a bit old after a decade or two though and you can find yourself way downhill on a slippery slope if you're not careful.
First thirty days are the toughest and you're in there man.
Best, hang in there.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 12, 2010 - 05:51pm PT
tis the golden depths of debauchery:

an all knight binge lands you kneeling at the edge of your daughters' bed, beholding the best beauty, that is a sleeping child.

the youngest, makalu, wakes slightly sharing her eyes with you. when she sees dad near, she smiles and says, i love you daddy.

the resulting headwind is so perfectly sweet, that you cannot face it.

you turn and leave the room.
...
i steal the last bowl of alphabet cereal. with rice milk this morning.
i rearange the letters so that my first spoonful reads, "chi"
when that fails to revive my verve,
i tilt another meaty beer saluting the wayward path.
...
we don't need no stinking heaven. we conduct our song just fine in hell.
...
i am too sad to look at this world with klean eyes.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 12, 2010 - 07:41pm PT
Good Luck on Day Two, PP.

Mountain Dog - I have a friend who came to AA about a month after me. He was Atheist, and of course the Higher Power thing was a conundrum for him.

Luckily, he was also desperate.....

As the literature says, "a God of YOUR understanding."

My friend, Adam, found a little plastic piggy on the sidewalk. It was some sort of trinket, probably from a gumball machine. Well - he slung a little string around that pig and made him into a key ring or something. And the pig was his Higher Power.

It was one part facetiousness, another part desperation(as already mentioned), and mixed with a little willingness to give it a shot. He'd friggin' tried everything else he could come up with already.

It worked for him. Worked quite well. He's 13 plus years sober now, and though he's switched to being Agnostic, he doesn't feel he compromised his ideals in any way having that Higher Power Piggy.

Others have chosen trees, dollar bills, and any number of totems to be their HP.



Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 08:28pm PT
booze is the poor man's heroin,

if you really want to feel sorry for yourself, get into the Big H.

then do 5 years in the big house.

beer? give me a break, will ya?

you guys are gettin all heavy over too much beer?

c'mon man, quit yankin my chain.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 12, 2010 - 08:30pm PT
DrSprock, the new rokjox?
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 08:31pm PT
naw, just bs as usual, can't you tell?

if you don't know me by now...

hows that somg go?
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 08:34pm PT
if you want to read about someone with a Real problem,

not to make you feel wimpy or anything, you must read this:

http://www.prestonhubbard.com/My%20Story.htm
Robb

Social climber
The Greeley Triangle
Feb 12, 2010 - 08:46pm PT
Hankster,
I'll stay dry if you will. Remember every day we stay sober, it makes us stronger.
Hang tough bro,
Robb


PS: If it gets really bad, shoot me an email.
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 12, 2010 - 08:48pm PT
Sprock don't be a dick. We all react to different chemicals in our own way, and we all have our personal favorites. Many a hard man has been brought down by alcohol. I keep thinking of an old friend, the late Ralliegh Collins. He wasn't a junkie, he drank. To much sex brought Tiger Woods down.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 12, 2010 - 09:30pm PT
Dr. Sprock - I mean this in the nicest possible way, but STFU.

Fogarty

climber
BITD
Feb 12, 2010 - 09:53pm PT
Hank, Congratulations on your sobrity, I have 42 days, this is the longest for me since I was maybe sixteen. Best of luck to all of us on this journey.

Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 09:58pm PT
ok, alright, your right, it's all relative,

and no sympathy is a bad way to treat addicts.

that link story is too long anyway.

i detect that i need a more mainstream post, here we go:

poor sprock, pour sprock a drink,

AA is great, but only 1 out of 37 addicts will die sober.

those are really bad odds.

so, the program is not perfect.

it tends to leave one with a constant craving that has to be supressed.

that is why the real dicks are people with 20 or more years sober.

they have been fighting their own demon for 20 years, and it is still there,

me? i use the substitution technique, frowned upon by AA, but it works for me,

is that ok with you cyber heads that i do not know from Adam?

who is now dead, the last of the Bonanza cast, who was also a meth head?

just kiddin...


if that post is not mamby pamby enuff, let me know and i can dumb it down into a mother teresa type routine.

phillygoat

climber
portland,
Feb 12, 2010 - 10:04pm PT
Hank, I can't pretend to know you or your struggles, but my IMPRESSION of your skillz, badass-ness, wit, nature, kindness- has ZERO to do with drinking!

I wish you the best and thank you for these threads. They really help me to check in on my own habits and demons (I'm flirting with abstinence).
d-know

Trad climber
electric lady land
Feb 12, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
seven days off the sauce for me.

i'm right there w/you brother.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 10:27pm PT
just a hint, stay away from NA beer, it does have alcohol in it,

and it messes up your kidneys worse than regular beer.

bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 12, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
hankster, i've got four months this coming monday. it feels great.

you know what to do. stick it.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 10:45pm PT
and have a backup plan ready.

what if you run over somebody by accident tomorrow.

what will prevent you from running to the liquor store?

sobriety can be fragile, so beef it up a little and be ready.

mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 12, 2010 - 11:07pm PT
Sprock, Why do you persist to be an agitator and troll. I am open to cynicism but I want it to be productive. Most of your comments are irrelevant and moronic.

I know their are real climbers on this forum with insight on this issue. Please give us food for thought. I'm not looking for Big Book talk but your real feelings.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Feb 12, 2010 - 11:15pm PT
Go Hank Go. Stay sober dude. Just take your next breath & then the one after. A lotta folks here on STupor Torpor are rootin' fer ya .


BE STRONG !!!
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
the best thing to read in the big book are the stories in the back.

the deal is, sh#t happens all the time,

and if something happens while you are trying to kick, it can set you right back on your ass.

so all that work, all those meetings, down the drain.

and every stinkin time i relapse, i seem to really blow it,

this is because the tolerance is not there, but the desire is ten fold.

so, the most important time in your life, as far as sobriety is concerned, is that moment where you can make it, or break it.

so, just understand that you are going to be tested, perhaps in a rather rude way, so if you are barely hangin, you need to beef up your support,

that way, you avoid the excess baggage that you do not want to claim.




pip the dog

Mountain climber
planet dogboy
Feb 12, 2010 - 11:19pm PT
good on you, caylor. 30 days sober is the best anyone has ever done in 30 days.

stay with it, great one. one pitch at a time.

^,,^ (michael)
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 12, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
ok, if youve been to just 1 meeting
you heard the opening,

"cunning, baffling..."

and all that dr bill crap from the 50's.

well, that wasn't good enuff for me, being the scientific type.

so, i started to figure out what he was talikng about,

it is a big puzzle, and many of the pieces are missing,

but a few ones that i Think i have figured out>,

the reason you are not to have one drop is because if you do,

the subconcious makes a map of that event, the pleasure, the taste, all the sensations from the libations.

now, you forget that they are still there, and then, one day,
you happen to stimulate that memory, from some outside source that you might not even bee aware of, and the next thing you know, you are running to the store.

this memory could be a week old, it could be 20 years old, but it is still there.
maybe a whole bunch of them are still there.
so you have to keep your guard up and do some self analysis as to what type of stimilus-response mechanisms you are up against,
and not giving in to them,

the way to do this is to try and recount all the times you had a fond memory of drinking, and separate all those files into a directory where they will not bother the part of the brain that is dealing with daily survival.

then, you try and think of ways that these memories could be triggered, maybe a waft of beer goes by your nose,
maybe you see a girl that looks just like the one you got lucky with in the bar,
all this stuff is working, but you are not aware of it.
so just realizing this mechanism is there is a big part of beating the alcohol trap.

so baffling?

not really. just a simple subconcious stim/resp mech.
been there for years.


another thing to watch out for is what electrical geeks call positive feedback.

this is a self perpetuating circuit where a small part of the output signal is applied to the input of the circuit, in such a way (in phase) that it causes more amplification.
this cycle repeats itself until you have oscillation, or feedback.

alcohol has the same circuit already built in,

as soon as you pick up the bottle again, your good judgment is the first thing that gets wiped from the brain cells.

so any chance you had of quitting, well, the Devil has made sure that it was the first thing to go, along with moderation.

this is another really good reason to never have "just one."

because once you start that feedback loop circuit in your brain, you may as well check into the hospital and save yourself the 6 months of torture.

so all this demon alcohol crap really has a logical explanation,

nothing is worse than trying to deal with a problem you do not understand,it just makes it that much tougher.

so i figure if you know whats really going on, you are ahead of the curve a bit,
enjoimx

Big Wall climber
SLO Cal
Feb 12, 2010 - 11:55pm PT
If nothing else will keep you sober, this will.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZmDWltBziM&NR=1
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:03am PT
Tami,

Torpor
Now there's a word you don't see in use much...Well Done!
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:49am PT
Sprock, Your last two posts were more useful to me. Your being more realistic. I want to know more about how the mind works in regards to addiction. I've heard a few people in meetings mention a "toolkit" that helps them deal with the "cunning and baffling" compulsion and obsession. I think they got their "toolkit" in rehab but I don't want to go there.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:06am PT
It helps to remember that drinking is only a symptom of "alcholism." Once you quite drinking, you have to address why you were drinking in the first place, and that always involves a "cunning and baffling" cosmos of psychological, physical and spiritual challenges.

Let's keep the good energy going for Hank. Those 30-day speed wobbles can get pretty intense.

JL
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:41am PT
Largo, Glad you joined in. I respect your opinion. Do you agree with most that addiction/alcoholism is a "disease"? Is there anyone in this room who thinks differently? Climbers opinions preferred. Just seeking knowledge.
To Hankster and the others fighting your fight, hang in there.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 13, 2010 - 03:03am PT
it is a disease,

they have isolated the gene i believe,

it takes about 6 months for the mind and body to get semi stable,

then another 6 months after that to feel half way normal.

your whole body changes, your metabolism is based on sugar from alcohol.

beer has nutrients, it is far better to stick to beer if you must drink,

the enzymes in the liver get all whacked, so you change from a liquid diet, to a normal diet,

alcohol is a poison, just like gasoline or chemo.

so you are literally drinking poison to catch a buzz, think about how primitive that is,
but we have wine snobs who think they are so cool, because it's just wine,
ok, whatever.


it ruins every kind of tissue in your body, which means All the organs,

and your brain of course.

so your thinking, and your body go thru slow changes when you quit.

you may notice a huge energy boost after you quit, most 30 day types drive everybody nuts with all that energy, it makes you seem crazy to the AA types, but you mellow out after about month 3 or 4.

at 6 months, you get a little attitude going, you think your joe cool sh#t cause you got it dicked, and you are gonna let everybody know about how good you are, and how bad booze is, blah blah blah.

but after about a year, you start to forget the issue entirely, and just learn to relax and smoke a big honkin bowl, and eat a whole box of cocoa puffs. because you can.


they have this hungry, angry lonely, tired thing also.

but that does not make since to me, because HALT is a way of life for most of us,

we get tired, so we sleep, we get hungry, so we eat.

but we have to get tired and hungry first, so screw that logic.

the way you deal with HALT is to be aware you are dealing with HALT, and just "as is" it.

that is borrowed from the church of seizmology,

they have a concept that says as soon as you identify something, you "as is" it.

after you as is something, it disappears from the mind.

so you "as is" being tired, or lonely, and it goes away.

this way you never have to freak out because you feel yourself in HALT mode.

you say, ok, i'm in danger mode,....so what?

get it?


and stay home if you feel the need to blow it.

one guy from santa cruz went out after 20 years, first time drunk,
and he killed someone with his car,

so from your living room to life in prison, all in 1 hour.

CYA, cover your ass , if you are a member of "The Club."

a 3,000 dollar fine will buy a ton of cab rides.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 13, 2010 - 09:13am PT
Sprock - I apologize for my STFU remark. I wasn't getting where you were coming from. It seemed to me you were saying "You're pissing about alcohol? Damned Babies!" and suggesting something like 'alcohol addiction is to narcotics and kittens are to gigantic mountain lion type animals from back in the dinosaur ere. With wings."

Which would be helpful, no doubt, if people here are kicking heroin.

Anyway - again, I am sorry I misunderstood your effort. You definitely have some good suggestions about that toolkit.

Mountain Dog - The toolkit is being built by you already. It's not something only available through the rehab process. In the toolkit are all the suggestions people are writing here, and that you are hearing from other sources. All the experiences you have that are helping you build your life without drinking. This Supertopo thread is part of your toolkit!

If you have the days clean, no need for rehab at this point. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and finding your way. Not everyone gets clean through rehab(I didn't).

But, if you do find yourself relapsed, or relapsing, and the ways you have been trying don't seem to be doing it, then trying a rehab might be a good idea. They are good in that they have a medical facility to assist in the physical detox portion of the program, and then give you a buffer zone to live in while you get a start. That can be really helpful for someone who would otherwise be just feel too close to easy access of a slip. And they teach you some of the stuff you're learning about here and in your meetings and other places.

When I was first getting sober, I was a little jealous of some of the ones who'd come from rehabs. Some of them made it sound like a sleepaway camp, fer chrissakes! All the care and attention from others....I wanted that!

hahaha - I know that's not really the case, and I couldn't have afforded a rehab anyway, and I also didn't need it. But the rhabs can be a good choice for people. My mom did a couple, and they really were helpful, since she was going to be cast right back in the thick of things the moment she got out.(A family dependent on her, a serious dysfunctional dynamic in the family, and a family with no understanding as to what she was going through). And her rehabs weren't the cushy places I was imagining that I had missed out on....


Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2010 - 11:22am PT
Largo, "30 day speed wobbles" is a great way to put it. You think as soon as you quit drinking everything is gonna just become great. What really happens is you get sober enough to realize what a total dick you were at Christmas and what a fool you made of yourself at Thanksgiving etc etc.

Thanks for the support and advice y'all. Largo I'll call you soon.

Caylor
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Feb 13, 2010 - 11:59am PT
Hank, you are a great athlete and a funny guy. I've seen firsthand how booze can destroy all that. I quit drinking some years ago, and man it feels so good to get up in the morning, or to rope up feeling super stoked and fresh! I can finally look at a bottle of beer or booze and see it for what it is, pure f*#king poison. Realize that and keep looking to the future. Hang in there bro, you are getting it done one day at a time.
locker

Social climber
Oryay Ommamay
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:05pm PT

"What really happens is you get sober enough to realize what a total dick you were at Christmas and what a fool you made of yourself at Thanksgiving"...

Trust me...

those memories will grow on you more and more as you get your head screwed on better...

Just DON'T let it drive you to DRINK...

;-)








And like Dr Sprock points out...



In time, perhaps you can BURN ONE and NOT go full bore back into the BOOZING WORLD...


I quit BOOZING over 16 years ago and manage to keep total control on the BURNING...
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:08pm PT
Sobriety is never off topic. Ever.

Don't drink, go to meetings, get/call a local sponsor. Call Largo. Learn to appreciate the smell of rank coffee in church basements.

Just cos you climbed and jumped the sick shiz, then hit the pub while you were a drinking alcoholic, doesn't mean you can't climb and jump sick shiz and then go to a meeting as a sober alcoholic. Been there, done that, got the chips and medallions. Join the circle, dude.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:40pm PT
"Torpor
Now there's a word you don't see in use much...Well Done!"

Whaddaya mean? I have been calling this place Stupor Torpor for years and I want credit for coming up with the name.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:43pm PT
i realize and enjoy the dangers.

i wanna sprint toward that threshold, beyond which i'm wayward,
and then reel back and laugh.

cause i've the control, discipline and glee to tiptoe upon that edge and smirk as bits of my soul crumble and fall among the void.

its that peeling of the soul that i thrive around.

im on that edge folks. having guiness upon harps. pluckin the strings of sorrow.

so, cheer.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
happigirl, no need to apologize, i expect a lot more flack than i get around here,

these clinics nowadays, they have valium, and seconal, and qualudes, well, maybe not ludes, but they have a whole ton of stuff they can give you so you don't start shaking like my ex girl.

never seen a body shake so much, for so long, really disgusting,

poor ol Preston had to kick the big H while in a jail cell, no fun.

my dad used to get hospitalized on a weekly basis,

back then, believe it or not, el camino hospital stuck a jack daniels IV in his arm, because that was the way they did it back then.

yeah, booze is a social drink, thats why it's legal.

weed makes you shack up by yourself and surf the net, so it is not considered socially exceptable.

that is why we are surrounded by booze, on every street corner, in every grocery store, gas station, everywhere you look, beer!

which is cool if your a drinker,

AA is the only church i trust nowadays, nice people who want to help,

but the coffee does suck,

\

the most important thing to remember:

It's not your fault!

please believe that,

making ammends is cool, but half the people you abuse know whats going on, so don't sweat the drunken holidays too bad,

Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
Sprocketville
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:38pm PT
you wanna hear a funny one, we were in our drunk class, and the black teacher, who was an ex heron addict, (black folks always pronounce it heron for some strange reason,)
anyway, the teacher asks "what are some of the properties of alcohol?"

and one of the guys says "social lubricant."

and poor ol derek, rest his soul, says "please don't talk about sex in this class..."

i guess you had to be there,
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:00pm PT
Twisted crank said: "Join the circle, dude."

I can remember, years ago, when I had about two months and I was all skiddish and after a meeting I was running for my car and an old timer came up to me and said, "Don't leave us now." Those words saved me, I swear to God.

So, yeah. Join the circle.

JL
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:20pm PT
To hear most of you guys stick up for AA helps give me some hope. I've never been into joining clubs or groups. Always felt like and wanted to stay an outsider. A do it yourselfer.
Now, I don't think I can solo this climb. It's good to know I have some peers out there to relate to.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:21pm PT
a while back this old-timer lady pulled me aside and told me "you don't have to do this alone."

took me a while to take that to heart, but today it serves me well.
Chief

climber
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
AA always stood for Attitude Adjustment.
Just for Today!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:26pm PT
the undeniable struggle though...

reality, at times, should be averted. as too much off it is stiffling.

so,
how do you sober folk sidestep the poke in the ribs?
Ricardo Cabeza

climber
All Over.
Feb 13, 2010 - 06:06pm PT
Hank, thanks for bringing this up.

I, too, suffer from alcoholism.

I start, I stop. It all goes back and forth.

I don't post while under the influence as a matter of principle, but alcohol has ruined my life.
I feel helpless, beat down, and it kills me.

I was once a happy, fun loving person.

Now, I teach skiing and drink at night.

I feel confused,scared and stuck in a cycle I don't enjoy.

AA doesn't seem like the answer for me, but I'm running out of options, self control went out the window a while back.

Thanks for speaking about this, you're not alone.

Best,
Brandon-
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Feb 13, 2010 - 07:39pm PT
Ricardo Cabeza.........

Hey Brandon,

I have no solutions but if you feel caught in a cycle, try to change the routine. This may allow some room for objectivity.

You don't have to "be" what's going on. You can change how you identify your self without feeling shame or failure. Email me if you'd like, I have big ears.

Jim
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 13, 2010 - 07:41pm PT
AA doesn't seem like the answer for me, but I'm running out of options, self control went out the window a while back.

Ricardo,
There are LOTS of people who struggle with AA. More of them than the ones who take to it right off.
As they say, take what you need and leave the rest. It may not be a perfect system, but it has improved millions of lives in the last 60+ years. Not a doubt in my mind.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 13, 2010 - 07:56pm PT
Brandon - AA can be a tough nut for some people, and for some it just doesn't do it. Some have talked about another program called Rational Recovery; I admit I know nothing about that one though.

Some have done a stint in rehab, and through their own efforts afterward, stayed clean.

Some have had their doctors prescribe...I forget the name of that drug. It makes you feel like CA-RAP if you have a drink. I have never used it but know someone who did.... He says "yep, you feel like sh#t." Unfortunately for him, not shitty enough. He drank while on it. Antibuse! That's the drug.



"so,
how do you sober folk sidestep the poke in the ribs?"



Do you mean, avoid feeling the pain, embarrassment, discomfort, humiliation and all those other icky things that happen in daily living?

If yes.... I sidestep them through other processes that aren't good for me - oversleeping and eating sugary foods, mostly. Or I lash out in anger. That isn't good either for me, since I feel crappy afterward.

Some people sidestep with other things. Just cause one doesn't drink doesn't mean they don't still do some pretty sketchy stuff. I've known sober people who were still stealing, sex addicts, raging angry mofo's....

But - the better way is to step back front and center, instead of side-stepping. Feel the pain, humiliation, anger, upset, whatever. Adter all, for me that goes along with getting all the life stuff I have gotten from being sober.

Actually....I am a few days away from getting to experience something potentially really big for me. Well, a step in that direction, anyway. Something that, if I wondered what was one of the things I thought I would never get in life, this would be the one at the top of that list. The fears that this is going to be a poke in the side so painful I want to shrivel up and die are great. I am actually sort of scared.

But I am using those tools I learned through AA, and each time I catch myself going "down a bad line" in my mind, I stop, and go over the facts that I do know. And I tell myself to trust. And be present for this.

I may get an awful poke in the side. But I also may get something else; something much nicer. Without risking the pain, that wouldn't be possible.
willie!!!!!

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 13, 2010 - 10:57pm PT
Hankster - You've got a couple years on me, and I can see we are different in many ways, but I'm right there with ya on the drink.

Alcohol has been a HUGE player in my life. I've never been a down-and-out gutter drunk. Quite the opposite. I've accomplished a lot and made a name for myself in my career and hobbies. Which really amazes me because I am fully alcohol's bitch. I've hit rock bottom twice and done 3 years sober once and 2 years sober the other. Right now I'm fighting (or not) for my life again.

The hardest part for me is that my entire limited social life revolves around getting shitty. All my friends are fellow barfly lushes. It's what we do. It's fun a lot of the time! I'm a big part of an amazing music scene. But the youthfullness I always relied on to get me to the hill the next morning is fading.

The funny thing is that during those five years of sobriety, I did 3 times as much awesome sh#t than during my drunk life.

I'm gonna quit again soon. I have to. I'm looking forward to the awesome hallucinations on night 2-5 and also dropping right back to my fighting weight in 3 weeks.

Congrats on a month. That's a hell of a long ways, as you know.

Put the energy you're killing into something rad.

Neil said we're all like setting suns. Setting suns are awesome. Just shortlived. It's all been written about and studied forever. But here we are, eh? Pretty real.


I'll end this with the Slobberbone on my mind today. I hiked 3 times at the pass. Good day. Still gotta quit again soon. Time for more manic sober antics.



Get Gone Again - Slobberbone


I'm so sick of writing songs about screwin up
No matter how much I fall down, it seems it's never enough
No matter how much good luck throws itself my way
I find some way to ruin it and out again the next day

Road rash and run down
Wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound
And I sing along just the same
I wonder how long I'll hang around before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again

Put myself on trial again for crimes I could not see
My naked aggression was picked up on a charge of indecentcy
And I remember how I felt when first it exposed itself to me
And I pray for forgiveness and a sympathetic jury

Road rash and run down
Wrinkled from the rain
the song in my heart makes just one sound
And I sing along just the same
I wonder how long I'll hang around before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again

And it makes no difference what you thought you came here for
Any plans that you might've had
Are swept right out the door
And it makes no difference how hard you think you've tried
When you'll find out in the end its just...
It's just a lie

There's been girls that loved me, I cheated on them
With a woman named whiskey and gin, her best friend
But their affections flow like liquid to a thousand other men
Who will trade lovin for liquor, salvation for sin

Road rash and run down
Wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound
And I sing along just the same
I wonder how long I'll hang around before I go insane
Before I break down,
And get gone again
And get gone again......
dipper

climber
Feb 13, 2010 - 11:57pm PT
This thread is likely the most significant thread on ST in years.

In no way denigrating all the brilliant posts by Jello, Ed H. (Frank S. thread a true gem), Doug R., Guido, Karl and more.

Watching all the drunk posting (mine included) that has gone on here for years, reading of those that lost the battles with the bottle, the depression and all manner of other hurdles, I vote this thread stay on the front page non-stop.

So many people here have lived on adrenaline for so long as climbers or skiers or base jumpers, living without that euphoric jolt can be damn hard.

Hank, I wish you all the best. Thanks for asking for help. You have all that i can give.

The same to all the rest soldiering on, whether you know you are soldiering or not.

Cinclus mexicanus - That bird that swims
willie!!!!!

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:13am PT
And to top it off (sorry), the other 90% of the world wishes they had our problems, right?!? WTF.

Anyways, keep up the good work, man. I'll be joining you soon.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:22am PT
Second Chances

I can’t let it go, the picture I keep of myself
in ruin, living alone, some wretched town
where friendship is based on just being around.
And I drink there a lot, stare at the walls until
the buzzing of flies becomes the silence I drown in.
Outside, children bad-mouth my life with songs
their parents told them to sing. One showers
my roof with stones knowing I’m afraid
to step out and tell him to stop. Another yells,
“You can’t get a woman, old man. You don’t get a thing.”

My wife, a beautiful woman, is fixing lunch.
She doesn’t know I dream these things. She thinks
I’m fine. People respect me. Oh, she knows, all right,
I’ve seen grim times. But these days my poems
appear everywhere. Fan mail comes. I fly east
on a profitable reading tour. Once in a while
a young girl offers herself. My wife knows that, too.
And she knows my happiness with her is far more
than I ever expected. Three years ago, I wouldn’t
have given a dime for my chances at life.

What she doesn’t know is now and then
a vagabond knocks on the door. I go answer
and he says, “Come back, baby. You’ll find
a million poems deep in your destitute soul.”
And I say, “Go away. Don’t ever come back.”
But I watch him walk, always downhill toward
the school yard where children are playing “ghost,”
a game where, according to the rules, you take
another child’s name in your mind but pretend
you’re still you while others guess your new name.


willie!!!!!

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:54am PT
BVB - you will be one of my mental inspirations this time around. Thanks.
pocoloco1

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:59am PT
bvb, great stuff. your pen?
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 14, 2010 - 02:00am PT
i wish. that's richard hugo.
em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
Feb 14, 2010 - 03:15am PT
hank,

keep on, one day at time

regarding the higher power / belief conundrum, a good book:
"One Breath at a Time - Buddhism and the Twelve Steps" by Kevin Griffin

namaste, and may the higher power be with you, whatever that may be

Floridaputz

Trad climber
Oakland Park Florida
Feb 14, 2010 - 10:18am PT
regret will be replaced with joy !
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
What's the worst part about knott drinking?




When you wake up in the morning, that's as good as yer gonna feel all day...

And there's something to be said for that!
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:31pm PT
That's not true.... Especially if you have a cold and are all stuffed up from laying down all night. Or wake up from a nightmare. Or something.


But I suppose - if going up from awful is to be seen as a positive, then....I stick with Door Number One, Bob.

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:37pm PT
Hmmm. I take breaks from alcohol every week - from a day or two to a few days.
I ALWAYS feel better on the mornings when I have knott had any booze the day before,
whether a single beer or several shots of high-grade tequila. When I take breaks spanning
a month or more, I consistently feel much better every morning - day after day after day...
eKat

Trad climber
BITD2
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:44pm PT
Can anyone tell me whether you found the drug Campral to be effective in alcohol abstinence. I rely a great deal on patient feed back. Also has anyone used Suboxone who might provide some feedback? I DO know the drugs I RX for smoking cessation can be hugely effective (Chantix, Wellbutrin) but I know less about how effective is Campral and Subuxone. Feedback is very important.

Lois. . . maybe you should ask YOUR PATIENTS?

Kath
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Feb 14, 2010 - 01:03pm PT
LEB is back and once again an important and meaningful thread takes a nose dive.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 14, 2010 - 01:35pm PT
it used to be a social tool for me. it accompanied and accented my playfull strides.

as a parent, it has now become vitality in a can.

all week long i grind for a paycheck.

evenings i spin barbies in dance. i usually play ken.

weekends i seal the leaks in the homestead and play more dolls and watch dance performances etc.

but i do not get out amongst them mountains. hence i pour some of them 'mountains' into my gob and feel happier for it.

for now, beer is vitality in a can.

i like the flavor too. and my smile widens. and my eyes brighten. temporarily at least.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Feb 14, 2010 - 01:46pm PT
Last night a gorgeous woman came up and introduced herself to me. Unfortunately, I was too sloshed to speak coherently.

So "vitality in a can" - it was most certainly KNOTT.

Reminded me of that saying that goes something like:

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool

-than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...
quartziteflight

climber
Who knows?
Feb 14, 2010 - 01:56pm PT


Hang in there Hankster!


And your right not drinkn is boring as hog piss!





I do find it interesting that we posion our bodies in the name of having a good time..
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 14, 2010 - 02:27pm PT
Willie,
Good to see you join in.
Remember those 5.12 moves getting past the liquor store.....

Norwegian,

You've joined in a lot, but not sure if you're trying to encourage Hank or justify your own scene, or what??
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Feb 14, 2010 - 02:38pm PT
hank-i don't know a damn thing about sobriety, but i wish all the best, and ultimate success. You are a great person, have succeeded at many things, and you can succeed at one more. Think of your pugs, they can surely help-they'll love more attention more walks and they will always be there to smile back at you.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 14, 2010 - 03:28pm PT
im just sorting, survival. along with Hank and the others.

i offer my two bits when i save them up.
its selfish spew really.
im laying out my plight on your picnic blanket.
i did encourage hank along on his quiet quest for clarity and poise.

i guess also by spilling my beans into the pot,
the group soup will be so spiced.

nothing of substance here, survival. im all fluff.

hey,,
you got any beer in that picnic basket?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 14, 2010 - 03:54pm PT
HA! I always enjoy your stuff Norwegian, no matter what you're trying to say!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Feb 14, 2010 - 07:12pm PT
I appreciate what Largo says about addressing the underlying issues that create the need to numb with alcohol. The curse can actually be a great blessing in giving a person the push to look and heal within, while others might simply bury their issues and live dumb.

Every human, in growing up blindly, raised by parents who they saw as God but who were just humans....we all have twists in our psyche that need healing.

Keep on the path to knowing your self and finding forgiveness for yourself, from yourself and everyone else. Become undivided and whole and enjoy real Life.

Peace

Karl
enjoimx

Big Wall climber
SLO Cal
Feb 14, 2010 - 08:43pm PT
I am pretty much done drinking. Its become a problem. It sucks seeing all the pictures of older people drinking and knowing they are still having a good time and keeping their sh*t together. Thats not me, I cant do that. If I drink , things will go bad. I will waste money and have nothing to show for it. I dont want to be the last person to leave the party.

I went to a art/music festival last night and didnt drink. It was a first, and really hard. I didnt crave any ciggarettes for once which was awesome.

It was interesting watching all the people dance, me being sober, them being sucking down drink and sucking in smoke. I was still able to dance and enjoy myself.

It was really cool driving through a surprise DUI checkpoint in downtown Hollywood, and being completely sober, smiling at the officer and saying "Nothing to drink tonight sir" Haha!
yedi

Trad climber
Stanwood,wa
Feb 14, 2010 - 10:15pm PT
As my good friends would tell me in early sobriety and I still say it" don't drink, go to meetings, ask for help". It took me quite a while to understand but it truly is just one day at a time, sometimes 1 hour or 1 minute, especially when i am feeling that compulsion.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 14, 2010 - 10:32pm PT
some rise.

some fall.

some climb.

to get to terrapin.

counting stars by candle light.
all are dim but ONE is bright.

spiral light of venus shining first and shining best.

oh from the northwest corner, of a brand new crescent moon,



hey now!
sometimes magic needs an ill medium thru which to pass.

look at:
morrison. hendrix. cobain. kerouac.

magicians of thought. if they turned their back on the dark side, i'd be less complete.

i just don't know folks. poisons have their place, to better an ill society i guess.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 14, 2010 - 10:36pm PT
Yay for you, enjoimx!

I remember my first time sober at a party where drinking and smoking pot was going on. I was only about 30 days sober at the time, but was there with a friend who knew my situation and was a non-alcoholic. (I still should NOT have been there!).

But yeah - it was pretty cool, NOT having to drink to be part of the scene. Who'd have known!?


The other funny first was my first time going to the Orient for work after I quit drinking. I was REALLY actually surprised that the majority of people on voard weren't drinking alcohol. At all! That was NOT how I had remembered it being. I thought a good number of people did, and of those, a good munber got sloshed just like I did!

Before, the flight was always TOTALLY about getting sloshed. It was like " I have 12 WHOLE HOURS that I don't have any responsibility whatsoever..." I drank a lot of wine on those trips. One time, I kept asking for refills and the flight attendant got so disgusted he said "Here, take the bottle" and thrust it in my face.

I had 3 quick-in-succession thoughts. 1) "Oh, this is embarrassing." 2)"Thank God I don't have to keep buzzing you, you little twerp." and 3)"Hey, the bottle is only just over half full!"



mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 14, 2010 - 10:47pm PT
enjoimx, That is a good report. Going to places were alcohol is present (almost everywhere in my world) will continue to be interesting. Plus, just the mental association of so many cool people, places, and activities where I imbibed is another problem. Music and literature also set off my warning signs/cravings. What an order!
It seems that somehow we must reinvent ourselves. But I don't want to be the guy in the meeting for the rest of my life, or a monk.
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 14, 2010 - 11:26pm PT
Norwegian, I hear the chants of those shamans so strong. Thier music flows within me from the beginning. But I seek true freedom.
I feel like I need a ritual cleansing of sorts to start anew. The meetings don't have the power and rehab is out of the question. Maybe a sober Big Wall. Will that take me High enough?
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feb 15, 2010 - 12:13am PT
I don't know you Hank, but I want you to know that I admire your courage and wish for you all the strength you can muster to achieve your goals. The strength is within you, and it is also reinforced by family, friends, and even strangers, who can light the way for you.
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2010 - 12:18am PT
My reasons

1. I don't want to die like both my grandfathers of alcoholism.
2. Not being afraid of getting a DUI is awesome.
3. I don't want to come home and my wifes sh#t is gone and her wedding ring is hanging from a tack on the door.
4. I can't afford it, monetarily, at the rate I consume.
5. Telling your friends a story you already told them but you forgot makes you look like an ass.
6. My face needs a diet. Too much drinking at 40 and your face starts to look like meatloaf.
7. If I say or do something stupid, at least I remember it.

I'm sure there are more to come, but today was a good strong day in the gym and the "speed wobbles" have settled down. Thanks everyone, thanks a f*#king ton.

Caylor

willie!!!!!

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 15, 2010 - 12:32am PT
Lighter, less broke, and not in jail for sure!

I hear ya, man. Stick with it.
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 15, 2010 - 12:40am PT
Hankster, If I were you, but I'm not. I would put #3 at #1.
If you gave vows to a Higher Power when you were married, and meant it, you can use that to your advantage. And the people in your life now mean more than old dead guys or your appearance. But I am still a drunk bachelor.



willie!!!!!

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 15, 2010 - 12:54am PT
Fatty -

No offense, but maybe this thread could be just for people who know what it's like.

Go have a glass of wine and make out with a hot chick or something.

Same with LEB and her waxing pharmacutical bs.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Feb 15, 2010 - 04:01am PT
Norwegian a plagiarist?

Say it ain't so!!!!!!!!!!!!1111
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 15, 2010 - 08:47am PT
exposed!

shite i was hoping to slip those lyrics by and claim them as my own.

how could you t*r?

all my credibility is gone. im just a puppet echoing the real masters.

shite. where can i turn now? how will i limp thru the moments before me?

sorry hardman. sorry that i built myself up so galiantly in yours eyes and then crumbled.

nothing is real with me. nothing lasts. nothing really began.

nothing is the anatomical sum of the great and vast unknown!

google that t*r and report your findings gal.

edit: tr as far as i could tell (hell if im watching) you had a pretty drama free return! why break that beautiful trend by pokin me in the ribs? with that shot. it wasn't cheap, as i didn't credit the boys. but gerry is goddam standing right next to his discourse.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Feb 15, 2010 - 09:59am PT
Hank,
It is a very bold act to acknowledge your problem so openly. Add me to the long list of those pulling for you.
Rick
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 15, 2010 - 10:28am PT
I hear you, Hankster, on the dead relatives thing.

Saw my grandmother living prone on the couch at 5 years old, when we went for a family vacation to visit. Three days travel - she would have known we were coming - and she was barely coherent, on the couch. Able to get up only to pour herself a drink(if her husband wasn't there to get it for her).

Watched what alcoholism did for my mom for many, many years, and began to see symptoms of the same within my self.

Brother died, technically from drowning. But I know it was the alcohol. He was ice fishing, on a lake with underground streams. He knew the lake had these currents. The ice was less than one inch thick.


Alcohol, for those of us who are addicted in whatever form that takes, is a harsh master.
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Feb 15, 2010 - 11:32am PT
Carpe Diem.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Feb 15, 2010 - 11:39am PT
Norwegian - LOL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mPO0VYtD3w

(3rd verse)
You say : "'Ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn"
And you claim these words as your own
But I've read well, and I've heard them said
A hundred times (maybe less, maybe more)
If you must write prose/poems
The words you use should be your own
Don't plagiarise or take "on loan"
'Cause there's always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall
Who'll trip you up and laugh
When you fall
Porkchop_express

Trad climber
Currently in San Diego
Feb 15, 2010 - 12:11pm PT
Hey Hank,

Keep hanging in there. I dont know you personally but what I have known and seen of you, I admire, and this just adds to that feeling. It is not easy to be open about problems, especially ones without a simple, pat solution.

I am diabetic and I can't drink--well I could if I really wanted to gamble with the insulin and whatnot, but for all practical purposes, I can't. I too, often feel like I the odd man out when everyone is either drinking beer or talking about it...

I know that starting over after a rough spell is hard, but one way or the other, time marches on so you can either feel bad about the mistakes or just accept that you have to try again, just like when you are working a hard climb.

Keep at it, you have a lot of support here!

Steve

Evel

Trad climber
Slartibartfasts Newest Fjiord
Feb 15, 2010 - 02:33pm PT
Go Hank! You can do whatever you want to do. But I guess you already know that. Make it happen!
I'm hurtin . . .

Ice climber
midwest
Feb 15, 2010 - 04:17pm PT
Lot's of advice, that's for sure. I haven't read it all but some's good, some's not.

For me, it got to the point where the last good thing in my life was going to be the price for the next drink. Climbing and my love for it were long gone. I wanted the sense of ease and comfort that came from drinking, but at the end I wasn't even getting that.

Sober (and happy about it) for over 11 years now. And at 55 climbing as hard as ever, and loving it more.

Problem couldn't be solved by any human power. AA and the 12 Steps did it for me.

Good luck
Rone
Alexey

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Feb 16, 2010 - 01:52pm PT
Good luck Hankster,
you made me think what I am doing too.
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:01pm PT
I was asked tonight to speak at an AA meeting for the fourth time in a week, all to different crowds and because I recently announced my 5 month anniversary of sobriety.

I mentioned that a couple of on-line climbers threads helped me through the holidays and early 2010. Really, there were several months when I would check in here for hope and strength, and everyone who responded helped me in that regard.

I hope I was able to pass on that positive energy to those that had to sit through my ramblings tonight, and recently.

Thanks to everyone who gave me courage to do the right thing. Without hearing from those of you who share a common passion with me, I am sure this would have taken longer than it already has.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:07pm PT
Way to go, Edge.

JL
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:37pm PT
Thanks, guys!

I think this is a great thread to keep on the front page.

It took me 25 years to realize that what I was experiencing was not uncommon, in fact it was de rigeur for climbers. Unfortunately, not all of us are hard wired the same, and threads like this can be invaluable.

Again, thanks to those of you who posted. I count every one of you as my virtual sponsors.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:42pm PT
Congratulations Edge. :)
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:45pm PT
Congrats, Edge. I'm proud of all of y'all that chose not to drink (or do whatever was causing you trouble) today and didn't. :-)
Michelle

Social climber
The sucking black hole that is Tuolumne County
Apr 20, 2010 - 01:09am PT
wow, best thread in a long time.

best thing I heard at a meeting I keep thinking about lately.. "ya, we say keep coming back, but maybe YOU should try staying.."

so much is more clear now.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Apr 20, 2010 - 03:09am PT
hankster, you are still the life of a party, with or without booze. you'll always be the lycra clad, comp pimping, girl pimping, rad tradster that i've grown affectionate for. hoping to come out to boulder this summer. maybe we
get together for some sandbagging. ciao, steve
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Apr 20, 2010 - 03:37am PT
Way to go Edge. I'm coming up on 60 days myself. This thread is what gave me the impetus to commit. It certainly helps to have like minded souls (climbers) in your support group. Thanks to you all.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 20, 2010 - 07:43am PT
Hankster, I hope you are still hanging in there! The first 6 months were brutal for me, the first year was hard but it has gotten progressivly easier.. coming up on 4 years now. Never went to a meeting though I do seem to enjoy talking about it with other ex drunks..

A few tricks that help me.

Recognise the times when you are vulnerable. For me its right after climbing. still on the adrenalin high and hungy and thirsty as hell. Sometimes just chugging some water gets me over that instant urge. Food also helps in those moments. the body craves sugar from all those years boozing.. If its geting me real bad i have an ice cream.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 20, 2010 - 08:08am PT
Ah - the sugar thing. So true. I know it is for me, anyway.

I recall a day a few years ago when I was hanging with a few friends at Split Rock(a local swimming hole at the Gunks). There was a PAT-TEE going on that day. Home made booze being passed from picnicker to picniker. Pot in the air. Laughter, fun, silly drunk men telling tales of daring do... and it was a hot, summer day.

I was never comfortable being in groups before I got sober. Until I had my 3rd or so drink - then, I would feel what I called "the wash," a feeling very much like when the aspirin kicks in and the headache I took it for evaporated. An visceral feeling of my body relaxing, and a wondering of just what on earth I had been so uptight over... But, in getting sober and doing service commitments, I learned that "others" aren't so bad after all, and so that day should have been not a big deal, even with all the drinking going on.

For whatever reason, I began to feel uncomfortable. Maybe it was the drinking, but more likely it was a combination of all sorts of stuff going on there. One of the people I was with told me there was a girl actually taking guys on, one by one. A person I'd hung out with on a climbing trip in JTree came over - obnoxiously drunk - and began tearing into me for remaining friends with someone who had done them wrong. The other person I was with, who had broken up with her BF several months ago, had run into him there and they were making doe eyes at each other(she had told me she would be uncomfortable if ever running into him...what a surprise she wasn't - hahahah). And I suddenly began to feel like that woman unto an island herself.

I had my Nalgene of lukewarm water and I can tell you - when I got thirsty, that just was NOT doing it.

I began to be more agitated and decided I had better take a walk and regroup. I went to the van, thinking I would get some crackers, cheese and fruit to bring back and share. Thinking that I was feeling "left out," and the sharing would help(ummm...drunks generally are only interested if you're sharing booze, FYI. Or maybe sex, I suppose. Cheese? Crackers? No - haha).

Anyway, as I rummaged through the cooler, I came upon the jug of orange juice I had. icy cold, and delicious, I slugged a big amount of it.

Immediately, I felt better. IMMEDIATELY!


The triggers were probably definitely there(a sense of separateness/loneliness has always been the sticking point for me, and one of the probable reasons I drank). But it was a hot summer day and I was drinking plain water. Not even chilled water. I wasn't taking care of myself at all. Here I was, at what was tantamount to a party, and I had nothing to imbibe with. I was white-knuckling it.....

The quick dose of sugar brought my body back into some sort of regulation that was amiss, and I brought the orange juice back to the swimming area with me, filled another Nalgene, and felt a LOT better.




Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 20, 2010 - 08:59am PT
I've been eating a lot of chocolate...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 20, 2010 - 10:20am PT
high end chocolate shop? on 4/20?
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Apr 20, 2010 - 11:54am PT
Going on about a month now. First time I've stopped drinking for more than a week in 17 years, been a regular, daily drinker for about 20 years. Wicked sugar cravings still, after a month, mostly at night. But I definitely feel better.

Now I'm getting on a plane this afternoon to go back east for a funeral. There will be more liquor around that I can imagine and a huge wake. Not looking forward to this "test".
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Apr 20, 2010 - 11:57am PT
Good luck Elcap. That situation does sound to be quite the test (on many levels). Hang tough!
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Apr 20, 2010 - 12:02pm PT
Stay strong, Elcap. Once everyone else gets good and liquored up, and you can observe with a clear mind, you will find new inspiration and reasons to not drink.

Make sure you have someone you can call if you need support.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 20, 2010 - 12:11pm PT
Go to a meeting in the morning. There are meetings everywhere, and plenty at 7 or 7:30. Like Edge said, have a number you can call. Remember the "insanity of that first drink." Then hand it over.

JL
Tattooed 1

Trad climber
Sebastopol, Ca
Apr 20, 2010 - 01:12pm PT
My dad had a 8 to 12 beer a day habit for most of my life. I'm 45 he is 63. He quit last year when he had a massive heart attack. Low potassium bought on by his alcohol abuse played a large part in that. At first the rest of the family quit drinking around him at all just to remove that temptation. Now a year later he says he doesn't feel the need for a drink. "Sure it would be nice but I don't need it". The heart attack sucked but it probably saved his life.
Tim
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Apr 20, 2010 - 02:10pm PT
Alcohol can kill you spiritually, physically and mentally. But, like Largo said "its a symptom" However quiting alcohol and drugs was the hardest thing I have ever done. No actually it was staying quit.

I have an addictive personality, I am an escape artist. I need help on a daily basis and I get that help by relying on a higher power. I grounded my self in AA for the first several years. I needed to know that other people just like me were out there. Battling with the same emotions and loss.

Only another alcoholic/addict can truly know whats going on for another addict/alcoholic. We understand. Unless you've been there you don't know. There is a ton of support, but my ego gets in the way of my path. My brain tells me all kinds of nonsense.

The 12 steps were adopted from a myriad of principles designed to teach you to live with acceptance, trust in a higher power and to feel good about your self through helping others. Hankster I don't know about the first two but I know that by reaching out you have helped countless others.

For a community where drinking is so prevalent; sobriety is an obvious topic. I applaud your courage to share this with us and to face your demons daily. Don't give up, there is nothing that drink can make better.
H
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 20, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
Ya got to have a back up plan for those times that are going to be tempting. Super hard day at wok or super crazy climbing day it's ok to treat yourself to an ice cream. But even then you may need to pound a gatorade or even just a bunch of water when you hit the parking lot to get you through that time when your friends are digging into the beers..

For the first year or so It was pretty hard. Hollidays, etc. were tough. 4 years in and its pretty easy. I play music in bars with people drinking all arround me and I am totally ok 99% of the time. Now and then the rat askes to be fed and you just have to be strong.....
Mimi

climber
Apr 20, 2010 - 10:36pm PT
This may have been pointed out already. Key treatment for recovering alcoholics is to provide fave sweets. The candy replaces the sugar source from the alcohol and helps stem the craving. One thing about taking a break that I share with friends; why be forced to have to quit doing something you really enjoy? Don't let it become such a problem that you would consider quitting. What a bummer that is. Large doses of chocolate for example.

Other than that, it's like breaking any other habit. Just do it! God bless!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 20, 2010 - 11:53pm PT
Elcapyo, think of the climbs you want to do and reflect how you said you feel
better.
Rocky Road is good, too!
Michelle

Social climber
The sucking black hole that is Tuolumne County
Apr 21, 2010 - 01:28am PT
oh god I hate this struggle. early sobriety blows. its been 24 hours on this road again. 4-20 is a good birthday though. great meeting tonite too!

happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 21, 2010 - 07:42am PT
mimi - Not sure if you were talking about alcohol or sweets in your last post but, generally, being "forced" to quit drinking doesn't work.

What force?
 Being put in prison? There's a whole underground railroad of suppliers - you can get anything you want.
 Getting a prescription of Antabuse? I've listened to plenty of people who drank throughout when on that. Felt like crap, but drank nonetheless.


Threats of leaving/actual leaving from the loves of people's lives, killing another person in a drunken blackout, lost jobs, homelessness, a myriad of lows most people could never imagine dropping to - these things simply do not act as forces that make a person quit.

Some people want, desperately, to quit. And yet, they can't. It's not due to a lack of will-power. Addiction is funny that way. It's a real monster.


Congratulations, Michelle - Agreed, a good birthday!
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Apr 21, 2010 - 10:20am PT
I'm going to a meeting tonight. Just cuz
Mimi

climber
Apr 21, 2010 - 10:29am PT
happie, by force, I mean pressure from family, friends, peers, a doctor, etc. Doing anything that can ruin your health so much that you are compelled to quit is pretty radical. Look at what climbing does to the body. LOL!

Moderation is the key but I guess that's the problem with some people, they can't moderate the activity.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Apr 21, 2010 - 11:48am PT
Hank? Hello?

Where U Iz brother?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 21, 2010 - 05:31pm PT
You can't force someone to be sober. They need to want to be sober. if you really want it you can do it!
WBraun

climber
Apr 21, 2010 - 05:48pm PT
"You can't force someone to be sober."

Everyone eventually becomes forced to be sober.

In the end you are forced whether like it or not ......

There's no escape.
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Apr 21, 2010 - 06:44pm PT
We have a relative who literaly drank himself to death.

You can't force sobriety on anyone, only when they choose to change will they be capable of changing. There is no 100% effective sobriety method, because many folks are forced into rehab and haven't bought into it. Thus when they leave they go right back to their bad habbits.

Hank, I hope you're doing well.

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 21, 2010 - 07:38pm PT
death is sobering, eh Werner?

i see that only as reckless forecasting, built upon wobbly cliches.

by pissing on the mystery and concluding it ahead of time, you slam shut the doors and windows of your horizon.

mine? they are open and both foul and pleasant breezes squeeze their way between my clinched will.

storms penetrate. as does warming sunshine.

through those openings i see more and more mystery. ever beyond. ever beckoning....

i've escaped.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Apr 21, 2010 - 07:48pm PT
Today I'm holding my sister's hand as she waits to hear about her husband's medical tests. He is 50. If he is lucky, he just has cirrhosis. If he isn't lucky, she is definitely raising the kids alone. Absolutely started with drinking. His biggest regret is that he did this to himself.

So take great pride in each day that you take care of yourself and don't leave a mess for someone else. Hope that you have accumulated a more months since your first post.
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Apr 22, 2010 - 10:55am PT
To all of you struggling to get the early sobriety out of the way, let me say again, no matter how bad it seems now, it does get better, keep at it.

Mimi, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, so please don't. This disease, yes disease, kills.

And a last, and sad note. I have been waiting all week to find out when the funeral services will be for a lifelong friend will be. The family is so distraught from his drug related murder, they have decided no service is the best thing. It is all over the media here, and speculation as to motives, gangs, drugs, and the whole ugly mess is everywhere. This is a small community with none of these problems the norm. No room for the grieving or sorrow. He and I spent the last years of my using together almost every day, and night. My sobriety didn't end our friendship, but in order to remain diligent in my path, I had to walk a different road. I will miss him greatly.

The main thing I would hope you can glean from this is that he and I were the same, only I got lucky. Out of all the people we did our thing with, only three others and myself remain on this planet. And we will talk about it when we see each other next, most likely at a meeting. Hmmmm.

Bob

Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 24, 2010 - 12:16am PT
Good thoughts for everyone who's working on this tonight.
Prezwoodz

climber
Anchorage
Apr 24, 2010 - 01:05am PT
Those times when people go out drinking and wasted after climbing drives me nuts. There useless most of the next day and I am still gunning to go hit something new. . I for one don't think its cool in anyway, could be because ive never drank in my life but to me its a waste of time. I give you a double thumbs up for giving it up for something greater. Those times spent in pubs could be better spent climbing something or on the wall.

Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Apr 24, 2010 - 01:33am PT
4 months-17 days
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 24, 2010 - 01:39pm PT
This may have been pointed out already. Key treatment for recovering alcoholics is to provide fave sweets. The candy replaces the sugar source from the alcohol and helps stem the craving. One thing about taking a break that I share with friends; why be forced to have to quit doing something you really enjoy? Don't let it become such a problem that you would consider quitting. What a bummer that is. Large doses of chocolate for example.

Other than that, it's like breaking any other habit. Just do it! God bless!
-


This might be okay advice for getting past the initial craving for alcohol, but that's just a small part (the symptom) of an alcoholic. A program addresses the underlying malady that triggers the drinking in the first place. The reason that people need to keep going to meetings is that the alcoholism is a permanent condition. Yo only get a one day reprieve.

JL
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
May 1, 2010 - 08:20pm PT
Flying back home to SoCal tomorrow after burying my only grandpa. Still sober. I don't really know how to deal with people repeatedly offering me drinks after being told I'd quit.

"Hey, you want a beer"
"No thanks, I don't drink anymore"
Five minutes later, same person...
"Hey, you want a beer?"
"Hey, are you f*#king deaf? I don't drink anymore"

Sugar cravings are basically gone, so I got that goin' for me.


Mimi

climber
May 1, 2010 - 08:28pm PT
Yes, the sugar supply is one part of the early physical side of things. Good counseling and support are mandatory along with the will and desire to improve your own wellbeing.

Sorry about grandpa.
Chief

climber
May 1, 2010 - 08:29pm PT
Thanks to Hank and everyone who's had the courage to share here.
It's an inspiration to many, myself included.
Best to all.

Edit; To those who haven't seen it, check out Michael Keaton's performance in "Clean and Sober". There's also a reality TV show, "Sober House" that shows no one's immune from the ravages of an addictive lifestyle and that the very things that drive people to apparent success are also their ultimate undoing.
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
May 2, 2010 - 01:02pm PT
Sorry about you Grandpa. Hardest part of life.

Congrats if your still sober though to all, but especially Hank and ECIYA.

Side jaunt if I may. I am heading to the valley next week for a month plus of festivities, is there an active meeting in the valley? When and where? Just asking.

Bob
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 2, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
Glad to hear, Elc. When are you headed back to the valley?
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:04am PT
the south threshold of my fortitude co-boundaries the north end of a searing ailment.

mere inconveniences plucking at my life twine.
a sorrowful tune ensues.
my soul dances to the sad ditty,
and then limps home to enjoy the comraderie of lonliness.

a splinter in my toe,
becomes an arrow in my bow.
with poor aim but rich hope,
i fire the dart at the devil all about.

a lapse in his laughter as he falls dead to the floor,
though he rises again in mock praise of jesus.
quartziteflight

climber
Who knows?
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:22am PT
Here's a question for yall who've quit drinking. I quit drinking for a while just for hell of it. Did you find life boring as sh8t after stopping?
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:44am PT
Hi Bob I am a little late on the draw. I guess you in the Valley by now. They have meeting there just check the newsletter they hand you when you come in the gate.

Wow Norwegian that was awesome.

Quartzite, my life became very full after I changed a lot of my habits and went to a lot of meetings. I started climbing which rapidly became my new addiction. I filled my life with healthier things. Sorry your board, but that is a much better problem then where alcohol can take you.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:45am PT
Sharp end= not boring. Get after it.
Les

Trad climber
Bahston
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:59am PT
amazing thread. with advice from climbing luminaries such as Largo, Steve Schneider and Ward Smith, to name just a few. based on Ward's post, I would say there's something to this amorphous "climbing community" thing. have a few friends who've gone the way of sobriety, and I recall one telling me, after I told him that it was about time and that I was really happy for him, that I was one of the few people to actually say that to him. he said it meant a lot to him. best wishes for all of you out there who struggle with this demon.
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
Jun 22, 2010 - 12:34pm PT
Sober 10 years, 1 month and 12 days today.

As Largo posted, it's far more than just the physical sobriety. It's all about the emotional and spiritual malady of it all.

Like I always say....

"It wasn't my drinking that got me here. It was my bloody whacked out thinking!"

Thank you AA, my HP and my Sponsor's that patiently pointed me in the right direction in order to show me that over the past ten or so years.

"My serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance."

I now know that I can not do it alone....
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jun 22, 2010 - 12:42pm PT
Sharp end= not boring. Get after it.


Love that post.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jun 22, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
Hank, people are pulling for you.

My sister's husband has had surgery and is getting further treatment. They are hopeful. Yes, his alcoholism injured to his liver. His subsequent sobirety is the only reason he isn't already in the ground.

Reviewing this thread, it appears that there are quite a few people who no longer indulge or who do not overindulge. I'm no world class climber, and I don't have a long list of folks clamoring to climb with me. I do have a list of folks I won't go climbing with - I don't want to come to a ledge and find them indulging, and I don't want a late start on Sunday cuase they are too hungover to get up. When I tie in with someone, I need to be able to really trust them. I'll pass on party boy. I'll tie in with a man or woman who has a clear head and focus.
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Jun 22, 2010 - 01:29pm PT
Sober exactly 18 years as of one hour ago.

Funny how insidious this disease is that I can remember the exact second I put down that last drink.
BrianH

Trad climber
santa fe
Jun 22, 2010 - 02:03pm PT
I started climbing when I was 33. I started drinking long before that and smoking even earlier. Lying in bed recently, recovering from surgery; I started planning a year long road trip to realize a 15 year dream of getting my ass up some big ol'mountains.

I can't do it if I continue to drink and smoke. Youthful vigor is giving way to something else and the booze and the smoke have become very hurtful.

Thanks for all the truths here.

The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
Jun 22, 2010 - 02:12pm PT
TwistedCrank

A Hearty Happy 18th Birthday Mate!
quartziteflight

climber
Who knows?
Jun 22, 2010 - 02:19pm PT
Sharp end= not boring. Get after it.


Love that post.


The sharp end doesnt get boring, thats for sure! Neither does ripping downhill on a mtnbike at the edge of total catastrophe! There is a bit of letdown after that much stimulation!

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jun 22, 2010 - 02:22pm PT
and what do you do when you digger that mtn bike and sit idle for 6 months while watching your collar bone heal.

a seranade? or a seranac.
rrrADAM

climber
LBMF
Jun 22, 2010 - 02:25pm PT
Good on you brutha...

I've been Clean and Sober (same thing) for over 21 years now (Oct 23, 1988), and was a homeless drug addict prior to finding recovery. Although I'm more a friend of Jimmy K's than I am of Bill W's, if you know what I mean.

Recovery, for me, is a journy mainly of self-awareness and finding out who I really am, which is dynamic not static, so I'll never reach an end.
Stevee B

Mountain climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 22, 2010 - 03:49pm PT
Been a friend of Bill for 20+ years now, climbing & skiing all over the planet. It's tough somedays on longer expeditions when my tentmates are smoking the ganj 6x day in the tent during a storm, but I've also met some of the best alpine partners, also in the program. One of my kayak guides in Peru was in the program - I noticed when I saw his spanish "daily reflections" book. I found much needed support in the middle of a hard time at a meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal. It's a great adventure and the best life I've ever known. Keep it up, the best is yet to be.
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
Jun 22, 2010 - 04:22pm PT
and what do you do when you digger that mtn bike and sit idle for 6 months while watching your collar bone heal.

a seranade? or a seranac.

Be grateful to be alive and prepare for the day when you can get back at it, 100%.

Getting drunk and wasted whacked on Crack Jack (or any other artificial ingredient) during the healing process will certainly not be physically nor emotionally productive/positive in either of those two very important and vital daily endeavors during that scenario.
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Jun 22, 2010 - 06:30pm PT
Went to AA 30 years ago and told myself "I'm not like these people!" and continued to drink.

Went to AA 20 years ago and said, "Yeah, I drink, but I can stop for weeks at a time. I can't really be an alcoholic." and continued to drink.

Went to AA 10 years ago and said "Yeah, I'm an alcoholic, but so what. Give me another drink and eff off."

Last year I went to an AA meeting and said "I'm an alcoholic and I want what you have." Since then I've struggled mightily, with several weeks of sobriety here and there. I think its finally working and I've got 40 days today.

I used to drink heavily and go climbing, which is generally frowned upon, so most of my climbing adventures over the last couple of decades have been solo while inebriated. Smart eh? Yeah, I am very sick. Now that I'm sobering up I find soloing all the time is a lonely existence. I'm ready to start climbing with other people. Any recovering alcoholics here in So Cal looking for a partner?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jun 22, 2010 - 06:33pm PT
Great post AM.

Hang in there bro.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 22, 2010 - 06:52pm PT
There's a two year long step study at a local church. What a gift. Great to work a program. Death without it.

JL
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
Jun 22, 2010 - 07:00pm PT
Hey Largo...

I was taught by some very wise "Old Timers" to surrender my will and allow the Program to work me. Serenity not just Sobriety is what they told me.

Did that ten years ago and have done so since.

Seems to work on drunks of my sort.

At least for today....




AM you can tie into a rope with me anytime....anytime mate.
Plaidman

Trad climber
West Slope of Rocky Butte, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jun 22, 2010 - 07:55pm PT
This July it will be 25 yrs. clean and sober. It certainly has been worth the ride. Hang in there it gets interesting.

Plaidman
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:09pm PT
My birthday is July too. 7/27/87. I wasn't climbing then and am really glad because it filled the hole that drugs and alcohol left. Now my sobriety/serenity is more balanced with a high power I have developed by going to meeting and climbing. I really needed focus (still do sometimes) and climbing really helped with that.

Hang in there Anxious Melancholy. Your in for a hell of a journey. Glad you kept coming back until it stuck. Every time I log on to this topic I wonder how Hank is doing. If he knows what he started. Hope he's OK.
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Jun 22, 2010 - 10:27pm PT
AM. Hang in there, it has been worth every inch, and what a ride too.
When I am around the valley, I will tie in with ya.

Bob
rrrADAM

climber
LBMF
Jun 23, 2010 - 07:27am PT
AM... Jump into the Fellowship with both feet. Get lots of numbers, AND USE THEM. [Especially when new] If you are hanging out with people who have a couple of years, and you tell them you want to get loaded, they will tell you "it will pass"... If you are hanging out with people that get loaded and you tell them that you want to get loaded, they will likely tell you "they know where to score", or, "they are holding".

It really is about what you DO, not what you want... We act our way into good thinking, we do not think our way into good acting.


As a friend of mine used to always say:
"You can go to a lot of meetings and make it easy, some and make it hard, or none and make it impossible."
After 19 1/2 years of always going to meetings, he stopped going to any, and within a year was strung out on the streets.


IMHO, I cannot stress the importance of the "Fellowship" in our recovery... Where people know our name, and notice when we aren't there [they'll call], or we are 'off balance' a bit, and ask what's up. Coming late, leaving early, arms crossed and quiet, isn't a "part of"... They won't notice if we aren't there, and won't call, if they don't know us. To me, my "network" is some of my closest friends, and they are family.
Sunshinesmile

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jun 23, 2010 - 11:37am PT
My mom was an Alcoholic and a single parent. I was an only child who didn't understand what was going on or how it affected my life. She is now sober for more then 7 years. Now I actually love my mom for who she is instead of just because she is my mom and I have to. We have a healthy respectful relationship now and I enjoy being around her. Still working on the personal issues of being raised by an alcoholic but I am getting better every day.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jun 23, 2010 - 12:38pm PT
you stare at the ground with your jaw cupped in your hands.
next to you stands a beverage, who slowly releases her carbon in quaint little bubble bursts.

life as you've spent it has torn you to shreds.
dry mouth, slight headache. wretched breath.
no tears where tears should be.

the wind blows and the dust stirs, but you don't care.
your journey is thru.
and you never did achieve beyond.

a blink clears the sting from your eyes.

i reach for my glass and place its contents within me.

willful sorrow, why?
because i am very human.
Stevee B

Mountain climber
Oakland, CA
Jun 24, 2010 - 02:13pm PT
AM, congrats on 40 days, that's a big deal. Ditto what so many others have said. If you came to the rooms and looked around and said "This is f'n LAME!", you are not alone. There are times I still think it's lame, or that if I jump in with both feet I'll become an automaton or brainwashed or lose all my free time. It's always turned out the opposite - when I get active and sacrifice time for meetings/sponsees/service etc. I end up with my free will intact, more productive free time, and a more positive outlook. And most of all, the complete removal of the obsession to drink. I just hope I never forget this stuff I'm typing right now, because I seem to forget it a lot, haha.
Hah what a cool place to have a little impromptu online meeting - Supertopo! hysterical!

nevahpopsoff

Boulder climber
the woods
Jun 24, 2010 - 03:00pm PT
oh, boy....
life as you've spent it has torn you to shreds.
dry mouth, slight headache. wretched breath.
no tears where tears should be
salad

climber
Escondido
Aug 14, 2010 - 03:21pm PT
60 hours in support of my best friend.
Blitzo

Social climber
Earth
Aug 14, 2010 - 07:32pm PT
I haven't done any drugs or booze for months and I feel so good that I want to grt high!
salad

climber
Escondido
Aug 19, 2010 - 03:58am PT
as of midnight, 7 days.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 19, 2010 - 09:44am PT
i love beer.
i also love good health and well-being.

can a person manage these two loves, responsibly?
is it IMPOSSIBLE for everyone, or just for those of certain constitution?

i've existed nearly as long as i can remember.
thus i'm mostly proven.

and since i probably am, and surely open, life will process thru me: a confluence of joys and sorrows.
salad

climber
Escondido
Aug 26, 2010 - 10:58am PT
made it past the two week mark.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 26, 2010 - 11:59am PT
Congratulations Salad!
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Aug 26, 2010 - 01:57pm PT
Excellant Salad! Way To GO!!

What a great feeling...104 days today.

I was asked recently how I'm doing this.
I am honest with myself and others.
I have a desire to stop the madness.
in the early weeks, I kept coming back, even after a day or two of drinking.
I believe in progress, not perfection.
I talk to people who care and understand, people who are also sober alcoholics.
I accept the fact that it's not all about me.
I'm willing to accept that the world and the powers in it are much greater than mine, and am humbled by the knowledge.

i like the way i feel, like the people i meet, feel a part of a wonderful and much healthier community, and don't pick up that first drink...no matter what.
The journey has just begun..........
What a great feeling!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Aug 26, 2010 - 02:16pm PT
Hang in there Salad.

I'm somewhere in the 5 month range (I don't count the days) coming off about a bottle of wine/ 3 or 4 pint per night habit for about 15 yrs. And I feel much better. Sugar cravings were awful for about 6 weeks, now I don't crave booze or sugar. And I find myself with about $75-$100 extra $$ per month, so that's a nice bonus.



Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Aug 26, 2010 - 02:21pm PT
Keep coming back. Easy does it. Don't think too much. Get a sponsor immediately. Work the steps. Be of service. And most of all, take contrary action - that's the key, for it's only possible once you have a plug in with a higher power.

JL
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Aug 26, 2010 - 04:10pm PT

Cool that this thread came back to the top.

Guess what? TODAY is my 14th year anniversary!
Gene

Social climber
Aug 26, 2010 - 04:12pm PT
Much respect, Happie!

Getting closer........ I have real bad coping abilities.

g
Daphne

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 26, 2010 - 05:12pm PT
Happy Birthday, Happie!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 27, 2010 - 12:39am PT
4 years yesterday, 8-25-06

No meetings, did it on my own but I do like to talk with other recovered boozers... I still crave sugar but feel super strong on the no drinking thing. Ice cream is my big splurge...

Hope the Hankster is doing ok.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 27, 2010 - 12:50am PT
My best friend is my former GF who is the only persson i know who dosent drink but was never an alchoholic.. she is just a health nut/picky eater. reads the lables on all her food etc. She has maybe a dozen glasses of wine a year and has never been on a bender in the 12+ years that i know her so she is not BSing me about her reasons for not drinking. I know I sure as heck wouldn't be able to have just a single half glass of wine..

Anyways she gives me crap for drinking Ginger Ale when I go out to bars to play music because soda is bad for me. can't you just drink plain water! like me. Ya da ya.etc. I finaly got pissed last week and said, your not a fecking alchoholic like me. I like somting fizzy and sweet to sip on when I am in a bar. It helps keep me out of troubble...

Sometimes I get drunk in my dreams and then I get all freaked out thinking that I have totally blown it.. I wake up super fast and freaked out and am relieved to find that it was just a dream....
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Oct 16, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
illness is a vibrant pigment of a decorated life,
without which one's hue tends toward gray.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 16, 2010 - 11:27pm PT
But a touch of Gray, suits you, weeg.


Way to go, trad 'n happy!
Yeah, what about that Hankster?
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Oct 17, 2010 - 12:36am PT
Thanks to Hank for this thread and to everybody willing to share their experiences. It really helps. Hope Hank's hanging in there. As they say in those rooms, the door opens both ways and you can come back any time.

Gratefully,

PB
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 17, 2010 - 01:29pm PT
I always liked this AA one liner.

"If it doesn't work for you, your misery will be refunded to you in full."
Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 19, 2010 - 06:59pm PT
Coming up on 6 months on Saturday. 2 or 3 meetings a week and hit the knees twice a day. So far so great. Work as an arborist in Boulder is keeping me overly fit and life is humming right along these days.

Stacks of work and a freakish commitment to restored sanity has helped me out. Sobriety is a full time job and not for the faint of heart. IMHO

Thanks folks,
Caylor
gf

climber
Oct 19, 2010 - 07:03pm PT
Hank,

Stout work, keep it up-thanks for the update!
gf
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 19, 2010 - 07:36pm PT
Hankster rears his head, SWEET!

Good to hear you're doing well man, keep it up!
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Oct 19, 2010 - 08:05pm PT
Hankster, we've never met, but I have to tell you how stoked I am to see you resurface, and I'm really happy to hear of your personal "day at a time" journey.
sullly

Trad climber
CA
Oct 19, 2010 - 09:08pm PT
Was worried something happened to you. Glad you're back sharing your story.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 19, 2010 - 09:14pm PT
Good to hear and congrats, Hankster!

What does an arborist in Boulder do in the winter (besides climb ice and go to Indian creek)?

Hankster

Trad climber
Left Hand, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 23, 2010 - 10:13pm PT
8 months, BANG!

Caylor
murcy

climber
sanfrancisco
Dec 23, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
propers
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Dec 23, 2010 - 10:40pm PT
Hanky Panky, you are awesome!! Stay with it, stay sober, be strong, and be well!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:11pm PT

That's great, Hank!!!!
Happy Holidays!!!!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:14pm PT
Just heard a speaker talk about "forgivness."

I have some work to do, but I'll do it sober if you please.

JL
S.Leeper

Sport climber
Austin, Texas
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:17pm PT
Awesome job, Hank!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:19pm PT
way to go, man. i'm back to working on a month. it feels good. i've lost a few battles, but i know in my heart i'm gonna win the war!
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:21pm PT
Largo,
What does that mean? Did you fall off, forgive yourself and get back on?
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:30pm PT
Way to go Hankster! I'm about a month behind ya and all I can say is "WOW, what a journey!" Glad ya posted up and let me know that you're being successful. Like others here, I care. Your success helps fuel mine. Just as this thread has resurrected, so too has my faith and hope. Keep it real Bro.
TD
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:39pm PT
Continued best wishes to all who struggle with the bottle.

At times I have been an every day or so drinker. At other times I have been a dedicated pub fly, with an engraved mug and regular seat at the bar.

THanks to resolve and a good woman, I got down to a couple daily beers.

Now after an on and off tappering off, I am on week 2 sans beer.

whenever I am wanting to drink I tell myself "It would only last a half hour or so. What a rip off." Silly trick, but it helps.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Dec 23, 2010 - 11:43pm PT
Staying clean through the holidays can be tough. Just hang with the right crowd and stay out of slippery places. 25 yrs last July 5th. Happy Holidays.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 24, 2010 - 01:38am PT
Yeah,you're right, it doesn't work that way... But, on the other hand...just 2?
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Dec 24, 2010 - 11:58am PT
So Hank, and others, tell us about some of the things that you are experiencing now, changes in your perceptions and feelings and awareness, that you are able to experience now that that you have been sober for this long. Things that you were not aware of and could not experience when you were drinking. What are some of the things that you like about your life when you are sober?

locker

Social climber
Dec 24, 2010 - 12:05pm PT


going on 18 years for me and I don't miss the trouble I got myself in with that POISON...

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Dec 24, 2010 - 02:51pm PT
9 months, give or take. Plenty of hanging out with people who are drinking...first month was pretty rough, after that maybe one real bad craving.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 24, 2010 - 02:55pm PT
9 months today.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 24, 2010 - 03:15pm PT
No problem! No program, either. Just not drinking.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Dec 24, 2010 - 03:55pm PT
YaY for sober holidaze!!!

What I have found, once I got a bit down the road in recovery, was that I can have the exact type of fun I was seeking through drinking, without taking a drop!

Not at first, mind you. I was terrified to be in social situations and I have at least one friend who I bailed out on because I could not show up to their event, so afraid of the sensations. It was BRUTAL, for me, to be in a social situation with more that 1 or 2 other people, before I was sober and in the first couple years of sobriety.

The thing that helped me, and continues to, was doing service. I used it as a cape to masquearde behind at first. Service - at the group level and even beyond - is one hell of a crutch to prop oneself up. It gave me the feeling of like..."It's okay(for me to be here). I'm with the band."

In doing that service - and gawd was I awkward at first - I did begin to have the experiences that helped me to learn how to interact with others. Strange as it may seem - for some of us, it is like we really did not get that software installed into our operating system.

At any rate - the holidays can be truly difficult times, for alchies, sober alchies, and even(gasp!) regular folks! Things that can help:
 Bookend Stressful situations - Have a trusted person you call before heading in, who is waiting to hear back from you after you've left(and can be there for an emergency call during, if needed).
 EAT beforehand - do NOT go to a party hungry. Who knows what ca-rap they may or may not be serving, or how l,ong they will keep you waiting before placing one teensy tray of cheese and crackers out for the hungry masses.
 Have something to drink! Non-alcoholic, of course(and remember - non-alcoholic beer is for non-alcoholics!). At a party - plain tap water just sometimes does NOT cut it. Even adding a slice of citrus will help, but if you like, bring some juice to mix with a carbonated water for a nice cocktail. Cranberry and orange juice is actually great, and doesn't even NEED the vodka!!! It's not that we DON'T drink - we don't drink booze! So if your host asks if you'd like a drink, say "Please - a cranberry/seltzer if you have it!" But don't count on friends who are not used to serving non-booze at parties to have something for you - BYO! They may also be uncomfortable asking if they can get you something to drink.... Don't be afraid to serve yourself.
 Remember - you're sobriety is Just For Today. If you get antsy, remind yourself that Just for Today, you can stay away from that drink. If you still want it tomorrow; it's there waiting for you....



Happy Sober Holidays to All!



snakefoot

climber
cali
Dec 24, 2010 - 04:03pm PT
keep on it.
so fun to hang with you at the DZ where your lady is having a blast playing in the squirrel suit
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Dec 24, 2010 - 04:06pm PT
Ran into Hank and his wife at the gym a couple of weeks ago. They look awesome. It was truly a holiday gift to see them together, healthy and happy. Thanks for that Hank!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 24, 2010 - 04:10pm PT
Largo,
What does that mean? Did you fall off, forgive yourself and get back on?
-----


Nope, I didn't go out. I can't. My main problem was drugs, and I put those down before my first daughter was born, and she's 22 (took two tries to quit the sauce, however, before I had the "realization at depth" that I simply could not drink - at all.) Unfortunately, I'm a genuine addict/drunk, so if I go out, I'm hosed. So one day at a time . . .

And three cheers to Hank and Bob and everyone else counting months or days.

Happy Holidays, amigos!

John
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Dec 24, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
116 days
pyrosis

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Dec 24, 2010 - 04:47pm PT
Much respect to everyone walking this road: Hank, BVB, Largo, Jaybro, and all the others. Your stories and the desire to better yourselves is an inspiration to me. Thank you for what you have shared here.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Dec 24, 2010 - 05:15pm PT
My ultimate respect for those who are actually CONFRONTING the problem in their lives, and are not in denial (not the river in Africa, either!)

For those actually old enough to remember Pogo Possum,: "We have met the enemy, and he is US." This held true for many of my family members who were W.W. II veterans, and they were heavy boozers.

So...cheers, Hankster, even though we haven't ever met. For your very strongest support group, go look in a mirror while you are sober.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 24, 2010 - 07:55pm PT
Hank, Largo, Jaybro, bmacd,

Way to go guys, thanks for sharing.
Someone told me the other day they heard I was "on the wagon".
Hell of a thing to say to a wagon burner.
A wagon is just a vehicle from one drunk to another.
Just had more than my share for a while.

Best of the holiday season to all.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Dec 24, 2010 - 10:26pm PT
bmacd and Jaybro congrats. Merry Christmas!!!
pat

Trad climber
estes park
Dec 24, 2010 - 10:30pm PT
I have to chime in here, alcoholism is a touchy topic for me, this is my own personal story.

I checked in to AA at 29 after trying and failing to stay sober on my own several times. I am 31 now and it has been almost two years for me since I took my last drink. I spent about 10 years from my late teens to my late twenties getting hammered as often as possible. It started out innocently enough, but by the time I was twenty five I knew I was developing a problem. It took four more years of being consistently drunk six nights a week to really start to come to terms with what was going on. I thought I was quite young for AA (not really, they have teenagers from time to time) but looking back, swallowing my pride and going and stopping was the hardest and the best thing I ever did for myself.

Sobriety is really difficult. Staying away from a drink when you are an alcoholic or have alcoholic tendencies is a far more fundamentally difficult task in every way than trying to hold your alcohol "like a man" and I have infinitesimal respect for anyone who tries it, even if they fail a few times at first. I wear my two year badge (one more month) with a lot of pride, my life has improved in innumerable ways.

My trick is simple, I work part-time in a local hospital in the Intensive Care Unit (on my way to becoming a nurse). Of course intensive care is, well, intensive care, for really sick people, many of whom are young and in their last days of a life cut short by end-stage chronic or acute disease. Some are alcoholics. Almost no one dieing from a condition related to alcoholism dies peacefully, and death from chronic liver failure or any other innumerable conditions linked to alcoholism is one of the worst with prolonged conscious suffering. Its a really sad, and far too common sight to see where I work, and I thank god every day I was able to get sober.

So anyway, to everyone on this thread fighting this fight, stay strong and be proud.

-Patrick
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
Dec 24, 2010 - 10:35pm PT
hey Pat, thanks for sharing your experience. I don't know you, but I know friends whose lives were and are wrecked from drinking. Hang in there. I'm pulling for you. I hope it works out.
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Dec 24, 2010 - 11:07pm PT
Hank, you got a huge support net here. The bad news is you got to do the hard lead by yourself. I was out with Largo, Dwight and friends one evening a while back, and while we tossed back Black and Tans, John had a diet coke. I could tell he was mildly uncomforatble, but he was tough. You can do this, Bro. You are one tough SOB.
While we have never met, we are brothers in arms.
TY
PS, Merry Christmas!
jtlocal

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Dec 25, 2010 - 12:01am PT
Hank, just know that you never have to do it alone.
I've been clean and sober since 3-21-01. Best years of my life.
Pray often.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 25, 2010 - 12:27am PT
I committed the dreadful faux pas of offering Largo a beer at the FaceLift a year ago. Just being sociable, not knowing any better, thinking it was polite to offer speakers something to drink. He was quite nice about it, and ended up with orange juice in one of the FaceLift glasses.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 25, 2010 - 02:46am PT
. I was out with Largo, Dwight and friends one evening a while back, and while we tossed back Black and Tans, John had a diet coke. I could tell he was mildly uncomforatble, but he was tough.
----


I was mildly uncomfortable but it had nothing to with folks drinking around me. It doesn't bother me at all and I have no more temptation to drink than I have to jump off the visor on Half Dome - which would amount to the same thing. My compulsion to drink is over, but I know it can come back if I don't work a program. But it's a falacy that all of us lushes just sit around pining over the drink we cannot have. I rarely if ever even think about drinking. It got real bad for me at the end, including drinking in the morning and even when I woke up at night. I'd wake up thinking about the next drink. Can't go back there, ever.

JL
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Dec 25, 2010 - 11:29am PT
Totally with you Largo. I got tired of paying consequences. I tried to quit without working a program and all it did was get me to a point where mentally the bottom dropped out. Literally had a psychic break. Scared the hell out of me. I ended up in the hospital. I worked the program to get that psychic rearrangement. It's been 25 yrs now. I don't miss it either. I never want to go back. EVER!! It is God that stands between me and that drink. I just don't do anything stupid like take that first drink and do the next right thing. I am at peace with myself and the world. I try not to take myself to seriously and am my own best friend. I even laugh at my own jokes. Merry Christmas!
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Dec 25, 2010 - 12:24pm PT
Sobriety needs you.


Damn. I wish I could drink Diet Cokes like Largo. I love the flavor but I'd be up all night twitching.

A tumbler with a bubbling water and a twist and I look like I'm sucking down a gin and tonic or some such. Makes me look sophisticated. Plus it lets me yuck it up with those around me who can drink like normal people. Those normal people fcukers can drink half a beer and leave the half empty bottle on the bar. What's up with that?
Robb

Social climber
The other "Magic City on the Plains"
Dec 25, 2010 - 01:53pm PT
Good thread-very practical and close to home for many of us here. In the event that any of you need further convinsing to quit we buried my older brother this year (cancer). This was due directly to his relapse (w/ alcohol and then smoking) after he had been sober for many years. Quit now-don't look back.
A day at a time guys, one day at a time.
Robb
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Dec 25, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
"Those normal people fcukers can drink half a beer and leave the half empty bottle on the bar. What's up with that?"

It's not normal.....












































....for us alcoholics!




I'm so grateful that, like some above, the desire to have a drink has been eliminated. In 14 years, 4 months, I have never had so much as a glimmer.

Drunk dreams, where I realize(in the dream) that I have been drinking/smoking pot all along and for some reason hadn't made the connection that I was not sober - I'[ve sure had those. I remember the awful feelings I had waking up the first time, at maybe 6 months clean. What a relief to go over - painstakingly - in my morning-befuddled head, to account for my last several hours and come up....clean. But they sure are confusing dreams when you're in the middle of them!

I'm also grateful, as also mentioned above, that I don't believe I am immune to a relapse, and that one *intentional drink can(and probably will) deposit me right where I left off(well, worse, actually, since I had a profession that would support me, even in drinking, when I quit. Not so, today - my life DEPENDS on sobriety!

* I highlight the word "intentional" because it is sometimes an issue that comes up for those new to sober living. Having someone hand you, accidentally or on purpose, a drink with alcohol - taking a sip, or even a few drinks, and realizing "GAHHHH! Booze!" and putting it down is NOT a relapse. Having the realization, and continuing to drink it... unfortunately has been the mode of relapse to many. Unfair perhaps, but there it is. The lucky ones will wake up soon after and make a new run for life without the alcohol. So many are unlucky, though, and the suffering continues.


Happy HOlidays Everyone - Remember to HAVE FUN - and Keep It Clean!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Dec 25, 2010 - 08:28pm PT
i got clean hands.
you see.
my mind though, is incredibly dirty.

for my twisted and incredulous realities
iron out the straight road as prescribed by my sister's religions
H

Mountain climber
there and back again
Dec 25, 2010 - 09:50pm PT
This is a tricky time of year for some folk. My partner drinks and my son really drinks and smokes. But I am powerless over alcohol not just mine but others too. My hat is off to anyone working with it. All the best to all of us doing something about a life threatening problem.

Jaybro, right-on for putting it out there. Let me know if I can be there for you. Looks like we have even more in common than I thought. Happy and sober holidays.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Dec 25, 2010 - 10:52pm PT
Thanks for all the profiles in courage, here.

My friends, I hope the very best for you as the days grow longer and sunnier, one day at a time.

Rick
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 25, 2010 - 11:41pm PT
Hank, you say:

"All the cool pictures on the Taco have everyone holding a beer..."

Drinking's not cool, climbing is cool, and from what I've heard you're a damn good climber.

All the cool pictures I see on the Taco are climbing shots, nature shots and people pictures.

The beer oriented photos just look dumb to me. I never figured out why so many climbers think beer is so bitchen. Hauling beer on a wall is a sign of insanity or stupidity in my book. The shite dehydrates you, and inhibits your ability to climb. WTF would anybody want to climb with a beer buzz? Unless it's moonlight in Joshua Tree or something.

But I'm an oddball - always have been.

A beer and a smoke after climbing is great, but pounding beer all day or all nite - Lame!

Booze is way overrated, especially beer, IMO. Beer manufacturers have managed to make a lot of people think beer is really cool through advertisement, especially by associating beer drinking with "manly" shite like football, auto racing, and rodeo. Bullsh#t.

Manly shite is being able to take it or leave it.

Sounds like you need to leave it, Hank. You'll climb even better, be healthier, live longer, remember stuff better, think straighter.

It's a win - win.

Drink Gatorade.

It's got electrolytes.

Happy New Year!

Kevin

Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Dec 26, 2010 - 01:18am PT
Those normal people fcukers can drink half a beer and leave the half empty bottle on the bar. What's up with that?

No, it's really f&%#ed up! I can't leave half of anything on a counter. Snickers bar or bag a chips. If it's open, it needs to be gone. Working on that one too. That's what made me such a good drunk. I was a human garbage can. If it got me f@#$ed up I would indulged to the nth degree. If I didn't get something to stand in the gap for me, I would have been screwed. I thank my God every day for a new lease on life. I ain't so religious, just tapped the great spirit of the universe. It works good, so I don't question much anymore.

Drunk dreams,

Had a few of those too. Really scary. But the worst one I had recently wasn't about drinking. After getting blown off The Nose this fall I dreamt that I left The Valley and left all my gear on purpose. I arrived home and was explaining to my wife where all my gear was. I woke up in the middle of that shaking. It really freaked me out.
joe boy

Trad climber
california
Dec 28, 2010 - 09:58am PT
I like this thread, I've been sober for 11 years. Wake up every morning, thanking my higher power for another morning not wanting a drink
TwistedCrank

climber
Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Dec 28, 2010 - 11:30am PT
I had a drunk and climbing dream last night. Scary shiz thinking I actually would have once thought the dream might have been a real adventure for the ages.

I woke up grateful and looking forward to the 8-12" of new snow forecast for the local hill and looking forward to the local crags melting and the MTB trails drying out.
Mark Not-circlehead

climber
Martinez, CA
Dec 28, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
This coming April will be my 11th year of sobriety (and almost two years of not smoking).

When I was living in and hanging around the valley in the early 90's, I spent more time at the deli than i did climbing.....alll because of booze.

These days i dream of what I could do if i had that kind of time available to me again. I kick myself now for squandering it.

For those recently sober: Keep it up, no matter what you have to do. It definitly gets easier, and life gets better!!
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Dec 28, 2010 - 01:13pm PT
Great thread here. Congradulations to all who weathered the holiday, sober.

I turned 26 on the 20th of this month, and at 51 years young, it is all too important to stay that way. Awoke this morning a blank slate, did my 11th work, and so far so good. What a life, some climbing this morning with my regular free partner, and be of service when the opportunity arises.

I was able to call my prospective partner for an upcoming winter walling trip, and be totaly honest with him. If he cannot follow any faster, that it just isn't a good idea to procede. That and the fact that Zion is so wet, still. I was so looking forward to a couple of nice lines too.

My wife and son played a pretty funny joke on my eldest daughter, concerning my sobriety, she has never seen me drunk, and cannot fathom me doing anything to jepordize my sobriety. With "medical Marijuana" such the rage here, they were able to convince her that her "Dad" was out in the garage medicating, all legal and all. I was smoking a roll yer own ciggarette, so the photo they tested just convinced her more. She actually got really pissed off that her brother was able to partake with dad, before she did. The youngest daughter laughed and discredited the scam on my oldest daughters Facebook today though. Too bad, I have been laughing about it for two days now. I know, that's over the sick sense of humor line, but hey, there is a step for that, too.

I hope those seeking relief find their way.

Burly Bob
Hankster

Social climber
Texas/Boulder
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 23, 2011 - 11:39am PT
9 months. BANG!

Caylor
Johnny K.

Mountain climber
Southern,California
Jan 23, 2011 - 11:46am PT
Congrats Hank!Keep it strong!
Hankster

Social climber
Texas/Boulder
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 24, 2011 - 12:33am PT
10 months, BOOM!

caylor
Bequita

climber
Feb 24, 2011 - 10:32am PT
Nice work Hankster, keep it up!!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Feb 24, 2011 - 11:40am PT
BANG! Good work.
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Feb 24, 2011 - 12:03pm PT
Nice Hankster, keep it up!

Burly Bob
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Feb 24, 2011 - 12:06pm PT
Good luck, Hank, I'm rooting for you.
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Feb 24, 2011 - 12:52pm PT
Nice job, Hank! I hit eight months next Tuesday.
xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Feb 24, 2011 - 01:39pm PT
Good deal Edge, keep it going.


Burly Bob
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Feb 24, 2011 - 01:40pm PT
BUMP FOR YOU GUYS!!!

KEEP IT UP BOYZ!!!

WOO HOO!!!

Jeremy
A-Train

climber
Feb 24, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
Be strong Hank! I respect you not because you climb hard and drink but because you climb hard and face your fears in the process. Well, here you are again, facing fear. You're a master at it, you can do it.

Just remember, breath deep and ignore your mind when it talks to you. That is advice I got on meditation but it applies to climbing hard run outs or staying sober.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Feb 24, 2011 - 02:42pm PT
Excellent....
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 24, 2011 - 02:44pm PT
Happy, Joyous, and Free!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Feb 24, 2011 - 02:52pm PT
11 months over here boss. Have been climbing about 2-3 letter grades harder since dropping the booze anchor. Stronger now at 38 than anytime since I was about 25.
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Feb 24, 2011 - 03:49pm PT
I admire you all very much. Good work on something that's tough. Much respect!!!!!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
Feb 24, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
Good work man. Climbing out of that hole is way hard and you're sending it.

Life is good with so much to do and so many opportunities.
rrrADAM

Trad climber
LBMF
Feb 24, 2011 - 04:22pm PT
Good job, Hank!

A little over 22 years clean and sober for me... Oct 23, 1988.

Was a homeless drug addict the day before that.
enjoimx

Trad climber
Kirkwood, CA
Feb 27, 2011 - 05:05am PT
Wow one month exactly today. Last drink I had was combined with a bunch of dayquill for a cold I had. Just an excuse to get f'ed up, and I got pretty sick from the acetomenophen. It was just another pathetic last straw that made me realize I need to stop. I havent smoked pot in about a year. Last hit I took I felt totally f'ed up, tripping, anxious, and insecure. What is the point? I need to find out what is real and stop trying to alter reality with drugs and alcohol.

I almost drank tonight, but decided to have a protein shake instead.

Strong effort people

John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Feb 27, 2011 - 05:25am PT
Hang tough enjoimx.. How is the powder up there in heaven/kirkwood?
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 27, 2011 - 05:27am PT
hey there say, hankster.... wow, i missed the "counting" to succeess...

god bless....
:)


may your joys be extra special, this year, for successes...
:)
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 27, 2011 - 01:30pm PT
Way to go, enjoimx! You had the drink signal and chose to imbibe in a non-alcoholic drink. SMART! I recall once when I was at a picnic spot and many were drinking and seemed to be having a REALLY good time(I later found out someone had brought along and shared mushrooms and they all were NOT just drunk....hahahah).

It was very hot out, and I just had my Nalgene of water along. I started to feel "left out"(and this was at 10 years sober!) and the drink signal went off - one of the few times ever since I got sober.

I recall having the thought "I wish I had something besides f'ing water." And then I remembered I had some orange juice in the cooler of my van. I went and got it, and also a snack of crackers and cheese I could also share with others(I was feeling "apart" as I said).

One drink of the juice and the drink urge evaporated. One round of offering snacks and I was no longer apart!

Maybe no big deal to "regular" folks, but for an alcoholic, this was a pretty amazing experience to have.
Hankster

Social climber
Texas/Boulder
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 23, 2011 - 09:55pm PT
11 months-booyah!

caylor
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 23, 2011 - 10:07pm PT
Since it came up...... One year today.
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Mar 23, 2011 - 10:12pm PT
It will be 16 months on the 4th.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 23, 2011 - 11:00pm PT
Congratulations on 11 months, Hankster! Woot!!!!


And HAPPY 1 Year Birthday/Anniversary Jaybro!
jtlocal

Trad climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 24, 2011 - 12:04am PT
Congrats Hankster! I just celebrated 10 years on Monday. What a blessing.
giegs

climber
Tardistan
Mar 24, 2011 - 12:07am PT
Did any of you go from wanting to drink all the time to not really having much interest in it without the internal struggle? Happened to me recently. Like a switch. Weird but good.
Daphne

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Mar 24, 2011 - 02:01am PT
Yay Jay!
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 24, 2011 - 02:19am PT
Keep on keeping yourselves healthy. I love you, Jaybro. For real. Congratulations. :-)
FrankZappa

Trad climber
80' from the Hankster
Mar 24, 2011 - 10:33am PT
We love it when the Hankster is sporting his "Wolf Eyes"!!!
Good work, Man!
Bequita

climber
Mar 24, 2011 - 10:40am PT
Way to go Hankster!!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 24, 2011 - 12:12pm PT
3 months in just a couple of days.
Hankster

Social climber
Texas/Boulder
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2011 - 12:13pm PT
Nice Mark! Call anytime.

caylor
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 24, 2011 - 12:31pm PT
Will do, thanks. You to, ya know.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Mar 24, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
You give me hope about my boy.....
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Mar 24, 2011 - 03:25pm PT
highly overrated!!!!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 24, 2011 - 05:30pm PT
Totally cool hankster! It gets easier. I am almost to my 5 year mark and it is super easy these days. It was pretty hard for the first year. Getting past the urge to celibrate at the one year mark is a hurdle. I don't have any of those fancy chips as i did it on my own...

Been working 50hr construction weeks and can't imagin how tough that would be if I was drinking....
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 24, 2011 - 05:39pm PT
Way to go Mark!
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Mar 24, 2011 - 05:44pm PT
I had 4 Jack n Cokes last night 2 shots of god knows what and 2 beers is this a problem? I do know this I do not need a drink right now or tonight or tomorrow.

I could however go for a bloody mary and a BLT.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 24, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
Silver - It's you who knows what's up with your drinking, and if it is an issue(well, maybe some close friends and family might also have an idea). It isn't about how much, or how often, a person drinks. It's about how the drinking affects their life.

Congratulations to all the sobriety in this thread. And best wishes for strength and hope for those still struggling.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 25, 2011 - 02:58am PT
Go to meetings; be of service; work the steps always; have a sponsor; have a life.

Nice work, Hank. And everyone.

JL
enjoimx

Trad climber
Kirkwood, CA
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:05pm PT
2 months tonight. I feel great but definately miss the party. Still working on finding ways to get that natural high.
Chris2

Trad climber
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:12pm PT
If the Twelve Step “thing” doesn’t work for you:
http://www.moderation.org/
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
enjoi, don't worry, it will come in time, when it's supposed to.

Use a support system, follow it. Get a solid support group around you, get a sponsor and work the steps. BREATHE. :)

I just hit 11 years on Feb. 14th. Couldn't be happier. But I couldn't have done it if I hadn't given up and decided I needed help.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:18pm PT
Really impressed that so many of you can stay sober and still stay in this community.

Those of us who came up in the sixties and seventies also grew up with the idea that climbing was about being a mix of Lord Byron and Mike Hammer. even tougher to quit when the culture valorizes excess.

Props
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:53pm PT
One Year today.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:55pm PT
Keep up the good work Hankster, Mark and everyone else out there choosing the alternative lifestyle. I'm coming up on six months on my sabbatical.
Not making any promises and enjoying life a lot more these days.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 26, 2011 - 11:56pm PT
I struggle with my alcoholism, and realize that it hurts, and doesn't help a damn thing. Still, I like to drink...on occasion. Try to take off days inbetween, and that helps keep it under control.

Stay strong you all!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 27, 2011 - 12:02am PT
Awright ECIYA I knew it was pretty soon around now.
Truthdweller

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 27, 2011 - 02:36am PT
Good ol' twelve steps...where you stop drinking like a drunk, yet still act like one. This may not apply to you but are you sick and tired of being "sick and tired" yet Hank...anyone?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 27, 2011 - 12:33pm PT
Saw a special on the tube, think it was dateline? about the shila who started that moderation movement. They had to report their consumption at the meetings as part of the program. Naturaly she started lieing to herself and everyone else. Oh yea, i'm sticking to 2 beers a day.... 2 40oz bombers that is ;) She ended up blacking out at the wheel and killing a little girl...

Folks who actually have a real problem are just kidding themselfs if they think that they can make moderation work long term.....
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 27, 2011 - 12:58pm PT
The thing is, tradmanclimbs, that alcoholism is a killer disease. In more ways than one, unfortunately. I, too, don't suggest moderation.

But.

For someone who cannot stomach the AA way(which, ironically, really IS the easier, softer way), at least the Moderation option is something.

Going hardcore AA is not a guarantee either. I know a guy who was "so" sober - a fun, interesting, kind, Big Book thumping BASTION OF SOBRIETY(yes, a BURT BRONSON, but with humility and no misogyny). He had 14 years, and seemed so solid. Got a girlfriend, got dumped, and within 2 weeks he was drunk and in meetings completely out of control. On crack, too. The pain of living had been too much for him, and he slipped.

He DID keep attending meetings. At each one, he was wailing "Help. I can't stop." We did what we could. In the end, who knows why some stupid little thing - an act of kindness, a kick in the ass, a hand-holding as they go to the ER wanting to detox - makes the difference for some. One gives what they can.

And sometimes all that and more, much more, is to no avail. That guy stopped coming to meetings about a month later. I never heard anything more about him.

People dis AA, mainly due to what is perceived as the religious aspect of it. I was lucky to get sober in NYC, where there were SO many groups, meetings, alkies of all stripes to choose from. If "religion" was a problem, it was easily avoided. But in smaller areas, the options are really limited. Unfortunately, some of the religious types really believe that their perception of the program IS the answer. As the Big Book says(about another topic) "They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way." (well, maybe reborn, in some case....).

As well, some people getting sober "see" religious zealotry in AA meetings when the truth is.... it's really more in their heads. They are still sick and suffering(another AA phrase). Some make it through this period, and come to realize they were scared, resisting, and just stuck in some thinking that was not helping. They see that they do NOT need to have a God that is based on some formalized religion, and are able to proceed.

Others just don't make it through that archway.

And even someone seemingly following the AA way with all the Steps, Service and pageantry is NO guarantee.... If the person has a secret(some are closeted doing prescription painkillers, or some other stress-inducing behavior, such as embezzling from work, sex addiction, or whatever), years later the wall can come crumbling down.

It TRULY is ONE DAY AT A TIME with recovery.





Happy One year and ONE DAY ElCapInYoAzz!!!!!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 27, 2011 - 02:58pm PT
Again. I did not do meetings. If they work for you that is great! I also did not substitute pot, pills or caffine, etc. I do feel cured and don't need anyone to tell me that I am not. I also know pretty darn clearly that I would Not be able to drink in moderation for any length of time so I am cured as long as I stay cured and stay away from the sauce.

After 23 years working in bars and restaruntes I can tell you with 100% certanty that moderation will not work for any serious drunk. End of story.

Little sobriety test for serious climbers/drinkers.

Quit drinking Saturday evening after climbing. Stay 100% sober all week. No weed, no pills, no nothing other than caffine or nicotine if you are addicted to those. Make big climbing plans for next weekend. Set your reward beer date for after climbing next Sat. If you can climb hard and good Sat after a whole week of sobriety, drink one or 2 pints (beer not pints of wiggy) and wake up rareing to hike 2 hrs in on Sunday with a full multi pitch first ascent pack (drill, 2 batterys, 4ft prybar, hammer, bolts,pins, aiders, doubble trad rack to 5", 2 ropes, etc, etc then you most likly have your drinking under control.
If that week of sobriety followed by good hard climbing on sat and a known get out of jail free card for Sat night lures you into a bender sat evening and you wake up sunday feeling like you got dragged by a truck for 2 miles and slept it off in the middle of the road to the point that you change your back country FA plans to roadside cragging for sunday. You just might have a drinking problem.........

If you can't get through that first sunday without the sauce you definatly have a drinking problem.. If you fail at any time durring that week you got that drinking problem... If you make it through sat and sunday of the next weekend and get salior drunk sunday night instead if sat night you still have that drinking problem but you do have some mean willpower to make it that extra day.

If you make it through the weekend of hard climbing following the sober week with just a few beers and a great time, go to work monday with a sharp mind feeling battered and bruised from the workout instead of the celibration then chances are pretty good that moderation is not a problem for you...
Chris2

Trad climber
Mar 28, 2011 - 02:06pm PT
tradmanclimbs any reliable links to that horrendous story of the woman in a moderation program who drank, blacked out and killed a little girl?

You seem to be saying something like this would never happen, to an individual participating in AA?

“Naturaly she started lieing to herself and everyone else.” And people don’t lie in AA programs?

I have discussed moderation management around AA followers before; it is interesting to see how angry they get.
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Mar 28, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
got 9 months and relapsed...but back on it again and am at 6 weeks. Gonna keep at it until it sticks.

And Truthdweller, I find your not so veiled comment insulting. Not sure what AA interactions you've had, but many of these "drunks" who have tread this path before me are far from still "acting like one."
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 28, 2011 - 04:21pm PT
Chris. I am not in AA never have been. All I know about those guys is that they smoke a boatload of cigeretts. I quit drinking on my own. If you can drink in moderation more power to you. Heck if I could I would. Thing is though for folks who have a real problem it is probobly not possible..

That show i watched was either on Dateline or maybe the Biography channle. Pretty shure that the woman featured actually started the moderation movement?
Mark Not-circlehead

climber
Martinez, CA
Mar 28, 2011 - 04:34pm PT
For most, it's an all or nothing deal. You are either drinking, or you're not......If moderation works for some, good for them.

I think the danger is in having someone who know they are out of control, and they need help, gravitate towards moderation because it's seems easier, or less painful. I think it would be thousands of times harder (if your anything like me....).

Keep doing whatever works, day by day, until the acuteness of the disease is not as prevalent, and you will have taken the first step in recovery.

It will be 11 years for me in a little less than a month (April 24th). It's not easy, but it's alot easier now...

Congrats to anyone else who has more than a day under their belt.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 28, 2011 - 04:50pm PT
Heck i think moderation would be pretty darn easy. If they let you drink 2 beers a day just buy BIG beers :) Seriously sounds sketchy takeing someone with a real problem and giveing them the opertunity to get sucked into the big lie.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Mar 28, 2011 - 05:15pm PT
I suppose one thing you could try if you want to give moderation a shot is to just drink Heineken Light. That crap is so weak--I think it's weaker than the 3.2 they sell in Colo.
If you drink enough of it you may get a little beer buzz but mostly just gives a headache.
Gene

climber
Mar 30, 2011 - 09:41am PT
Five days!
sullly

Trad climber
CA
Mar 30, 2011 - 09:42am PT
Go Gene!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 30, 2011 - 10:16am PT
We're with you, Gene!
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Mar 30, 2011 - 02:03pm PT
Another option to AA is Rational Recovery: https://rational.org/index.php?id=1 More of an atheists approach to the problem.

This alcoholism is a serious business, it killed my mother when I was 18, has killed several other friends over the years, recently killed a former girlfriend, and I've got 3 friends whose prospects are not great at the moment.

On the other hand, if I were to count 'em up, I've probably lost more friends to climbing.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 30, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
How do you count climbers who drink a lot and off themselves?

There are also 12 step books from buddhist, athest and other perspectives.

Offwhite (below) that's the kind of thing I was thinking of, I guess they're all, more complex...
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Mar 30, 2011 - 02:24pm PT
Jaybro, I guess I'd count Raleigh as an alcohol casualty rather than climbing related, though I understand it was rather more complex than that.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 30, 2011 - 02:53pm PT
It's allways complicated but the bottom line is that the booze never makes it easier.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 30, 2011 - 02:55pm PT
Agreed!
bergbryce

Mountain climber
Oakland
Mar 30, 2011 - 03:02pm PT
I know many more aa'ers who are non-smokers than who do smoke. Many people quit smoking after drinking, it kind of goes with the territory.
For the record, AA is non-denominational and has many agnostic and atheist members.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Mar 30, 2011 - 03:36pm PT
AA has helped an awful lot of people, and I know a number of them make it work despite the theistic incompatibility. I'd personally have an issue with that "higher power" bit, though I know someone who insisted the second to last pitch of Hoppy's Favorite, the 5.9 traverse where the glass was so clean your EB's would squeak, was his "higher power." Folks like me need to know there are other options that can lead to the same place.

Frankly, I'm nothing but impressed by all of you finding ways to control your addictions or lend support to those on that path. I find this thread really inspirational, and when I need a little pick me up to counter the foul taste of internet squabbling I'll go back and start reading this thread again as a reminder that online communities can be positive and supportive and make real differences in people's lives. Thumbs up all around.
Michelle

Social climber
HVRP
Mar 30, 2011 - 03:38pm PT
I didn't all of this thread as I dont have the time right now. However, I had 9 months of sobriety until a couple weeks ago when life hit the fan. of course, I was going through intense therapy, most of it inpatient (thanks VA, you RULE). All kinds of things changed all at once for me, got word I never have to work again and get paid for it, which sounds cool except for the fact that I dont know how to do that.. I got a bitchen apt in Menlo Park and a bunch of neat toys. all kinds of great stuff. then some really bad stuff, ie got dumped by a dude, started even more intense therapy. It all adds up. looking at the abosulte value of stressers above or below "ok", my numbers were getting high. anyways, still sober today. I didn't lose all of the time I had over the years (my friends can attest to my numerous attempts). So I keep trying to plug along. Its tough though, especially lately. anyways, thats my 2 cents

good luck to all
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 30, 2011 - 03:53pm PT
Interestingly enough one of the seeds that planted the bug in my brain to quit drinking was an article that I read on RC.com that may have been linked from a UK climbing site by a climber who was on a kidny / liver ? machine from drinking. He chronicled how the mix of post climbing adrenalin and alcohol was so addicting and how he went from have a few pints on the weekends to being a full time drunk. I could relate to a lot of his experiences.. Especialy the ones where he had to abstain while on expidition in muslam countrys but always had that next drink on his mind. While not required to quit for any religious or work reasons every time I ever took a week or to off to try and give the filters a rest I thought about that next drink a lot!

The message was pretty clear. this could be you hooked up to a machine w/ no heLTH ins racking up bills to dump on the family and dying a horrible slow death. Stomach ulcers and acid reflex also worried me a lot as I experienced both regularly.

Shortly after reading that article I ran into a friend who is a great climber and notorious drunk. Offered him a beer and he said, No thanks, haven't had one in 6 months.. I was like wow! that planted the 2nd seed. If this guy can do and look so healthy then I can do it. Took about a week for the seeds to sprout and suddenly I wanted to quit. Was Not easy but I did it.

Not sure if it is possible to quit if you don't want to? I think you have to come to a place in your life where you really have had enough and you want the change.



Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 30, 2011 - 04:59pm PT
So I keep trying to plug along.

That's all anyone can do Michelle, good work and good luck!
salad

climber
Escondido
Mar 31, 2011 - 12:13am PT
Still falling
Breathless and on again
Inside today
Inside me today
Around broken in two
Til your eyes share into dust
Like two strangers turning into dust
Til my hand shook with the weight of fear
I could possibly be fading
Or have something more to gain
I could feel myself growing colder
I could feel myself under your fate
Under your fate
It was you, breathless and torn
I could feel my eyes turning into dust
Into strangers, turning into dust
Turning into dust




elcapinyo - congrats on a year.
gene - did ya make it two?
Anxious - 6 weeks, keep it up.

blackfly

climber
Mar 31, 2011 - 02:51am PT
3 years for me and counting.

All that can really be said is that there is a solution for those of us that want it and are willing to do the work. I want it, and I have it. I have no desire to pick up a drink and my obsession has been lifted. The hole in my being, the one that makes me feel different from every other person, is gone. If you are truly alcoholic, you know exactly what I mean when I talk about being different, and how alcohol makes you feel normal.

If you want it and don't know how to get it, pm me and we can talk.





I would also like to add that if you have a smartphone, there is a great app called "AA to go". It is a series of speaker tapes. The app costs $5, but there are over 200 tapes to download and listen to. If you live in a small town like I do where sometimes it's hard to hear the message, this app is for you. I have no affiliation, just love for this application because it has enlightened and inspired me daily.
Michelle

Social climber
Menlo
Apr 1, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
you know, I've noticed a real trend towards sobriety among my contemporaries. still a few left in the bottle, but there is hope for them too.

"normies" I just canNOT comprehend you people..
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Apr 1, 2011 - 10:30pm PT
The message was pretty clear. this could be you hooked up to a machine w/ no heLTH ins racking up bills to dump on the family and dying a horrible slow death. Stomach ulcers and acid reflex also worried me a lot as I experienced both regularly.

When you're dead you're dead, no one can collect.
if you have assets at your death, the debts will be subtracted before anything is disbursed to your legatees, but, that's a little different from saying bills are "dumped" on anyone.

Actually if you die with bills greatly exceeding your assets, you've sort of won.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Apr 1, 2011 - 10:50pm PT
Well....that's one way to look at it. But what of the person hooked up to the machines, still in the body, as bills pile up, creditors call the family, and such?

The body is quite incredible - Like an old Timex, it often takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Death by alcohol itself is usually a very slow, and painful process - even before the liver failure, brain damage and/or mental illness kick in.

That imagery got Tradman to quite - yay for that! There are plenty of people in similar situations. Yay for them!


I also quit, for about a year, after one not even particularly bad drunk. In that year I got my sorry ass out of small town Nowheresville and became a designer in New York City. For me, though, I picked up one night, new in the city, and uncomfortable at a party with my new room mate. It took another few years to realize I was back in an alcoholic state.

When I got sober in AA, I realized that I had been believeing I was sober for something like 5 years. I had somehow *forgotten* to count all those nights of a few drinks here and there(they were drunk nights, not just a single glass of wine type mights).

Funny, how the mind works....



The good news for me is that earlier this week I had probably THE worst day, emotionally, I have had in years, and I got through it. I am actually still recovering from it now 4 days later - still very emotionally tired, and with some painful awarenesses that I am not sure how to address. But it simply did NOT occur to me to drink during that time.

If I pick up, then I lose anyway. I am fully cognizant of that. Without picking up, I have a chance.

For that, I am grateful.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 2, 2011 - 10:18am PT
I got through the loss of a parent without drinking as well as a personal emotional low blow that was an 11 on the ricter scale. drinking because of bad event is just an excuse to drink. It Never makes it better. Drinking NEVER brings the loved one back or changes the circumstances in any good way. The only circumstances that change by drinking are your own and it is ALWAYS for the worst. At the very least you wake up minus the mony you spent drinking...

I am so lucky these days i did not even think about drinking when mom died even though I have family so clueless that they still offer me drinks...
Gene

climber
Apr 4, 2011 - 12:18pm PT
10 alcohol free days. Digging it!

g
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Apr 4, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
Good work, Gene.

Three months for me on the 1st!
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 4, 2011 - 03:51pm PT
Nice job Gene. I went all day Sunday without a drink. First time in a long time. Woot! Not joking here either. I said no and it stuck. There was wine in the sauce for the steaks, but I didn't taste it and there was no alcohol. Didn't use much anyway, steaks that taste that good should just be lightly salted and "Hank'ed" down.


"Hank" shown below, no relation to the person who started this thread, we got the dog from a rescue shelter and he came with the name:

xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Apr 4, 2011 - 03:59pm PT
Go Gene Go. Good for you. Time to send soon also?

Burly Bob
Gene

climber
Apr 4, 2011 - 04:04pm PT
Burly Bob - First steps first.

Thanks all!
g
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
Apr 4, 2011 - 04:06pm PT
I think it finally happened this weekend, and I am gonna give up beer. I have only drank a couple beers a month for the last couple years, but REALLY wanted one on saturday. Cracked open a Sierra Nevada and it tasted like sh#t. Hell, sh#t tastes better than that foamy swill. F$%#!

Enjoyed a glass of Wild Turkey 101 after the bad beer experience. Followed by finishing off a bottle of Jack Daniels. Went to the store and bought a bottle of Jim Beam sunday and can't wait. Beer f*#king blows, I am done with that sh#t.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 4, 2011 - 04:18pm PT
Well, at least you know what you don't like...
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Apr 4, 2011 - 04:25pm PT
Enjoyed a glass of Wild Turkey 101 after the bad beer experience. Followed by finishing off a bottle of Jack Daniels. Went to the store and bought a bottle of Jim Beam sunday and can't wait. Beer f*#king blows, I am done with that sh#t.

Obvious troll, no real whiskey drinker would drank those crap brands (JD used to be drinkable until they started watering it down).
pat

Trad climber
estes park
Apr 4, 2011 - 04:28pm PT
Sweet Atchafawhatever, did you know they have I.V. vodka in hospitals? You wont have to worry about the beer.

-Patrick
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Apr 4, 2011 - 05:02pm PT
Congrats to you guys that are just starting. Keep with it - it's going to get better and worse, but in the end it's going to be amazing.

One piece of advice that I will share with you that helped me a lot, is to identify and recognize your "triggers."

Triggers are excuses that you use to pick up. They can be certain times, i.e. "When I get home from work on Friday I always have a beer."

Triggers are usually situational though, you drink when you're in a bar, you drink when you get dumped, you drink when you feel insecure etc.

Sitting down and listing your triggers will help you recognize them for what they are, and hopefully assist you in avoiding them. Remember the simple rule: if you don't pick up the first drink then it's impossible to get drunk.

Keep up the great work!
atchafalaya

Boulder climber
Apr 4, 2011 - 05:06pm PT
Blahblah, no troll. I love Wild Turkey and the others. Yea, I include Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, and many others in the line-up. Your opinion is important, so what say you on good whiskey brands???? And none of that single malt horse-shit please. I like real american whiskey for my no carb diet.
Mimi

climber
Apr 4, 2011 - 05:08pm PT
Actually if you die with bills greatly exceeding your assets, you've sort of won. blahblah

Gee thanks for that irresponsible attitude.
Gene

climber
Apr 4, 2011 - 05:20pm PT
A former drunk, Chris Mullin, is going into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Way to go #17, the ultimate gym rat.

g
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 4, 2011 - 05:30pm PT
vegas climber. if you know when the triggers are gonna be there then a glass of ice water does the trick. Its all about haveing a cold drink in your hand at those moments.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Apr 4, 2011 - 06:08pm PT
Blahblah, no troll. I love Wild Turkey and the others. Yea, I include Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, and many others in the line-up. Your opinion is important, so what say you on good whiskey brands???? And none of that single malt horse-shit please. I like real american whiskey for my no carb diet.

Ummm, you kind of pre-busted me, I like scotch, preferably single malts. I liked (and still like) blends like Dewar's (or Walker Black or better for a treat) over ice with a splash of soda, but after getting into some single malts recently, they're just . . . better.
But if you've tried good Scotch and still prefer bourbon, more power to you.

For those of you who are better off without drinking (and that potentially includes EVERYONE who drinks more than very occasionally), good luck!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 4, 2011 - 06:33pm PT
Ocasionaly when folks act like total asses it reminds us why we don't drink.......
Hankster

Social climber
BASE!
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2011 - 07:03am PT
1 year TODAY!!!!!!

caylor
perswig

climber
Apr 23, 2011 - 07:21am PT
^^That just happened!

Strong work, all of you.
Dale
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 23, 2011 - 07:55am PT
Yee ha! Killerdeal. It gets easier from here. 1st year is the hardest!
Good job man.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Apr 23, 2011 - 06:50pm PT
Way to go Hank!

Keep on working your program and doing whats working for you!

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 23, 2011 - 06:58pm PT
This is a banner time to be sober.
Randisi

Boulder climber
Soon to be in China
Apr 23, 2011 - 07:26pm PT
It'll be ten years in a week.

Think I'll have a beer.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Apr 23, 2011 - 07:38pm PT
Congratulations Hankster and everyone else trying the alternative lifestyle.
Passed the six month mark a while back, it went pretty quick, hard to hate.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Apr 23, 2011 - 10:52pm PT
Congratulations on one year sober!
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 23, 2011 - 11:49pm PT
YEAH HANK !!! PERRY TOO !!!

:-D !
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dude, I totally got this.
Apr 24, 2011 - 12:07am PT
Know your strength. Right on, Hank.
Then just be who you are.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
May 17, 2011 - 04:08pm PT
just for hell's sake,
im pushing a sober needle,
6 months long.

i started my clarity quest on easter,
as i bon-fired the ridge above sugarloaf,
dodging rain swells in wee caves.

i stashed a few beers way up,
beneath some rocks.

i'll retrieve them, and mine welcome confusion on hallow's eve.

honestly, though,
the more i study genuine reality,
the more i yearn for animated mental wanderings.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 17, 2011 - 04:13pm PT
Good to see you post Norwegian - esp on this being Norway Day or whatever that is in Norsk :-)

Stay sober dude. For those little ones of yours if not yourself. With a mind as subtle and bright as yours, you should be easily able to find the animated mental wanderings you seek without medicinal help of any kind...
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
May 17, 2011 - 04:21pm PT
i stashed a few beers way up,
beneath some rocks.

i'll retrieve them, and mine welcome confusion on hallow's eve.

Do not retrieve them. Leave them to the elements or whoever finds them. You do not need them anymore.

Focus on what is important.




Edit:

just for hell's sake,
im pushing a sober needle,
6 months long.

Makes my day to hear this. Congratulations.
sullly

Trad climber
May 17, 2011 - 09:41pm PT
Happy Norwegian Day Wege. Hope this all works for you.
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
May 17, 2011 - 09:43pm PT
how does one know if he drinks too much?
Hankster

Social climber
BASE!
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
how does one know if he drinks too much?

1- You stop being able to maintain employment. If you're in a trade word gets around and work becomes scarce.
2- Kids totally pick up on your drinking personality and you can tell you sorta scare them. You usually think your turbofunny though. Hell kids love ya'!!
3- Your Wife/Husband/Whatever leaves you and it's SUPER obvious they didn't like your drinking and gave you ample verbal warning.
3a- Your freinds stop accepting your apologies, if you even have enough sack to recognize your f*#kup and apologize for it.
4- You chomp multiple DUI's.
5- You don't perform nearly as well at sports due to alcohol.
6- Your pee looks like maple syrup.
7- Your hard drinker freinds tell you that you drink too much.
7a- Most everyone will have told you at some point you drink too much.
8- You used to always be on the party invite list, know the phone doesn't ring as often.
9- You think you have a back ache, but HAH! you sprained your liver!!!
10- You see yourself in pictures at parties and didn't realize you had turned into such a fatfaced f*#k.
11- Really, you can just tell when too much is too much.

There are so many ways booze can sneak up and get ya'. Just be careful. Don't drive drunk. Be sweet and have one for me if you can.

caylor

The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
May 17, 2011 - 10:56pm PT
how does one know if he drinks too much?

When they start asking/questioning themselves if they drink too much as you just did. Social "normal" drinkers never consider this type questionable thinking regarding their drinking habits.





Celebrated 11 years last Tuesday.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
May 17, 2011 - 10:59pm PT
When the thunderbird is driving you..
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
May 17, 2011 - 11:02pm PT
Congratulations to all the major victories here - every one of them is MAJOR!
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
May 18, 2011 - 10:41am PT
Hank, Jorge & Joanne Urioste would love to see you while they are in town. Try to make it to their show at Neptunes this Thursday night.
Ian Gill

Big Wall climber
Redding, CA
May 25, 2011 - 12:33am PT

Hank - as a fellow recovering alcoholic, I applaud you for jumping right back in after a relapse! I can tell you, every day you go without a drink, you're a winner!! Period! I was an extremely tough learner - took 3 rehabs and a few relapses, but i always went right back.

I, too, used to revel in being able to climb big walls, and still soak up the whiskey, beer, foul jug wine, and anything else I could get my hands on! After all, wasn't that all part of being a Valley "hard man"???

It just plain stopped working for me, and being told what I did during a blackout was appalling! The demoralization was so bad at times, I just plain wanted to die! What a waste that would've been! And how could I do that to my son, who I love more than anything on this earth?? CRAZY!!!!

Now, I wouldn't trade this life for anything! AND, after apparently beating stage 3 colon cancer to boot, I'm going back up the Captain next spring for the first time in MANY years, and I can't wait! LIFE rocks!
enjoimx

Trad climber
Kirkwood, CA
May 30, 2011 - 12:56am PT
4 months on the 26th and I topped out on the Nose to celebrate.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
May 30, 2011 - 01:15am PT
Way to go Enj! It would take me four months just to top out on the Nose... :-(

Keep working at it, don't ever stop :)
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
May 30, 2011 - 01:37am PT
Ok f*#k it I'm with you here I'm just about to leave the Island here and over the last two weeks I have consumed 2 bottles of Jack Daniels,1 bottle of Vodka, and a case of Corona and f*#k me I never woke up with a hang over. Sea level I guess but sh#t that seems like too much and too little time.

I'm hanging it up when I get home for a spell my dad is back in AA after a 10 year dry run and he's a f*#king lush like no other. His excuse for going back was he wanted to see how it tasted.

WTF is that???

Oh well The time is now for a break lets see how long I can go.


Ian Gill

Big Wall climber
Redding, CA
May 30, 2011 - 01:48am PT
That's all you had in 2 weeks? And I'm being serious!! A bottle of vodka a day would be more like it in my case. I do know I never woke up one day and said, hey I think I'd like to try alcoholism - how bad could it be?

F**K me, never again..............

Ive got NO problem with those who can drink normally, but unfortunately that's not me...............

Edit: And climbing with the shakes is BAD news!
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
May 30, 2011 - 05:18pm PT
Good choice Silver!

Hope it works out for you. If you're ready to be done, then you will be. Program works if you work it - kitschy but true.

The fact is that, for whatever reason, no one who works the steps, and keeps reworking them on a daily basis, goes back to drinking. It does work, if you're willing to follw the program exactly.

Get a sponsor, and take it a day at a time.

And to the other comment....I started climbing after I quit drinking. But thinking back to how bad I used to feel in the mornings, I can't even imagine how bad it would be trying to climb with the shakes.
Ian Gill

Big Wall climber
Redding, CA
May 30, 2011 - 07:02pm PT
Yeah, self-sponsorship (with no program) never did quite work out. But I just couldn't ask for help, it was too foreign to me. Believe me, I paid the price - badly!

Finally found out that the program DOES WORK! And life just gets more amazing! Total freedom now - what a concept - and I COULDN'T have done it alone!!!

;-)

Edit:And I never meant to imply that 3 bottles of booze and a case of beer in 2 weeks was not a lot - it is. I just finally had to ask myself those tough questions, like "Do normal drinkers drink like this?"

Like Vegas said, if you're ready to be done, then you will be.
rrrADAM

Trad climber
LBMF
May 31, 2011 - 12:59pm PT
The Process

"This program has become a part of me.... I understand more clearly the things that are happening in my life today I no longer fight the process."
Basic Text, p. 162

In active addiction, things happened seemingly without rhyme or reason. We just "did things"; often without knowing why or what the results would be. Life had little value or meaning.

The Twelve Step process gives meaning to our lives; in working the steps, we come to accept both the dark and the bright sides of ourselves. We strip away the denial that kept us from comprehending addiction's affect on us. We honestly examine ourselves, picking out the patterns in our thoughts, our feelings, and our behavior We gain humility and perspective by fully disclosing ourselves to another human being. In seeking to have our shortcomings removed, we develop a working appreciation of our own powerlessness and the strength provided by a Power greater than we are. With our enhanced understanding of ourselves, we gain greater insight into and acceptance of others.

The Twelve Steps are the key to a process we call "life": In working the steps, they become a part of us—and we become a part of the life around us. Our world is no longer meaningless; we understand more about what happens in our lives today. We no longer fight the process. Today, in working the steps, we live it.

Just for today: Life is a process; the Twelve Steps are the key. Today, I will use the steps to participate in that process, understanding and enjoying myself and my recovery.





Rationalizing away our recovery

"As a result of the Twelve Steps, I'm not able to hold on to old ways of deceiving myself."
Basic Text, pg. 176

We all rationalize. Sometimes we know we are rationalizing, admit we are rationalizing, yet continue to behave according to our rationalizations! Recovery can become very painful when we decide that, for one reason or another, the simple principals of the program don't apply to us.

With the help of our sponsors and others in NA we can begin to look at the excuse we use for our behavior. Do we find that some principals just don't apply to us? Do we believe that we know more that everyone else in Narcotics Anonymous, even those who have been clean for many years? What makes us think that we're so special

There is no doubt, we can successfully rationalize our way through part of our recovery. But, eventually, we must squarely face the truth and start acting accordingly. The principals in the Twelve Steps guide us to a new life in recovery. There is little room for rationalization there.

Just for today: I cannot work the steps and also continue deceiving myself. I will examine my thinking for rationalizations, reveal them to my sponsor, and be rid of them.




Copyright NA World Services, Inc

rrrADAM

Trad climber
LBMF
Jun 1, 2011 - 07:47am PT
Ian is right.

I like analogies, so...

(Analogy only, as I'm an atheist, but I do have an HP of my understanding)
Think of it like what many Christians believe gets them into Heaven... It isn't just going to church a few times a month, but actually accepting and living that lifestyle. Making the teachings and practices part of one's life. Just going to church a few times a month, doesn't get them anything.

Same thing with recovery... You gotta jump in with both feet, as it doesn't work by osmosis.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 1, 2011 - 08:03am PT
Good move and good luck Silver!

There are a lot of ways to do this. Figure out what works for you. The structure and camaradrie in AA etc is appealing and helpful to the majority, but don't get daunted by programs.

As an atheist, non joiner, that route was just not gonna work for me! I took it on as a discipline, like when I quit eating red meat back in '82; I knew I had the ability to make sobriety second nature. I also had key sober friends with whom I spent most of my time and were large in my life when I quit.

If it's for you, and you want it,you can do it. And you'll save money, Silver. Important. Because on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, '12 you're gonna owe me 100 clams!
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Jun 1, 2011 - 12:50pm PT
Eleven months today!

I can honestly say that I have not even remotely desired a drink in the last 10 1/2 months, and do not miss alcohol at all.
rrrADAM

Trad climber
LBMF
Jun 1, 2011 - 01:07pm PT
Good on you, brutha!


~A
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Jun 1, 2011 - 01:36pm PT
"It does work, if you're willing to follw the program exactly. "

That's a pretty sure bet there!

But the good news is that one can stay sober without absolutes too; I'm an example, 14 years and some months. August 26th will be my 15th year anniversary(Most likely, I should say. If I can get through what I've experienced this last year and not even THINK about wanting a drink, I feel pretty good about my sobriety. Of course, that doesn't protect me from a relapse, I'm well aware.).

I was horrible as a sponsee in early sobriety(first 5 years - hell I probably still would be a dismal sponsee). I was a little better as a sponsor but never all that comfortable in the dynamic.

I still have some amends to make, and don't honestly feel any great need to make them.

I made twice to three times weekly meetings my first 5 years, and went through a period of a few years where I went nearly every day. But....last meeting I attended was on my road trip this last December, and before that, December 25th 2009.

Yet, I still consider myself an AA'er. Sometimes I feel a little unhappy that I'm not there in the rooms for that person who just walked in and is trying to get sober, but - I am here, 12th Step-Ready, when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help. I practice the(se) principals in all my affairs.

Do I RECOMMEND someone not follow the AA program to the best of their ability? Nope. But as they say - "Take what you want, and leave the rest," and "It's progress, not perfection."


Happy Day Sober to all those who have given it up!
Roman

Trad climber
Bostonia
Jun 13, 2011 - 12:29pm PT
Day one after a four year relapse. Thank you all for your posts. I read this thread often and I'm finally going to take the plunge again.
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Jun 13, 2011 - 12:31pm PT
Good for you, Roman! Stick with it, it's worth it.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 13, 2011 - 01:30pm PT
I think the key here is what you hear all along - you gotta WORK the program. I can get passive and not work the steps and then I'm in a dry drunk and start right back with alcoholic behavior - in a heartbeat. I have to actively be around those who are sober and working a solid program or I'm cooked. And I can't sponsor myself.

JL
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jun 13, 2011 - 06:13pm PT
Welcome back, Roman!

One day at a time. It gets easier as time goes on. Go a minute at a time for now if you have to - start small and work up.

JL, thanks for the sponsor reminder. I haven't talked to mine in a while, and that comment made me realize it's time to get together for coffee and get caught up.


xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Jun 13, 2011 - 06:33pm PT
Welcome back Roman, glad a little chatter can help someone. And thanks to all posters, reminding me to stay connected, and lastly, congrats to all who are celebrating time, enjoy.

Burly Bob
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Jul 1, 2011 - 10:24am PT
One year clean and sober today!

Coincidentally, this is also the same day I celebrate 50 trips around the Sun...
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Jul 1, 2011 - 10:37am PT
Congratulations Edge!
Nice condition to arrive at 50 in.
Keep up the good work.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 1, 2011 - 10:42am PT
Happy birthdays, Edge!
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Jul 1, 2011 - 09:42pm PT
happy sober birthday and regular one!

post #421! 420 was before my time, but BITD I sure smoked a lot - an oz every 3 days(from 14 years old to 21....)
nevahpopsoff

Boulder climber
the woods
Jul 1, 2011 - 11:16pm PT
yo, edggie-poo, good on ya!!!!!!!!!!!!
gf

climber
Jul 2, 2011 - 12:22am PT
Just finished a pleasant dinner with an old friend tapering on his addiction to oxy, he wants to get from his current dosage of 60mg down to 45 before going into rehab to avoid some of the nasty drugs that often come with these programs. We urged him to go in right away as the risks of a relapse from a steady downward taper back toward full 120mg are too high. Loaned him my copy of Life and urged him to check in asap.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Jul 21, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
This morning while having coffee, a familiar feeling came over me. A sense of sadness, loss, malaise...

I knew within moments exactly what was going on. It's nearing the end of July, and for the last several years this period of time always brings me sensations of "low."

In about one more month I'll be celebrating my 15th year sober anniversary, but the month before I got sober was my "bottom," and though it was cake compared to what many have suffered before taking that first step towards sobriety, it was a period of confusion, loneliness, and escalating risk in behaviors.

I respect this period of time, and don't fight the "reminder" feelings that come up. But I have to take care to stay on the right side of the drink. It's important for me to acknowledge my "ghost of Christmas past"(as the Big Book says: we do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it) but at the same time to be conscious that that IS the past. That I was fortunate in not succumbing further to the disease, and that I have a new way to live now. One which has shown me a wonderful life, filled with interesting experiences, insights and people.

Though each year the anniversary phase of of my bottom comes at different points, it is usually about a month in duration. Countdown to my anniversary of 8/26 seems to have begun - one day at a time. I choose to celebrate today, send best wishes to all those walking the sober path, and extend the hand of AA, by proxy, to anyone wishing to take the first step. Welcome to sobriety!

Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 21, 2011 - 04:51pm PT
Hope your friend heeded your advice.

Happy - remember, but please don't let the "self-talk" obsess on the negative. Wishing you all the best.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jul 26, 2011 - 05:58pm PT
Cool Deal Edge! Aug 25th will be my 5th. Some ass hat at work handed me a beer today. they just don't get it... Its not like I am not thursty as hell after a 10hr construction shift. Don't really need that crap but don't want to make a stink and stand out more than i already do......
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Jul 26, 2011 - 09:33pm PT
It is the social part I found I missed most. Now I just stop after work and drink an Odouls or two and that's all I need. I no longer want to alter my state of mind, I just want to hang out. I had four at Curry last week and drove back to camp without being paranoid :-) Life is good.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 5, 2011 - 12:27am PT
ah hell i've been undrunk for four months now,
it's been not heaven, though its not been difficult,

clarity is like a sunk ship,
and i yearn, yearn for sideways travel
and i think i might attain a sway at the phish show in south shore next week....
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Aug 5, 2011 - 10:55am PT
Well, waddaya know! Good for you, I guess Norwegian(since most people don't do "undrunk" if it's akin to something like an "I haven't touched broccoli on 4 months!" thing.


I'm in the countdown to 15 years sober. The 26th is the day, and so that is 3 weeks from now. I am cognizant each day, during this time, of the last month of my drinking life. It is a weird time, each year, as I pass through this almost required state. It's not intentional; it just occurs. The anniversary of my bottom.
Anxious Melancholy

Mountain climber
Between the Depths of Despair & Heights of Folly
Aug 5, 2011 - 11:05am PT
what a god awful roller coaster! i'm sober for a few months, go to meetings, then I drink and its off to the races...no meetings, cloudy mind, body racked with the after effects of too much alcohol, and tortured with thoughts that my whole life is nothing but an absolute f**k up.

back to my meetings again this week, and went to the Dr and got a prescription for antabuse. one minute of strength to pop the pill sees me through 23 hrs and 59 minutes of weakness.....
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Aug 5, 2011 - 11:09am PT
Good luck, anxious melancholy. I know of plenty who have had it like you. There IS hope, so long as you keep coming back. My thoughts are with you today.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 5, 2011 - 09:14pm PT
Welcome back, anxious.

Just keep at it until it sticks. I hope the meds help. Remember to get a sponsor as soon as you can, try to find one who has a similar past if you can.

Try to find the triggers that make you pick up, and avoid them like the plague.

Happi, I'm so pleased to see your sobriety date coming up soon! You're an inspiration for me. Thank you!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 5, 2011 - 10:21pm PT
Wow. Just read every damn post. Good on you guys, keep it up, eh?
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Aug 25, 2011 - 06:31pm PT
Today is the 15th year anniversary of my last day hungover.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my last drink.

Tomorrow, August 26th, will be the 15th year anniversary of my first day sober.

It's pretty likely that I will make it. I've been one of the lucky ones for whom the desire to drink was actually lifted. Even in my darkest moments, so far, the thought of a drink to deal with is has not been an attractive proposition, and rarely even one that comes to mind.



YAY!!!!

Gene

climber
Aug 25, 2011 - 06:34pm PT
Major respect, HG!
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Aug 25, 2011 - 06:57pm PT
Let the sun shine in.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 25, 2011 - 07:03pm PT
i want to die a lonely and wretched soul,
curled up against some pointy rocks somewhere.
alone with the silence and spectacular view
of my mountains.

not adorned with medals, or tattoo's.
with nothing in the bank and ragged shoes on my feet.

i wanna lead a foul life, respectable only to those
whom must receive my candor.

for now i am sober, because the health and well-being
of my children and wife benefit from my clean breath.

one day i'll again be the only soul in my boat
and then i'll aim for the roughest seas with my case of scotch.
nevahpopsoff

Boulder climber
the woods
Aug 25, 2011 - 07:25pm PT
dude, that's dark.....
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Aug 25, 2011 - 07:34pm PT
Happie...your post brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 25, 2011 - 08:11pm PT
Way to go Happie!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 25, 2011 - 09:07pm PT
I was just about to search for this thread and supprise! It's on the front page. Today is my 5th Bday.. I forgot all about it untill about an hour ago. been super busy with work and a forced demo/reno of my bathroom. Havent had a functionig shower in 3 weeks. Good thing I have a pond handy.. Had a dream last night that I was drinking. Those dreams scare me pretty bad untill i wake up and everything is ok.. Must have subconciously known that today was the day.. Its a bit anti climatic as actually sobered up in June of 2006 but had 2.25 beers on august 25th of that same year so I have to wait the extra 6 weeks to be official every year...

Good job happy and everyone else that has made the leap....
Hankster

Social climber
BASE 637
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 25, 2011 - 09:12pm PT
right on tradman!!!

edit- i just read back SWEEEEEET Happie!!!!

Norgie-
good luck
good luck

caylor
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 25, 2011 - 09:19pm PT
Thanks Hankster!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 25, 2011 - 09:48pm PT
hank that is not poetry,
that comes straight from my owner's manual.

my scripture, he.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Aug 26, 2011 - 12:01am PT
In about one more month I'll be celebrating my 15th year sober anniversary

asdf. i'm back at square one with 15 days. wtf.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Aug 26, 2011 - 12:16am PT
Don't let it sweat you BVB.. It took at least 4 tries for me until sobriety finally took. I say 4 tries because I don't remember exactly how many times I quit, before it took. Those years are sort of a fog. I didn't do AA, so I don't have any reminders. I just remember going back to drinking a bunch of times before I had finally had enough.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 26, 2011 - 06:19am PT
Tradman, grats on the bday! Way to go!

Bvb, man, it's all good. The important thing is that you're back. Just keep at it, sometimes it takes a while, that's all. You can do it!

tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 26, 2011 - 07:03am PT
I did it on my own. no meetings. The first six weeks is the hardest. the first six months is hard, the one year thing is hard but after that it gets progressivly easier....
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 26, 2011 - 08:09am PT
I'd agree with that timeline, Trad.

After a year things got way easier for me. I very rarely have bad days anymore...like maybe once a year. I'm thankful for that.

I went to meetings for a while, but I had a hard time dealing with the drama and hypocrisy that crops up in a lot of places.

I still work a version of the program on my own, and I know they are there if I need them. And I still have numbers of active people in recovery I can call at anytime if needed. Having that lifeline available is good insurance, for me at least.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 26, 2011 - 09:44am PT
Happy fifteen, Happie!
And happy eleven to another taco who might read this.
Beautiful day I'm going for a run!
Linda Jarit

climber
ca
Aug 26, 2011 - 11:53am PT
Thanks Jay : )
Actually, two more days to 11....pretty sure I'll make it!!!
Congrats Happie on your 15 years - that's awesome! To you too bvb-you're not starting from square one, we all carry all of our experiences with us. Stay with it, it gets easier.

Blessings to all.

-L
Hankster

Social climber
BASE 637
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 26, 2011 - 12:18pm PT
Nice EVERYBODY!!!!

caylor
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Aug 26, 2011 - 12:21pm PT
BVB - You're the most important person on the thread today. 15 days IS FIFTEEN DAYS! Do NOT focus on the slips, keep your mind on today. You are clean alive. Today you have a chance. Take that chance and stay sober to see what miracles may be in the pipeline down the road. You're in my thoughts - my hand is in yours and hanging on today. FYI - I will be out west again this winter. and look forward to maybe getting together again with you!


Tradmanclimbs - Congratulations of 5 years! Yay for you!


And so far, so good, today. I am in the sewing room, making chalkbags. I feel good.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 26, 2011 - 12:22pm PT
Well Linda, I knew I was close...

Spectacular run this morning, extended Turtle Rock Trail in Vedauwo, 5 fingers.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Aug 26, 2011 - 12:43pm PT
Great stuff everyone.

Weege, dude I love your strange and beautiful writings.
But I gotta say that I think alone in the pointy stones might not be the best way to go.

Maybe in something warm and cozy, surrounded by the embrace of your children, proud to have helped raise such a fine man.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 26, 2011 - 10:28pm PT
Happie. hope you had a great day!
Hankster

Social climber
BASE 637
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 26, 2011 - 11:12pm PT
Jaybro, if you aren't an alcoholic, that sounds like a f*#king sweet day!!!

caylor
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Sep 1, 2011 - 06:04pm PT
I’d just like to give big props to those of you who are battling with this demon, and pray and hope you stay the path.

It’s with a heavy heart I write about the loss of my youngest son’s godmother. She was a very good woman, who had a tough life she was the oldest of 13 siblings and acted as their mother due to her mothers ailments, was put in a concentration camp by US forces during WWII (to “protect” Alaska natives from the Japanese) her husband was tragically killed in a construction accident and she had to raise a teenage son alone, not to mention facing prejudice as an Alaskan native. Unfortunately the last few years she found her way back into the bottle.

Monday afternoon her son talked to her on the phone and could tell she’d been drinking. Early in the evening a neighbor stopped by and found her passed out and not breathing. She was revived by paramedics, rushed to the hospital and put on life support. We visited her Tuesday night and were told she had brain damage from the unknown time spent w/o breathing, but the extent of the damage was unknown. She was taken off life support yesterday and passed away last night.

That’s no way for anyone to end to their life, and no matter how alone you feel, or how much pain, there are others out there that care about you, even if they don’t show it.

I was pondering how we as a society can look from the outside and casually dismiss someone as just another drunk. I never thought of her that way, but I know I’ve been guilty of seeing our homeless population in that light. Everybody has a story, parents, possibly children, siblings, friends, they aren’t just a nameless faceless drunk. And you know what, those little old ladies, they need the same love, attention, comfort and companionship as our spouses, significant others and children. As a reminder, be compassionate and reach out to your family and friends that face this same battle. My wife and I are left feeling that if we’d been more involved in her life perhaps she wouldn’t have fallen off the wagon.

So don’t put off visiting with mom, day, grandma or grandpa while you have the chance.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Sep 1, 2011 - 06:31pm PT
"My wife and I are left feeling that if we’d been more involved in her life perhaps she wouldn’t have fallen off the wagon."

Please don't let that feeling take you down. As you probably know, people who have others involved in their lives in great depths still succumb to alcoholism, and people whose loved ones have thrown them out for good stay sober. This sort of thing just is not a factor as to who stays sober and who doesn't. Unfortunately it sometimes seems like a dice roll as to who makes it through a day sober and who picks up a drink. As the Big Book says, the disease is "cunning, baffling, and powerful."

I am sorry for your heartbreak.

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 1, 2011 - 08:17pm PT
Hoh man Tolman!Condolences to your family and all in her life.
Don't knock yourself out, nobody can do everything, nor should they try to.

That is a very good point you made and something important for all of us to take from this.
We/They're all somebody and somebody's!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Sep 2, 2011 - 08:10am PT
though ailment is often up-stirred,
sometimes the mental breezes must blow.
they must.

it is sad, though it is not sad.
some hearts float thru life.
some have to be drug through life.

the women of paul's acquantance
is a warrior spirit now, in my opinion.
she wrote her here-life story to the best of her ability.
wobbles, and bumps and glories and prides and shames and sorrows.

all these, in her script, glided up and down and across days,
with magnificent pen strokes.

i cast no ill-judgement upon her, and i wish her well in her next quest,
as she'll have borne into her the knowledges gained everywhere's.

live well. live ill.
life lives thru itself.
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 2, 2011 - 09:46am PT
I quit drinking.



About 9 hours ago.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 3, 2011 - 07:17am PT
Love your people as much as you love your pets.

Be as nice to stray people as you would to a stray doggie..
Asiajack

climber
Lots but mostly in Asia
Sep 12, 2011 - 08:14pm PT
Hankster and all--

Thanks for the amazing post. I was up on and off all night reading the entire thing, which was not too hard as I am insomniatic after coming off a long one. As before, and before, and before, ad infinitum.

I think I am serious this time. I have always climbed rocks to get to the rock top, but think I have finally reached the opposite. I cannot do it anymore. Hearing these stories, and many from people I've never met but have great respect for (previously on the rock but now in an entirely new light), is truly inspiring. I am not sure why I didn't find this thread earlier, but I am usually on rc or summit post or mountain project. I had heard some heavy hitters use supertopo but it took this thread to convince me :)

We spent the summer in the US which made things easier (though not without painful episodes!) for me due to the clean air, the driving (DUI is a strong disincentive..), and the proximity to nature. Just got back to the urban hellhole I have called home for many of the past years, was good for a week or so, decided for who knows what non-reason to go for post gym climbing beers, end up losing my beater bike and missing our planned excursion to some remote islands to put up some routes, getting in a single half-drunken gym session instead. The post about wasted years in Yosemite-- I could write volumes on this.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is OSAT (http://www.osat.org/); which seems like a very good idea to me. I am hoping to do something like this here as I grew up with AA (my Mom) and have resisted it despite the probable decades I have needed something like that (I recall smoky meetings, bad coffee, religious delerium, and more than anything shame at my Mom). I have always and increasingly tried to use climbing, or skiing, or mountain biking, as a way to temper my demons and when I do it right it works. If there is anyone out here who is interested in this, please let me know!!!

Wish me luck and Hankster and others-- please keep counting the days and months and years (when you posted that one I was truly moved as I have never gotten much beyond a month) and for Happiegirl decades. I think most climbers are competitive in their own ways by nature, and this post for me can be a YDS/V grade (or maybe NCCS as we are trying to go long!) and I will check it often, both in times of joy and in those of trouble. Keep up the beautiful ascent!!!

Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 12, 2011 - 08:33pm PT
Kudos and a salute to those who make the effort to be sober. It is worth it, life is good.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Sep 12, 2011 - 10:02pm PT
rockjox the universe continues to wobble and wallow and sway and stray
despite your six pack input.

i know cause i always get motion sick,
though im often in a motionless state.

it takes a lotto my nerve just to f*#kin blink.

dry eyes support know sorrow.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 12, 2011 - 10:22pm PT
Rox FOAD

Talking about our drinking is therapy for us. for whatever reason it seems to help.
salad

climber
Escondido
Oct 7, 2011 - 12:01am PT
my sweet demoness beckons me
ever again and again and again and again.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Oct 7, 2011 - 12:07am PT
the weed harvest is in so i am back off the bottle.

too much vitamin depletion and seratonin uptake can be limited,

now pass the bong and don't give me a hard time about substitution,

ozzy has a new book out on the 11"th, called

"Trust Me, I am Doctor Ozzy"

Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy: Advice from Rock's Ultimate Survivor (shortened to "Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy") is the upcoming autobiography of Ozzy Osbourne,[1] vocalist of Black Sabbath and solo singer. It is the sequal to his 2010 release I Am Ozzy, the book chronicles his drug abuse and survival stories about 40 years of Ozzy's drug and alcohol abuse.[2][3][4] The book was co-written by Chris Ayres, because of Osbourne's dyslexia.

Credit: Dr.Sprock

Trusty Rusty

Social climber
Tahoe area
Oct 7, 2011 - 12:37am PT
Best to each of you on the path. . .to yourself. If you find it, the urge to medicate evaporates, if you don't, it never leaves. Bill and the Dr. got hold of something real, fact is most everyone could use a waltz through the steps over one malady or another. Good job, keep it simple and laugh, there's battles ahead for all.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Oct 10, 2011 - 03:30pm PT
One year today on the extended sabbatical, no beer, no hootch.
It went by shockingly quick but then again, that's life after fifty.
Thanks to the Hankster and others who make this thread a helpful place to check in for a reminder and some inspiration.
Best wishes.

PB
Hankster

Social climber
Boulder
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
Allright Chief!!! If it makes you and others happy, keep doing it!

Norgie, I missed it this last round, but the 1st verse of you last poem was f*#king rad man!! I just laughed till' I peed. "despite your sixpack input", that is so f*#king boss. love ya' rox!!
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Oct 10, 2011 - 03:40pm PT
Way to go Chief! Happy birthday!

Thanks for the inspiration. This has been one of my toughest weeks in all of my sobriety, and I needed that boost. Keep at it!
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Oct 16, 2011 - 10:51am PT
hay thanks, hank.

i comin up on my six month monument,
and jus' now the dawn was showing me her breasts,
i always git a liddle 'cited when she does that so here comes
a lapse of all intelligable thought,

dawn finds me dragging myself thru some uncomfortable moment.

a little liquor and life becomes a slide, the passage thru eased of greased, but all moments become downhill and the momentum gathers among itself and no longer is you driving but instead your riding your decline as all the faces you once knew and loved speed by on the periphery of your once wicked vision and they all wear lost hope on their faces cause they knew you could have been but they also knew that you didn't know how though it was a beaufiful effort, yours. galiant and defiant,
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Oct 16, 2011 - 10:58am PT
Love this thread. Everyone here is just awesome.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 16, 2011 - 11:14am PT
Funny I was just thinking about this thread this morning.

Fell off the wagon, or intentionally climbed down from it. Now comes the job of climbing back on it.

Here goes......

Day 1.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 16, 2011 - 11:23am PT
Good Job Chief!

Norweigan, Did yhou read naked luch too mANY times?

You do have serious creative mind. Should put some of your words to music. If you do not already play buy a cheap gituar and stART learning..... i did not start playing untill my mid 30's

Old Dawgs can leARn new tricks....
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Oct 18, 2011 - 09:23pm PT
Rox FOAD
Harsh!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 18, 2011 - 09:36pm PT
Anyone who gives a recovering alcoholic or drug adict crap for being on the wagon is a complete loser. That was not harsh at all just richly deserved.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Oct 18, 2011 - 10:02pm PT
I've heard it said that the wagon is just a vehicle from one drunk to another and that never is a long time.
I've also been called a wagon burner.
It's good to mark a calendar and measure time spent trying to live differently, sometimes it's a great motivator. At the same time, it doesn't tell the whole story and in some cases doesn't amount to a real improvement.
We each have to find our own way and few of us get anywhere worthwhile without falling now and then. The important thing is to get up again and keep climbing.
Best to all.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Oct 22, 2011 - 08:13am PT
4 days shy of 6 months sober,
i came out of the fog.

i showed a friend around the leap,
climbing a few of the classics.

all day i lugged my daughters pink camelback up routes,
my partner wondering of my mental module.

within the pink i carried a secret, actual 96 ounces of mobile wobble.

last route of the day, atop main wall as the sun is completing its summit walkoff,

i open the backpack and pull 2 tall boys out and raise a summit cheer with my friend.
as i had two more tall beers, i offered them to another team of friends that were summitting a route on central wall. they declined so we's drank up.

my six months sober was a good journey, as all journeys are.
i sorted thru my relationship with the alcohol drug.
and now i better understand it.

im not one for absolutes. nevers and forevers make little sense to me.
life must be allowed its own course, me riding shotgun,
for fvch if im driving this dream!

i can drink and i can still live onward.
conducting a silent life, pitted with screams of insanity.

i wish that all of us accept our way and give up on rewriting the future while dreaming of the past.

cheers. sorrows. and everything elses, too.


"....everybody prayin and drinkin that wine
i can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines
come to daddy on the inside straight,
well I got no chance of losin this time..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWBpUy87lFs
Randisi

Boulder climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Oct 22, 2011 - 08:21am PT
Here's a little ditty by Raymond Carver:


Gravy

No other word will do. For that's what it was. Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. "Don't weep for me,"
he said to his friends. "I'm a lucky man.
I've had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don't forget it."

RAYMOND CARVER
(1938-1988)
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Nov 5, 2011 - 08:15am PT
I went in the Liqour store a few days ago to buy my boss a hippy beer in one of those big bottles for his Bday. it mad me physicaly ill to be in there. Heart was pounding, adrenilin was surgeung and I felt sick to my stomach. Made it through intact and sober but it was freaky...
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Nov 5, 2011 - 08:29am PT
aint it crazy how conditionable we are.
we got emotional memory,
physical memory,
and (some) mental memory.

all this memory and i sturggle with today
because yesterday is still boss,
and i enter tomorrow cloaked in
three past lives,


so i try to outwit my physiology.
i coached my psyche toward a habit of no liquor.
6 months i kept outta of the can.
my self adjusted to this new environment
and began to employ other (f*#ked up) mechanisms
at my navigation thru.

i got a poor diet.
i shouveled the coffee at my head.
my sleep cycle dried, and its edges curled in.

but i never reached for a beer.
now im free to drink again,
but i got no urge to.
so i don't.
now i gotta fix that other shite,
but who knows she's controlling my ship.

are you da wind?
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Nov 5, 2011 - 09:23am PT
Glad you made it out with only the beer for your boss, tradmanclimbs!
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Nov 20, 2011 - 07:23pm PT
Pre-holidaze bump!

This is the start of the triple threat to sobriety: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

These holidays can be trying for anyone, but for the person struggling with alcohol it can be a particularly difficult time. Some are lonely, spending the time by themselves; others would rather do that! But instead they have obligations to meet which are tough to cope with.

Let's be here and stick together, for those who can use the support(that would be all of us!) during these next few weeks.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Nov 20, 2011 - 07:36pm PT
anyone want to simul-dream?
i can trail cause i never fall from dreams,
no matter how desperate the become.

you lead cause my dream navigation skills lack,
i couldn't tell you how many
unplanned bivies i've endured,
stuck in a dream for weeks,
months, forevers.

it'll be cool to summit with whomever
joins me.

you got the dream rack?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Nov 20, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
Dang! I'm going to be a year in about six weeks! I miss it sometimes, that good ol feeling of tipping a nice beer up to your lips. Although, don't miss wanting the fourth beer after having the third...
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Nov 20, 2011 - 07:48pm PT
Weegee,

From your surf/turf photo, it looked like you did fine solo. I haven't done one step of alpine, let alone 12. Still, if you are looking for some backup, there surely are some sponsored climbers here. To your (not your's) dream summit, one step or day at a time.

cheers!!!

It looks like coming down can be the hard part. fek
Hankster

Social climber
Boulder
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2011 - 07:55pm PT
NICE MARK!!
wack-N-dangle

Gym climber
the ground up
Nov 20, 2011 - 07:57pm PT
Hankster posting when I try to link the fek thread. Kismet alert, where is the braun? Oh yeah, note to self, ground fertile mind.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 21, 2011 - 12:59am PT
Weegie, with that clip and quote choice, 'Loser', were you being ironic? Or asking for help?
laughingman

Ice climber
Seattle WA
Nov 21, 2011 - 01:05am PT
Had a guide once (super chill chilean dude) who told me he once CUI (climbed under the influence).
Apparently at high altitude (he was in the andes at 19,000+ feet) it is much easier to get drunk. After summiting he and his partner split a bottle of wine. The affects of the booze became apparent quickly.

good times
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Nov 21, 2011 - 02:06am PT
yeah don't sell out just becuase of some stupid holiday.

the reason they invented thanksgiving is because man is a jive ass turkey,

so don't let the turkeys at the table get on your wick.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Nov 21, 2011 - 03:01am PT
Right now, getting in shape and crushing my old warm-ups is WAY more desireable and obsessive and important and vital to me than getting loaded and silencing the committee of H8'ers in my head who keep trying to convince me I'm a f*#k up.

F*#K THEM. I've got a sprained ankle and a buncha gobi's that are far more satisfying than any 25-year-old single malt I've drained in the last 5 years. The sw0le train is leaving the station, and I'm in the cabin highballin' the motherfukker.

This is a good thing. Where's my pull-up bar?!
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Nov 21, 2011 - 03:43am PT
I'm at about the 3.5 year mark now. It took me about 5 years of off and on to finally make it work. One thing I remember when trying to quit was the fear that life always sober would be a little boring or without color. That's not true at all, after finally sobering up I found a lot of satisfactions in things that I was just never getting around to when I was drinking.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Nov 21, 2011 - 05:43am PT
Good job Mark! the one year is a bit tricky but hang in there is keeps getting easier as time goes by...
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California