Sobriety (off topic or not)?


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Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
It's still pretty early days for me. I gotta say I've had those "gee, I wish I could drink like a normal person" days, but I recognize my pattern hasn't been a healthy one. It's simply not an option.

So far, there has been no moment that's even come close to knocking down the wall. I have to look at the long term and avoiding letting down my guard though. Perhaps the slow creep of time and complacency will be the greatest challenge.

I'm not sure yet what I will do as far as joining a program. One source of strength I have is seeing my folks who have been non-drinkers for decades now. They just did it though, no groups, no nothing. Perhaps it'll be a bit different for me, so I don't want to close any doors.

I simply need to get buzzed on good conversation, music, and experiences now instead of turning to untrustworthy and unrewarding chemicals.

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
I stopped on my own the first time too....

It had been a particularly normal night -copious amounts of alcohol imbibed in, can't recall the last few hours, but that was normal... I just woke up the next morning and said "I can't keep doing this." I told my younger brother I was quitting and he gave me -a look - and snorted and said "yeah, right."

Well, I AM a Taurus, and that was enough to bolster my quitting! And I did!

I did start up again, though, but if you had asked me up til I had about 90 days sober in AA, I would have told you I had "been quit" for 5 years.

And it WAS about 5 years before I was back at the point I was that morning when I "couldn't keep doing this." But it had actually only been ONE year between that last drink, and the next one.

I still get a chuckle out of how I was able to see it that way all that time.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
I have been totally sober since 8-25-06 no cheating ot telling myself lies. I puffed a tiny bit of herb about 3 times in that time frame. As far as I am concerned the puffs do not count because the weed is not my gig.. do not really enjoy it that much so not any kind of will power test for me..
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
what is the best way to stop drinking

Scott you could probably get a different answer from everone, but I'd say, if you're concerned about it, give yourself a little test. Just stop now and see if its easy or hard. If you find you have a reflex to run to the grocery store every night when you realize there's no beer in the refrigerator, then you have a habit. If it doesnt go away and every night you have the same idea of going out and getting a six pack, then you can decide whether you want to deal with it or not. No one says you have to. For my parents geneation, it was normal for everyone to drink every single night after work. I just made a decision to stop and stuck to it. I didnt have any group, and didnt particularly want to involve my friends or family or get labeled by other people. I would also not want to join a program that taught me I was helpless to cure myself and had to put the problem in God's hands. For me it was a matter of summoning the willpower, making a decision and sticking to it.

Jan 11, 2013 - 09:52am PT
Intervention time, later today, one on one. Could go nowhere, could end our 10 year relationship but...Fukk it.

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:55am PT
Take someone with you, if you can, man. Hope it works out, those are never fun.

Jan 11, 2013 - 11:10am PT

Jan 11, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
Great courage to you all.
If things get complicated
keep it simple
Don't take that first drink!

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jan 12, 2013 - 10:42am PT
For me it was a matter of summoning the willpower, making a decision and sticking to it.

The underlying problem for many alcoholics is misdirected willpower. Drinking is only a symptom. Willpower and "making decisions" and sticking to them like a man is not an option for a true alcoholic. This is a point of great confusion for many - believing that the issue is largely a personal decision, and that defaulting into "God" is a needless crutch in which we co-opt our personal power and personal dominion.

Many people who think like this struggle mightily with the idea of seeking a power greater than themselves - even when they are free to define it in their own terms. It feels like giving up, or quitting. But this is not it. At all.

The paradoxical notion of powerlessness gets the better of most all who have never dealt with it at depth. And even to those who have, myself included, powerlessness is a VERY slippery concept.

In my experience it has nothing to do with forgoing my personal power, rather it is a wide view of how little we actually control in this life of ours. And then finding something to do about it that increases our consciousness, humanity and relevance to our fellows.


Trad climber
Pollock Pines, California
Jan 12, 2013 - 11:05am PT
sanity is a mystery.
it is a circle that doesn't quite close.
we intelligent beings are granted 359 degrees of liberty,
with one degree, undone.

that's my degree.
i cherish it.
i abhor it.
i scrutinize it.
i be it.

that one degree of insanity.
all life flows out of me,
enjoying venturi effects
with increased velocity and decreased cross section
i aint beautiful,
i aint grand,
i aint able to stand.

im sorry that i, by
choice must focus my energies on
the one degree that unravels me,
but this,
must be.

Boulder climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 12:23pm PT
Wise words, Brother Largo.

I suppose the great debate is control of the fates. Do we control them, does a higher power control them, or is everything random chance.

The assumption that we know the answer or just assume and accept the answer of are choicing is what I find strange.

I've survived enough were others doing the same have not; too many strange events that normal science falls far short, that I often want an answer.

We all want an answer to the unknowable it comforts us this concept of God.

Strong will power and personal control of oneself is to me, a higher pursuit, than simply blind faith in the unknowable and assumed.

But it may work for those who feel they lack the will to control their problem with booze.

Mountain climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
Largo for the win.

Most people's understanding of what AA is is so inaccurate they end up drinking themselves into a miserable grave instead of letting go of what they think they know.

And some people just decide they've had enough and stop. Props to all groups. The end goal is to not be a slave to alcohol any longer.

Trad climber
Granite Mountain Wilderness
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
I just got my two month chip for the third time on Jan 10th. Seeing this thread and hearing from so many I respect has been a huge help during the insanity of, yet again, new recovery. Thanks to all of you carrying the message and here is to all that still suffer.
Much love,

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
At one time I had enough 30 days chips to encirle the planet.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
John, I just run away from people trying to covert me to their religion, even a really nebulous one that lets you define a higher power anyway you want, so with all respect that approach is a massive turn off. Athiests are not people who haven't spent time thinking about religion or the meaning of life, they just came to different conclusions, and their beliefs are just as much a part of their identities as others.

Another controversial remark I would like to make, is that marijuana has nothing whatsoever to do with alcohol, and using it should not make you return to drinking. In fact I think its a reasonable substitute for people trying to quit booze.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
If you quit drinking booze and switch to another drug its one step ahead 2 steps back. if you are already a stoner and you quit drinking but keep smoking pot you have made a huge step in the right direction but you are still only half way there.....

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 12, 2013 - 10:16pm PT
Talking about the "pros and cons" of the "marijuana maintenance program" could fill a whole new thread. I don't smoke, but I don't knock those that do.

One thing to remember as well, is that when AA was founded, US society was much different then it is now. Religion was a much larger force then in everyday life, so it's only natural that the program would have been focused on that then.

It's up to each of us to determine what works. At the base of it, the decision to stop drinking and stay stopped has to happen within the person. Anything beyond that is simply a means to an end.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 14, 2013 - 03:48am PT
Actually it is really fckin simple. If you quit one drug and switch to annother there is no progress. ZERO, Zilch, Nada..

If you already do a bunch of drugs and you quit one of them you have made some progress but you ain't there yet.

Trad climber
ontario canada
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:35am PT
my 2 cents-12.5 years sober one day at a time,AA taught me how to live without drugs or alcohol.will power never worked for me as it was my will to drink.i still cant walk on water but my life is 100x better than it was-and i'd surely be dead without AA.i still cant climb worth sh#t-but i'm living life,going places and doing things.i feel bad when i hear of and meet people who cant accept their powerlessness,i waisted alot of life trying to will myself into better living only to find myself at the same place again and again with the four horsemen of despair at my side.

Trad climber
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:55am PT
Actually it is really fckin simple. If you quit one drug and switch to annother there is no progress. ZERO, Zilch, Nada..

What about the people who begin acting out sexually in sobriety? There is a reason (in AA) they say "The men with the men, the women with the women" and it's not to foster same-sex intimate partnerships.... There was another slogan I heard, always from guys ironically, and always when they didn't know a woman was listening - "get them on their back before they're on their feet."

I remember finding out one of the playboy types had scooped up my first sponsee within a week of her arrival. He told her to "keep it a secret because the women would look down on her for not following the suggestions." He made it seem like she would be ostricized and told she wouldn't stay sober if she didn't follow the suggestions that some AA'ers were so strict they were practically fundamentalists. He had a history of this behavior which only came out after my sponsee told me what was going on, and I went to some of the men in the group about it. A lot of "this type" is kept hush-hush in the rooms. THAT is why The men with the men, the women with the women.

As for pot - I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it would take away my sobriety. NOT that I would drink due to it, but - I smoked pot all day, every day, from the age of 14 to 21. The only time I was not stoned was if there was no pot to be had, and that was fairly infrequently. On those days, I could absolutely feel crankiness and discontent. Even THEN I knew that, at least for me, Marijuana had an addictive component. It may have been mental, but it was there.

I truly got a second chance at life when I got sober. My soul had been shattered at an extremely early age - way before I ever had a drink or drug. I lived within myself, in a shell, It was very comfortable actually. I still have parts of me that are stuck inside, and may be I will never be free. It is not comfortable, any more. I try to work through, and am saddened at even writing that, but just saying "I won't be limited by that anymore" isn't the key that opens the door.

But for me - to pick up a smoke of pot, one celebratory toast at a party, one one night stand with someone I have no interest in other than getting laid, and I give up the gift of life that I found at the grand old age of 36. Half my life, most likely, spent in fear and hiding, Risk going back? No thank you!

But I ALSO believe that EACH person should be allowed to define sobriety for themselves. And I can define who I want to associate with. I will rope up with people who smoke, and drink - even during climbs! I would date a guy who smoked pot - occasionally, or drinks, occasionally, but my eyes would be open. One person's "occasionally" might be my "oh, my frigging god, you can't function without it." And I would NOT sponsor a woman who was smoking pot, or actively acting out with sex, food, stealing or what have you. I even told one I couldn't sponsor her because she was a drama addict(and yes, she WAS!).
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