Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sobriety Sunday

Happy Sunday! If you follow me on Twitter you know that I worked the door at College Dropout last night. College Dropout is a bar in the college town of Tempe and my friend Marcie asked me if I could cover the door for the band she had booked there. (they were amazing by the
way, click here to check out their radness) Was I nervous to work in a bar? Yes. And I should have been. Even though I have a bit of sober time bars scare me. I've been to them a decent amount of times in soberity, but I've always been able to leave the second I felt I needed to. Last night was a different ball game, I had to stay. I had a few cravings ( which scared the shit out of me), but besides that it was a-ok. Right now if someone asks me to do something that gets me closer to being able to pay my bills this month, I'm in!

Let's talk about cravings. What do you do when they rear their ugly head?

Sent from my iPhone


  1. What a great question!! And you had every reason to be afraid last night no matter how much sober time you have. I have posted before about having almost 3 years sober and then blowing it almost a year ago. It has been a struggle trying to get back. Once again, I am fighting the battle (thanks to my fellow warrior friend and this site!).

    A few things I have found helpful (and I need to follow my own advice more faithfully) is to read this site - back up and go way back until you find the posts that are most useful. I "think the drink through" and remind myself of how I will feel the DAY AFTER, not after the first few sips. Brushing your teeth is good, going on a walk, calling someone who knows and discussing the craving. Make a list of all the negative feelings drinking brings and read it over and over. Get away from the house, leave the place of temptation and don't return until the craving is gone. I have tried all of these and they work if I do it!! Now my goal is to always do these things and not give in!
    Thanks for a great topic. I am anxious to see others' responses.

  2. This is a great topic. For me, it seems like I have to do different things, depending on how strong the cravings are. What helps me most is praying, but it's amazing to me how often I forget that! Really makes me feel like the Evil One knows prayer will get me through and so I'm tricked somehow in forgetting to pray.

    I do think the more I can fight off the cravings, the stronger I will be. I've read on this blog several times that people have said it was hard at first, but got easier after several months.

  3. I had that craving last nite...we were on our way to a some friend's house to play poker. Of course, had to stop at the liquor store for my husband...I automatically went into pissy/pouty mode...I wanted to drink with everyone at the poker party...but NOOOOOOOO, I CAN'T DRINK...I'M AN ALKIE....I sulked until we got there and the feeling just left me when I saw that my good friend had just made a fresh pot of iced tea.....JUST FOR ME! Went on to take 4th in the poker game and joked, laughed, actually laughed my ass off, and had a great time...and I feel good this morning....don't know how or what worked, but just bein with my buddies, even tho they all drink nomally, seemed to work for me last nite. I did say the serenity prayer outside before I went in, so that helped too.

  4. I think the most important thing is to acknowledge it and then to talk/text/write about it. Takes the power out of it!

  5. Hi, Annette --

    On an earlier post this summer, you mentioned (like above) something about friends who drink normally. I don't mean this sarcastically, I'm very sincere: how is normal drinking defined? I'm wondering if I'm a normal drinker who once in awhile goes overboard.

  6. I find the best way to stop a craving and not drink is to remember the last drunk and how someone had to take care of me because I was too messed up to take care of myself. Very demeaning. I never want to be in that position again and haven't since 2 years 8 months ago. Along with remembering I do a lot of praying and I know God helps me get through my craving of wanting to drink to kill whatever pain I'm going through at the time. My many years of alcoholism I feel was that I was drinking AT a painful situation, a person who had hurt me, or bad feelings about myself. I did it to numb my pain. I know I can never drink again because my last binge almost killed me and I truly believe that a next first drink would finish the job. I was an alcoholic for many years believing I was a normal drinker who just went overboard now and then. I was only fooling myself. You know, whether you admit it or not, if you're an alcoholic. The cravings tell you. A normal person does not crave alcohol.

  7. Just a few thoughts from my mind.

    If you question whether you are an alcoholic, chances are that you are. Remember that alcohol is just a sympton of the disease. Alcholism is also a "thinking" disease.

    Second, Emily, be careful. I know money is scarce, but be careful in staying in sober places. AA will teach you that most of the time for long term success in beating this disease is staying in sober places, with sober people whenever possible.

  8. To Anonymous who asked Annette what a normal drinker is...
    This is a great topic, and I'm guessing that if you're asking
    what normal is, then you are not a normal drinker. And you
    mentioned a post earlier this summer that you had read. If
    you were a normal drinker, you'd be bored to tears with this
    sight by now. This is only my opinion. I just remember in
    the beginning it was SO HARD to use the "A" word about
    myself. That was eight years ago, and now I'd be ok with telling anyone. Like Em says, It gets better! Promise!

  9. Anonymous friends that I deem "normal drinkers" sat around last nite playing poker and only had 2-3 drinks/beers...some quit drinking during the game and started drinking water, tea or pop....I NEVER stopped once I started...and switching to something non-alcoholic midway thru a poker game was a crime in my mind (still is I guess)....but I think it's also in their mindset...they aren't thinking about drinking, the feeling the drink will give them, etc. hrs before the party...I always did...I was constantly thinking about drinking...when I could drink next, looking forward to the feeling I would get after having a few...normal drinkers don't think like my husband says to me.."I could take it or leave it...I might just have one drink and that's it...but I never sit and think about it before, during or after" that's what I consider a normal drinker. Don't get me husband and friends can tie one on every now and then and just get hammered...I think that's somewhat normal...I got to the point where I was "always" getting hammered...even when no one else was or at very inappropriate social times...and then I would also do & say stuff that the sober me would have never done/said...and normal drinkers do this too sometimes, just not all the time like I was...and don't get me wrong, I started off just doing if here & there..occasionally, but then it progressed, was doing it more and more...even when I swore to myself that I would only have a couple drinks, then on to everyday, then hiding my drinking, then to blackouts, etc., etc....there was nothing normal about my drinking...none of my friends do any of what I just mentioned. Hope this helps a little.

  10. Interesting comments. Since I'm new at this,can anonymous (or anyone) explain what is meant by alcoholism being a "thinking" disease? I thought alcoholism was just drinking too much, too often.

  11. Here is a clip that I copied to describe what I feel is the thinking disease. I believe that the booze is just a symptom of this disease.

    "This buildup of thinking changes occurs over an extended time period. These small changes are usually unseen by the sufferer. The person reacts by adjusting their reasoning and behavior to accommodate their new ways of thinking. Alcoholics always adjust their thinking in ways that are harmful to themselves. And further, they cannot see the impact of their new coping style.

    Typically they begin to adopt a siege mentality. Inner-self feedback, and from other people, indicates they are not quite at one with their ‘inner’ selves or the person they once were. Their experiences seem to paint a picture to the sufferer that people around them are against them, or are better than them, or are just different from themselves. They become insecure, angry, ashamed, depressed and anxious about their altered attitudes and actions.

    This siege mentality generates a self-centered perspective to protect their self concept. They become takers and non-givers. "I want what I want and I want it now", sort of thing; "I need a drink, now"; regardless of the needs of others. And, when they do not get it they assert themselves even more, becoming more demanding as the disease progresses.

    Alcoholics will increasingly try to cope by drinking more alcohol to take away the pain of their perception of being isolated in thinking and behavior. They slowly adopt a denial attitude to their real condition, which they eventually believe is reality for them.

    The alcoholic drinks more due to a different brain chemistry and metabolism, has craving for more alcohol due to cell alteration and organ damage, and drinks more to cope with the effects of their changed thinking and behavior. They are drinking to feel normal."

    I don't like to "overthink" the disease of alcoholism. But I know in my case...I will always be an alcoholic, whether I drink or not. I am now an alcholic in recovery after 18 years, but still an alcoholic. With the help of my higher power and other recovering alcholics I have remained sober. If I allow my thinking, resentments, ego, selfishness, and wants get in the way..I will drink again.

    This is just what I believe. Take what works for you and leave the rest behind. Happy, Joyious and Free.

  12. Wow. I just read this entire posting and I must say it is so helpful and much needed. Thank you

  13. Great posts everyone!! I have had a HORRIBLE day. Yes, I am being dramatic, but that is part of the alcoholism. Long story short I think everyone in my family, on both sides are sick. Mom has cancer, Aunt 1 had heart surgery, Aunt 2 has end stage bone cancer, Aunt on dad's side has heart and now is having another surgery that may have her ending up with a bag, Uncle on dad's side, end stage cancer also. I just drove 5 hours home to help mom, who is starting a new chemo tomorrow, had Aunt 2 "surprise" us in Boston yesterday, mom is pissed at me because I didn't come to see her yesterday because of Aunt 2, Aunt on dad's side just told me tonight her surgery is in the am, and my nephews were dropped of at my mom's at 12, I didn't get here until 4 because of the weather, kids are brats, bold and nasty. Wanted to drink, scream, cry!!!!

    What did I do when I got my triggers, I stopped tried to find a meeting, went to the church, no one there, called AA hotline, there was a mistake on the online meetings, go to this other place. I went, got into the building, searched high and low, thought Freddy Krueger was going to get me in the basement of this nasty building!!! Called AA back and they said they were all wrong and they had no meetings at 8 at all. I CRIED!!!!!!! Ran to my car, CRIED MORE!!! CALLED my SPONSOR, thank God she was home and talked to her for 30 minutes!!!!!!!!! When I am at home I can usually walk away, but when you are with others and not in your own space it is so hard. I am coming up on 4 months and I LOVE being sober, I am so much happier with myself and my life, but boy when it rains, sometimes it pours!!! I think the 1st few months I was dancing through the tulips, now the last few weeks I have been stomping on them!! But I am sober,

    Sorry for going on, but just writing this made me tired, now I can sleep. Thank you all for your posts, I really was thankful to have them tonight!!

  14. Doggielover,

    What an incredible inspiration you are for me!!! I am so proud of you and will think and pray for you when I am feeling weak, which is often. You will give me strength.

    I am going through something similar with my Dad and use any excuse to have an evening bottle wine. I'm pretty disgusted with myself after hearing what you have gone through and are not drinking. Please, keep up the good work!!! You and your family are in my prayers!!!

    I really think I have an anxiety disorder. As a part of the medical community, I see some medical professionals who take drugs, some may not be necessary.
    I have took an antidepressent after suffering through the death of my 16 y/o nephew which was nineteen months after my mom's death they really helped. I probably should not have quit taking them. I thought I was okay. I should have got counseling along with the low dose of antidepressent. It was a truly low dose, but it really help.

    Thinking of all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Doggielover, you are NOT being dramatic! My god, given what you are living through right now ANYBODY (including people who have never had a drop of alcohol in their lives) would be frustrated and cry. You are living under an unbelievable amount of stress -- you MUST continue to take care of yourself, it will be really easy to crack otherwise. Be sure to eat right, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. See a doctor for sleep medication or anti-depressants, if necessary. See a counselor for someone to talk to about stress, if necessary.

    To survive a day like yesterday, you must be made of some of the strongest material God has for humans. Wow.

    Montana (although I've been signing as anonymous most of the time for the past several weeks)

  16. Thanks so much for your support ladies!! I made it through the night, YEAH!! I'm not that strong, we all have things happening in our lives. LIFE HAPPENS, I can't control it and I think my biggest problem is I "controlled" it before with alcohol. Now I have to live it and deal with it. I just have to pray for them all and give it to God. It's so much easier to say this after I slept and had time to think. Have a great day everyone!!!

  17. Anonymous above who posted the clip about the "thinking disease"....I LOVE IT!!! That's exactly a perfect description of me when I was drinking...where did you get that btw? I'm gonna copy it and print it off for myself...that's the best explanation I think I've ever heard...and if it's from the BB, shame on me for never seeing it...shows that I'm slipping in my reading. sorry you've got so much illness around you right now...but so proud of you for remaining sober thru it...just think how grateful your family must be that you are there for each and every one of them "in whole", not drunk, sober...what an accomplishment girl! Keep up the good work!

  18. Annette, That direct quote doesn't come from the BB, but the BB does touch on this. Just to keep it simple and clear this is just a random quote from my many sources. I know I have more on this. Let me look and see what I can find for you. I will get myself a name here also. :)

    I know this really really helped me begin to understand myself.

  19. Who ever posted the comment about "thinking disease" just saved my life, I believe........Wow! Thanks for posting that! Describes me to a T! Prayers for everyone out there fighting this disease and battling illness, depression, anxiety and just plain old life.....this stuff isn't for wimps! The 23rd has come and gone and I still and prayers to you all and especially to Emily for creating this blog.....Hi, my name is Shelly and I'm an alcoholic!

  20. Welcome Shelly!!