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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
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    22

    Default Three years today

    Three years ago today I thought I had put my last drink down and life was going to all blue skies and roses.

    What I found was that putting the drink down and saying 'I'm done...' was the easy part. What came after, trying to live a life without it, turned out to be one of the hardest achievements I could attain. Four lapses/slips later I can proudly say that alcohol has not crossed my lips in over 18 months.

    "But wait," some think, "doesn't that mean you're only 18 months sober?"

    If I believed the old thinking that every time I had a drink I was a failure and had to start over, then yes, that would be the case. But I've learned, through SMART Recovery, that this is defeatist type thinking, and that it is more important to learn from those lapses. Each of those experiences taught me that using alcohol to deal with difficult things in life, or to enhance experiences, doesn't do either of those things. Life is so much purer and enjoyable without it, and that facing issues actually resolves them, instead of hiding from my emotions, I could face them.

    I still have difficulty at times. For 30 years i, figuratively, put everything into a bottle or chemically altered my brain to feel good about my life. Managing emotions without substances is hard if you've never really tried. Dealing with difficult memories and events from the past that are still there and must be faced and challenged, must be laid to rest so one can move forward.

    I think that was my biggest achievement in this past year... Forgiveness. While i forgave myself for what I had done in the past in the earlier stages, this year it was about forgiving others. It was enlightening to come to understand why people do the things they do, to discover that there are reasons behind others' behaviour. There could be trauma in their own past, or improper or unaware teaching of inappropriate ways of thinking and behavior. I forgave those most important and most deserving of it. I accepted that, while they may be at fault, because our behaviors are choices we make, they are not to blame.

    I think that I can effectively say that I'm out of recovery at this point. Knowing that I've stood in front of rows of liquor bottles with cash in hand, or that I've had a weekend to myself at home with alcohol in the house, and said 'nah, I'm good' assures me that that chapter is done. I can move forward, knowing that I can handle the difficulties to come.

    As I sit here listening to Pink Floyd the Wall, I rediscover the album as not just a story/movie that I used to get all ****** up to enjoy, but, ironically, one of the truest representations of the cycle of addiction and recovery. Past trauma, using substances to deal with difficulties in life, building up that wall higher and higher to hide, and the eventual collapse under the weight of it all.

    Recovery is possible if you put in the effort. SMART Recovery works.

    #sober4life #smartrecovery

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    LunaCrist,Recovery is possible if you put in the effort... So true! Congrats
    Peg

  3. #3
    Gordon1's Avatar
    Gordon1 is offline Former Online Facilitator
    Former Face to Face Facilitator
    Former Online Meeting Liaison
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,632

    Default

    Well done LunaCrist!

    So much growth and development there!

    Congratulations

  4. #4

    Default

    and also
    Music as a Tool in Recovery

    Music is a powerful tool that can help on a journey of personal growth. We can use music as a reminder that we are not alone, to cope with difficult emotions, or to inspire continued effort and perseverance. On a neurological level music has been shown to activate the same circuitry as substances (the "reward system"), and thus music can be a highly effective method of coping with cravings and all other difficult or uncomfortable emotions.

  5. #5

    Default

    Luna,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience of recovery and my warmest congratulations to you on 3 years of sobriety. This is a difficult and complex journey with so many unexpected pitfalls along the way and it’s SO encouraging to read of your success.

    Wishing you continued success and happiness in your life.

    Sosh

  6. #6
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline SMART MB Co-Liaison
    SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Southwest Fl
    Posts
    24,077

    Default

    Luna!!

    Congratulations!! Way to go. So glad for you and all of your successes. Thank you for sharing.

    Best to you,
    LMR
    "Discover the Power of Choice!"

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

    Join the team as a SMART Message Board Volunteer!! It can encourage growth and joy. Or support with a donation http://bit.ly/passthehat

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you for sharing this hopeful story with us x

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you LunaCrist, for sharing your story. You are right living a life without our addictions is the most difficult part. Over the past few years I have given up Alcohol many times and I have always relapsed. This time I have decided to reach out to other people like me, others who have gone through the same things that I have experienced, and here I am on Smart Recovery. Wish me luck.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thank you so much for making this post!

    If I believed the old thinking that every time I had a drink I was a failure and had to start over, then yes, that would be the case. But I've learned, through SMART Recovery, that this is defeatist type thinking, and that it is more important to learn from those lapses. Each of those experiences taught me that using alcohol to deal with difficult things in life, or to enhance experiences, doesn't do either of those things.


    Yes! I am new to SMART after starting my sobriety in 12-step groups, and I absolutely love the approach this path takes to lapses. We're all human, and it bugged me to think that one bad day could erase months or years of work. Now I realize it doesn't; recovery isn't a straight line, and you don't have to give up what you've already earned just because you slip up. A mistake is something to learn from, not the end of the world. It's really encouraging to read this post and hear how well you're doing, with that attitude. I wish you lots of continued success

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