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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    1,459

    Default 14 Christmases and all the days in between without alcohol or drugs

    Greetings dear friends.

    I woke up today without a hangover and felt so glad to be alive. For those of you who don't know me...well...here's a little of my story. In 2005 I decided to quit using and drinking. That actually turned out to be the easy part. Unbeknownst to me, I would be facing the shock of a traumatic car crash and the sudden loss of my beloved partner who had a brain hemorrhage. And as if that wasn't enough, I eventually got diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia, for which I have found no cure. A lot to handle for sure. And all of that was the hardest part to deal with, the stuff I had to face sober on a daily basis, big stuff and little stuff. But all the way through this journey, I knew that I had a choice. I could feel helpless, if I chose... I could feel like a victim, if I chose...I could beat myself up about my past and feel guilty, if I chose. I learned about making choices when I attended my first Smart meetings. Oh of course, I had heard of the idea before...I mean who hasn't heard that we always have a choice. But it didn't really ring true for me until I started using the Smart tools. When I began to examine my anger issues by doing ABC's, I started feeling self empowered when I got triggered. I realized that I could change my self talk from "This is awful" to "I would prefer things to be different." My dear mentor, Arby, used to keep saying to me, "It's all about choices, questor."

    I did my CBA over and over. And the result was always the same. The costs of my drinking far outweighed the benefits. And my favorite tool became playing the tape forward. I can't even count the times I have looked at an urge and played out a movie in my mind about giving in to it. The outcome was always the same...I would get drunk, feel good for a while, pass out, wake up the next day hating myself, wanting to die, withdrawing from friends, feeling ashamed...etc etc. So for all these years, I have never once gotten high again. Because I don't want to? Hell no. Because the price is too high to pay.

    Do I still get urges? Omg yes! But not so many these days. And they now seem like tiny little puppies that are nipping at my heels, just a little annoying but not overwhelming, even somewhat amusing. Has it been easy for me? No. I suffered from years of panic attacks and still live with a whole lot of insomnia. I used to get very angry when I woke up at night and couldn't get back to sleep. Now I meditate...for as long as it takes until I can sleep. And I meditate during the day as well. And I chant Tibetan Mantras. I do whatever it takes to feel good, to enjoy life. For a long time, my life was about "not drinking" , trying to get through the day without getting high. But now, my life is rich and interesting and challenging. I'm constantly looking for a way to learn more about myself and others and I look for every way possible to share with other people what I have learned in hopes that I can inspire them to stay sober, to enjoy their lives.

    Thank you, all of you, who walk this path with me. I could not have done this alone.

    Sending love

    questor7
    "The central human drama is not wanting the experience we are having"

  2. #2
    Sam29's Avatar
    Sam29 is offline Distance Training Team
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    8,489

    Default

    Dear questor,

    Talk about a Christmas present. So glad to see your post. I will walk this path with you forever.

    Love,
    Sam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,003

    Default

    What an inspiration to everyone. I created a "playing the tape" pdf with both sides and used your blog as side two.
    It is part of the Tool Time meeting I facilitate on line.
    And I too would be honoured to walk this path with you.
    Thank you for being you.
    "By not caring too much about what people think, I'm able to think for myself ..."- Albert Ellis

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the educational and inspirational message!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,209

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    Wow, what a beautiful message! Huge congratulations! Thanks for letting us know about the urges as well. That is very helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    2,951

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    Thank you for the inspiring message! Congrats on 14 abstinent Christmases!

    Have a great day or at least a crappy sober one!

    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


  7. #7

    Default

    All days were the same for me when it came to drinking. Groundhog Day would have been a reason to drink. Christmas for me is literally just another day.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post that. It was awesome and inspiring to read. Merry Christmas!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gilead View Post
    All days were the same for me when it came to drinking. Groundhog Day would have been a reason to drink. Christmas for me is literally just another day.
    I actually can really relate to what you posted gilead. I just used to feel that the holidays were more triggering than other times because I didn't have a family to be with. But then, when I think about it, it was being with family that often made me want to get really smashed. lol. So, you're probably right. Everyday can provide a reason to drink, if we choose to give into our urges, right? Perception is everything.
    Happy New Year

    q7
    "The central human drama is not wanting the experience we are having"

  10. #10

    Default

    outstanding. i got 10 myself

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