Results 1 to 9 of 9
Share this SMART Recovery Success Story!
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,293

    Default Five by Five in the Tank

    I remember a post from (I think) LMR555 when I first joined SROL in 2015. She said something along the lines of my life is no longer consumed with the thought of not drinking. At this point, drinking is simply something I no longer do. This was an incredible statement to ponder for a 30+ year drunk who absolutely could not seem to make it home without stopping for booze.

    When I took that first step July 16, 2015; I began by diving in to the SMART handbook, the REBT tools, the articles/essays on SROL, and exploring SROL posts; absorbing the wisdom and folly of others. I replaced the time I spent drinking with time spent working those tools and posting on SMART; eventually at 6 months of abstinence volunteering and working with the bravest of us all: the 7-dayers.

    Over time with bricks made from the disputing of irrational beliefs, the creation of beliefs inline with my values and healthy new goals, the stories of other Smarties I admired and my developing urge resistance and self-control skills, I created a life, a new life outside of the bottle and the activities of this new life began, moment by moment, to replace much of the time I spent on SMART.

    When I first began this journey five years ago, I subscribed to three commitments:

    -Learning as much as I could about REBT and practicing the techniques
    -Knowing deeply that no person, situation, or feeling ever had the power to MAKE me drink
    -Remembering even on the difficult days that I am not becoming abstinent to be happy

    At this point, I would add additional commitments:

    -Acknowledging that life makes no promise to be fair or pleasant, only to return each day until it no longer does
    -Maintaining a place of compassion within me for myself and other travelers and the mistakes we are bound to make and the unkindnesses we will occasionally bring upon each other

    I think of my abstinence in many ways as I do of my marriage to Lobster (13 years coming up). The drive for companionship sent us in search of each other and our hormones ignited our attraction. (Willpower) But it required our commitment to the relationship and hardwork to get us to where we are so far. (REBT tools, Developed skills) And it will require a love founded in realism to keep us going. (USA, UOA, Perceptions/Expectations)

    Without my commitments, the REBT tools, my own hardwork, and my decision to become a SMART volunteer; I do not know IF I would still be abstinent at all or if my abstinence would be as strong.

    But here I am and it is so much more than I dared hope for that night five years ago.


    ...my life is no longer consumed with the thought of not drinking. At this point, drinking is simply something I no longer do...


    I have a full life, full enough for me, now outside of the bottle and don't spend even a fraction of time on SMART as I used to. At times I begin to regret that but then I recall the SMART mission statement:

    To empower people to achieve independence from addiction problems with our science-based 4-Point Program.

    Where other programs (NO BASHING HERE) state that turning your attention elsewhere is a symptom of relapse, SMART states that it can be a symptom of SUCCESS.

    It is possible to graduate from SMART.

    What a strange concept that was for me.

    -to no longer be consumed by feelings of shame, guilt, regret, and self-doubt
    -to no longer believe in the concept of automatic or unconscious actions
    -to no longer not know what I might do later today, tomorrow, or the next day
    -to no longer be tied to, limited by, and identified with my bullsh\tter; the armless, legless, unconscious, powerless piece of my primitive brain that would ride my back straight into hell simply to continue the pursuit of its one and only mandate:
    ...drink....drink...drink...drink...
    -to no longer be simply a drunk

    Even though I no longer monitor a thread such as that amazing 7 day daily check in, I have chosen not to graduate and I do read a bit of SROL each day. It helps me stay close to where and who I was on July 15, 2015 and the 11,000 days before it when my life was define and directed by the planning of, engaging in, and physical recovery from over-imbibing.

    My bullsh\tter is not, nor may it ever be, gone after all and a series of unmonitored and relentless niggling could crack that foundation I have built and reinforced. Continuing to engage with each of you as you build your own abstinences keeps me mindful and on track.

    Each of you Smarties helped me save my life, you know and that is a debt I will never be able to fully repay. It is a gratitude that has rebuilt my marriage, my career, and all my days to come.


    ...my life is no longer consumed with the thought of not drinking. At this point, drinking is simply something I no longer do...


    How far away do those words feel from the reality of your life? I promise if you commit the same amount of time, energy, and focus to learning and using the REBT tools as you did to fulfilling your bullsh\tter's mandate...

    They are closer than you think.

    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”


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,532

    Default

    You just made my day, LT! There's so much that you have written and have been through that inspires me. I totally get what it was like not to be able to get through the evening without booze being its major component. It's people like you that remind me that "drinking is something I no longer do." My appreciation for your journey goes beyond words.

    Huge congratulations for doing all the work that made this all possible for you.

    Best to you.

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

  3. #3

    Default

    Well, I do not come on Smart as much as I used to. But, I try to remember every July to come on here and thank Lobster Tank for being such an inspiration to me, and, I am sure, so many others. I credit a piece of my success of moving away from alcohol and drugs to you, LT. You have expressed your thoughts and emotions with such honesty and authenticity, that you have given me so much to think about. As a result, I have felt encouraged do whatever it took, to get away from substance abuse.

    Congratulations on the past 5 years, and may you have 150 more! Oh, and, of course, I knew you looked like your new picture, just took you awhile to get around to posting it, ha, ha!

    GM
    “When you quit drinking you stop waiting.”
    ― Caroline Knapp

  4. #4
    Gordon1's Avatar
    Gordon1 is offline SMART Online Facilitator
    Former SMART Face to Face Facilitator
    Former SMART Online Meeting Liaison
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,330

    Default

    Well done LT!

    You are a dear soul, and thankyou for sharing your journey with me
    What got me sober was trying to get sober. Often when I lapsed, picked up, drank, I FELT thoroughly beaten. I thought at that time "there is no hope for me" Yet, when I had recovered from that thought just a little, I thought "I'll have another go!" It was a few little sparks, rather than a flame, that got me here!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    Thank you, lovely people, for taking the time to read and comment!

    You are each points of light in my SROL sky. Feeling sentimental today...

    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”


  6. #6

    Default

    Awesome LobsterTank. Self Compassion, USA,UOA,ULA. Oh yeah I get that. Thanks for being a great inspiration. Wonderful to have a real life today. Not the illusion of substances. Peace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    France
    Posts
    674

    Default

    Thank you LT I needed to read that. I'm back on day one most likely because I wasn't devoting enough time, energy, and focus to learning and using the REBT tools. I need to spend more time on SROL.
    Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you LT - I know I’m in for a long journey and this is only the start. You’re post has helped me this morning after another hiccup last night. I think I need to get on here and start reading and posting whenever the witching hour starts to feel too strong for me

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    Thanks for reading, Bobbing and TiMum! It is hard work at first changing our thinking and behaviors.

    Do whatever it takes, avoid who and whatever you need to avoid triggers, and prepare to sit with upsetness and discomforts NO MATTER WHAT in order to protect your fledgling abstinence. I promise that your future abstinent self will be very glad you did. Hang in there.

    And tools... tools... tools... A path to success cannot be built without tools...



    Whatever discomforts you are feeling now will fade over time to gradually be replaced by the ups and downs of a regular ole life and all this new thinking and acting you are having to do VERY consciously now will also fade to just a matter of course.

    Abstinence is the most valuable gift you will EVER give yourself.




    Have a great day or AT LEAST a crappy sober one!


    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by komoto View Post
    Awesome LobsterTank. Self Compassion, USA,UOA,ULA. Oh yeah I get that. Thanks for being a great inspiration. Wonderful to have a real life today. Not the illusion of substances. Peace.
    Indeed! Thanks for reading, my friend.
    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


Share this SMART Recovery Success Story!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •