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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    1,196

    Default Celebrating 3.5 years as a non-drinker thanks to SMART Recovery

    Hello, my name is gentoo. I just celebrated 3.5 years as a non-drinker thanks to SMART Recovery, particularly SMART Recovery Online.

    I drank heavily for decades. I developed physical addiction to alcohol, where if I didn't drink for an hour or two, I got shakes, sweats, anxiety. Then, drinking almost took my life. I had a serious fall when drinking, and it resulted in a traumatic brain injury. In ICU I was given a 50-50 chance to live. This caused pain to my husband and family. Thankfully, I made it. But I had to learn to walk again. And I had destroyed my career.

    I attended an outpatient treatment center for alcohol and drugs where we were expected to attend one "outside" recovery meeting per week. We were given the choice of attending 12-step or SMART Recovery. And that's how I learned about SMART.

    I didn't want to go to AA because I could not imagine standing up in front of a group and saying "Hi, I'm (real name) and I'm an alcoholic". Although I go to church, I didn't get the concept that just turning over my life to a "higher power" and basically praying when I felt like drinking is the solution because I am "powerless". I got myself into this, and I wanted concrete, practical, science-based, proven information about how I could get myself out - and for good, because another head trauma will almost certainly kill me. And so, I didn't want someone like a "sponsor" telling me what to do, either.

    SMART doesn't tell you what to do; instead you are supported by great people in the same boat and pointed in the right direction.

    I learned that I am the one who needs to do the work. I needed to read and learn and use the things I learned to quit drinking and stay quit.

    SMART Recovery meetings are super-helpful. People share their personal experiences with the SMART tools and how they worked for them. The volunteer meeting Facilitators guide the discussion. What you take and use is your choice. That's why SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. 3.5 years later, without a single drink, I recently became a Facilitator too. The training is very rigorous. And I deepen my commitment to my recovery by helping others the best I can.

    The 24/7 support here online is fantastic. There's always someone to talk with and share experiences or ask for support getting through a tough moment without giving in. Lots of meetings online every day. Tons of resources to read, learn and use for success! And good friendships if you'd like that.

    SMART was exactly what I needed. I think these SMART principles sum it up, for me:

    Successfully recovered people:
    1 Have a commitment to sobriety
    2 Make a change in lifestyle
    3 Prepare and plan for urges

    Recovery takes the 3 P's:
    Patience
    Practice
    Persistence

    I wish everyone reading this the joy of recovery. It may not seem joyful at all when starting out, but I think you'll agree one day - it is. You can recover your health, relationships, career, and more.

    Sincerely,
    gentoo
    It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry. ~ Joe Moore

  2. #2
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline SMART MB Co-Liaison
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    SMART Message Board Volunteer
    SMART Online Leadership Team
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Southwest Fl
    Posts
    24,178

    Default

    Hello Gentoo,

    Congratulations1.jpg
    Thank you for sharing your journey. It is great to share the experience of SMART Recovery and the recovery journey with you!!

    Best to you,
    Lorrie
    "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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Pacific NW USA
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    Very happy for your success, gentoo!


  4. #4

    Default

    Gentoo,
    We are so lucky to have you!
    Gruntwench

  5. #5

    Default

    Congrats.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Canandaigua, NY
    Posts
    206

    Default

    Gentoo
    Laurie "Fall down seven, Get up eight."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    664

    Default

    Way to go Gentoo!! Very inspiring

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    2,289

    Default

    The world is lucky to have you here and well... Congratulations!!!
    Where the mind goes energy flows. 10/3/19

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks gentoo....great read

  10. #10
    JvB's Avatar
    JvB is offline Former SMART Online Facilitator
    SMART Online Leadership Team
    SMART MB Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    25,053

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    That is a wonderful accomplishment Gentoo. And thank for sharing your appreciation of penguinology.

    Attachment 1385

    Jonathan
    "No, our wills are not completely free, nor are we completely governed by our heredity and environment. We seem to be born and reared with some degree of choice, agency, or self-control but have to work at accepting its limitations and push ourselves to use it adequately."
    Albert Ellis, Ph.D.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    Ooh, thanks for sharing that pretty posing Gentoo too, Jonathan!

    Gen
    It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry. ~ Joe Moore

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Very inspiring Gentoo!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Gentoo,

    It was fantastic reading your post. You speak as someone having experienced directly the devastating consequences of addiction, and has also had the direct experience of the difficult, though ultimately enlightening path of recovery. It is truly inspiring to hear that one who is committed, persistent and does what it takes to remain balanced can succeed in harboring a lasting sobriety.

    Good on you and much love!

  14. #14

    Default

    gentoo, thank you for sharing your experience and success. you have been very inspirational to me, and so supportive of me with my own battles. I hadn't heard your entire story, but i am so glad to have met you, here at smart recovery on line. i'd like to add a 4th "p" though, penguins. you always make me smile. tc, emmw

  15. #15

    Default

    Hi Gentoo -
    I saw you last evening in the chat room and then read your post here. You are doing great. I have just celebrated 3 years sobriety myself. You are right, it is up to us to make this recovery our own. I haven't done much on SROL for quite sometime, but do know to look when times are tough, or I am scared. I do attend a regular face to face meeting on Sunday nights. Maybe I will keep seeing you here online.

  16. #16

    Default

    Good to get a better idea of your story Gentoo. Congrats on the 3 years and here's to many more. I'm following in your footsteps and hope to get there someday

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    21

    Default

    THANK you for sharing your personal story with us. as a newcomer to this, I really found your story encouraging. I look forward to making some lasting friendships here, as well as using this program to better my life and quit drinking for GOOD! blessings to you.

  18. Default

    This is great, im loving this forum. Really helps..

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Very encouraging to know that SMART has been working for you for 3.5 years. I'm new around here, and I think I'll stick around. Congratulations, and thanks.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Carbondale, Il
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Congrats on your wonderful recovery!

  21. #21

    Default

    That's great! I am so thrilled for you! I agree with you about the AA program, and would just like to add that I have been there and it never did offer me any genuine support.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,124

    Default

    You are an inspiration for sure! I hope to be in your shoes in 2.5 more years. Congratulations!!
    I'm not telling you it is going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.

  23. #23
    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
    5,008

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    Gentoo,
    You are a gem
    Got a lot from your story and continue to get a lot from your presence.
    Stay well dear person,
    Hugh
    What got me sober was trying to get sober. Every time I lapsed, picked up, drank, I was thoroughly beaten. I thought at those times "there is no hope for me" Yet, when I had recovered from those thoughts just a little, I thought "have another go!" It was a lot of little sparks, rather than a flame, that got me here.

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