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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up It took a while, but I FINALLY got it!

    I joined SMART online nearly 3 years ago, with the desire to quit drinking completely. After 3 prior years of guilt, self-loathing and wondering if I had a drinking problem or not, I knew it was time to QUIT FOR GOOD! Being an atheist, AA wasn't going to work for me. In addition, I have a public job and didn't want to risk running into people in my work circles at meetings. So, after a quick Google search, I found SOL. Right out of the gates I made it nearly 30 days- I hadn't gone that long without a drink in 2 decades! Sadly, I waffled at around that 28 day mark over, and over, and over again. Sometimes I made it to 40 days, and once even to 59 days. While I was doing much better, and spending much more time sober than ever before, alcohol still remained top of mind. When I wasn't drinking, I was usually pining away for it, or feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't have fun like everyone else. I learned to surf the urges, but never really took the time to CHANGE MY ENTIRE THINKING ABOUT ALCOHOL. Then I read Jason Vale's book, "How to Kick the Drink...Easily!" and that began my shift in thinking. I slipped up a few times after reading that book, but finally it stuck. I found lots of other SMARTIES on these boards here that had shifted their entire thinking about drinking, and I learned from them. I used some tools more than others...ABC is a classic but the Challenging my Unhelpful Idea tool came in more handy for me. However nothing beat the daily accountability on these boards. My SMART friends helped me more than ANY worksheet in my toolbox. I have now been alcohol-free for just over 6 months, and there is no going back. My life is better by leaps and bounds, and removing alcohol from my life is what has made all of the difference.

    Thank you SMART!

    RT

  2. #2

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    RT -- Big hugs to you on your awesome success. Your story sounds super familiar to me -- the many attempts and then it finally registering and sticking! Jason Vale's book helped me immensely as well. I pick it up again from time to time.

    And I saw your comment on James Blake. I take good recommendations seriously and will give him a listen!

    Continued success to you.
    It is solved by walking.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Dirk, that means a lot to me. I figured I needed to post a success story so anyone else that has been on these boards for years recognizes that there is still hope!! Sobriety, and better than that--lack of desire to drink, is completely within everyone's reach!
    Last edited by RisingTide; February 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Tiny keyboard

  4. #4

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    RisingTide,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am stuck too. I am in start-stop mode. The truth is I fear not drinking. I fear I won't be able handle certain stressors in my life without alcohol. I read some posts everyday, but I am fearful of going back to the boards - the shame I feel for continuing to fail I huge. Right now, I am trying to go yoga everyday. I will also pick up the Jason Vale book. I got to the part where he said if you haven't stopped drinking, don't - and I took that as permission to keep on drinking. So, I think I need to read the book again, continue with the yoga, and then, hopefully, I feel enough confidence to get back to the boards. This is my first post on Smart anywhere in a long while. But, your story is so hopeful to me, I really wanted to post and let you know that I so appreciate you sharing your story.

    Scuba

  5. #5

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    Kudo's to you! and thank you for sharing the Challenging my Unhelpful idea tool. It's on my list.

  6. #6
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    Rising Tide,

    Congrats on your success of 6 months. Thank you for sharing.

    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

  7. #7
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    Woo Hoo, RT! Great job on your six months! It's no easy task, but you've done it! And your foundation for further success is very solid!

    Scuba, hope you find a place you can check in now and again. Many people say it helps tremendously.

    ~mc
    Because we're worth it.

  8. #8
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    Hi Scuba! It is so great to see you again! Never feel shame in failing...lots of SMART people here over the years wisely told me that failing is when you give up TRYING to quit. I quite agree. If you are here, and you are reading, you are trying. You just keep that up and you will eventually get where you want to go!

    One thing in your post stuck out to me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Scubagirlmn View Post
    I fear I won't be able handle certain stressors in my life without alcohol.
    Scuba
    Oh man Scuba...that one is just screaming for an ABC . Think about what might happen if you face a stressor without alcohol. Will you die? Will you shoot someone? Or....Might you actually be able to handle those stressors much better because you've kicked the drinking to the curb and are filled with a new inner peace and calm?

    I am here rooting for you Scuba- and I have NO DOUBT you will lick this thing eventually! I look forward to celebrating your 6 months with you...and beyond!

    XO
    RT

  9. #9
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    Thanks so much Patty, LMR and mctj! I couldn't have done it without my SMART friends like you guys!

  10. #10
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    Thx RT. I just started w/ SMART. I have had more thought changing experiences and have expressed more verbal communication about my struggle w/ alcohol, in the last wk, than I have had in more than a decade of battle. Thank u for staying faithful, first for urself, but then secondly, selfishly, for newbies like myself. Ur new found freedom to be disciplined in life, is what I want in my life. I look forward to sharing alongside of ur success.

    Cat.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for posting your success story. I needed it today!
    "Am wide awake now"

  12. #12
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    So you didn't need to go to an in-patient treatment program? I was beginning to lose hope in myself.
    2-1-14

  13. #13
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    No NDonmyown, what I did was totally change my thinking about alcohol (I am not giving up some great thing- I am freeing myself of some poison!!!) and ride through the urges that strike during the first 3 months. Since then...smooth sailing! If I can do it after flopping around for YEARS trying the quit, then you can too!!! I am rooting for you!

    RT

  14. #14
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    Awesome RisingTide, very inspiring!!! Thanks for writing all that out, I enjoyed reading it very much. I too am beginning to believe and understand that it really is allllll about the thinking! I love your gratitude towards the community...it really shines through your words. :-)
    Where the mind goes energy flows. 10/3/19

  15. #15

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    Thanks for this! I just relapsed on my birthday, I drank and then I'm back here. So a slip more than a 'relapse'. I really want to quit and be healthy, and I'm glad that I read this. I will also get the book and read it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by locomotion View Post
    Thanks for this! I just relapsed on my birthday, I drank and then I'm back here. So a slip more than a 'relapse'. I really want to quit and be healthy, and I'm glad that I read this. I will also get the book and read it.
    good luck ...stay strong.....im ready too.....

    - - - Updated - - -

    im looking forward to seeing my 6 months.....best wishes

  17. #17
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    AA didn't work for me either... this feels rite....best of luck to everyone... so ready to start life again

  18. #18

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    RisingTide -

    Glad I found this post. Thank you for sharing. I am so happy for you! I read that book and it was good. I need to read it again as I continue to slip about once a month. Hope to reach six months too!

  19. #19

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    dear RT, was so great to read your success story! Donna Spingirl here and I have just got back in touch here after a 1 yr relapse...which was how I handled being in chronic pain. It feels great to be back and I am looking forward to getting back in touch with all of you.I will be checking in with the Coming Back After Relapse thread.Sincerely, Spingirl

  20. #20

    Default new member

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaSpingirl View Post
    dear RT, was so great to read your success story! Donna Spingirl here and I have just got back in touch here after a 1 yr relapse...which was how I handled being in chronic pain. It feels great to be back and I am looking forward to getting back in touch with all of you.I will be checking in with the Coming Back After Relapse thread.Sincerely, Spingirl
    Hi I am new to SMART online!

  21. #21
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    Hey Barb, welcome to SOL. Pretty cool thread you chose to make your first appearance. You may want to post over in the 'Welcome to SMART online' area as well. Please take a few moments to check out the material you'll find when you click on the 'Resources' tab above, lots in there that is of help as you begin your journey.
    Wherever you go, there you are

  22. #22
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    Scuba,
    thank you for your post... I needed to see your story just now.

  23. #23
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    So happy this thread got bumped up today -- It is just what I need to read!

    Congrats Rising Tide!

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDG View Post
    So happy this thread got bumped up today -- It is just what I need to read!

    Congrats Rising Tide!
    I completely agree. I slipped up this past weekend. 2 good friends convinced me to not beat myself and just start over again. They know I can do this. I'm not about to give up on myself, glad my buds aren't either.

  25. #25
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    Congrats and thank you for sharing this info --- I will buy a copy of the book for my husband. The thought patterns you are describing sound similar to what he has described to me!!

  26. #26

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    Thanks for this, needed it, just coming back after a relapse of three .months

  27. #27
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    For all of you coming back, or just starting out, my best piece of advice is to do whatever it takes to string 90 days together. Urges rarely, if EVER, pop up after that 3 month mark. I wish I had done that much sooner, rather than floundering in the 30 day zone for so long. I just gave in to urges too easily too often. If I can get to 7 months, so can anyone!

    XO
    RT

  28. #28
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    Hey RT. Thats really inspiring to read. Gives me hope in my first week again. Thanks
    Sam

  29. #29
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    Congrats, RT! I am proud of you.
    I'm not telling you it is going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.

  30. #30
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    Rising Tide, Congratulations!!!!
    Been out of touch for a bit.
    I know you feel fabulous :0
    I feel so good to see our success
    Just wait till you get 2.5 years, it will take effort even think about drinking-such freedom
    Brava
    Erin-Mo
    Free since 11/23/11

  31. #31
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    You are an inspiration, RisingTide. Truly. Congratulations on your accomplishment!!
    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

  32. #32
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    This is such an encouraging success story. I hope to see more of you as I visit pages here, work the tools, and accumulate days of sobriety myself. Thanks so much. ~Holly

  33. #33
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    Excellent points--thank you for posting. Always helpful to hear what "flipped the switch" for folks. Great to read in my 1st week. And congrats!

  34. #34
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    Hi All- I am up to 9 months sober now. Thanks so much to all of you for your well-wishes and keep at it! You will eventually get there! I can't wait to read YOUR success story when you are ready!

    Big wave Erin-Mo! :-)

    XO
    RT

  35. #35

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    Thanks RT! This is just what I needed today! You are awesome! It's not about how many times you fall--it's about you do about it when you muster the strength to get up! I'm definitely going to check out the book that inspired you! You are my inspiration for the day!

  36. #36

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    Ha.... it's funny, I was just reading the reviews of "How to Kick the Drink...Easily!" and many people say that is similar to the Allen Carr's books! Allen Carr is a personal hero of mine. I quit smoking with his methods and he has changed my thinking about drinking. For me I am using the a three prong approach to quitting==the tools Smart Recovery, the methods of Allen Carr and a small sprinkling of AA. I really find AA to be depresing and I don't agree with a lot of it, but it is a good reminder to me about how bad things can get if I continue down this path.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingTide View Post
    For all of you coming back, or just starting out, my best piece of advice is to do whatever it takes to string 90 days together. Urges rarely, if EVER, pop up after that 3 month mark. I wish I had done that much sooner, rather than floundering in the 30 day zone for so long. I just gave in to urges too easily too often. If I can get to 7 months, so can anyone!

    XO
    RT

    I agree that urges are less at 3 months, but as someone who has relapsed at 4 and 8 months, I don't think it's 'rare' after 3 months. Just less. That said, congrats on 9 months! Great job!
    Last edited by locomotion; May 14, 2014 at 1:07 AM.

  38. #38
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    lynn50 is offline SMART Chat Volunteer
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    Hi All

    Just got back from seeing the PO in Allegan County at 9 AM.

    Then My Dad took me to Secretary of State and true to the paper work I have received-- I did/have gotten My Drivers License back.

    So I am on Cloud 9 and cant wait to hit the roads again after 1 Year of not driving.
    Karen D. in MI

  39. #39

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    Good advice! This Sunday will be 90 days for me.

  40. #40

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    I started drinking a lot after I ended my marriage of 17 years. It has been almost 3 years. I have attempted many programs, and the key word here is "attempt". I get to a certain point and I say to myself, "I got this, I don't need any support". Maybe 3 times a charm. All I know is that I will need continual suppport and that support is OK. To be honest, I don't really enjoying drinking, it just numbs my pain. At the core of why I drink is all around my lack of self-love. That is my focus to love me. Thanks for the support.

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