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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sober Paradise
    Posts
    9,904

    Default 166,642,829 Seconds In and Counting

    As I begin writing this it is July 13, 2014; 6:55 AM, MST. I quit drinking on April 1, 2009 at 1:15 PM, MST; 166,642,829 seconds ago, give or take 118 seconds.

    I remember my quit date and time very clearly because I’d just slammed down my 6th or 7th beer of the day and was headed out the door to drive to an appointment with my Counselor, whose help I’d sought to relieve depression. I’d done this same thing (slam down a beer and leave for my appointment) on four previous occasions. Annoyingly enough (at the time), I recall being aware of being drunk, not just buzzed, on this particular drive and thinking how stupid driving drunk to a meeting with a Counselor was.

    On my first visit in March, 2009, after taking a thorough medical history and noting that my only substance uses/abuses were alcohol, nicotine and caffeine my Counselor suggested that depression and alcohol were often linked and that, just perhaps, I should consider quitting drinking, just for a while, to see if that helped my depression. I was vocally resistant to that idea - what could alcohol possibly have to do with depression!? – but reluctantly agreed to give temporary abstinence a try. After all, suicidal thoughts seem so logical while you’re having them and both stupid and terrifying in afterthought.

    Although I didn’t quit or even cut down my drinking, over the next 3 weeks we discussed various therapy tools that could help me quit. AA came up and I quickly dismissed it. I had previously quit drinking for about 2 years using 12-step methods. During that whole time I never gained the feeling that I was “recovered”, could relax and enjoy my life. I felt I had to remain ever vigilant, that my next drink and relapse were just around the next corner, waiting to pounce on me. At some point my Counselor casually mentioned SMART Recovery and gave me a brochure and web address.

    I registered and looked around the site. It seemed OK. No body was pushy, except maybe Snorkle (another SMART member). She gave me a figurative kick in the pants and pointed out how stupid my ****-it-all attitude was. I still have that MB exchange and reread it fondly from time-to-time.

    During this first April visit my Counselor commented that alcohol didn’t really seem to be much of a problem for me. He was obviously taken aback when I replied that he’d never seen me sober and that on this particular visit I was what even I would consider drunk. He thanked me for my candidness. I decided that it was time for me to begin working on getting sober, at least for a short while.

    Anyway, long story short: I had kicked and fought to remain a “functional”, “social” drinker (6-pack+/day). No one told me I had to quit. I had to see for myself that it was time to “grow up”, that the successful and responsible people in this world don’t drink from 6:00 AM on every single stinking day of their lives because they don’t have a choice (withdrawals are a pretty convincing argument to take that next/first drink of the day sometimes) and that life, for me, could be better without alcohol.

    I thank myself, SMART Recovery, Snorkle, my Counselor and numerous other users here on the SMART Recovery web site, in that order, for me being 5+ years sober and almost 5 years nicotine/smoke/tobacco free. The program works, and as JvB is fond of relating: Nobody said it would be easy; They said it would be worth it.

    It was hard work to get sober, learning to use the SMART tools, learning unconditional self-acceptance, and unconditional acceptance of others for what they are. Somewhere I went through a shift from considering temporary abstinence to simply being sober and liking it. Today, for me, drinking and smoking are both non-issues. I’m not leery of my next urge for either substance. Yes, even after 5 years I still have urges at the most surprising times, whenever I do some activity that I used to associate with drinking or smoking, but they are easily dismissed with an inner smile of amusement and incredulity at just how tenacious addictive habits are. Life without them is better.
    Last edited by Dolphin; July 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM.
    Luke: "I don't believe it."
    Yoda: "That is why you fail."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Very inspiring post. thank you
    Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. Mother Teresa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    smack dab where Time begins
    Posts
    14,518

    Default

    Good sumation of your journey. As an aside, had you been travelling at the speed of light you would have passed Proxima Centauri around last Thanksgiving or so...

    Enjoy!
    Wherever you go, there you are

  4. #4

    Default

    Awesome post dolphin. 5 years on that is so great to read and very inspiring.
    It is solved by walking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,124

    Default

    You are an inspiration! Congrats!

    Mel =)
    I'm not telling you it is going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    166,642,829 congratulations to you, Dolphin!

    From a fellow aquatic creature,
    Gentoo <( ')
    It's practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry. ~ Joe Moore

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    965

    Default

    As a beginner, I love your post. There is hope.

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