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Share this SMART Recovery Success Story!
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Default 364 days into getting SMART

    Evening, SMARTies:

    This has been just a wonderful first year of abstinence for me. When I came here 7.16.15, I was so hopeless and felt so helpless that I didn't think I could make it home from work without making my usual stop for booze. But after signing up here, reading through some of the toolbox articles and forums, and doing my first CBA, HOV, and ABC; I did make it home! That was an amazing feeling.

    I over-imbibed for 30+ years. I got three DUIs and had two major car wrecks. The first one involved a pregnant woman driving the other car. I continued to drink and, even worse, continued to drive. I will never know why my life (and the life of the woman and unborn baby) was spared by the Universe those hundreds and hundreds of times.

    After awhile, I stopped drinking and driving and stopped drinking in public. I just couldn't control it anymore. And I didn't think I wanted to. I drank in and out of relationships and friendships. For many more years, I drank alone pretending I was some edgy, interesting, rockstar type person instead of just a solitary person trying desperately to hide from myself. Drinking, vomiting, and passing out alone.

    I thought for a long time that I had legitimate reasons for over-imbibing. ...legitimate... Man, my *********** loves that word, even today... I had a scary, unpredictable childhood, I have Aspergers, I felt completely unprepared for the world and human interaction.

    But everyone, no matter what their circumstances, eventually needs to own their actions and the life they create with them. That fabulous legitimacy burned off by the fire of years of my addiction left just me standing in the rubble. And I had no idea how to be different.

    I tried other programs with close to the same passion I have brought to SMART but the lack of personal responsibility and self-awareness left me in that helpless state and that just didn't work for me. However, every program helps someone and I will never discount others' paths to success...

    Throughout the years, I moved forward in my life slowly; my legs feeling heavy with shame, guilt, regret, and a continual sense of failure brought on by my nightly (usually) over-imbibing. My secret (that probably wasn't after all) weighed upon me like quicksand.

    But somehow I achieved some successes and eventually found myself in an interesting career of sonography and a second marriage that seems to really be the one. *Lobster*



    My new life somehow waited patiently for me to catch up and last year I finally did. I realized that I had the makings of a life around me that I had in no way earned through my actions and I wanted to keep it, to be worthy of it. So I came here, did my intro, started my homework, and made that first drive straight home from work.

    By regaining my power of choice and personal responsibility, by learning the REB techniques of the CBA, HOV, and ABCs, by reading about the workings of my brain in Upward Spiral and the SMART toolbox articles, by hearing all of your stories, struggles, and successes, and by keeping myself accountable to each of you through daily posting; I made it 7, 30, 90, 365 days.

    The three commitments I made that I attribute the success of my abstinence to were and are:

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

    Everybody has good days and bad days. Everybody experiences success and failure. Everybody has love and loss in their lives. This is the ebb and flow of every life. I CHOOSE abstinence because I want to be present for that, every moment, even the painful ones.

    I hid from the first half of my life and wallowed in emotions of my own creation: shame, guilt, and regret. Now I try to see each moment, feel each emotion, and identify the illusions of the *********** to the very best of my ability. Good or bad, this is my life and I have reclaimed it with the help of SMART.

    Although I do my best here in the forum threads to give back, that is a debt I will NEVER be able to fully settle. So please keep posting and sharing your stories. Together we will become the people we want to be and live the lives we aspire to live.

    Thank you so much for logging on and reading my lengthy post. I am not known for brevity...

    Each of you is just amazing. You are all such an inspiration to me and I thank the Universe that you are here.

    My work isn't done, nor should it be. As long as I live, I will work to grow; so now is the time to work on year two!



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

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


  2. #2

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    Hey lobster, way to go! Congrats on your one year of living in the present and feeling what your feeling! I love the way you expressed how you got to where you are in your journey. It was so real, honest and unique. It s an inspiring story. Thank you! ��

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Vancouver, Canada
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    Lobster, All I can say is WOW. I am certainly glad that I joined the On-Line Smart Community in April, as I got to read posts from people like you. I,also, will be recognizing an achievement tomorrow of 1850 days clean and can,t think of anybody I'd rather share it with. Your plain language and honesty are an inspiration to all of us. Thank You, James

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    smack dab where Time begins
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    14,518

    Default

    You have come far

    Enjoy the day and the life you worked to recapture.
    Wherever you go, there you are

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Such an exciting day! You are a wonderful person and I have gotten so much from your posts! Celebrate!!!! That is an awesome accomplishment that brings hope!!! d

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Thank you patpeach, fenquat, dorothyann, and james! I'm glad you all are a part of the SROL community as well. James, I had to get my calculator out. Lol! 5 years is awesome! I can't wait for mine.

    Be well, everyone...
    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


  7. #7

    Default

    Hi Lobster Tank. I see you on here often logged in working hard. Congrats, freedom is awesome!

  8. #8

    Default

    Congrats LobsterTank! I was incredibly moved and inspired by your post. I'm 40 days in and every word you posted hit a nerve - a good sign. This is more than 'staying sober', it's a life change to move beyond anger, fear and the '***********' to a authentic life and self. Thank you for this post.
    The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. == Nathaniel Branden

  9. #9

    Default

    This is fantastic. Just what I needed so much today. Thank you and continue on. You are an inspiration.
    It's a funny thing about life if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2015
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    Default

    Thanks for the comments, komoto, Rosegirl12, and susan4gatos. I still marvel at and am completely grateful for all of our commonalities in our struggles and successes. It served to return me to a feeling of being 'normal'. To take my struggle with the *********** from the almost supernatural realm to one of bad behavior and self-programming really made this a manageable transition. I reckon that's what we do or try to do every day we log in to read and/or post.

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

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


  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks for sharing your story - powerful.
    The light is there, but it won't come to you. Instead, you must chase the light. ~ Lisbeth Darsh

  12. #12
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    Jul 2015
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    Thanks, shakti45! I really admire the initiative you have taken with the count up thread. I can't wait to read your story when you are ready to write it.

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


  13. #13
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline SMART MB Co-Liaison
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    SMART Message Board Volunteer
    SMART Online Leadership Team
    Join Date
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    Southwest Fl
    Posts
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    LobsterTank
    Congrats to you on all the great work and success you have obtained.

    Thank you for volunteering for SMART Recovery as well.

    LMR
    "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

  14. #14
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    Jul 2015
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    Default

    Thanks, LMR! I am enjoying every minute of it.

    Have a great day!
    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    74

    Default

    Thnx for sharing Lobster!! Wishing continued success!!

    Thank you for your service!!!

    Qwerty
    I will never drink again! There is nothing more important than ME and my Family!

  16. #16
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    Jul 2015
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    Default

    Thanks, Q! I have enjoyed your blog.

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


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    I am so proud of you, and happy to "know" you through our check-in group! You are awesome!!

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

  18. #18
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    Jul 2015
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    Default

    Thanks, Mel! I like hanging out with you too...

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


  19. #19

    Default

    Way to go! I love how you discuss being so honest with yourself to get to where you are now. I think that is a very important point. You have certainly worked hard at this & did a lot of homework. I believe you are on a long path to success!!

    Dre
    There is a fine line between fishing & standing on the shore like an idiot.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Default

    Thanks, Dre! That was a very sweet message!

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


  21. #21

    Default

    Lobster – just what I needed to hear today, thank you forthat great post, it an awesome and powerful story of your life to date. Congrats on 1 year, but your posts made me believeyou’ve been sober for many, many years.
    This August would have been 1 year for me – I abstained foralmost 100 days, then drank, but I’m back because I can see where I’m headedand don’t like that picture!
    You are a very gifted writer and have encouraged manySMARTies!
    I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    New2day:

    Thanks for reading my post. I'm glad you enjoyed it and got something out of it.

    I appreciate your kind words. The early days of abstinence call for strength and commitment to change. All of you are such inspirations and it is completely my privilege to be able to hang out with you all and read about your successes and struggles.

    As for you, I'm sorry about your relapse but you proved 100 times in a row that you don't need alcohol in your life and that you can withstand urges and discomfort. And then you temporarily forgot. Okay, so you crack out the tools and figure out what happened so you can be successful again. We all have many, many failed attempts under our belt.

    I'm glad you are back and I know you are going to be awesome! You got this.

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

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


  23. #23

    Default

    Lobster, thank you for your words of wisdom. I got this and will do my homework and keep reaching for my goal. Reading and reflecting this evening!

    Blessings to you!
    I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.

  24. #24

    Default

    PS-Lobster – love your photo - anger, attack and re-invent yourself – which you have! You are such an inspiration!
    Last edited by New2day; July 25, 2016 at 5:09 PM.
    I may not be where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.

  25. #25

    Default

    Lobster,
    I have stopped and starting drinking again several times since 2014. I, like you, have a number of years history with alcohol. Your 'temporarily forgot...crack out the tools' is very encouraging to me. I started drinking again last week after 2 weeks of no drinking preceded by 2 months drinking; preceded by 2 months not drinking.Similar patterns (but not drinking for longer periods of time) since '14. Every time I stop and go through these agonizing early days (like today), I note that will be my reminder/motivation when I think about drinking again. But the urges, obviously, win sometimes. I'm working hard to not feel guilty and look forward to clearer-headed, more productive days. Your posts are really inspiring. Thank you!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Thanks, Bunkins! I appreciate your struggles completely. Stop by the 7 day thread. There is q great group posting there and you may find some helpful support.

    I wish you well.
    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


  27. #27

    Default

    "have a great day or at least a crappy sober one".. love this! thank u for sharing your story. I am bipolar. early in recovery. still in survival. Hopi g for better days. anyway thank u.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Thanks, annie214. I always say that because I didn't commit to abstinence to become happy. That seemed like a way to set myself up for failure. Some days, I AM happy, some I am not but each day is at least a sober one.

    Don't knock yourself. You are doing great! 'Survival' mode is a very important, motivating place to be. The tools will help you through that and beyond.

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


  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Boston, MA (USA)
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    Lobster, all I can say is WOW and THANK YOU!

  30. #30

    Default

    Wow, thanks for that inspiring post. And congratulations on your year!

  31. #31
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    Jul 2015
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    Thanks, Dogmum and Happytobesober. Have a great weekend!
    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


  32. #32

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    Hi again LobsterTank, congrats to you and also a big thank you for all the inspiration! I'm 45 days into my final foray with lifelong sobriety and I relate to your story. In my case, relapses over the (past 30) years were due to my mistaken belief that I could moderate. Now that I've proven to myself for good that this is not an option, I have the commitment I need to join you. And I've passed on your quote many a time by now..."have a great day, or at least a crappy sober one"....because truth is truth! Thanks for everything, be seeing you around.
    The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. Carl Rogers

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    45 days is awesome, Choosing! I've noted your posts now and then and looks like you are really making some changes this time. Good on you.

    Can't wait to read your success story when you are ready to write it.

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


  34. #34

    Default

    wow pretty heavy. but the rest of your life to get smarter. yeah.

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