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  #1  
Old 10-08-2014, 07:31 PM
Smoke Smoke is offline
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Default Sobriety Clock

17 Days.

Pretty much drank myself to sleep for the last few years. In the last 40 years or so, I was only dry for about 1 week while undergoing treatment for stage 3 prostate cancer. Had alcohol daily while serving in a dry country (Saudi Arabia, Desert Shield/Storm, 1990 to 1991) thanks to the British expats working for an aerospace company.

My alcohol consumption was getting out of control, but nobody complained. I started noticing physiological changes - hands shaking, sore innards (liver?), sense of smell was askew, plantar fibromatosis on left foot, blank spots in memory. They all tallied up to, "John drinks too much and it's hurting him."

So, I quit. After about a week, I mentioned my sobriety to Mrs. Smoke (who HAD noticed) and she was/is pleased. Yesterday, I mentioned that I now wanted my weekly beer/wine allocation paid in cash rather than alcohol. She said, "There's going to be a total lunar eclipse tomorrow morning, wake me up so I can see it!" God, I love that girl!!

Wish me luck on my new journey!
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2014, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Indeed, good luck on your journey.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2014, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

All the best mate!

I know quite a few people that drink heavily and those that have managed to control it have come out of it feeling a lot better about themselves physically and emotionally. I have to confess I like a few beers but there reaches a point where you have to reduce it or stop completely - and that isn't easy.

So well done! Nice one. Let us know how you progress.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:44 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Congrats and wishing you success in your sobriety.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2014, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Congrats to you. I have a family history of it so I know what you are going through. A day at a time. You will feel much better too.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2014, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Good luck man. We're pulling for you here.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2014, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Thanks All!

Strangely, it doesn't seem like as much of a burden as I thought. Not as simple as turning off a switch, but once my mind was made up, my body had to follow.

I'd dipped my toe in the sobriety thing a couple times in the last year or so, but always deluded myself into thinking "I'll just get a six pack of expensive craft beer, and it won't get out of hand." I've since found that I'm either "on the (sobriety) wagon" or it's left me in the dust. I thought I could "run alongside the wagon" and live with a foot in both worlds, but found out otherwise.

I wish it hadn't taken me so long, but I learned my lesson before Gerry Rafferty, Bonzo, Hank Williams or David Byron did, so I've got some consolation.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Good for you! I know you can do this, so hang in there.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Well done, Smoke. I think it's brave to face up to something like that. Best of luck to you.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

If Mrs. Smoke has heard it all before - remember - actions speak louder than words.

It can be done. Good luck.
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

I hear you. I quit completely six weeks ago. Didn't think it was interfering with my life but decided to quit to get healthier as I hit 50. Turns out, it was interfering. Feeling tired every morning and afternoon is gone. Having a crappy sleep is gone. Quick temper, also gone. Lack of drive- yep, gone. I would bet a lot of folks would find it is interfering if they really looked at it. You don't have to wake up in a ditch to have a problem. Keep it up Smoke. You will feel great
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:59 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Congrats mate.

I still love a drink myself, but I definitely know the challenge involved in walking away from your favoured vices. I've managed to whittle away a few of them myself over the last few years. It takes great strength stay on the wagon.....and pulling it off is something to be proud of.

Best of luck with it man.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2014, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

good luck to you. addiction is a quite a force, but it can be held in check with strength and willpower.
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2014, 01:42 AM
need more cowbell need more cowbell is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

good luck to you in your journey! i battle those same demons
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2014, 02:38 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
Thanks All!

Strangely, it doesn't seem like as much of a burden as I thought. Not as simple as turning off a switch, but once my mind was made up, my body had to follow.

I'd dipped my toe in the sobriety thing a couple times in the last year or so, but always deluded myself into thinking "I'll just get a six pack of expensive craft beer, and it won't get out of hand." I've since found that I'm either "on the (sobriety) wagon" or it's left me in the dust. I thought I could "run alongside the wagon" and live with a foot in both worlds, but found out otherwise.

I wish it hadn't taken me so long, but I learned my lesson before Gerry Rafferty, Bonzo, Hank Williams or David Byron did, so I've got some consolation.
I've also found that it is much easier to be totally dry, than to try to 'drink in moderation'. Totally dry is easy, just always say no (I realize that may not be so 'easy' for some). Moderation, though, is difficult, when do you say 'enough'? It can lead to a slippery slope.
Also, it gets easier with time. After my first 30 days, I've never been tempted, and I feel much better.
My best wishes to you, sir.
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  #16  
Old 10-09-2014, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Thanks for the advice and kind wishes. So far it's been easy, and there isn't any temptation, but I haven't been tested yet.

First test will be a week at beer, uhhh... Deer hunting camp next month. I already know that moderation doesn't work for me, so I'll stick to abstinence.

I'll keep you posted!
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2014, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
Well done, Smoke. I think it's brave to face up to something like that. Best of luck to you.
Thanks, Madge! Apparently I lived near that river in Africa - De-Nile - for longer than I'd care to admit. Airing my dirty laundry here is a start. Sort of a commitment to the drumming world - with lots of coaches!! Next are closer associates. Admitting that I couldn't (or didn't care to) control myself is tough. I'll let that happen as it comes...
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2014, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
If Mrs. Smoke has heard it all before - remember - actions speak louder than words.

It can be done. Good luck.
Strangely, this is my first real ride on the wagon. Mrs. Smoke's dad was an alcoholic, so while she didn't turn a blind eye to my antics, she didn't want to exacerbate the situation by haranguing me about my drinking.

Nevertheless, your point is well taken. We've been married 34 years - the next 34 will be less worrisome for both of us.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2014, 03:33 AM
Smoke Smoke is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by jdsg View Post
I hear you. I quit completely six weeks ago. Didn't think it was interfering with my life but decided to quit to get healthier as I hit 50. Turns out, it was interfering. Feeling tired every morning and afternoon is gone. Having a crappy sleep is gone. Quick temper, also gone. Lack of drive- yep, gone. I would bet a lot of folks would find it is interfering if they really looked at it. You don't have to wake up in a ditch to have a problem. Keep it up Smoke. You will feel great
Cool! I'm reaping all the benefits you mentioned, except for the cruddy night's sleep. I've "medicated" myself for so long it's going to take a while to learn to sleep without benefit of an anesthetic. ;-).

I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.
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  #20  
Old 10-09-2014, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

I'm a very compulsive person; smoked 3 packs a day when I was using tobacco and when it was time to quit, did it cold turkey.

Almost 13 years ago I got stuck on psych meds due to a misdiagnosis (manic depression, which turns out I'm nowhere near that neck of the woods) and after a very traumatic life changing event I quit those cold turkey (not recommended)...

And having gone through a pretty ugly divorce and acting as my own attorney (and drinking like him too!) it was two years ago August 9 to be exact I decided to leave "that guy" sitting on the proverbial park bench, heaving and puking and being hung over, twitchy, sleeping in until the crack of 15:00h, ugh. Goodbye to him! Cold turkey was once again the order and I've not had a drink since.

I understand the trials and tribulations of quitting an addiction all too well. My current battle is nibbling my nails, and that's been going on since I was 3 years old. I will quit for years but something always defers me to that behavior and I find myself riding that particular horse for a stretch.

We are strange creatures.
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2014, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Show me a person with no addictions. I'm not sure I can name even one. If anyone here has no addictions, please step forward.
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:32 AM
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Popcorn Mogul Popcorn Mogul is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Show me a person with no addictions. I'm not sure I can name even one. If anyone here has no addictions, please step forward.
I my doctor lady said I shouldn't have milk stuff for 6 weeks (something to do with snot). But it turns out I am actually addicted to cheese! Can't live without the stuff!
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:07 PM
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Reggae_Mangle Reggae_Mangle is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Congratulations, Smoke. It's a tough decision and even tougher to keep too. The main thing is to just say "no" and stick to your decision.
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:17 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by Popcorn Mogul View Post
I my doctor lady said I shouldn't have milk stuff for 6 weeks (something to do with snot). But it turns out I am actually addicted to cheese! Can't live without the stuff!
No, you're not addicted to cheese. You just like it a lot.
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  #25  
Old 10-09-2014, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by BillRayDrums View Post
My current battle is nibbling my nails, and that's been going on since I was 3 years old. I will quit for years but something always defers me to that behavior and I find myself riding that particular horse for a stretch.

We are strange creatures.
Strange Creature! Yup, got the T-shirt!

Smoking? - 12 years. Cold turkey.
Nail biting - 30 years. Switched to whittling them with my pocket knife (even while driving!)
Alcohol - 40 years. Cold turkey. No "buts" - just a short history. I've got it licked - positive attitude will take me far; plus, I can't let Mrs Smoke down.
Current Addiction: Tea - white, green, ginseng, ginger. I quit caffeine when diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago, but am exploring coffee again.
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  #26  
Old 10-20-2014, 11:15 PM
FrontierGibberish FrontierGibberish is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
Strange Creature! Yup, got the T-shirt!

Smoking? - 12 years. Cold turkey.
Nail biting - 30 years. Switched to whittling them with my pocket knife (even while driving!)
Alcohol - 40 years. Cold turkey. No "buts" - just a short history. I've got it licked - positive attitude will take me far; plus, I can't let Mrs Smoke down.
Current Addiction: Tea - white, green, ginseng, ginger. I quit caffeine when diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago, but am exploring coffee again.
Good luck Smoke - while I respect those who have been able to quit addictions cold turkey it is by no means the prescribed way. Many many addicts also suffer from issues that therapy of some kind can help with. I believe I read somewhere (maybe my dr told me) that over half of all addicts have an underlying mental health condition. Hats off to all of the cold turkey survivors. Remember though that sudden death is a concern when quitting any addictive substance cold turkey.

MM
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  #27  
Old 10-21-2014, 04:44 AM
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Good luck Smoke - while I respect those who have been able to quit addictions cold turkey it is by no means the prescribed way. Many many addicts also suffer from issues that therapy of some kind can help with. I believe I read somewhere (maybe my dr told me) that over half of all addicts have an underlying mental health condition. Hats off to all of the cold turkey survivors. Remember though that sudden death is a concern when quitting any addictive substance cold turkey.

MM
Thanks for the advice MM. One calendar month and still sober!

Your Doc is likely correct about the underlying mental concerns. Clinical depression on my Mom's side and gosh-knows-what on my Dad's side, but suicide is a somewhat regular occurrence - my brother and at least two cousins that I can think of in the last 7 years or so. Whoo-Hoo!!

I tried weaning myself off beer, but it didn't work. I'm probably past the sudden death window, but continue to notice the physiological and chemical imbalances as they slowly correct themselves. It took a while to get completely fouled up, it'll take a while to get back to 'normal.'

My wife is a great source of strength and sanity - "I'm out of beer - did you pick some up today?!?" I try to keep my newfound sobriety fun and "on the top" of conversation, rather than "under the rug."
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2014, 04:51 AM
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My wife is a great source of strength and sanity - "I'm out of beer - did you pick some up today?!?" I try to keep my newfound sobriety fun and "on the top" of conversation, rather than "under the rug."
That's key! Sounds like you've got great mate there. Good luck on your journey.

My ex, with whom I'm still good friends, is going to a gratitude banquet next week and is celebrating 25 years of sobriety.
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  #29  
Old 10-21-2014, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Hang in there and plow through it my man....you will reach a new, happier and healthier level of living. You will see it through if you realize there is a better place at the end of the elimination process....and there is....trust me.

Tired of waking up and having to retrace your steps? Cringing at some things you may have said or done? Wondering how you got home? Staying in the robe all day and having a nip or 10 to round off the rough edges? Wondering why your hand is busted? What that needle track in your arm is and where it came from? If your going to be a new daddy in 9 months? Why the doors are all open, your clothes are ripped up, your massive stereo was moved to a different room in the house and is playing side 1 of the Signals record on repeat all night....why your wallet is missing....and why the cops are calling you to say they found your DL at a Kentucky Fried Chicken deep in the depths of your city....lol

Just a few of the effects of the multi day benders that a friend of mine did not miss after 20 years...and neither will you if you were that bad.

It is way better on this side.
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  #30  
Old 10-23-2014, 06:57 PM
FrontierGibberish FrontierGibberish is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Couple of tips that helped me out in my early days of alcohol abstinence:

1. If I ever went to a party where there was drinking I would be sure to show up with a drink already in hand. I liked to get a root beer Big Gulp - something that would last a while. This avoids the obvious "Hey man - whatcha drinking?" questions and the subsequent explanations. Not saying you should hide your sobriety - but when you want to share with others that you are not drinking any more or are taking a break - you can do it on your terms as opposed to being confronted by the guy holding the keg tap.

2. If possible find another sober dude who has at least a year of clean time to take along with you to social engagements where drinking was part of the whole act. I would discourage going out with other newbies, freshly sober. When you get a bunch of newly sober drunks or addicts together, the war stories start, followed by the romancing memories - next thing ya know you're all drunk.

3. Watch your diet, eat clean as possible. Drink lots of water and take a good multi-vitamin. I would avoid over the counter sleep aids initially if sleep is a problem, opting instead for melatonin - which I guess is also technically over the counter.... just no benadryl or anything like that. If you still can't sleep well, see your dr.

Some of these tips sound very AA'ish and TBH I did learn the first tip a long time ago when I was forced to attend a meeting. I do not support AA's methods but I think there are elements of truth and some good advise in what they are pitching.

MM
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  #31  
Old 10-23-2014, 10:14 PM
1morecowbell 1morecowbell is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Hi smoke its been two years for me now and when I first quit and temptation set in I always remember one of my most embarrassing moments while drinking and that soon gets rid of it, stick with it and your life will be much happier and content and your drumming will improve so much faster you won't believe it. A clear head retains information so much better.
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  #32  
Old 10-24-2014, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrontierGibberish View Post
Couple of tips that helped me out in my early days of alcohol abstinence:

1. If I ever went to a party where there was drinking I would be sure to show up with a drink already in hand. I liked to get a root beer Big Gulp - something that would last a while. This avoids the obvious "Hey man - whatcha drinking?" questions and the subsequent explanations. Not saying you should hide your sobriety - but when you want to share with others that you are not drinking any more or are taking a break - you can do it on your terms as opposed to being confronted by the guy holding the keg tap.

2. If possible find another sober dude who has at least a year of clean time to take along with you to social engagements where drinking was part of the whole act. I would discourage going out with other newbies, freshly sober. When you get a bunch of newly sober drunks or addicts together, the war stories start, followed by the romancing memories - next thing ya know you're all drunk.

3. Watch your diet, eat clean as possible. Drink lots of water and take a good multi-vitamin. I would avoid over the counter sleep aids initially if sleep is a problem, opting instead for melatonin - which I guess is also technically over the counter.... just no benadryl or anything like that. If you still can't sleep well, see your dr.

Some of these tips sound very AA'ish and TBH I did learn the first tip a long time ago when I was forced to attend a meeting. I do not support AA's methods but I think there are elements of truth and some good advise in what they are pitching.

MM
Thanks FG!

Beer, uhhh... Deer season - in three weeks - will be my first trial by fire-water. I've not been tempted yet, so we'll see what happens. Drinking was making me sick, not the "sick" associated with a night of drinking, but the sick you get when your insides are throwing in the towel - maybe permanently. So at this point, I'm still sick and tired and scared.

I don't normally do bars, but have been a regular at about 4 alcohol soaked weekend forays every year. Explaining my sobriety might be weird, but I don't foresee any peer pressure to imbibe.

Sleep is getting better, and lately I'm falling asleep in less than 10 minutes. Good progress, I think. Looked at melatonin last weekend, but walked past. I don't expect any magic bullet, and am willing to do the time while working out the kinks.
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  #33  
Old 10-24-2014, 04:15 AM
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Hi smoke its been two years for me now and when I first quit and temptation set in I always remember one of my most embarrassing moments while drinking and that soon gets rid of it, stick with it and your life will be much happier and content and your drumming will improve so much faster you won't believe it. A clear head retains information so much better.
Thanks Cowbell!

So far I don't have any real temptation. 3 grandkids have taken up semi-permanent residence here at home - a situation that normally would have me camping next to the basement frig with my "juice box" (5 liter boxed wine - 13.5% ABV, thank you!). Friends called my their "Juice Box Hero" - sung to the Foreigner tune by the (almost) same title.

So, Grandpa has a short fuse lately and is a bit crabby, but it's not the end of the world and things are getting better by the week.

I guess I'll lose my "Drunkle John" title along with Juice Box Hero. I'm ready for whatever comes next!
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  #34  
Old 10-24-2014, 04:33 AM
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I'd like to thank everyone who's taken the time to offer advice, experiences, prayers and positive energy my way.

It's working!

Though I will never be able to repay you directly, Mrs Smoke and I will reap the benefits for years to come. Please know that you have a part in saving a marriage and a life.

And if by chance we ever meet, please excuse me if I don't buy you a drink!

Heartfelt Thanks!

John
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  #35  
Old 11-03-2014, 03:42 PM
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A-customs A-customs is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Good Luck to you John...I Come from a family of abusing.And while i love my beer.and can function,I Know i drink to much.......You sir have made the tough decision to give it up.....2 Thumbs up buddy
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:50 PM
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Good Luck to you John...I Come from a family of abusing.And while i love my beer.and can function,I Know i drink to much.......You sir have made the tough decision to give it up.....2 Thumbs up buddy
That's where I was - still considered myself functional, but continued to drink more than was healthy for the long run. I found it easier to not drink anything, as I couldn't (or chose not to!) just drink one or two.

Went to a family get-together this past weekend where everybody drank beer or wine. When offered a beer, I told them that I'd had enough already and would drink soda pop instead. When asked if I'd bring beer to the hunting camp (in two weeks) I said, "We'll see, but probably not. This 'no alcohol' thing kind of suits me." I like the fact that it's ALWAYS my choice - somehow that makes sobriety more palatable.
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  #37  
Old 11-03-2014, 05:22 PM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

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Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
This 'no alcohol' thing kind of suits me." I like the fact that it's ALWAYS my choice - somehow that makes sobriety more palatable.
That is a fantastic way to look at it! I admire your choice, and wish you continued success on your journey.
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  #38  
Old 11-12-2014, 04:41 PM
Smoke Smoke is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Update!

Going to hunting camp this weekend and was pondering my new beverage of choice. Bottled water didn't seem to fit and I don't drink soda pop. I couldn't see myself chugging no-alcohol beer - and don't like it anyway. The camp has no electricity, so sipping green or white tea (what I drink at home and work) would be a pain in the neck. I was at a loss until I found low-sodium V-8 juice on sale!! Woo-Hoo! I love tomato juice and the 12 ounce cans are portable and fit in my hand just like a beer! Now I'm hoping that the guys at camp won't chug my V-8 instead of beer!!! ;-)

Another funny note - I gained (lost?!?) a notch in my belt. Didn't see that one coming. I'm not obese, but like most 55 year-old US males, could stand to lose 15 or 20 pounds. Looks like I've only got 10 or 15 to go now! Cool!

I don't remember exactly how long I've been dry (forgot the exact date). The only thing that matters is that I was sober yesterday and will be sober again today.

Gotta run, John
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  #39  
Old 11-12-2014, 07:18 PM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke View Post
Update!

Going to hunting camp this weekend and was pondering my new beverage of choice. Bottled water didn't seem to fit and I don't drink soda pop. I couldn't see myself chugging no-alcohol beer - and don't like it anyway. The camp has no electricity, so sipping green or white tea (what I drink at home and work) would be a pain in the neck. I was at a loss until I found low-sodium V-8 juice on sale!! Woo-Hoo! I love tomato juice and the 12 ounce cans are portable and fit in my hand just like a beer! Now I'm hoping that the guys at camp won't chug my V-8 instead of beer!!! ;-)

Another funny note - I gained (lost?!?) a notch in my belt. Didn't see that one coming. I'm not obese, but like most 55 year-old US males, could stand to lose 15 or 20 pounds. Looks like I've only got 10 or 15 to go now! Cool!

I don't remember exactly how long I've been dry (forgot the exact date). The only thing that matters is that I was sober yesterday and will be sober again today.

Gotta run, John
Awesome news! I appreciate you keeping us updated. Your journey is inspiring! Wishing you continued success.

On another note, what are you hunting? Elk season is pretty much over here, but deer is open in a lot of units.

Edit - OK, I see you're from MI. Gotta be deer camp!
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  #40  
Old 11-12-2014, 09:17 PM
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Red Menace Red Menace is offline
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Default Re: Sobriety Clock

Congrats on the enduring sobriety and weight loss Smoke.

As for a canned beverage, how about club soda? no sugar and some bubbles so its better than drinking bottled water.
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