LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.
I woke up this morning filled with so much shame and made the decision to finally start on my path to recovery. I realized that I keep using the excuse that the pandemic stripped my identity away from me: I had to leave my job to do homeschooling, I left my husband and moved out with my daughter, and I also was not able to finish my college degree due to the demands of homeschooling.
My now-ex-husband made everything so much more emotionally difficult than it had to be last year after I left. And I let it take me down. My evening drinking became excessive in the last few months.
I have everything that should make me happy: a wonderful daughter, a fantastic new fiance who has supported me in every way, the chance to return to finish my degree this Fall, and I've even become closer to my parents since I left my ex-husband. Yet, the drinking kept getting in the way. I will not allow myself to keep doing this anymore. It's way too destructive.
I've done the back and forth "I'm not drinking anymore" to going right back to drinking the following day. It's made me feel weak and ashamed, like I'm not a good mom or fiancee...
I acted so shamefully last night. I realized today that the pandemic didn't really take anything away from me, except a life that I hated. I've been drinking to block out all of the painful things I went through during my marriage and whilst being raised by perfection-demanding, functional- alcoholic parents. Instead of taking the time to heal since I left my ex, I drank away my evenings, trying to escape the pain.
I lost my insurance last year after my ex lost his job due to the pandemic. I wanted to do therapy but couldn't afford it. I thought about AA but know how they operate.
I'm really glad I found LR. It really seems like a great place for me. I wanted to take the first step by opening up on the forum. I want to start doing online meetings, too. I didn't even know there was anything else other than AA. I wish I had known sooner.
Does anybody have any suggestions for using the RBC workbook? It seems way better than any therapist I could pay. Looking at the table of contents, it seems I might have to veer away from certain sections until I'm ready. I know why I drink, and it's time to really work on healing myself.
Welcome to the Forum Eliza.
Sounds like you made a good start, though, as I'm sure you realize, there is lots of hard work ahead. I haven't looked at the RBC workbook in quite a while, but I think you can just pick and choose what you want to work on to start - that is more or less the Life Ring way - no fixed path. I would recommend as much daily contact with people as possible - best in person, but online too. While most of us here tried and left AA, it can be a help in the beginning to meet face to face with other people going through what you are. You don't have to buy into all the AA ideas, but the people going to the meetings are trying to stop drinking and it can be a big help to share their experiences. Of course, if there is a Life Ring meeting near you, that would be better.
Keep coming back and letting us know how you are doing.
Thank you, Brian!
I figured I could work through the book in the way that's best for me. It was hard to write my post yesterday, as I am really private and have kept this a secret for a very long time. I'm looking forward to joining the meetings.
Yes, being able to open up about your drinking problem is a great help. I always thought I was the only one with a problem. I remember when I first saw a directory of all the AA meetings in DC - I thought, that can't be right, this must be a list of all the people with alcohol problems - there were so many of them. It was just a great relief to know I wasn't the only one and to listen to other people who had the same experiences I did.
hahaa Brian ! That is hilarious !
This weekend I was pondering how many people that I know as acquaintances might have the same problem. If only the stigma weren't there, the dreaded 'alcoholic' label...
We spent this last Saturday with my parents, who live about an hour away. It was really nice, but I didn't even bring up my new life path. It wasn't worth it, and it certainly wouldn't help me emotionally or mentally.
Thank you for chatting back and forth with me in the forum here. I certainly appreciate it!!
Finding people you can confide in is a big help, but it takes a while to figure out who they are. The person who asks why you aren't drinking isn't one of them. People who are aware of drinking as a problem will wait for you to approach them.
But attitudes are changing, there is much more awareness now than there was 20 years ago. I remember once when I first stopped drinking we went to a fancy restaurant and they put wine glasses in front of everyone. I told the waiter no wine for me, but he left the glass and filled it every time he came by. I just passed it along but he kept giving me a new glass. That doesn't happen now, they just take the glass away with no question or fuss. Makes life a lot easier.
That is definitely true about confiding in people. I've been finding it interesting how there are sober bars popping up recently, along with the zero alcohol choices from major brands. It almost seems that a major movement is sweeping through quietly, especially with the younger people.
I've been keeping busy out in my landscaping beds, barring any bad weather. I started wearing headphones and listening to music to keep out any noise that could ruin my calm vibes. The neighbor's dog used to be a huge trigger for me, even through the privacy fence. They've been WAY better about keeping the dog quiet, and I've been able to obtain my cheap therapy in the garden without losing my cool.
It's taken a couple of weeks for me to be comfortable with not drinking every day. I'm sleeping really well, eating 3 meals a day, and am actually enjoying housework sober.
I haven't had any major urges to drink so far...my mindset is different this time, which is astonishing. The upcoming holiday weekend isn't even making me think about anything other than enjoying a fun-filled sober weekend. It's really refreshing!
Yes, there does seem to be a significant climate change with regard to drinking. My wife and I went to a new Italian restaurant a few weeks ago, our first post pandemic eat in restaurant - and they had a whole menu of nonalcoholic cocktails. Since I never liked cocktails when I was drinking, I didn't have any, but it was good to see the possibility.
It's also strange how stopping drinking happens. There does seem to be a mindset change where things that used to set you off don't. It would be great if we could figure out how to bring this about, but I have no idea except to tell people to kept trying and eventually it will happen.
I do that too, Eliza. I go out and garden or walk as much as I can, it feels so great to be outdoors, enjoying the day and not drinking. If I do have a challenging time and I can't get out because of bad weather, I look for a task I've been meaning to do, or a friend I've been meaning to call - it helps to change the line of my thoughts. And, often I find those thoughts don't last long, although they do have a tendency to come back (!) so I keep a list of things I can do in those situations to break the pattern.