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  • 403 Days.

    User avatar
    Posts: 30
    Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:46 pm

    403 Days.

    Fri May 20, 2022 1:49 pm

    Hi all,

    Today is 403 days since I lapsed. I'm really thankful to everyone in this forum who has given me advice... and reminded me to congratulate myself.

    In the last 403 days, I have had some low points... and high points. I've managed to go to bars with friends and be their DD, something I previously didn't think was possible. I've stumbled through bad habits, picked up drinks, put them back, picked up drugs, and gotten rid of them. I've done all this whilst going through a really challenging year outside of addiction.

    However, the one thing that I haven't managed to overcome is the tiny voice that tells me "you've got it this time. you're sober, you're able to handle your addiction now. Look how in control you are. Letting yourself relax just once won't be a big deal. Look how much fun everyone looks like they are having. Imagine not feeling like an outsider anymore, you can be fun again!".

    So, I come to you again asking for guidance. What do I do? What did you do?
    2 x
    Posts: 90
    Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 3:20 pm

    Re: 403 Days.

    Fri May 20, 2022 5:05 pm

    Hi @WildeReformed , congratulations on 403 days, that is a wonderful achievement indeed.

    I am sure it has not been totally easy with ups and downs but you have shown great persistence and determination to stay away.

    Yes it could look very tempting to drink like others in bars but what would their actual internal experience be like?
    How about post drinking? They look having fun but they may be regretting or guilty afterwards? Or unhappy deep down about their drinking? What values have you been resisting drinking on?
    Thinking about these things may be helpful. Also acknowledge how far you have come and feel good about yourself.

    Anyone has any ideas or advice?
    0 x
    Community Builder
    Posts: 582
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: 403 Days.

    Sat May 21, 2022 12:11 pm

    @WildeReformed I am so stoked to hear that you're at 403 days! That is fantastic!

    In terms of that voice, it sounds like it's an element of the addiction that is still trying to trick you, lull you into a sense of false security. I'm going to tag @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW and see if they have any advice on how to tackle it!

    asides from that, keep doing an amazing job!
    0 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 401
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: 403 Days.

    Mon May 23, 2022 8:45 pm

    That is amazing @WildeReformed, wow, thanks so much for sharing your achievement with us. I remember when I first got into recovery, even 1 day seemed impossible and it was people like you who had found a way to actually string time together away from drugs and change their lives that gave me hope that it might be possible for me too.

    I really relate to what you're saying around going through challenges outside of addiction too. A hard reality I had to face was that sometimes, life is really hard whether I'm using or not. The main difference is that if I'm not using then I can be capable of behaving differently in difficult situations and not destroy myself to try and run from the challenging feelings that come up when life gets heavy.

    I also can't tell you how many times through the years my thinking has tried to get the better of me that I could get away with having "a social drink" or "surely now that you've been abstinent for years, it could be different and you could use manageably". Whenever this thinking has popped up for me, I first of all look at everybody I know who has relapsed and literally not once have I seen somebody come back from a relapse (if they make it back at all) and say "that was great, it worked and I found a way to use manageably". I also look at the reason why I am abstinent in the first place. It's because I discovered that no matter how I attempt to use any mood or mind altering substance, however it begins I always end up in the same place. For me, it's the first one that does the damage because ones too many and a thousand never enough. If I pick up it would just awaken something that has been dormant for over 13 years now, but I also look at other areas of my life that my addiction has played out and I can see it clearly. My addiction still lives in my thinking, it never lived in the drugs, it's always been within me. But if I choose to stay in recovery it means that I can continue to learn about how my addiction plays out in other areas and continue to make the choice to align my behaviour with my values to the best of my ability everyday.

    I think the main thing in all of this though is that whenever I had thoughts like that I would never sit alone with them for too long. This is because when I share with somebody else in my recovery community about thinking like this it disempowers it, I get another perspective and it gives me an opportunity to seperate myself from my thinking and see clearly how that thinking is not based in reality at all. In time, I've also become capable of seperating myself from the thinking that is driven by my addiction but I still need to talk to my close people about what goes on for me.

    If you're not alone and you've got the right supports then you can get through these thoughts without picking up and over time, there's a good chance they will become less frequent, not as loud and easier to observe from a distance as opposed to being joined with them. That's been my experience anyway.

    Well done again! And I hope you continue to share your journey with us here :)
    0 x
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 491
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: 403 Days.

    Mon May 23, 2022 10:02 pm

    Hey congratulations @WildeReformed !!!!! That's an amazing achievement!!! It seems that you've still managed to get out and about and enjoy yourself without drinking and navigated some really trick situations. I hope you're proud of yourself.

    That tiny voice you talk about pops up for me from time to time and it happened just recently. There's a few things I try to concentrate on with the main one being how much I've got to lose............and I don't mean the material things. I'm talking about self respect, integrity, confidence, hope, positivity, the relationship I've maintained with my daughter, the amends I've been able to make with friends and family, the peace of mind I've got because my life isn't full of the chaos it used to be. The list goes on.

    None of that stuff exists if I go back to drinking and using.

    If I start again there is no such thing as controlling it. I proved to myself over and over that when I start again.........everything else goes away. I made that mistake too many times before. I'd take a month off, a few months off..........once I took 7 months off. I'd start to think that it's be okay to start again and at first it would be okay. I'd have a night out and have some fun. It might be like that for the first few weeks but eventually the drink would be the only thing I'd be thinking about and the guilt, shame and remorse would be building up again. I'd be feeling crappy again. Not just because I was hungover but because I was getting out of alignment again, breaking promises and letting people down. Letting myself down.

    The only reason life was at the point where I thought it would be okay to try drinking again was because I wasn't drinking. It took me a while to reach that lightning bolt moment but that's what I remind myself of now.

    I hope this helps................and keep thinking about what you've achieved without drinking.............and what you've got to lose.
    0 x

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