Category Archives: Keepers

A LifeRing Keeper: Lessons Learned After 7 Months of Sobriety

Below is a recent post to one of LifeRing’s email groups, written by a member expressing her great pleasure at reaching 7 months of continuous sobriety. It contains much wisdom that I wanted to share. It speaks both to those new to recovery and to veterans. — Craig Whalley

7 months soberHello all.  Altho I don’t post often, I read every day. But I did want to mention some things I’ve noticed in myself now that I’ve been sober for a little over seven months…

*Boy, do the cravings tone down after those first 90 days (just like folks said). Now, I seldom ever think about drinking, whether at home alone (my old favorite) or out at dinner or wherever.

*Recognizing the “Addict” voice as separate from the real, sober self is a great help. It can be so sneaky and comes at you in different ways when it thinks you are not looking. These thoughts are not cravings, (READ MORE…)

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A LifeRing Keeper: Getting and Staying Sober

This was posted recently on a LifeRing Email group by a longtime member:

In a nutshell, my sobriety support group is LifeRing Secular Recovery.
– the bottom line is to not drink or otherwise use- no matter what
– we believe we have all the power over our addiction as long as we do not drink or use
– whatever it takes to not drink or use is what we are about
For some of us it is about clean sheets after a difficult day.  For some of us it is about reading everything we can about the science of addiction.  Many of us feel that physical and social activity is very important.  A great number of us need face to face support.
If we don’t live in the Bay area or in the other spots that LifeRing (LSR)  meetings are available; face to face meetings means SMART, SOS, Rational Recovery, WFS (if a woman), or a 12 step program such as AA/NA.  If you know of any other options, please let us know.
If any of us need face to face support and a 12 step program is what is all that is available nearby, please support that tool.  All tools do not work for everyone.  Our goal here is to Not Drink or Use NO MATTER WHAT.  Our email group is to encourage our sober selves.
Please respect the choices each of make to DND (or use) NMW.  Please do not put down the options that any of us need.
I have never taken Antabuse, but some have used it with great success; at age 62 I have attended less than 5 AA meetings; I do not read much about addiction (I found this to be a trigger for me), and I do believe in the power of clean sheets.  I respect and often learn from others sober tools.
Be kind, accepting, and go to be bed sober tonight.

 

A LifeRing Keeper: A Poem From an Irish Convenor

Philip H., a LifeRing convenor in Belfast, Northern Ireland, wrote this chilling poem about his late former wife:

Powerlessness

Two dead mice.

One fresh, one slowly desiccating. Its head chewed, eyeless.

A new lock on the dingy door and new keys.

Inside the wooden floor was covered in something dark, like tar.

A chair upended.

Bottles, more bottles, one open, musty smell.

An expensive wine glass with some wine left.

Defiance and style to the end.

Hmmmm

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A LifeRing Keeper: 400 Sober Days

From a member of a LifeRing email group:

I joined LifeRing on December 9th of 2011, it was day 3 for me .

I was miserable! Guilt, shame , self-loathing, remorse and despair had become my constant companions. I felt like I was in a state of perpetual grief; I couldn’t think of one good thing to say about myself.  I was terribly lonely, sad and depressed. I was so desperate to change my life…. the drinking that initially brought me relief a long time ago had now taken over my life and kept me in a constant state of misery.

Those first few months were hard at times….early on, some mornings I woke up feeling physically worse then when I was drinking.  But I have to say that some days were wonderful simply because….I was doing it, I was going to bed sober and waking up with a clear conscience if not a clear head.  I hung in there because the good people of LifeRing kept reminding me that there would be good days as well as bad days. I believed them.

Today is day 400 for me!  That’s 399 days of going to bed sober!

So what is my life like today? My life is not perfect by any means….I still face challenges like everyone does, you know…stuff….

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LifeRing Keeper: The Recovery Process

A recent message in a LifeRing email group included this comment: “40 years of smoking pot and 10 years of drinking heavy have probably scrambled my marbles…..eeeesh…..unhealthy coping skills and unhealthy ways of reacting to sadness have not helped.”

That comment drew this response:

That’s exactly the sort of thing that the whole recovery process can deal with. Pretty much in just the way you’re experiencing: not blocking the emotions with drugs leads to more feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety, which leads to doing something about it — making a series of changes, seeing a therapist, etc. Those steps can be pretty slow to bring benefits, unlike the alcohol and other drugs which acted virtually immediately, but aside from the clear head and better life that sobriety brings, those longer-term, ‘real’ changes improve things on a vastly deeper level. And, after a time, the changes take root and open up a whole new world. Not always a world of “happiness,” but one of hugely more satisfaction. Or at least that was my experience and it sounds like you’re on track for something similar.

Try to remember, when you’re feeling bleak about your future, that you have plenty of time to change EVERYTHING. You’re what … 38? Okay, more like 52. But that’s only about 30 years of living as an adult, and your life expectancy is, now that you’re getting all healthy and everything, well into the 80′s. So you’re only half-way through your adult life! Anything can happen (and probably will!).