Category Archives: Keepers

Keeper of the Month – August

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

easiest-things

For many of us, myself included, the process getting and staying clean and sober takes several tries, sometimes over a long period of time, and one tends to be of two minds about their drug of choice before and during this period. It can be a frustrating and infuriating cycle, but it can’t be glossed over or ignored, both because it’s the reality of living with addiction and because it’s part of the process of becoming free from it. 

This month’s post, from a discussion about this vicious cycle, is from group member Ewa C., who is now sober:

 

I go through these things too…perfectly fine until for some reason i go on a rampage…with days lost from work, the shakes, feeling suicidal, unable to think clearly…Although this has been happening much less frequently.

Aside from that I am often just a so-called “functional alcoholic”…low key, just a couple of drinks at the end of a prolonged and stressful day… which is every day in my line of work.

And I know that is not an excuse. I don’t drink because i’m stressed I drink cuz I think I still love it, and after I’ve had a drink or two I’m so bored with it that I drink the rest just cuz I’m bored and want to go to sleep.

Go figure.

I am sick of this as i can see you are… I’ve been trying for YEARS to get right and still here I am, negotiating with my alcoholic self vs. my real self who is quite a nice woman.

Keeper of the Month – July

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

perseverance

This month’s post, reflecting on a different sort of life-changing anniversary, comes from Craig W.:

 

I’ve been sober since 2001, but yesterday marked the 8 year anniversary of the second most important event in my life in the current millennium — I had a stroke. My recovery was almost complete, but not a day goes by when I’m not aware that “almost” is not at all the same as “complete.’ I spent five weeks in a hospital and nursing home learning how to walk again — I hadn’t lost strength in my limbs but my balance had been strongly affected. It’s still less than perfect. I lost a little feeling on my right side but not enough to make much difference. The main difficulty that has stayed with me is something called “post-stroke fatigue,” a rather mysterious tiredness that plagues many stroke survivors. The condition isn’t related to the location of the stroke and doesn’t seem to be related to the seriousness of the stroke. It means I’m tired all the time and very tired some of the time. It’s pretty unrelated to the amount of sleep I get, so I try not to give in to it too much. But it’s why I retired early.

For a long time I thought the fatigue was the only “cognitive” impact of my stroke. But I’ve learned in recent years that the tiredness is part of a larger mental syndrome in which certain types of mental tasks are very draining, while physical activity is actually refreshing. The most draining seems to be multitasking, jumping from one thing to another back and forth. That was the essence of my job as a bookseller — dealing with customers at the counter and on the phone, paying bills, preparing orders and a bunch of other stuff all at the same time. I was good at that until the stroke. I wasn’t bad at it after my stroke, for that matter. Except that it exhausted me after a couple of hours.

So I retired a couple of years early and after about a week started climbing the walls. I’d had my bookstore as the focus of my life for 40 years. I never put in the sort of hours that many small business owners do, but it was always on my mind. Replacing it with …. nothing soon horrified me. Which is how I found myself coming down to the San Francisco Bay Area to volunteer for LifeRing. It has been an almost perfect solution to my retirement dilemma. There’s more to do than I can do, so I never feel purposeless, and yet as a volunteer I decide entirely by myself how much to do each day, which allows me to make full allowance for my tiredness problem. And the weather down here is so …. different (I was going to say “better” but one shouldn’t make those sorts of value judgements) that I can spend at least an hour each day walking in the warm sunshine, something that was a rare occurrence up in the Pacific Northwest.

There’s a point to this story for addicts like us. My stroke happened well after I got sober and the cause was unknown. But I figure it was all those years of ignoring my high blood pressure while I was drinking. For me, there was no escaping the consequences of my years of imbibing. But the other point is more positive — I changed my entire life after age 60, moving, doing work I’d never done before in a place I’d only visited briefly. I realized when I retired, I could afford (doG bless Social Security) to live almost anywhere and do almost anything (anything that wasn’t too expensive, at least). Sobriety gave me this new life.It’s so easy to feel trapped by life, by addiction or a bad marriage or lack of money or health problems, or …. But I’m here to tell you that everything can be changed for the better, and it all starts with sobriety. It starts with facing reality and fixing what’s wrong with our lives and nothing is more ‘wrong’ than addictive drinking or using. Fix that and move on to the next thing on your list.

Be patient, but persevere.

Keeper of the Month – June

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

Moderation

This month’s post, from a discussion regarding the possibility of moderation, is contributed by group member Chris C.:

When I was in rehab my counselor asked me if my wife drank. When I replied in the affirmative, she asked if my wife was an alcoholic. When I replied in the negative, she asked why not? This is the story I told:

As a rule, I am not a white wine drinker. My wife is, though, and we always have a couple of bottles in the fridge. My wife opens a bottle of white wine and pours herself a glass. She sips on it for a couple hours. When she finishes the first glass, she’s usually done. If she pours a second, almost inevitably, she takes a couple sips, decides she didn’t want a second glass after all, and pours the rest back in the bottle. She corks it and puts it back in the fridge. She promptly forgets about it. She might use some of it in cooking, but by the time she decides to pour another glass from that bottle, one of two other things has happened. It’s either turned to vinegar or, despite the fact I am not a white wine drinker, it’s gone because I drank it.

—————————–

<sp

Read more ...

Keeper of the Month

Lifering’s e-mail groups are active, thriving communities of people who use them as strong sources of sobriety support, and many members often post remarkably written sources of inspiration, hope and encouragement that many other group members call “Keepers” – posts that they save for themselves so they can go back and look at them as often as they like.

We here at LifeRing like sharing these posts, with the authors’ permission, on our Blog so that everyone can enjoy them as much as our group members do.

irreconciliable differencesThis month’s post, “Irreconcilable Differences”,  is contributed by group member Rich C.:

Alcohol:  Hey, sweetie, it’s been a while.  Have you missed me?  Did you get my messages, and my texts?

Me: I suppose I sort of missed you, but that’s not why I called.  I have news for you.

Alcohol: Can I come over?  Can you tell me in person?

Me:  Uh, not really.  I prefer that we keep our distance.  The news is that I want a divorce.

Alcohol:  A divorce?  What about our vows?

Me:  That’s just it.  I don’t even remember our wedding.  We were hanging out a lot, and next thing I know you’re wearing this ridiculously expensive ring, my bank account’s gone, and I have no recollection of anything.

Alcohol:  Well, darling, I do recall.  As you know, when we make love I do what I can to erase any memories of our intimacies, and other stuff.

Read more ...

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…)

Read more ...