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Personal Profile for Sian


Age:
I am: Female
I am from: United Kingdom


 

My Progress Blog

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More Hours in the Day

Now and again I think back to the miserable time I was having when I first came here (November 2012) and made up my mind to quit drinking ... life felt like a depressing grind. Nothing new was happening or likely to happen. I wasn't available to my family or in touch with my feelings. I hate to think how many hours I lost to drinking and recovering from the after-effects. But today I appreciate all the hours in the day, time is one of the precious gifts of sobriety - waking up with a clear head and positive motivation to start the day. Thrilled whenever someone buzzes at the door or calls me on the phone. Feeling serene about life's ups and downs and my growing confidence to handle them without a drink, no matter what. It was just one 'small' decision ... but it started a chain reaction of looking at myself, dealing with the past, and finding some meaning in life again. I couldn't have done it alone ... so thanks to AHC and AA, for giving me life back, any number of extra hours to enjoy every day, and a more contented version of myself, as well :-)

Three sober years later...

THERE IS HOPE - once anyone is truly ready to quit - and HELP IS AVAILABLE - not just online here but where you live. We are all different but I needed the honesty of anonymous meetings to break through my denial and realise the seriousness of my drinking problem. And I needed the support of a group to remind me, one day at a time, not to pick up the fatal first drink that sets off the irresistible craving for more. I'm grateful not to be drinking or obsessively thinking about drinking today. If you want to know more, feel free to leave me a comment here or write to me below ... best of success to everyone here in finding freedom and a better life! [updated Jan 2018]---[updated Jan 2018]---[updated Jan 2018] smsian@yahoo.com

Patient progress not perfection

I can't turn my whole life around overnight but I can always change for the better if I have the willingness to take action, one day at a time. I try to remember that progress usually comes gradually - and it will certainly be interrupted by setbacks from time to time. As long as I don't pick up a drink, things never have to go back to the way they were.

One day at a time for 990 days now

Thanks for being here when I reached my personal turning point ... I feel eternally grateful ... today I'm learning to live a much happier alcohol-free life. To take pain and disappointment in my stride. To let people into my life again. To feel useful and trustworthy. Work is going well, keeping it in balance is always a challenge. I really have to watch myself for stress and tiredness. I am at my most vulnerable when worn out and depleted. But I use a simple kit of spiritual tools to structure my life on a daily basis. It works! Today I know I don't need to pick up a drink, no matter what. And I dropped by to say, more than happy to share my experience with anyone who's looking for this kind of a solution, or you may like to visit http://www.e-aa.org/forum/ and if you leave me a comment here I will visit your blog and reply to you :-) Sian

Three sober New Years and no more regrets

Life feels calmer and more balanced these days. No wild nights out for me over the holidays, but my evenings in were filled with fascinating conversations on the phone to my family overseas and my sober friends nearby. I appreciate each day's precious moments and each person's unique qualities. I am so grateful for my health and accept that I need to slow down when I'm ill, that I'm only human and I only have to do the best I can today.

Hope

Most of us have seen death close up. We have known the kind of suffering that wrenches the bones. But we have also known the sort of hope that makes the heart sing. And [...] more encouragement than pain. If you are a problem drinker, you already know about pain and loneliness. We'd like you to find some of the peace and joy we have found in meeting the reality of life's ups and downs with a clear and steady heart. AAWS, Living Sober, p. 86

725 days and living in the solution

The freedom and recovery I have found through working the steps has shown me the way out of the hell I used to put myself through. Today I look for solutions to situations that used to baffle me, and I have learned through experience that 'This, too, shall pass'. Today I stay focused on the next indicated action and look for ways to move through times that seem unbearable. Today I know that when I'm going through hell, I'd better just keep going!

Contact info

My email if anyone would like to get in contact is smsian@yahoo.co.uk - I can only share my own experience, which is that listening to other sober alcoholics and doing what they suggested has helped me to find freedom and live a contented and useful life one day at a time.

A year and a half sober...

One day at a time, leaning on every single resource available to me including this site, AA meetings and literature, calling people, working with a sponsor, keeping fit and taking better care of myself. 

In AA I work a daily 12 step programme which helps me accept the things in my life that I cannot change, like my alcoholism, and gives me the courage to change the things I can, i.e. my own attitudes and behaviour, and making amends to people I harmed or let down when I wasn't in control of my drinking (even though I used to think I was).
 
I rarely have any thought of drinking, and thanks to all the outside help and reliance on my inner resources, I find I can dismiss the idea with ease. Mindfulness, meditation and being more available to others are part of my daily life - helping each other live well and stay away from the first drink.

Aids to contented sobriety

Humility 
A true evaluation of conditions as they are; willingness to face facts; recognition of our alcoholic status; freedom from false pride and arrogance; understanding of the proper relationship between ourselves and a Higher Power, between ourselves and fellow human beings; acceptance and practice of this relationship throughout every twenty-four-hour period. 

Honesty 
Freedom from self-deception; trustworthiness in thought and action; sincerity in our desire to recover from alcoholism; willingness to admit a wrong; fairness in all our dealings with others; refusal to sneak that first drink.
 
Faith
Reliance, hope, and trust in the AA program; belief that we can recover as other members are doing and that practice of the Twelve Steps is necessary to happy, contented sobriety; willingness to draw on help from a Higher Power.

Courage 
A quality of mind which enables us to deal with the problems and realities of life without reliance on alcohol; fortitude to endure the things we cannot change; a determination to stand our ground asking God’s help with all issues, pleasant or otherwise, that might return us to drinking; fearlessness in the practice of faith, humility, honesty, and self-denial. 

Gratitude 
Gratitude continues the miracle of our sobriety. Gratitude is a healthy mental attitude; as we develop gratitude we enlarge our capacity for happiness, service, and contented sobriety. A lack of gratitude may lead to that first drink; gratitude and sobriety go hand in hand. 

Service 
Service to God and our fellow human beings is the key to AA success. Helping other alcoholics who need and want help gives us the tolerance and humility necessary to contented sobriety. Service combats self-centeredness. It reminds us of our powerlessness over alcohol. Intelligent, unselfish service is the lifeblood of the AA fellowship. 

 from "The Little Red Book"

No more living a double life

What made me decide to abstain altogether... I knew I was a problem drinker, I knew all the safe limits and good advice inside out BUT something inside me was overriding my better judgement where drink was involved. People who saw me would think I had my life together - on the surface. They couldn't see that daily battle going on in my head, with alcohol trying to get a hold against my better judgement. Once I had broken my own rule of drinking alone at home I started drinking more frequently, most if not all nights of the week. Wine had less effect and I needed bigger amounts of spirits to top off with. I felt permanently depressed and hopeless. It felt like a pitiful existence in contrast to the rich lives other people seemed to lead. 

Whenever I tried to cut down or quit, I would cave in to a binge the following weekend if not before. A run of awful experiences made me realise I'd got beyond the point of being able to stop on my own. 

I gave AA a try and that person-to-person support helped me to put the drink down immediately. I won't say easily, because the first several weeks were hard indeed. But I wasn't fighting it alone any more. It was getting to know other people who managed to live without alcohol that gave me the motivation to stop and stay stopped (over a year now). 

A message to you if you identify with how I felt: AA is for anyone at all who has an honest desire to stop drinking. Why wait until it gets bad enough to take away all your relationships, your job, your driving license, everything? If you're concerned about your drinking and want to explore this solution, there's always a local number you can call. Online you can also look up meetings in your area. 

Just tell someone it's your first meeting and people reach out to you - that was my experience. Remember it really is anonymous and you are among friends who understand.

How to get through New Years Eve sober

A few ideas offered by Stanice Anderson at Huffington Post:
 
Bottled Water. I take my own bottle water to office parties, even family gatherings thereby assuring that what I drink is available and unaltered. I NEVER drink from a glass that I've left unattended. Thus, I can be assured no one put any anything in my water. This also alleviates my picking up someone else's drink by mistake.

Gratitude. I try to remember what the season means to me: A new beginning that God so graciously gave. The thoughts usher in an attitude of gratitude because I'm free from the bondage of active addiction.

Don't take yourself too seriously. Be easy on yourself, laugh, and develop a sense of humor. Happy New Year everyone. Keep your primary focus--staying clean and sober no matter what.
 
Full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stanice-anderson/10-spiritual-ways-to-get-_b_2389649.html


Sobriety - the magnificent obsession

Sobriety, the magnificent obsession, is the most important thing in your life, without exception. You may believe your job, or your home life, or one of many other things come first. But consider if you don’t get sober, and stay sober, chances are you wont have a job, a family, sanity or even a life. If you are convinced that everything in life depends on your sobriety, you have just so much more chance of getting sober and staying sober. If you put other things first you are only hurting your chances.
 
1. Cultivate continued acceptance of the fact that your choice is between unhappy drunken drinking and doing without just one small drink.
2. Cultivate enthusiastic gratitude that you have had the good fortune of finding out what was wrong before it was too late.
3. Expect as being normal, that for a time, perhaps a long time, you will recurringly experience:
  a. The nagging craving for a drink
  b. The sudden impulse to just take a drink.
  c. The craving, not for a drink as such, but for the soothing glow and warmth a drink or two once gave you.
4. Remember that the times when you don’t want a drink are the times in which to build up the strength not to take one when you do want it.
5. Develop and rehearse a daily plan of thinking and acting by which you will live that day without taking a drink, regardless of what may upset you or how hard the old urge for a drink may hit you.
6. Don’t for a split second allow yourself to think: 'Isn’t it a pity or a mean injustice that I can't take a drink like so called normal people'
7. Don’t allow yourself to either think about or talk about any real or imagined pleasure you once had from drinking.
8. Don’t permit yourself to think a drink or two would make some bad situation better, or at least easier to live with. Substitute the thought: 'One drink will make it worse, one drink will mean a drunk'
9. Minimise your situation. Others have greater problems, how joyful such people would be if their problem could be solved by just not taking one little drink today. Think gratefully of how lucky you are to have so simple and small a problem.
10. Cultivate and woo enjoyment of sobriety.
   a. How good it is to be free of shame and guilt.
   b. How good it is to be free of the consequences of a drunk just ended, or of a coming drunk you have never before been able to prevent.
   c. How good it is to be free of what people have been thinking and whispering about you, and of their mingled pity and contempt.
   d. How good it is to be free of fear.
11. Catalogue and re catalogue the positive enjoyments of sobriety, such as:  
   a. The simple ability to eat and sleep normally, and wake up glad you are alive; glad you were sober yesterday, and glad you have the privilege of staying sober today.
   b. The ability to face whatever life may dish out, with peace of mind, self respect and full possession of all your faculties.
12. Cultivate a helpful association of ideas:
   a. Associate a drink as being the single cause of all the misery, shame and fear you have ever known.
   b. Associate a drink as being the only thing that can destroy your newfound happiness, and take from you your self respect and peace of mind.
Cultivate gratitude:
   a. Gratitude that so much can be yours for so small a price.
   b. Gratitude that you can trade just one drink for all the happiness sobriety gives you.
   c. Gratitude that you are an alcoholic- you are not a bad or wicked person, but you have been in the grip of a compulsion.
   d. Gratitude that since others have done it, you can in time bring it to pass that you will not want or miss the drink you are doing without.
 
 

Loneliness fades and life has more meaning

"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives." Alcoholics Anonymous, p.89

Working a daily programme

I preface this posting by mentioning that I have no belief in God whatsoever. It is just a word to me that I mentally substitute for my own values - simple ideas like affirming life and being true to myself. My spiritual beliefs are very much in flux. In any case, when it comes to alcohol, what really matters in the end is experience in the real world. 

In my experience, this daily thought process outlined in the Big Book helps me approach each day in a relaxed and happy frame of mind. One of my very happiest thoughts is that I don't need to drink any more! 

AA MORNINGS 
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. we relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn't work. You can easily see why.
(from "Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 86-88) 

AA NIGHTS 
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. 
(from "Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 86)

 
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