Living with Obsession

Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
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Living with Obsession

Postby Joseph » Tue May 05, 2009 2:39 pm

Hello All, it has been a while since i have been on here. After achieving 8 months sobriety, i had let my own thinking creep back on me, and now i am coming back with today being day 11 sober again.
I am having a hard time lately as to how i am going to be able to go do the things i used to love. Drinking used to be my focus point to where all other activities used to work around. Now that i am living a sober life, i am not sure how i can go places that used to symbolize drinking. I wanted to take my girlfriend out for a nice dinner next week. I have received a gift certificate to an Italian restaurant and thought it would be nice to take her there, BUT i cant get the darn obsession of drinking while i'm there out of my head. I realize i should avoid such places that may put my sobriety in jeopardy, but at the same time i am unaware of how long i could have to miss out on life outside of my lock and key. It gets pretty lonely when i am changing past playgrounds and playmates, let alone avoiding any situation that symbolizes drinking in my mind.
Any sharing of similar situations would be great.

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Postby Jools » Tue May 05, 2009 3:56 pm

Hiya Joseph and welcome back!!

I know it's hard to get back in the "swing" of things after a bout of drinking, cuz I've been there.

When I was in your situation, when all I could think about was drinking, Dallas said something like, if all I'm thinking about is drinking I'm gonna drink, if I'm thinking about getting sober then I'm gonna stay sober.

Easier said than done, but I did pray for God to remove the obsession when it came to mind and thought about what I need to do to stay sober TODAY. I had to take it one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. I had to remember not to get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. (Even tho thats not in the BB) some of those are my triggers especially the angry part.

The 2nd day I was sober I wrote down exactly how sick I was, the people I had hurt being a raging drunk, the remorse, the guilt and I took that out and read it. I stopped drinking for a reason and I forget too easy.

It's gonna get better, it has for me. The obsession has been lifted. I can go by the liquor store today and not even realize it. When I was first sober I would look at it longingly.

Do you have a sponsor? How many meetings are you making? Do you have a home group?

Hang in there and just don't drink for today, let tomorrow worry with tomorrow.

Hugs to you!

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Postby DebbieV » Tue May 05, 2009 5:27 pm

Hey Joseph,

Congratulations on making it back, not all of us do.

I was sober 5 months and went back to drinking for 8 months, by the grace of God I didn’t die while I was back out.
When I made it back in I had to go thru withdraws for the first time in my life. The obsession was worse than I had ever experienced, but I made it thru. How?
Step 1- I admitted I was an alcoholic, my life was unmanageable.
Step 2- I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
Step 3- I made a decision to turn my will and life over the care of god as I understood him.
Step 4- I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.
Step 5- I admitted to God, to myself and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs.
Step 6- I was entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 8- I made a list of all persons I had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9-I made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so world injure them or others.
Step 10-I continue to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admit it.
Step 11-I sought through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand him, praying only for knowledge of His will for me and the power to carry it out.
Step 12-Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I try to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.

By doing the steps above it tells me in the BB on page 85 (4th Edition) We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality-safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react as long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

I Know it worked for me, my sponsor, my sponsors sponsor, Bill W., Dr. Bob and countless other men and women, it WILL work for you. If you follow the suggestions in the BB.

Good luck to you. I hope with all my heart you pick up a big book, grab a person who has followed the suggestions in it and get to work thinking about being sober and not thinking about getting drunk.

I’m so glad you posted. That takes a lot of courage.

Hang in there. Someone may need to read your post to tell them how you got thru this sober.


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Postby sunlight » Tue May 05, 2009 10:22 pm

At my first meeting I was told that even though we stay sober one day at a time, AA is for drunks who are interested in staying sober for all time. I wasn't too sure about any of it. :?

When I was 2 days sober, I had a date with a man that I had been interested in for a long time.

We went to a nice restaurant & he ordered me a drink. I told the waitress that I didn't drink & to bring me a coke. He said, "You're kidding, right?" & told the waitress to bring me a drink. I said no, don't, & I could see his chagrin. I stood at the turning point.

I remember thinking, "Who would know if I just took one drink?" (didn't know about the craving part yet)

The answer was - I would know & so would God.

It was then that I made the commitment, feeble as it was, to not drink.

After, we went to his house & he poured me a drink! :shock:

I said I didn't drink, & he told me that he couldn't see me anymore if I didn't, & he took me home. :cry:

I was just devastated. But if I felt sorry for myself or indulged in the fantasy of "just one", I knew I'd be drunk again. I also felt that I'd been given some extraordinary power to do that -refuse a drink. It made me feel STRONG, where I used to be so weak. Now the commitment felt more solid.

One of the things my son taught from his rehabs is to switch your focus. Julie alluded to it by saying to focus on staying sober.
I used it at a company party that had all the free booze you could drink & the booze was talking to me! :roll:
I turned my focus to the food, what people were wearing, joined in the conversation next to me etc... It helps, but I had to remember to use it.
You could focus on your girlfriend, her lovely eyes, hair, smile etc.. Prayer is a good focus too.

Of course Deb & Jules also gave the best - meetings, sponsor, steps.
It took Dr. Bob a long time for the obsession to lift, so please don't be discouraged.

I am so glad I made that decision to not drink.

I'm also glad that I was spared a relationship with a man who did not LISTEN to me! :lol:

Happy sober days, Joseph! :wink:

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Postby Jools » Sat May 09, 2009 8:07 am

Joseph, where fore art thou?

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Postby Joseph » Sat May 09, 2009 11:51 am

Hi thanx_2hm, i am unsure what you mean there? "where for fore art thou?

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Postby Dallas » Mon May 11, 2009 12:52 am

Debbie wrote:get to work thinking about being sober and not thinking about getting drunk

That's the key and it works.

What is an obsession? Well, when you boil the big answers down into menudo -- it's one thing: "Thinking" :lol:

As long as you're alive -- you'll be thinking about something -- so, either get used to thinking, and try to do less of it -- or... change what you're thinking about.

You're a week away from the Italian food -- and you're thinking about drinking next week! :lol:

What if -- you thought about staying sober?

Most people will say "well that means thinking about not drinking... right?"


The "problem centers in the mind." The part of the mind that's working to make things happen -- when you're not consciously thinking about it -- is the subconscious part of the mind.

To the subconscious -- everything is positive. It doesn't think in negatives. So, when you say "don't drink" -- the subconscious only hears the command to "drink". And, the subconscious is more powerful than the conscious mind.

That's why "will power" doesn't work for the alcoholic that wants to use it to "not drink". :lol:

"Will power" is for getting things done... not for "not doing something."

So, how do you tie all this together to make it make sense and make it work for you?

1. You begin to consciously "think about staying sober".

When you do that, two things happen:

a. You have the will power and can use it -- on taking the actions that are necessary to stay sober and to have the drinking obsession removed. :wink:

b. Your powerful subconscious begins to work for you -- rather than work against you. It hears "stay sober"... so, it takes it as a command to "sober" rather than "drink".

2. You begin to "act as if you're staying sober".

How do you do that?

You begin doing the things -- taking the actions -- that are necessary to stay sober.

The actions to stay sober are not the same as the actions to "not drink". "Not drinking" is the results -- of the actions taken -- to stay sober. :wink: So, think about staying sober! And, "do sober".

You can have someone handcuff you to a pole or lock you in a cage -- and, you won't drink. :wink:

Or... you can start "living and doing and having your being in sobriety" and you won't have to worry about ever drinking again.

It works -- or I wouldn't be here, sober... to tell you about it!

Don't you think you'd be with a crazy person that doesn't care about you, if you had a pistol pointed in your mouth, and you said "hey! I can't do this! I can't pull the trigger!" --- and they said "Really? Do you have a shooting yourself problem? Do you have a death problem?"

Well. when an alcoholic puts a drink to in their mouth -- it's going to kill them just like the loaded pistol will -- only, it usually does it much slower and more painfully.

Who cares that you can't drink? The only one that's important in regards to that question, is you! Drinking alcohol will kill you if you're alcoholic. It's poison for you. Why not surround yourself with a bunch of "friends and family" that don't give a crap about you -- and only give a crap about you having a drink with them? Hey... alcoholics are desparate for friends... and they always need someone elses approval! :lol: :lol:

If you have to worry about being "tempted to drink"... it only means that you still have the mind of an alcoholic. So, why not get rid of the alcoholic mind -- so that you can react sanely and normal? The sane and normal thing for an alcoholic to do is: stay sober! :lol:


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Postby Joseph » Mon May 11, 2009 10:33 am

That's a good way to look at it. Thanks Dallas really good advise.

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Postby GeoffS » Tue May 12, 2009 1:21 am

Dallas wrote

"Will power" is for getting things done... not for "not doing something."

and I had one of those light bulb moments!!!
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks Dallas

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Postby Jools » Thu May 14, 2009 7:03 am

Hi thanx_2hm, i am unsure what you mean there? "where for fore art thou?

I was just wondering where you were. :)

How are you, Joseph? Are things getting any easier as far as the obsession or are you still thinking about drinking?

Happy to see you around here.


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