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Don't have a whole lot of insight into what was different, @Ne1. I didn't go to New Orleans 7 months in this time. Part of the 12 month thing feels like a trap, like before you get there it seems like an endpoint. And now that you reach it you're like: Great, I did it. Thank God that's over.
But of course it's not over. It's just one more damned day. I'm not counting days, haven't at all this time around. I did mark the months, though, and I was getting sick of even that and very hopeful that now I've hit the 12 maybe I'll stop even unconsciously notching the months. We'll see how things go, obviously, but it sure would be nice not to think about booze or--better--not think about sobriety until next December.
I didn't do anything to celebrate. Went out for a massage, but the first place I tried was busy, so I ended up washing my car and going back home. Read for a while, watched a little TV, turned in early. Rockin' Friday night, let me tell ya'. Also my girl has been out of town this past week, a girls' trip to celebrate her 40th birthday, which was yesterday. Nothing else really going on. I've been writing a little, finishing up the term's classes and getting ready for the next term. Reading. Started casually collecting Cormac McCarthy books. I now have 3 first editions (The Crossing, Cities of the Plain, and The Road) but that'll be it probably for a while, since first editions of his others are crazy expensive. Still looking for a reasonably priced All the Pretty Horses, though.
And building a wardrobe, kind of. That pair of shoes is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, and I don't intend to look for another pair of brown dress shoes ever again . Getting a new suit for Xmas. Decided to stop wearing Tshirts to work, and started wearing a blazer almost every day. Retail therapy is real.
I've been keeping my laptop kind of away from my desk, and my phone even farther from me. I've deleted all of my social media, except for Instagram because I only use it to post pictures of my cats and my rabbit and my grandmother likes to see those. I've been using my typewriter to work, the one that I got back from the shop. Still waiting on the other one, which is the one I like more of the two. Still, it's been good, refreshing in a way.
Other than that all I've been doing is not drinking. Not going out to bars, nor to anywhere else really. And that's about it. I honestly wish I had more to say about how this year has gone, something reproducible. Like, do this or don't do that. Trust in your Higher Power or some bullshit. But mostly I just remember last November, how awful and out of control that was. Then I thank my lucky stars that this past year has been different.
WOOOHOOOOO! Amazing, Stuck. And funny.
So what did you do to celebrate? And, well, do you want to expand a little bit (or a lot) on how you did it and what it means and anything else that comes to mind about having TWELVE WHOLE MONTHS without booze? Having never, ever done it, and hoping to get there some day, I'd personally like to hear what your thoughts are about the experience.
Love you, brother.
@Felina, that's funny about kratom and the troll. I heard about it from my therapist. She wasn't promoting it, just mentioned it in passing. She's got a friend who's using it for tea. When I googled, I read a bunch of stuff and I was still pretty ambivalent. It's hard to judge something worthy by a bunch of drama or online wahoo testimonials. Baclofen off-label worked for me. Where would I be without it? And what would happen if I hadn't done the research and found my solution? Add to it that I'm very skeptical of government organizations and generalized warnings. .. I guess I'm jaded/skeptical/open-minded. In that order.
@Molly78, if there's anything I've learned in all these years of reading and posting and researching, not to mention nursing school, it's that everything comes with a price. Some of them substantial. Some of them not so much. And the hyperbole doesn't necessarily equal the cost/benefit analysis.
That really sucks about your friend, Felina. Sorry. From what I've read, pregabalin sounds like a wonder drug. In a bad way. For a while there, it seemed like 'the perfect pill'. I'd love to try it if I wasn't absolutely convinced it would ruin my life. I don't need anything I love as much as I love booze, and pregabalin sounds like it hits the trifecta: anxiety, depression, insecurity. Along with paranoia, completely inappropriate behavior, and addiction. *sigh*
Gabapentin? Not so much. But we can agree to disagree. I'll read teetotal's posts and see if I can offer some support. It sucks to feel beholden to anything, even if it's benadryl. (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) And no! I'm not suggesting they're equivalent! Really, I'm not. Keep reading! I'm pointing out that regular use can lead to escalating use can lead to dependence. Even without the escalating use it can lead to dependence. But benadryl is one of the most inert medications available. That said, the last rehab I went to wouldn't allow anyone to take it and didn't prescribe it because addicts 'like it too much.' Really. I'll not belabor the point, just saying that use, overuse, dependence of or on anything can lead to a world of misery. And that doesn't necessarily mean the medication is addictive. Nor does it mean that every addict is going to get addicted to something considered addictive.
The contrary is true, too. The hyperbole in the news will tell you that if you're an addict (past dependent, but truly ruining you life) you'll get addicted to other addictive substances. Not always true. Research shows the opposite. Most of us don't have that reaction. Now I'm not suggesting that anyone try addictive substances to combat any kind of addiction. I'm not even suggesting herbals or supplements, for goodness sakes. Just say no. (ha.) So, rather than get into a maelstrom of conflicting opinions about what addiction is and means and is defined by, I'll just say this:
For some people some drugs or medications or alcohol doesn't cause addiction, no matter how much one takes or for how long. For others, like me, love-for-drug happens almost immediately. I loved booze as soon as I stopped getting sick from it. And for others, the majority, they can have an addiction to one thing and not another. No matter how much they use, take, swallow, ingest. It's a hard pill to swallow (pun intended) that some of us with alcoholism can take medications, or even 'illicit' drugs, without becoming addicted or screwing up one's life. In fact, sometimes, those things might be beneficial. And vice versa, of course.
One of my best friends was a meth addict back in the early 00s, before I knew him. He's missing teeth and everything. I point that out to illustrate that he wasn't casually using. When he was forcibly rehabbed he thought his life was over and was desperate for relief. This was long before meth hit our streets, y'all. Which is beside the point, except that no-one knew what to do with him. The rote is that he can't drink and can't use anything else, medications or illicit drugs, that might induce a relapse. That's hogwash. Perpetuated by hyperbolic tropes, like A Million Little Pieces, (totally discredited) suggesting that even novacaine and other inert pain killers are destined to lead one to relapse. Hogwash, again. My friend is can drink smokes or eats pot. He takes antianxiety, and other mental-medications. Is he an addict? Nope. Hasn't touched his true love, drug-of-choice, in almost 20 years. Doesn't abuse meds or drugs and isn't dependent on them. (Well, depression meds, hypertension and cholesterol.)
Look, do as you want to do. And do some research! But if you're in active addiction, don't let internet horror stories deter you from finding a solution. The solution might be a pill, or a variety (or lots) of pills. It might include holistic supplements, benign or active. It might mean ordering stuff online! Nutrition, exercise, those things make a huge difference. As does being involved.
The thing is, back when I got involved, it was with an online community of anonymous people, and I was taking a medication I ordered online, even though I didn't believe in or take medications and was convinced that online communities were full of terrors and trolls.
Now I know better.
Lots of baclofen, then lots of finding out what works for me to live contentedly long term (and still not there), and lots of getting involved.
And holy wow do I love my job, at the moment. Don't let me forget the enthusiasm! It's fun to start something new and get others involved and...hope!
@Ne1 if you read the links that @empyr3al posted on gaba it's clear that large numbers of people have trouble coming off it - which, if it doesn't strictly meet the criteria for addiction (craving, needing larger doses for the same effect etc), is a big problem. There's a new poster on here @TeetotalRecall who is having problems getting off it.
I think you're naive if you think you can dabble with something like kratom which has opioid effects & is known to be addictive. I was much too casual in jumping into gaba for sleep - got a bit overconfident I guess after having successfully self-medicated with bac. Will definitely be more careful in future & have stopped messing about with 5HT, L-tryptophan, even though these seem relatively benign. Also will not be using modafinil again, not that that's addictive but all these things mess up your brain chemistry. And we are addicts, we are more likely than the rest of the population to become dependant on anything - it's our nature, we have a disease as you point out above.
wrt criminal responsibility & addiction @Otter has written a lot about that.
I have a friend who almost died of alcoholic hepatitis. He stopped drinking, but ended up barely able to walk due to alcohol-induced neuropathy. He went on Lyrica/pregabalin and is now addicted to it. It sucks.
I have never tried Kratom but it reminds me of a certain troll who used to promote it on MWO. Ha. Good riddance.
Those shoes are very spiffy, Stuck. Really dig them. The COST. OMG. But the thing about men's shoes lasting forever and women's shoes lasting a season is both frustrating and fabulous. I mean, I'm no fashionista, not by any stretch, but when I want to feel fab, I buy a new pair of shoes. Nice that they're good for the environment and you're sticking to your commitment. I admire it.
No surprise, sister. But given how hard you work, I should rethink going for the position! Haha!
Still haven't finished decorating. Not having people over, because the house is still flooded with boxes of baubles. Not to mention the teeny-weeny shopping spree I've been on. It's more gargantuan than teeny-weeny. I've got Amazon boxes in my bathroom I'm hiding from my husband. I'm guessing it goes with feeling better. And retail therapy. And the time of year. Anyway...
That article IS scary, but no surprise given the fact that the people were self-medicating. Very, very frustrating. And totally expected. "Here's a possible antidote to what has plagued you, but you can't have it, and if you do get it, you won't get any support at all for it." My therapist (pdoc) sent me the article, which quadruples my frustration, because she's moving into a more "holistic" practice and away from medications. ffs. Really?
There is a court case in...New England...where the defense's argument is that the woman (an opioid addict) cannot be charged as a criminal when she has a medical condition that is defined by relapse. Note that the defense isn't saying she isn't responsible for her actions, just that she has a medical, not a criminal, condition. It's breathtaking. And honestly, if I were ever charged with doing anything related to my drinking, I'd hire a lawyer to make that case. It's not about not taking responsibility, it's about not being criminalized. Rant over, I guess. Not that I made a coherent, cohesive or particularly effective argument. But I figure I'm mostly preaching to the choir.
As well as I'm doing, and as much has changed in a month, I'm still struggling. That said, it's actually really great to hear your feedback (thank you!) and to be able to read back a bit and see just how much has really changed. I had lunch yesterday with one of my good-girlfriends and I even noticed how different I felt when talking to her. She's very accomplished, very together, stupidly smart, and I felt...comfortable...yesterday. It's been a long time since I've felt that way around her or most of my other friends. The irony of depression is that they love me, want the best for me, wanted to do something or anything to help me feel better, and there just wasn't anything that could have been done. No way do they see me as poorly as I see (saw?) myself. I met them, this group, when I was getting sober with baclofen the first time. They didn't know anything about it then, know almost everything about it now, and it hasn't changed anything. Or rather, it changed everything for the better. But man, depression sucks. It sucks the life, the love, the very soul into abyss. And it scares me.
On that cheery note, I'm out.