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Old 08-15-2013, 10:37 PM   #51
clydetheglide
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Originally Posted by PartyGirlUK View Post
% chance you relapse in the next 5 years?

Do you enjoy the taste of a good drink?
Do you enjoy the feeling of being drunk (not wasted)?

Do you think you could, in the future, drink responsibly? A friend of mine went in rehab and was dry for a while, she started drinking again and assured me she had it under control but she just gets obnoxious and doesnt know when to stop. It's really sad.
Good questions. I know I'm supposed to 'respect the power of my disease', but I will go with 0% and stick with that. See, I know I can drink responsibly...I can, in fact, have 3 beers and stop. I have done it scores of times...it's how I started almost every relapse. But I also ALWAYS want more. And even if I have 3 beers, the next night, I want 3 again. Or I think, I can have 3, and I start having a couple drinks with dinner once in awhile. And then I am back in it. One way or another, I cannot stop.

So in that sense, drinking isn't fun for me. I don't get a "good drunk" anymore - because I just want more. That's what I am thinking about when I drink. It's not like I get a good relaxed drunk.

But for honest answers to your questions, yes, I love the taste of a good drink. I love white russians, I love caipirinhas, I love mint juleps, I love beer, I LOVE good wine, I love champagne, I love a good shot of tequila, a clean bourbon straight, two fingers of good whiskey on the rocks and a frosty mug of beer to go with it. You see, I'm a drunk.....and I love those tastes more than you could possibly imagine.

But far more etched in my brain is what stale Colt 45's filled with dead fruit flies at 6 am taste like, drank with hands that shake so bad I have to hold it with 2 hands and brace myself against a wall to not spill it all over my face. I remember what putrid boxed wine tastes like. And I know, and I will always know, that if I have that first kind of drink, it will inevitably lead to that second kind of drink.

I don't get one without the other, the bad kind, and the negatives far outweigh the positives. I NEVER crave a drink, and those good tastes are just memories now. I just danced that dance, I relapsed so, so many times, and I finally got it.

And no way could I ever drink responsibly again. It's not possible. I know; I've tried. I mean I guess IN THEORY one could do it, and just have a limit that they never crossed. But like...it just doesn't work like that. Plus, I would spend the whole time wanting more. It's so much easier to just not drink...so like, why even try? I guess. I think that would signal that one actually wants to drink. I don't want to drink. Even before I was an alcoholic, alcohol was taking away from my life. I tell people, and I mean it, that if I had the opportunity to take a magic pill and be able to drink again, I wouldn't take it for all the money in the world.

It's not possible for an true alcoholic to re-learn how to drink. Any drunk entertaining the idea is playing a pretty dangerous game imo

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Old 08-15-2013, 10:53 PM   #52
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

I feel unsatisfied with your robbing drug dealers stories
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:07 PM   #53
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Did you have sex with their unconscious bodies?
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #54
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

What are your thoughts on aa? What step did u have the most difficulty with?
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:09 PM   #55
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AA is one of those things that i wish more people knew more about. One of the things thats hard for me to do is to step back and really see how crazy some of all of this stuff sounds to a non-alcoholic or an addict, because i have been dealing with it firsthand for so long.....and i know a lot of ppl roll their eyes when they hear AA.

AA is invaluable because it offers something that just isnt offered anywhere else. It works so well because by walking through that door we are already admitting we have a problem and with that comes a letting go (at least for most) of the burden our of ego that we walk around with. We are admitting that we need help. You get total strangers talking with complete honesty about things they dont even talk to their closest friends about. You get unbiased support and advice from people who are truly there to help you and want the best for you. Because in there, we are all the same - we are drunks trying to stay sober. We are there to help each other and ourselves. I cant count how many times I have literally cried out of sheer happiness for people in those rooms, and how many people have cried in their support for me. Where else can you find that?

You also learn social skills that a lot of us never learned. You learn how to laugh at yourself. You learn how to speak in front of people, candidly and honestly. You learn patience and tolerance, because people in there are going to get on your nerves, and you learn to look past that and find value in what they say and then find compassion for them. You learn how wrong your first impressions can be. And you learn not to judge.

EVERYone would benefit from support groups like AA.

That being said, it certainly isnt ALL good. Too many people use it as their personal therapy session. I think a lot of people in the rooms still act like drunks, they just dont drink. I think its easy for people to find their comfort zone in those rooms and never try to actually get better as human beings because they have a room full of people supporting their every move. I think AA should only be used as one part of the recovery process, not the whole thing.

My hardest step was the 1st. Isn't that everyone's?
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:38 PM   #56
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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That being said, it certainly isnt ALL good. Too many people use it as their personal therapy session. I think a lot of people in the rooms still act like drunks, they just dont drink. I think its easy for people to find their comfort zone in those rooms and never try to actually get better as human beings because they have a room full of people supporting their every move. I think AA should only be used as one part of the recovery process, not the whole thing.

My hardest step was the 1st. Isn't that everyone's?
Agreed. There is a big difference between being dry and being sober.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:16 AM   #57
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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30-40 beers???

That is insane. That is $100 a day there.
wat
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #58
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wat
Lol was wondering the same thing but let it go
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #59
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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But for honest answers to your questions, yes, I love the taste of a good drink. I love white russians, I love caipirinhas, I love mint juleps, I love beer, I LOVE good wine, I love champagne, I love a good shot of tequila, a clean bourbon straight, two fingers of good whiskey on the rocks and a frosty mug of beer to go with it. You see, I'm a drunk.....and I love those tastes more than you could possibly imagine.

But far more etched in my brain is what stale Colt 45's filled with dead fruit flies at 6 am taste like, drank with hands that shake so bad I have to hold it with 2 hands and brace myself against a wall to not spill it all over my face. I remember what putrid boxed wine tastes like. And I know, and I will always know, that if I have that first kind of drink, it will inevitably lead to that second kind of drink.
Man, you paint a good picture here. Congrats on getting to a better place.

You mentioned you have a demanding job/lots of hours. What do you do? It sounded like you had a professional career in your early 20s, then obviously fell out of it - how did you go about getting back in the workforce?
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #60
Clare Quilty
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Lol was wondering the same thing but let it go
You mean you weren't drinking 30-40 Dogfishhead 90 minute IPAs a day?
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:32 PM   #61
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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You mean you weren't drinking 30-40 Dogfishhead 90 minute IPAs a day?
This.

You can easily find beer for less than $1 a bottle if you don't care about quality and buy larger amounts.

@clydetheglide - Besides not being able to stop, what kind of drunk are you? Happy, angry, sad? All three at times?

Did you eventually blackout every night?

I think shame is such a powerful feeling/emotion. It can easily come from drinking too much and doing something shameful, then drinking more to cover it up. What do think is the key to overcoming shame from one's past? I've read the whole thread and know you talked about apologizing to those you've wronged, but is it that simple?
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:24 PM   #62
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Man, you paint a good picture here. Congrats on getting to a better place.

You mentioned you have a demanding job/lots of hours. What do you do? It sounded like you had a professional career in your early 20s, then obviously fell out of it - how did you go about getting back in the workforce?
I am a chef. My college/professional career is like this: i went to a good US university, got a degree in international relations, couldnt figure out what to do after graduating, got really into cooking/food, went to culinary school in NYC, and was a chef at some great restaurants/hotels in NYC. I met a poker player thru my girlfriend at the time, picked it up, and that was that.
R
After i got sober, i got back into cooking. Not to toot my own horn, but I am a really proficient chef, have a good resume, and because now I am actually responsible and a hard worker (i NEVER was before) i started at 13/hr as a line cook and moved back up quickly. I am now a salaried executive sous chef at an NYC restaurant.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:37 PM   #63
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Where do you go to meetings Clyde? After getting sober elsewhere, I lived in NYC for my first 7 yrs.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #64
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This.

You can easily find beer for less than $1 a bottle if you don't care about quality and buy larger amounts.

@clydetheglide - Besides not being able to stop, what kind of drunk are you? Happy, angry, sad? All three at times?

Did you eventually blackout every night?

I think shame is such a powerful feeling/emotion. It can easily come from drinking too much and doing something shameful, then drinking more to cover it up. What do think is the key to overcoming shame from one's past? I've read the whole thread and know you talked about apologizing to those you've wronged, but is it that simple?
How i am as a drunk - yes, all three at times. Its like the synapses just dont fire right. Every emotion is extreme. A lot of people have said it seems like i am on something else. That being said, that only started happening in the last, nonfunctional, years. Before that I was considered the guy who would keep it together, never sloppy, etc...at least most of the time. I actually spent a lot of my nights reeling my friends in.

Eventually, yes, i would black out to a different degree every day/night. I wouldnt be blacked out all day every day, but definitely by the end of every day. I would black out for whole days though. As a rule, the worse the blackout, the worse stuff i would find out i did the next day. I came out of a blackout in a different country once, that was definitely as ridiculous/lucky as it got.

Shame's a really complicated emotion. I wouldnt describe shame as being an overpowering emotion for me while i was drinking, but thats because i think a lot of my shame was subconscious and i drank to cover it up without even being aware. I still have very vivid drunk dreams where that is the main emotion involved, and i wake up feeling ashamed, then thankful.

I got to the point where i beat myself up a lot. And then as i spent more time sober i started to get over those emotions. I am not saying i am not ashamed anymore of some of the stuff i did...but i am over it in general.

You know, that stuff wasnt 'me'. I would never in a million do those things sober. Sure, there were times i did bad things'sober', but i was either still under that draw of wanting more, or withdrawing really badly, or something equally as powerful. And the sooner you can kind of come to terms with it the better off you are gonna be. But there is certainly a period where you feel a LOT of shame after you get sober. Meetings help a TON with this. Not like youre there to compare and use others to feel better about yourself, but i remember early on hearing this really great guy talk about how he was blacked out during his sons birth. It just helps you realize you are truly at the mercy of this whole thing when you are deep in the weeds. I say there is stuff i would have never done, but who knows i guess.

Last edited by clydetheglide; 08-17-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:13 PM   #65
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

I'm enjoying your story clyde, it's funny how we all sound so similar even though we all go through different "stuff". I can't imagine quitting drinking without the program, because then I would be left with my "stinkin thinkin".

Like WVU says, it's the difference between sober and dry. Keep up the good work and congrats on your time sober. We all deserve to be happy, joyous and free.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:30 PM   #66
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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I think shame is such a powerful feeling/emotion. It can easily come from drinking too much and doing something shameful, then drinking more to cover it up. What do think is the key to overcoming shame from one's past? I've read the whole thread and know you talked about apologizing to those you've wronged, but is it that simple?
Helping out others.

Do things that benefit others. Anything from holding the door for an old lady to tutoring a kid from a broken home. It helps the soul heal and is very rewarding.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #67
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

How do go about hanging out with your friends once they know you're sober? Do they treat you different? Do you feel differently toward them seeing them drink and get caught up in drinking behavior? Are your close friends while you were drinking your close friends sober? Is there a connection to them regardless of alcohol or were you just so ****ed up being NOT you that you sober has nothing in common with them?
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #68
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

OP, since this is a poker forum, I'll ask: do/did you play poker or do other gambling? If so, did it have any affect on your addiction to alcohol, for vice versa?
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:25 PM   #69
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Do you think it is a good idea to be working in an environment where alcohol plays a big part?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:02 PM   #70
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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How do go about hanging out with your friends once they know you're sober? Do they treat you different? Do you feel differently toward them seeing them drink and get caught up in drinking behavior? Are your close friends while you were drinking your close friends sober? Is there a connection to them regardless of alcohol or were you just so ****ed up being NOT you that you sober has nothing in common with them?
Good questions. Makes me think, I like it.

These are really important questions because for people of my age bracket (moreso I think than being older), friends are super important. In your 20's and 30's, if you are in college or a professional, and don't have a family of your own yet, your friends are the most important people in your life. They also help define you.

For me, the people I ran with all partied. I didn't have sober friends, or at least not very many. When getting sober, how my friends were going to react (and if I was even going to have friends) was one of the things that weighed heavily on my mind. I wasn't thinking, "Oh man, everyone is going to think I am a loser." I was thinking, "What am I going to do with my friends now that I can't drink?" It also was the cause of a bunch of my relapses (I say 'the cause' - it of course wasn't the cause). But I kept relapsing because I would go make plans to meet up with friends, and I still hadn't told a lot of them I was sober, and a lot of them (I moved around a lot during the last 5 years) hadn't known about my problems. So I would go and meet up and not really have any plan to as how I was going to handle it. The crazy thing was that I didn't PLAN on drinking...I had no plan at all. And of course I drank. I never had known how to do anything else with my friends. I maybe went out sober 5 times total in my life.

So when I was getting straight, I really worried that I was going to lose all my friends. I figured that they would stop inviting me places.

I have learned a ton about this kind of stuff since then.

Before I get too much into this, I think it's necessary to mention that I have absolutely NO problem being around alcohol/drugs. I am around alcohol all day at work, I cook with it, I have it in my hands every day. I go to bars and have no problem (a little anxiety at first, but that went away). I have many times kept alcohol in my apartment for friends, and kept it there for long periods.

I don't want to, I guess, steer people in the wrong direction here, so I want to again stress that this is just what works for me. But it actually has HELPED me to be around alcohol. There's no allure anymore, no mystery...no kind of forbidden mystique surrounding it. When I was trying to get sober, I would go and spend a month somewhere, like my parents', or in inpatient rehab, and I would be fine. And then I would leave that environment and go straight to the liquor store. It almost can't believe, in retrospect, to think that my mind actually worked like that - that I was that much of an addict. Like, was there any f*cking thought process? I guess not. But - and this is really important - I was only able to learn how to stay sober when I had the option to get drunk every day. THAT's the leak with rehab. You still need to get out and have some time in the real world. That's the only way you can learn if someone is going to stay sober...if they REALLY want to stay clean. But I learned how to understand the difference between wanting something and thinking you want something. And in the process of doing that, each day, I gradually woke up and realized it was something I don't want.

Anyways.

It definitely depends on the type of friend. My best friends, of course, things are at least the same...if not better. With them the quality of interaction is always high, and it's the same sober or drunk. I tell them straight up I don't mind being around it, they know how strong I am, that THEY don't need to worry. I think it's actually strengthened a lot of my relationships....people just tend to take you a little more seriously when you are sober, and I think my friendship comes across as really genuine. Like, I am sober, but I still want to hang out with you and spend time with you, and I don't give a sh*t what you do.

THAT being said, I have 'lost' a lot of friends. The majority of my friends/acquaintances were people I only ever partied with. I didn't have sober relationships with a lot of people, and so I have lost those relationships as a result. And I am ok with that - I have a job now, and I actually do stuff in my free time, so I only have a limited amount of time anyways. I have to kind of pick who I get to hang out with as it is, because of that limited time.

I don't think they feel me judging them. I truly am not, and I think they know that. I mean they know how f*cking crazy my life was, and the things I did, and the 'crazy' stuff they are doing isn't crazy to me. And I mean some of them, if they are having a hard time, have come to me...which is a really cool aspect of this whole gig. You don't have to be an alcoholic to have a problem with depending on something to change your mood, and having been through all of that and having been lucky enough to have things work out, people just kind of know that you're someone who they can come to. Having had to lean on other people to get better makes you an extremely compassionate and understanding person. Simply put, I would be dead if it weren't for others. I had SO many friends who I owe my loyalty to...and they know my friendship is sincere. Anyways /rant.

Back to your question - there definitely are those questions. Do they REALLY feel ok drinking around me? Would they REALLY, if they could somehow have it one way or the other, rather I not be there? Ok, I know, with my best friends, that isn't the case. But with the others....I guess you just can't ever know for certain. I would only hope that they would tell me, or not invite me.

I definitely am not invited to as many parties as I used to be. But those are mainly parties thrown by people who hit it hard. And to be honest, it just has to be that way. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn't want some sober guy there either. I certainly never invited sober people to parties I had when I was drinking.

And also, you just find out after not much time being sober....90% of going out, if you're not drinking, isn't that much fun. I either have to be with people whose interaction I really enjoy, or with a girl I really enjoy, or I have to be doing something fun where drinking isn't the only activity. Sitting in a bar with people drinking just isn't that much fun, and that's just the truth. At least not for more than like 1.5 hours. I definitely realized the flip side to things because now I have gone to bars sober. A big realization for me was realizing one of the reasons I always drank was that I would have been bored if I didn't. I don't feel like I miss very much now that I 'miss' most nights out.

I remember saying in my early 20's, "I have never regretted a night where I stayed in. And I regret most of the nights I go out." I guess I never had the motivation or the want to improve my life by actually trying to CHANGE the role that going out played in my life. I just kept going out.

As to your last question, I am really glad you asked that, because that has actually been one of the most surprising things I have found since I got sober - a lot of the people I was hanging out with were nowhere near as cool as I remember them being. I have met up with people, and come away being like, wow, I can't believe they were always like that...I am not trying to sound like everyone was like that. It has just happened.

I want to say that this isn't like a, "partying isn't cool, man...us sober people are the REAL cool ones" kind of BS. Definitely the majority of interesting people are people who party or who did party, but I also think that's a result of the fact that most people do drink. I think people who let themselves go a bit tend to have a better, more legit perspective, and tend to just be more fun and laidback in general. But I also think there is a lot of lost souls for whom partying can help replace development of character and personality, and they just kind of marinate in that and it ends up defining them. And then you meet them and it's been years and they are the exact same, and haven't challenged themselves or tried to better themselves any.

In closing, the people who I wanted to stay close with, I have stayed close with. There are very few, amazingly, with whom I ruined the relationship completely. The dynamic of the relationship changes, certainly, but I actually think it is for the better most of the time.

I feel like I digressed a lot in these questions. I am finishing up at work and my thought process is a little all over the place. I will try to be more concise in the future.

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Old 08-18-2013, 09:20 PM   #71
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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Do you think it is a good idea to be working in an environment where alcohol plays a big part?
Great question, I think I just pretty much answered that.

This is just one of those things that is hugely dependent on the person. I know people who have been sober for 20+ yrs who have never stepped foot in a bar. I know sober people who literally recoil when I tell them I keep booze in my place. For me, its like...in my country, the US, anyways, and for that matter most the countries I have been to, alcohol is as ingrained in our society as ANYthing. I think it would be really hard to be someone who refuses to be around it.

My personal version of sobriety is that my life's better without alcohol than it was with it, and I stopped drinking the stuff. It's as simple as that. I see it, smell it, and am around it, but I don't drink it. If my personal version of sobriety entailed not being able to be around alcohol, or if I found it hard to be around it without drinking it, then it would be a TERRIBLE idea to work in a restaurant.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #72
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

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OP, since this is a poker forum, I'll ask: do/did you play poker or do other gambling? If so, did it have any affect on your addiction to alcohol, for vice versa?
I played poker, and still play, although not to support myself anymore.

I mentioned before - it wasn't poker itself that contributed to my rapid decline into nonfunctional drinking. I never drank any more than I otherwise would have because of poker itself. But the lifestyle and not having obligations were the #1 biggest contributing factor as to why I went downhill as fast as I did.

Of the many mistakes I made, I didn't balance my social life with anything else when I moved abroad to play poker. I was talking about this earlier - I think I always thought, in the back of my mind, that I would figure it out eventually - that I would change my habits, that it was a phase. As such I never took a step back and looked and my life and said, "I need to change some patterns here" even as I was letting go of everything besides the bad stuff.

I was a profitable player (and still am in most games) when I was sober/not hungover. Problem was....I was increasingly hardly ever in a good frame of mind. I would spend less time working on my game, not have the patience to go over my hands or sweat any of my friends, and I became increasingly lazy.

I never developed any sort of addiction to gambling, and I don't have any way of explaining it other than I just don't have a gambling bug. I hate casino games, I don't enjoy doing anything where I'm not a favorite, I don't like the lotto...I liked poker because of the thought process and got a small rush when I would have a good day or something. But I HATED the swings.

My lost opportunity with poker actually still weighs pretty heavily on me. I feel like I wasted such an amazing opportunity. I was surrounded in a city with people who were good poker players, lived with them, had chances to be coached by them, offers, and I wasted it. I feel like I could have made a lot of money and could still be living abroad.

It's obviously an unrealistic sentiment, because the road I went down was the only road I ever would have gone down. And I truly am better off for it. But I love to travel, and living abroad, before things got bad, was one of the happiest times of my life. I want to return to doing it after I have all my debts paid off and have a solid plan. I actually REALLY look forward to doing it sober because I feel I missed so much doing it the way I did it.

I have thought about returning to poker and have decided, that at least for now, I will continue with my day job. I still don't know if poker would be satisfying for me in the long run, and I think that along with the games being harder now is enough for me to stick with what I am doing. I make good money, and I have insurance, and on top of that, I think that there is a risk of me trying it out and being unhappy. Or sometimes I think would encounter a problem with being unable to find a balance if my schedule was up to me. I don't want to rock the boat too much...historically my boat hasn't been the most stable.

Now when I've played I have played live obviously, and just to make some easy bucks. I am not a big fan of playing live but there are some super soft underground live games in the NY area.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:33 AM   #73
BotOnTilt
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Thanks for making the thread clydetheglide, I find it very interesting.

Could you recommend some activities you do with friends that don't involve alcohol when you go out? Not drinking isn't really an issue for me, but it feels like you say that alcohol is so ingrained in our society that it feels like the norm to have a few beers regardless what I do with friends in the evenings. Come to think of it I can't think of anything except a lunch appointment or a movie that doesn't involve drinking at all.

What are the best places for homeless people to sleep? Especially if they happen to be in a new environment i.e. don't know of a good place in advance. Someone told me the paper recycling dumpsters are good since you can use paper for insulation as long as you keep the lid open so you don't suffocate, do you know if this is true? Will homeless women sleep with someone for a place to stay?
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #74
clydetheglide
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

Quote:
Originally Posted by BotOnTilt View Post
Thanks for making the thread clydetheglide, I find it very interesting.

Could you recommend some activities you do with friends that don't involve alcohol when you go out? Not drinking isn't really an issue for me, but it feels like you say that alcohol is so ingrained in our society that it feels like the norm to have a few beers regardless what I do with friends in the evenings. Come to think of it I can't think of anything except a lunch appointment or a movie that doesn't involve drinking at all.

What are the best places for homeless people to sleep? Especially if they happen to be in a new environment i.e. don't know of a good place in advance. Someone told me the paper recycling dumpsters are good since you can use paper for insulation as long as you keep the lid open so you don't suffocate, do you know if this is true? Will homeless women sleep with someone for a place to stay?
Hey - Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you find it interesting and thank you for your questions, they are good ones.

Activities - that's funny that when you think of activities that don't involve drinking, you can't think of anything. I was the EXACT same way when I first got sober, and I think it's pretty telling of the kind of rut so many of us get into. Which is hilarious. There is so much stuff to do. Pick out something, a neighborhood in your city, and go exploring there. Read up and make a list of a couple things, or one thing, that sounds interesting, and take your friend/friends there. Plan a movie night where you go to the movies. If it makes you feel nerdy, I think that's a good thing actually. It's good to get accustomed to feeling like that, to embrace it, and then learn to be comfortable in it. Since I am a chef, I pick out a restaurant I have been wanting to go to, and then the focus is on the food and not the booze. I am speaking from limited experience, but I think a lot of people, without knowing, are bored of the same old sh*t too. By being sober, and actually having something interesting in mind, I think my friends really appreciate it. They know that hanging out with me entails something other than the typical night at a bar since I don't do typical nights at bars. And it wakes something up within them too. I always hear, "I never do stuff like that." That's what I used to say too, because I went out every free night and was hungover every saturday/sunday. There's a cool thing in NYC (skillshare.com) that has a neat idea, I don't know if other cities have this, but basically someone offers to teach a class on something...and you can sign up, it's cheap, and you go take a class - these classes really run the gamut and can be really interesting. Go in there free of insecurity and with an open mind, and you will have a great time. There's another website that's kind of underground but has more or less the same idea and is really neat, but I think it's only in NYC.

Start waking your friends up, take them out on a saturday for a day trip somewhere. It might be out of their comfort zone, but they will appreciate it. Or do something physical. Take a friend to a rockclimbing gym, its a great activity.

We are surrounded by cool stuff, neat things to see, interesting people. In general, I think a lot of people are sitting around waiting to do interesting, different things. The problem is we always settle into what's easy. And there ain't anything easier than sitting in a bar drinking.

Research this stuff online. There are always good websites/blogs for finding interesting and cool stuff to do. Museums, free shows, there is stuff going on all the time. I know there are other threads that cover this sort of thing better than I can.

Ppl will sit there and go to bars every night and then complain that they never do anything. By being the friend that does different things, you can motivate them to as well if they want.

As for the question about sleeping placing when homeless - I spent many a night sleeping outside, and I would say that feeling is one of the one things that sticks with me the most. I don't really need to go into it in detail, but the nights I spent being dead tired and cold and looking for a place to sleep were without a doubt the worst in my life. I still find myself walking by a little balcony with some plants on it and thinking, "that would be a good spot to crash." I think that may be a mild form of PTSD, but I think that I even slip into that mode of thinking is a good reminder of why I don't drink.

I am fairly adept at climbing, and I always would find my way up onto balconies and rooftops. Fire escapes in back alleys and that sort of thing. That or parks of course. People don't look too hard into bushes.

Also, a lot of people don't lock their cars when they are in their driveways. And I know a guy who lived in a family's boat in their backyard for a winter.

I never went the recycling/dumpster route but I have heard that before. Makes sense.

I also never spent a significant chunk of time homeless. I spent a lot of nights, but never more than a week straight. Instead, I had other ideas. I broke into a lot of buildings. If you want an insight as to how ridiculous and pathetic my life was for a couple years, here's a scam I always used to run and couldn't believe how many times I got away with it.

I somehow over time accumulated a lot of stupid cards that looked like credit cards but weren't...check and debit cards and the like, and those cards you get in the mail that really aren't credit cards. I would go to hotels and make up some big long dramatic story as to how I lost my wallet and was looking for my friends and that I just needed a place to crash for the night etc etc...that I would figure it out first thing in the morning. And I would leave that card as collateral. When I ran out of cards, I would do this with ANYthing. Old, defunct phones. Dead/broken ipods. They always accepted my collateral. I actually kind of noticed, the more ridiculous my collateral was, the more willingly they would let me crash there...like they felt bad for me. Then I would go set an alarm for like 5 in the morning, shower, crash out, and just sneak or walk out of the hotel.

I did this literally over 100 times. I cannot remember once a hotel ever rejecting me. I even did it at nice hotels. I would like to believe it was my powers of persuasion (ha), but it was just a combination of factors. People are trusting by nature, and that's a good thing.

Anyways, it was good to write about that. I never have actually. Man...how I don't miss those days. I lived in a constant state of paranoia, not knowing where I was going to sleep, wondering who was after me, thinking someone recognized me and was after me.

I appreciate the good questions and I hope this was of some help. Hopefully you're not homeless and looking for advice on where to sleep tonight lol

Last edited by clydetheglide; 08-19-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:02 PM   #75
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Re: Ask Me Anything about being a recovered 30 year old alcoholic/addict

You've mentioned therapy on top of meetings. How often do you go to both? How difficult is it to have those emotions come up and not have the alcohol to cope with them? How is it looking at the things you don't like about yourself, admitting them & not being able to hide w booze?
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