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Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:25 PM

Why do some people manage to get and stay clean and sober and others don't?

Why do some people manage to get and stay clean and sober and others donít?

What are your thoughts?

I posted the same thing 100 years ago on
DU, but I canít find it for anything. So I am posting it again to hear your thoughts.

22 replies, 1200 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why do some people manage to get and stay clean and sober and others don't? (Original post)
raccoon Sep 2018 OP
SWBTATTReg Sep 2018 #1
TreasonousBastard Sep 2018 #2
Boxerfan Sep 2018 #3
shanti Jan 2019 #20
Dyedinthewoolliberal Sep 2018 #4
Boxerfan Sep 2018 #5
Dyedinthewoolliberal Sep 2018 #11
ADX Sep 2018 #8
MuseRider Sep 2018 #9
ADX Sep 2018 #6
Dyedinthewoolliberal Sep 2018 #12
Stuart G Sep 2018 #14
ADX Sep 2018 #16
stevil Feb 2019 #21
elfin Sep 2018 #7
Dyedinthewoolliberal Sep 2018 #13
TygrBright Sep 2018 #10
Stuart G Sep 2018 #15
smirkymonkey Jun 2019 #22
irisblue Sep 2018 #17
stuffmatters Nov 2018 #18
Name removed Nov 2018 #19

Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:28 PM

1. I think part of it is the personality of the person themselves that seem to contribute ...

to whether someone stays sober or not. If you have a strong personality, you can overcome and control events that would have in the past, contributed to not being clean and sober. Having good friends and staying out of 'triggering' events probably helps too.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:31 PM

2. I don't know, but it is the subject of quite a bit of research...

and even more speculation.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:34 PM

3. Sober 24+ years now-cold turkey.

Commitment is something that can't be taught. And a individual truly has to make the choice themselves-not coerced or forced.

And I'm not "clean & sober" I still smoke lots of pot. It does minimal harm compared with booze & benefits me in total as a medicine.

One last thing. The day I quit I still had a 12 pack of cheap beer in the fridge. I left it there for almost 8 months-or till I was comfortable I was not tempted. I figured if I couldn't handle it in my fridge I couldn't handle it in a store bar or sporting event.

YMMV.

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2019, 05:13 PM

20. Good job!

I agree about cannabis. I no longer drink, but do partake of cannabis. Maybe someday I won't, but it works for me now, and it's not physically addictive or destructive. Not ashamed of this either. Alcohol was affecting my liver, so it HAD to stop.

IWNDWYT!

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:40 PM

4. My experience is based on the fact

those who don't haven't accepted the fact they are powerless. Otherwise why would you keep trying? Along with accepting I am powerless over, in my case alcohol, comes my asking for assistance both on this plane (other alcoholics) and the spiritual plane (the Power Greater than myself)........

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:45 PM

5. Appologies in advance...

But my personal beliefs are just that-and I was not & am not "powerless".

What you are suggesting is trading addictions. Not a good plan...

I accept what I accept & that is my own business. People who push any idealism are suspect in motivation or awareness.

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 02:50 PM

11. No apology needed, or expected.

I am comfortable with what works for me. However, if you weren't powerless over alcohol, then why did you stop drinking? Unless you mean you just don't really drink, in which case you aren't an alcoholic and of course, these ideas won't work for you.........

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:47 PM

8. Thanks for sharing...

 

...keep coming back. It works...

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 02:02 PM

9. This is exactly what my husband says.

This and a good, solid sponsor and going to as many meetings as you need. Many at first and maybe always many. It is individual. The relapses of friends we have seen are always those who say they are NOT powerless. My husband tried many times but it was not until he got found out about the many horrid things he had been involved in that he was brought to his knees, got a sponsor and declared that he was powerless to do it on his own. He only relapsed once, after a major surgery and he needed pain meds and he got back on the loop but by that point he had learned that his life without to drugs and the lies was so much easier and better.

Perhaps I should not say anything since this is not an experience I have had personally but I watched this and it was quite a process. Giving up his notion of being about to control the drugs is when it finally works.

Being powerless does not mean over everything right? Just over the addiction. The only power you have is to continue with the help and support of others and in my thinking after watching this over and over is that it is the most courageous, brave and powerful thing a person can do. I do not think I could do that.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:45 PM

6. The answer is deceptively simple...

 

...The people who stay clean and sober are those who continuously and constantly do what is necessary to maintain their sobriety; those who don't do so are subject to relapse at any time. As alcoholics/addicts, we are never, ever truly "cured"; our continued remission is dependent on our perpetual adherence to the 12 steps and traditions of the Program.

One day at a time...

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Response to ADX (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 02:57 PM

12. Yes, living life in 24 hour increments

works best for me.......

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Response to ADX (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 04:31 PM

14. Yes, but for me, to be totally honest..sometimes it is one minute at a time.

Sometimes it is like that for me..but I can only speak for me..and no one else.

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #14)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 05:22 PM

16. Believe me, I understand...

 

...but you're far from alone; I know lots of people who've been there and done that.

Trust me when I tell you though: Hang in there, keep working the steps, and don't be afraid to ask for help. It DOES get better.

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 01:05 AM

21. One minute

Correct. Starting to become like that for me. Thoughts can be destructive.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 01:47 PM

7. I think it is a combo of persistence plus family and friend heartaches caused by the addiction

This person needed a guided family intervention to finally get started. Having previous habits of tending to other responsibilities of work and home life helps a great deal. It is a really hard change and needs more than a family and friends support system in addition to professional and/or AA help.

My observation is due to witnessing one successful (so far) recovery of a dear friend who changed their life over 20 years ago with a combo of smarts, family and professional help. They substituted the addiction to booze with what looked like to me an addiction to AA, searching and finding 2 or 3 meetings a day or night and becoming a sponsor and speaker to professional groups extraordinaire. Whatever works.

They were highly social and found it very difficult to keep going with the same gatherings, but kept at it. They also unapologetically asked ahead of time that their sobriety by honored before such gatherings or going out to dinner. Many do not go this far, but they were honest about their needs and those who resisted were deprived of their company. Sometimes they went but excused themselves after a short time after doing the Meet and Greet.

This person now gets a "buzz" from helping people in the same vicious circumstances.

Still clean and has recovered the delightful persona from years before the addiction.

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Response to elfin (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 03:03 PM

13. yes, quoting from the Big Book

' We have a substitute (for drinking) and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous'- pg 152

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 02:09 PM

10. Because people are different, and addiction is a very complex disease.

Addiction is complicated in so many ways- there are genetic vulnerabilities, brain changes related to trauma, exposure levels, cultural expectations, life experience, cultural differences that control behavior patterns, now we're even learning more about physiological factors related to various medication exposures, nutrition and more.

The substances and behavior patterns that form a person's 'active' disease phase vary widely as well. Alcohol is not opiates is not cocaine is not compulsion-satisfaction-released endorphins, and every person who struggles with addictive disease will have a different mix of substances and patterns to learn about and develop and practice recovery strategies for.

We're now also recognizing that addictive disease often co-occurs with other chronic brain disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, various types of trauma, personality disorders, etc. And that the physiological and metabolic effects of long-term addictive disease can contribute to, appear as, and/or increase vulnerability to a whole raft of other chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc., and those will change how the disease and recovery process plays out in an individual.

The extent of each individual's commitment to learning about their disease, the quality of information and treatment resources available to them, the opportunities to build knowledge and tools for the lifelong behavioral changes that recovery requires will also vary.

And finally, the ongoing support available, presence of relapse triggers, challenges to recovery, etc. will vary for each individual.

It's impossible to identify any ONE factor that controls why one individual achieves long-term stable recovery at a particular point, and another person has to keep trying, dealing with relapse, etc.

informatively,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 26, 2018, 04:34 PM

15. Thank You for your above post. Great information..k and r your post...

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 14, 2019, 08:57 PM

22. Thread winner.

It is a very complicated issue and there is no simple answer to the question in the OP. Your post does the best job at answering it. There are multiple factors involved. I don't like it when people say it's because they didn't work "the program" hard enough.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2018, 07:17 AM

17. Sober is a well known term, commonly no alcohol. Clean' is more complex I think

Some gamble, some overeat, some undereat, some have relationship maladaptive issues, some shop & buy things, some use drugs, some smoke. There are many many addictive behaviors.

Tygers' post is very thought provoking. Human brains are so biologically complex and not well understood at present, then add in a soul, intellect and emotions, it's freaking amazing anyone gets 'clean'.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Fri Nov 2, 2018, 07:33 PM

18. I'm AA clean and sober 24 years (no mind altering, central nervouys system drugs) on 11/11/18

It took me ten years of self destruction,loss and suffering to finally get my first year. What was different from all the other attempts in AA? Finally I did the first step honestly and completely. Wrote it out, read it to a sponsor, forced my overdeveloped denial machine(brain) to CONNECT THE DOTS. Until I faced the exact damage that my drinking( and hangovers) had done to myself and others,I was not able to build a foundation for sustainable sobriety.

There is a reason that they say in AA "the only step that needs to be done perfectly is the first step." Until I enumerated every time alcohol (and hangovers) had hurt me and others,faced the fact that alcohol was not the solution to my problems but the cause of my problems, I was never going to stay clean and sober.

And the larger picture: Alcoholism (addiction to any central nervous system drug) has only one goal: to survive. Either I kill it or it kills me. That's what I respond every time its little insane voice pops into my head. It's the enemy, it wants me dead.
Period.



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