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Hi everyone, Ive been absent from Fab40 for a few days. Ive been concentrating on Twittering and getting some new products in my stores . . . . and getting myself into a better place in my head through prayer and contact with others in recovery.  I was feeling a bit restless, irritable and discontent, but peace reigns within me again today . . . . and I made a couple of sales in my stores over the weekend . . . . Yay!!

This is the continuation of my journey in recovery from alcoholism. What Im posting now are emails and posts on a forum for recovering alcoholics from when I first got sober 2 years ago:

21st March 2008  

Hi Jenny, Just saw your message on the forum and it made me laugh!  Thanks for thinking of me.  I havent posted anything yet but have spent hours reading the posts.  I was struck by the post from *** so I took some time to write him a long email.  Im in a really good place today and felt the need to reach out to someone who was in a bad place.

Im still getting the shakes, but instead of filling me with horror, as it did initially, it just makes me laugh at the absurdity of what I have been doing to myself all these years.  Who knew that being sober could feel so good?  I had no idea.  Ive had my first day of complete peace of mind.  No anxiety whatsoever.  I feel serene and uplifted by my sobriety.  I would rather cut my arm off than take a drink today.  Tomorrow could be a different story, but today has been a precious gift that I will remember and treasure.  Ive had an inner smile all day long.  Being drunk never felt as good as this.  I used to think that being sober was boring but its anything other than boring now that I´m sober with the help and support of A.A.  Being drunk is incredibly boring compared to how I feel today.  I may post something on the site tomorrow.  I think I might be a little shy but Im sure Ill get over it.

21st March 2008. My first post on the forum.  

Hi, Im new here.  Ive just completed 6 days of sobriety. The first 4 days were really tough. The anxiety, shakes, cravings and crazy rollercoaster of emotions nearly overwhelmed me. The 5th day was much better and I even felt some moments of peace.  Today has been really, really good.  I still had an episode of the shakes, but no anxiety whatsoever. No desire to tear my hair out or run around the house screaming.  Progress indeed!  

I am not able to go to meetings as I live in a remote Spanish village in the middle of nowhere. I live alone with just my animals for company. I have no car and there is no transport system available. I have no job and cannot afford to move at the moment. The village is full of bars and very little else. The bars are full of alcoholics. Last week I was one of them. I will always be one of them. The difference is that today I chose not to drink.

My computer and my telephone are my lifeline.  I reached out to one person in A.A. and now I have three people who are willing to help.  I dont feel alone anymore, and today I dont even want a drink.  Today I have found some real peace and thats something Ive never known before.  I dont know what tomorrow will bring but today has been a gift to treasure.

8 days ago I was left with no other option than to admit I was an alcoholic. I first got drunk when I was about 9 years old and from then on I got my hands on alcohol whenever I could. I had a serious problem with both alcohol and drugs by the age of 14. A couple of uppers on the way to school . . . when I bothered to go.  A joint during break time.  Lunchtime at the pub, knocking back a few vodkas, and usually not making it back to school.  Sobering up just in time to show my face at home then climbing out of my bedroom window at night to drink, do acid and smoke pot.  Amazingly I actually passed quite a few exams!  How the hell did that happen??  

I eased up a bit when I had to work but there were still plenty of binges and Im pretty sure that I was drinking almost every day.  I couldnt see anything wrong with it.  I always wondered why my life was so chaotic and full of disaster.  It just never occurred to me that it had anything to do with me, my drinking and my behaviour.  Im guessing that my disease has hidden a lot of things from me.  

Drugs and alcohol have been a constant part of my life since childhood, so I never really thought about it much (the drugs were merely recreational. I am not an addict).  Of course people have commented on my drinking, but I never really took much notice.  Then I met Sam and he barely drank.  He was horrified by my constant need to drink.  I started to drink in secret.  We moved abroad over 3 years ago and my drinking got completely out of control.  He threatened to leave.  I was so scared and immediately stopped and stayed stopped for almost 3 months.  It was the worst time of my life and how I didnt harm myself and others around me is a mystery to me.  Enforced sobriety when I was ignorant of my disease was more dangerous to me than to carry on drinking.  I had a complete mental breakdown and received no medical help whatsoever.  I developed phobias of just about everything.  Fear and anxiety were my constant companions.

Sam finally left me a year ago.  I guess I was even more of a nightmare to live with when my drinking was being controlled.  When he left there was nobody to regulate my drinking.  Guess what happened next?!!  I got down to the serious business of drinking without restraint.  When I was in a bar I HAD to have another beer lined up before I was half way through the one I was drinking.  I felt too anxious to wait even a few minutes between drinks.  

Self loathing and anxiety started to eat me up and I couldnt understand what was happening to me.  I hated myself and I thought I was losing my mind.  I lost 25lbs of my body weight.  Three weeks ago I wrote suicide letters and tried to make my will.  Then I looked at my animals and knew that they would be put to sleep if I killed myself.  Thats what stopped me.  Two weeks ago I finally admitted to myself that I should probably stop drinking.  It took me 3 days to realize that I was unable to stop.  I poured 2 litres of wine down my throat then phoned A.A.  

Admitting Im an alcoholic has been the biggest relief of my life.  Now, maybe, I can actually have a life.  7 days later Im more content than I have ever been.  With the support of A.A. regular meals (and chocolate) I´m finally discovering peace and its my new addiction!!  Today I have an inner smile to match the one that is on my face right now. Today I will not seek the teeth that wound me.  

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