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Thread: A Fool's Tale

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  1. #1

    Default A Fool's Tale

    It has been awhile since Iíve posted anything on the message board; my life has changed so much since I started using the SMART Recovery tools that in many ways the activities Iím engaged in are taking the place of the support I once only found here. I still remember the night everything changed. My drinking had been grown from a couple of times a week to heavy drinking every day, in part as a way of coping with some very negative things going on in my live. My wife was suggesting I find a new job, one that would require that I get an apartment several hours away and be ďhomeĒ only a couple of weekends a month. A new job or an early retirement was on the horizon as the writing was on the wall that my future in my current position was bleak. I had an interview lined up and had driven to the town to do a little intelligence gathering. I wasnít real happy about the prospect of living in two places and the visit deepen that feeling. I stopped and picked up a half-pint of vodka and continued driving. Drank some more that night and continued to drive. A few hours later I was stopped for speeding; 40 in a 35 if I remember correctly, and instead of waiting in my car as I usually did, got out and tossed the keys on the roof Ė a act of surrender or a call of help? Pretty sure you can figure out what followed from that point.

    Woke up the next morning in the county jail, April Fools Day, 2011. The next few months were pretty rough. That next weekend I had to be in New Orleans for a conference, try spending your first sober weekend in a hotel Ĺ mile for Bourbon Street. I spent a lot of time in my hotel room reading on SROL. It was that weekend that I did my first CBA (after a kind but firm nudge from a SMART Volunteer). It took a lot of work to rebuild the trust Iíd lost with my family, a lot more to learn to accept my past and move on rather than continually reliving it. If not for the resources and the people here not sure Iíd have made it.

    One of the things that appealed to me was the prospect of ďgraduationĒ ( The previous options Iíd been offered for recovery seemed to me to be nothing more than continually reliving the ďsins of my pastĒ and accepting my failures. A pretty depressing view of recovery, in my humble opinion.

    Lots of good things have happened as I learned to about the Stages of Change, Universal Self-Acceptance, Hierarchy of Values and the other tools here. The ABC tool is almost automatic know, and I often stop myself as I start to respond to the first emotional reaction to a situation and look at whatís happening rationally. Not perfect and never will be but Iím much happier with my full toolbox. In the last 18 months Iíve landed my dream job and moved to a town closer to family and friends with more activities I enjoy than I can fit into my day. Life still has it rough patches but my ďshock absorbersĒ are much better suited to handle them now and Iím enjoying life each and every day.

    Time now to enter my next stage of recovery. When I was drinking I wasnít taking real good care of myself. The empty calories from the alcohol and the snack food that went with it added pounds I didnít need. Motivation was pretty low too and trips to the gym didnít happen. Especially in the early stages of recovery, I rewarded myself with comfort food for the little successes, which didnít help much either. Time now to work on dropping the unwanted poundage and getting back in shape so I can keep up with the grandkids and more fully participate in all the outdoor activities my wife and I enjoy. It seems to get harder to drop the weight as I get older and Iím still recovering from surgery to repair a long-standing ankle problem but Iím confident that the tools that have served me so well in learning to make the hard choices about my drinking will get me through this next leg of my journey.
    Men's best successes come after their disappointments. Henry Ward Beecher

  2. #2
    GJBXVI's Avatar
    GJBXVI is offline Former Distance Training Program Coordinator
    Former SMART MB Liaison
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Twin Cities, MN


    GREAT to hear from you, Eric22! I do remember when you first joining us... 4 years ago already!!!

    Time flies when you're having fun, yes?

    All the best!

    "Every new day is another chance to change your life."
    Supporting SMART is easy! CLICK HERE

  3. #3
    Sam29's Avatar
    Sam29 is offline Distance Training Team
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Beaverton, Oregon


    Hi Eric22. Very inspiring. Thank you.

    Lo que sea !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Hi Eric - I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm glad to hear the tools are working so well. As Sam said, very inspiring!

  5. #5


    Thank you for sharing this. Very inspiring for me as I work thru my first sober day!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    Congratulations on you success. I wish you success on the next leg of your journey. The SMART tools should serve you well

  7. #7
    Gordon1's Avatar
    Gordon1 is offline SMART MB Co-Liaison
    SMART Online Moderator
    SMART Online Facilitator
    Former SMART Face to Face Facilitator
    Former SMART Online Meeting Liaison
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Melbourne, Australia


    Great Eric!
    Very helpful mate and insightful.
    Ta for your very human story and all the best,
    What got me sober was TRYING to get sober. Often when I lapsed, picked up, drank, I FELT thoroughly beaten. I thought at that time "there is no hope for me" Yet, when I had recovered from that thought just a little, I thought "I'll have another GO!" It was a few little sparks, rather than a flame, that got me here!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Eric, it's great to hear from you! You are a great inspiration.

    Mel =)
    I'm not telling you it is going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Eric, I loved reading your story! Congratulations on your much improved life!! You inspire me to get on those ABC's. :-) Please keep us updated now and again regarding your next chapter. ~Shelly
    Where the mind goes energy flows. 12/24/2020

  10. #10


    Great story and update! I could just hear those keys hit the roof of the car. I can deeply relate.
    ďMen are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." Epictetus

  11. #11


    Thank you for sharing!

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