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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    In a Suburb Near DC

    Default Success, in fits and starts

    Hi all -

    I haven't been online in this community for some time, and I decided to hop on today given a recent relapse (more on that below). In thinking about where I might look and even post, I stumbled upon this forum for "Success Stories." Odd that I would be drawn here, as my story is not one of unqualified success, but I think it is one of success nonetheless.

    I came to SMART in November of 2012 in pretty rough shape, drinking a lot every day, barely keeping things together at work and home, etc., and feeling pretty hopeless and powerless about the whole situation and my ability ever to change it. With the help of SMART, a more rational approach to my relationship with alcohol, and some professional assistance, I have experienced long stretches of sobriety since then.

    I also have had several relapses, including one a couple of weeks ago. But -- and here's where the success part comes in -- I've noticed that, over time, the relapses are shorter, fewer, and farther between. They also involve more drastic physical reactions, as my body is both getting older and no longer used to taking in poison, even in smaller quantities.

    Instead of beating myself up about relapses when they happen (and, admittedly, I do that a little bit), I try to end each relapse just as quickly as possible, learn from each one, and take some comfort in the simple proposition that I don't need to poison myself today if I don't want to. So, increasingly, I don't.

    I guess what I'm finding with more and more longer stretches of sobriety is that, for me, the benefits of drinking at all are dissipating, the benefits of not drinking are increasing, and the costs when I do relapse (at least from a physical perspective) are increasingly unpleasant. That's why I choose not to drink today. For me.

    Maybe someday I will count my success in years. For now, though, I don't think it's wrong to call my story a kind of success.

    Peace to all -


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Fresh, it's great to hear from you! I went through a series of relapses myself, and noticed that they got shorter etc like you. So I do consider that a success!

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

  3. #3


    That is very good news. Keep it up and have a great time ahead.

  4. #4


    Sound like it's a success to me Fresh! Congratulations!

  5. #5


    Love this! That is how I'm doing as well and agree - that is success!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Hot Springs, AR


    Hi Fresh, Your story sounds similar to mine. I began my sobriety journey 12/13/13 have relapsed a couple of times but the relapses are getting shorter and shorter. I like your perspective and agree that it sounds (and feels) like success to me. I figure that I now have more sober days than not and that certainly is an improvement!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Central IL


    This is beautiful. thank you for sharing!

  8. #8


    Thank you for your inspiration!! You really inspired me this morning.

  9. #9
    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


    Lapses are important - almost nobody I know learns from successes as well as they do from not succeeding!

    Remember to count any day(s) you were abstinent in this period and recall how better you performed - what were the added possibilities?

    Great post with a LOT of personal growth in there!
    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!

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