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Started TSM after 1yr abstinence
http://www.thesinclairmethod.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4639
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Author:  carpteeth [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

After 2 years of AA failures -- quarterly binges -- I decided to get really serious. (1) I quit AA for good. It SURELY made things worse to tell myself daily that I was sick and powerless. (2) I made a one year pledge to GOD to abstain and (3) I set an alarm on my watch to beep eery day at 3pm to remind me to pray a devotional to the Sacred Heart.

Bam! It worked! I went an entire year without a drop.....BUT, I still wanted to drink. The prayer gave me the control back, but it was like being on weightloss diet: I could go without food, but I was still hungry all the time. I thought I'd try TSM to "get rid of the hunger."

I ordered some Nal through the internet, as no Doc in Minnesota will try it, seemingly. I have to admit, it was scary at first because, heck, I wasn't drinking at all. If TSM failed, I'd be back in my cups. I decided to drink once a week for 5 months to see if really had any effect. The first couple of weeks were filled with even more anxiety, but after a few months it was clear to me that I was thinking about alcohol less and less. Now it's been eight months, I sometimes forget that even had a drinking problem. I still only have a couple drinks per week on average.

I did have one two-day bender that really hurt, however, a couple of months ago when I tested the limits of the Nal. DO NOT DO THIS. For some stupid reason, I was curious to see what would happen if I skipped the pill. Bad idea.

Anyway, the amazing thing about TSM is that booze is now less of a mental issue with me than I ever imagined it could be. In other words, I never dreamed that anyone could think about booze as little as I do. Now, I get to see my old friends again, have a beer like the old days. I'm relaxed, confident, not terrified of relapse like the whitenuckle AA zombies that I used to waste my precious time with drinking bad coffee, sitting on bad chairs in the dank basement of an empty church.

Moral of the story: It works even after a year of abstinence, but it's a bit scary at first.

Author:  JoeSixPack [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

carpteeth -

I'm so glad you posted that! There have been a few folks that posted recently here and over at Options Save Lives (another TSM board) that are starting out in the same/similar position, abstinent but knowing that they're at high risk for relapsing and wanting to use TSM.

Congratulations on your great results! How often do you take Naltrexone? I'm assuming that you stick to the Golden Rule and take it an hour before you drink, only on the days you drink.

Thanks again and welcome to the community!

Author:  Bardo [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

Welcome, carpteeth. There are a few of us who have done this with great success. I came here 11mo. sober in AA.

I find it interesting that the book advises against utilizing TSM if already abstinent. I mean I get it with regard to the Hippocratic oath and the possibility the medication won't work for 10% of people. However, so far it has been such a life changer compared to AA. I think non-AUD folks including physicians don't understand the daily struggle of fighting for sobriety through these other programs. They think you get sober and everything is resolved. I digress... Great to hear from you.

Author:  carpteeth [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

In reply to comments:

1) Yes, I follow the Golden Rule. I read the book, watched the movie, read a dozen websites. I actually read the book about two years ago, but was skeptical. I was still buying the pipe dream of AA, that "the Promises" of new freedoms would come to me. Hurl. Splat.

2) As far as starting after abstinence: I suppose my other alternative was to return to physical alcohol dependence first, and then start TSM, but what kind of insanity would that be?

During my year-long abstinence I was continually thinking about booze. For example, Beer commercials on TV looked sooooo fun! Now, I hardly notice them. Also, I would continually play out little conversations in my head where I was explaining to colleagues and friends why I wasn't going to join them at Christmas, or the 4th of July, or whatever. It was an endless loop of potential uncomfortable situations- most of which I'd never even face, but they occupied my mind nonetheless. Now I'm free from all those disturbing mental distractions. My head is finally clear as a bell. I can finally sleep at night without Ambien. I really feel free from the nagging, endless despair of the "the disease" mentality. Thanks be to God.

Author:  JoeSixPack [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

This seems like a pretty good method of "heading off" the typical relapse after a period of abstinence. What was your drinking like when you first decided to take the Nal and start the extinction process?

Author:  carpteeth [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

Before my abstinence, I'd binge until I was sick, till I shook like a dog sh*tting peanuts. After a year of the wagon, I'd take Nal and drink a few beers once a week (without telling my wife). I told her after 5 months because there's NO WAY she would have signed up for my TSM. Even now, after 8 months, she's still nervous about it. I cannot blame her. After all, she went to Alanon! She believed "once a drunk, always a drunk."

Author:  JoeSixPack [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

Nice work, carpteeth! Nice work indeed.

Author:  Guapo [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstain

Congratulations, C

You discovered some elemental truths regarding TSM.

It has nothing to do with willpower, or white knuckling, or denying yourself alcohol. You can't relapse, if you're already drinking, but drinking in control!

Would you ever feel like you hadn't drank enough the night before, or wish to drink more on a daily basis.

Of course not!

It won't happen overnight, but you end up with better control in all aspects of life, because you see the big picture.

Did I mention you see the big picture, and are no longer controlled by a substance.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, all you think about is the substance, because you can't have any.

Life is much better, when you're living on your own terms, and not being denied something.

Author:  JoeSixPack [ Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

Good one, Guapo. Now... where's the damn "Like" button?

Author:  zontar [ Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Started TSM after 1yr abstinence

nice work! your post is helpful to a lot of people in similar circumstances. Nal on!

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