What I chose instead of alcohol today.

Old 12-08-2015, 02:40 AM
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What I chose instead of alcohol today.

I left work today and I was feeling really stressed and frustrated. I wanted a happy hour beer like nothing else. I wanted to just slide in the bar door on the way home and numb out a bit.

So I came on here to read the forum for 20mins and got a bit more perspective, but I still wanted the beer.

I did a few other things on the bus on the way home – read, practice gratitude, watched my breathing and tried to calm it, etc, but still was agitated.

When I got off the bus at home I decide to walk the few minutes to the beach to stare at it, which I find calming. Didn’t even get to the water front before I decided to turn around and head home for food.

As I did a girl walked by and she had her surf board under her arm, heading for the water and I thought, ‘I could get my board and surf; that could be fun.’ This set me on a thought path of considering ‘what do I find fun, that I have not done enough of lately.’

I thought of horse riding, I love to ride but my mind usually says ‘it’s too expensive’. Which got me thinking of all the money I would blow on ‘having fun’ drinking (without even considering the money), which lead to the thought that I could definitely go horse riding if I saved what I would have spent on booze over a weekend/week. Heck I could go every week if I chose to.

So I thought some more and decided that I would move the money I would have spent tonight on alcohol into a different bank account with the intention of using it for things I genuinely find fun – horse riding, surfing weekends, concerts, plane tickets to somewhere cool, dinner with friends, rock climbing, white water rafting….whatever, and I will do this each time I resist alcohol. I will estimate what I would have spent and put it in that account to be spent on fun stuff.

Because I noticed this afternoon was how much I need to insert more fun into my life now that alcohol is gone. Otherwise, I feel (and can act) like a two year old who has had her toys taken away and has nothing better to do than cry, fight, moan and then go get a beer cause I am so bored and frustrated.

I wonder what other people have done to balance the taking away of alcohol and all the variety, perceived fun and sense of rebellion/danger it brought to their life?

I need to find ways to make life more thrilling because I know it was certainly more thrilling with alcohol – albeit in a negative way, with negative consequences. i'm open to any tips or suggestions :-)
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:04 AM
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yea its funny we never had an issue saying "yes" too booze and "no" to everything else. always an excuse like you said "to much money" or whatever else. More and more I find life is better if i just huck my excuses aside and say yes to those things. It can still be hard to do at times.

Although lately my issue is i'm a victom of my routine I want to be more spontaneous but everytime i am my routine gets goofed and i get out of wack. Still trying to find some balance here. Tho maybe the reality for me is the unbalanced aspect is what keeps the bigger picture balanced I'm not sure.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:13 AM
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Glad to hear you thought this through Kate, and I think you came up with some very good conclusions/ideas.

To me this issue is the biggest one in overcoming addiction. That is: equating "fun" with drinking. Or being "bored" with not drinking. For the most part, the list of things we CAN do after we stop drinking is actually longer than the list of things we could do while we were drinking. When we are drunk our cognitive and motor skills are impaired, so many physical activities are out. Driving is out. Being responsible for the well being of others and taking them with us is out. The list is long.

The problem is that our addiction tries to trick us into thinking that everything will be "fun" if we drink. It wont - we'll just be drunk.

So the real crux of the issue is facing life on it's own terms and enjoying the activities themselves, which is exactly what you just did. Enjoying the beach, contemplating physical activities, etc...those are all REAL experiences you enjoyed. It's a bit raw at first because the emotions and sensations are stronger when we aren't drunk...remember alcohol sedates our mind.

You are definitely on the right path...keep up the good work!
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:26 AM
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There are things like urgesurfing & a cravings link that helps
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:34 AM
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I play with my kids. I make realistic plans that I can follow through on. I watch movies. I drive anywhere anytime. I write. Also, I do all the things that I used to do drunk but I don't get a hangover!
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:36 AM
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Hi Kate -- I like your idea a lot, well done. I used to equate wine with "taking care of myself" (i.e., soothing myself after a stressful day) ... sometimes now I spend a bit of money on getting a massage, or fresh flowers for the house, or an extra pilates class. I think I need to actually make a budget (like you did, adding up what I actually spent on wine) and remember to spend it to truly take care of myself.

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Old 12-08-2015, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gaffo View Post
I play with my kids. I make realistic plans that I can follow through on. I watch movies. I drive anywhere anytime. I write. Also, I do all the things that I used to do drunk but I don't get a hangover!
yeah i stop a lot of times whens i'm out somewhere after 5pm and think gosh i'm actually out of the house and sober and its after 5pm who woulda ever thought? there was a time where being at the store at 8pm or something was Unheard of i was always entirely too bombed by that hour to go anywhere. I still find myself looking at my watch going gee its 7pm perhaps too late to go somewhere and i'm like why it aint like i'm drunk i can still go somewhere.
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