Breaking habits

Old 06-12-2016, 12:54 PM
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Smile Breaking habits

does anyone have any useful tips to help me break the association of drinking while watching tv?
My ritual was always to watch tv alone while drinking my wine and smoking. I had to have all three on the go at one time.
To help avoid cravings I have been delaying watching my favourite tv shows. But I really want to watch the new Game of Thrones episode tomorrow! I was thinking maybe sipping a non-alcoholic drink while I watched? Or inviting my little bro to come watch it with me? Anyone else had a similar issue?
I was emailed a tip that might be helpful to someone else - at the time in the evening you would have usually started drinking (8.30pm for me) take a shower instead. Apparently this helps to break the pattern.
Hope everyone is doing well!
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:46 PM
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If it's that triggering, don't want change it. What's more important? Game of Thrones or a healthy sobriety?

For me, to get out of my old habits, I had to consciously form new ones.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:02 PM
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Sit somewhere else. Take the computer to bed and watch it there. Take a shower and brush your teeth first, and for goodness sake, don't have any alcohol in the house!
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Berrybean View Post
If it's that triggering, don't want change it. What's more important? Game of Thrones or a healthy sobriety?

For me, to get out of my old habits, I had to consciously form new ones.
Haha. My goodness, I need to watch the autocorrect on this thing. I really am struggling to get used to working on a tablet rather than a laptop. Apologies for confusing sentence. It should have said, if it's that triggering don't watch it. *eyeroll* at my typos.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:16 PM
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Get a nice new light on that bicycle (nice bright ones now available)
and take a bike ride when needed.
Good for the mind, body and soul.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:24 PM
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Breaking the habit was a big thing for me. Early evening was the hard time for me, so right after supper, I had to get out of the house and walk, a lot. The walking soon became a habit that had endless benefits attached to it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:36 PM
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Habits and rituals were a big issue for me, too. I used to open the wine bottle when I got home from work and started to cook dinner. When I got sober, for the first few months, I did not cook dinner! I went to an AA meeting every night at 6 instead.

Now I am able to cook again, and I don't go to daily meetings. But in the beginning, I had to be able to do whatever it took, to interrupt my habits and associations.

Can you tape it and watch it at a different time of day? Or maybe take a break from it for a few months, and then watch reruns when you have some sober time under your belt?
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:47 PM
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What tursiops said!!

The whole drinking/cooking/shows thing was big for me too. Now I dont cook- I think I have made eggs 1x in nearly 4 mos of sobriety and that is the extent of my cooking- and have healthy stuff ready to eat in the fridge (salads fresh from the salad bar at the grocery, my fave rotisserie chicken salad, fruit, whatever) where little or no assembly is required. I also record my shows for controlled watching, 90% of the time and set a time to watch them later, a different night. Breaks up the habit I guess.

I also started planning dinner out or yoga, or time with a friend (right now I am actually watching Mme Secretary episodes with a friend who hasnt seen the end of the season, ha!) on my nights off, which are Wed, Sat and Sun.

I am also big on Netflix so another thing I do is look for anoter new to me show to binge watch!
Also, the brother idea is a good one- I have spent a handful of nights watching tv, my shows or not, with my parents since I stopped drinking.

And I have said it in lots of threads, again throw in a vote for sending myself to bed early whenever needed, for whatever reason!!!
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:16 AM
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Absolutely agree with the others - I had to break the evening TV / drinking wine / lazing on the couch routine big-time, so the first few months I avoided my own couch in the evenings. I developed my own new ritual when I got home that involved going to the gym first, buying dinner, coming home, immediately switching on the music (so I didn't turn on the TV instead!), putting everything away neatly, having a shower, then having dinner in my study in front of the computer. Everyday for weeks and weeks, I did the same thing. Now I'm able to relax on the couch again sans wine, but I still go to the gym or for a run first and put everything away when I get back. They are new, positive habits. It might sound silly to someone who doesn't know what it's like to have psychological cravings associated with routine ... but whatever it takes, right?!
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:45 AM
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theres some stuff i just dont do anymore. Sitting on my deck is one of them. its just not the same without a cigarette and a drink. I still will burn my trash becasue it needs to be done but again thats not the same when you dont have a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other ::facepalm::.

I miss driving down a road witht he window cracked smoking a cigarette etc... and such.

I dont however miss waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe and hacking up my lungs and ready to barf as well from drinking so dang much.

Cant have it all i guess.

I also quit watching tv tho that was not to hard for me. I just found it so lame without booze and what not. Now years later I'm watching tv shows again becuase i'm enjoying shutting my mind off and watching a show somethign I thought i'd never be able to do again.

I recently started learniing to play the bagpipe. I see your from scotland and the first thing that came to mind when i started using the practice chanter was dang i sure wish i had this when i quit smoking!!! simply fiddling around with it for 5 minutes seems to help with my antsyness etc..
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:19 AM
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start knitting.
it can be done at half-attention while watching TV at half-attention.
i used to do it all the time, and later got rid of TV watching altogether.
do something with your hands that requires a bit of concentration but not too much.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:28 AM
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While its not the best idea to play with triggers (especially early on) too much, the truth is habits are a result of time and repetition. Most of our "bad" habits are things we didn't consciously wish to developed. But we dud something over and over and we are.

With time and repetition, anything becomes habit.

For activities that always had me with a drink in my hand, I chose the simple substitute of alternative drinks. I now have a whole list that I really enjoy.

There were a couple activities, such as going to the bar, that I just gave up on. -bars are excrutiatungly boreing for me now. I will not pay to hear people loudly repeat themselves. Lol!
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:50 AM
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I had to stop watching for a few months as it was my ritual as well. I can do it now without problem, 6 months sober. Some of my other association triggers are gone also.

If you must watch then do it at a different time than you normal drinking hour and being with someone will break the patter as well. Having something to snack might help.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:38 AM
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I also always watched tv while drinking and now that I have stopped drinking I have stopped watching tv because it makes me think about drinking. Though, I have slowly phased in watching one episode of Game of Thrones in every week but I surround it by healthy recovery activities.

I often find myself thinking, wow, its been X days since my last slip, that means there's X days worth of new tv for me to watch and that of course makes me think about drinking... but I have noticed that those thoughts are fading as I am starting to fill my life in with other positive things, things that I would rather be doing. I actually find it difficult to watch tv now, without alcohol, for some reason most tv now seems to be boring and so slow.
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