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Class of April 2015 Part 12

Old 01-30-2017, 05:41 PM
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Glad to see that you are doing so well Cauli!

I was invited to a smallish Super Bowl party with some folks that I used to work and socialize with. I have drank many times with these people over the years and many don't know that I have since quit. I'm not sure if I will just say to them that I no longer drink, or explain that I have to be back at work at 5:00am the next day as an excuse. The hosts are friends that know that I have stopped drinking. It's not like I would be trying to hide anything, it's just that I don't really want to get into having to explain things to people. Amp and OMD, it is definitely times like this that I wish I could just have a couple drinks and chill out in a social situation.

I will just sip my water or an NA or whatever and enjoy the game. Like Cauli said, we didn't drink to drink, we drank to get drunk. (Is that English?)

How are things Inc?
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:24 AM
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Makes me glad I don't have friends like that. I've been a recluse for more than a decade now. Probably two decades. I don't need to worry about that stuff.

I can say, however, that I have put myself in more situations where I am with people who are drinking casually. Its tricky because I don't know these people that well. Having a few drinks on my own would make it so much easier for me to socialize. That's where most of my urge comes from.

Most of the time, I am able to reason with myself. I question how alcohol makes it easier to talk casually with strangers. What I do drunk, I can do better with clarity.

I change the thought process. Instead, I practice socializing. I put fears aside and just walk up to strangers and introduce myself. I'll make a game out of it in my mind.

Keeps my thoughts focused on the now and what I'm doing, Instead of what I wish I could be doing.

As far as how I address not drinking... I'm lucky I guess in that front. I am perfectly comfortable saying I don't drink alcohol. For some reason, I feel better saying the word alcohol too. Just to be clear..lol. This is for social gatherings outside the work group.

I don't expect to be questioned about it. The high majority of the time, they don't question me anyway. For the ones who do, my replies depends on the personality and how long I've known them or plan to see them again.

Overall though, I'm pretty quick to admit I had a problem. So many people have problems it's crazy. I'm assuming everyone I talk to has a problem of their own that they'd like to conquer. They WISH they could be me.

I also assume most people has/had someone close to them where alcohol or drugs was a problem. So I know they would look at me in a positive light.

Out of 10 people, I bet 6 or more of them don't care, or think it's awesome, that I don't drink. More than half the people means I'm playing the odds right.

Sometimes after I say I don't drink, this stranger and I will chat for a few minutes about something relevant. Those are the peeps I'd rather be with anyway.

For the few people who may have issue with alcoholism or don't believe it's possible, half of them don't ask questions. They might do a double take. Or maybe express some unfavorable body language. Maybe a certain look. I just don't want to be with them anyway. Might hang for a min to be polite. Maybe try to learn what interests them to see if there's something that interests me as well.
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:27 AM
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Great points Inc. I think it probably becomes easier with practice.

I think you are right in that many people just don't care if we drink or not. Only an alcoholic is monitoring closely what and how much everyone else is drinking.

I read the other day that ten percent of Americans are in recovery or overcoming some type of alcohol, drug or other addiction. The actual number is likely even higher. Perhaps, we can be a role model for someone looking for another way forward.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:44 AM
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As for how I'm doing?

Way better. I am paying attention to my dopamine. Doing everything I can to make that system works efficiently. Wellbutrin helps with that and I'm glad I'm back to taking it regularly. Helps a lot.

But I've also made some huge steps to improve my Dopamine as well as my adrenal system. Namely, I quit coffee and sugar. It's been a couple weeks now and I'm beginning to feel awesome.

Now.. On the coffee front, I did replace that with green tea for a couple weeks. For the past week, I've been replacing most of my green teas with caffeine free. My caffeine intake yesterday was probably the smallest I've had in over a decade!

I can FEEL the difference it's making with clarity, focus, and the ability to be in the NOW. Which is waaay better than living in the past, or trying to grasp the future.

It's all about the now. I'm coming to really appreciate that.

I'm also reading (via Kindle app on phone or tablet) and listening to books. Currently, I'm reading "The mood cure". It's about the importance of diet and the amino acids necessary to fix your mood. I have learned a lot so far and I'm putting things into action! That's huge.

I'm listening to another interesting book called "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" . Learning a lot here as well!

So I've got to say, things are looking pretty good!
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:26 AM
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Wow Inc, no caffeine? That is very difficult working retail like we do. I have made huge strides in cutting back. No more than one cup of joe in the morning then maybe a black tea later in the morning. I also have dabbled with green teas and herbal teas this winter. Caffeine is just like any drug, as we get used to its effects and eventually need more and more to get less and less.

I love the positivity that you are exuding now!

Have a great day all!
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:23 AM
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Looking good Inc. Iget through maybe 5 or 6 cups of strong Spanish coffee with sugar (only half a sugar though!) every day. Also since I quit the drink I am a sucker for anything sweet, especially chocolate. It's something I feel I ought to address but it never seems to be a good time... Sound familiar?!?
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:34 AM
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I still get cravings for sweets Amp. I put on a bunch of weight after I quit because I replaced the sweet taste of rum and white wine with ice cream and cookies. I was never a huge sweets lover, but I too am a sucker for them now. Better a couple cookies than a couple of drinks!

Still dealing with a minor case of the winter blues, as I have barely seen the sun over the past month. I don't know how you Brits do it year after year. I'm not majorly depressed, just lacking in motivation to do the many things that need done around the house. It might be time to bust out my Day Lamp once again.

Have a great day all!
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:40 PM
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Hang in there SG
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:44 PM
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Hello!
Great, thoughtful, and helpful advice as usual from everyone, thank you all! I actually don't mind telling people I don't drink but don't look forward to the reaction, because most people think it's strange and some feel challenged. But, I don't tell people I had to quit, I usually just come up with an excuse - that's easier.

Anyway, I have got my head around the moderation question. I can't really ultimately see what the point is of drinking again, especially when I remember how things ended up last time around despite so many decisions about moderation, this and that rule etc. all inevitably broken by the end of the day on which I started my new regime. I just need to break the association between having a social life and drinking. Same with work - I have a client dinner tomorrow night with someone who is a big drinker but that's fine by me.

As to those with a sweet tooth - totally agree. That's me. I need to cut out sugar and of course caffeine (one day). Amp I am going to set a date when I cut out the sugar - let's do this!

Right, I know I am rambling so I am going to head off but I'm in a good place, and once we get the winter behind us it sounds like everyone else will be too.

Thanks again
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:40 AM
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OMD, I think the dream of moderation will always linger on in the deep recesses of our minds. We are addicts and it is to be expected that at some level there will remain a desire to use again.

I had a crappy night at work last night, with three people calling out, leaving me desperately short handed. In the back of my mind, I secretly wished for a minute that I could go home and have a few drinks "just to unwind." Of course, I know that would be pure folly on my part. I settled for hot chocolate instead!

Have a great day all!
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:49 AM
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I'd agree with that SG. Being an ex-drinker is part of who we are and reflex reactions are going to come up from time-to-time. I haven't played soccer for years but got involved in a game recently and was surprised to find how a lot of my instinctual skills were still there. You don't unlearn stuff, I guess, but you make choices. If I ever drink again, I'm sure that I will be a hundred percent aware, as I take that first sip, that it is an extremely bad idea. Moderation would open up all those impossible beer-at-breakfast choices which I really don't want to ever face again.

Hope you all have a good weekend!
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:32 AM
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Ewe. Beer at breakfast? I'd rather drink from the Vodka bottle first thing out of bed.

Man... Almost forgot about that. I can feel myself doing it right now. I was feeling very scared, sick, and anxious. Alcohol seemed to be the only fix, yet I knew it was the only root issue too.

Here's to an alcohol free breakfast.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:16 PM
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Almost crapped my pants.

Had blood work done recently. Got a call today that my Doctor wants to see me ASAP in regards to high PSA levels which normally indicate prostate cancer! Yikes!

Almost crapped my pants while on the phone. After setting an emergency visit for Monday, I noticed my heart rate was high... I was afraid. Freaking out a bit.

Then it hit me. So my PSA levels are high. So what. Is that a reason to freak out? Of course not.

Made me think of the drinking days. I would have been drinking like a fish between now and my doctor's appointment. Then on the day of my appointment, I'd be so nervous, I would drink twice as much in the morning. Probably even wake up for a strong shot early morning.

Holy crap, am I glad I'm not drinking!

Overall, I feel great. That's all that matters anyway, right? Ain't worth freaking out over. I find out soon enough. Even if I do have prostate cancer, I'll survive it. No biggie.

Might as well enjoy today.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:06 PM
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I'm sure you'll be fine INC. Probably just a precaution

I think the dream of moderation will always linger on in the deep recesses of our minds
It stayed with me for a while - much longer than I'd expect.

I haven't thought about drinking for a very long time now, though - so I think maybe it is possible for a leopard to change its spots

D
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:37 PM
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Incontrol- yes you are that, in control of what you do. I have just finished those tests- prostate, bowels, liver, kidney, heart and brain work. Kind of linked to my not so recent history. I can relate to the anxiety. Advice- do not drink, go to a meeting and post.
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:52 PM
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I like the measured approach you are taking Inc. Like Dee said, you probably have elevated levels and they will want to do some more diagnostic tests.
Like you said, might as well enjoy today. No point getting worked up before seeing your doctor.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:43 PM
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Yeah... It's all good. Nothing that can't be fixed. I'm using it as a wake up call.

Super Bowl Sunday. No party for me today. Little bummed about it. Only because I'm hungry and thinking of all the snack foods. Mmm. Chips, dips, cheese, misc finger foods. I <3 food.

So yesterday I had coffee for the first time in a couple weeks. Man.. It was great! My tolerance is low already. Gave me a nice pick up and no jitters.

Like any "relapse", Im starting the delusional thoughts of moderation. Lol. The issue is, as good as I felt having that coffee, I needed another cup later on more than I needed the first cup.

Generally speaking, I have more energy without coffee. Of I do get tired, I find eating protein helps better. I now do protein shakes and bars. I'll do a shake for Bfast, and a protein bar for a mid day snacks.

I can definitely feel my energy level is more leveled now. Sure the peaks aren't as high, but the lows are nowhere near as low. Overall, I have more energy.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:25 AM
  # 78 (permalink)  
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The Super Bowl party I attended was no big deal at all. I walked in exhausted and with a cup of coffee and switched to water. There was tons of great food and snacks. There was plenty of alcohol too, but no one had more than one or two drinks. I totally was making a mountain out of a molehill in my mind leading up to the party. Probably everyone there realized that I had quit and it was no big deal.

Inc, I agree with your thoughts about coffee. I'm down to one cup or so a day, but with only four hours sleep last night, I will probably imbibe more today. For a couple of years, I had quit drinking coffee entirely and switched to tea, but I needed to switch back to drinking coffee again to deal with waking up each morning after heavy drinking.

My approach to caffeine is like my approach to all mind altering drugs. If one is good, two is better, and three is best. It's just the way we think.

Have a great day all!
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:32 AM
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SG...
Glad to hear buddy! It's funny how often we make things bigger than what they are. When we remove ourselves and our thoughts from those situations, usually there's nothing there. Nothing more than a blank canvas.

Just goes to prove that we have choices. These events can be fun, or they can be stressful. Which one they become is totally up to us.

Health update:
Had a follow up visit with my doc today. Was a waste of time. Just told me I may, or may not, have prostate cancer.

Set an appointment with a Urologist on Monday. So it's another week of waiting.

Thank God I quit drinking. Last night, and this morning, I had a taste of the anxiety I felt when drinking. Just a little sampling of course. I can't imagine anything touching the level of anxiety brought on by alcohol.

If I was drinking still, I'd be an absolute basket case. Instead, I'm able to reason and process the information in a calm manner. What ever is going on, is going on. My thoughts don't get hung up on the "what if's", and it feels great!
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:37 AM
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Oh... On the bad news front, I had to cancel my therapy

I made the mistake of telling them I moved. I no longer have the address in that town in my name. This place uses a sliding scale and my sessions were free.

Now I'm charged $120 for an hour. My insurance will cover 80% of it after my $2500 deductible is met :/

Who knows...maybe my prostate will cost me that much anyway. If I get diagnosed with cancer, for sure I'll set appointments again with a therapist. And this time, I'm going to ask for a referral. See if I can pick up somebody who doesn't work with the poor.
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