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One Year and Under Club Part 58

Old 04-24-2017, 07:11 AM
  # 161 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gleefan View Post
Nice job on 1 year Babs!!!! Keep at it. Year two is where the rubber hit the road for me.
Can you share on how your 2nd year was different then your first? Thank you!

Good to see you Caramel and Keepnitreal! You both made a great decision to try again. You can do it!! I didn't think I could. I kept going back to day 1. Then something clicked and I grabbed onto sobriety and haven't looked back.

I had more drinking dreams last night. (like 3 of them) This is kinda getting old! I keep dreaming I give up my 10 1/2 months of sobriety. I have no plans to do so so not sure what the deal with the dreams are! Other then I am scared of doing that! lol. Oh well. I just shake them off....that is all you can do. haha. And complain about it here.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:25 AM
  # 162 (permalink)  
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Thanks to all for the encouragement. I'm excited to be thinking in the right way once again, but don't look forward to that sneaky AV showing up. Day 2 and my sons first day back in school since Easter. It's a great day.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:56 AM
  # 163 (permalink)  
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KIR, Carmel ---can't tell how happy it makes me see you guys come back to SR.
and now that my 1st year is behind me-- I do have yet another challenge ---I have had the AV on my shoulder a lot lately just to let you know not to let your guard down. I've been too confident and this is what happened to me. I wanted a drink this morning or the thought was there. and it was a strong craving. But, I have learned through you guys and my own feelings to kick that guy right off my shoulder. anyway-----thank you again for all the congrats.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:11 AM
  # 164 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Babs1234 View Post
KIR, Carmel ---can't tell how happy it makes me see you guys come back to SR.
and now that my 1st year is behind me-- I do have yet another challenge ---I have had the AV on my shoulder a lot lately just to let you know not to let your guard down. I've been too confident and this is what happened to me. I wanted a drink this morning or the thought was there. and it was a strong craving. But, I have learned through you guys and my own feelings to kick that guy right off my shoulder. anyway-----thank you again for all the congrats.
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This is probably a silly question, but when you guys ( especially those who have been sober awhile) get bad cravings do you just "white knuckle it" or work through it another way? Somebody mentioned that by just allowing the urge and journaling what you were thinking, feeling, the trigger, etc... It could help down the road. Has anybody heard or experienced this.
Hang in there Babs and congratulations on your first year!!!!
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:21 AM
  # 165 (permalink)  
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Hey guys, going to join this thread too, I seem to need to branch out more in SR as I'm getting less real time support due to the nature of my work- being stuck at home babysitting a gaggle of children past meeting times.

Congrats Babs on a year!!

Myself I am coming up on 4 months on May 1st. Longest stretch in about 4 years. Feeling much more confident and vigilant and working at not taking my sobriety for granted. I learned a lot from my relapses last year. I got longer and longer stretches as I did more work on myself. I went to a 6 week family treatment program which made a huge difference to me. I have put so much into my recovery since last September that I feel much more stubborn at keeping on the right path.

KIR, I'll explain some of what works for me. I personally, keep my journalling for gratitude and working out my feelings, I have a separate journal to get my anger and resentments out in letter form (sort of a burn journal)

The dealing with cravings to me is an inside job, meaning I have to keep it on hand, in my mind ready to go at all times. I can't always reach for a journal, say I'm on the road, dealing with kids, etc.
But what I can do, is acknowledge that the craving is there. I treat the thought as separate from me in my conscious. Sometimes I can straight out tell it no, treat it like a tantruming child, and eventually ignore it. I remind myself it's just a thought, not a factual thing I need to act on. Remind myself, I don't drink.
Sometimes, I let 'it' entertain the thought of a drink instead of fighting against it if it seems a lot stronger. I imagine in my mind from beginning the actual experience of taking the drink. I let the imagined experience happen without resisting it. Once I'm done the imaginary first drink, I push my thoughts forward (play the tape) to the feelings and consequences of that first drink. I do try to keep the experience of a 'small relapse' at the forefront for thoughts like these. How one drink led to the very quick body pains and illness and obsessive thoughts.

There are all kinds of different tools and tricks you can use to get through these thoughts, and you will have to figure out what works for you and what doesn't. The thing is, the more you try and practice, the easier it gets over time and the less frequency the urges occur.
It takes a lot of persistent repetition for it to come more naturally. My descriptions are what works for me, it's not necessarily the precise description of what works for me because it's a little different each time.

In the beginning there were situations that I white knuckled it, but they were few as there is no way I wanted to live sobriety and recovery white knuckling every urge and difficult situation. "don't think about a pink elephant, don't think about a pink elephant." What you thinking about?

Also... HALT... hungry, angry, lonely, tired/thirsty and I also think sad. Are all triggers.
Knowing your bad triggers is really good too. Being well armed knowing you are going to face a difficult situation is very helpful. This is where good support can be a real benefit.

Sometimes, I simply tell on my AV. I just say it, text it, or post on here and say "I want to drink" For me giving some kind of space outside of my head takes away the grip it has on my brain.

Remember, a relapse starts way before the first drink, but that first drink is always a choice.

If anyone is interested I can post the relapse ladder. It was very helpful to me in early recovery as I could gauge how well I was doing mentally, where I was at.

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Old 04-24-2017, 11:00 AM
  # 166 (permalink)  
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A lot of times I can figure out what caused the craving.

Most of the time it is hunger and I am confusing it with wanting alcohol. So I eat good and I am satisfied. Other times it is because I had a hard day and I just need to unwind or blow off steam. I'll unwind with some tea or exercise to get rid of some energy.

I would love to see the relapse ladder Delizadee.
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:23 PM
  # 167 (permalink)  
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Deli and Midwest. Thank you for your insight. I would love the ladder information!
Have a great day.
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:12 PM
  # 168 (permalink)  
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This is gold star info for dealing with cravings Keepnitreal

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-cravings.html

I particularly recommend urge surfing

D
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:54 PM
  # 169 (permalink)  
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Thanks for all the kind welcoming messages folks
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:46 PM
  # 170 (permalink)  
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Oh boy tonight was a bear. My son came home for school and immediately started asking for toys and when I said it was time to study for a test all I got was lip and attitude, with not real drive or ownership. It turned into an ugly scene and then it calmed down, but it's so sad it has to get so ugly before its ok. Anyway, all I could think about was how miserable this fight is and how badly I wanted to have a drink and check out. Arggggg. I try to set boundaries, I took away his phone, but the friction in our home I feel drives me crazy. I didn't drink and now things are calm, but I can't leave my family to stay sober. Ideas?
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:05 PM
  # 171 (permalink)  
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Great, awesome post delz
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:39 PM
  # 172 (permalink)  
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When I was getting hit with big urges in early sobriety, I did two things. As Delizadee said, I would play the tape in my head back to my last days of drinking. The drinking that started as soon as I got up and made everyday off totally unproductive. Reliving the morning headaches and stomach aches from constantly over drinking. The arguments with my wife because I would black out each night and not remember any conversations we had. The constant self loathing my life had become. I would just play these on an endless tape loop for the five minutes or so that it took an urge to pass.

I also found physical activity to help alot. Move a muscle, change a thought. I would jump on the exercise bike for ten minutes, or go for a walk, or lift some weights. Or even crank up the stereo and dance around the living room. It always seemed to help me out.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:47 PM
  # 173 (permalink)  
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When I got urges in the early days, I reminded myself that I was on SR for a reason and it wasnt because I had an ability to drink in moderation! No, I was here because I couldn't meet my own eyes in the mirror my self loathing was so bad. I never wanted to return to that person. Also I think because I chose not to hide or lie any more, I opened up to my husband exactly, frankly, almost brutally, what my addiction had become, I risked losing the best parts of my life if I chose to drink again. I kept telling myself drinking or not drinking was my choice, I could choose to carry on down that road where I lost my self respect and would soon loose my family, job, home and health, or I could choose to find another, better way to live.

Mid, for me, the second year was about finding my sober feet. It was no longer about having to do everything I could to maintain my sobriety, as it became easier and easier not to even think about drinking. Of course, then complacency becomes a danger which is why I make my daily homage to SR. But year 2 was about finding out who I was now I was sober. What do I like doing? What do I want my life to be like? What changes do I want to make? Am I happy at the place I have reached or do I want to make fundamental changes?
I am fortunate in having a loving supportive spouse, who is proud of me for conquering my addiction, even if he doesn't truly understand it. So he stood by me as I made changes within myself and in how I wanted to live. I am for the most part a much happier more content person without the poisonous crutch of alcohol. Live is not roses round the door, I am no Pollyanna, I just know that I like myself, the person I am now. Each year of sobriety, I grow into her even more.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:31 AM
  # 174 (permalink)  
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Wow ! some great posts here ! Everyday I learn something new and now I just need to practice some of them.
I'm finding my problem right now is making a decision. It's not about drinking so much as other things in life. I'm never sure. What's that all about? It's one of those deals where Should I? Will I be happy with that decision ? what will happen? Just decisions in general. What will the consequences be? Anyway just some things going through this alcoholic head right now.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:48 AM
  # 175 (permalink)  
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Babs, I remember feeling ambivalent about a lot of things in my life after I hit one year sober. I worked so hard to make it through the first year, and then it's like"What's next for me?" I think most of that first year, my life centered around not drinking and making life decisions that supported that goal. My life had a focus that made decision making more cut and dry for me. "Will this choice help to keep me sober or not?"

By the second year, I experienced some self doubt on whom I really was as a person. Alcohol had been a lifetime partner with me, and now I had to make my way in the world without its' "support." I began to discover who I really am and what is important in my life. I had to grow up and learn to be an adult and make decisions. It was the start of a period of emotional growth that began to bloom in my second year. I feel the further along I go not drinking, the more confidence I have in the choices I make, and that's a pretty cool feeling.

I think self doubt is really just our Addictive Voice planting little traps for us, trying to get us to drink again. It was always an easy choice to drink, rather than make a tough decision. I have made good choices and bad choices in sobriety, that's just life. If I make a bad decision, I chalk it up as simply a learning experience and I will know better the next time!
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:54 AM
  # 176 (permalink)  
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Wow! Only stopped by for a quick check in, but some fantastic posts above, I will come back and re-read later in the week - thank you so much. This is a special place on the internet!

Delizadee - really relate to what you're saying about separating the AV from yourself and seeing it as a different entity. Just watching it pass. Playing it forward has also helped me, and I find it particularly useful to think about some drinking dreams I've had recently and how awful I felt in the dream about having let the AV win.

Toots - Brilliant that you have such a supportive husband. I'm lucky that way too and knew that I had to be completely honest with him when I stopped drinking. He was aware that I had a problem, but was still shocked to hear about just how bad it had become - how I was hiding alcohol from him and sneakily disposing of the empties... Telling him felt like drawing a line under the behaviour, and the support he's shown me would make it so much harder for me to go back to the same behaviour.

x
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:22 PM
  # 177 (permalink)  
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Toots and Stargazer- thanks for sharing what happened to you in your 2nd year of sobriety.
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:30 AM
  # 178 (permalink)  
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Hey all you undies! (sounds like we're at a slumber party) Have a great weekend!
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:46 AM
  # 179 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tomls View Post
Hey all you undies! (sounds like we're at a slumber party) Have a great weekend!
I second that emotion!
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:04 AM
  # 180 (permalink)  
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Good morning folks. Just checking in.

Great posts on here lately! I was thinking to myself that I really don't have any desire to drink anymore. It has really sunk in that the only appeal to drinking was the buzz, and having just a drink or two has no appeal to me whatsoever. I am amazed at how I really look forward to having a cup of tea or opening a bottle of Perrier with almost the same enthusiasm I used to open a bottle of wine.

I've realized that for years now drinking had become a chore. Something I felt I *had* to do, probably because I didn't know any other way to live. I have always drank, and often drank to excess. I can remember so many times going out to a social event knowing that I would be drinking and worrying about whether I would be able to keep my behaviour under control, yet not drinking was never an option in my mind. If someone came over to my house the first thing we would do is open a bottle of wine. And of course if I was home alone I would drink.

Something that I don't miss is the rollercoaster of emotions that alcohol brings. They (the emotions) are always way out of proportion to what triggers them, whether it be loving everyone you meet SO MUCH!, to being so angry about a small slight, or a crying jag over who knows what. Yup, don't miss that at all! My emotions are definitely more level, I feel happier overall, and I also feel that I am a nicer, more likable person. Perhaps it's that I feel more worthy. I don't feel a need to beat myself up anymore.

Anyway, enough rambling, things to do and places to go. Have a good one everyone
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