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Old 08-08-2009, 01:40 PM   #1 (permalink)

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lifestyle changes that prevent drinking?

Since my last post I have been thinking about what one of you often replies when someone isn't sure if they have a problem or not: try stopping for 30 days and see if your life improves. So I think my first mistake when I initially tried stopping was that I thought of it as either stopping forever or continuing drinking. So now I am committing to a month of sobriety and it is much easier to deal with psychologically. Thank you to the poster who suggested stopping for 30 days. (was it Anna?) Here are some other mistakes that I am working hard not to repeat this time around:
1. Pressuring myself to be more at productive at work: I thought that if I wasn't spending evenings drinking then I should be achieving even more than I was when I was an active drinker. But then when I was too tired or unable to focus, I found that I was just creating unnecessary anxiety and frustration. I need to allow myself to take this whole month to just focus on staying sober. Exercising, eating a healthy diet and taking care of my children. I have never allowed myself to simplify my life in this way, but I don't think I can recover if I am constantly berating myself for "not getting ahead" all the time.
2. I need to eliminate the triggers for at least this month: decrease dinner parties as much as possible, substitute relaxing activities during the time of day that I used to drink (late afternoon/early evening) and finally, I have stopped buying wine, which I used to justify as absolutely necessary for entertaining. I am not going to try to be the life of the party anymore; for this month I am going to take a step back and not feel responsible for entertaining everyone around me
3. Allowing myself to spend a lot of time on SR without feeling like I am wasting my day: right now everything that I read and any support I can get for quitting this month I will consider crucial and productive even if I have to spend all day on SR and put my other work aside
4. Letting myself rest when I'm tired, eat when I'm hungry and read when I need to unwind: I think that somewhere along the way of my increasingly heavy drinking I completely disconnected myself from my body- it takes work to listen to our own signs of hunger and exhaustion esp when our bodies are used to alcohol wreaking havoc with all of our normal signals for sleep or/and nutrition
If anyone can post about mistakes they made that led to relapse and how they corrected them, that would be really helpful- I am determined to make it through this month.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
what a good post. we're going through MAJOR changes physically, psychologically, and physically. we have to give ourselves grace. i want to acheive more, but i'm still a recovering alcoholic. we are in process. right now, not picking up a drink is the most important thing in our lives. for me, if i don't allow myself some breathing room in other areas, my shame will take over and drive me where it always has. thank you for this post.


edit: YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THIS MONTH! allow yourself whatever it takes to stay away from the booze. anything. you can do it.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:57 PM   #3 (permalink)

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effort joy.trying to be kind to yourself is something i would definatly recommend you try.i didnt think i deserved it,,but we all the things you suggested,its a very good start.and,,,dont ever think you are wasting time on sr,,,i was glued to it 24/7 when i first stopped drinking,heck,i still spend alot of time here now.but any time away from something that is destroying us can only be a good thing.i wish you well.take it a day at a time.dont get it in your head you are quitting for a month even though this is your goal.think of it as "im not going to drink today" and keep doing that every day.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It really looks like you have thought this through & have made a plan of action!!
That's a huge step not only to recovery, but to self-awareness.

I think complacency can be a big stumbling block as we get further along in our recovery. I have lost a long-term smoking quit to that many years ago... and right now I seem to be battling some kind of issue of that nature with my 2 years of sobriety. For me, I see it's time to get back to some strict discipline with myself & start being more focused with some things in my life.

One thing I have learned, we go through stages in our recovery, and we need all of them, the good...the bad.... the ugly, to make our recoveries successful.
In the rough times, always remember... this too shall pass.

Nice to meet you...I'm looking forward to reading about your progress
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's a great post, Effortjoy!

The changes you are talking about making in your life are really good ideas. An interesting thing I found is that each change creates a ripple effect in your life and causes more positive changes. Maybe you will find that you like the changes that come about this month.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Williamson
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Effort - nicely laid out plan, I like it.

And if 30 days seems like a long time, do it just for today, every day.

Keep coming back.

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Old 08-08-2009, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ej nice post!
i can't really list things that have worked for me because i'm starting all anew.... but some triggers for me were/are:
*being tired after work-i just couldn't take that tired feeling, i can actually take a nap after work and then go to bed and sleep til the morning. i guess that must be my depression, which of course was made worse by drinking.
*buying foods that i like to snack on when i drink-if i knew i had block cheese or croutons or snack chips/crackers, i think about that and think about drinking beer and relaxing eating those foods.
*letting things that people say or how they act towards me hurt me and make me feel lesser than them or stupid, an outcast.
*isolating myself all the time other than work, not being around people that make me feel good.
*feeling hopeless about my situation and not doing anything about it, just waiting for the day to get over so i could go to sleep.
that's all i can think of right now. some things i have thought about or done to help me with these things:
*like you trying to not overwhelm myself with being "perfect" --this is the hardest thing for me. my boss told me that i need to remind myself that "i am human"
*having things to eat in the house that are good for me, trying to nourish myself
*participating online, here mostly-interacting with ppl and letting down my guard and telling how things really are for me. also doing that with my friend and some with my mom too. i told them both that i am not going to drink again.
*writing in a journal whenever i feel i can. and writing whatever i can.
*i went out in the backyard today to be outside and to be in the sunlight (i usually stay in the house when i'm not at work) i've heard that sunlight helps with depression. i didn't really feel like it but i took a book and read for a bit.
*doing things i used to really enjoy like reading... and i've started crocheting this blanket with leftover's going to be an ugly thing but it sometimes helps keep my mind off of holding a beer in my hand.
*diverting my thoughts or eyes whenever i think of drinking or i see an ad or commercial sensationalizing drinking and how glamorous it is--not, esp if you would have seen me early sunday morning. too bad they don't show those things on tv.
*drinking something all day long no matter if is pop, water or juice to stay hydrated.
sorry to be so long...but hope something in there helps. i want to start exercising but i haven't got the motivation right now. i think it will be there sometime if i keep doing the best i can. i've heard exercise is good for depression too.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward,
some are strong at the broken places.”
~Ernest Hemingway
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some good ideas there effortjoy :
I'm glad you're dipping your toe a little further into the water too

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think that's a wonderful decision, give it a try!

I know when I quit, especially at first I definitely had to change my life around.. a lot of people here refer to it as changing playgrounds and playmates. I had to not stop at abstinence, but develop a new lifestyle that catered to sober living.. it's been fantastic!
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