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Old 02-29-2012, 09:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Day Eleven: Pressure Cooker & Steam Vents


Well guys I got through Day eleven. It wasn't completely easy.

I love my work, but it is all-encompassing. From the instant I hit the door to the instant I leave I am running for all I'm worth. This is actually quite positive, but it's a source of some serious desire to drink. After a day like today--which had zero down time from 8 - 6, I really long to go to the tavern for a beer or two.

But I came home, made dinner, and, of course, came to the computer to do SR--and work.

At the end of this week I will be so relieved to have lived through it that I will surely want to do something fun. Up until very recently that would mean drinking myself silly. And I'm not sure how to get that kind of release otherwise.

Once we alkies give up drinking, what do we do to let off some serious steam? Seriously. Ideas?
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you have to find some sort of hobby that you like doing, something to calm you and keep you busy while you aren't at work or with your family etc. I'm actually looking for a hobby as well, with the weekend coming up I need to keep myself busy.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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pressure relief valve

one of my best friends in recovery made the simple suggestion to take a hot bath once per day when I was at first struggling with sobriety. That saved my buns for a while. Now regular moderate excercise is a big boon. The great thing is that you are looking for other options now . Keep It Up!!!!!!!!!


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Old 02-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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11 days is FANTASTIC Missy, congratulations. I start a new job Monday. I've been sober for 1 year almost 9 months. That time was lived at a near poverty level of existance because I've been an addict most of my life. I'm going back to the real world and the real challenge to my sobriety will begin. Once again congratulations on the 11 days.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi, Missy. Exercise works wonders for me. Reading helps me relax a lot, too. Even just watching a movie can help me get out of my own head, so thoughts of the day's work just sort of drift away.

Maybe it also might be helpful to spend some time reading old posts or writing down recollections of alcohol's impact on your life. Did it really help you let off steam—or did it cause you far more stress in the long-run? Does going to the tavern for a beer or two resemble your actual drinking patterns, or is it a romanticized fantasy conjured by addiction?

Alcohol took up a lot of my time in the evening, so I definitely had a four- or five-hour void to fill. But that hole was not previously occupied by something enjoyable or relaxing. I gave up something miserable, not something fun....
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I sure have used the shower method above... Reminds me to go ahead and do that in a bit.
I'm sure many of us in early recovery can relate, I get in that mental "F-it" mode every now and then, but I don't have an absolute cure. Only thing I know is; the short-term relief from the bottle sure ain't worth it in the long-run for us.
Exercise, read\TV, shower\bath, walk, sleep.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Think about things you liked to do when you were young, before alcohol stole the show. Some ideas: painting, sculpting, writing. Possibly more exciting activities: snowboard/skiing, rock climbing (they've opened some really cool indoor ones around NY- not sure if they have them in Washington), take a cooking class, make an appointment at the spa. I am personally happy having more time to read and exercise. As for blowing off steam, I haven't been TOO stressed out lately, but something active will probably be best.

Congrats on 11 days!
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I live in the stress zone a lot, too. Part of it comes from trying to make a living with my art and being a single mom - I never know what my income is going to be and have been living hand to mouth for years. Part of it, though, is my personality. I try to do it all (perfectly, of course!)

Alcohol was my way of shutting down - my "mental vacation" - so after I got sober I had to work at finding ways to do that from within myself and I'm having some success at it.

I also had to find things I enjoyed doing in my off time. Again, it took a little time and experimenting.

If you can identify what you think alcohol does for you, then you can begin to find some solutions and they'll be real solutions, not just a chemically-induced feeling. Alcohol can never be a solution because we're back at square one when it wears off (worse, actually, because we're destroying ourselves in the process). There's no learning or growing.......

The trick is: we have to be willing to give up the easy button so that we can listen to what our discontent is telling us. What does "blowing off steam" mean for you? Relaxing, exercising, turning your mind off, helping people? The solution is in you already - you just need to discover it........
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I was trying to moderate/give up for years on and off. I found it really hard to shake the notion that Friday needed to be "special", relax, unwind etc. this always set the scene for a full on weekend.

This time I broke that notion and just told myself that "ordinary" could be special. Over time I have come to appreciate the different atmosphere of Fridays and commonly get a real feeling of calm. Sure this is different from the buzzy wind up and rush to "relax", but I had enough experience to know there was no true relaxation in drinking anymore, and it wasn't going to come back.

The practice gratitude opened my awareness to the enjoyment of ordinary, after years of dulling my senses and being bound up in "me".
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Congratulations on the eleven days! I will be on day four tomorrow. I was alone all day today and usually I would've drank myself silly but did my hair instead, went tanning, and went to Wal-mart. I'm taking anti-anxiety meds to help with the withdrawals, so I think that is helping me from going crazy. Good job to you!
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Way to go on your 11 days! *happy dance for you*

Hello OheemJah and welcome!

I like all the ideas above and was nodding my head to artsoul's share about discovering the real-need that alcohol was not really meeting.

I replaced my afternoon/early evening drinking time with running with a club. It was important for me in the beginning to just-not-drink as I was starting to collect sobriety tools and supports.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Missy I think artsoul hit on an important point - think about what you've used alcohol for - and try to find better ways to achieve that objective.

and at the risk of sounding like a broken record - I also think if life is that sustained a level of stress for you maybe you can think of ways to break things up and get a little balance going?

Welcome to SR OheemJah

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Old 03-01-2012, 06:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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After a hectic day, when I used to look for that warm glow on my way to oblivion, I now sit. I listen to my breath, and let the feelings of the day wash over me. I can hold those stressful parts of my day in my mind, and watch how my body reacts to that. Returning my thoughts back to my breath, I can find that competent and successful person and appreciate him, be grateful.

Butterscotch pecan ice cream is pretty good too.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. When I look back on last night's post, the morning of Day 12, it seems a little short-sighted. And a little common. Friday is supposed to be a celebration--but why do I think it has to include alcohol? A workout would be good, a horse event would be good, quilting would be good, as would watching a movie.

So what's interesting here for us to consider is that I have all kinds of outlets. I am simply used to the "mental vacation" of artsoul's reference. In other words, disappearing into a place where I am not myself. From this vantage point--awfully healthy and in control--that seems ridiculous. It is the addiction that makes it impossible to assume I can achieve it.

But I certainly plan to achieve it. Thanks for your ideas and for reminding me of how limited my thinking has been.
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