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Positives Vs. Negatives

Old 11-25-2013, 10:29 AM
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Positives Vs. Negatives

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to quit drinking for a while, and I feel what put me over the hump was the fact that I now focus on the benefits of quitting drinking as opposed to the negative consequences I'll have to face should I continue.

For example, in the past I focused on all the negative things that have happened to me as a result of my drinking; all of the blackouts, embarrassing moments, terrible text messages, infidelities, drunk driving, passing out on the floor, arguments, wasting money, etc. While it is important to recognize this, I don't feel it completely did the trick for me.

Instead, I focus on what I get out of being sober. It's only been a week for me, but this is very impressive for me. I would usually drink every night, so this is a huge accomplishment. I've done this by focusing on the positives. I focus on being clear headed, beng less anxious, not having to put a poison into my body anymore, and no longer being a drug addict. I say to myself "I get to be sober today" and I have a feeling in my head that I have already put in my time as an alcoholic, and that I no longer have to drink alcohol anymore.

I focus on the fact that there is literally no positives about drinking alcohol. I think if someone feels they are missing out on something, it is much harder to give something up. Because of this, I don't want to make myself feel that I am missing out on alcohol, because I'm not. There is nothing positive to miss out on. I am gaining sobriety, I am gaining a clearer, purer way of living life. And I am grateful for this.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:36 AM
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Sounds like a plan
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:37 AM
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I agree. There is so much positive in quitting drinking and nothing positive in continuing to drink.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:43 AM
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Sounds like the difference between 'getting stopped' and 'staying stopped'.
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:28 PM
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I like your outlook BPositive

D
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:10 PM
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Nice post, thanks. I liken it to: "Be positive, not oh....negative(!)"

Keep on going!
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:13 PM
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This was HUGE for me BPositive.
I actually physically wrote a list of positives vs. negatives of quitting. The positive side stretched across 3 pages before I stopped, and I think I had 2 negatives. They were also quite weak.
A striking testament to the power of addiction.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:20 PM
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Focusing on what you are gaining is so much more rewarding and when it comes to re-wiring yourself it's almost like a Jedi mind-trick in both its complexity and simplicity. Good on you for holding that complex so delicately and yet so firmly. x
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:35 PM
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I love this BPositive - really wise of you. I dwelled on the negatives too long in the beginning, finally got around to feeling the way you do & it was such a relief.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:10 PM
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What you describe is truly what turned around my recovery.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:16 PM
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Live in the solution, not the problem!!
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:14 PM
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First of all, I REALLY like your "Wicked Sober" pic

Second, the world really IS different when you have gained sobriety and you manage to STAY there for a little while. I have my down, negative moments and sometimes really miserable crusty ones BUT there is often a sense of euphoria too, or just simple joy in being alive -- FOR NO REASON. I almost never felt that kind of lightness during my drinking days. Having those moments occasionally is definitely worth staying sober!

And after a while you see a beauty and symmetry in always being in control of what you can do with your own life -- in never "checking out" so you don't have to deal with the bad parts. At first it felt rigid to me, but now it feels harmonious. And it doesn't always feel good, but the majority of the time, it DOES. I get a weird, pleasant feeling about going about my daily morning chores WITHOUT a hangover, knowing exactly what I am going to do next and not having to race the clock because I stayed in bed to nurse my swollen head or even sober up a bit more before work.

Yes, you ARE right. Sober is WICKED.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:57 AM
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That's more or less what I arrived at as well. I started this journey with a vision of exactly what I wanted my life to look like in years to come, after 30-days sober it feels good to know how much ground I've covered, and that I'm pointed in the right direction for a change.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:22 AM
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This is an excellent post! It ties right in with you'll be as happy as you make up your mind to be.

Thank you for this BPositive!
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:24 AM
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Exactly! While I feel it's important to write down and understand all of the negative consequences related to continued alcoholism, for me it just isn't enough. Being an addict, I tend to have an instant gratification persona. I'm very impulsive, I often act without thinking things through properly, which may be a result of prolonged excessive alcohol consumption. Because I am this way, I tend to be like a "criminal" per se, and feel that nothing bad will happen if I drink *this* time, just as I suppose a criminal will commit a crime and expect not to get caught (how many criminals commit crimes expecting to get caught?).

By focusing instead on what I will gain from choosing not to drink, I feel this makes all the difference in the world. I can certainly choose to drink tonight, but what will I gain? I will get fuzzy, dizzy, I won't want to eat, I'll get stupid and dumb, I'll get slurred speech and a distorted view of reality, I'll become a different person. This is really all alcohol does immediately. I no longer really drink socially, it's almost always either by myself or with one or two more people (which I've done so often that it might as well be by myself). When I think of it critically, and logically, none of these effects are fun. Why do I drink then? It's not fun. I'm not getting any benefits. If I choose not to drink, I won't have any of these consequences. I'll be clear headed, smarter, more social (because alcohol certainly does not make me more social), wittier, funnier, less anxious to speak because I know I won't have slurred speech, and I'll even be able to drive at the end of the night. That's all positive. When I think it through this way, it's a wonder I've ever drank in the past, and I feel positive about quitting forever.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:24 AM
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I have to quit or bad things will happen vs I want to quit so good things will happen.

It's making a difference for me.
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