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Old 12-29-2013, 07:53 AM
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Lifestyle Changes

I'm officially nine days sober today. However, sobriety has not challenged me yet. My entire adult life has revolved around alcohol. Playing softball - drinking, watching sports - drinking, all my friends - drinking, happy hours - drinking.......I have no idea what I'm going to do or how I'm going to do this. Do I do a 180 in life and completely change who I am? I have scheduled my first ever counseling session next week. Up until this point in my life I've never believed in counseling. Allowing someone to get into my head and "help me" has always sounded ridiculous to me. However, my life has completely been decimated in 2013....separation, driving problems,......I've had my visitation with my children this weekend which is easy as I never drink around them. (I used to before I left my wife). However, since I have to be more responsible now I do not drink around them. I get them Friday after work and take them back Sunday evening and on the drive home after having them I always had that "excitement" that I was going to go home and get hammered alone, in my apartment, pass out...then get up and get my week started Monday. After my latest negative situation with alcohol and my first ever attempt to get sober I'm just not sure how to change my life in a positive way. Once I get my driving privileges back I really hope I can talk myself into AA meetings because I know I cannot do this alone. I also am curious as to what/how a counselor is going to help me. I go to my family doctor tomorrow and I plan to be honest with her for the first time since I started going years ago and telling her I'm an alcoholic suffering from major depression. I'm curious to hear how some of the members of this site have changed their life.....I would literally need to stop hanging out with every friend I have as I have no "sober" friends. I'm getting tested in my life right now and I'm not sure I'm ready for this but I HAVE TO FOR MY CHILDREN. :-(
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:03 AM
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I did make a lot of changes in my life. My thinking needed to change and I had to begin to look at life with gratitude instead of the negativity that had led me to drinking and depression. I started keeping a Gratitude Journal and it helped. I turned to things I had previously enjoyed but giving up while drinking - listening to and organizing my music, reading (for pleasure and for learning), yoga and lots of walking. I meet friends for coffee. I found that I craved 'alone time' which had been something I hated and always led to drinking. It has become a gift to myself.

If you do have depression then maybe your dr will recommend medication for you. I take medication for depression, which for me, levels the playing field so I can have a chance at a normal life. I tried two therapists and neither worked well for me, but many people have a good experience. I think you should try whatever might work for you.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
I take medication for depression, which for me, levels the playing field so I can have a chance at a normal life.
I agree with this. I wouldn't discount the effect that "popping an anxiety pill once a day" can have on helping get through things. Each night before bed I take 10mg of Celexa, and this has helped me feel more "even" and "able" to deal with things. I hardly think about it.... it doesn't bother me that I'm taking an anti-depressant.

I also know that I can't just pop a pill and never think about the depression again. It's a process, it's a daily kind of thing... so I try to stay as calm and relaxed as I can, read AA literature (if that's something that appeals to you), listen to what my body is saying, and just go easy on myself. There is no "right way" to do all this - only the way that keeps you from that first drink.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:17 AM
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The short answer: yes.

In early sobriety, changing people, places and spaces is crucial. At least it is for most.

In time, with a tool kit and some strong sober time those things could be reintroduced but for me I chose to just keep things simple. I don't go to happy hour. I don't socialize with drinkers unless I have to and I focus on my sobriety before anything else. And even with that it ain't easy but it's working.

Best of luck and we are all here to support you!!
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:32 AM
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You may not physically be able to get to an AA meeting now but you can download the AA Big Book as well as Living Sober. There are also all kinds of suggestions of recovery literature on this site as well. I agree with needing to make big changes in your life. Hopefully you will be able to be honest with your buddies and let them know that you need to not drink. I'm sure they already know that, however. Your real friends will stick with you. This is hard stuff but with enough grit you can do it!
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Broom View Post
...I'm just not sure how to change my life in a positive way.
Quitting is a great start. Do as recommended by others and stay away from alcohol releated events and situations and sadly, but importantly in the beginning, your drinking friends.

Give it time, you will see the positive effects that an alcohol-free life brings with it.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:21 AM
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Those who are worth their salt will remain your friend and understand (I have plenty of those) and you will meet new, friends, interests and acquaintances along the way xxx
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:31 PM
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I didn't so much change who I was - but I did change what I did - I did nearly everything with a drink...that had to stop.

My entire social life revolved around drinking and drinkers. That had to stop too.

It was a big ask - but I wanted to be sober that badly - y'know?

D
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