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Old 08-25-2014, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to get past triggers


Its been a great day. I did lots with my children and got a lot accomplished, but it's hitting happy hour and my husband is home from work and "normally" in about 3 short hours we would start drinking. It's our tv night ( Bachelor in Paradise... Smut I know) and every Monday we usually get drunk...to kick off the work week and watch our shows. I am now feeling anxious... How do I stop? Do I just stop watching my shows all together as they are triggers? I need help. Please help.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When I first got sober I went to a therapist who specialized in cognitive behavioral therapy.
One of the first things he told me was to "shake things up". I needed to do something different then what I normally did when I drank. I switched my workout schedule from the morning (normal) to the evening (normally drinking) for a few weeks and that really helped.
I had to change several of my behaviors at first in my quest to stay sober.
Don't fret though! Once I got over certain mental hurdles I was able to get back to doing the things I enjoyed and doing them sober. Sober TV/movie watching is so much cooler sober... I remember everything!! =)
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If your worrying now just talk with your husband I'm sure he'll understand its completely your choice not to watch it because of this I'm not telling you not to just try not to panic your doing great

Just keep reminding yourself that your doing well and its all going to get better

Only you really know if it is a trigger I don't want to say yes its fine its only a TV show just in case it does

Keep it up
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had to change my daily routine to make it work for me. My hardest time was early evening, after supper. So, I started going out for long walks and it really helped. And, the walking had many extra benefits that I wasn't even expecting. Maybe it would be a good idea to avoid the favourite TV show for awhile? Whatever works for you!
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yes, talk to your husband!
my girl still drinks at night during our regular times and sometimes i would like to join but know the only way i could turn life and our relationship around is by sobriety and i would never risk that for a night of temporary fun!! best of luck!
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cravings are thoughts, not actions, they are not inevitable, after I worked that out I could then still watch my favourite shows again, and adjust the activity to include a non alcoholic drink in my hand instead!!

Does your husband know you've quit drinking? as he'll probably assume, through no fault of his own, that it's the regular routine as normal, probably having a chat to him would take a lot of pressure off!!

But if it's not going to work, the alternative is to find a new Monday night activity, protect your Sobriety at all costs!!

You can do this!!
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Serenity. Something that's lodged into my brain and stuck with me... "the best way out is through." Simply meaning, just allow yourself the experience of facing each trigger without putting up a fight. And without giving in, of course. Just allow it "to be." It's being mindful of the urge, seeing it for what it really is... just an urge, a tendency, the addictive voice... many names for the same phenomenon really. We don't have to act. And we don't have to worry that we're having them.

The more you surf out the urge, the stronger its hold on you

You can do it! Gets much easier in time.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yup, the shows aren't triggers - it's all the good memories that are triggers. The warm boozed-up feeling. The spending time with the spouse. Probably have a pretty good meal too. Pleasant brain candy on the TV. Yikes!

Anxious in anticipation of dealing with this! Double yikes!

We associate drinking with some pleasant times (which there were) but we all know how the movie goes. Most of us stop before the final reel, some of us don't. This is the difference between watching a drama and a tragedy.

Don't want to pry, but why did you quit drinking if hubby didn't? You need new situations to quit drinking (as mentioned above), but can't do so if the environment doesn't change.

I see three possible outcomes here -
1. Get out and stay away tonight during the "TV Booze Fest", and only go home once hubby is passed out
2. Talk to hubby about it, and see if he'd quit drinking with you
3. Go ahead and drink

2. isn't a bad place to start, but if the answer is "No" you'll need to choose 1 or 3. Have a plan in advance, and your odds are better of making the right choice (#1). No plan likely ends up with #3.

Good luck.

PS: PK, thank you. WB, might be a good idea to try a tack hammer before reaching for the sledge. That someone comes on here looking for help means they are looking for help. As PK says, we should be keeping people from hitting rock bottom, not driving them there.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well thank you eveyone for the response. I come here looking for genuine help. Honest to God help. I am scared. I ask questions. I guess I need to start thinking before I ask. I am sorrtbif my questions seem stupid. I am sorry if I seem stupid. I just genuinely want to get sober and would like support. I am sorry if I seem like I dont want to quit because I do. I jist need help and advice. I will promise everyone here to make sure I keep my post to a minimum and make sure they are not ridiculous as it seems I may not always get supportive responses. However, thank you all for the help.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Serenity85 View Post
Well thank you eveyone for the response. I come here looking for genuine help. Honest to God help. I am scared. I ask questions. I guess I need to start thinking before I ask. I am sorrtbif my questions seem stupid. I am sorry if I seem stupid. I just genuinely want to get sober and would like support. I am sorry if I seem like I dont want to quit because I do. I jist need help and advice. I will promise everyone here to make sure I keep my post to a minimum and make sure they are not ridiculous as it seems I may not always get supportive responses. However, thank you all for the help.
Hey Serenity,

Ignore the one bad response - lots of good advice here. Keep posting if you need help.

Have you come up with a plan yet for tonight? Referring back to my post, I think you'll have to start with outcome #2, and have a plan for whatever hubby says. But get a plan together.

You'll also find having a plan winches down the anxiety, helping curb your desire to drink.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Serenity85 View Post
I will promise everyone here to make sure I keep my post to a minimum and make sure they are not ridiculous as it seems I may not always get supportive responses.
The goal here is to be Sober, if posting keeps you Sober, post every day, every hour if needs be, there are no silly questions, post and get the support you need from the community that's here!!
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Serenity85, thanks for posting, I for one got a lot out of it so please just keep on moving onwards and upwards. Most people (if not everyone) are supportive and the ones that aren't may well be in a much worse position than you. I spent 12 weeks in an all female rehab and believe me the emotions and feelings went down to the wire on many occasions. We are super sensitive in recovery and must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bsthwater. I wish you all the luck in the world. Keep posting
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well let's try and qualify your status as a drinker.
I'm pretty certain Serenity already knows alcohol is a problem in her life and is trying to take the steps to make the necessary changes!!
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ignore Shamu!!

For me, I made changes for first few weeks.
I had to look for stuff to occupy me that did not include sitting on the sofa in front of the TV with usual glass and that evenings selection of programme.

After a while, probably 6 weeks, to 2 months in, I was fine sat on the sofa and I had no cravings or yearnings to drink. I was fine with tea or a hot chocolate.

So if you want reassurance from me, this inability to function like you did before but minus the booze won't last forever.

However, I did find i did do a lot of boring things that I don't do know all because booze was a part of it.
Before I was happy to watch nonsense all night on TV and not move. As long as I had a drink.
I could sit all weekend and do nothing as long as I had a drink.
Now I cannot do that.
I don't want to do that.
I want to do more.
You might find that without the lure of a drink, you don't want to do that either.

I can't say it is overly exciting things, but to me now the thought of sitting from say 7.30pm to 12.30pm in front of the TV necking booze wold not seem right. During the day, even less right.

I know some people do it and can have 1 glass of wine and no more and are happy.
I was different, I drank continuously until every drop was gone.

Don't judge how you feel now as this being how you will feel forever.
Give it longer, you maybe nicely surprised.

Wishing you the best xx
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ps - no keeping posts to a minimum, no feeling silly about whatever you are typing about, no feeling bad, no struggling and not daring to post either.

No need to feel like that, at least in my books, ever.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Keep posting we all need help and support.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hey Serenity Post here all you want! Usually people react this way bc they want people to join in with their misery. Please dont let one small remark set you over the edge. I have done that before and after that relapse I am like welp they won. You're better than that We all want you here so PLEASE stick around and post all you want. I just don't understand some people

Anyway, I understand certain shows being a trigger. I used to sit on the couch and watch TV and drink in a haze.
Try making some tea. Right now I made a batch of lemon ginger tea. It is hitting the spot. Get a full belly too. When I am craving most of the time a big meal makes my craving go away.
Anyway, stay as close as you need to here to ride it out. It wont kill you and it WILL pass hugs
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm here to help you although it might not seem like it.

Your here, looking for help and that's fantastic, I sincerely wish you all the best.

One thing I heard might help and that is this.

If a mechanic is going to fix a car, first they have to find the actual problem. It wouldn't help much if they simply prescribed a "new set of tyres" for each car that came in, because in 95% of cases, that won't be what is required to fix each and every car.

You might be a "problem drinker" or in other words, you drink when you have lots of problems OR, you may be the real deal alcoholic who drinks whether or not they have problems.

If you can ask yourself deep down, do I drink whether I'm sad, glad, anxious, celebrating, commiserating, or in pretty much any other state of emotion.

If you drink to excess only when your problems are piled up and getting too much, then learning to solve your problems in a healthier manner or with a safe amount of alcohol is the most likely course of action.

If you drink to excess regardless of your external circumstances, then I would say you are probably the real deal alcoholic. If any state of emotion or any external circumstances would in your way of thinking be "better with a drink" then you have an established pattern of "thinking drinking"

It might help to know that alcoholism is something that appears to be a pre-disposed condition.
Just like you can be born with an allergy to peanuts or seafood, alcoholic drinkers seem to have been born with a body that processes alcohol differently to that of a normal controlled or social drinker.

The alcoholic is nott a failure or weak willed or a bad person. They have a body that craves alcohol and that is not normal. They also have a brain that tells them that one day they will control their drinking or that the next time they pick up a drink, it will be different.

Personally, when I realised my drinking was causing me trouble, in terms of family, work, health etc, I would quit for months at a time. But the last thoughts I would have before picking up again would be... Well it's been 3 months, I've proved I'm not "alcoholic " so let's give it another go. Things will be better / different this time.

That's an obsession with alcohol, despite years and years of evidence that booze got me into trouble, both emotional and circumstantial, I would give it another go.

Then, because my body processes alcohol differently, the cravings for more and more would kick in and I'd drink till I passed out, blacked out or ran out (of booze)

Sometimes I'd do stupid stuff whilst drunk, but mostly I didn't, I just started, drank too much and woke up next morning thinking "but I only wanted to have 3-4 drinks"

Any ways.... I hope that is more helpful. Sorry I was a complete grump with that first post and that I caused you anxiety.

By replying you've shown you mean business and that's fantastic. Don't get drunk tonight, but also don't spend the night "fighting " the urge.

Just surrender, throw in the towel, give up..... If you touch a hot element on a stove once (or twice if your a slow learner like me) you soon learn that it's not a good idea to touch it again.... Right?
But despite booze having "burnt" you so many times, you keep touching it right?

Anyone who kept touching a stove, thinking, it won't burn me this time, you would start to think they might be a bit nuts.

So stop thinking booze won't burn you again.... Make a sane and rational decision.

There is no cheese down that tunnel anyone
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I clicked on your post because I, too, need more help with triggers. Ask away! There is sure to be someone who has the same question or need. Welcome!
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