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Old 03-04-2015, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Thursday could be a shovelling day around here, too.

Spring is going to be so Sweet.

Stay strong, Gonnachange; you can do this.
Looking now as possibly the most snow of the season.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Thursday could be a shovelling day around here, too.

Spring is going to be so Sweet.

Stay strong, Gonnachange; you can do this.
Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Looking now as possibly the most snow of the season.
After the gym this morning I spent another 45 minutes shoveling heavy slushy snow from my sidewalk and walkways. I'm letting mother nature take care of the driveway. We're supposed to get another 5-6 inches tonight. Oh joy. Not!

Last Night

Shortly after my last post my wife told me that due to the poor weather conditions her book club meeting was cancelled, but since the hostess had already prepared the meal she was turning a lemon into lemonade by inviting anyone who wanted to venture out to come over with their significant others. So instead of a quiet evening at home alone I went out. I also had 1.5 glasses of wine.

There. It's out and full disclosure has been made. I'm not condoning it or justifying it. And the reality is that while I knew it was wrong I'm not beating myself up for it. Not saying I'm happy about it, but I can write that I'm also not going to let it lead to me having anything to drink today or thinking that moderation is going to work for me.

I wrote yesterday that I planned on being at the gym early and I kept to my intended schedule despite me staying up until almost midnight to find out if I was chosen via the lottery to run this year's NYC Marathon. I was not. What does that have to do with anything? A lot, at least for me.

Knowing that I have a big lifting session ahead of me or that I'm in training for a long distance race has often been the little extra motivation I need to stay sober. So while I'm registered for a half marathon in the fall I'm going to start looking for another marathon to run in October or November.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:32 PM
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Does NYC limit the number of participants for logistical purposes? Is the selection process strictly random?
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Does NYC limit the number of participants for logistical purposes? Is the selection process strictly random?
Yes the organizers do limit the participants. The number of starters is about 50,000 which makes it the largest marathon in the world. Other than the lottery, which I participated in this year, the selection is absolutely not random. I can give more detail if you want. At the high end this is a professional race; the elite athletes get appearance money and the male and female winners are paid a six figure prize, probably about $250,000, but I'm not sure. With additional bonuses based on finishes on the other big pro races that figure can be much higher. Regular folks like me pay to run and although I will say it's the best marathon I've ever done, it's also the most expensive. Come next November I'll be 57 and still slow so nobody's paying me to show up. :-)

Tonight

Quiet evening at home with my wife. Dinner was shrimp scampi served with mashed cauliflower and a salad. Liquid of choice has been seltzer; there may be a tea in my future, but probably not. Plans for the balance of what will be an early night is reading a book I started earlier today.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:39 AM
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Yesterday went pretty well, but I'm struggling today. Some physical stuff, but mainly I can't stop thinking about drinking even though I don't want to get drunk. I like the mental clarity I'm experiencing right now. I know it's my AV trying to convince me that some alcohol now will make me feel better, which may be true in the short run, but I've seen this play before and know how it ends. So no booze even if I have to fight one minute at a time. I've been on SR almost all day, which means my work productivity is nil, but I can live with that. I'm also making sure that I'm hydrated and well fed.

Thanks SR community; you've been very helpful today.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:43 AM
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We are with you all the way, Gonnachange.

Your AV will tell you absolutely anything; give it a good hard swift kick to the curb.

Last night's dinner sounded great.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
We are with you all the way, Gonnachange.

Your AV will tell you absolutely anything; give it a good hard swift kick to the curb.

Last night's dinner sounded great.
I doubt I would have made it this far into the day without SR. Yes, I recognize the conniver and while it's flexing its muscles today he's not winning this battle.

Thanks about dinner. There was enough left over for lunch today. :-)
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:01 AM
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Leftovers are the best (and very little clean-up - oh yeah!!!!).
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Leftovers are the best (and very little clean-up - oh yeah!!!!).
Agreed. If it's something that reheats well, I'll intentionally make enough for dinner so there are leftovers for lunch the next day or so.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Gonnachange View Post
Agreed. If it's something that reheats well, I'll intentionally make enough for dinner so there are leftovers for lunch the next day or so.
So do I!!!!!
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
So do I!!!!!
Great minds think alike!
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:43 PM
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Just finished shoveling and maybe physical exertion had something to do with, or not, but my AV has burrowed into the dark place it likes to reside and where it couldn't drag me today. I'm not going to over analyze this because I've never noticed a correlation with doing an activity and lesser cravings afterward. In fact, there have been times during endurance events that I have thought about how good a cold one will taste when I'm on the other side of the finish line. There's no way of knowing with surety if the 1.5 hours of shoveling and snow blowing played a role, but I'm glad to be in the place I am.

Dinner tonight is going to be beef and vegetable stir fry served over textured vegetable protein (TVP) so that my wife can keep her dinner carbs low. The irony is that she's not a big fan of TVP, but that's been subordinated to her carb goal.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:40 AM
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Been a good day so far, probably since I've been busy. A small part of that was spending about a hour at the gym. I'm concerned, however, that things will be less easy going forward as I not only have been known to have an end of the week drink while home, but I also have plans to go out tonight with my wife and a friend to see a band at a bar. I've been through this before so I should be okay, but I'm going to have to bring my "A" game. My wife and my friend are not big drinkers and always respect my decision not to imbibe (when I chose that route) and I'll be driving so I have all that in my favor along with my understanding of how to deal with my bastard of an AV.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:51 AM
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Hi GC.

I've been in and out of your threads, and I don't know whether or not you've accessed any kind of formal treatment. I haven't seen evidence of this in the comments I've read, and I do hope that you're not attempting to do this on your own.

I used IOP and then regular OP, individual treatment and AA for a full year. I continue to participate in AA. If I hadn't, I most certainly would have chosen some other type of regular treatment. There was never a day or night in which I wasn't availing myself of at least two of these forms of help and support. Some people might think that this is overkill, but I was in no position to make that assessment after having done such a complete and comprehensive job in ruining my life.

I don't really care what it was that "worked" for me. It was my willingness to achieve sobriety and to live a better life that made all the difference for me, but I have no doubt that I could not have progressed as I have without a great deal of additional help.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:54 AM
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I'm sure that your "A" Game will prevail, Gonnachange. I can see a shift in your thinking; our AVs don't like that shift and may put up a fuss but, each time we ignore its ranting, we come closer to winning the war.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
Hi GC.

I've been in and out of your threads, and I don't know whether or not you've accessed any kind of formal treatment. I haven't seen evidence of this in the comments I've read, and I do hope that you're not attempting to do this on your own.

I used IOP and then regular OP, individual treatment and AA for a full year. I continue to participate in AA. If I hadn't, I most certainly would have chosen some other type of regular treatment. There was never a day or night in which I wasn't availing myself of at least two of these forms of help and support. Some people might think that this is overkill, but I was in no position to make that assessment after having done such a complete and comprehensive job in ruining my life.

I don't really care what it was that "worked" for me. It was my willingness to achieve sobriety and to live a better life that made all the difference for me, but I have no doubt that I could not have progressed as I have without a great deal of additional help.

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to respond and offer your experience. Secondly, to answer your question I have not sought out any of the treatment facilities or AA that you mentioned. What I have done is read up on AVRT and leaned on the SR community. I'm not perfect, as is well documented, but I'm far better than I was. It wasn't too long ago I was a daily drinker. For the first time in about a week I drank last Friday and on Tuesday at an impromptu dinner party I had 1.5 glasses of wine. My intention is not to moderate, but if my screw ups are limited to that then it shouldn't be that hard to become totally compliant with my plan. Lastly, I'm glad that you found what works for you. As with so many things in life there are many ways to achieve and we each have to find the right approach for us. The downside to that is sometimes it takes a while. I wish you well in your continued sobriety.

Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
I'm sure that your "A" Game will prevail, Gonnachange. I can see a shift in your thinking; our AVs don't like that shift and may put up a fuss but, each time we ignore its ranting, we come closer to winning the war.
Thanks SL; I'm getting a handle on the little effer. I've found that when going into situations that could potentially derail me it really helps to have a plan and let those around me know what it is, which in a small group setting like tonight means letting it be known I'm not drinking. So, guess what I'll be doing tonight? :-)
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Gonnachange View Post
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to respond and offer your experience. Secondly, to answer your question I have not sought out any of the treatment facilities or AA that you mentioned. What I have done is read up on AVRT and leaned on the SR community. I'm not perfect, as is well documented, but I'm far better than I was. It wasn't too long ago I was a daily drinker. For the first time in about a week I drank last Friday and on Tuesday at an impromptu dinner party I had 1.5 glasses of wine. My intention is not to moderate, but if my screw ups are limited to that then it shouldn't be that hard to become totally compliant with my plan. Lastly, I'm glad that you found what works for you. As with so many things in life there are many ways to achieve and we each have to find the right approach for us. The downside to that is sometimes it takes a while. I wish you well in your continued sobriety.
I should have been clearer in my comments.

I wasn't trying to focus on "what worked for me" in terms of a specific method or program. It was, instead, my willingness to achieve sobriety and to live a better life by any means necessary that made the difference, regardless of the particular mode of treatment.

I've been referred to as a "Terrier" at different times in my work, but getting sober has demanded of me much more than force of will. I needed to go beyond my comfort zone, to my way of thinking, and to make sustainable actions in changing my life around, changes that I easily adhere to in the present. Sobriety is for me an opportunity to avail myself of all that life has to offer, and not at all a labor in any sense of that word.

I'm not obsessed with my sobriety; neither is any part of my life boring or particularly static. I'm much more interested in bringing something to the people and activities in my life than in getting something good for myself, though the latter has often been an incidental part of approaching my life in this way.

As someone who works out, I imagine that you're familiar with the feeling of pushing yourself beyond your apparent limits. In my first time around in sobriety, I earned a second-degree black belt in a traditional style of martial arts, Shorin Ryu Karate. I resumed my training last spring with another traditional style of martial arts, Shotokan Karate. You can put in the bare minimum required in order to be promoted (and some people do), but only you and your sensei will know whether or not you're pushing yourself beyond your self-imposed limits as a means of adopting karate as a way of life, rather than learning some cool moves for self-defense.

Same with sobriety. Only we know where we are with sobriety, and whether or not we're determined to make it a way of life that, as they say in AA, we should "wear like a loose-fitting garment."

Don't ever underestimate your ability to live a better life by any means necessary.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
I should have been clearer in my comments.

I wasn't trying to focus on "what worked for me" in terms of a specific method or program. It was, instead, my willingness to achieve sobriety and to live a better life by any means necessary that made the difference, regardless of the particular mode of treatment.
Maybe it was me who should have been clearer. I never interpreted anything in your last past as advocating a specific approach; I absolutely took it as a "what worked for me" narrative that was offering suggestions and the value of your experience.

Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
I've been referred to as a "Terrier" at different times in my work, but getting sober has demanded of me much more than my force of will. I needed to go beyond my comfort zone, to my way of thinking, and to make sustainable actions in changing my life around, changes that I easily adhere to in the present. Sobriety is for me an opportunity to avail myself of all that life has to offer, and not at all a labor in any sense of that word.

I'm not obsessed with my sobriety; neither is any part of my life boring or particularly static. I'm much more interested in bringing something to the people and activities in my life than in getting something good for myself, though the latter has often been an incidental part of approaching my life in this way.
I'm still thinking too much about sobriety, meaning it has not become second nature yet. Long time habits have not been fully broken such as they have been since I stopped smoking cigarettes about 33 years ago. It's been decades since I've thought about smoking and it would never occur to me to light up that first time again. Eventually, I hope to get to the same place with alcohol.

Gotcha on the opportunity of sobriety. In no manner do I equate sobriety with being boring and have made it a point to do many of the same social activities I used to do while drinking. Concerts, local and Broadway plays, parties, and like tonight going to a local bar for a couple of hours to listen to a local band. I have not found my enjoyment of any of those activities diminished by being sober; in fact to the contrary it's nice to have a full and vivid memory of all that happened the next morning.

Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
As someone who works out, I imagine that you're familiar with the feeling of pushing yourself beyond your apparent limits. In my first time around in sobriety, I earned a second-degree black belt in a traditional style of martial arts, Shorin Ryu Karate. I resumed my training last spring with another traditional style of martial arts, Shotokan Karate. You can put in the bare minimum required in order to be promoted (and some people do), but only you and your sensei will know whether or not you're pushing yourself beyond your self-imposed limits as a means of adopting karate as a way of life, rather than learning some cool moves for self-defense.

Same with sobriety. Only we know where we are with sobriety, and whether or not we're determined to make it a way of life that, as they say in AA, we should "wear like a loose-fitting garment."

Don't ever underestimate your ability to live a better life by any means necessary.
All that resonates with me. I never got beyond being a green belt in a couple of different martial arts so you're in a completely different league, but I understand the mentality you speak of. The last time I was in a dojo was almost ten years ago when I ripped my rotator cuff while doing some low level practicing. It took me well over a year to rehab and get full range of motion. Having spent time with professional MMA fighters and black belts in other disciplines I applaud your achievement; it's something you should be very proud of.

Getting back to the similarities with pushing one's self athletically and attaining sobriety, that makes sense to me. Just as I didn't listen to the equivalent of my AV screaming at me that I was an idiot for getting up at 5 o'dark and 25F to run for a couple or more hours when my nice warm bed was more comfortable I'm trying via the SR community and the tools I've been learning to do the same with my AV. I'm getting there in no small part to the many folks who offer advice and support. Thanks Endgame and everyone else!
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:40 AM
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Hope your day is going well, Gonnachange.

Sunny Sober Saurday here in Leigh Land.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberLeigh View Post
Hope your day is going well, Gonnachange.

Sunny Sober Saurday here in Leigh Land.
So far so good Leigh. Like where you are, it's finally a reasonable day.

Another Night

Last night was a little more challenging than I expected because I originally thought the three of us would be going out together. As it turned out I went out early with my buddy for dinner while my wife was at the gym and then my wife and I went out to see the band I referred to. I didn't have any cravings in either bar that were enough to distract me from the experience, but I was in an alcohol dominated situation twice as long as I anticipated. Glad to write that all turned out well.

In a short while I'm going to the gym and then me and my wife will take advantage of the nice weather that SoberLeigh mentioned and take a walk. Depending upon timing either before or after dinner we may visit the local art museum. IOW, I'm keeping myself busy with activities that are healthy and don't involve alcohol. Last night was fun, but a day like today does make it easier to stay sober.

Lastly, dinner is going to be grilled salmon, roasted beets with feta cheese, and a salad.
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