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How to let go of "desirable options"?

Old 06-22-2015, 02:10 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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#16 = Powerful
Should be required reading............
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:43 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
Better when never is never
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I appreciate all the responses. I guess what the lesson is that I should just stay in the present, and worry about the "special" occasions when they come up ( which is almost a 0% chance). When the thought does come up, apply a bit of logic - playing the tape through to put it in a realistic perspective and hope with time those thoughts stop coming up so frequently or I become comfortable with dismissing them as something that is no longer an option.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:51 PM
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There's no spot so beautiful I cant ruin it with a drink.

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Old 06-22-2015, 04:02 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lance40 View Post
The fantasy of drinking is better than the reality and you get through it by being sober one day at a time. I booked a trip to SE Asia a year in advance and was planning to party and booze it up with plans to attend a full moon beach party where I planned to go all out. I got sober before I went and started the trip with 4 months of sobriety. I wouldn't trade one minute of the experience. I was able to get up early and stay up late and every day was packed with wonderful experiences that I could never have had if I was drunk and hungover all the time.
The power of this point is not to be taken lightly. Everybody I know always establishes aspirations for the beach vacation. Rest, relaxation, clean living, working out, enjoying the culture, good company, etc. Aand most never follow through.... They either drink too much and get hung over, over sleep, or end up just vegetating the entire time. One of the miracles of sobriety is the power we have because of alcoholic boot camp. We spent so much time learning how to operate effectively despite the alcoholic poison, that we are in hyperdrive when the poison is removed. I can't tell you how many sober vacations I've taken to Italy, France, Puerto Rico, Egypt, where I'm able to do a full day's activity, catch an evening show at a cabaret, be in bed by 1am, only to wake up at 6am and go for a 6-10 mile run......every single day. It's like being on chemo where your body gets knocked down, and when you stop treatment. You come back on fire. Honestly, just try the Thai beach sober....I guarantee it will blow your mind.
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Old 06-22-2015, 04:56 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Jazz, you just summed it up very well. Seems like we are in similar shoes.

I'll just say that I found it a huge relief flying home from my brother's bachelor party after having stayed totally sober. I went back to my hotel both nights around midnight and while maybe I got viewed by some as the "boring younger brother," I wasn't viewed as the drunk idiot.

Similarly, after wedding #2, which was with a ton of friends from college who knew me as a partier, the flight home was incredibly relaxing. Contrast that with a wedding a year ago where I'd blacked out at the reception and woken up on the bathroom floor with my suit jacket ripped. Had to rush to the airport and it felt like an eternity getting back while hungover and nervous about what I'd said/done the night before.. Then I spent $100 on a taxi back from Newark just to make the day shorter and crawled under the covers.

I flew into Newark again after wedding #2, but I'd been awake at 6AM, did a 4-mile jog, watched Wawrinka win the French open, checked out of the hotel, gone to brunch at the groom's uncle's house and drank club soda, arrived at the airport early and watched Game of Thrones on my iPhone on the flight back. Then I took the stupid Newark AirTrain to NJ Transit to the NYC Subway (which took forever) and arrived home feeling fantastic having spent $0 on taxis. I worked out the next morning and went to the office.

When people asked how the wedding was, I replied "great!" and meant it. The wedding a year earlier I had no memory of and was waiting for texts/emails calling me out for being a jerk. Those never came, but it doesn't mean I wasn't a tool. When coworkers asked me if I had fun, I said "yes," but it wasn't truthful. I was riddled with anxiety about what had happened.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:41 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
Better when never is never
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Originally Posted by DrunkTx View Post
...I can't tell you how many sober vacations I've taken to Italy, France, Puerto Rico, Egypt, where I'm able to do a full day's activity, catch an evening show at a cabaret, be in bed by 1am, only to wake up at 6am and go for a 6-10 mile run......every single day.
Originally Posted by nymets86 View Post
...after wedding #2, but I'd been awake at 6AM, did a 4-mile jog, watched Wawrinka win the French open, checked out of the hotel, gone to brunch at the groom's uncle's house and drank club soda, arrived at the airport early and watched Game of Thrones on my iPhone on the flight back. Then I took the stupid Newark AirTrain to NJ Transit to the NYC Subway (which took forever) and arrived home feeling fantastic having spent $0 on taxis. I worked out the next morning and went to the office....
These two quotes really hold the key. Staying sober, focusing on sober life really reveals just how much more life you can enjoy when sober. If I drank, it would no doubt be a blast, up to a point. But then there is the regret, the anxiety. the wasted time recovering, and the untold days, weeks, or years getting back on track.

Yep, focusing on the benefits and really going for maximum life, that's the key.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:43 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jazzfish View Post
Thanks for all the replies. It's not so much that I don't understand how that thought is incompatible with my drinking pattern, and all the implications it has for my life and health. It's that I can't get that thought out of my head. It just keeps coming back.
I have a similar issue Jazz. I rarely drank at home; instead I almost always drank in lively bars, clubs, casinos or parties. My vacations always included drinking (although, not everyday), so I have trouble not romanticizing the use of alcohol while traveling. There's still a part of me that feels a vacation without alcohol is simply not worth the bother. Of course, I have no trouble forgetting all the problems drinking caused me while traveling or boozing in clubs and bars.

Speaking for myself, I realize I will have to retrain my mind and build a new mindset as to what is and isn't enjoyable. I've been using mindfulness and the study and some practice of Buddhist principles to help in this regard, but I know the process will take time.

Personally, I believe successful long term abstinence requires a pretty significant psychological view as to what is enjoyable and rewarding and what is not. Finding the activities and beliefs that will serve as the catalyst for that psychological change is the real challenge. Fortunately, the options available to help with that change are almost limitless, one need only google various words and phrases that have to do with lifestyle and psychological changes to find information on how to change one's view of what a happy life really is.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:48 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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nymets86,

superb post.
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