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Music and videogames - a helpful deterrent for me

Old 03-06-2017, 12:00 AM
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Music and videogames - a helpful deterrent for me

Hello, all

4 days ago I went away on a work trip. We visited a remote island, where life is very simple and pretty much sheltered from the rest of the world. When I and my colleagues attend trips such as these, we stock up on booze. I mean we fill two, three coolers with beer and liquor. My colleagues did that before we departed for this trip; I didn't partake in the tradition this time.

When my colleagues started drinking on the beach, I knew I couldn't be around them. So I left. However, I could hear their merry laughter and chatter and it got to me. I was very tempted to join them; drinking on the beach, camped around a fire with friends while the sun sets is something I enjoy a lot.

But I didn't want to let myself down in pursuit of fleeting pleasure, so I switched on my laptop and put some headphones on. Put the volume to the max so the voices of my colleagues would be drowned out. I then decided to play a videogame on the laptop and damn, it worked. The combination of music and the game completely took my attention; temptation completely left my mind and body and I was relaxed for the whole night. While my colleagues were nursing their horrible hangovers the next day, I was in perfect shape and was enjoying swimming in the lake.

I think in the future, when temptation bites, I'll try the combination of music and videogames again. I was amazed at how the combo completely nullified my desire for a drink.
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:35 AM
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Well done on distracted yourself and focusing on something else!
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:01 AM
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Hi catlover. That's great. I agree, well done. You need to get sobertime, we all do. Any way you can do that is better than drinking.

You're probably not going to want to hear this but I gotta tell you it sounds like you need to be aware that the cravings don't actually leave your mind/body in that way. They are just successfully suppressed. There are visualisation, chanting meditations that accomplish the same goal for the same reasons and fail to eradicate the cravings for the same reasons. Only equanimous observation of the cravings (and aversions) can fully liberate the mind and not multiply the impurities. At some time in the future you will find that these diversions, any diversions, won't work and the cravings suppressed and those multiplied by craving for other things will rise into consciousness. What's the plan for then?
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Grymt View Post
Hi catlover. That's great. I agree, well done. You need to get sobertime, we all do. Any way you can do that is better than drinking.

You're probably not going to want to hear this but I gotta tell you it sounds like you need to be aware that the cravings don't actually leave your mind/body in that way. They are just successfully suppressed. There are visualisation, chanting meditations that accomplish the same goal for the same reasons and fail to eradicate the cravings for the same reasons. Only equanimous observation of the cravings (and aversions) can fully liberate the mind and not multiply the impurities. At some time in the future you will find that these diversions, any diversions, won't work and the cravings suppressed and those multiplied by craving for other things will rise into consciousness. What's the plan for then?
Hey, Grymt

Yes, I agree with you completely about it being a distraction, not a cure. I guess it is akin to trying to cure a broken leg with pain suppressant pills. The pills may help with alleviating the pain, but the broken leg still needs extensive tending to so that it heals properly. You're definitely right about at some point, the distractions becoming futile (just like my last relapse after going to the gym - working out is another distraction).

As for my future plans when this distraction fails - I've taken steps in order to reduce "risk" factors. I've told some close friends and some of the people I work with I'm trying to stay sober. With the latter, after I excused myself from my colleagues when they brought the booze out, they didn't pester or bother me. In fact they wished me luck. Had I not told them about my sobriety they would have pestered me until I succumbed.

I've also started dating woman who is acting like my sponsor in a way - her mother was an alcoholic, so she knows what she's dealing with. She doesn't drink at all. She told me to call her anytime I think I'm going to have a drink.

I'm also reading a lot of material on the subject of staying sober. It's crazy in a way - when you think about your own alcoholism, the situation (patterns, cravings, giving in, etc) seem so unique to yourself. But when you read about it, you realise your situation is not so unique - there are so many people who go through the exact same steps as you do. And it gives me inspiration to see others in very similar holes, having managed to pull themselves out of the darkness.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Scruffanie View Post
Well done on distracted yourself and focusing on something else!
Thanks
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:26 AM
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Excellent, sounds like a good plan.
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Old 03-06-2017, 03:35 AM
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I think whatever you can use in the early days is good.

Grymt's probably right in that it's not likely to be a long term strategy...but then our relationship to cravings changes too - what were once very visceral desires for me morphed eventually into passing thoughts easily swatted away and now...nothing.

D
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