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Force of Will Does Not Work

Old 08-15-2018, 01:09 AM
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Force of Will Does Not Work

The only way to stop drinking permanently is to have a deep and fundamental belief that the benefits or not drinking out weigh the benefits of drinking.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:04 AM
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When I was drinking I refused to believe that what applies generally also applied to me specifically. If other people drank in the morning, drove drunk, drank at work, etc - that meant they had a problem. But that general rule didn't apply to me. I had it under control.

Then I got sober and I believed that what applied to me specifically applied to everyone generally. THIS is what I did to get sober, so THIS is what everyone needs to do to get sober.

I was wrong both times.

Keep it going!
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:58 AM
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I sure do agree that will alone doesn't work. Neither do positive things like hope, intention or nutrition, exercise, etc.

For me, in addition to committing to being sober and living in recovery to any lengths and at any costs as AA says, I believe it is equally important to accept that I cannot do it alone. That's where myHP and support of others come in.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:26 AM
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No doubt we can't do it alone. First for the experience and knowledge of others with the problem and also in the broader sense that we are social beings we need positive connections with others.

I am going to swap one of my AA nights to join a Bridge club. That is on Tuesdays I nearly went yesterday but went to AA instead. No idea how to play Bridge but I like games.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:31 AM
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Avoiding the consequences of drinking wasn’t enough to keep me sober.

I had to abstain from the benefits of drinking.

I disagree that force of will isn’t enough; it’s turned out to be sufficient for me.

I disagree with the above-poster as well: intention, exercise and nutrition work fine for me.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:35 AM
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I'm inclined to side with daredevil on this one. I do think force of will, exercise and nutrition can be sufficient for some. I'm guessing it depends on how far you have sunk into alcoholism.

Some people will of course need things like AA and a lot of outside support, but I don't think this is the case for me and I'm sure it's not the case for every single other person with alcohol issues.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:41 AM
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I agree with Nonsensical. Every person is different. We all have varying needs and to try to paint sobriety with one brush for all is to exclude people.

Not everyone needs a huge support "group" or therapy or medication or whatever else works for some people. To each their own.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:42 AM
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I think what's most important for me was to realize that drinking gave me nothing, took away so much and was poised to take away most of everything that I value in my life. That realization, deep within me and now in my actions, is what drives my sobriety.

But I tend to agree with DD here. There is not one solution. I believe that no one is coming to save me. All the time I spend on this website, and the time that others spend in meetings, at the end of the day when I log off or when an AA'er drives home, there we are, once again, alone with ourselves. To me the combination of the realization as I described it above and me dwelling on the fact that for some reason all these years I felt like something was going to change on its own, that someone was coming to save me, but is not, are the important factors for me.

The tools I use are nutrition, a committed and progresive exercise program, Transcendental Meditation (which I was lucky enough to learn years ago) , and self-improvement - therapy and reading authors like the Jungian analyst James Hollis. Even the controversial Jordan Peterson certainly helped me a lot in my early stages of this run at sobriety.

Obviously no size fits all. I'm just laying out some of what works for me in case someone reads this and can use some of the same methods and approaches. Here's to sobriety friends. Finally.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:13 AM
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One of my immutable internet rules is when someone says something is the only way you'll get quite a number of people telling you it's not.

for me?
I had no great belief in the benefits of not drinking, I just didn't want to die.

I thought sober life would be miserable and joyless but I committed to that because being dead sounded worse

Fortunately for me sober life is fantastic - and I'm still not dead

D
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:21 AM
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what Dee wrote.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I had no great belief in the benefits of not drinking, I just didn't want to die.
This is me, exactly.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:21 AM
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Will power worked to keep me sober after I'd accepted that I could never drink again.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:37 AM
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I found this helpful for me, in IOP we did a specific exercise and made four lists;

The Pros of Drinking
The Cons of Drinking
The Pros of Not Drinking
The Cons of Not Drinking.

We did this individually and then came together as a group. It was very instructive. I find that shining a light on the addictive voice like this exercise does robs that voice of much of its power.

But there is no one size fits all method. I used AA in early sobriety and found that working the steps just didn't fit. Started with inpatient therapy. I came to recognize in inpatient the AA Step One. Normal drinkers don't end up in rehab not remembering how they got there and need medical detox. Looking back on my life it was a series of escalating drinking periods that ended up with uneasy abstinence. My life was clearly insane, and small amounts of alcohol and drugs invariably lead to a crisis. It might take several years, but it was inevitable. I then decided to use any means necessary to get and stay sober, and used a lot of them at different stages.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:55 AM
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Turning point for me was honestly deciding that I was no longer a drinker and that drinking was not an option available to me anymore.

The big factor was the Honestly part.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:06 AM
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There are a lot of ways to successfully frame permanent sobriety to oneself. Speaking personally, I would never talk down or give short shrift to the strength and power of the human will.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:09 AM
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For me, at certain times, I absolutely need to exercise willpower in order to not do what I know I should not do.

But I think there is something to be said for the idea of not resisting cravings/urges, but instead allowing them to run their course and fade. The very act of resisting implies use of willpower, in which case I agree it is not the best way to go about it.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:39 AM
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I believe I have a will of iron and I used that tool quite a lot in my first 11 months.
Not saying it’s the easiest way to do it .
The biggest thing for me was working it out and admitting to myself that it wasn’t possible to just have one drink and live a worthwhile life.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:46 PM
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I think will power or self determination is key. At least it was for me.

But so was acceptance that the drinking had to be over, for good. Until I gave up the hope of one day being able to control it, will power wasn't enough.

Once I focused all my will and determination on never drinking again though..... damn I've been unstoppable.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:41 PM
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Will power - force of will - became one of my tools in recovery.

When I used my will power to schedule appointments with my therapist.

When I used my force of will to get to a meetIng.

When my willpower was directed into reading the big book.

When my force of will was applied to building a picture of a happy, sober life.....

These actions then gave me greater strength of will, deeper commitment, more tools.

Will power is absolutely a part of my recovery..... it was about how I channeled it.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:45 PM
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First of all I am not exactly a beacon of light or an expert on sobriety, only 22 days sober, but to me obviously it has to be the will to quit which sends us to places like AA and other support groups. I also believe we need help , some might not admit it but subconsciously they are getting help by just leading a sober life, it brings you to different places, the people you meet at these places become part of your life, I have met a half a dozen people in just a short few weeks , who don't realise I need them more than they need me, they fulfill a need in my life and I love it . When I arrive home from work I go to coffee shop see people sit and converse it's very social, at the gym I have booked up with people at pool and group excercising, I go to library and book store meet people I go out of my way to find out their names and I talk to them. So unless you lock yourself up in your house all day , believe me it's more than will power , will power pushes me into being social whereas when I drank I ignored people at gym, grabbed coffee and left , bought book and left never conversed , it's all good now.
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