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Saying NO to the URGE

Old 07-20-2010, 09:00 AM
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Saying NO to the URGE

I was just wondering if anyone had any good ideas on how to resist the urge. I've bought myself a little notebook and I'm writing down what I think I need to REMEMBER to fight off that insistant URGE. I'd love to have your tricks and input
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:18 PM
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I hate to see a thread without any replies, so even though I don't feel even remotely qualified at this point to give any sage advice, I'll share what has been working for me so far. Namely, distraction & sabotage.

Cooking healthy, clean food has been a good distraction, especially when it involves a lot of chopping of vegetables. It gets my mind onto other things, and doing something healthy for myself makes the idea of ruining my health with a drink less desirable. I used to associate a glass of wine with cooking, but I took a cue from when I quit smoking, and decided it might be the act of drinking the wine more than the wine itself that I was missing, so I have been drinking cold water from a wine glass when I cook. Might not be a great idea for everyone, but it seems to satisfy my need for the pleasurable ritual of raising a glass while I cook.

Reading true crime stories online has also been a good distraction. I'm fascinated by the criminal mind, and if I can get absorbed into an interesting story, the urge to drink fades away before I know it.

By sabotage I mean creatively sabotaging my ability to access alcohol in a weak moment. I don't see this as a foolproof strategy because it is never going to be impossible to get to alcohol if I really want to, but I feel that the more inconvenient I can make it the more likely I am to succeed with the distraction technique.

These don't qualify as things to remember as much as things to do, but for now that's all I got.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:19 PM
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I like to go for a jog. In the 100-degree heat the only thing I want to drink when I am done is water.

Also music soothes the savage beast, even if I'm just singing to myself.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:33 PM
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Distraction. Distraction. And more distraction!

I find going for a walk helps, I like the treadmill.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:00 AM
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Its a brilliant idea to have a notebook and a list of reasons why drinking isnt a good option listed. My dad has had the same list for 15 years! I have more of a mental list, and now although I dont get cravings as such - I get depressed about being an addict. Keeping busy and healthy are natural confidence boosters though - and are paramount for me to reduce those days where I resent being sober.

In the earlier days, I often used to write "this too shall pass" on my hand...it helped to remember that line when I was having cravings
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrMag View Post
Distraction. Distraction. And more distraction!

I find going for a walk helps, I like the treadmill.
^ Yep me too.

Also from SMART Recovery there is the DISARM (Destructive Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method) tool. I find this very useful when I need to shut down that pesky Addictive Voice in my head.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:34 PM
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Hi Zencat, those are exactly the methods I've been using!

I see those urge messages coming from deep within my brain (down near the instinct driven reptilian hand-me-down bits) and I have to fire up my rational I can think for myself and control my own destiny cerebral cortex to drown out the urges.

The negative image I chose was to replace the tempting image of a cold frosty beer with the saliva dripping blank eyed stare of a Komodo Dragon. Ever see that documentary where one bit the leg of a water buffalo, which then got blood poisoning because of the virulent bacteria in the Komodo's mouth? It took the buffalo a week to die, and the number of Komodo's following it kept increasing all week. In the end, they ate it alive when it became too weak to fight back.

One bite, or one drink is all it would take to set me off on a drunken path towards an ugly, early death.

Pretty slick negative image, eh?

Murray
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray4x5 View Post
Ever see that documentary where one bit the leg of a water buffalo, which then got blood poisoning because of the virulent bacteria in the Komodo's mouth?
That's an excellent negative image. I'll go one better: I saw a TV show about a guy who kept large monitor lizards (not Komodos but some slightly smaller cousin). He became ill, collapsed and died in his apartment, where the lizards were allowed to roam freely. After a couple days with no food the lizards ate the only source of food available: the decaying body of their owner.

There's my analogy: something I dabbled in and thought I could control turned on me and took over. Kinda like a monitor lizard.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
That's an excellent negative image. I'll go one better: I saw a TV show about a guy who kept large monitor lizards (not Komodos but some slightly smaller cousin). He became ill, collapsed and died in his apartment, where the lizards were allowed to roam freely. After a couple days with no food the lizards ate the only source of food available: the decaying body of their owner.

There's my analogy: something I dabbled in and thought I could control turned on me and took over. Kinda like a monitor lizard.
EEEEWWWWW YUUUUCK!

I'll tuck that one in my negative imagery quiver!!

Murray
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I saw a TV show about a guy who kept large monitor lizards (not Komodos but some slightly smaller cousin). He became ill, collapsed and died in his apartment, where the lizards were allowed to roam freely. After a couple days with no food the lizards ate the only source of food available: the decaying body of their owner.



I saw that show! GROSS!!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Murray4x5 View Post
Hi Zencat, those are exactly the methods I've been using!

I see those urge messages coming from deep within my brain (down near the instinct driven reptilian hand-me-down bits) and I have to fire up my rational I can think for myself and control my own destiny cerebral cortex to drown out the urges.

The negative image I chose was to replace the tempting image of a cold frosty beer with the saliva dripping blank eyed stare of a Komodo Dragon. Ever see that documentary where one bit the leg of a water buffalo, which then got blood poisoning because of the virulent bacteria in the Komodo's mouth? It took the buffalo a week to die, and the number of Komodo's following it kept increasing all week. In the end, they ate it alive when it became too weak to fight back.

One bite, or one drink is all it would take to set me off on a drunken path towards an ugly, early death.

Pretty slick negative image, eh?

Murray
It really helps me to evoke a strong emotional response to counter any urges that I might have. I keep an image of a distended liver in my head just to shock what urges that may pop into mind into submission.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
That's an excellent negative image. I'll go one better: I saw a TV show about a guy who kept large monitor lizards (not Komodos but some slightly smaller cousin). He became ill, collapsed and died in his apartment, where the lizards were allowed to roam freely. After a couple days with no food the lizards ate the only source of food available: the decaying body of their owner.

There's my analogy: something I dabbled in and thought I could control turned on me and took over. Kinda like a monitor lizard.
Im straying from the topic slightly here but this analogy really cracked me up - monitor lizards are EVERYWHERE around here.....and despite what you may think they are pretty harmless...I love them. Id far rather open my door to a monitor lizard than a peacock. Now THEY are scary, horrible creatures! Im wondering if they are the same kind of monitor lizards as in your documentary because these ones grow over 2m long and would be kinda difficult to have roaming around an apartment? its common knowledge round here that if you want to attract a goanna (local name for monitors) all you do is chuck a bit of meat outside and wait....soon enough you will hear rustling as they clamber along through the scrub to suss it out
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:27 PM
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OK, major YUCK with the lizard images! I don't have an image, rather a feeling. And I don't wait for the urge to sneak up and catch me by surprise I actively summon the image of drinking and then summon my negative feeling. I am trying to get it to the point where the "feeling" is instinctive when I think of drinking.

The feeling I summon to counteract cravings is the feeling of retching, which I did all day the day I decided to get sober. So far it's working well, I can almost make myself physically ill when I summon this memory.

As some people know I am at my parents, where there is tons of alcohol in open containers, I have been taking the occasional sniff of it and each time I do, I feel like gagging. I am thinking it is doing a good job of cementing this instinct:-)
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:43 PM
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I love creepy-crawlies. Snakes, lizards, all that. I know it's off topic, but...

I thought goannas were usually fairly smallish, maybe 1m? Komodo dragons (the largest living lizard species at 2.5-3m) are nothing but a huge monitor lizard. I think the ones in the documentary were around 1.5-2 m. I'd think if you could handle a Great Dane in an apartment a monitor wouldn't be such a problem, especially since lizards don't tend to be very active. Mostly they seem pretty docile; they're kinda fun to play with although they do carry salmonella on their skin. But the image of them eating their owner is pretty powerful. And gross.

[/hijack]
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:08 AM
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I like my animals warm and fuzzy thank you very much;-)

Which actually brings us back to topic...my animals help keep me sane, and they contribute to my sobriety as well. I could tell how much my drinking stressed Summer and Sargent out and how much happier they've been these past two weeks.
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:04 PM
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Yea, LAfemme, I like my close companions to at least be warm blooded. Although I kept a Trianchula ( a BIG spider )for over 2 years, before I turned him loose.
My avatar is a pic of my best buddy, name is "Blizzard". He looks at me weird when I drank.( maybe it was me looking at him weird). Anyway, one of us didnít like it so I quit.
He and my grandbabies envoke a strong positive emotion for me to stay sober!
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by luckedog View Post
My avatar is a pic of my best buddy, name is "Blizzard". He looks at me weird when I drank.( maybe it was me looking at him weird). Anyway, one of us didnít like it so I quit.
I used to come home after doing drugs (or possibly still high) and my dog would not have anything to do with me. She'd greet me at the door and I'm sure she could smell it on me, then she'd just walk away, get in her bed and ignore me. Smart dog. LOL
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Ainslie View Post
Id far rather open my door to a monitor lizard than a peacock. Now THEY are scary, horrible creatures!
In the states a peacock is a chicken with pretty feathers. What is a peacock down there? Do you have a pic?
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:53 PM
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Nevermind
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:15 PM
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Lucke, Blizzard is adorable. My Ridgeback would give me the saddest looks when I drank, and sometimes she would cry:-( she is much happier now, but I am.sure I gave her some of those grey hairs around her face:-(
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