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Letting go . . .

Old 03-29-2011, 10:03 AM
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Letting go . . .

. . . of negativity.

This has been one of my greatest obstacles in recovery.

Things that help me: deep breathing, exercise, meditation, guided relaxation, watching movies and reading books (these two can also be harmful with the "wrong" subject matter), things that make me laugh, CBT/REBT.

Trying to learn to catch the negative thoughts before they take hold.

For others who have issues with negativity, how do you deal with it? If you've been sober for a long time, does it tend to fade away? Before this last relapse, I had around five months sober, but it seemed like the negativity was going up and up. I know it's something I need to learn to cope with if I want lasting sobriety.

Anyhow, Day 9 today, and it's a good day to be sober.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:18 AM
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What kind of negativity do you mean?

Everyone gets down i spose. But when i do it doestn't seem to last very long because i dont focus on it like i used to (in early Sobriety).

No offence, but all the things you include, that you say help you take your mind off things as it were, are things that you can do on your own. Hey, they are all great if they work for you, really. But i think activities that involve a group or at least two people are also very important. Each to their own tho, some folk like their own company, even prefer it... but if you dont mind and its a possibility to be in some kind of group interaction... then it might become a good addition to ones therapy.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:38 AM
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I’ve been sober over a year and to tell you the truth fighting negative thoughts is still my toughest battle. It is something that seeks to enter my thoughts daily. I go months and not even think about alcohol but the negative stuff is there a lot. I may be over simplifying things but I try to see my mind like my computer, I control the keyboard. I also make the decisions what sites I view. I work at not letting “BAD” stuff into my hard drive. I work at doing the same with my mind. When I feel negative thoughts coming my way I counteract them with the truth. Truth is-I can be free from alcohol and drugs- I can live up to my potential-I can be compassionate to my fellow man, forgiving _____ ect…ect. ( fill in the blank)

I know this is going to sound HOKEY but my grandmother (borne in1898) used to say “ You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair” It is the same way with negative thoughts, don’t let them stay! Think about something positive.
Great subject by the way, Thanks...........Ld
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Stimmed View Post
What kind of negativity do you mean?
Things that annoy me, or things I disagree with - holding onto those things and ruminating on them, even searching them out it seems. Yesterday I was even getting annoyed with this site, and then I realized that I was willingly searching out threads that I had some sort of disagreement with and reading those rather than searching for more helpful topics (or better yet, getting away from my computer! ).

And you do bring up a good point about my leaving other people out. I do have a tendency to isolate, partially because (aside from a few certain people) I tend to get hung up on my differences with other people. But I am working on that through group therapy and f2f meetings. With 25 years of drinking/using, and that being my main way of relating to other people, it is taking some time to learn new ways of connecting. I think I intentionally didn't mention the group stuff because I thought of it more as a source of negativity, but.... hmm, that's an interesting insight. Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:43 AM
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I think I am naturally a pretty positive person, excepting the time I was drinking heavily. Like everyone, negative thoughts do still crop up. If I find them sucking me in, I try to figure out why I am letting that happen and what I can do to stop it.

For instance, I went away this past weekend on business. I hired a dogwalker I have used in the past. When I got my bill it was substanitally higher than 6 months before. Adding insult to injury they charged me for an overnight stay which was necessary since they left dog food out and my dogs binged and I wasn't comfortable with the dogs being alone because of that. So I am pissed. I have taken a step back and realized that I can 1. steam over it fruitlessly or 2. say something. I am going to say something even though I will probably end up paying what they say I owe. I am non-confrontational by nature but I have learned that if I am getting upset internally instead of confronting a person than that isn't good.

In fact I'm going to send her an email right now!
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by damselfly View Post
Things that annoy me, or things I disagree with - holding onto those things and ruminating on them, even searching them out it seems. Yesterday I was even getting annoyed with this site, and then I realized that I was willingly searching out threads that I had some sort of disagreement with and reading those rather than searching for more helpful topics.
I had it myself for a long time, i called it a 'negative thought train', that didn't really get me anywhere. I would always end up with a negative, sometimes regardless of my original thoughts or feelings. Even visual or audible intake.

If i think back to the rock bottom i hit, it made sense in a way, if you know what i mean. I was so low at the bottom, i saw i only had two choices. I chose to dust myself off and start anew. I set out things very quickly that i felt i needed, just to live. I made them happen, but with a great deal of help also. As things started to happen that were obviously good, or better at least, i felt improved no end, but i rattled for Alcohol like i was insane. It was a tugg o war in my head, but i stayed off it, and remained off balance as it were for almost 18 months! I still kept to my original intentions throughout this time and it was tough, really. The difficulties were so hard on my thought train that i felt it was useless what i was trying to do. But! i also found during the 18mts that my natural confidence was returning (no meds, but some folk do need them, perhaps i did), i was starting to relate better 'all round'.
Alcohol abuse had secretly drained away my confidence, and i didn't even know. I never realised just how important it was for 'me', as a person.
When it was returning, it seemed to have a knock on effect, first thing i noticed was that i smiled better, more happily. Then all i can say is, it catapulted me back into the world and my life.
I still have a deep thought train but no where near as often, and very rarely negative.
Not meaning to stretch this post out, but my point is really, early Sobriety is a difficult time to say the least, and it needs to be stuck with (but you already know that part right!!).
Once i realised i missed my confidence, i focused on it. Loss of this much needed 'state of a persons being' is my biggest deterrent against relaps.

I find it helps me with the differences i have about life, enabling me to quite simply 'live it'.

I think next to the value of consciousness, 'time' is worth the same.

I really do hope things happen for you :-)
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:37 PM
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Well...I did complain about the price...didn't get it reduced but I feel better about it and I just wonut use her in the future, nor will I recommend her which I used to do all the time.

Definitely booze robbed me of my confidence....but that too is coming back little by little
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:04 PM
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Hi Damsel!

One thing I do is participate over on the Gratitude List. A year ago it would have seemed really foreign and uncomfortable to make a daily practice of thinking of little positive things, but it TRULY helps me reframe my perspective. I do it morning and night for optimal effect

Also, in the moment, if I catch myself getting negative, I try to focus myself in the moment itself, concentrating on my physical environments, sounds, sights, etc. This can let me get away from my mind & into the present instead. And, I almost always find something beautiful or comfortable to observe.

Nice work on your nine days!
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:15 PM
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I'm with AG...I try and hit the gratitude section in the am and pm...it makes a huge difference!
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