Stress Coping Skills? Where did I put them?

Old 10-03-2011, 09:56 PM
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Stress Coping Skills? Where did I put them?

So all you sober masters out there...once you've gotten rid of the substance of your addiction, how do you manage stress? lol

I've knocked down day 3 of sobriety, still baffled by this, but it so happens to be an incredibly super crazy week for me this week including my very first ever solo business trip tomorrow in which I will have to defend my department against our French-Canadian corporate purchaser, marketing team and quality manager while we visit our supplier. I am a reserved introvert...whoever decided to push me into this trip was NUTS! I went to school for a job that makes you sit behind a desk and create pretty things, not for one that makes you do dog and pony shows for the higher ups. Anyway, while I'm away from home, there will be contractors putting in a patio door and deck in my house and no one will be there to supervise. And I also have the drama of "Oh dear Lordy I need to lose this nasty beer gut and get back into Weight Watchers at once!"

I don't know, I'm rambling, I can't sleep, I'm exhausted and I wonder how a sober person goes about dealing with such chaos all at once. Because if I were still a drinker, boy would this week would be nothing more than a trade off of drunk and hung over. lol
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:41 AM
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Hi April, when I quit drinking one of the ways I dealt with stress was with chocolate, not necessarily recommending it but it did work for me. Sure I gained weight but I wasn't killing myself with chocolate like I was with alcohol and the weight came off pretty easy once I started exercising. Now the way I deal with stress is with exercise, I try getting to the gym at least 4 times a week and I walk every day, even just a fast walk around the block can calm me down and it doesn't hurt at all that I not only feel better but look better because of the exercising.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:02 AM
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Regular, daily exercise. Nothing better to combat stress and get you out of a rut.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:08 AM
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But if I exercise, then I'll have to say goodbye to my dearest beer gut. lol Kidding! I actually wanted to delete this post after I wrote it (but couldn't find a way) because I already know that exercise is pretty much the top of the pyramid of stress relief...I just need to get off my lazy butt. Trying yoga or meditating might be good too...though I'll be a newbie with attempting either of those. But the exercise I'll definitely need, I remember those incessant sugar cravings the last time I got sober, and if I don't start exercising I won't have something to counter act that either.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:13 PM
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Stress relievers?

Exercise and sex.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:30 AM
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I read your post and immediately thought "exercise!!!!" but everyone else beat me to it! I'll echo that, too: of all the things I've tried for stress reduction, exercise is the best, hands down. It's also a great way to meet new, healthy friends. Within a year after I quit drinking, I had a whole new group of gym buddies!
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:20 AM
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I'm glad we're all in agreement on the exercise...that gives me less room to make excuses. And as for Vlad's second suggestion, I'll see if I can find a "special" kind of gym buddy when I go there. lol And possibly slap a sign on my back that says, "Please help me occupy my animal brain with one of it's healthier favorite activities." Sarcastic and inappropriate I know, but some days I can't help it. lol
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:42 AM
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Believe it or not, I turn to the concepts I found it a self-help book. I usually HATE those kinds of books, since they are mostly so full of bullish!t and psychobabble.

A few years ago, when confronted with severe stress, deep depression, PTSD, and anxiety after an extreme loss situation in my life, I stumbled across a book that made a lot of sense to me and helped me learn to repair myself. It's a book titled "Worry" by Hallowell. You can get it on Amazon for cheap, and the author also has a website.

I never really thought that worry was as the heart of my issues, but this guy puts everything into a manageable perspective, and then actually gives you exercises about what to do about it. You might want to check it out.

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Old 10-06-2011, 08:54 AM
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Thanks failedtaper! I think I'll check that out. I'm a product of the most worried person I mother. lol Plus in a couple weeks our senior designer at my job will be going on maternity leave and the whole graphics department will be my responsibility for the next 4 there's a panic attack! lol

I'm developing quite the book shopping list for Amazon now. The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, The Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr and now I think I'll get Worry by Hallowell too. I'm so thankful for Amazon's cheap books! And for you wonderful people on this forum suggesting great resources too!
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AprilMay1895 View Post
Trying yoga or meditating might be good too...though I'll be a newbie with attempting either of those.
Meditating has been helpful to me in many ways, stress-relief among them. One site that might be worth checking out can be found by googling "meditation techniques for happiness". Lots of good info on different approaches to meditation there, and a section on stress and meditation, with discussion of the science behind it all, in comfortably secular language...
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:21 AM
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AprilMay - I hear ya on this. I have been struggling with the same question for the past 3 months. Intellectually I know that no matter what I am better of without the booze and even though I plan to never drink again, i have my moments. It's not even that I want to drink I just want my brain to shut down.

Did I mention I hate exercise?

I also over compensated with chocolate and food but that is just not working for me anymore.

I know I must get back into exercise but I wish there was a faster way....

I haven't yet come to terms with the fact that nothing will match the instant relief of drinking.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:40 AM
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Last time I got sober, I had an instant addiction to anything and everything that had a ton of sugar. That part is like night and day for me. If I've been drinking, I won't even touch sweet stuff, not even the slightest hint of desire for it...when I'm trying to stay sober, I could pretty much eat straight sugar cubes. LOL

I'm trying to do a more holistic approach now that includes Weight kicking in on the exercise and healthy diet while abstaining from alcohol at the same time. Weight Watchers is actually what brought back my desire to stop drinking. You had to track everything you put in your mouth, so there was a number attached to the damage I was doing. They'd give you a certain number of points per day and I'd be fine until I drank at night and then I saw I was consuming like 3 days worth of calories....I didn't stand a chance at losing any weight as long as drinking was in my life.

I've always had a paranoid feeling in my head that changing everything at once in my life would just lead to failure, but I'm going to try it anyway this time around. Seems the benefits of healthy diet and exercise are shown to help with sobriety a lot plus I need to see my life improving at a faster rate to help me justify abstinence and my weight is one of those things that needs a big ole' push forward towards improvement.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:59 AM
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In the beginning I found reading about alcoholism really helped me. I loved having a front row seat in another alcoholics life. Have included a few I enjoyed at the end here. I also used to visit this place all the time and read about other peoples experiences.
Now its been over 7 months sober. The last couple of months I started hitting the gym, that has made a big difference, also eating well and generally looking after myself.
Another book I highly recommend that I just finished is Unlimited by Jillian Micheals. I know she gets portrayed as some screaming trainer on the Biggest Looser but this book has some great info, its all the 'head stuff' that we need to work on, read the reviews on Amazon to see what I mean Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life (9780307588302): Jillian Michaels: Books

'Dry' by Augusten Burroughs, sr book club review here:

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp (I totally related to her)
thread here:
Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as "liquid armor," a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism, but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it.

I loved the way drink made me feel, and I loved its special power of deflection, its ability to shift my focus away from my own awareness of self and onto something else, something less painful than my own feelings. I loved the sounds of drink: the slide of a cork as it eased out of a wine bottle, the distinct glug-glug of booze pouring into a glass, the clatter of ice cubes in a tumbler. I loved the rituals, the camaraderie of drinking with others, the warming, melting feelings of ease and courage it gave me.

Our introduction was not dramatic; it wasn't love at first sight, I don't even remember my first taste of alcohol. The relationship developed gradually, over many years, time punctuated by separations and reunions. Anyone who's ever shifted from general affection and enthusiasm for a lover to outright obsession knows what I mean: the relationship is just there, occupying a small corner of your heart, and then you wake up one morning and some indefinable tide has turned forever and you can't go back. You need it; it's a central part of who you are...
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:07 AM
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Thanks azureseas,

I might check out Carol Knapp's book. I have read Jillian Michael's book, well listened to it anyway...I have a thing for audiobooks. It was really inspiring and something I think a lot of people should check out...especially those stuck in a rut.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:22 AM
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yeah I listened to it on audio book too, its really good to help you look at things differently. Was able to find all these books and audio book versions at my library if people are stuck for $
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