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Old 09-22-2012, 08:45 AM
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I need advice

Hi y'all,

Remaining abstinent without any difficulties at all, loving my sober brain and all that goes with it. But (big but!), I am having AV issues with an upcoming event.

Here goes.....My husband (alcoholic, but, so far, is successfully moderating) and I are HUGE medieval history buffs and Renaissance Faire goers. Full on costumes, weaponry, you name it, we are always all in every season (first weekend in October through Thanksgiving Friday).

I do not feel that I can go this year. I think I would drink - OMG - I can't believe I just typed that. What does that mean? Does that mean my Big Plan is for $hit? How can that be? Very scary to me.

So, because of these feelings, I will abstain from the Faire this year - my husband doesn't know this yet, but I feel I must to remain true to my sober self. It's like the Faire is complete Beast territory - and I know that - so it's best to simply stay away. Full retreat.

Any thoughts on this? Thank you so much.

Pam
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:09 AM
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I think you are making a very wise decision. Only YOU know what is best for you, and if the fair this year is making you have doubts then you are doing the right thing in not going. It doesn't make you "weak" that you aren't going. It means you are learning how to nurture yourself in the way that you need to be.

As for the Big Plan and being nervous you would drink...eh. I don't follow AA and I only know the basics of AVRT. I just don't drink anymore. I think recognizing stress points and avoiding them is being stronger than the AV. You could be giving in to AV and you AREN'T!!! Good for you!!!
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:15 AM
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My understanding of the big plan is that your sobriety is not conditional on any outside factors. I don't think that really means you should put yourself in a situation you feel uncomfortable with, even moreso if your husband will be drinking. I've read a lot of your posts and you seem like an incredibly smart person who knows her limitations. Could be you're smart enough, (especially in early sobriety) to not take unnecessary chances. Only you could possibly know what your limitations are at this point in time.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:16 AM
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I agree. I know some people using AVRT adopt an attitude of "bring it on"... but I am all in favor of keeping life as comfortable as possible. The issue of drinking aside—because we know you will never drink again—it sounds like you're not sure you'd really enjoy yourself. So skip it this year. It's obviously something you love; I'd hate to see you turn a fun activity into something you feel like you're enduring. My guess is that by next year you'll be raring to go, and will be eager to experience the whole thing through abstinent eyes.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:51 AM
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I don't failure-test myself in my non-drinking lifestyle. I'm not interested in knowing how far is too far. I don't care about being a super sober hero in all situations. I always pick my fights, and I don't bring a knife to a gunfight, lol.

I trust myself, and I respect my weaknesses as well as my strengths. My journey is not about being the next poster child for been there and done that.

When my Beast howls thru my AV, I always take a moment to remember when I didn't hear that howling, didn't know what was what, and didn't stay sober because my AV was, back when, invisible to me. My AV radar now never takes a powder, and always gives me what I need to know when I need to know it, and what is what, while still moving forward.

Knowing AV in itself though is not enough, for me. I also need to take action, and be responsible for being the best that i can be, whilst living my day to day life in satisfaction and happiness, or too, whilst within struggles and turmoils as well...

Simply, if i can't listen to my AV from a place of sureness and conviction of purpose in not drinking, then I don't go to that whatever and whenever engagement. I pass on it, and just get on with what is next on the menu.

I suppose in theory, one can get to a place where one never drinks, no matter the situation, the temptations, the consequences, etc...

For me, I don't care about all that. I care about being authentic with myself. If I knew I was going to drink because of whatever, then I wouldn't be doing whatever. No problemo.

I hope you and your husband can soon, and with mutual understanding, talk about your decisions, Pam.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:14 PM
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Wow, that was simply terrific, Robby. Thank you.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
I do not feel that I can go this year. I think I would drink - OMG - I can't believe I just typed that. What does that mean? Does that mean my Big Plan is for $hit? How can that be? Very scary to me.
That's one way to look at it, but if you recognize the causal pathway that your AV is creating, there is another. Your Beast would like you to believe that your Big Plan is meaningless, so it is setting up a situation where it can squeeze you, like a pincer, from both sides, and where you lose either way.

Your Beast is the one who is actually afraid to go to the Renaissance Faire, because it knows that your Big Plan is not for $hit, and that it probably won't get to drink. IT would have a terrible time watching all those other people drink while it sat on the sidelines. By convincing you that its fear is your fear, however, it sets up a win-win situation.

If you do go to the Fair, thinking that you are afraid to drink, and actually do drink, then your Beast succeeds in convincing you that it is very, very powerful, and that you are powerless before it. It's already setting up that scenario by making you think you will drink if you go. If you don't go to the Faire, which you apparently enjoy, thinking that its fear is your fear, then it also succeeds in convincing you that your Big Plan is meaningless, and that you are, again, powerless before your Beast.

Your AV will inevitably use this "proof" that you are incompetent to abstain in the presence of alcohol, or in the presence of other drinkers, to keep you running scared for a long time coming. You can be practically certain that it will then use this "proof" against you at a later time, perhaps when you find yourself unable to run away from alcohol. It is playing both the short game and the long game here.

The only way out of this quagmire, in my mind, is to do what we do with AVRT, and simply recognize what your Beast is up to. Once you recognize that your Beast is trying to portray its own fear of abstinence as your fear of drinking in order to create a convoluted pathway to the next drink, then you have only a couple of questions to consider to decide what to do next.

  1. Do you have a good reason other than drinking to be at the Faire?

  2. Do you have any reason other than your Beast not to go?

  3. If you go to the Faire, will you be going to "test" yourself, or to enjoy yourself sans-alcohol?

None of this should be construed as advice on whether to actually go or not, but since you were afraid and wondering what this means, I think it simply means that you weren't seeing the thread that your Beast is weaving. Recognition changes things, though. See how you feel now.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
What does that mean? Does that mean my Big Plan is for $hit? How can that be? Very scary to me.
I have a big plan not to get hit by a bus. That means I don't walk in the middle of the street.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:31 PM
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Ok.....

Medieval History is my passion - going to the Faire allows me to dress in full regalia, wear my swords (yes, plural) and fantasize that I am in the past. So, yes, I have a reason to go that is not just to drink.

My Beast is the ONLY reason I would not go.

I do not think I would enjoy myself admist all the drunken revelry and ribaldry that the Faire entails. My husband would also be drinking and that would irritate the hell out of me.

I'm not going this year. I'm in a win/win situation right now and absolutely love being sober with every fiber of my being.

I can look at it as Beast 1, Pam 0 OR Beast 0 Pam 1

Since I won't be drinking, I suppose I win.

Thank you all so much.

Pam
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gavinandnikki View Post
My Beast is the ONLY reason I would not go.

I do not think I would enjoy myself admist all the drunken revelry and ribaldry that the Faire entails. My husband would also be drinking and that would irritate the hell out of me.
This sounds like two reasons to me.

I can't speak to how much drunkenness goes on at those Faires, but I don't generally enjoy drunk fests these days. If drinking is going on, particularly in the manner I used to drink, and little else, I lose interest, but if it is an adjunct, I won't avoid it if I have other, better reasons to be there.

Ultimately, we have to decide what is more important in each situation. I'm curious as to whether you intend to go next year, or if you will avoid the Faire from now on, though. You don't have to answer if you don't want to, or if you haven't decided yet, but thinking that over should give you some additional insight.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:21 AM
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early sobriety is early sobriety...and we all hope to know when we are in a less than good state of mind or life.....

This year is just this year

Ultimately sobriety does not limit us...it allows us to expand and enjoy....

That said, there are situations I would avoid today, because I'm in the early days. There are situations I would avoid regarless of time if I were feeling distraught or in pain.

But ultimately, as a sober person, I can do everything and anything I want (except drink/drug). The only thing being alchoholic keeps me from doing is drinking....other than that I am free.

You will have many of these fairs in the future that you will love and enjoy
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:31 AM
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Gavinandnikki, you are FANTASTIC, good for you. It's a crying shame how alcohol ruins a life. If staying home this years is what you need to do, by all means do it, however the next step will be to muster the courage to not drink while you are doing things that you enjoy. Rootin for ya, good luck.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:48 PM
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Good thread...
P.S. I dress up at home in any number of costumes whenever I feel like it. I don't need a ren faire...just a random Tuesday will do.

Ahhh milady...methinks thou should don thy swords in the backyard at thine own castle!
xo
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:04 PM
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Aye! ARrrrrrg! Wait that's pirate.....

It's only one year. You can go next year when you are more solid in your sobriety.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:04 PM
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Pirates are cool too...any excuse to wear a corset
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