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SMART and Quitting

Old 06-11-2016, 02:15 PM
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SMART and Quitting

I am an alcoholic. I've come to terms with that. My problem is this...I CAN'T quit! I've done the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and the Hierarchy of Values (HOV) and I'm still stuck. The desire to change is there, but it isn't strong enough to motivate me to change. Help!
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:20 PM
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Do you attend SMART meetings? I personally believe face-to-face support and discussion is very helpful, if not essential. In addition, just doing a few exercises wouldn't be enough for me to stay sober. SMART is intended to be process with many different exercises that should be worked.

My advice is simple: don't give up, attend SMART meetings at least once a week, and if you don't have the workbook, buy it and work your way through it.

If there are no face to face meetings in your geographical area, you can utilize the online meetings at the SMART website.

But as I said, whatever you do, don't give up on yourself. You can do this.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:45 PM
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There's a concept I found very helpful, that I think came from the Lifering book. It's the idea that within us there is an addicted self, and a sober self, so part of us wants to be sober and part does not. The trick is to engage in activities that "grow" our sober self ... until we want to be sober more than we want to drink. These activities can be many things ... for me, in the beginning I had to fill every day with actions that supported my recovery. That can include contact with other recovering people, talking about sobriety, reading books about sobriety, journaling/writing about sobriety, writing a gratitude list, going to meetings, going to a counselor, reading and posting on SR, along with the endless list of positive alcohol-free activities (exercise, volunteering, etc).

Just because you are ambivalent does not mean you can't get sober ....in my opinion, one just has to choose actions that support sobriety.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:50 PM
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I found it helpful to attend online or face-to-face meetings when first learning the tools. I still do myself every so often to get feedback on the different techniques. You can also print out or even mark a regular piece of paper with the tool you are working on.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:23 PM
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It sounds like a lot of folks recommend journaling. I started a journal a few years ago but rarely use it. I think you are right that it will help me work through some of these issues. I have the workbook and have started to work my way through it...maybe I'll gain some personal insight from doing both of these things. Thanks to each of you for your input, it has given me lots to think about!

Also, as an aside, I cannot attend face to face or online meetings because I babysit my granddaughter at night. She and my daughter are scheduled to move out in August, the beginning of the school year, so I may be able to utilize this tool later on in the year.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:15 PM
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I do beg pardon for mentioning 12-step here, its not the focus of this post- my Alanon sponsor encouraged me to journal, to help prepare material for my 4th step. I had never journalled before so doing it was a big change for me. So I started up a document on the computer, which I added to pretty often. Sometimes just the date and a paragraph or 2- be it about dreams, thoughts about the situation, memories, some particular topic. Over the course of 6 months or so I had accumulated about 30 pages in addition to the Alanon worksheet material. All that helped with the 4th step stuff but what I really liked was the journaling helped connect the dots, I particularly like following the development of recurring dreams. It was also easier to note progress in recovery- particularly so when going back to re-read older material.

Sometimes I'd only be typing for a few minutes, other times more than an hour. I'd suggest that journaling in whatever way you're comfortable doing it is the right choice. My handwriting is awful and I type faster than I can write anyhow, so doing it on the computer was the right move for me.

That said its probably time I started up again, I've spent the last 6 months or so doing the "higher power conscious contact" work which has changed quite a few of my attitudes about my spiritual life- I would like to write some of it down.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:29 PM
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I would start with a Change Plan Worksheet. You can find it at SMART website under "Tool Chest and Homework" at the top under quick reference.

Have you done an urge log? That's always a good step if you are considering quitting. Start listing your urges along with the time, where you were, any specific smells/sights around you (grocery store for example, at home bored etc) and rate the urge between 1-5. I just took a piece of paper, turned it on its side and drew lines down it to keep track. Its not just a on day activity, I would do it for a couple weeks, more if you want to. It never hurts!

DISRM is another good starting tool to figure out why you want to change. That's under "Tool Chest and Homework" near the bottom under Additional Homework. This was a good tool for me when I started to abstain. It stands for "Destructive Imagery and Self-talk Awareness and Refusal Method".

I think these are in the workbook, I'm just going through it after a while of putting it down ( just using the tools I need since then). Since its on my Kindle I don't have page numbers.

The other help is the online bulletin board
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:50 AM
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yes, I did the same as Shockozulu. The Disarm tool was very important to me in the beginning, as well as the concept of "growing" the sober self," and the change of plan concept, where I would be realistic and put down what I was going to do EACH DAY to grow that sober self, to get more experience at silencing that Addiction Salesman inside that Disarm technique and Lifering speak about, using creative techniques, such as envisioning my recovery as a road -- and when i say "road" and "grow" I mean "a road that is bumpy and hilly and fraught with possible mudpuddles for right now because that is where addiction takes us and would prefer we never leave but we can if we stop listening to its guidance" and "my growth is a seed because it has to grow into a tree because that is where addiction takes us."
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:16 AM
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I'll check into the DISARM and change plan worksheet, as I haven't made it that far in my workbook yet. Looks like I have a ways to go. I checked them out online but I think the workbook will explain what I should do with the information a bit better. That's right--I am NOT patient, but looks like I need to be patient with this process.

Tursiops999 I love that analogy...I'm going to write that in my journal to refer to when times get tough. I now realize how a journal may benefit me in this process. Thanks schnappi99 and all others who responded. I have a few things to think about now.

One other thing, can you go to meetings if you are still drinking?
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:16 PM
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Hi Benzenering -- generally speaking you're welcome at AA meetings even if you're still drinking. If someone is disruptive (like yelling or talking out of turn), most groups will politely ask the person to leave, but encourage them to come back to another meeting later.

I'm not sure about the rules/customs in SMART meetings, maybe someone else here can help with that.

If you like that concept about the two selves (sober self and addicted self), the book it comes from is called "Empowering Your Sober Self", which can be found on amazon.com. (I don't get a commission haha!! I just found it helpful).

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Old 06-19-2016, 10:02 PM
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You sure can go to meetings if you are still drinking. I started going before I was even sure I had a problem
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by shockozulu View Post
You sure can go to meetings if you are still drinking. I started going before I was even sure I had a problem
Yes, you can attend SMART meetings if you're still drinking.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:37 AM
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ben Z you have to want sobriety, if you really want to be sober imo any recovery program will work.
I use may different tools to stay sober.
You can go to Smart, LifeRing and AA while drinking as long as you do not share during meeting.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:08 AM
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I'm adding my voice to the "yeses" you can go to Smart meetings if you are still drinking. Our facilitator, will usually take people who want to stop through the "stages of change" to see where they are at in their wanting to give up.
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