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Old 09-09-2019, 11:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Lucinda, you sound strong and determined in your new journal. I look forward to your entry today, which is rather presumptuous because Iím in the UK and donít know where youíre located.

MesaMan talks so much sense, he was one of my original sobriety mentors and a current re-director of myself onto the right path: abstinence.
Tatsy, I felt honoured that you looked back in on my post! I was really touched by this.

Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I am also in the UK (and holidaying in Yorkshire).

I can see why MesaMan was one of your mentors. A wonderful post that was.

I love that you have been re-directed! How super is that!
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:57 AM   #22 (permalink)
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No, Lucinda, I can assure you, the honour is mine, in reading and witnessing your progress. I planned to take a short break from SR, but threads such as yours, are reason to check-in daily. I’m thrilled at how well you’re doing, in what could’ve been, testing circumstances.

MesaMan is right, sobriety is mental, what else can it be? It’s a mindset, nobody else raises that glass to the lips, but us. The AV will always champion alcohol consumption for any excuse, happy, sad, bored, ad infinitum (despite the fact that to drink is tragically wrong for me). Fortunately, the AV has no power over my physical body: it’s just a thought, a compulsion, a habit (dressed up as an addiction) and as such, can be ignored and not enacted. My hands are fully under the control of my higher executive functioning brain: not my base desire/urge/craving lower brain.

Lucinda, I do hope you sleep well tonight and wake up bright eyed, fully compus mentis tomorrow, which is a human’s birthright. Optimal functioning!
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:15 PM   #23 (permalink)
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you know, Lucinda, it is perfectly alright to be entirely unapologetic about not joining others in any event whatsoever when you have no reason to!

just sayiní.
though you obviously know this
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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No, Lucinda, I can assure you, the honour is mine, in reading and witnessing your progress. I planned to take a short break from SR, but threads such as yours, are reason to check-in daily. Iím thrilled at how well youíre doing, in what couldíve been, testing circumstances.

MesaMan is right, sobriety is mental, what else can it be? Itís a mindset, nobody else raises that glass to the lips, but us. The AV will always champion alcohol consumption for any excuse, happy, sad, bored, ad infinitum (despite the fact that to drink is tragically wrong for me). Fortunately, the AV has no power over my physical body: itís just a thought, a compulsion, a habit (dressed up as an addiction) and as such, can be ignored and not enacted. My hands are fully under the control of my higher executive functioning brain: not my base desire/urge/craving lower brain.

Lucinda, I do hope you sleep well tonight and wake up bright eyed, fully compus mentis tomorrow, which is a humanís birthright. Optimal functioning!
That was a very nice thing to say Tatsy.

Good to read your surmise of 'sobriety is mental' too. I have been feeling so crazy this week that I had an entirely different interpretation. But, of course, your words make much more sense.

I have decided to read more on AVRT when I get home. In the meantime, it is lovely to wake up without hangovers or even mildly fuzzy.

I hope you had a good day.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:26 PM   #25 (permalink)
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you know, Lucinda, it is perfectly alright to be entirely unapologetic about not joining others in any event whatsoever when you have no reason to!

just sayin’.
though you obviously know this
Fini, I needed to hear this. I am actually pretty good at saying, no. I do it a lot.

What I am not so good at is feeling ok about having said no. I replay and justify the decision in my head, worry at it. I am going to stop doing that. From now on I am going to work on 'no, thats not for me' and leaving it there.

This is a really useful post to me. I am going to add it to my knowledge bank, thank you!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:20 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Day 5 Holiday

Calming down. Not so stressed. It is getting easier. The sky has not fallen in.

I keep wondering if I have been a massive drama queen about this. After all I am holidaying in the countryside. It is not a sun-soaked Ibiza beach villa with cocktails type holiday. But I think it is okay. It is early days and it is a big deal. Going forward it will just be how I live my life and I wont make such a fuss.

Alcohol is becoming less of an issue on my holiday apart from being glad that I am not doing it. I am getting a little more adept with dealing with things too such as moving conversations on from the latest craft beer discovery or length of the new red. Only a slight moment when the barbeque was lit, after all barbeques and beer go together right? Nope, wrong, what a silly association. Moving on now.

I have been rather self-absorbed in my anxiety around this holiday and forgetting that it is everyone else's holiday too. The husband, even though he has been let off the hook, went back to drinking his soft drinks collection. I know that a few beers on holiday are one of his pleasures in life so yesterday I took him into a pub and brought him a beer while enjoying a diet coke and sharing a packet of crisps with the dog. Boy, that felt empowering!

It was a lovely day today. I enjoyed playing by the river with the dog who loves to swim, hiking about and seeing new places.

I have been very humbled by the hand-holding I have received on this thread and have learnt so much from each posting. I have gained new tools, not just for remaining free of alcohol addiction but also for life. I hope I can give at least a little of what you guys give. I will stay around and try.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Lucy- when we put down chemical substitutes for emotions, they wake up! Spitting the dummy is allowed. You are cognizant, thankful and connected tour surrounds and are doing well, by your words. Journaling for me, is like mindful breathing- or (what is not meant to be painful) yoga...it keeps the never stops part of my brain occupied and writing the words helps me make decisions, clarify to myself how I feel. I went to one of those discount shops and bought a big financial diary- one day , one page I am on volume 7 , from 4y ago starting. Good on you for sharing. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:47 AM   #28 (permalink)
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'But I think it is okay. It is early days and it is a big deal. Going forward it will just be how I live my life and I wont make such a fuss.'

^^^ That's pretty much this entire Sobering-up Exercise early on in a Nutshell. That is one great Epiphany you've had, and it can be one Mantra that gets you past inevitable, diminishing AV attacks on your resolve over time.

Because I traveled *a lot* before Early Retirement, my own Metaphor compared Alcohol Universe to living in Japan. There, a myriad of understandable Rules knock us for a loop. I was doing Technical Training early on, and The Group has to understand a concept before moving on. This means the slowest Member sets the pace when Training. Personal Space is very different. Conducting oneself in Queues is different. On and on. A Person could live there >20 Years, and still not 'get' all the assumptions, and subtleties.

Fitting into Japanese Society, while not being Japanese, was not unlike Sober Me fitting into Alcohol Universe re: Social expectations. This loops back to our prior Posts on how Alcohol seems to be intertwined with all Socializing. Like French Wine with 'nice' Dinners, or Beer and BBQ. We've had several Gal Pals get asked on Dates: 'You don't Drink? What do you do for fun'? Me, I've developed a Catalog of responses for these sticky, often-tiresome situations made easier by my Brain -> Mouth Filter being retired as I age. I have fun with it all now, cuz Alcohol Universe Folks often can't imagine our Life. Just as Japanese Pals I took around the expansive West of Colorado couldn't imagine such Open Space. The average Apartment in Tokyo was 20' x 20'. And, that sometimes included Relatives.

One line stored in my Head I've never yet had to use on an Interrogator who wouldn't let up: 'I stopped drinking because I didn't like what Alcohol turns People into'. Mic drop...

As you're learning: 'No' is a complete sentence.
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~ Sobriety Is Mental ~
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:43 AM   #29 (permalink)
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"What I am not so good at is feeling ok about having said no. I replay and justify the decision in my head, worry at it. I am going to stop doing that. From now on I am going to work on 'no, thats not for me' and leaving it there."

yes. the focus in this kind of "no" is on you, what is okay/positive for you and what isn't. when saying this kind of "no", it makes no judgment about what others are doing; it has no relevance to them as such.
the fact that they then sometimes make your "no" about them is a different story and not about you, though it might sound that way.

well! haven't i just given myself a good talking-to
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:21 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Lucy- when we put down chemical substitutes for emotions, they wake up! Spitting the dummy is allowed. You are cognizant, thankful and connected tour surrounds and are doing well, by your words. Journaling for me, is like mindful breathing- or (what is not meant to be painful) yoga...it keeps the never stops part of my brain occupied and writing the words helps me make decisions, clarify to myself how I feel. I went to one of those discount shops and bought a big financial diary- one day , one page I am on volume 7 , from 4y ago starting. Good on you for sharing. Thanks.
Thanks, Phoenix. I appreciate this. Dummy spitting allowed.

I like the journal idea, thanks. I see how it helps. I am going to give it a go. This holiday has been hanging over my new AF life like a big anxiety cloud. It is nearing the end now and it has re-iterated to me that I have made the right choice. It has been very cool not drinking
When I get home I am going to throw myself into the journal with joy. Not just as part of AF journey but as part of my life journey.

Thanks again for your support Phoenix. It has been warmly received.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:03 PM   #31 (permalink)
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,
'But I think it is okay. It is early days and it is a big deal. Going forward it will just be how I live my life and I wont make such a fuss.'

^^^ That's pretty much this entire Sobering-up Exercise early on in a Nutshell. That is one great Epiphany you've had, and it can be one Mantra that gets you past inevitable, diminishing AV attacks on your resolve over time.

Because I traveled *a lot* before Early Retirement, my own Metaphor compared Alcohol Universe to living in Japan. There, a myriad of understandable Rules knock us for a loop. I was doing Technical Training early on, and The Group has to understand a concept before moving on. This means the slowest Member sets the pace when Training. Personal Space is very different. Conducting oneself in Queues is different. On and on. A Person could live there >20 Years, and still not 'get' all the assumptions, and subtleties.

Fitting into Japanese Society, while not being Japanese, was not unlike Sober Me fitting into Alcohol Universe re: Social expectations. This loops back to our prior Posts on how Alcohol seems to be intertwined with all Socializing. Like French Wine with 'nice' Dinners, or Beer and BBQ. We've had several Gal Pals get asked on Dates: 'You don't Drink? What do you do for fun'? Me, I've developed a Catalog of responses for these sticky, often-tiresome situations made easier by my Brain -> Mouth Filter being retired as I age. I have fun with it all now, cuz Alcohol Universe Folks often can't imagine our Life. Just as Japanese Pals I took around the expansive West of Colorado couldn't imagine such Open Space. The average Apartment in Tokyo was 20' x 20'. And, that sometimes included Relatives.

One line stored in my Head I've never yet had to use on an Interrogator who wouldn't let up: 'I stopped drinking because I didn't like what Alcohol turns People into'. Mic drop...

As you're learning: 'No' is a complete sentence.
.
Thanks, MesaMan.

I liked your Sober Me/fitting into Japanese society analogy. This week I have found not drinking to be the easy bit and fitting into the Alcohol Universe the tough bit. It is relentless. I did not realise.

I have been laughing to myself wondering about your brain > mouth filter and think I will develop a repertoire of my own. 'I stopped drinking because I didn't like what Alcohol turns People into'. has popped into my head several times this week both because I have liked myself better without alcohol and also because I have, at times, liked my friends less. There will be some assessment needing to be carried out - but an artificial holiday environment is not the time.

A new identity was imposed earlier that I did not like at all 'designated driver'. This is a hat that I am not prepared to wear. I was caught unawares tonight but I shall be ready for it next time. 'No'.

The good thing to come out of all of this is that I now feel utterly convinced that I have entered a new phase of life and I am going to like it.

Thanks for introducing me to my new mantra!
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:14 PM   #32 (permalink)
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"What I am not so good at is feeling ok about having said no. I replay and justify the decision in my head, worry at it. I am going to stop doing that. From now on I am going to work on 'no, thats not for me' and leaving it there."

yes. the focus in this kind of "no" is on you, what is okay/positive for you and what isn't. when saying this kind of "no", it makes no judgment about what others are doing; it has no relevance to them as such.
the fact that they then sometimes make your "no" about them is a different story and not about you, though it might sound that way.

well! haven't i just given myself a good talking-to
Fini, I like this!

You are right. It is about keeping that focus on me without blame/resentment and also learning to separate other people's stuff from my own. Maybe 'this is not my stuff' can be learnt in just the same way as I am learning to identify and separate the AV voice.

I believe that I have been transitioning this week and you have definitely been part of that journey for me.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:17 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Lucy- I do not re read the volumes of stuff I have written much- but one useful way to use my journal is seeing my GP or psychologist (I have mental stuff, funny that). I get to my appointment always early..and often take my journal and read back from the last consult/visit to write a short 'business arising' list to talk over with whatever health professional I am seeing. That way- I am focused, can share what I need aid with (if any) and what I intend to do to grow/heal/improve for next time. This is also a good way to make sure I am 'on track'. My final very nasty rock bottom left me with significant cognitive trauma and I sometimes feel concerned I may be wandering off into weirdsville with my behavior. Although it does not happen (thankfully) I think it is useful to get feedback - sometime I cannot see the trees for the forest.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:50 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Phoenix, over 15yrs ago I quit drugs after 24yrs of intravenous use. I don't know exactly how long ago it was because I did that on my own so counting clean-time has never been a thing like it is in fellowships. I pretty much applied AVRT to the big quit without even knowing that there was such a thing.

Like your cognitive trauma, there is some nasty residue. There is some physical damage but mainly I got off lightly all things considered. For me the trauma is around the terrible things I did to others in my addiction and perhaps even more awful the things I didn't do, the times I simply wasn't there. I think possibly one might call it PTS - the replay is frequent. One of my goals for this year is to get some counselling around this. I don't think it will ever go away, but maybe I can lower the noise and be more present/less stuck in a loop. So yes, I think you are right that out-putting in a fixed arena such as journalling or counselling might help contain it and stop it spilling so much into everyday life. Walking around with a lot of 'stuff' does make it difficult to avoid the quagmire of self-obsession.

You made me smile with your concern about wandering into Weirdsville. I often wonder if I am becoming a crazy old lady. But it is okay if I am. I shall wear purple and buy a red hat. There is even a Red Hat Society so I won't be alone.

I think you are pretty amazing! I hope you don't mind but I have taken a look at some of your threads on this forum and seen just the tip of what you have to deal with. My hat comes off to you. Everything you have to deal with and you still give so much.

It has been lovely talking to you. Thanks for what you have done for me this week.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 AM   #35 (permalink)
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When do you return home from holiday, Lucinda?
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Old Yesterday, 06:42 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The beauty of SR, Lucy is the strength of commitment and support we have in this safe community. I think you are right- I got c-PTSD and the grief, pain, shame, fear and all the other goodies are just interwoven in my soul- they will never be entirely absent, but we can keep the screaming voice of past horrors- down to a whisper with support. I did CBT and it is a great way of dealing with now, today. Then I did ACT, which is great for accepting feelings not so good (within reason of course- if I stay in bed for 5 days because of sadness- I cannot accept that state of being and would get help) and getting on with life.

To me- life is like a grey flat sea (boring, repetitive, long, tiring) with little periods of sunshine (joy or more important- feeling 'connected') reaching down from above the clouds and islands of great stuff...and sad stuff (and here this terrible metaphor finishes)...etc.
The everyday stuff gets me down some days, then the guilt kicks in (from being a kid I think) because I am not being productiveÖ..

but we soldier on, don't we?
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