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Old 05-04-2018, 02:45 AM   #281 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by StevenSlate View Post
Drinking might make you cheat on your wife, but alcohol does not.

The key here is to understand drinking is an activity with a whole bunch of personal and cultural meaning attached to it - whereas alcohol is a CNS depressant that can slow your reaction times, disorient you, alter respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate, et cetera.
Reading further into TFM, the point is made that it's important to realise that this is not to say that alcohol or other drugs don't affect you but that of course they do, it's just that the effect is different from what we usually believe.

Just going more from the book, while alcohol self-evidently has an affect on our CNS as well as a myriad other pharmacology affects it cannot actually control the contents of our thoughts and feelings.

So, the last time I drank followed several months of abstinence and was because I thought it would help me get through a time of emotional pain. Looking back, this was just a belief I had about the power of alcohol. I was reaching out for something to help me and I decided on drink because of my own 'romantacising' of drink and, as you describe in an earlier post, the powerful images that society gives us in films etc. that drink can wash away our troubles.

Did this help me? Well, I got through the sadness so the answer may seem to be "yes" but I believe I would have got through it anyway. Actually I think I would have got through it a lot easier if I had allowed myself to experience my grief and so come to terms with it rather than trying to avoid or delay this through drinking.

Looking back on this experience, I guess I could take the attitude and say "Well look, drinking got me through that so it will get me through anything" so of course leading the way to drinking again if anything else like that happens again which of course is inevitable. Or I could more honestly say "Well no, it didn't really help did it? What did help was the support I got from my friends, my personal faith, and just holding on and getting through that time."

TFM helped me too
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:22 PM   #282 (permalink)

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Part One is also in this sub-forum.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:00 AM   #283 (permalink)
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Hi Tatsy,

To resume our interrupted conversation... I read your thread and I was very to sorry to hear about the distress you are feeling and the personal losses that you have recently experienced.

I was going to reply there but as you bumped this thread I thought it may be better to try to say something in FM terms. In respect to this site, I'll only discuss the model in terms of how it can support the decision of abstinence.

As you try to stop drinking again, the FM, as I understand it, would advise looking at the benefits of not drinking again against the benefits you felt you got from your recent drinking. It seems from what you say that you found in drinking again relief from a number of painful experiences that came all at once. I think it is important to acknowledge this but also to realise that this is not the same as justifying it or making excuses. In FM terms, you made the choice to start drinking again because at that time you felt it would make you 'happier' than not drinking. By 'happy' I don't of course mean that drinking made you feel happy and no longer sad about your pain - I'm sure that was not the case and anyway a mere chemical does not have that power - but 'happy' in the sense that perhaps it gave you a sense of comfort. Whatever the explanation of 'happiness' was for you at that time, you can change your decision by reexamining your preferences and see that you'd be happier now by not drinking again. The FM says that we always naturally act to pursue our own happiness - the Positive Drive Principle (PDP). So when we see that abstinence is a happier option for us than drinking, we're happy to do that. No willpower required!
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:10 AM   #284 (permalink)

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Thank you, Aleric, yes, I decided that drinking would make me ‘happier’ (and I appreciate your definition of that state) by, basically, knocking me out mentally, sedation, so I wasn’t plagued by the thoughts and feelings. A chemical cosh.

It was initially effective, until the overgrown neuronal pathways lit up and the pleasure drives, diverted from seeking a non-drinking state, - to the historic levels of drinking state: due to reigniting my historic tolerance. Within a very short time, I reverted back to square zillion, just to switch off thoughts and feelings.

Pleasure? No. Hopelessness, sadness, sickness, defeat, despondency: yes.
Yet I almost feel as though part of my psyche is gaining some sort of perverted pleasure from feeling hopeless. I wonder?
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:16 AM   #285 (permalink)
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It's going to be alright Tatsy, you caught yourself. You stopped the spiral.

You had a loss and it knocked you off your feet for a bit, but you've gotten back up.

Yet I almost feel as though part of my psyche is gaining some sort of perverted pleasure from feeling hopeless. I wonder?

Yes, your Beast was quite pleased. The real you was trapped and terrified.

Dee used have this meme on his avatar.

"An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:30 AM   #286 (permalink)
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That's quite philosophical Tatsy but I think it may be true. The advantage or 'happiness' we can gain from feeling hopeless is that we feel we can allow ourselves not to feel responsible for a while. I think it's very understandable to want that when we are going through a difficult patch.

Could your happier option be now to stop drinking because you would prefer that to the 'perverted pleasure' you've identified?
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:18 PM   #287 (permalink)

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I like the book the Freedom Model for a number of reasons.
The PDP principle is another way of saying, "Follow your values." Follow what you think is important and you will be happier. Values motivate; when you practice your values you are happier.
Change your thinking and change your life.

Our thinking determines our feelings and our feelings determine our actions.
When good values trump your addiction, there is no addiction.
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:30 AM   #288 (permalink)

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I started reading this thread, even though it seemed to have ended, and then I found Part 1 and zoomed through that. I think I may order the book just to learn more. I probably have enough books on addiction to warrant a shelf of their own, and at one time I said, "Enough is enough, already," but for as long as addiction has been a problem, it seems to me that we really don't know that much. Solutions to addiction tend to be philosophical in nature, and this one probably has some of that as well. Because of that, I think it behooves us to keep searching.

I read a few excerpts from the book, and a whole lot resonated with me. I also objected at times. Well, at least to the implication that moderation can be a solution, but I don't want reopen that debate. No program is 100% right, and not many are 100% wrong, but we can find useful guidelines in most of them. This one sounds mostly right, at least for me, and I don't think I'm that unique that parts of this book won't resonate with others.

Our common goal should be to get better. If we do that, we succeed. Paths may differ. We can find one, or we can hop over to another where we can travel faster for a while, and then to yet another. Success is the goal, NOT THE PATH.

I find this discussion inspiring, and I'm sorry I wasn't around SR long enough to be able to participate in it when it was active. But I've yet to read the whole book. God! Not another book. Oh well, I've got room for one more book, and then I can have a book sale or something.
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:55 PM   #289 (permalink)
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Yeah I also enjoy reading theories and others' takes. I'm currently reading Gabor Mate's In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. A lot of it really speaks to me. But not all of it!
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