So many new members! Welcome to all! As it turns out, the best part about drinking for me was quitting! It’s been nearly 4 months since my last terrible binge. I’m still learning how to live sober and at times it can be tough. I’ve just recently caught myself creating my own triggers. Nearly took a second job thinking that I’m not earning enough money but if I exhaust myself it will end up being spent on booze. What a waste of time! My work is closed during the holidays and I went into panic mode last week but have since calmed down and realized how easily I can spin. I was extremely overworked, drunk, incredibly sick and miserable 4 months ago. Nothing that I’d care to repeat and now the sensible part of my brain has decided to enjoy this time off. What a ride. Quieting that part of the brain that’s self sabotaging can be difficult. It’s apparently the same part that tells us it’s OK to drink, again, but will formulate all sorts of tricky situations when it’s told no. I don’t recall any of my last drinking episodes turning out to be a wise choice. They may have been necessary reminders of just how poorly alcohol affects my entire being but that’s about it. Have a great day all!!
Ha! I do relate to this. After I quit dreaming, I found it was ME conjuring up the drama that made me want to drink. Not to say that things didn’t happen on therenown, but my thought spiral was within my control. Who knew?!
Hiya @Lee@…glad you tweaked onto that second job thing ~ cool, clear thinking on your part. Are you studying/researching anything in particular, lately? Think about you every day. You’re in my prayers, you bet! Look at ya go ~ whoa. x
Have been studying my behaviors at times @Malibustacey, especially lately. I’m either patting myself on the back or thinking “What was that?” haha. I have visions of sorting out my art supplies that haven’t been touched in years and dabbing back into that some. It’s yet another one of the many bikes I’d learned to ride drunk. So many! Thanks for including me in prayers! You, yourself are a God send to this community! I bailed on the second job because I’d nearly forgotten how I’d like to do something else with my life. What was that, moment, for sure. I’m getting there. Keep catching myself! Look at you go with 13 months AF! I am so glad to be in your shadow!!!!
I remember 4 months ago when you were desperate and asking for help. I also remember you making the commitment to stop the madness. Wow @lee-2, you have come so far! You’re stopping those triggers before they can suck you back in to that black hole. Keep up the great work! It’s not always smooth sailing, I’m in a bit of a funk today, but I know booze will do absolutely nothing to help. So I just let it be and it will pass. You’re doing the same. It is so worth it!
HI @lee-2 I love this observation: “Quieting that part of the brain that’s self-sabotaging can be difficult”. It isn’t just difficult to stop the self-sabotaging thoughts, it is impossible. There is no way to prevent these thoughts from coming, but we can lessen their conviction and lessen their duration. There is a part of our brain that still demands that we drink: the reward system, and we have no direct control or awareness of what is happening in there as it operates completely automatically. The reward system is where the cravings comes from and there’s nothing we can do to stop them coming. But the cravings create a problem for our human brains, and that is that they come entirely as feelings, and these feelings have no supporting rationale. Our brains require information to be orderly, so our mind searches for an explanation that will justify and validate the feeling. This is how the sabotaging ideas get formed. But these ideas occur in a part of our brain that we ARE aware of… so we can interact with them.
The best way to deal with these sabotaging ideas is to anticipate them. When we know in advance that they will come then we can recognise them as they arrive and dismiss them quickly. e.g When we get the challenging though “Maybe you weren’t that bad, plenty of people drink a lot, maybe you’re just a heavy drinker” We can respond “Oh, I wondered when you’d show up. I see you and I know you are not true. Yes, I WAS that bad, maybe all those other people that drink a lot have the same problem as me, I was not just a heavy drinker I was a compulsive drinker and it was destroying everything around me”. We can anticipate the sabotage, then recognise it and dismiss it.
The sabotaging ideas present themselves in three categories: ideas that say that it is not possible to stop drinking, ideas that we can’t enjoy life without drinking and ideas that say it isn’t necessary to stop drinking. They are ALL lies.
Example ideas saying “It isn’t possible to stop drinking” “You’ve tried before and you can’t, you may as well have a drink now instead of carrying on suffering” “You’ll drink at Christmas anyway, so you may as well have one now”
Example ideas saying “It isn’t worth stopping drinking” “You’re missing out on the fun” “A party/gathering/celebration won’t be fun without a drink” “What’s Christmas/birthsay/New years without a drink”
Example ideas saying “It isn’t necessary to stop drinking” – “Just one won’t hurt” – “You’re better at controlling this now” – “You only needed to try a bit harder” – “Perhaps I wasn’t that bad”
All of these are easy to dismiss as false or misleading when we are calm and rational. If we take that time to build the dismissing counter-argument then when the ideas arise we can recognise them as expected and ALREADY know that they are false. We can step over them fairly easily if they are anticipated and already defeated, and because the answer is already known the idea doesn’t persist. We can do this for a lot of self-sabotaging ideas, but there is one that stands apart from these and it needs special attention. It is this… “A drink will make you feel better”. This one is dangerous because it is partially true. Yes, a drink will make us feel better in the short term as we get the “aaahhh!” of taking that first drink but it will make us feel absolutely awful later; we will feel like complete failures and this sense of failure will reduce our resolve to not drink. It is the pathway back to hell.
Know that these challenges are coming and pre-thinking them through reduces the time we spend debating with them when they arrive. You are an inspiration. Keep going and please keep taking us along with you.