• Temperance posted a new activity comment 4 months ago

    Hi lovely. I don’t pop in often enough. It’s so helpful to be with people starting out on their journey. I do love seeing the old faces too. It’s a real joy.

  • Gola01 posted an update 9 months, 2 weeks ago

    Hi sober people…so I have a question. I have a huge party coming up in 3 weeks time and I’ve done 2 weeks sober. It’s my mums 60th so a big one that I simply can’t miss as I’m fully involved in terms of decoration/ food etc. I’m so anxious as there will loads of people I know there and most I haven’t seen for a while Who know I am a big party girl who loves a drink (but don’t know the issues I’ve had with it) and so will be expecting me to be drinking. In fact they will think something is seriously wrong with me if I’m not haha. However I’m too unpredictable with how I will be if I do drink I’m either nice or I’m angry/ tearful and black out. Obviously the best option is to continue in my journey but I know I’m going to find it extremely hard in this night being so New. I can’t deal with drunk people around me whilst sober!! Any advice?

    • Maybe you could enlist your Mums help, it is her night and you want to be sober and on hand to do any chores or driving that needs doing on the night for her!! You are so on to it to start planning for this now and you can so do it. Have your own stash of yummy AF drinks pre ordered and available

    • Hiya @Gola01! I know, the first time of being at a party, thinking about doing it sober is tough. But very do-able and so rewarding, seriously. The first half hour is weird at a party. This is where you’re vulnerable to just grabbing a drink to quell any anxieties. Have a drink in hand, and just ride it out. It passes. As the night goes on, it’s strange – you start having just as much fun as if you were drinking. Later in the evening, you’re having way more fun. And you’re having real conversations. And the next day – you feel like a total sober rock star. Good luck and happy bday to your mom. You can do this! : )

    • That will be 5 weeks by then and you’ll feel pretty good in your sobriety. Its fun to watch drunk people , being grateful the whole time it’s not you. Me, I relished going to parties after 4 weeks because I wanted to show I could be the responsible partier, not the life of the party as always. You don’t drink to please others. As involved as you are in making it an enjoyable day all about her, no one will give you grief about not drinking, and if they do, be the oh so gracious daughter and explain it’s all about her, not you. You’ll come off looking fab! And feeling that way, too!

    • Funny thing is when you are sober you notice a lot of other sober people around also. I thought everyone was boozing its just not true – have something planned in response maybe that will help when asked – why you are not drinking.

  • SteveF posted an update 10 months ago

    Ok everybody. I need some support here. Old friends that I’ve known since college have come to stay with us for a week at our place in the mountains. Just unloaded 2 cases of wine, a huge bottle of vodka and huge bottle of scotch. Happy hour is about to start. Haven’t felt this weak in a very long time. I will not drink today but need your help.

    • @SteveF self care immediately. Is there anyone there you trust to say – super hard for me this week…if not – you have to use all of your sober tools! Can you check in here twice a day this week? What are the other things that help you? Maybe exercise – maybe while happy hour is happening you go for a run or hike or jump in the shower at that time. Maybe you are the person cooking so you keep your hands busy. I don’t know where you are in your process, but the devastation you will feel from joining in happy hour – is it worth it??

    • Time for your old friends to get to know the new you. Hopefully, they aren’t going to be too surprised, but let’s face it…..it is a big change. But it has to be. Tell them what Mrs D says, it’s not about what’s in the glass. And hopefully, all of your past times with them will mean more than whether you get drunk or not. Let them know they can go ahead, it doesn’t bother you, and keep smiling. Good luck!

    • Oh no @SteveF! I like that you said you are not drinking today, that is being strong right there. Perhaps you need to tell them you are unable to drink at all as you are helping a newly sober friend (me and the rest of us newbies here) and need to be on hand just in case we need you. A week is a long time and that’s a lot of booze, is there not a bar you can tell them to go out to? Thinking of you.

    • I say rock it @stevef, all the cool kids are doing it! You get to not drink, you get to feel totally present and enjoy the company, you get to sleep well and wake up feeling great and proud! Like @auntbridge said get out for some exercise, I’ve been walking a lot and it helps a ton. I know any time I’ve had a challenge like this it feels so awesome to do it! You’ve got this, check in too!

    • Thanks so much @krisb @Finallyhere @Tom4500 @AuntBridge. I have told them in the past that I have become alcohol intolerant and my stomach just can’t handle alcohol anymore but that was just over dinner. I’m gonna do this. The support is really helpful. I just feel like crap but I’m not getting back on that God awful booze merry go round! Thanks!

    • Yeah I reckon totally rock it, talk about it if they ask questions, tell them how fucking great your life is. Tell them Clarity is the new Black. And borrow my motto, works best for myself but I use it on anyone else as well “NO THANK YOU , I DON’T DRINK”……Not negotiable. Works a treat.
      Own it and be proud of it. You will see them admiring you greatly by the end of the weekend. This is big, I do not envy you, but allow yourself to feel a complete detachment from the actual booze. It is a liquid you used to spend lots of money on to pour down your throat to change your personality, to dull your braincells, and to compromise your health. You woke up. YOu don’t do that anymore. Show them also that you can laugh and talk and join in with all the rest of them socially, and when they get loud and boring you like to go to bed and read your book……..and be all the fresher to make their morning coffee for them. YOu get through this one @SteveF and you’ll get through anything, so look at it as a milestone that will make the rest of your life a breeze. Make us proud xoxo

    • You are up for the challenge and I know you can do this. Keep playing it forward and think of how great you’re going to feel waking up sober, remembering conversations, truly connecting with friends. Check in here as often as you need to. We’ve got your back.

    • When you say “stay with us” does that mean someone in your life who already knows you don’t drink and supports you? If so, that is good. let them help you through this too.

      Not sure how the situation came to be as far as having them come to your home for a week with booze (did you know they were coming? And if so, did you tell them not to bring any?). If In any event, it is what it is now, but you are not alone and we encourage you to check in here as often as needed. Someone always here 24 hours a day it seems!

      You got this!!

    • Thanks @Prudence and @freedom1025. Made it through happy hour, about to move on to gourmet dinner with wine.. So far so good.. I’ve got “playing it forward” on continuous replay.

    • Oh boy @Steve F that is such a tough one. I can’t add anything new to the brilliant advice you have already been given on this thread! “I don’t drink” is a great motto! You are doing just great! You recognised the danger signals and by coming here and sharing with us, hopefully you will gain strength & support. We are all by your side and on your side…a huge army of us. Keep checking back here, there is always someone here. You can do this xxx

    • Remember, @SteveF, after the initial shock that they might feel that you don’t drink, they don’t give a shit. They just want to keep their own glasses filled. Or some of them might think, hey, that Steve is a cool guy. I think I’m going to give this a try, too. Drinking has been getting to me, so maybe he’s just given me the perfect excuse to have skip the boozy week. Solidarity!

      Giving them a place to stay is already offering a tremendous amount of hospitality. Giving up your recovery for them? Nope. That’s too much to ask of an already generous host, and I can’t imagine they expect that. I bet they’ll be proud of you. If not, you’ve touched a nerve for them and they’ve got some thinking to do about their own drinking. You can show them what a life in recovery can be, even if they’re not ready to change yet.

      I really hope they surprise you by being supportive. Regardless, your sober tribe is here, cheering you on. We’re with you!

      • P.S. I want to add something about a recent experience I had. I went to a reception last night and saw friends I used to drink with. I felt nostalgic for that time when we spent more time together. Back then I always had a glass of wine in my hand. Last night I declined the wine that servers offered, but I noticed it, and thought, gee, if only I were a normal drinker and could have some wine with my friends, if only I could be like them. I knew that I didn’t want one glass of wine, though. If I had one, I’d want many more. I’d look for that buzz, and then I’d go past that buzz, either that night or another night, I’d wind up in the vicious, vicious cycle that had me drinking, regretting it, having hangovers, maybe forgetting things from the night before, wanting to drink again … and on and on.

        What I really wanted wasn’t the alcohol at all. What I really wanted was to feel close to my friends and to fit in with them. And when the moment passed, I knew that they loved me just as I am, that they didn’t care that I wasn’t drinking. And two people with me were having water right alongside me. When that fleeting little thought passed by after a few seconds, I was so glad that I had let it just come and go, and was still living my sober life. So I think I might be able to imagine some of the pull that alcohol could have on you with your friends there. But I keep finding out, and I bet you keep finding out, too, that they love us for us and not for the drinking we used to do, and that our lives are so much, much better without the booze. Here’s to our health and real friendships!

        • @AnneC what you just wrote was AWESOME!!!!! @SteveF…let what Anne said sink in….yes, REAL friendships!!! But I so get it, Steve….there is a group of friends if mine that based outside jokes ..um…with booze. But I’m at 416 days today…and I want to tell you HOW MUCH FUN I had alcohol free..with them(and the ones that got fucked up were so…annoying. And their breath was repulsive. Just saying)
          I got a lot of respect from my close friends, as well. AND I was pleasantly surprised a few of my “drinking buddies” actually were only normies…and so that was eye opening
          I also like to drink NA beer with them. Sounds silly, but it is nice
          Stay strong and look forward to waking up relaxed, no headache, no puking, no remorse☺

        • I’m with @AnneC. Sweet Memories of times with friends. Except that is time past. You passed that torch on. Enjoy being with your friends and delight in how good you feel. I’m glad you’re asking for help. You’re the guy who gives such sage advice here. Now we can help you back! Lots of good advice here.

    • Thanks @TipsyToeGal @libertynow and @AnneC. I really appreciate your support and comments. I made it through the evening AF. It means a lot knowing all of you are here to support me getting through this week. Hopefully tomorrow night will be easier to deal with. All of you in this LS community rock! Thanks again!

      • Rock that sobriety!!!! I use to own a bar, I thought to drink all the time was the norm. it is not. I wish I could have the years back I drank away. Apologize to the people I hurt that are no longer in my life because of my drinking. I even tried the closet drinking, eventually, you have to come clean. I have seen many of my old patrons die of alcohol-related illness. I accept the fact I can’t drink and have a normal life. Real friends will accept your sobriety, and respect you for it. Life is about living in the moment all senses present you only get one.

    • Can relate to that mate. See my post this morning. I joined in and feel such a fool and disappointed in my self. Stay strong.

      • I have fallen many times It is what you do when you get back up. Peace and Hugs!!!!

  • Mend posted an update 11 months, 2 weeks ago

    Love Rick Hanson and this post was particularly great.

    Do you got to?
    The Practice:
    Enjoy The Freedom Not To.

    Why?

    We’re pulled and prodded by financial pressures, commuter traffic, corporate policies, technology, advertising, politics, and the people we work with and live with. As well, internal forces yank the proverbial chains, including emotional reactions, compelling desires, “shoulds,” and internalized “voices” from parents and other authority figures.
    Sometimes these pressures are necessary, like a flashing light on your car’s dashboard telling you to get gas. Even a broken clock is right two times a day.
    But on the whole these pressures are stressful and breed a sense of helplessness. Plus, a lot of the internal forces come from childhood, irrational fears, unfair self-criticism, ancient tendencies in the brain (e.g., its negativity bias), or the darker corners of human nature; acting out these forces is bad for us and others.
    Giving oneself over to these pressures is un-free, like being a puppet tugged by many strings. It’s the opposite of well-being to be “hijacked,” “obsessed,” “addicted,” “plugged in,” or “compelled” – which all imply mental servitude if not slavery.
    On the other hand, a sense of inner freedom is a hallmark of emotional healing, mental health, self-actualization, and the upper reaches of human potential. For example, a common term for enlightenment is “liberation.”
    In plain English, we all know what it feels like to be pushed around . . . and what it feels like to have choices and be autonomous.
    So, lately I’ve been softly saying this phrase in my mind – the freedom not to –and seeing what happens. And what’s been happening is great. A feeling of ease, of room to breathe, of not needing to jump to some task or to agree or disagree immediately with someone. A sense of shock absorbers between me and my emotional reactions, of not making a mess that I’ve got to clean up later, of not embarrassing myself, of not swapp…[Read more]