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Small Victories


9 years ago +1 94 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1
Beni,

LOVE this and thank you for posting it. A victory indeed and something to be acknowledged!  It is indicative of conscious thought, decision making and awareness. I went on vacation this winter and had very much the same experience. Drank more than "low risk guidelines" would suggest, but still very far from what I would have consumed even a year ago, and never lost control.  Some might choose to look at this as "Oh I still drank too much, I failed" but it's all about progress and this IS progress. Thank you for sharing!
9 years ago 0 12 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
My goal, for now, is to moderate my drinking, including no-alcohol days, to bring it in line with recommended safe guidelines.  

This past weekend I went away for a short holiday with my husband (who drinks) and daughter.  I consumed more than the recommended limit on 3 of the 4 days we were gone, however, small victory, I drank nowhere near as much as I might have done in the past.  I actually poured wine from the one open bottle we had down the sink before we left to come home!  

I did not go my former route of, "I'm on vacation, I am not driving anywhere, so what's the harm."  I did not start the day with a 'little Bailey's in my coffee' or a bloody Caesar with breakfast, just 'because I'm on holiday.'  I used the 15-minute pause once or twice to prevent myself from grabbing a drink out of boredom.  I took walks, played board games with my family and soaked in a hot bath to relieve stress (the biggest luxury of the trip for me because we only have a shower at home).  I also reported every drink faithfully and honestly in my diary so that I could look back and see the real pattern.

I was consciously aware of my choices, both weak and strong, and beginning, just beginning to gain some insight into what my real triggers are.

Long way to go, but it's a start.
9 years ago 0 1562 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
well maybe a little drunk. lol Thank god my robe was not the kind that flare up. Can you believe it??

I can totally relate to that. I just got lucky. Once I was so drunk, I blacked out once I got into the garage and was there for quite sometime. My wife had asked for something at the store and she was waiting and waiting. Finally she came to the garage to wake me up. And I could see the look in her face. The hopeless, fear-ridden look. But then I still thought, I can control my drinking. 
9 years ago 0 557 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Thank you so much Kez. Have not been doing so well since that meeting and fell asleep with my cigarette, not even drunk, just tired. ( well maybe a little drunk. lol Thank god my robe was not the kind that flare up. Can you believe it?? I do not dare telling my kids about it. They are already worry about me, and today... anyway Thanks Kez for sharing with me :-)
9 years ago 0 11213 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Great idea Kez! Being present to our small victories is so important. Not only does it help us to feel good but it also helps to reinforce the new pattern.

Thanks for posting. I loved imagining your dogs running free in the snow
Ashley, Health Educator
9 years ago 0 421 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Ok....my small victory is that I tasted a wine at dinner/lunch with my husband this weekend on Sunday. I did't like it, didn't crave it and didn't give it another thought. I feel pretty great about that. It was a sample/sip that I needed to try for whatever reason and it was small. But, I feel so happy that it didn't even do anything to/for me.  In the past I would have started trying to figure out how to get more or thinking about it and craving a buzz, etc.  I didn't!! So, that feels like a victory!   Am I going to start drinking again and tring to moderate? I think it's not something that's on the table for me. I think it will turn out badly at this point in my life.  In the future? Who knows...
 
I agree with TS---if I start thinking about how drinking will end for me or what it does to me and how it makes me feel....well that takes the wind out of it. :-)
 
Great job all of you for your hard work!  It's a long road and very worth it.  And as far as posting about successes---TS you are doing an amazing job of re-wiring!
 
Kez--I agree---it's like growing up again for me.  That's so funny because that's exactly how I think of it and how I am approaching it.  That along with facing challenges to re-wire my brain to deal with things differently.  That's important.  Makeing different choices on dealing with stress and finding our triggers.
 
Also, Kez....great job on not getting derailed by someones bs comment to you.  Someone that will say things and do things to hurt others is just miserable in themselves and you are better than that! Great job!! Hold your head high and know you are in control!!
 
So glad I can read about all your successes! Very motivating!!
9 years ago 0 94 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Hi Hors Controle,

I'm a sucker for the human connection so your whole post made me tear up.  Thank you for sharing. And good for you.

Kez.
9 years ago 0 557 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Hi everyone, My small success was that I decided to go to an AA meeting on Thursday evening. The people in the group were so welcoming, two of them even offered me books, the 12 steps and living without alcohol. One of them was so enthusiastic about his new life without alcohol, he was almost contagious. lol. One of the woman came over after the meeting and gave me her phone number so I can call her if I need to talk to someone before taking that first drink. I am planning to go to more meetings even if it is only for the social part of it, instead of staying home alone with my bottles of wine. I even stepped up to get my first tag " Call before instead of after". I am not sure I am translating right. I cried as I was standing up because my daughter texted me that she was soooo proud of me.
9 years ago 0 345 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
Hi Kez,

Well done in not allowing a callous remark by a family member derail you. 

Kez and K, you questioned why you don't hear from people who successfully moderate. I believe that once that sense of control is regained they simply abandon the site. I've personally worked very hard over the past year in dealing with my own maladaptive relationship with alcohol. I've read books, joined other support groups, reinvented my exercise and eating habits and most importantly, learned to be mindful and in the process rewired my brain. This site has been an enormous help to me and am grateful for the unwavering support I have received.

After abstaining and slipping many times I believe I finally found my comfort zone. I can enjoy a few drinks with friends and then leave it alone. I no longer blackout but should I drink, my sleep is disturbed. Consequently before I have a drink I ask myself whether it's worth losing sleep over and most of the time I simply decide to have water instead. After doing copious amounts of research on nutrition I can't help but visualize the many detrimental effects alcohol has on my body. That alone is a great motivator to keep the amount in check. 

I no longer crave alcohol at all even though I did have a few last weekend. The individuals I was with drank far more than I did and much faster. Between the three of us we had just slightly more than I would have had by myself in the past. That in itself is remarkable.

So yes, I believe that I have now regained control over my nemesis. I also believe that I will continue to control it rather than it controlling me.

Yes, it can be done,
TS
9 years ago 0 94 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 0
K, I wanted to be able to give this the time for a thoughtful response. The part where you said you don't hear about people on this site who moderate rather than stop altogether. I find it a puzzling issue as well because I'm navigating these decisions myself and, well, I am no expert!

I have't really spoken much about my goals in terms of alcohol because I am in generally hyper worried about what people think, so even on an anonymous drinking support site I fear there will be the people who think "she's kidding herself" or "she's going to slip back into old habits". But it's been 5 weeks since I binged (which included a trip with alcohol included), and I haven't stopped altogether. 

I think it really depends on your history, your personality, where you're coming from. I'm working hard on changing my thought patterns and behavioural responses and learning not to let my feelings guide me. So I've been consciously deciding beforehand when I will allow myself to have a drink (not in situations where I might feel vulnerable) and only when I'm not doing it to hide something else. Moderating for me involves a LOT of pre-planning and guideline setting (and telling my husband my plans). I've set a goal to stay under the low risk guidelines for Canada and so far it has been working.  If you ask me, I'd say it is possible. But I really think it depends on so many different factors. Your family history, your own history, the severity of your drinking, the reasons for your drinking, your experience with positive coping, the amount of "tools" in your "toolbox"....

I kind of feel like I am "growing up again" and with that comes a total overhaul on everything. I'm finding that now that I am challenging some of the underlying issues I understand more why I used to have to drown my feelings and now I can make different choices.

I dunno. those are just my thoughts. My little positive victory for today was a self-esteem plummeting remark from a close family member that I tried really hard not to let erode all the work I've been doing on being nice to myself. And I chose not to buy that bottle of wine after work because I knew it would just contribute to the erosion. I woke up feeling happy and strong :)

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