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Downward spiral

Ashley -> Health Educator

2021-04-07 6:22 PM

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Thanks for that plan Ashley. I have a similar one in my head. Somewhat different because it’s not always possible to leave a situation or trigger. At work, there are challenging people that I have to work with. At home, there are teens I love my kids but there are heavy conversations sometimes and I refuse to walk away from my girls just because they’re hard to reason with sometimes. That burden has fallen on their mum too often while I wasn’t lucid enough to speak in full sentences. You get the picture. I talked to my therapist about this and he helped me realize that anything can be a trigger for me, it just depends on how much I want a drink. If I want to drink, I’ll find any excuse. The best way he has helped is to deal with any stress in a healthy way. Breathe, be calm, find humor in the situation! Honestly, many times after being sober and I drank again weren’t times when I actually thought I wanted a drink, it’s almost as if I thought of it, then I’m at the store in the line. Like Gus said, I’m not sure that I crave it but I guess if I end up drinking, I must have wanted it. As for family counseling Ashley, I’m not sure I can do that just yet. It’s very difficult to face the anxiety that my drinking has caused for my family. I understand now why it’s called a family disease. It changes people.I have talked to them about it somewhat but I will admit that I have a lot of fear around that. I don’t want to hear what they’ve seen. I realize that’s not fair. I hope I can get there soon. I liked your advice though, about being patient. I know it will take time to regain their trust and I fully plan to.

Congratulations Gus ! You sound like you’re doing awesome. Thanks for the advice, I use that all the time. I can’t remember the worst times, but I can remember the next day, how devastated I felt and how sad and angry my family looked. I use that to stop myself.

John

23 days ago +1 GusA 114 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Hey everyone,

I am almost finished week 3, and a month is on the horizon. Im feeling really good physically and mentally.

I attend AA meetings online periodically. I find they are good for reminding me on how bad this can get. The long term AA members tell the new people to "play the tape forward" all the time. In other words, picture what happens after the drinking goes bad before you ever take that drink. That solid advice. I have another friend who does not attend AA. he quit two years ago, and thats what he does. Every time he has a thought to drink, he jumps right over to how bad it got for him in the past.

I had little or no urge to drink. I thought about it once, but it was just a thought. It was not an urge. I don't know if they are different or not? The thought floated through my mind, and I said to myself, ' Yea its a thought. Only a thought.'

Also, I had my first drinking dream. I dreamt I was at a liquor store, agonizing over how much to buy, how would I hide it, how much would I dink, and all the other crap that goes along with problem drinking. What a relief to wake up from that! It seems like when I stop drinking, I periodically get those dreams.

Does anyone else experience these dreams? Are they common?

Thanks

Gus

Hi Gus,

I am glad you had a good day yesterday. That is amazing you did not have the urge to drink!

Interesting about niacin. I cannot give you advice on what supplements or medications to take. It is always best to talk to your doctor about these types of questions. I do know that individuals who drink too much alcohol often have vitamin deficiencies, with B vitamins being the most common deficiency. Considering this, I think it would be worthwhile to talk to your doctor about niacin.

Enjoy your hangover free day!😊

Ashley


24 days ago (Edited 24 days ago) +1 GusA 114 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Hey everyone,

Had a good St Paddy's. Attended an online "party" with some friends. Had a great time. Not drinking. Just played a few Irish tunes and laughed. I felt no urge or pressure to drink at all.

Ashley, I have a question for you, as the professional on here. Is there any supporting evidence that Niacin helps when people are trying to stay away from alcohol? I have read lots of supportive material. However, on the internet you can search anything and find that it helps something. hard to judge the accuracy of some of he materials.

John, I hope your having a good week too.

Gus

Hi John,

I have been following your posts. I am very glad you found us. It sounds like you really want to be alcohol free, we can help support you to reach those goals. I am glad you are posting often. That will help.

To answer your question. Having an emergency coping plan in place before you get the urge to drink is a great idea. You can have many coping strategies in your tool box. Here is the emergency coping plan that can be found on page six of the difficulties chapter:

At some point, and sometimes "out of the blue", you'll be faced with situations that will trigger the urge to relapse or slip. We call these high-risk situations, which can be caused by triggers. Review this Emergency Coping Plan to help you deal with these situations. If you feel the urge, or are tempted to slip:

AVOID the situation. Identify the situations as one in which you'd be tempted to drink. For most, high-risk situations are times of the day, activities, emotions or even people that tempt you to drink or remind you of drinking. Plan how you'll avoid these situations. Plan for alternate activities.

LEAVE the situation. If you find yourself in a high-risk situation, leave immediately or contact someone who can help you.

DISTRACT yourself from cravings. If you find yourself in a situation you can't leave and you get a craving, distract yourself from the craving by:

Thinking about something else, like your Coping Plan or Reward Plan or perhaps how the progress you've made or how your body is healing itself.

Do something else to distract yourself. Try drinking water or deep breathing exercises.

Thinking about an upcoming event in your life, such as a vacation.

DELAY acting on the craving If you can't keep your mind off the craving, then make a deal with yourself that you'll wait 15 minutes before you give into the craving. The craving will usually pass in a couple of minutes anyway. If you keep delaying, the craving will go away.

Use SELF TALK A craving may be accompanied by negative thoughts about your ability to resist it. Use positive self-talk statements to combat your negative thoughts.

We encourage you to print this document and keep it somewhere handy (such as in your purse, on your fridge, in your wallet, gym bag or desk drawer).

I hope this helped. Please let us know what you decide to include in your plan.

Looking forward to reading more from you soon,

Ashley

26 days ago +1 GusA 114 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Hey John,

The AA meetings for me are good because they are a reminder for me of how things can go wrong, and how bad they can get.

I too have alot of things I have done while drinking that I'm not proud of - things I would never dream of doing if I were sober. I think everyone who has had a problem with drinking has done things like that in their past.

When I have a challenge of any kind, I try to remind myself of this: "This issue would be way worse if I were drinking."

Thanks. Your posts are keeping me on track as well!

Have a good day. Talk later

Gus

Gus,

Yes, I don’t miss the day after effects. I was also messed up in my head during the time that I was drinking even if I wasn’t drinking on that day. I can’t explain it really, I just have a clearer head. A break is good and I try not to think ahead of today but for me, drinking is not something I can consider going back to. I have gone back to it too many times, not intentionally, and each time the results were worse than before. I haven’t been completely open here but I have tried many different ways of drinking. Things have happened that I’m not proud of. That’s not who I am. I’m a football dad that works hard. I want my girls and my wife to be proud of me. I want to be proud of who I am again. I thought about drinking last evening, just a small one. Things were heated at home with one of my girls but I did what you said , think about what happens when I start to drink. I usually don’t stop. I also thought about my wife dealing with our daughter alone. Not fair to her if I try to fix my stress with a bottle. I’m a parent too. I’m going to listen to the YouTube guy again today and do an AA meeting too. I have a new sponsor I can call if I find myself at the doorstep of buying again. Signing off but I’ll be back again. Thanks and good luck to you every day!

John

27 days ago (Edited 27 days ago) +1 GusA 114 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Hey John,

6 days in is fantastic! Every day we don't drink is a day we aren't hungover and miserable, having to deal with the fallout of drinking.

For the MS youtube videos, they are working on our subconscious. The more we listen to these, the more they work. I try and listen at least 3 times a week when Im going to sleep. It seems like they have helped me with cravings and how to react to them.

I'm in my comfort zone now, and I want to stay like this for AT LEAST 6 months, maybe longer? Who knows? Maybe this will be longer? Maybe it will be permanent? Ill deal with that when the 6 months start to draw near. Im just happy I didn't drink last night and that Im not dealing with the fallout today.

Have a great week John and everyone. I'm looking forward to hearing more updates as we go along.

Gus

Lynn,

Thanks. I want to be a non drinker. A certain day won’t do it for me, trust me I’ve tried that. I’m back with a sponsor now. He understands me and doesn’t take my excuses. There’s no need to recount the details but something happened and for the first time, I was sober to see it and I allowed myself to see it. I witnessed the fear in my girls. Fear that their dad would drink and perhaps die from it. Not far fetched at all. I have come close to death several times. By God’s protection, I am still here and still have my wife and girls. Years ( maybe months ago too) ago, I would look at others and think I wasn’t as bad an alcoholic as they were because I hadn’t been arrested yet. My yard stick is different now. I look at many men around me that I admire and I want to be more like them. Booze will not win again. I have too much to lose.

Gus,

Congratulations on two weeks sober. You sound a lot like me. Too much to lose to let booze win. I’m 6 days and I’m never letting it in again. This isn’t my first time to the rodeo. I’ll be following your progress. Thanks for the ideas on what to say to friends. My friends that know never offer me drinks or situations that might challenge me. My circle is smaller now but that’s a good thing. I’m all in this time around. I listened to the ms on YouTube. Maybe it’s helping. I do feel like it’s a little easier this time.

John


28 days ago (Edited 28 days ago) +1 Lynn123 322 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo 1

Gus,

Two weeks down. Nice job. I know exactly what you mean about the line in the sand. I drew a similar line. After the first few weeks, knowing that I wasn't going to drink for 3 months took away the pressure. After the suggested 3 months, I made the decision to not drink again. It was easier to know that I wasn't going to drink than to worry about drinking.

johnontheslopes,

As you have seen, you will get support here. You asked our suggestion about being faced with a drink. I would suggest you be very honest with yourself about what you want. If you don't want to drink until a certain day, then hold to that. Gus gave several "excuses" to get you out of a bind. Have a response ready so you are not caught off guard. In my experience, when you say your not interested in a drink, people move on. However, people can pick up on a lack of confidence in what you say. If you say no, but don't really mean it, they may continue to pressure you.

I hope things are going well for both of you. Good luck!

Lynn


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