LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.
Talking of learning, a big penny has just dropped for me. I engage in two kinds of drinking- the drip drip drip of evening wine drinking (well, more like slosh slosh slosh), plus party/weekend drinking with other people. Having abstained from alcohol for over three weeks, the urge to engage in that first kind of drinking is nearly gone. It's manageable,although after a particularly bad or particularly good day it is a little harder to manage, and I know there will be other triggers, there are bound to be. But it is the second kind of drinking that is now more of a threat. We are invited for a dinner party tomorrow. I actually feel/believe/think I'm going to be ok, because it is early days, I'm feeling strong, and the friends are not the ones that trigger me the most. But this is exactly the kind of event that could make my resolve crumple, as it did at my own 50th Birthday last year, which I stocked up with nice non-alcoholic drinks, intending to not drink, and lasted approximately half an hour before I caved in. Someone at AA said to me, you have more than likely already got rid of the physical compulsion to drink, and what you are left with is the mental obsession. I suddenly see that. In an ideal world I would enjoy a few drinks at parties, and not drink the rest of the time (apart from celebratory meals, which are also parties.) But the world is not ideal, or at least my relationship with alcohol isn't. And party drinking unfortunately will re-trigger the physical compulsion that leads me to drink wine every evening. It is probably obvious to all of you, indeed I knew this already on some level, but I have suddenly properly understood that in order to get rid of my urge to drink daily, I have to sacrifice my party drinking, which, for the most part, has been something I have really enjoyed (apart from the hangovers, of course) SO OBVIOUS. Maybe it is pleasing to me, because i now realise that I have a proper explanation as to why I can't drink at parties, for those friends who want or need to understand why. Plus a clear explanation to hang on to myself.
Stopping drinking is, I think, all about learning, learning what's really going on, what you feel, what you need to do. Sounds like you are really making progress on that front. Realizing that I really like the buzz of drinking, but also realizing that I wouldn't stop there, was a crucial step. And as you say, not just knowing it, I kind of always knew it, but having it really sink in so I could just sit there and think about it and be aware of it. Having that sink in made it a lot easier to get to the point where I would think I'm just not going to do that.
When I go to a party I make sure I get something nonalcoholic in my hand as soon as I get there, so I won't be tempted to pick something up and no one will feel like giving me something. Actually, I don't do this so much any more, but I did for quite a while. It made going to parties much less threatening.
"Plus a clear explanation to hang on to myself" - yes, that's exactly what you need.
"but it really did feel like I was the cause of the difficult feelings."
It's easy for us to feel that way, Elsie, but often it really doesn't have anything to do with us. It's sometimes hard to get by that part, though. I have the same problem. I can't fix everything, even though I try.
We're having the same problems with my mom but I guess it just comes with this time in our lives.
The Sound of Music sounds like a great outlet for you to be involved with a sober activity.
"I was worried that I hadn't had time to firm up my knowledge of some of the lyrics."
You worry too much. :-) I'm sure you'll be great!
I hope you have a wonderful, quiet day.
"Friends. I just feel so nervous about trying to conduct myself without a drink. I can do all the little things that help- taking a nice non alcoholic alternative, making sure I keep my glass filled with it, but it just don't feel that I'll have any conversation other than about not drinking. Yet talking about it can be very counterproductive."
This too like urges etc.etc.etc. gets much easier with sober time, focus on the good things sobriety gives to you. I drank for all the things that bothered me, but I also drank for all the happy stuff too, and than I was drinking for no reason at all, and got to the liquor store at 6am (when they open here) I hated the taste/effects everything, I was addicted and it was all in my head.
Yes, once we're hooked anything and everything and nothing at all will make us drink. We use the same substance to celebrate, drown our sorrows, calm our nerves, allay boredom, and even for medicinal purposes. I have used it to keep me 'happy' whilst doing chores I don't want to do. But really I have just wanted to drink, and any old excuse will do. I am still making dinner every evening and peeling the carrots. It isn't much more fun than it was before, but it certainly isn't intolerable.
thanks for the messages.
Woke up feeling perky this morning, but just realised that my husband has cleared the search history, wiping off such things as 'am I really an alcoholic?' 'Alcohol withdrawal and itching' etc. I don't mind at all that he has cleared the history- I would have done had I known how to do it. But it is excruciating to think that he has read the list of my searches! Ah, well, I'll live, and maybe it isn't a bad thing fir him to see the evidence of my self-examination at the same time as he sees me get noticeably healthier and more upbeat.
It will be one month tomorrow. Thank you February for being so short and giving me an extra boost!!
Hey, congratulations on one month - good for you.
You don't have to read the history to clear it, you just push a button. But if he did, I would think he might be encouraged by how you are working at it.
So February was a great month for you! And I also doubt your husband read the searches. But sometimes it helps to have someone understand that this is hard and a big deal.
Have you considered sitting down and talking with him about what is going on for you?
way to go on the month!
don't know your hubby or you, but if i were finding someone's search history about these questions, my heart would go out to them about their struggles.
just keep going, Elsie.
Thanks for the messages of support. I went to the dinner party last night. I was ok, lucky to be sitting next to a relatively new friend who was happy to talk about the addiction thing for a while without seeing me as a second rate citizen. I had to come home early though (it was just in the village, so convenient enough for me to leave separately.) I managed from 8-1am in a party situation. I had a very different time from my usual raucous partying. I very slightly felt lazy. The hostess said as I left, you guys have entertained us so many times, we wanted to have you back. they had made a massive effort. And I felt that because I wasn't drinking and going a bit nuts I wasn't keeping my side of the social bargain in some way. But some other people never feel they have to go mad or raise the roof, as it were. One of my friends, who hardly drinks, was having a party at Christmas and said that she really wanted a lively party with people drinking a bit too much and behaving a bit badly. It is curious when someone explicitly states this as an expectation or desire, and perhaps shows how hard it can be to not drink when you gave a reputation for being a party animal. Because said friend was never going to get drunk, because she never does. She does have a great time herself without drinking though, which is nice for her. And I don't mean that resentfully (well, not much anyway!) Well, I have been that person who gets a party going for a long time. Someone else can have that responsibility for a while ;-)
i am up relatively bright and early. Hubby had more than a few last night and is sleeping it off.
A happy and peaceful Sunday to all of you.