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    Thread: Tool box

    1. #11
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      Everyone:

      I love this thread & will use it to get myself through the holidays. One thing I've been doing is using visualizations.
      -I see myself at holiday functions drinking up my stash of nice non-AL drinks.
      -I see myself participating instead of hiding.
      -I see myself concentrating on interacting instead of sneaking my next drink.
      -I see myself waking up the next morning full of pep instead of hungover & shamed.
      -I see myself growing internally instead of staying stuck in old patterns.

      Mary

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    3. #12
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      One great tool for not drinking: This thread!

    4. #13
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      This is something I wrote and originally posted elsewhere; I thought it might fit into the "tool box" nicely:


      Do You "Deserve" a Drink, Today?

      I can't count the number of times I have seen someone come here and write a post in which s/he says that s/he has relapsed, or "slipped," because s/he had been doing well for a while, and decided that s/he "deserved" a drink.

      And our alcoholic thinking does this to us. It totally bypasses the memory of the devastation, humiliation, and destruction that alcohol has brought into our lives, and it presents alcohol as a GOOD thing, a prize, a reward, something we want to give ourselves for a job well done.

      I wrote a post a few days ago, about this way of thinking, but it was kind of buried in another thread. And I saw people talking about "deserving a drink," again today. What I wrote about was about changing our way of thinking from this self-destructive "Deprivation Mode" to a winning, successful, positive "Gratitude Mode." Here it is:

      I don't think we can begin to truly grow into a successful, lifetime, AF plan until we have managed to make the shift in our thinking from the "Deprivation Mode" to the "Gratitude Mode."

      In Deprivation Mode, we think alcohol is a good thing that we are being deprived of. We are sad, and grieve the loss of what had felt like a friend to us. We consider it a treat that we never get to give ourselves again. We are envious of others who "get to drink."

      In Gratitude Mode, we recognize that alcohol is (for us, because of our brain structure, genetics, physiology, etc.) a toxin, a poison, something that nearly destroyed us. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. We recognize that we have the most amazing opportunity to rid ourselves of something that makes us very sick in all those ways. We recognize the craziness of voluntarily damaging our brains, minds, bodies, families, jobs, futures. We are really, really grateful for that opportunity, and we guard it and cultivate it carefully.

      Most of us start a recovery program in deprivation mode. Some people stay there forever. Those people tend not to be able to create a consistently successful program, or life, of freedom from alcohol and its devastation. Some of us transition into gratitude mode.

      For most of us, Gratitude Mode does not just happen all by itself. We have to make it happen. If we want to shift into gratitude mode, we learn to cultivate it. We cultivate it by being careful about our thoughts, and about what we notice. If we find ourselves thinking about how wonderful it would be to have a drink, we deliberately shift attention away from this train of thought, and we deliberately choose to think about how good it is to know we will never humiliate ourselves with alcohol again, never again have another horrible hangover, never disappoint our children again with the way we are when we get drunk. We notice alcohol advertising, pay attention to how it makes us feel, and detach from the message by noticing how distorted the message is.

      That kind of thing is crucial. We literally can BUILD a new way of thinking and feeling about things. And I think that's something to be grateful for, in itself!

      wip

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    6. #14
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      WIP:

      I thank you for your insights about deprivation thinking & gratitude thinking. I do think that the lapses that I have experienced were because I felt I needed a "reward." I have been realizing that the ONLY thing I will get from drinking is self-anger & extreme upset. There is no reward. That is a myth that I must work against.

      I also loved what you said about changing our thinking. We can do it w/consistent effort. Every time we read one of those postcards from hell or buy into the AL advertising, we can argue against it. We can change our own thinking. We aren't automatons. We are intelligent, thinking humans who can make necessary changes.

      Thank you. I'm so glad I read that post.

      Mary

    7. #15
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      Brain Implant: Alcohol Seeking Device

      Such wonderful posts - thank you so much.

      I spoke with a friend the other day about the nature of alcoholism. He was saying it felt as though part of his brain had been taken over by an alien. I thought of the movie Alien where the Alien actually takes over Sigournie Weaver's body. I don't remember the details of the movie but I know she resisted the takeover and when realizing that she had no alternative she destroyed herself rather than allowing the alien to cause more destruction.

      Okay - we have a choice - here is the gratitude. We do not have to throw ourselves into a raging hot furnace to stop the alien. That is something to be grateful for. But it is also something to think about- the alcohol seeking part of our brain can be as destructive as the Alien in the movie - a pretty graphic image - and very unattractive. I am trying to pair the image of the Alien with my urge for a drink to put the desire for alcohol in the proper perspective for myself.

      We also talked about the alien implanting an alcohol seeking device in our brains that is designed to seek alcohol to the point of our destruction. Well that sounds pretty gruesome but it puts the alcohol into perspective. It is not a reward, it is a response to a destructive implanted device designed to destroy us - hmmm that makes me think twice before wanting a drink - and makes me SO happy I can say no.

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    9. #16
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      mahalferty, that's a very effective image! It resembles the imagery often used in the "Rational Recovery" program (and by many here at MWO) in which we label our alcoholic urges (or "alcohol seeking device") as "The Beast."

      Welcome to MWO! I hope you will post more; look around, there are some good daily threads you would be welcome to join. Getting to know people, getting and giving support, are key parts of this recovery program.

      wip

    10. #17
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      WIP,

      Thank you for the encouragement. I will look up Rational Recovery. Today and this weekend I'll hold on to the words from Ghandi in your signature line. Happy American Thanksgiving

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      :important::important:Trust God, Clean House (that is, making amends for all my drinking stuff-ups), Help Others *)

    12. #19
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      this is so helpful.... re.
      it really helps to be reminded about how difficult the holidays can be especially for people who are at the beginning of their recovery.
      and to be aware of the fact that just because i stopped drinking doesn't mean that my problem has gone away. it clearly has not.

    13. #20
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      Thanks WIP for telling me to come here. I particularly like one2many post and will try to print that out. Somehow. I like the philosophy. It really is a battle and one that I will try to overcome, I know I have got to work really hard. Now you all know how bad it gets, this nice woman turns into a bloody lunatic!!!!! Pure drink, nothing more. Was dreading Christmas. You know the situation. You sit down for lunch, the wine is brought to the table, you are then in a battle. Just the one does hurt me, cos that triggers me drinking more. By the end, Christmas is a ruined day and just a blur to me. So I panic before I even get there. I go out for lunch and I cannot tell them not to bring wine, but I can regulate myself. I have drank myself silly this weekend. Do I feel better for it? Do I heckers like! I feel crap, dirty and just yuk. So now another dimension to this wonderful website. In order to overcome the devil you must find his weakness.

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