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    Thread: Tool box

    1. #521
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      ((Re-Posting this from the life-giving incubator known around here as the Newbie's Nest))

      Hi all....I'm a bit of a stranger these days in this part of MWO...but as a grateful Alumnus of the amazing Newbie's Nest...I do still read here when I can and Jane…your post really touched me. I'd like to offer some factual information that I think might be of interest and comfort to your situation.

      For many years, I bought into the notion that I was just one of those unlucky and undisciplined people cursed with an "addictive-personality". At one time or another, I found myself battling with compulsive over-eating and then later, compulsive, addictive drinking and smoking... and then there was the compulsive addictive internet usage...you get the idea. I was resigned to thinking of myself as an ever-revolving mess of weak-willed, over-doing it, compulsive, out-of-control behaviors.

      Well...science says otherwise. It was a revelation to me to learn about the latest research about addiction. While the details about the mechanisms of addiction are not fully understood yet, researchers now know that all addiction stems from the same place in the brain. In simplest terms, basically our reward system – which involves our dopamine receptors – gets really messed up. Maybe our receptors were damaged by stress early in childhood or later in life. Maybe they got skewed by simply drunk-drinking as a youth…maybe we're all fighting receptor fatigue because of our typical western diet that’s high on sugar and low in real nutrients. Regardless of the cause and the individual path we've taken, we've ended up in the same hellish place that is addiction.

      Our brain strives for homeostasis and it works mightily to maintain that balance. One of the many problems with drugs – like alcohol – is that these substances overwhelm the dompaine receptors…..smacks ‘em down and even destroys them and then we need an ever increasing amount of the drug to try to get that same reward. Sugar does the same thing. And add that to another strike against the drug alcohol since it is the jet-fuel of all sugars with a toxic punch of brain-altering ethanol which IMMEDIATELY gets absorbed into our blood system and impacts us instantly on a cellular level - all 200 million trillion of them – depending on how you count them. No matter HOW you add it up…it’s safe to say ALL cells are impacted by this devastating systemic drug.

      Jane, your earlier post about substituting the word HEROIN for alcohol is brilliant and absolutely right on the spot. Alcohol really IS a drug. Even though it is legal, even though it is celebrated, even though it is widely accepted and is pervasive in our culture, IT IS STILL A DRUG. The alcohol industry has invested decades of time and billions of PR and lobbying dollars to make sure we – nor our governments – treat it like the toxic, carcinogenic, addictive substance that it is. Yup…Big Alcohol has made us believe that it’s OUR problem for taking the substance. We are the defective ones because we can’t ingest a toxic, addictive substance ‘responsibly’? How effed up and truly ABSURD is that?

      Rant over (for the moment) while I return to sharing information that will help you figure out how to deal with ALL addiction. Getting better is all about rewiring the reward system. This takes time…but it can be done. AND…you are ALREADY taking some solid actions toward this.

      There are basically

      THREE KEYS to Freeing your Brain from ADDICTION:

      FIRST
      - With alcohol – the most important thing you can do is keep it out of your system. That’s the starting point. With food…well…we DO have to eat or die. So you have to switch to the fuel that is good for your system. That means nothing processed – whole healthy foods. AND absolutely NO SUGAR. It is part of the chemical trigger that overwhelms the dopamine circuits. Withdrawal is a bitch….but we get through it. Because our bodies will feel absolutely deprived initially without the sugar, I suggest having a stock of healthy fruits around during the acute detox phase but go easy on it. Nutshell: BAD OUT – GOOD IN.

      SECOND – Aggressively work on rewiring the brain. Even during withdrawal, - make that ESPECIALLY during withdrawal - you can actively begin changing your brain. Each time you make a positive, affirmative decision to change your old ways….you are forging new neural pathways in your brain. What fires together wires together, as they say. It’s like building muscles…a little at a time adds up to make you a whole lot stronger over time. Give yourself heaps of credit for this. Even the seemingly small acts should get a big round of internal applause.

      REWARD yourself early and often. In my early AF days, I actually transferred the amount of money I would spend on booze and smokes each day into a special bank account. It really adds up. My addictions were costing about $22 a day – sometimes more. I made a point of pampering myself – I got my first ever pedicure…I bought some big-ass dahlia plants…I donated to the animal shelter….I set aside money for a huge family vacation… and these days…I’m salting that money away to help one of my kids through graduate school. To date, the amount of money that would’ve got down my throat and up in smoke rings in at $23,188 (1054 days x $22 a day) HOLY SHECKLES, Batman! That ain’t chicken feed now- even by Stella’s standards. I love seeing that number now – makes my dopamine just ping off the charts – in a good way!

      Cultivate Gratitude. Nothing causes the dopamine to start flowing again like gratitude. Putting great and grateful thoughts in your head actually changes your brain chemistry. Meditation is another fast and effective way to physically change your chemistry. Got an mp3 player? There are TONS of great podcasts to help guide you in learning how to quiet and direct some of the 70,000 thoughts we churn out every day. And as for gratitude, I start and finish everyday with a list of what I am grateful for. I often do the ABC gratitude list…finding something I am grateful for that matches every letter of the alphabet. Jane…I absolutely LOVE your avatar because I have become awfully GRATEFUL for Zebras!

      THIRD
      – exercise – early and often and vigorously. Interval exercise causes our brains to release bdnf (brain-derived neurotropic factors)– it’s like miracle grow for the mind. Exercise is the GOOD stress our system needs. If you can’t go out and do sprints or spastic jumping jacks (my fav) start with brisk walking. Some people with lower-body disabilities do upper-body boxing moves to raise their heart rates and get the bdnf going. However you do it…Move it - move it - move it !

      Bottom line…you can not only take back your life from addiction – these actions can help you discover a BETTER life than you could imagine even before addiction. Orimus…you talk about filling the void. Just 3 years ago, if you would’ve told me I would be living the life I am right now…I would’ve declared you delusional. I was resigned to existing in a small, dark, depressing world enslaved by my addictions…blaming myself and believing I was defective and doomed. Well…now - after getting in there and doing a massive rewiring of the entire works - it is clear that I am not diseased or flawed or defective. Life is full and good and exciting and each new day feels like a precious gift. And, as if that wasn’t enough…I’ve learned how to play the accordion !

      Finally…I am not exceptional. I don’t have iron will-power or great self-discipline. What I DO have is factual information that gave me the understanding and acceptance that was essential in overcoming addiction in all its many forms.

      Everyone can have this tremendous peace of mind and freedom – freedom from addiction AND freedom from the fear of ‘relapse’ - once you understand and accept the unalterable physical FACTS of addiction. Alcohol is a toxic drug that damages. Every cell in your body. Every single drink. Every single time. Alcohol damages EVERYbody and NObody is an exception - even people who are not (yet) addicted or those who will never be addicted. It is still damaging. Using drugs is NOT 'normal' despite what the clever ads during Superbowl would have you believe.

      I appreciate the opportunity to share and I am so thrilled to see so many of you coming along this path. One foot in front of the other will get you out of this pit…keep going!

    2. Likes Byrdlady, jvo liked this post
    3. #522
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      ((Re-Posting this from the life-giving incubator known around here as the Newbie's Nest))

      Hi all....I'm a bit of a stranger these days in this part of MWO...but as a grateful Alumnus of the amazing Newbie's Nest...I do still read here when I can and Jane…your post really touched me. I'd like to offer some factual information that I think might be of interest and comfort to your situation.

      For many years, I bought into the notion that I was just one of those unlucky and undisciplined people cursed with an "addictive-personality". At one time or another, I found myself battling with compulsive over-eating and then later, compulsive, addictive drinking and smoking... and then there was the compulsive addictive internet usage...you get the idea. I was resigned to thinking of myself as an ever-revolving mess of weak-willed, over-doing it, compulsive, out-of-control behaviors.

      Well...science says otherwise. It was a revelation to me to learn about the latest research about addiction. While the details about the mechanisms of addiction are not fully understood yet, researchers now know that all addiction stems from the same place in the brain. In simplest terms, basically our reward system – which involves our dopamine receptors – gets really messed up. Maybe our receptors were damaged by stress early in childhood or later in life. Maybe they got skewed by simply drunk-drinking as a youth…maybe we're all fighting receptor fatigue because of our typical western diet that’s high on sugar and low in real nutrients. Regardless of the cause and the individual path we've taken, we've ended up in the same hellish place that is addiction.

      Our brain strives for homeostasis and it works mightily to maintain that balance. One of the many problems with drugs – like alcohol – is that these substances overwhelm the dompaine receptors…..smacks ‘em down and even destroys them and then we need an ever increasing amount of the drug to try to get that same reward. Sugar does the same thing. And add that to another strike against the drug alcohol since it is the jet-fuel of all sugars with a toxic punch of brain-altering ethanol which IMMEDIATELY gets absorbed into our blood system and impacts us instantly on a cellular level - all 200 million trillion of them – depending on how you count them. No matter HOW you add it up…it’s safe to say ALL cells are impacted by this devastating systemic drug.

      Jane, your earlier post about substituting the word HEROIN for alcohol is brilliant and absolutely right on the spot. Alcohol really IS a drug. Even though it is legal, even though it is celebrated, even though it is widely accepted and is pervasive in our culture, IT IS STILL A DRUG. The alcohol industry has invested decades of time and billions of PR and lobbying dollars to make sure we – nor our governments – treat it like the toxic, carcinogenic, addictive substance that it is. Yup…Big Alcohol has made us believe that it’s OUR problem for taking the substance. We are the defective ones because we can’t ingest a toxic, addictive substance ‘responsibly’? How effed up and truly ABSURD is that?

      Rant over (for the moment) while I return to sharing information that will help you figure out how to deal with ALL addiction. Getting better is all about rewiring the reward system. This takes time…but it can be done. AND…you are ALREADY taking some solid actions toward this.

      There are basically

      THREE KEYS to Freeing your Brain from ADDICTION:

      FIRST
      - With alcohol – the most important thing you can do is keep it out of your system. That’s the starting point. With food…well…we DO have to eat or die. So you have to switch to the fuel that is good for your system. That means nothing processed – whole healthy foods. AND absolutely NO SUGAR. It is part of the chemical trigger that overwhelms the dopamine circuits. Withdrawal is a bitch….but we get through it. Because our bodies will feel absolutely deprived initially without the sugar, I suggest having a stock of healthy fruits around during the acute detox phase but go easy on it. Nutshell: BAD OUT – GOOD IN.

      SECOND – Aggressively work on rewiring the brain. Even during withdrawal, - make that ESPECIALLY during withdrawal - you can actively begin changing your brain. Each time you make a positive, affirmative decision to change your old ways….you are forging new neural pathways in your brain. What fires together wires together, as they say. It’s like building muscles…a little at a time adds up to make you a whole lot stronger over time. Give yourself heaps of credit for this. Even the seemingly small acts should get a big round of internal applause.

      REWARD yourself early and often. In my early AF days, I actually transferred the amount of money I would spend on booze and smokes each day into a special bank account. It really adds up. My addictions were costing about $22 a day – sometimes more. I made a point of pampering myself – I got my first ever pedicure…I bought some big-ass dahlia plants…I donated to the animal shelter….I set aside money for a huge family vacation… and these days…I’m salting that money away to help one of my kids through graduate school. To date, the amount of money that would’ve got down my throat and up in smoke rings in at $23,188 (1054 days x $22 a day) HOLY SHECKLES, Batman! That ain’t chicken feed now- even by Stella’s standards. I love seeing that number now – makes my dopamine just ping off the charts – in a good way!

      Cultivate Gratitude. Nothing causes the dopamine to start flowing again like gratitude. Putting great and grateful thoughts in your head actually changes your brain chemistry. Meditation is another fast and effective way to physically change your chemistry. Got an mp3 player? There are TONS of great podcasts to help guide you in learning how to quiet and direct some of the 70,000 thoughts we churn out every day. And as for gratitude, I start and finish everyday with a list of what I am grateful for. I often do the ABC gratitude list…finding something I am grateful for that matches every letter of the alphabet. Jane…I absolutely LOVE your avatar because I have become awfully GRATEFUL for Zebras!

      THIRD
      – exercise – early and often and vigorously. Interval exercise causes our brains to release bdnf (brain-derived neurotropic factors)– it’s like miracle grow for the mind. Exercise is the GOOD stress our system needs. If you can’t go out and do sprints or spastic jumping jacks (my fav) start with brisk walking. Some people with lower-body disabilities do upper-body boxing moves to raise their heart rates and get the bdnf going. However you do it…Move it - move it - move it !

      Bottom line…you can not only take back your life from addiction – these actions can help you discover a BETTER life than you could imagine even before addiction. Orimus…you talk about filling the void. Just 3 years ago, if you would’ve told me I would be living the life I am right now…I would’ve declared you delusional. I was resigned to existing in a small, dark, depressing world enslaved by my addictions…blaming myself and believing I was defective and doomed. Well…now - after getting in there and doing a massive rewiring of the entire works - it is clear that I am not diseased or flawed or defective. Life is full and good and exciting and each new day feels like a precious gift. And, as if that wasn’t enough…I’ve learned how to play the accordion !

      Finally…I am not exceptional. I don’t have iron will-power or great self-discipline. What I DO have is factual information that gave me the understanding and acceptance that was essential in overcoming addiction in all its many forms.

      Everyone can have this tremendous peace of mind and freedom – freedom from addiction AND freedom from the fear of ‘relapse’ - once you understand and accept the unalterable physical FACTS of addiction. Alcohol is a toxic drug that damages. Every cell in your body. Every single drink. Every single time. Alcohol damages EVERYbody and NObody is an exception - even people who are not (yet) addicted or those who will never be addicted. It is still damaging. Using drugs is NOT 'normal' despite what the clever ads during Superbowl would have you believe.

      I appreciate the opportunity to share and I am so thrilled to see so many of you coming along this path. One foot in front of the other will get you out of this pit…keep going!

    4. #523
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      One day at a time London is all we can do. I could not get my head around "forever", i could be the only one to successfully moderate and drink. Oh yep right. Us alcoholics cannot ever moderate, we are addicted, plain and simple. At the end of my drinking career i remember staggering into my sons room to ask for a can of bourbon (i hate bourbon) and even in my drunk state i can remember swaying and repeating myself and i was so ashamed and guilty that i could be like this in front of his friends that this was my life. Of course he has forgotten all about that episode but there are many he doesnt forget. so many conversations repeated 10 times by me until they told me to shutup. So much shame and guilt that i could not function, that i was isolating myself more and more so i could drink, losing everything i held dear so i could drink and it didnt make me happy but it did take me to where i did not have to face life. Now i face life every single day and believe me London when (not if) you get to 90+ days you will see the benefits and never ever want to go back. Sure its not easy, its hard, f**king hard, virtually impossible some days but those are the days that you come on here and post, those are the days you stay safe away from al, those are the days you talk to that inner voice that is enticing you to drink and tell it to f**k off. The voice is what you dont give into or you have lost and al has won. If you win against that voice you are winning London. Relapse is about giving in. To me giving up al has taken all my strength and determination and willpower that i have ever had to use. It has taken time, being on here and reading and posting, deciding will i go out and be around al or not. Am i strong enough to do that and deal with al being in my face. if I am unsure the answer will always be no. Changing my routine so that the bottle shops are closed when i went out. Its all about planning so that al doesnt win in the early days. I know you can do 90 days London, when you were on here daily before you found it hard but you also were determined and you can do it again and be proud and happy. To me now al is nothing, i hate al, i hate reading stories on here of what al does to people but i know it can be done as i have done it but i will always be vigilant in this fight. Hes an arsehole and he can come calling at any time.

    5. Likes jvo liked this post
    6. #524
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      One day at a time London is all we can do. I could not get my head around "forever", i could be the only one to successfully moderate and drink. Oh yep right. Us alcoholics cannot ever moderate, we are addicted, plain and simple. At the end of my drinking career i remember staggering into my sons room to ask for a can of bourbon (i hate bourbon) and even in my drunk state i can remember swaying and repeating myself and i was so ashamed and guilty that i could be like this in front of his friends that this was my life. Of course he has forgotten all about that episode but there are many he doesnt forget. so many conversations repeated 10 times by me until they told me to shutup. So much shame and guilt that i could not function, that i was isolating myself more and more so i could drink, losing everything i held dear so i could drink and it didnt make me happy but it did take me to where i did not have to face life. Now i face life every single day and believe me London when (not if) you get to 90+ days you will see the benefits and never ever want to go back. Sure its not easy, its hard, f**king hard, virtually impossible some days but those are the days that you come on here and post, those are the days you stay safe away from al, those are the days you talk to that inner voice that is enticing you to drink and tell it to f**k off. The voice is what you dont give into or you have lost and al has won. If you win against that voice you are winning London. Relapse is about giving in. To me giving up al has taken all my strength and determination and willpower that i have ever had to use. It has taken time, being on here and reading and posting, deciding will i go out and be around al or not. Am i strong enough to do that and deal with al being in my face. if I am unsure the answer will always be no. Changing my routine so that the bottle shops are closed when i went out. Its all about planning so that al doesnt win in the early days. I know you can do 90 days London, when you were on here daily before you found it hard but you also were determined and you can do it again and be proud and happy. To me now al is nothing, i hate al, i hate reading stories on here of what al does to people but i know it can be done as i have done it but i will always be vigilant in this fight. Hes an arsehole and he can come calling at any time.

    7. #525
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      ?I once heard a sober alcoholic say that drinking never made him happy, but it made him feel like he was going to be happy in about fifteen minutes. That was exactly it, and I couldn?t understand why the happiness never came, couldn?t see the flaw in my thinking, couldn?t see that alcohol kept me trapped in a world of illusion, procrastination, paralysis. I lived always in the future, never in the present. Next time, next time! Next time I drank it would be different, next time it would make me feel good again. And all my efforts were doomed, because already drinking hadn?t made me feel good in years.?

      ― Heather King, Parched

    8. #526
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      ?I once heard a sober alcoholic say that drinking never made him happy, but it made him feel like he was going to be happy in about fifteen minutes. That was exactly it, and I couldn?t understand why the happiness never came, couldn?t see the flaw in my thinking, couldn?t see that alcohol kept me trapped in a world of illusion, procrastination, paralysis. I lived always in the future, never in the present. Next time, next time! Next time I drank it would be different, next time it would make me feel good again. And all my efforts were doomed, because already drinking hadn?t made me feel good in years.?

      ― Heather King, Parched

    9. #527
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      Thoughts on getting through the early days sober (I posted this in the Nest):

      Hi, Everyone:

      I was exercising today and listened to the Bubble Hour episode called: Early Sobriety - Am I Ever Going to Feel Better. It is VERY GOOD for people with 1 day to 1 year sober - very informative about what we might be feeling and experiencing. They talk about PAWS (post acute withdrawal symptoms) that can strike at any time when you least expect them, and can frequently lead to relapse. Symptoms include:

      --Anxiety
      --Irritability
      --Disrupted sleeping patterns; insomnia
      --Confusion and forgetfulness
      --Attention and focus problems

      What is the one thing that we think can relieve all of those problems quickly? You guessed it - a drink. That's why PAWS can lead to relapse.

      They make the point that most people get them, even if you think it couldn't be you (I know I thought it couldn't be me - I thought that was for REALLY REALLY hard drinkers...) They also make the point that as long as we're expecting them and make very tight plans to get through them we CAN get through them (like G says above). And what's the number one recommendation? REACH OUT AND ASK FOR HELP. The reason we don't want to is that we feel vulnerable, afraid, ashamed and we don't want to be talked out of a "planned relapse." We make excuses that our brain tells us are real, and get defensive when people point out the fallacy of our thinking. That is the cold, hard fact of denial.

      The bummer is, once you drink, your brain is reset back, and you'll have to go through it all again.

      SO... If you're feeling crummy in any way for any reason, post here, call a friend, go to a meeting, read, exercise, breathe - BEFORE you make the decision to listen to the dickhead (that's AL). The good news is that it goes away. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, but it DOES go away.

      My soapbox speech for tonight.

      Honestly, really, truly, unbelievably, being sober is MUCH MUCH better than being a drunk.

      Pav

    10. Thanks jvo thanked for this post
    11. #528
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      Thoughts on getting through the early days sober (I posted this in the Nest):

      Hi, Everyone:

      I was exercising today and listened to the Bubble Hour episode called: Early Sobriety - Am I Ever Going to Feel Better. It is VERY GOOD for people with 1 day to 1 year sober - very informative about what we might be feeling and experiencing. They talk about PAWS (post acute withdrawal symptoms) that can strike at any time when you least expect them, and can frequently lead to relapse. Symptoms include:

      --Anxiety
      --Irritability
      --Disrupted sleeping patterns; insomnia
      --Confusion and forgetfulness
      --Attention and focus problems

      What is the one thing that we think can relieve all of those problems quickly? You guessed it - a drink. That's why PAWS can lead to relapse.

      They make the point that most people get them, even if you think it couldn't be you (I know I thought it couldn't be me - I thought that was for REALLY REALLY hard drinkers...) They also make the point that as long as we're expecting them and make very tight plans to get through them we CAN get through them (like G says above). And what's the number one recommendation? REACH OUT AND ASK FOR HELP. The reason we don't want to is that we feel vulnerable, afraid, ashamed and we don't want to be talked out of a "planned relapse." We make excuses that our brain tells us are real, and get defensive when people point out the fallacy of our thinking. That is the cold, hard fact of denial.

      The bummer is, once you drink, your brain is reset back, and you'll have to go through it all again.

      SO... If you're feeling crummy in any way for any reason, post here, call a friend, go to a meeting, read, exercise, breathe - BEFORE you make the decision to listen to the dickhead (that's AL). The good news is that it goes away. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, but it DOES go away.

      My soapbox speech for tonight.

      Honestly, really, truly, unbelievably, being sober is MUCH MUCH better than being a drunk.

      Pav

    12. #529
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      I've been kindly asked to repost this over here; it helped me to write it and I hope it helps to read it, as well. -LavBlue

      I'm noticing that in the reading I'm doing, it's really helped me to hear someone else talk about specific ways AL lies. It's made me think more about the ways it lies to me. I was going to just make a list for myself but it seems like the sort of thing worth posting. It got longer than I planned, though!

      Lie: Your finances are so screwed, you're probably never going to fix this mess anyway so you may as well just relax the best you can.
      Truth: I definitely can't sort my finances while I'm drinking! The economy in the US is awful for a lot of people, I am not the only one. Plenty of people are finding ways to cope with debt and get new starts. And buying AL is contributing to my credit card debt!

      Lie: It's ok to have just one to get to sleep, that doesn't even count.
      Truth: Besides the "just one" lie, I've read in enough places that AL actually messes up your sleep schedule and makes the sleep you do get not as good as sober sleep.

      Lie: It's ok to use AL for your depression/anxiety. You were diagnosed with those before you even started drinking and a few drinks is better than the side effects you got off prescription meds.
      Truth: I had horrendous depression and anxiety from a very young age, yep. But AL has been shown to make both of those WORSE. Plus I know from my own honest experience that it is always a tossup if drinking is going to dull the emotions or make them even worse even in the moment. After drinking for so long, I can't even reasonably tell how much is my natural state and how much is either directly or indirectly caused by my AL use and abuse. I can always go to a doctor later if I feel like I still need meds, but using AL prevents me from even knowing if I still need them or not.

      Lie: You only gained weight because you're lazy.
      Truth: Putting that many liquid calories into my body? Yeah...pretty sure that did not help. And drinking has never yet made feel super excited about exercising. Going AF isn't going to magically get me back in shape, but it's the only way I'll have a chance at getting there.

      Lie: All of the fun people drink. Also you're probably boring if you don't.
      Truth: I know a few folks who have quit drinking and I still think they're fun people! I know a few who have never drank for one reason or another and they're awesome, fun people as well. And I'm much more boring when I drink since all I have to talk about is...well, drinking.

      Lie: There's nothing to do if you don't drink.
      Truth: I have missed out on so many things the last few years because of my drinking. I love going to the zoo and have a season pass that I used ONCE last year...because there wasn't a good way to go and still be able to drink without anyone asking why the hell I needed a drink while at the zoo of all places. I missed half of the last movie I went to because I felt sick and was distracted for the rest because I wanted to get home and have a drink. I don't even know how many other things I've skipped or cut short because it was more important to me to get home and drink.

      Lie: Really, you can have just one, I know you can.
      Truth: Sometimes I can make myself drink just one...and then I spend the rest of the night cranky that I can't have more. Or I sneak more on the side and then decide it "doesn't count." That doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

      Lie: But you have so many good memories from your pub days!
      Truth: Probably in the beginning, yes. I was in my early adulthood and just starting to make friends out of my hometown. I'd always had older friends, so I was finally able to legally drink with them. But it sure didn't take long before I was drinking before I even got there, spending too much on drinks while I was there, questioning how I was acting and what I was saying, and entering the lovely land of hangovers. The "good times" haven't existed for YEARS and having a drink isn't going to magically make me 21 again.

      Lie: You've always been annoyed at people who think drinking is "wrong," how dare you be a hypocrite!
      Truth: I don't think it's "wrong." I think it's bad for ME and I want to make different choices for myself. That has nothing to do with morality or religious right and wrong.

      Lie: After that one horrid relationship you totally deserve to fall apart for a bit, everyone was amazed you didn't end up in a mental hospital with everything that happened.
      Truth: I've never allowed myself to heal from all of that because I was too busy drinking it away. You can't heal from something that you never allow yourself to feel. If I need therapy, I can find a way to get therapy...but AL has done nothing to help me get past any of it. And I deserve to get past it, I do not deserve to declare my life over and done with because of a bad time.

      Lie: AL gives you the confidence you need to fix things.
      Truth: AL has been eroding my confidence this entire time. I am less sure of myself now than I was even 5 years ago.

      Lie: AL helps your writing.
      Truth: It never has and it never will. Go read anything Stephen King has said about how much better his writing got when he sobered up and how much "but I'm a writer" isn't an excuse to drink.

      Lie: But you are a special snowflake, so hurt by the pain in the world....etc.
      Truth: Then I can take up meditation and do good works. Seriously, for one I am not a paragon of sensitivity any more than anyone else and for two...even if I was, drinking is not the answer. I am overly empathetic sometimes, but part of that is poor emotional boundaries which AL makes worse, not better. I also hide from my issues by trying to help other people with theirs sometimes - that is an unhealthy escape for me AND probably means I give advice when it's not needed or wanted.

      Lie: You're an idiot for getting to this place, why even try to change?
      Truth: I'm not an idiot. I've been caught up in an addiction and in the denial that comes with it. I am making a worthwhile choice by saying, "No, that is enough, I am done."

      Lie: You're much more entertaining when you drink.
      Truth: When I drink I either get a lot more quiet because I'm afraid of saying something I'll regret later or I get way too loud and...say things I regret later. I suppose that's entertaining for some people to watch, but I wouldn't call it good for me or the people who actually care about me.

      Lie: This is pointless, you have much more important things to worry about than how much you drink.
      Truth: The drinking has been getting in the way of me sorting out all of that. There is nothing that drinking has magically solved for me, but a whole mess of things it's been helping me put off. I will deal with my other issues one at a time as I can, but all of them will be easier to sort out sober.

      Lie: At least stop whining on at people about it, other people have real problems you know.
      Truth: No one on this site, nor the close friends I've told, is going to tell me to go away and that my problems don't count. And I DO have problems or I wouldn't be here!

      Lie: You've done so well, you deserve a drink!
      Truth: Only an addiction would say that and only someone like me who is addicted would even for one second think that makes sense. Seriously. That's like "I'm so happy I haven't had a migraine in a while, think I'll beat my head against the wall to celebrate!"

      Lie: You can't do this.
      Truth: A couple weeks ago I was sure I couldn't take a day off drinking. I've made it 9. Tell me more about what I can't do, because I will prove you wrong.

    13. Likes lifechange, jvo liked this post
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      Tool box

      I've been kindly asked to repost this over here; it helped me to write it and I hope it helps to read it, as well. -LavBlue

      I'm noticing that in the reading I'm doing, it's really helped me to hear someone else talk about specific ways AL lies. It's made me think more about the ways it lies to me. I was going to just make a list for myself but it seems like the sort of thing worth posting. It got longer than I planned, though!

      Lie: Your finances are so screwed, you're probably never going to fix this mess anyway so you may as well just relax the best you can.
      Truth: I definitely can't sort my finances while I'm drinking! The economy in the US is awful for a lot of people, I am not the only one. Plenty of people are finding ways to cope with debt and get new starts. And buying AL is contributing to my credit card debt!

      Lie: It's ok to have just one to get to sleep, that doesn't even count.
      Truth: Besides the "just one" lie, I've read in enough places that AL actually messes up your sleep schedule and makes the sleep you do get not as good as sober sleep.

      Lie: It's ok to use AL for your depression/anxiety. You were diagnosed with those before you even started drinking and a few drinks is better than the side effects you got off prescription meds.
      Truth: I had horrendous depression and anxiety from a very young age, yep. But AL has been shown to make both of those WORSE. Plus I know from my own honest experience that it is always a tossup if drinking is going to dull the emotions or make them even worse even in the moment. After drinking for so long, I can't even reasonably tell how much is my natural state and how much is either directly or indirectly caused by my AL use and abuse. I can always go to a doctor later if I feel like I still need meds, but using AL prevents me from even knowing if I still need them or not.

      Lie: You only gained weight because you're lazy.
      Truth: Putting that many liquid calories into my body? Yeah...pretty sure that did not help. And drinking has never yet made feel super excited about exercising. Going AF isn't going to magically get me back in shape, but it's the only way I'll have a chance at getting there.

      Lie: All of the fun people drink. Also you're probably boring if you don't.
      Truth: I know a few folks who have quit drinking and I still think they're fun people! I know a few who have never drank for one reason or another and they're awesome, fun people as well. And I'm much more boring when I drink since all I have to talk about is...well, drinking.

      Lie: There's nothing to do if you don't drink.
      Truth: I have missed out on so many things the last few years because of my drinking. I love going to the zoo and have a season pass that I used ONCE last year...because there wasn't a good way to go and still be able to drink without anyone asking why the hell I needed a drink while at the zoo of all places. I missed half of the last movie I went to because I felt sick and was distracted for the rest because I wanted to get home and have a drink. I don't even know how many other things I've skipped or cut short because it was more important to me to get home and drink.

      Lie: Really, you can have just one, I know you can.
      Truth: Sometimes I can make myself drink just one...and then I spend the rest of the night cranky that I can't have more. Or I sneak more on the side and then decide it "doesn't count." That doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

      Lie: But you have so many good memories from your pub days!
      Truth: Probably in the beginning, yes. I was in my early adulthood and just starting to make friends out of my hometown. I'd always had older friends, so I was finally able to legally drink with them. But it sure didn't take long before I was drinking before I even got there, spending too much on drinks while I was there, questioning how I was acting and what I was saying, and entering the lovely land of hangovers. The "good times" haven't existed for YEARS and having a drink isn't going to magically make me 21 again.

      Lie: You've always been annoyed at people who think drinking is "wrong," how dare you be a hypocrite!
      Truth: I don't think it's "wrong." I think it's bad for ME and I want to make different choices for myself. That has nothing to do with morality or religious right and wrong.

      Lie: After that one horrid relationship you totally deserve to fall apart for a bit, everyone was amazed you didn't end up in a mental hospital with everything that happened.
      Truth: I've never allowed myself to heal from all of that because I was too busy drinking it away. You can't heal from something that you never allow yourself to feel. If I need therapy, I can find a way to get therapy...but AL has done nothing to help me get past any of it. And I deserve to get past it, I do not deserve to declare my life over and done with because of a bad time.

      Lie: AL gives you the confidence you need to fix things.
      Truth: AL has been eroding my confidence this entire time. I am less sure of myself now than I was even 5 years ago.

      Lie: AL helps your writing.
      Truth: It never has and it never will. Go read anything Stephen King has said about how much better his writing got when he sobered up and how much "but I'm a writer" isn't an excuse to drink.

      Lie: But you are a special snowflake, so hurt by the pain in the world....etc.
      Truth: Then I can take up meditation and do good works. Seriously, for one I am not a paragon of sensitivity any more than anyone else and for two...even if I was, drinking is not the answer. I am overly empathetic sometimes, but part of that is poor emotional boundaries which AL makes worse, not better. I also hide from my issues by trying to help other people with theirs sometimes - that is an unhealthy escape for me AND probably means I give advice when it's not needed or wanted.

      Lie: You're an idiot for getting to this place, why even try to change?
      Truth: I'm not an idiot. I've been caught up in an addiction and in the denial that comes with it. I am making a worthwhile choice by saying, "No, that is enough, I am done."

      Lie: You're much more entertaining when you drink.
      Truth: When I drink I either get a lot more quiet because I'm afraid of saying something I'll regret later or I get way too loud and...say things I regret later. I suppose that's entertaining for some people to watch, but I wouldn't call it good for me or the people who actually care about me.

      Lie: This is pointless, you have much more important things to worry about than how much you drink.
      Truth: The drinking has been getting in the way of me sorting out all of that. There is nothing that drinking has magically solved for me, but a whole mess of things it's been helping me put off. I will deal with my other issues one at a time as I can, but all of them will be easier to sort out sober.

      Lie: At least stop whining on at people about it, other people have real problems you know.
      Truth: No one on this site, nor the close friends I've told, is going to tell me to go away and that my problems don't count. And I DO have problems or I wouldn't be here!

      Lie: You've done so well, you deserve a drink!
      Truth: Only an addiction would say that and only someone like me who is addicted would even for one second think that makes sense. Seriously. That's like "I'm so happy I haven't had a migraine in a while, think I'll beat my head against the wall to celebrate!"

      Lie: You can't do this.
      Truth: A couple weeks ago I was sure I couldn't take a day off drinking. I've made it 9. Tell me more about what I can't do, because I will prove you wrong.

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