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  • Page 66 of 66 FirstFirst ... 1656646566
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    Thread: Tool box

    1. #651
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      Re: Tool box

      An excerpt from Holly Whitaker's Tempest Newsletter that I love... About the "right time to quit alcohol":

      1. Realize there is no perfect time. There’s just not; your life will never stop moving forward and there will always be an elusive right time. Thinking there’s some magical date where a change like this will be easier or more convenient is a trap that keeps us from taking action.

      2. Starting doesn’t mean forever. It just means starting. Even if you can’t imagine yourself quitting for good or never drinking again, that doesn’t mean you don’t start taking steps toward it.

      3. It doesn’t have to be extreme. I used to build these schedules of how I would nail life; how I would fix myself and become this ideal version of myself. I would spend a Sunday building out a week where I did all the things: going to bed and waking up early, meditating, staying within my budget, abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, making my lunch, taking my vitamins. I thought that happiness was on the other side of some kind of extreme and fantastic discipline. Sometimes, I’d make it to Tuesday. This was exactly what kept me from making real change, which is done bit by bit and moment by moment, typically one thing at a time. I eventually did become a person who stopped smoking and drinking, who meditated and got her finances in order, but that was only because I started with one thing— alcohol. The rest fell into place (and the idea that I needed to be perfect and disciplined to be happy was eventually disproven).

      4. You don’t have to know how the story ends. You do not have to have your mind made up in any direction; you don’t have to think through the next year or five years, imagine what it will mean for your friendships or your Friday nights or your marriage. These things unfold and reveal themselves. You literally only have to think about the thing in front of you.

      5. It will feel impossible. One of my favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” If quitting drinking or even confronting your drinking feels like some kind of ominous unimaginable thing, that’s only because you can’t see it yet. The way you start to see it, the way it starts to become not impossible, is taking steps toward it.

      6. It's not impossible. The thing that all people who have quit drinking have in common is that they tried to quit drinking, and they didn’t stop until they did. There are a lot of things complicated about recovery; this part isn’t. It isn’t something only some people can do, it’s something you can do.

      7. Holy hell it’s worth it. On the other side of a shitty relationship with alcohol is the thing you want. A problem with booze isn’t a curse, it’s an invitation. The work you do to figure this thing out is the point of all of it; this is the path laid out before you, and it is filled with the things people spend their whole lives looking for.

      Done. Moving on to life.

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    3. #652
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      Re: Tool box

      Reposted from the Newbies Nest:

      There is a reason there are so many support groups out there. Heck, our nest-mom @Byrdlady belongs to 3 that I know about! Humans are social creatures - our group is much more than the sum of the individuals in it.

      I tried several times to quit drinking on my own to various degrees of success but ultimately let myself down each time. I needed something bigger than me - this group - to make a commitment to. I didn't value or trust myself enough to carry that load. You all carried it for me and I didn't want to let you down. Enough time sober and I didn't want to disappoint the slowly re-emerging NoSugar, either. Now I'm just glad I never need to drink again and have a brain healthy enough to make the logical choice not to do so.

      But... I know I generally forget 'the bad' and am inclined to believe the big stories I tell myself, so I'm still here 6+ years later. I want to be accountable to you. It takes some time but really, not that much, and it is much less than the hours I wasted in self-recrimination and daily recovery from the night before. It is a 'life job' like stretching and brushing my teeth. I want to be part of that body that is bigger than the self that others can hopefully become accountable to and find their ways out.

      I think 'giving back' is the right thing to do in the moral sense but it is so much more. I want for every addict the freedom that comes from quitting. It is so sad to remember the years I wasted, awash in fear, and so want to help spare anyone from that.

      Alcohol gives you nothing that isn't already within you. There is no ingredient in a drink that eliminates anxiety. Drinking enough just dulls you enough not to think about the thing that makes you anxious. You can do that on your own anytime. Let that thought GO. Just because you think something doesn't make it true and it is pointless to think about things that just make you feel bad. Thinking about being anxious doesn't make you less anxious - it just feeds the anxiety. Tell yourself, "I can handle this", and you will.

      I'm glad you're back, @lifechange. It sounds like you made a mistake and learned from it. Instead of thinking about it and telling yourself you can't be trusted, make a positive plan for the upcoming weekend and think about that. I used to visualize upcoming challenges and "see" myself handling them (and feeling good about it!). Then when you're in it, you can just do it.

      And if something comes up that you didn't expect, fall back on the "But I don't drink" mantra. No matter what happens, you don't drink. xx, NS

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    5. #653
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      Re: Tool box

      Reposted from Newbies Nest:

      Whew! I missed a lot the past few days. I was in sunny California being bathed in ocean goodness. Rough start today as it is darker, rainier and colder. But I sure enjoyed the break. I didn't even think to check in here - which is not a good habit, but telling of my peace with sobriety at the moment. There were plenty of opportunities of course, but not for me.

      Hugs to you Belle and LC. Don't let that alcohol voice convince you that things will be better if you drink. That was the moment that changed my life - the moment I realized that things would never change for me if I kept drinking. I remember clearly where I was, outside a grocery store, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I tried and tried to find a way to be able to drink - but I finally fully understood that drinking would ALWAYS ALWAYS bring me back to that very same spot where I was standing right then... wanting a drink, and wanting to quit and hating the fight. I allowed myself to be intentionally ignorant for a long time, but once it became clear that there would never be another outcome to my drinking, I could no longer be ignorant. I had to choose to keep banging my head against the wall or reach for a better life.

      It took several months of general discomfort, because I couldn't reach for my "easy way out". But gradually, I found other ways to fill my time and cope with the things that used to make me want to drink. The good news is that once I developed those skills, it became MUCH easier to face situations that were thrown at me. I really hope that each of us here end up deciding to choose a better outcome.

      On the airplane home yesterday, a woman in front of me ordered a Bloody Mary at 3:00 by herself. I may be wrong, but I think I picked up the energy of a problem, and whether I was right or not, it reminded me of how sad I felt when I was controlled by alcohol. I remembered how I was a shell of a person fixated on the very thing that was destroying me, instead of a strong, self-assured person who is in control of herself. Though I occasionally crave that "quick fix" ("easy way out" is a great way of putting it - PAV I think?), I never want to succumb to the repetition of "drinking - self loathing - wanting - caving - drinking - self loathing....". I am worth more than that, and so are all of us. Choose to take care of yourself! Value yourself and live a better life!

      That "better life" scared me too for a long time. I thought I had to design it first, fix everything at once, know what it looked like. Turns out, I just had to know that I deserved better and stop drinking - and things changed for the better little by little.

      Ok, enough from me. Back to work in this dreary place - I miss the sun!

      Done. Moving on to life.

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