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    Thread: Tool box

    1. #1
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      Tool box

      Here is a list of tools that have helped me maintain my sobriety. This is short and incomplete, help us all out and add your sobriety tools to the list.


      Make a written list, write down:
      The reason/s you want to be al free.
      How bad physically and mentally you feel after an adventure with al. (be graphic)
      A list of your favorite al free drinks.
      Triggers that make you want to drink and be aware of them.

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      Take good care of yourself:

      *Get 8 hours of sleep, or at very least try

      *eat 3 decent meals, have snacks too. (Educating yourself about nutrition is a good measure at this point)

      *stay well hydrated

      *exercise

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      Urge surfing is an important and very helpful way to deal with cravings. Every urge, impulse, or craving has a natural progression. It starts at zero, and then suddenly we become aware that the wish, desire, craving, or impulse has arisen in our minds. It can continue to get stronger, once it has arisen. And, eventually, it will fade away (so long as we do not give in to it). This is ALWAYS true for any and every craving or impulse.

      Sometimes we have the (very false) impression that cravings are SO strong and powerful, that they will never go away and we MUST give in to them. One way to deal with that is to make a conscious effort to step back (mentally) and observe the craving, as if from a slight distance. Ask yourself: what am I thinking, what are the words running through my mind? Where am I feeling this craving in my body? Observe how the sensations and thoughts become uncomfortable; observe what the messages are that you might be telling yourself; and observe how you will soon become distracted, and find that you are thinking about something else... because the craving has faded away.

      Once you have done that several times, you will have a different perspective on cravings, and you will be much better able to resist them. And you can always use this method, any time you find yourself struggling, or getting into a mental argument about whether or not you should or could have a drink.

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      i will remember this one, thanks wip

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      Tool box

      What a great thread! I'm going to read it again & again.

      One thing I've been doing w/the "out of nowhere" AL thought (the type that have thrown me into a liquor store):
      Instead of pushing it out of my mind & thinking of something else, I've been looking at it. I've been asking it questions:
      -Why I am thinking about drinking?
      -What's going on in my mind & body?
      -What non-AL thing do I need to do to remove this thought?
      -What would be the negative consequences of getting a bottle? (i.e. drinking & feeling awful in mind, body, & spirit...having to get rid of the bottle...hiding the drinking...etc.)

      Sometimes just turning my mind away from drinking eliminates the thought, but other times I really need to examine why it's happening.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Mary

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      Procrastination: It's a good thing when it comes to giving in to that drink.

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      M & M's

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      Probably my simplest technique, and one of the most effective: When I realize that I have some thoughts or urges about drinking, I just quietly say, to myself--


      I don't drink.

      It is as if I am just giving myself a gentle reminder, helping me to remember, and truly realize, that drinking thoughts, urges, and cravings are no longer truly relevant in my life. They are just leftovers, mental habits, from a life that I am no longer living. And that feels REALLY good.

      wip

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      WIP: Thanks for that tip - it helped me tonight.

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      Repeating this for the "Tool Box" Thread


      What is a plan, and how do I get one???


      I can't count how many times I have made the suggestion to new folks here to "get a plan" for their recovery from alcohol abuse. The old phrase: "failing to plan is planning to fail" is very true in so many situations... and especially so in the case of those of us who are beginning (and continuing) the path of freedom from the devastation of alcohol abuse.

      SO: What is a plan, and how do I get one?

      The MWO book, and what we call the MWO program, discuss and recommend a number of elements that have proven very helpful to many, many people who have used them. They include (and I have added a few, based on my own experience and that of many MWO members):
      • Exercise (doesn't have to be a whole lot; some brisk walking, 3 or 4 days a week, is helpful)
      • Hypnotherapy (you can buy the recordings on the MWO site in the "store")
      • Meditation (many of us practice meditation)
      • Dietary supplements (see the MWO book, the "store" here onsite, and the threads here on "Holistic Healing")
      • A healthy diet, and regular mealsMedication (preferably with help, advice, and a prescription from your physician)Spending a significant amount of time here at MWO, reading the posts of others, getting to know people, asking questions, and talking about your progress and your strugglesGoing to AA meetingsChanging our environment: Getting alcohol out of the house; not going to bars; not hanging around with "drinking buddies"
      Most people do not use ALL elements in this list; but those who are successful tend to use a LOT of them. And we tend to adjust and tweak the elements, as we see what works for us (and for others).

      Equally important is something we call the "mental game." This is short-hand for the process of changing our thinking and attitudes toward: alcohol, drinking, our emotions, and our behavior. We must learn a whole new approach to problems in life (we don't try to drink them away, any more), and we don't see alcohol as a "reward" for having accomplished something. We learn to tolerate distress, including the urges and impulses and cravings for drink, and we allow them to naturally pass away, without giving in to them. We learn not to engage in battles within our minds about drinking; we step away from that whole process, and choose to think about, and do, something else.

      Perhaps most important
      : we recognize that the work of recovery truly is "work," and it takes time, effort, and sometimes it costs money. Sometimes it is costly in other ways, as well; friendships and other close relationships will be changed, when we change. And that can be painful. Making this kind of change will have an impact on all areas of our lives; that is a very, very good thing; it can also be accompanied by some pain. Again... we must learn to tolerate the discomforts involved in life changes. There will be some emotional upheaval along the way. We might want to seek counseling or psychotherapy; we certainly will benefit from coming here and talking about it.

      Making a plan, and following it
      , is an act of mature recognition of the fact that, for nearly all of us, just wishing and hoping that we will stop drinking (or begin drinking "normally") "on our own" is not going to work. Remember: nobody ever "wished and hoped" their way through any important project. But with persistence, and support from others, following a plan can take us to the places in our lives where we really want to go.

      wip

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