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Thread: Living Fully

  1. #21
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    I figure it's all about whatever works to keep you from going back to where you were when you came here (when we were abusing or 'mis-using' alcohol). If that means focusing on the benefits of life without alcohol then so be it. For me, two things are important: keeping in mind the benefits of being AF and remembering the negatives of where I was before.

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  3. #22
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    Yes, indeed!

    I have gone from out-of-control drinking to very occasional drinking, and never excessively. I used naltrexone to help with that, but most of it was behavior change, actually, 99% was changing my view and use of alcohol.

    My postings here regarding this have been met uniformly with negative criticism, etc as you well know.

    So there you go, Control can come without being abstinent, without daily trumpeting of the abstinence and counting the days, whilst deriding any of those who choose a more mindful path to control. It most certainly does not have to be all or nothing .

    Let's face it though, none of the approaches people try have any great success rate, but let's know there are different ways to get your life back.
    Last edited by guapo; July 3rd, 2015 at 10:10 AM.

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  5. #23
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    I cannot agree more wholeheartedly. I would never suggest moderation is for everyone. I don't even know yet if it is for me long term. But the lack of openness to it is astounding. I think I understand why - it is meant from the right place for the most part. But everyone has different reasons for drinking. There are similarities in many of our stories but there are also differences, as much as the individual's particular brain chemistry, environment, triggers, etc.

    I think that Kensho and others here point to one key aspect of the path to explore whether you need abstinence or moderation in the long term - and that is a long term break before exploring how you are with alcohol, because for some of us a lot of it is habit breaking. That said, you can start back gently and end up back down the slippery slope, but the two key things I can see to working out whatever your approach should be are a) a break, to get perspective and b) an honest, hard, reflective look at your own behaviour and patterns. b) needs to be ongoing, quite possibly for the rest of your life.

    Kensho and others here are doing just that - why not leave them alone to find out for themselves as they have done for you? I write this as someone back to a long term period of abstinence to check myself. But this is what I mean - honest interrogation of self with room and acceptance that change may need to be made, and embracing of one's self whatever the outcome. Without being delusional about it!

    Sorry Kensho, I did not mean to derail your thread. Feel free to delete if you think I have done so. I just am fully in support of you and would like you to keep having your safe space to express your journey so honestly.
    Last edited by Trying To Be Happy; July 4th, 2015 at 09:29 AM. Reason: spelling error

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  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by guapo View Post
    There is nothing whatsoever wrong with alcohol, as long as it is not abused or mis-used. I have to wonder if incessantly focusing on and ruminating about alcohol is also an addiction of sorts.
    I understand what you are saying, and I sure don't want to live a life where I am thinking about it forever. However, there is a difference between being mindful of one's own actions, as Kensho is being, posting for her own record and in the hope of helping others, on this related forum at that, in relatively early days in her recovery, as compared to preaching to those who don't ask, obsessing compulsively about it, and not interrogating her own thoughts.

    Kensho shows every sign of the former, not the latter. From my point of view, she is modelling to me what thought patterns go on when you are remaining mindful of your potential trouble in the absence of it. Her posts are helping me to interrogate my own attitude and pushing me towards a further period of abstinence, not because she is modelling obsessiveness but because she is reminding me how I want my relationship to be with alcohol, not how it has been recently (much better than before, but still not where I want it to be).

    I think you have a point, but it is not appropriately directed at Kensho, on the face of her posts of course, not knowing her. I could of course be kidding myself to back up my own problematic relationship with alcohol. But to me she is writing a journal of her own experiences, which is good for her to reflect on at a later date and can help others in the meantime.
    Last edited by Trying To Be Happy; July 4th, 2015 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Clarity of expression in paragraphing

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  9. #25
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    You know what, I would just leave it that being mindful is a tremendous help in deciding how to deal with an alcohol miss use problem.

  10. #26
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    Wow. Good to see some opinions here. I am not upset with anyone expressing themselves respectfully, and I think it is how we reconcile our situations. I do not always agree, but please post.

    I am back from vacation with things to report and things to say. I’ve been wanting to “compose” a good post, but I am back at work and don’t have time for a well-crafted entry, so I’ll try to be brief and just put it out there. I drank on this trip. I had one drink per night, and had two drinks one night. This is not the “mostly abstinence” approach I wanted.

    I found myself stressed, and in a situation where I could have either taken the time and presence to figure out how to deal, or try to escape. My previous hell week left me completely spent and I didn’t feel like I had fuel in the tank to cope properly with two children in a small camper and mosquitos the size of birds outside. So I just gave in - and THAT is the problem with using discipline to “drink sometimes”. “Sometimes” we don’t have the frame of mind to make good decisions.

    Though I never got “blitzed” - or even drunk - never even had poor sleep due to alcohol, I am fully aware of what I did not achieve, and what I missed by drinking alcohol every night. I was more irritable, and perhaps not as present with my kids. I seem to solve problems and think so much more clear when I have none. In hindsight, I feel I would have had a more full and rewarding trip had I stuck it out a little longer and not had any alcohol. THIS is why I feel that not drinking for stress-relief is a good thing for me. I believe that for someone like me, who figured out how to hide from life with alcohol, life should be lived mostly or completely without alcohol. I employed my “tools” upon returning and have had none - but I have wanted it.

    SO, here's my comment on the "total abstinence" approach spoken of here recently. I believe we all have to do what we have to do to do. There are people here who say that if they allow themselves to have ANY alcohol, or even entertain the thought that they COULD have any alcohol, they would be off and running drinking 12 drinks a night and destroying themselves. There are people who cannot and should not have any alcohol. This is their truth and I commend them for finding it and sticking to it.

    My belief is that there are other people who have other truths, and that there are other possibilities for living with and without alcohol. This notion of “grey area” can be dangerous. THAT is why there is so much push-back. Let us not judge the approaches of others, only try to reach our own goals. Some of us should not drink at all, ever. Maybe all of us. I have just illustrated how “allowing some” can lead to more.
    I am happy to feel cleaner and clearer after only 5 days back. My lines got blurred with vacation - I learned that I need to ALWAYS leave fuel in the tank to tackle any situation if I am to remain 99% alcohol free. Like those in the Nest often say, if we made it to this site, we will likely always have to be mindful of alcohol in our lives. There is no cart blanche any more - we abused it and taught our minds to use it for relief - we will always have to put forth effort to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
    Last edited by KENSHO; July 14th, 2015 at 06:39 PM.
    Kensho

    Done. Moving on to life.

  11. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by KENSHO View Post
    So I just gave in - and THAT is the problem with using discipline to “drink sometimes”. “Sometimes” we don’t have the frame of mind to make good decisions.
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Kensho. I look forward to your updates, and hope that you find your own truth, and reach your own goals.

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  13. #28
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    Here and not drinking. If I weren't here, it would just me, myself and I - and that doesn't seem to work for me. Hope everyone has a good night.
    Kensho

    Done. Moving on to life.

  14. #29
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    Hi Kensho,

    I'm here too, and actually enjoy the me, myself, and I scenario. Even turned off the TV a few minutes ago because I didn't want the background noise. Just reading through threads, and then need to send an email, and then? Whatever the heck I want, because it's just me.

  15. #30
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    Hi Pie. Quiet time and independence is nice. What I mean though is that if I don't share my thoughts and reiterate my desire to be alcohol-free, I tend to succumb (as many here have expressed). Holding myself accountable is easier when I can participate in a support community.

    It's true that I never felt better than when I wasn't drinking for 30+days at a time. Though one drink a night, even for consecutive nights, is not a horrible crime, it is not where I want to be. I don't feel like a huge failure - almost more like I ate an entire chocolate cake, and now it's time for vegetables, because I feel so much better when I eat and focus on vegetables. Every day I wake up, I have the choice to put good things into my body and reap the rewards, or put crap into it and pay the price. For 12 days (well, 11 actually), I put a piece of chocolate cake into it. One piece of cake isn't that bad, but every night will add up to a few cakes! That's too much! But for the past 6 days, I've had a very, very good diet and I feel strong.

    I'm also more fit than I have been in a long time. I signed my husband and myself up for a hard race in August - with obstacles and running (at altitude!), and I want to feel like I showed up ready!

    In fact, the things I notice about my body while not drinking create a long list...I have patience with my kids, my eyelids don't droop or twitch, my memory is better, I wake up easier and sleep more soundly, I approach conflict and disagreement with my husband with maturity and more effectiveness, I speak to people with more presence, I feel more spiritually balanced, and on and on and on. ONLY one drink a night is enough to change this. But the thing I dislike the most is actually craving alcohol. When I don't drink it for awhile, I don't want it.

    Just felt like reiterating all of that good stuff. Helps me remember why I choose to put good things in, and leave alcohol out.
    Last edited by KENSHO; July 15th, 2015 at 11:08 PM.
    Kensho

    Done. Moving on to life.

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