Staying soberPosted on 06/20/11, 10:02 am
I have been sober a bit over a year, and it's going well. But I want to continue to have it go well.
Getting and being sober has had different stages for me. At first it was all I could do, and all I could think about -- that single mindedness of not picking up a drink, even though my mind and body screamed and begged for it.
Then in the first month or two, I started getting my life back. I had to learn new habits and how to deal with cravings. I had to build internal and external resources to make it over the rough patches.
At around 8 months, I had another shift -- I no longer felt like a drinker who was refusing to drink, I had become a non drinker. But still a lot was new and I had a lot of "firsts" to deal with -- the first Thanksgiving sober, etc.
So what now? What are the things I should be doing to make sure that I stay sober? I have not relapsed since I first decided to quit and I don't want to! What should I look out for that might send me down the path of drinking again?
I realize that you might not have enough info about me and what I am doing to help me, but I'd appreciate any advice you have. (Note, I am not in AA.)
Reply #1 06/20/11 11:40am
Keep doing the things that you are doing because they are working and never forget where you came from.
Reply #2 06/20/11 12:38pm
Hey Jersey-good conversation to have indeed!
What should you be doing to stay sober.....hmmm. I think that you are a bit different in your sobriety path than most, even outside of AA, and it has worked for you so far. Revamping is always good though. I know for me I had to tighten up the reigns of what I was doing with the outside world as my sobriety progressed. It is different for you though-as you seem to function pretty well "out there." For me, I had to always be trudging forward to "make" myself do things outside of my comfort Zone-to help me learn but not push me so much that I was triggered. That is just me though-I have to be careful but also make sure each day I am moving forward.
So, do you have areas that you feel are stagnant-or that you are afraid to tap into? Usually that is a good place for me to start looking-places that I fear. That fear is a good indication that I need to look deeper. For instance, for me the biggest fear was public speaking. It was like scarier than death! So I knew what I had to do-get up and public speak! Truly horrific at first but helped me grow in ways I had no idea I was able to.
So I guess I will ask-anything you are afraid to do today? Lets look deeper!
Reply #3 06/20/11 1:55pm
What am I afraid of doing? Public speaking has been the big one for me since I was a little kid. When I was in my early 20s I was flown out to a conference as an "expert" speaker at an IT event. I did it! And then over the years, the fear of speaking came back big time. This past March during some training I was in I was hypnotized to get over that fear. I stopped the session because it ended up going to a place I wasn't ready to deal with (grief.) But since then I have volunteered to speak in front of a group four times and it was okay. Don't know if that fear is gone or not -- I might pass out and vomit simultaneously if I ever had to speak in front of hundreds of people.
I know what I need to work on -- it is ambition and action in making money. I was laid off a few years ago and haven't gotten back into work the way I need to. I am so ambivalent -- and I am trying to change that. So that's the big thing with me now.
Reply #4 06/20/11 3:12pm
Hey Jersy; We all have triggers. The trick is to know them and not to act to them. Sounds to me you have some tools to deal with life on life terms. As we grow we learn more about ourselves and the world around us. For me I need to keep growing in a positive way and this helps to defend agunist the cravings. This is a life long progect theres is always room to grow and learn. Aim high always take middle ground....Alittle Maine humor but a good quote.... John.
Reply #5 06/21/11 12:10pm
I think a biggie to be careful of is over confidence. Many people think "Ok I quit for X amount of time so I proved to myself I do have control" and then pick up again right down the same drunken path. I know I had those thought but recognized them and worked through them
Reply #6 06/21/11 12:13pm
Thanks for posting this - it is a process and I am in the Not a Drinker phase and loving it. I would say to watch out for complacency or the mindset that you can control the drink. That's where I got deceived many times - thinking I can moderate this now, no problem...look at all the self-control I have - but that was a lie. I guess, long term, it's understanding that me and drink do not mix and being content with that and find new fun things that you've always wanted to do. I'd love to be like one of the Iron Chef cooks - make masterpieces in a flash out of simple things.
You sound really healthy - keep going strong and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sobriety! We all know the drink path - now explore the non-drink lifestyle...be weird! (as Dave Ramsey says about being different than mainstream)
Reply #7 06/21/11 3:23pm
Ambivalent can be ok-just don't stay "stuck" there.
Rick is so right about that overconfidence too. I get around old friends from when I was young (visiting home this week) and think that if these chicks grew up why didn't I? I did! I can drink! I am grown now! Nope-that does not constitute grown.
Yea-have to stay humble to the fact that this could take over our lives again.
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