~ Sobriety Matters ~

1596062646594

Replies

  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    BeIn2day wrote: »
    ^^^ it would appear that chosing sobriety is not a one-and-done deal for many people.

    Sobriety is something you have to continue to work at and maintain.

    It is a process, which, in time, does apparently get easier. But you can't just get complacent and think you have it licked. This has been a massive learning curve for me, especially as someone who prefers one-and-done. I like to move on to the 'next thing'. It let's me know and digest the fact that sobriety will be a lifelong thing that I will work on.

    And that in time, it will become more natural and easier.

    Well, it's like anything else. Youe lifestyle is the sum of the little decisions you make every single day.

    Being long-term sober means always choosing to not drink, every single day. Smokers know this very well. Every smoker I know quits for a stretch of time and then one day decides to take one puff off of a cigarette, hates it, decides they're "cured" and then becomes careless, taking a puff here, bumming a smoke there, and then buying a pack, and that's it, they're back to a full habit.

    It's the same with an exercise routine. All it takes is several decisions not to exercise and BAM you haven't hit a gym in 6 months.

    It's easy for me to stay sober because I have two and half years of daily decisions not to drink under my belt, but if tomorrow I decided to order a drink because of a special occasion, that could easily turn into ordering a drink at every special occasion, to every Saturday night feeling like a special occasion, to feeling like I need a pick me up when I'm stressed, to feeling like I can't get through the day without a glass of wine at the end of it.

    Whatever your lifestyle is, it's the product of a sum of decisions. The decision to drink or not presents itself CONSTANTLY, so yeah, as long as there will be opportunities to drink, you will always have to make the decision not to.

    That's what "one day at a time" means. Every day you have to decide not to drink. As time goes by, that decision becomes easier and easier, but the need for the decision never goes away. And the capacity for the addiction to take over again always remains.

    I know how neural pathways work, I used to teach it. I have a profound respect for how programmed my own brain is to seek out alcohol. It's only quiet now because I don't drink, but I can't feed my brain alcohol without triggering those well established pathways that will never, ever go away.

    The system will always be there, programmed to compulsively seek alcohol, and ready to fire up at full speed the moment it gets the signal that booze is back on the menu.

    It's only quiet because I'm consistently not drinking, so it's recognizing the pattern that booze isn't available. But if I make booze available, then my own brain will start diverting resources to make me drink more.

    It will toss up idyllic images of drinking, lower my capacity to cope with stress, make my friends who drink seem more interesting, make events with booze sound more fun, etc, etc.

    My brain is not going to waste it's time and energy on all of that BS if I'm just not going to drink. But the second I do? Or the second I even consider it? BAM! It will be there very ready and able to try and force me to get back to drinking way more than I want to be, because unfortunately, that's what part of my brain is now permanently programmed to do.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    ^^great post Xellercin loads of good information as ever. Thank u.

    The brain. Can't live with it, can't live without it, eh ? 🧠😁

    On one hand the brain is marvellous. On the other, regarding addiction ? Horrific. It's just the way it works. It does work against you and it takes real effort to turn things around. You need to WANT it for it to happen. Or else it won't work. It will be too difficult cos your actually up against nature, brain and subconscious. It explains why addiction gets such a tight grip on otherwise educated and intelligent humans. We are the only species on earth that takes poisons and toxins into our bodies, intentionally, to make matters more surreal. Its a fascinating subject for me especially since I have been personally effected and witness others who are effected.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    I'm trying to remember where I read this but it hit me hard and made me stop and think ~

    "Imagine you had a thoroughbred racehorse. You would look after him as best as you could, wouldn't you? You would feed him the best possible food. You would ensure he had access to pure clean drinking water."

    Basically our bodies are intelligent, marvellous and extremely valuable. (It keeps us alive. We need it to experience this life). We treat our bodies terribly. Instead of good healthy food, we feed it rubbish. Instead of clean drinking water, we pour in poison. We batter our bodies. Yet, if we had such a horse, we would be sure to take care of it!

    I love that ^^ I always remind myself of this. It puts things into perspective for me. My body is worth my care and respect. Our bodies are amazing. With an intelligence all of their own.

  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    bpdaf5ycpw4n.jpg
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    BeIn2day wrote: »
    I'm trying to remember where I read this but it hit me hard and made me stop and think ~

    "Imagine you had a thoroughbred racehorse. You would look after him as best as you could, wouldn't you? You would feed him the best possible food. You would ensure he had access to pure clean drinking water."

    Basically our bodies are intelligent, marvellous and extremely valuable. (It keeps us alive. We need it to experience this life). We treat our bodies terribly. Instead of good healthy food, we feed it rubbish. Instead of clean drinking water, we pour in poison. We batter our bodies. Yet, if we had such a horse, we would be sure to take care of it!

    I love that ^^ I always remind myself of this. It puts things into perspective for me. My body is worth my care and respect. Our bodies are amazing. With an intelligence all of their own.

    A lot of it is this weird puritanical cultural background we have that tells us that focusing on our own needs is somehow selfish or lazy.

    People aren't raised with the basic, common sense messaging that their bodies are a precious resource that needs to be cared for.

    Sure, we have a culture obsessed with being "healthy" but that's really just code for thin.

    When really, the basic concept of the core obligation you have for being responsible for this biological machine that you reside in, a machine that is high performance, but very high maintenance, is totally lost on people.

    We all understand, in theory, that we need to take care of our bodies, but it's rare that I see people actually *feel* this as a core life motivation, like the motivation to make money, or have a nice home.

    Why *isn't* basic maintenance of the machine a central drive in our society? Why do we promote working ourselves to death and coping with poison??

    It's downright insane when you actually look at it.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    o8rbig65b5qz.jpg
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    Xellercin I have been thinking about your last post. How insane it is that we are encouraged to work ourselves into an early grave and use poison to 'cope with it'. Something doesn't add up does it lol.

    Is it maybe due to consumerism ? Work hard so you can buy lots of stuff ? Stress yourself out over it and drink to cope. It appears that way.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    A wee update on my foray into the world of AA. was on a meeting tonight (I'm flitting between different meetings right now until I find some I want to regularly attend)

    Tonight's meeting was full of what I think they term old timers. Older folks with plenty years of sobriety under their belt. I piped up to ask a question about a passage that was being read from big book. A part that talks about admitting your wrongdoings basically. It even said that you should be willing to go to jail if by admitting your wrongdoings it means jail time. I was just 100% honest (how I plan to be while learning about the programme) and I probably sounded a bit shocked to learn this part of the programme. They stayed on at the end and chatted to me anyway. They were helpful and although I found them a little intimidating initially, they turned out to be really interesting to listen to.

    My main issue with the 'be willing to go to jail part' was.....do people actually do that? Being open and honest is one thing but taking your *kitten* to jail is quite something else. I guess I found it extreme. And that's okay. I'm allowed to be shocked or have questions. But sheesh, that's commitment if anyone has literally gone to jail and handed themselves in, in the name of following the 12 step programme. I guess it flies in the face of most people's natural response to protect themselves from such a fate as being locked up. Very interesting to learn about this anyway.

    I am continuing to work on step one ~ acceptance. (I already know that once I lift that 1st drink I have lost control, just need to fully accept it I suppose).
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    BeIn2day wrote: »
    Xellercin I have been thinking about your last post. How insane it is that we are encouraged to work ourselves into an early grave and use poison to 'cope with it'. Something doesn't add up does it lol.

    Is it maybe due to consumerism ? Work hard so you can buy lots of stuff ? Stress yourself out over it and drink to cope. It appears that way.

    Yep, that's a huge part of it. We're constantly being sold stuff as a source of happiness, then we have to work WAY too hard to afford that stuff, and then we're sold toxic drugs to cope with being horridly overworked.

    When really, high level self care is the *only* way to be happy, but that would have us buying and working less, so we're very strongly told that real self care is selfish and lazy.

    And we believe it.

    When I cut back to part time work early in my career, I got HUGE pushback for being lazy, self indulgent, wasting my prime earning years, etc. Meanwhile my job was killing me and it's was the sole reason I drank so much.
  • Sinisterbarbie1
    Sinisterbarbie1 Posts: 451 Member
    @ Bein2Day I don’t know anything about AA but I am guessing if you are going to own your transgressions/be accountable for them and ultimately make amends for them it is going to be hard to do that if you have committed crimes and are unwilling to say so. Whether anyone will ever prosecute you is an entirely different matter. Politicians and celebrities talk about doing drugs in their past lives openly all the time. In most cases, for virtually all drugs and until very recently that amounts to confessing to federal crimes. In many cases the statute of limitations will have run, in many cases prosecutors would be uninterested in bringing a case because a confession all by itself is generally insufficient to prove a crime has been committed by the party confessing (people confess to murders all the time hoping to get in the news for instance). So I would think the larger point AA is likely making is that you have to be willing to take the consequences of your actions as a drinker whatever they may be in order to properly make amends. Also that those consequences won’t be yours to decide.

    Imagine you are a young person who was intoxicated at a party and took advantage of another young person sexually against their will. Years later you are in AA and its time to make amends. Your actions constituted sexual assault. The state or country in which it occurred may or may not have a statute of limitations that allows either a criminal or a civil action to be brought against you for the assault if the details are confirmed by you (this varies state to state in the US and some have recently changed the law as a result of the me too movement). To properly make amends you must do so regardless of the legal consequences that may result. This doesn’t mean you are going to go turn yourself in to the police. It means you are going to go make amends to the person you wronged and put your fate in their hands. If you take the decision to go to the police and the courts you may actually do the person further harm. That person should get to chose what to do next. Perhaps they slam the door in your face. Perhaps they sue you for money damages. Perhaps they go to the police. Perhaps they testify against you at your confirmation hearing for high public office. Perhaps they thank you. Perhaps they pray for you. Perhaps they do some combination of all or some of the above. Perhaps they are no longer available and you are back to the drawing board as to whether you now need to seek out their heirs or whether that would be more damaging to them/their family and you should live with the legacy of pain you created.

    Some variety of this conundrum likely exists for any significant transgression a person has committed involving others as a result of drinking.
  • tamitraft
    tamitraft Posts: 9 Member
    Hey all. I’m new to this thread, but have been struggling with alcoholism for many years now. I have been in and out of AA, but ultimately don’t think it’s a good fit for me. Hoping to get inspiration and support on this thread.
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    tamitraft wrote: »
    Hey all. I’m new to this thread, but have been struggling with alcoholism for many years now. I have been in and out of AA, but ultimately don’t think it’s a good fit for me. Hoping to get inspiration and support on this thread.

    Hi Tami glad to have you join us. I'm giving AA a try. That's good that you gave them a try at least, you don't know until you try I guess. That's what I'm doing. Seeing if it's a good fit for me or not.

    Welcome to our thread ✨️ 😊
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    Thanks a lot for explaining that @Sinisterbarbie1. 🙂

    Basically, you should be willing to accept whatever consequences come your way when you make your amends. It must be a scary prospect for some folks then......would take a lot of guts to do that. But ultimately might be worth it for some, they may get the forgiveness they seek 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    jnb6cdkzcbh5.jpg
    Yes it is ! 👌🙌🙌👌
  • SunnyDays930
    SunnyDays930 Posts: 1,213 Member
    @tamitraft welcome to our thread!
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 879 Member
    tamitraft wrote: »
    Hey all. I’m new to this thread, but have been struggling with alcoholism for many years now. I have been in and out of AA, but ultimately don’t think it’s a good fit for me. Hoping to get inspiration and support on this thread.

    Welcome, what kind of support do you think you are missing? We're happy to help.
  • tamitraft
    tamitraft Posts: 9 Member
    @SunnyDays930 thanks
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    Went back to the gym for the first time in a long time. It almost killed me (spin class) my OH is a gym member and has got me 2 free passes. So used 1st one tonight. I will be sore tomorrow! But, I have to start somewhere 🤷🏼‍♀️

    That's a huge benefit of staying sober for me. When I have my drinking (and smoking lifestyle) I just don't exercise. I don't feel able to. Its the LAST thing I want to do, and so I don't. I'm always feeling like I'm in recovery mode and not quite able to work up a sweat.

    #huge benefit of sobriety ~ able to exercise 💪 🙌 👍(get the natural feel good endorphins instead of artificial high from booze). Plus the feeling of satisfaction having moved my body !
  • BeIn2day
    BeIn2day Posts: 1,663 Member
    bm12qcrgo34f.jpg
    Love this 🌱🌱🌱