I agree. Thank you so much for sharing.
Wise and powerful words to live by, thanks Ken !
Thanks for your list Ken. That has really helped me today.
Elsa, good for you, 20 days is amazing! You are so right about your moods being more stable after just a short bit of sobriety. What a great idea too about packing up your drinking glasses, very smart indeed.
Julliet, Mairianna, Vic, Millie, Dragonfly, Carol, and Millie and everyone else; thanks for your feedback on my list and feel free to make some suggestions if you want.
Last edited by Ken1; 11-16-2011 at 06:53 AM.
Here is an article I want to share from someone I consider a mentor, Brian Tracy. The point he makes in the second paragraph really helped me and my hope is it makes a difference to someone else:
Plan for Turbulence
By Brian Tracy
On a flight, when your plane takes off, the pilot tells all the passengers to stay in their seats with their seatbelts buckled. In many cases, the pilot will say, “We expect a certain amount of turbulence for the first part of the flight, so please stay buckled up.” When you start any new business or job, you will experience turbulence as well.
Control Your Responses
Strong people expect to experience problems on their journey toward their goals and destinations. Weak people are surprised and dismayed when things don't work out the way they had expected. They become angry and lash out. They blame other people for their problems. Often they become depressed or irrational. Your success is largely determined by your ability to respond effectively to problems as they come up. Fortunately, you can learn a number of effective strategies practiced by successful people to deal with problems.
Problems Go with the Territory
First of all, expect to have problems, disappointments, and temporary failures. Don't be shocked, surprised, or angry when they occur. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and say, “Solving problems is my job; problems are what I do.” Each time you solve a problem, you will become even more capable of solving even greater problems. The major reward you get for solving problems is the opportunity to solve even bigger problems.
Think in Terms of Solutions
Superior people are intensely solution oriented. They think about solutions and what can be done rather than the problems and who is to blame. They are future oriented and continually think in terms of the actions that they can take immediately to control the damage, minimize the problem, and move ahead. One of the best strategies you can use is to practice mental preparation with regard to problems. Resolve in advance that no matter what happens, you will remain calm and relaxed.
When you deal with unexpected turbulence in your business or personal life, you can keep yourself calm, clear, and focused by asking questions rather than reacting or overreacting. First of all, get the facts. What exactly is the problem? How did it occur? Sometimes, the solution to the problem is contained within the problem itself. The very act of asking questions keep you calm and in control. Focus on the solution.
Accept Responsibility and Take Charge
Once you have clearly defined the problem (and confirmed that it actually is a problem) and you have thought about the various actions you can take to solve or minimize it, the next step is the either take responsibility for taking action or assign specific responsibility for taking action to someone else. Think always in terms of actions you can take. Just as a pilot facing unexpected turbulence keeps both hands on the wheel and his or her eyes on the gauges, when you experience problems, you must take command of your situation and ensure that you are flying in the right direction.
You become a superb pilot of your own destiny by dealing effectively with the inevitable storms that occur in your work and personal life. Next time a situation occurs take a deep breath, and then begin to think of solutions to that situation.
Thanks for sharing that article Ken your timing is perfect for I could use a little boost today.
Vic, I've learned a lot from you, so glad I could be of assistance. Are you OK?
Yep hanging in there Ken thanks for asking. Just dealing with some challenging twists and turns of life we all sometimes deal with a lot lately. But got my sobriety and that's a lot to be grateful for.
Vic, I hope you don't mind if I say a prayer for you. I know this is day 108 for you (I think), so I know you are strong enough to make it through anything you set your mind to. All my best.
Anybody heard from Erin? I haven't seen her around for a couple of days, if you're out there please say hello.
Hi Ken and everyone! Thanks for all of your sharing in this Forum. I am trying yet again to eliminate alcohol from my life - in fact I've awoken just about every day for the past 20 years determined to quit. It lasts until about 5 PM when the bottle of wine calls to me. My weight and blood pressure are increasing, and I know I can't keep drinking. I found one of Ken's posts to be particularly cogent:
"Is it possible to get sober when you really do not want to stop drinking at all?
Yes and no.
Is it really possible to develop willingness out of thin air? How can you motivate yourself to change?
There are at least 3 pieces to this. Realize that:
1) Nobody totally wants to quit.
2) Those who do quit make the decision anyway.
3) Those who succeed take action following the decision."
So now I'm trying to figure out what action (other than just not drinking) to take. I now actually have 5 days under my belt, but it is a daily struggle. I do find it helpful to read the comments in this forum, so maybe that is the "action" I need today?
Anyway, I send positive energy and peace to everyone here, and my gratitude to you all for sharing - I know I am not alone in this struggle, and somehow that helps!
Hi Julie and welcome! You are right that coming here is one positive thing you can do for yourself to not drink. I certainly learn a lot from others struggles and victories and there is something comforting about having a safe place to communicate with others that are dealing with the same things that you are. Just like you, for me it was comforting to know that I was not the only one fighting this. Come here and post, read through the forums, and go to the main site and read through Patrick's articles.
Sometimes we slip and fall in the process, and I read a post from Rosella yesterday that really nailed it. She said "Billy, I like the term 'keyboard therapy'- that's what it feels like for me. My attempts without this have come to nothing. This site has helped me so much previously so I'll be checking in each day for my piece of therapy so I can beat this.
I've made it through to the morning of Day 6. I had a good break off alcohol a while ago and since then have tried and slipped many times. This is the longest I've gone since and I've noticed that this time I haven't got the tiredness like that initial time and all those crazy emotions aren't coming up (not yet anyway). It makes me think though that in all those small attempts and extra alcohol free days there must be healing happening and although we might slip, we are heading in the right direction and we are making some progress. My theory has always been that each attempt brings us closer to long term sobriety."
Realize and accept that you can do anything you put your mind to and remember that temporary failure is the way you learn how to succeed.
What has helped me was to make a written plan, which is posted here if you want to use it as a starting point (post # 2708 in the How To Stop Drinking thread and the add on post # 138 in this thread). I added to it recently as this has been an evolving and learning process. Keep trying, keep fighting, and let us know how you are doing. Good luck to you and have a great weekend!
This is a must read: http://www.spiritualriver.com/wordpr...iveLiving2.pdf
And another quote from an article from Patrick:
"Why was I a drunk? Because it was fun. It was a blast. Until it wasn’t. The unbelievable thing was how long I continued to drink and self medicate after it was no longer fun. The unbelievable thing was the denial, that I clung to the false belief that getting drunk was still fun. But it had stopped being fun a long time ago."
Last edited by Ken1; 11-19-2011 at 04:12 PM.
Welcome Julie, I echo Ken's thoughts and really believe this site has helped me get close to 4 months of sobriety. Like so many I have stopped and started drinking too many times to count.
However, when I started posting here it really helped and in some fashion made me accountable to folks on this site. That accountability and sharing of ideas and struggles has benefited me greatly.
I have Patrick and all the fine folks on here to thank for the miracle of sobriety.
Thanks for the welcome guys! Day 6 ... whoohoo.
Thanks, too, Ken, for the link to Patrick's article, something I've saved for daily reference. I've never considered that my drinking state has become my "normal". Sobering thought. I've been guilty, too, of living passively. Executing massive change will take a plan, so thanks for sharing that. I'm off tonight to a dinner party where the wine will flow freely. I'm going to channel Mad Eye Mooney and chant "constant vigilance". My goal is to get to a point where I can enjoy a party without drinking, not just survive it. I know if I don't drink tonight, I'll be another step of the way there. If I do drink I will regret it .... I'm planning on waking tomorrow with a clear head so that I can exercise, feel good, and begin planning for joy.
I've been reviewing everyone's posts - thanks again for sharing - it helps to hear how others are coping.
Peace to all ....
Welcome Julie! I could have written your post... every day for 25 years I knew I had to quit, woke up saying "I won't", only to hit it again each afternoon. What made the switch? Hard to say. I just realized I had had enough and it was over. I wrote down all the reasons why I want to be sober, and all the painful embarrassments I wish I could forget, so that if I fooled myself into thinking I could drink, I would read them first. Anyway, It is hard and easy. It is as difficult as any kind of discipline is, but once you show yourself that you can do it, wake up every day with one commitment- I won't drink today, no matter what!
I usually visit and post on "how to stop drinking." I decided to check this thread out since I am in the "getting started" phase. I see a lot of the same names but also some not so familiar on the other thread. I read really good posts here and will continue to check in on both threads..the more support, the better!
On day 1 again after some recent failures. My drinking is changing though so I know I am ready. Did do over 40 days once. I have been reading Patrick's work over and trying to get to a better place. Take care all.
Back for Day 1 again. I'm a frequent relapser. I recognize that my drinking is causing many problems for me including mental and physical health. It has caused problems with parenting, and being a husband, and at work. Over the last 12 years, I have tried to quit a various times for 2 weeks, a month, 3 months, 100 days, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and forever. These attempts to quit were driven mainly by a desire to give my body a rest and allow it to heal. However, I never succeeded once. The best I did was 15 days due to a fortunate combination of hangover, jet lag and flu that got to about day 10. I got through a few more days (I think the goal was 1 year), before succumbing to some insane idea that some beer would be nice. I've tried everything to quit, but joining a "live" group. This forum is nice and I find it very useful, but I also can remain anonymous which really means avoid making any sort of commitment. At the next urge to drink, I can simply stop posting and within 48 hours, people don't even notice I am gone. Don't get me wrong, I find this group to be supportive, as I am here throwing this out and looking for feedback/support. I really just don't know what to do anymore. The scariest part is that for decades I have awoken each morning to think that I need to quit drinking, but recently my morning thoughts have changed to the idea that I should just accept that I will never be able to quit and just learn to live with the consequences. A very grim and depressing option to say the least.
Hi Eric - You're actually in really good company here. I, too, have quit and relapsed too many times to count. My family and health have suffered and I continued to drink. This time I've found it really helpful to break it down into a much smaller increment than "forever" or even "two weeks". I know it sounds like such a cliche, but quitting "one day at a time" is working pretty well for me this time (7 days). I tell myself that I just won't drink today. While it sounds like a contradiction, I do also accept the idea that a plan and massive, constant action is required for longer term success. I've started with exercise, something easily achievable for me. The welcome I received here from Ken, Vic, Ruth and Drangonfly helped too .... we really are in this together. There is lots of great advice here, most of which is relatively easy to follow. Ken told me to refer to Patrick's articles - very helpful. Ruth suggested I write down reasons why I want to be sober so that I can refer to the list when tempted. Patrick suggests exercise. And Rosella's "keyboard therapy". Just writing this is actually helping me, as Vic shared as well ... so thanks for that!
And, Kat ... I'm thinking about you too ....
Peace be with you all ....
Eric, good for you for trying to quit. It is a great goal, but know that most don't succeed on their first try (or 2nd, or 3rd). It takes how ever many times it takes. Every time you relapse is a great learning opportunity. Like Rosella said, each attempt brings us closer to ling term sobriety. I like to think of it like this, how many times do you give a baby to learn how to walk? Dumb question right? You give your baby as many times as it takes, same for us with quitting drinking! You are right about the accountability, but the more you frequent here and post, the more people will start to look for you. You can start a group of two or more to quit with and hold each other accountable here in this forum. You can use this in conjunction with a physical or online AA meeting. For those of us here, this forum is a source of strength and a place to relate to people struggling with the same issues you face. For me, I thought I was the only one facing this problem, but man was I wrong! I think Billy coined the term "keyboard therapy", and this is a great place to express yourself. Good luck to you and please read through these forums for some great ideas. What worked for me was a written plan. Some here commit to 30 days with teammates. Keep reading the articles on the main site, I especially like this one to start: http://www.spiritualriver.com/wordpr...iveLiving2.pdf
I started out highlighting it when I was reading but I wound up highlighting the entire thing!
Julie, how did your party go? Nice reference with the Mad Eye Mooney by the way! I totally agree with the one day at a time approach, 30 days can sound like an eternity! You reminded me of the affirmation "Every day in every way I'm getting better and better." Positive self talk is so important. Better to repeat that to yourself than to label yourself as a victim and just drift with the wind. You can do anything you set your mind to! As they said to Bobby "Boo-Shay" (insert Cajun accent here) "You can do it!"
I found some old calendars that I had from the months of last April and May when I first found this website. I used to put smiley faces on the days I didn’t drink and frowns on the ones I did. Suffice it to say that for those months there were a lot of frowns. Lol. But I found that by never giving up my desire to quit, by looking at my drinking from a day to day perspective, it gave me a lot of insight – even when I had a bad day, I reflected on it.
Eric your comment about just giving up and going with this disease really hit home. I too felt that way. I am an alcoholic, albeit a functioning one, so why fight it. But I did fight it because I did not like the life that I was living. Alcohol had a hold on me – all day, every day – and I was sick of that. My life revolved around drinking or when I would get that next drink, and what way is that to live? Waking up with a hangover and swearing this was the last time, only to start feeling better by the end of the day and do it all over again. It is a vicious cycle to be in.
Quitting is tough in the beginning, but it does get better. I made it to 90 days – all summer without drinking - and then had a meltdown, waffled for the next few weeks, then got my head back on straight and am going for 90 again. It is a frustrating endeavour, but I am so much happier when I don’t drink. And now there are even days when I don’t think about it at all, many days in fact. Am I done forever – I don’t know – I am only human. But I do know that I will never quit quitting.
So don’t ever give up. All of us slip in the beginning – it is a learning process. You came here for a reason, don’t ever forget that!! For me it was googling “how to quit drinking”. I was so sick of just living day to day….and whining about it. Being here is your chance to do something about it – and it takes time, and many falls….but don’t beat yourself up over it – learn from it and move forward.
Never quit quitting folks…that is my mantra…If I fall again, I will keep moving on and one day I will look back and say, “wow, I went all year without drinking - how amazing am I :]”
Eric, I will tell you how it changed for me- I realized that I had been quitting and slipping over and over again (before I started posting anywhere...) but that my desire wasn't there. I was like you- wanted to find a way to drink and not get sick and die! Teally! I found all the ways to go easy on my body while I was drinking.What had to happen for me was to really awaken to the fact that I can't control alcohol, that alcohol was controlling me. I am not a big AA fan, but the powerless part fell into focus as being powerless over my body's reaction to alcohol. It is a physical addiction and I can think about it all day long, but my body has changed and I can't think my way out of that. The commitment I made to myself and my family was to quit- one day at a time forever. I also promised myself that I would go to rehab for real if I ever touched another drop. The one day at a time part means to wake up and commit that you won't drink that day no matter what! I don't care if it is 95 degree and sunny, you won't drink! Drink water or whatever else, eat chocolate, just don't drink alcohol. If you are married, you can make an analogy with the hot chick/guy- sure you see her, sure she is hot, but dude, you are married and you are not sleeping with her, no matter what! Of course you will want to drink, that is the addictive voice (your hyperactive dopamine receptors) talking. So suffer a little and say no! Anyway, not to lecture or anything, but I want you to know that this is doable, and that you can do it. If I could do it, after drinking too much for 30 years and knowing I needed to quit for 25 of them, anybody can.