Online Alcohol Therapy |  Do you need professional help? |  Alcoholism & Recovery Articles |  Self Help Resources

Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Any tips or advice to prevent a relapse, alternatively any of your stories about your own relapses.
User avatar
Mark.
Posts: 23299
Joined: 15 Jun 2010 11:58
Location: Uri Geller's barbecue
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Mark. » 11 May 2012 16:30

Bumped up for mersault - hope it's useful to you!
Nie chwal dnia przed zachodem słońca.

User avatar
Swordgirl
Posts: 752
Joined: 26 Jul 2009 13:08
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Swordgirl » 03 Aug 2012 06:31

Hi All
not sure where to post this...I need to get my mojo back! I can't seem to go more than a month before I fall down. And when I fall it's like I never stopped, it feels so familiar. This in turn sets me up for another lapse soon after and then I despise myself. Sometimes I hold out against the lapse when the actual trigger occurs but then it's like it follows me around and a few days later I cave in. How do people get past these barriers? I don't think I have ever made past about 33 days. I am trying to console myself with the fact that out of the last 80 or so days about 74 of them are AF. But my most recent lapse has made me feel very vulnerable and upset with myself. I was feeling low prior to this as well.

I can't seem to fill my time with activity as others do when the EAF comes calling, I have no energy. I retreat to inaction and carbs or the gym which works most of the time but my knees are not co-operating at the moment.

I'm sorry for rambling and am mostly off line for a couple of days but will use my phone so apologies if anyone responds and I don't reply.

Thanks for listening
Sword.xx

User avatar
Jake.
Posts: 2938
Joined: 18 Jun 2008 16:46
Last Drink Date: 30 Aug 2017
Location: Cambridgeshire,UK
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Jake. » 04 Aug 2012 20:08

Swordie,

I was exactly the same as you!!

About 5 attempts since last august, couldn't seem to go past 34 days as my max. Now though, something seems to have clicked, but it just takes practice I think! i was back to drinking for a week or two at a time again, before having a major never again hangover! It does get better, and the more sober time you get the better you will become at abstaining!

so stick with it eh!

and be proud of yourself, you should be ;)?

\:)/ \:)/ \:)/ \:)/

User avatar
tee
Posts: 1650
Joined: 06 Nov 2009 13:28
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by tee » 14 Dec 2012 06:31

Yeah I agree jake, well put. (::)

So I wanted to post somewhere in the relapse thread, and I figured this is as good a place as any.

After my last wine binge, I swore I'd never drink wine again, and I never have. Yesterday was a vodka binge, and paying dearly for it as I am, I swear I'll never drink vodka again. Yeah right I can hear you say, and you may be correct in your misgivings my lovely conscience, but I'm gonna give it a bash.

So I've finally got my ass in gear and joined the 7 day challenge, which I've not done in years. That is progress. I don't want to run before I can walk, but I hope I'm having that moment you speak of jake, when something just clicks and you realise change is gonna happen and is not something to fear.

I think that's gaining traction eh?

Xx
Perseverance is not a long race, it is a series of short races one after the other.

User avatar
Topcat
Posts: 31112
Joined: 15 Apr 2012 19:37
Last Drink Date: 08 May 2011
Location: Topcat Towers
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Topcat » 14 Dec 2012 07:08

Hi Tee and well done on deciding to get back up and try again - not easy to do (::) (::) .

Like Jake says, practice really does equal perfect and something does suddenly click into place and you find sobriety is the life of choice, not necessity. If you don't keep trying, you'll never know if this time could be "the one".

I hope it is for you Tee and good luck to you <:)> <:)>
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
When life kicks sand in your face, build a castle.

User avatar
tee
Posts: 1650
Joined: 06 Nov 2009 13:28
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by tee » 14 Dec 2012 07:59

My lovely Topcat, thank you so so much for your words of encouragement, they mean so much at this awful awful time. <:)>

I have taken a rehydration sachet and eaten a banana to try to ease the way I'm feeling a bit. When I was lying awake last night at 4am with The Dread, you know that hideous anxious feeling that wakes you up after a binge? I found myself thinking, how many more times do I need to go through this? And the answer of course, is none. It was a revelation.

I've often come on here bemoaning the fact that I'm feeling terrible and hoovering up all the lovely support offered giving little in return. The trouble is after a while the novelty wears off and I struggle to find a thread that I fit in on. Abstinence? Pah, I'll just cut down for a wee while and it'll all be fine. :roll: Well, there's only so long I can go round and round in circles isn't there. This time I want it \:)/ The difficult part I know is going to be keeping up the momentum, so joining the 7 day challenge feels like a huge step forward, so it's not all bad eh? :)

My lovely Topcat have you really been abstinent since May? That is amazing! I'd love to hear more about your story and what you've found has worked for you if you have time? (::)
Perseverance is not a long race, it is a series of short races one after the other.

User avatar
Topcat
Posts: 31112
Joined: 15 Apr 2012 19:37
Last Drink Date: 08 May 2011
Location: Topcat Towers
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Topcat » 14 Dec 2012 08:34

Sure Tee, I'll let you have my life story (or bits I can print) if you like. Maybe later. Yes, I really have been sober since May 2011 - 19 months and I never thought I'd manage 4 weeks (that was always my stumbling block).

Keep up with the hydration drinks and bananas are great to nibble on. Can you get some exercise? A walk always helped me. Take care and be back later <:)> <:)>
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
When life kicks sand in your face, build a castle.

User avatar
tee
Posts: 1650
Joined: 06 Nov 2009 13:28
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by tee » 14 Dec 2012 10:14

That's amazing TC, I hope you are feeling very proud. It always amazes me how peeps like yourself who have been a long time sober still find the time to come on here and help others (::) It must be very tempting at times to just turn your back on the whole subject. Thank you so much for sticking with us ;)?

Yes Im just back from a walk in the snow actually, not that I'd have contemplated it feeling as rough as I do had it not been for my daughter's school charity raising event, they all had little cardboard donkey's ears and we did 3 circuits of the park, very cute! I'm now home and child free for 2 hours. I had all these plans to get the last few items I need for christmas but what with the weather today and the obvious other I'm not setting foot in my car today, it can all wait. :) What are you up to today my lovely? <:)>
Perseverance is not a long race, it is a series of short races one after the other.

User avatar
Topcat
Posts: 31112
Joined: 15 Apr 2012 19:37
Last Drink Date: 08 May 2011
Location: Topcat Towers
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Topcat » 14 Dec 2012 16:06

Hope you're getting on OK Tee. I remain on here because it is what I like to do. I got fantastic help from this site when I needed it and I like to return the favour. I didn't join til last April, but I lurked long before that (yes I was that lurker in the shrubbery). When I got close to the year milestone and felt very wobbly (I'd got that far before and crash landed), I registered and started posting. So glad I did. I got to know some wonderful people and met a few too. It's a teriffic site and long may it continue.

A short drink history. I started drinking as I discovered (as a lot of others do) that I gained self confidence after a bit of Dutch courage. I was painfully shy and a drink helped to overcome that. A drink soon became a lot more though and what started out as a help turned into a hindrance. As a binge drinker I deluded myself for years that I didn't really have a problem. I could stop drinking whenever I liked couldn't I? Alcoholics drank all day/every day and sat on benches with bottles or cans. That wasn't me. What I conveniently chose to forget was that I could stop drinking - yes, but I couldn't stay stopped. Eventually the inevitable happened - the binges got longer and the gaps between them got shorter. I kept trying and trying to stop. Sometimes I managed a few months (and nearly a year once), but mostly I got to four weeks and crashed. Of course all that stopping and starting took its toll and I suffered a withdrawal seizure - still I didn't manage to stay stopped.

The turning point was finding this site and learning about PAWS. It explained a lot and I realised I wasn't weak willed at all. I got through the four weeks (not easy) and carried on - wow I was on a roll then. The lightbulb moment came (I don't know exactly when) but it suddenly hit me that I was not resentful that I couldn't drink, I was pleased to make the choice not to. It was my decision and I was happy with it (and still am). It was a complete about turn to how I'd felt on previous attempts to quit. I'd always felt intense resentment that I couldn't drink like "normal" people. This time, instead of "why me" I thought "why not me"?

If I hadn't kept on trying, I would never have made it. It is so worth it Tee <:)> <:)>
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
When life kicks sand in your face, build a castle.

User avatar
tee
Posts: 1650
Joined: 06 Nov 2009 13:28
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by tee » 14 Dec 2012 20:14

OMG my lovely TC you had a withdrawal seizure? Are you OK now? <:)>

Thank you so much for your post, it is so inspirational to hear positve stories from successful quitters and I also am quite nosey and like to know a little about peeps backgrounds too :lol:

I SO get what you are saying about the resentment thing, that's usually me after a few weeks. I'm hoping this time however the lightbulb moment will have a lasting effect. Indeed I have confided in a drinking friend tonight that I want to stop and she's absolutely horrified, thinking I am completely overreacting etc :roll: however I am unmoveable at present. I really hope I have enough resolve to make it stay that way, I guess time will tell eh... :)

Did you find reading books about alcohol etc helped with the lightbulb moment or was it just a moment of inspiration that hit you? :)
Perseverance is not a long race, it is a series of short races one after the other.

User avatar
Jaxom
Posts: 1733
Joined: 13 Dec 2012 22:19
Last Drink Date: 12 May 2013
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Jaxom » 14 Dec 2012 23:06

I too struggled and failed many times with staying sober until one day it just clicked and everything I had read and taken on board just fell into place. It is hard to describe but I think itwas like I read about things first and all these facts got stored away in my head and my brain must have mulled them over deep down. One day I was just sitting thinking about not drinking again and then I FELT It all of a sudden. I KNEW I did not have to drink again. I could if I wanted to but instead of listening to my addiction voice I was listening to my real voice. I felt in charge again. That was not the end of it at all but it was the time when everything suddenly got a lot easier most of the time. Later on there were more but smaller lightbulb moments but nothing so big as Hey I don't have to do this drinking no more.

I could not make it click but just kept on trying and trying until it did. More than that I think you have to try to learn each time you lapse because getting drunk every few weeks or even months is still binge drinking and some experts say that is the most dangerous sort of drinking of all because you keep going through withdrawal. Is that kindling?
An Inuit story. An old man is talking to his grandson: 'Inside me are two dogs fighting: a black one and a white one.` `Which one will win?' asks the boy. 'The one I feed'

User avatar
Topcat
Posts: 31112
Joined: 15 Apr 2012 19:37
Last Drink Date: 08 May 2011
Location: Topcat Towers
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Topcat » 15 Dec 2012 06:49

Hi Jaxom, excellent post. Yes, it is a build up of knowledge that suddenly all falls into place at once rather than dribs and drabs. Everything I read and experienced plus counselling all came together in a kind of eureka moment. Not quite that simple of course, but that's the general idea. Basically, I stopped fighting it and accepted my lot. Alcoholism (or whatever you want to call it) is a potentially fatal problem, but it is preventable and it really isn't so bad once you get the hang on it.

Kindling is well worth reading up on. Withdrawal gets progressively worse the more you put your body through it.

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/ ... /25-34.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#5 on the 2020 Challenge
When life kicks sand in your face, build a castle.

User avatar
Maddie
Posts: 1584
Joined: 20 Sep 2010 19:12
First Sober Date: 16 May 2020
Location: Sunny Lancashire
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Maddie » 31 Dec 2012 10:36

Morning

I wasn't really sure where to post this, but I just wanted to get my rambling thoughts out in the open. This year, I've managed 5 months with no alcohol, and have felt really great but over the festive season I have been drinking - and at times to excess, which I'm not so proud about but I'm not going to beat myself up about. What I've noticed though is that I only drink to excess when I'm drinking alone, whereas when I'm in the company of others I drink very little or nothing at all.

When I look back at last Christmas, I drank very little and had nothing at all New Years Eve but there was a difference. I'd met someone new and thought he was The One. Turned out he was leading me up the garden path and well it was all a bit messy and left me feeling very muddled (that's putting it mildly). 2012 hasn't really been my year. Hmmm.

Deep down, I'm not a happy person though I hide this very well from friends and family and can put such a happy smile across my face that infact nobody is actually aware of the pain I feel inside. When I'm alone, that is when I'm vulnerable to drinking to excess. This has to change, and I want 2013 to be MY year.

I'm aware this is all about ME ME ME, but I have to start loving myself and taking better care of myself. So I've managed 5 months sober this year, and starting tomorrow I'm vowing to stop drinking alone at home. I'm planning on taking up hobbies that I used to enjoy doing - jigsaws, cross stitch, painting. I'm going to plan evenings where I invite people round to watch a film. I've had people over this last week, and I've really enjoyed it. I'm a very lonely person at times, so doing things with others really helps me. I just have to stop drinking alone. This week, I have drank alone a lot and I've got to the point now where I can't wait to start my new life. I'm actually looking forward to going back to work on Wednesday and getting back into a proper routine, because quite frankly I'm bored, which I think is another trigger for drinking alone.

This afternoon, I'm driving to my friends in Shropshire to celebrate the New Year. I will drink, but I know it won't be to excess, simply because I'll be in company and we'll be watching films and playing games. I'll feel happy, I'll have people to talk to and have a laugh with. Tomorrow is going to be the start of a better ME.

Thanks for reading - I know it's a bit of a ramble but in so many ways it helps just writing it down. Happy New Year! xxxx
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

User avatar
Sheila
Posts: 16805
Joined: 09 Jan 2009 16:09
Last Drink Date: 17 Aug 2018
Location: Sussex UK
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Sheila » 31 Dec 2012 12:00

Ramble away Maddie <:)> You've been missed <:)>
I really hope 2013 will be a much better year for you <:)>
#4 on the 2020 Challenge
I will not drink again no matter what.

User avatar
Evie B
Posts: 528
Joined: 27 Mar 2012 08:54
Location: Almost in Hove, Actually.
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Evie B » 31 Dec 2012 15:35

Hi Maddie, my drinking patterns are similar to yours. I didn't drink for 6 months, prior to that most of my drinking was alone, it was a comfort and relieved the boredom. Like you I drink very little when I'm out and about, but hometime is my danger time. In the last few weeks I have had an occasional glass of wine, with a meal and with company and I feel OK about it. So far I have not drunk alone at home, for me that is 10 months, and in that time I've learnt about a lot of my triggers and improved my health. In fact I feel so good I really can't bear the thought of bingeing again, that at least is keeping away from drinking alone. I really do feel I'm getting there and realise how lucky I am. I feel my addiction is psychological and not physical, but pulled myself back from the very edge at the beginning of the year. I find it easy NOT to go out and buy wine. I can walk past all those wine bottles, but I know if I had a bottle at home it would disappear very quickly. Buying that bottle is the first step in my chain reaction, and it's an easy one to deal with now. Having one, at most two glasses of wine when I'm out is just fine too, but then there are other constraints and diversions at play here.
I'm so sure you will get to the place where you feel happy, you're heading in the right direction already!
Best Wishes and courage to you for 2013 Evie B <:)> <:)>
Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore

Hereagain
Posts: 1145
Joined: 21 May 2012 19:02
Last Drink Date: 31 Dec 2012
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Hereagain » 01 Jan 2013 16:38

Maddie - I feel I could have written your post myself so no need to apologise - it helps to get those feelings written down to make sense of them. I have half-heartedly been on and off with drinking alone for a while now so can relate so well. In company wouldn't dream of consuming what I do at home but like you know that s because a deep sense of loneliness is my trigger. Problem is when we re drinking heavily it becomes self-perpetuating and feelings of worthliness and guilt make us withdraw and fuels that sense of isolation. You have inspired me to get back on the wagon and embark on a new challenge of sobriety.

Hope you had a great New Year with your friends and here s to 2013 ;)?
Now that I know better I do better

User avatar
Maddie
Posts: 1584
Joined: 20 Sep 2010 19:12
First Sober Date: 16 May 2020
Location: Sunny Lancashire
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Maddie » 01 Jan 2013 18:32

Thank you Hereagain, Evie and Sheila <:)> <:)> <:)> It's lovely reading all your comments, they are so encouraging and helps knowing I'm not talking a load of nonsense.

I had a great evening last night, and had a couple of glasses of wine and no more despite being offered more. That's how I am when I'm in the company of others though. Had I been at home alone and decided to drink, a whole bottle of wine would more than likely have been consumed and then I would be feeling dreadful about it this morning. Instead, I felt great this morning and enjoyed a lovely walk and fed the horses with my friend and her daughter. So a great start to the new year. ;)?

I'm back at work tomorrow, so back to a proper routine which always helps. I'm hoping the weekend won't be too difficult when I'm alone, but I've some decorating that's in need to doing so that should be a good distraction. My best friend and I have been making one or 2 social plans over the next few weeks so that gives me something to look forward to.

Have a great new year!!
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

User avatar
Maddie
Posts: 1584
Joined: 20 Sep 2010 19:12
First Sober Date: 16 May 2020
Location: Sunny Lancashire
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Maddie » 01 Jan 2013 20:37

Thanks SB <:)> <:)> You're so right, it is a habit and a mindset. I say it many many many times, that I have to stop isolating myself. It's a vicious cycle, that I'm not always aware of what is happening until it's happened. I get depressed and think that nobody likes me, so at the weekends instead of going out visiting I'll stay at home with not much to do, so by evening I'm pretty bored and lonely and so a glass of wine becomes my friend. Recently I've noticed I've not been going out for my usual regular walks at the weekend - again this has been about not wanting to bump into anyone I know because I worry about what people think of me. It's so silly really, and it seems even sillier reading what I've just written, but sometimes I just feel so invisible, even when I'm in a crowd. I'll be talking sometimes, and just sense that people switch off from me.

I'll be fine though, especially now I've made that connection that the problem with drinking is when I'm alone. So it's something really that I can deal with. I've never been physically dependent on alcohol, I've never suffered withdrawal symptoms or got in trouble with the law. I'm not abusive when I've had a drink, but I have noticed over the festive season when I have had a drink alone at home, that I have become very paranoid, particularly the following day.

I'm feeling positive though, because now I've made the connection I can change this forever.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

Chinagirl
Posts: 186
Joined: 22 Nov 2012 00:01
Last Drink Date: 26 Dec 2014
Location: South East Asia
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Chinagirl » 02 Jan 2013 05:24

Hi Maddie
Don't think we've met before. Hi!
So related to what you said about isolating yourself and then convincing yourself that noone likes you. I do this all the time. In fact I know that I almost sabotage friendships because I tell myself that the other person/people is probably breathing a sigh of relief not to have to spend time with me and likewise I avoid social situations and if I do go I always feel slightly separate. Yet on the surface no one would guess what I am feeling.
So much easier to stay home with my friend sauvignon blanc....lol
Sorry not offering you much constructive help, just wanted to empathise.
The most important thong is that we recognise this destructive pattern and start to cherish and appreciate ourselves. In 2013 I am not going to let my low self esteem/alcohol rule/ruin my life.
<:)> Chinagirl x
'You have to do it by yourself, and you can't do it alone.'

Rollercoaster
Posts: 559
Joined: 20 Oct 2012 18:22
Last Drink Date: 0- 0-2015
First Sober Date: 19 Feb 2017
Contact:

Re: Breaking the cycle/gaining traction

Post by Rollercoaster » 03 Jan 2013 14:42

I'm feeling very alone at present and deep inside I feel I am crying all the time. A swell of sadness is never far away at the moment. I totally understand drinking alone. I am not sure where life is heading at the moment. I'm searching for something as I feel I haven't found home, I can't explain it really. I'm in a relationship that I so desperately want to get out of, but not very easy at present because my animals are at stake. I so want to start a new chapter without him. The strain of just living with him, when you know its over, it's OVER!! When the magic has gone, it cannot be brought back! I have thought of house sitters to look after my dogs when I need to return to the UK for work purposes. But have to be careful, who one has to stay! But at least I am not drinking but I feel so blue. Not sure whether it's the withdrawl or the predicament I am in or both! Just thinking about him makes me irritated and he's a trigger! Sorry to ramble on, but the more I become sober the picture becomes more clearer, I know it's him which is effecting my present state of mind. It will change, I know and I suppose I will have to grin and bear it. Hope everyone is feeling alright and takecare of yourselves.

Since the couple of binges, I am finding it really hard to regroup and relate, maybe it's just me, probably me!

RC ;)?
REMEMBER I AM NOT A FAILURE. I AM A SURVIVOR OF MANY BATTLES.....WALKING TO VICTORY!

Post Reply