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Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Any tips or advice to prevent a relapse, alternatively any of your stories about your own relapses.
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christine1
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by christine1 » 19 Jan 2009 23:49

Another powerful trigger for me is remembered/associated drinking locations and drinking events.

Locations: pubs on the route home, certain times of the day at home itself, favourite weekend watering holes

Events: watching a sporting event, visting the cinema (yes I bring in alcohol to enhance my viewing experience much to the annoyance and embarrassment of my OH :oops: ), Christmas Day & Boxing Day
Free yourself from the 'Elephant Thinking'.
How can I think about this differently?

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Aaron.A » 20 Jan 2009 16:37

Tiredness is probablly the biggest trigger for me at the moment. Have had a stinking cold and I have not been sleeping too well as of late, and for me tiredness causes irritability, anxiety and feeling down.. all triggers as well.
It's been a while since i could stand on my own two feet again

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Digg
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Digg » 20 Jan 2009 17:16

Worry is a big one for me. Alcohol switches off the worry button for me in a big way. I can think obsessively about something for hours but when I drink, after a while, I feel the 'switch' go off in might head. Its almost a physical point in time. Like a pain relieving injection. Very powerful for me; a release of my own pressure valve.
I totally agree with what Christine wrote as I feel exactly the same and I worry about everyone and everything. I go out of my mind with worry if my OH is even 5 mins late home. Think that boils down to me having a lot of bereavements over the last few years. But, Bela is right in that the feeling of relief never lasts and always comes back with a vengeance :x .

I'm trying hard not to worry so much but it's not that easy to change the way I feel I have always been xxx

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christine1
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by christine1 » 20 Jan 2009 22:09

Digg,

On the way home tonight I bought Allen Carr's Easy Way to a Worry-Free Life: No more worrying. I found his book on giving up alcohol helpful and hope this one might resonate with me in the same way.

During the last few months I have had to drink more and more and more to get to that 'switch point' I was talking about and that concerned me. Things in the past that have helped me with worry is slowing myself down. Making myself sit and injest the rising feelings instead of getting more and more worked up in an effort to 'flee' from from them. I have found CBT counselling immesurably helpful. Don't think I would have found and then come back to this site without it. I really recommend it, if you can afford it. But not everyone can and not everyone connects well with the counsellor they find. I have never found anything more powerful than alcohol, which is tough to admit. However, even more tough than that to admit is that alcohol magnifies my worries and has been affecting my mental health because with my hangovers now come with excrutiating 'downers' that make me very concerned indeed.
Free yourself from the 'Elephant Thinking'.
How can I think about this differently?

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by SeaGirl » 25 Jan 2009 11:35

Another powerful trigger for me is remembered/associated drinking locations and drinking events.

Locations: pubs on the route home, certain times of the day at home itself, favourite weekend watering holes
That is a big triggers for me. Just generally feeling low, or if I feel I want to have a really good wild night, and then I convince myself I wont care the next morning. Often if I've hard a stressful week, I feel I deserve a good night out. If everyone else is drinking and drunk, I feel triggered to drink, I feel people think I'm boring if I don't.
Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.

Rachel x

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Bela » 25 Jan 2009 13:15

I am doing ok on Friday's because I quit the TGIF (social) several years ago, and just had to beat the drinking alone on Friday night. Seems that's an easier change. I do need to eat something good on Friday night, that still tends to be one of my crappeier meals. I think I may start a routine of a good walk on late Friday afternoons. The dogs love will love it, although I can only handle one at a time. It's still a bit tricky with the ice cover, but that can't last forever.
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Tony
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Tony » 25 Jan 2009 13:57

I forced myself to face the pub/drinking hole/my local one full on after a couple of weeks. Get down there, have a soft drink or coffee, HAVE A GOOD LOOK AT WHAT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN THERE and get out the first time.

There is little interesting conversation, mainly people moaning about their lives & how skint they are.

The pretty country pub with a cozy fire is far, far from the truth. It's just a room that sells poison for profit.
Keep your shield up at ALL times. Keep your promises, reach your small targets.THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK.

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Bupster » 25 Jan 2009 14:29

While I recognise that teaching ourselves to hate stuff that does us harm is a good way of rejecting an addiction, I'm looking for something less extreme. I don't want to replace one form of extremism or addiction with another, I just don't want one thing to be the centre of my life any more, I want the quiet middle ground. And actually, my local is exactly the small cosy room with a roaring fire that you describe. I could say it's just selling poison for profit, but that would ignore all the other things it does. It's the centre for a community, it's run by my landlord, and his wife, who is one of my closest friends. It's where I go to catch up with my neighbours. I can go in there on a Sunday afternoon and laugh so hard I cry. It sells eggs. It's where single people of my age hang out (well, not my local, there are too many beards, but pubs in general). And I drink mineral water. It's what you make it, I think. I avoided the pub when I was first quitting, but these days I want it as part of my life, I just don't want to be a drunk, and that's about my behaviour, not about the pub.
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Bela » 25 Jan 2009 15:03

Interesting discussion. My very favorite "pub" is now gone, so no challenge there. It was fun; a group of us had lots of laughs while we collectivley completed the New York Times cross word. That crowd is scattered to the winds now. Not one that competes for my affections now. Coffee shops have sprung up that sort of replace that early experience, where I can catch up with friends. A few serve wine also, but it is so expensive that I am not tempted. Some of my local political friends get togther on Fridays at a nice restaurant with bar for a gathering dubbed "drinking liberally." Never guess what their political persuasion is! I might do that, as I know of at least one "regular" who is diabetic and never drinks. I might test that out, because I don't think I would be pressured -- to drink that is, I'd probably be pressured to help with the next fundraiser.
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Tony
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Tony » 25 Jan 2009 15:23

Bupster,

I agree with you but I dont think we really look what's around us with or without booze. How many times do we actually really look at the pictures in our lounges for example? they're just there, we get used to things & and we don't question it's purpose or function. It's just auto-pilot and we have to correct this at the beginning.

I regularly go to my local pub (and very nice it is too) for meetings but it is only for the meeting that I go.
Keep your shield up at ALL times. Keep your promises, reach your small targets.THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK.

European Duvet Diving Champion Nov 2006.
AF 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014 & 2015. Woohoo, it's possible folks.

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by christine1 » 27 Jan 2009 20:12

Sandy: Fish oils with Evening Primrose has mitigated against my PMT very well over the last year. I highly recommend it.

The debate about favourite watering holes is timely. I was thinking a lot about this as I made my way home from work tonight. As I've explained on another thread before, I used to drink regularly alone in pubs. When I was younger they used to be swanky trendy places with a real buzz and an air of excitement. As the years have passed and my drinking increased - both in volume and frequency - the establishments I gravitated to became less and less salubrious. I went into one of my old haunts last week - desparate for the loo was my excuse - and as I walked through I really 'saw' how grimey it was.

One of things I was finding more and more disturbing, and which brought me back to this site, was the crowd of heavy drinkers I used to regularly see at these places: 'The regulars'. It dawned on me one day that I had become one of those 'regulars'. They looked haunted and angry, sometimes silly, often nasty.

The fact that the bar staff new my order and had started pouring it before I had said a word at the bar, also disturbed me. When this became a feature at several bars I should have been more concerned than I was. One lady, older than me, (just an ordinary woman) would come into one night after night, saying nothing to no one, and drink heavily for a set time and then walk out alone...she haunted me because she looked so sad and uncomfortable about what she was doing. She was but an older mirror image of me.

I have stopped drinking in the past for a night or a couple of days and gone out with friends. In doing this I've noticed how the first couple of drinks makes everyone seem happier and more sociable. Then as time wears on and more alcohol is consumed the mood changes...just slightly...people become boringly repetitive, drift towards melancholy and then moodiness. Most of my friends are heavy drinkers which may account for this view.

I understand wanting the middle ground but I see the point in reminding myself that what I think I am missing is not all it seems. I've done that thing of taking a hard sober look around one of my bars. I've seen that my lovely, enticing and softly lit watering holes are not quite what they seem in the cold light of day compared to when I am under the influence of the EAF. I need to be reminded that they are poison peddlers...if only for this period.
Free yourself from the 'Elephant Thinking'.
How can I think about this differently?

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christine1
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by christine1 » 06 Feb 2009 04:13

Its funny Sandy how after 3 weeks, I have 'forgotten' so much. Not literally but I am not feeling the strength of how bad it was. The horrors that prompted me to stop are three sober weeks away and that distance seems to have made them lose some of their impact on my consciousness.

I feel like such an idiot for feeling like this. I know how bad it can get but with a little time and separation the EAF gets under my skin and minimises again.

So in conclusion, I would like to add MINIMISING as one of my triggers.
Free yourself from the 'Elephant Thinking'.
How can I think about this differently?

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Diva » 29 Apr 2009 15:37

I came across this saying:

“Somewhere there is someone that dreams of your smile and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile so when you are lonely remember its true someone somewhere is thinking of you.”

Lush wrote:Hi all,



Obviously some are easier to avoid than others. For instance, I live alone and it can get lonely sometimes. There's not a lot I can do about that, and it used to be a major trigger for me, until I found BE that is. You can only have so many conversations with a cat.

What are your triggers, and how do you cope with them?

Susie
xx

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by saran » 29 Apr 2009 21:11

FuzzyDuck wrote:Wise one Christine - one of the hazards which halted my progress time after time was getting to about a week (or, once I'd got past that, 3 weeks) and feeling better and thinking that maybe I had rather exaggerated my previous drinking and, really, as long as I stuck to say a half-bottle of wine or maybe two of those large-glass measures of it (2/3 of a bottle but that's fine at weekends) then I probably wouldn't have any more problems as long as I respected the booze. Because I was really sorting myself out, all that therapy and stuff so lesson learned, perspective restored.

Which was my drinker's equivalent of going down into the basement, putting on a leather apron, picking up a jack handle, kicking open the door and going 'MWAAAHHHAAAAHHAAAA!' into the night.

X Fuz
I shouldn't laugh Fuz, but your post didn't half make me chuckle! :lol: I can SO relate to what you said there. Particularly the bit at the end...! x

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by teodora » 08 May 2009 16:20

My triggers are:

people with whom I drunk before
fear of being boring, especially with these people above (just like you Rachel) and
hope of having a good time.

Binge drinking used to be my favorite activity.

Now I can go without drinking and my binge events are fewer but still there. I really want to eliminate such events to zero.

Teodora

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by xantia » 12 May 2009 23:11

My trigger was:
Feb 2008 after 15 months off the booze I got something called acute sciatica..........The pain down my right leg was the pits.......Had emergency surgery on spine...pain completely gone, but left me with a condition called drop foot.....basically left foot wont come up to it's normal level and have to wear a permanent foot brace to prevent me tripping up........anyway after 4 weeks started back to work and must say feeling VERY sorry for myself..........If only I knew of this place then.
In my first week back, I tripped up........fell against a machine, cut my cheek and gave myself a black eye.......during my 34 mile drive home my foot went UNDER the brake pedal and ran up a kerb........luckily no one hurt.............got up next morning with whiplash..........phoned in sick and drank myself stupid all day.........and been doing much the same up to 15 days ago and not touched it since......I asked my GP how could I drop my guard after so long.........His answer was that's how it is
Keep it going people
XXX

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by Gump » 12 May 2009 23:31

Way to go xantia. I don't know how many of us here wouldn't have reacted the same way.
After reading your story I am impressed by your strength. Well done! <:)>

Jo
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"People who say it can't be done shouldn't interrupt those who are doing it."

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by damson » 13 May 2009 08:32

hi xantia, well done on keeping off the evil stuff. You should be very proud of yourself!!
Damson (your number 1 fan!)

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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by hamster » 17 May 2009 08:32

Hello Xantia

Having gone through what you have, surgery, drop foot and the pain that is associated with - there is little wonder you felt like drinking. I cant say how people cope with what you have gone through. My brother has cancer. He was in remission but now its come back. I dont know how he copes either. Life will deliver these blows and its a lottery as to who they will be delivered to. But one thing I know that cope or not cope they will not go away drinking or not drinking.

Jos said to Do - Its ok to feel the pain. No one likes uncertainty or change and when life delivers ill health or an ex boyfriend on the door step it hurts like hell. There is tons of uncertainty and we no longer feel in control. Not feeling in control was a huge trigger for me to drink.

But once you learn that it is ok to feel the pain and sit with the pain and also to understand that it will pass, then the trigger becomes weaker. This is what I found in my own journey. It took a long time and many falls before I could avoid triggers as, for me, there seemed to be so many. I had a zillion excuses to drink. Slowly I found previously strong triggers not even registering. Clearly I still do have triggers - not drinking is not that clear cut and those triggers have led me to two slips over the last year. But hopefully I have learned from them and, hopefully the next time those triggers pop up I will be a little better able to deal with them.

Do <:)>

Crying is so healing and Jos is right. Dont feel bad. let the pressure out. I have a little boy who is nearly seven but I still couldnt imagine how hard it must be not to have his Dad around let alone that his Dad had an alcohol problem. These are huge stresses and I do hope letting it out on paper has helped some. You must feel the triggers to drink so very strong when his Dad comes around but one thing you can do is remember you have enormous control over one thing - drinking. You can hold your head up and know you are nothing like your sons father and that you are doing something great for your son by stopping drinking or reducing. Those positive thoughts might help triggers to drink associated with your ex partner rearing his head.

My children used to have a mother with an alcohol problem - Although I didnt drink during the day I still got drunk a hell of a lot. I caused a lot of pain for them I know. Cant change that but I can change myself. You are right to focus on your own problem. Your ex may never admit to a problem but your son will grow up and he will see the reality in having a drunk father. He will need you there then, more than ever - sober and strong for when that happens.

Julie
x
AF2011 number 10

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xantia
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Re: Triggers: how do you cope with them?

Post by xantia » 18 May 2009 18:50

many thanks Julie
Thanks for support..............
Was feeling a bit low today........... till now <:)>
21 days ( sounds better than 3 weeks ) off the muck
REAL good care to all
X X X

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