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The relationship I have with myself.......

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Spats
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Spats » 16 Oct 2018 22:08

Cheers Ms Jjj ;)? as in Thank you (not as in down the hatch ()o )

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Jjjj of Old » 17 Oct 2018 08:51

Ha! Cheers, Spats ;)? :D
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by joanne. » 20 Oct 2018 17:26

What is it that stops the soberness? I is baskin in sobriety at the moment and ain’t so sure where or what or whatever an even ask meself why i is drawn back here... but then keepin stuff simple is maybe the way. The draw of the cowboys charms ;) an jus accepting this is today. Overthinkin is the plague of the drunk 😂
Or is it jjjjjj an his weirdness that is the draw :mrgreen:
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Cowboy » 21 Oct 2018 11:56

I don't know what it is that stops soberness. All I know is that there are times when a very strong feeling comes over me to drink - and drink hard. It just says feck it. You'e done your part you've been sober 10, 30, 100 days now drink. It doesn't think about the consequences - and there are so very many to name here - but they are deadly. And that's not an over statement for a person that has a very bad relationship with alcohol myself like me. For now I'm still holding on for dear life. Have some very serious and high stress work deliverables for next week. Thank the baby Jesus I am still sober and clear headed. Just be nice to have that stress out of the way. I put it all on myself though and that HAS to stop - for once and for all - if I am going to fix this relationship with myself. There's still time.

It's cozy up here in the loft Jo. Cozy and sober.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. Mark Twain.

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Spats » 22 Oct 2018 09:24

I’m currently finding that I’m asking myself not why I drink and why I’ve been drinking this way for so long, but rather why I want to put myself through this trial of reaching sobriety. What/who is the reason for me to get to the end of this road and regain an alcohol free life?

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Jjjj of Old » 22 Oct 2018 11:43

Great, thought-provoking thoughts, Jo, Cowboy and Spats ;)?

Booze is the great deceiver. I guess after a healthy bout of sobriety, it's easy to think that a "sensible" drink won't hurt - just a few one evening, or whatever. But, of course, we don't remind ourselves how hard a "sensible" drink is for us to handle, and that either that night or the next we'll end up drinking more than we intended and make ourselves feel like cack in the morning. Or, that one evening of "sensible" drinking will lead us back down the greasy chute to sh*tdom: regular, rubbish, life-sapping drunkenness.

That's what always happens to me, anyway. Happy in my sobriety, I eventually reach a point where I think that a little drink could only make me feel even happier. And yet all the evidence points the other way. So, why does it happen?

I suppose, maybe, it's because when we're drinking regularly and badly, however terrible it makes us feel (and it always does), it fills up all our time, leaving no time (or physical or mental ability) to really consider doing anything else.

Sobriety, however, is kind of the opposite: it is wonderful because it allows us the ultimate freedom to think about and choose what we want to do with our time. But within that freedom-of-choice lurks the danger: free time equals time that could be spent drinking (however stupid and wasteful we know that would actually be).

Sobriety's usually great because it gives you time to do stuff (read, watch telly, spend quality time with one's loved ones, invade Jo's hay loft, whatever). But sometimes (especially when stressed by other factors like work), we don't necessarily want to do any of those things - in fact, we don't really want to do anything at all. We just want to chill. And I guess that's when the bottle can come calling: it says, "You want to chill? Come chill with me. Just for tonight. What harm can come of it, eh?"

And sometimes it's easy to listen to that voice, and ignore all rational evidence to the contrary.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that alcohol and sobriety differ greatly because alcohol offers an instant "result": you drink, you get tipsy (or smashed): you immediately feel the effects of alcohol, especially during the first couple when you think that drinking is what you really want to be doing. (Why is it we always remember how good the first couple of drinks make us feel, but never how badly the ones that follow wreck everything?)

Whereas, the advantages of sobriety are many and wondrous, but are more subtle: it's always wonderful to wake up and say, "I won't drink today" and get to the end of the evening and still be sober. But as time goes on, you become used to that - there's not that same sense of achieving a tangible "result". After a while, being sober at the end of the day is just the normal way of being. Which is great - but we perhaps sometimes forget how very great that is, the more we get used to it?

So...

Alcohol = instant "relief" (followed by crap consequences).
Sobriety = a long-term journey, where the results can only measured by how we spend the time and freedom that sobriety allows us.

That, in a very roundabout way, is why alcohol's such a tempter: we're people who (because of our addictive and sometimes obsessive personalities) often want instant gratification. And although alcohol provides a truly crap form of gratification, we will at least notice its effects immediately. Whereas, perhaps, after a while, it's just natural to feel less gratified by sobriety simply because we stop noticing the effects. And that's when temptation creeps in?

That's what I'm thinking, anyway. But I'll do some more thinking, as my thoughts aren't always terribly hot before my second coffee of the morning... ;)

I also think this (very strongly):
joanne. wrote:
20 Oct 2018 17:26
Or is it jjjjjj an his weirdness that is the draw


When the weirdness of Jjjj is on the loose, 'tis wise to remain as sober as possible ;)
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Topcat » 22 Oct 2018 11:57

Some terrific thought provoking posts lurking on here ;)?
Jjjj of Old wrote:
22 Oct 2018 11:43
Booze is the great deceiver.
Most certainly is. Even now, after quite a few years sober, I stil sometimes think I could reintroduce. Why would I even want to? I don't even like the stuff - I liked the escape it provided.

Guess the only answer is to remain vigilant and (for me anyway) it helps to remember how much I yearned for sobriety (and never once did I long to be sozzled).
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Jjjj of Old » 22 Oct 2018 12:04

Topcat wrote:
22 Oct 2018 11:57
Most certainly is. Even now, after quite a few years sober, I stil sometimes think I could reintroduce. Why would I even want to? I don't even like the stuff - I liked the escape it provided.

Guess the only answer is to remain vigilant and (for me anyway) it helps to remember how much I yearned for sobriety (and never once did I long to be sozzled).
I like that a lot, TC ;)?

Alcohol offers a quick escape that leads to a deep, dark dungeon that's blooming hard to escape from. Staying vigilant is the way. And I like the idea of remembering how much we yearned for sobriety - that's very true (very sobering, if you'll pardon the pun).

To escape life for a while with booze is very easy. But to escape booze (and regain life again) is so appallingly difficult that it simply isn't worth the risk of trying to reintroduce, is it, if you've already been through that?
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Topcat » 22 Oct 2018 12:21

Jjjj of Old wrote:
22 Oct 2018 12:04
To escape life for a while with booze is very easy. But to escape booze (and regain life again) is so appallingly difficult that it simply isn't worth the risk of trying to reintroduce, is it, if you've already been through that?
Exactly. Why risk it? My own drinking was so bad in the latter years that it was a living hell to be honest and yet I still sometimes look back with rosy coloured glasses on :roll:
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Cowboy » 22 Oct 2018 12:21

Excellent thought around staying sober TC and JJ. Very "loft worthy" 8-)

Thanks for sharing. Cowboy.

Sorry crossed posts there TC. Well said.
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by SoberBoots » 22 Oct 2018 14:15

a very strong feeling comes over me to drink - and drink hard. It just says feck it. You'e done your part you've been sober 10, 30, 100 days now drink. It doesn't think about the consequences - and there are so very many to name here - but they are deadly.
I think of that as the addictive voice, and I've come to believe that the way to cope with it (as well as recognising it for what it is, and hitting the little bugger over the head, hard) is to make a daily practice of things that prevent it getting that strong - different mental habits, I suppose.
Last edited by SoberBoots on 25 Oct 2018 10:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Jjjj of Old » 22 Oct 2018 14:32

suffolksally wrote:
22 Oct 2018 14:15
I think of that as the addictive voice, and I've come to believe that the way to cope with it is (as well as recognising it for what it is, and hitting the little bugger over the head, hard) to make a daily practice of things that prevent it getting that strong - different mental habits, I suppose.


Very well put, Sally ;)? Old habits (and addictive voices) die hard. This conversation couldn't have happened on a better day for me. I've just started a new part-time job and have worked the last three days. I really enjoyed it, but this morning I was tired and also (because I don't go back again until Friday) it felt like the start of the weekend. And I have to confess, I heard the old voice calling: "It's the 'weekend'! You could have a wee drink to unwind..."

Because, in my usual line of work, I'm self-employed and work from home, that kind of weekend-thinking doesn't often figure. I don't normally work a typically 9-5 five-day week. It interested me that a simple change of routine (the new job) brought back that ol' Friday night feeling... (EDIT: Even though it's Monday. It's ok - I haven't completely lost track of the days ;) ) :)

Anyway, yes - vigilance means continually batting the bugger over the head as beefily as possibly, and also getting into different mental habits.
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Tai » 22 Oct 2018 17:26

I think one of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to learn is to distrust my own thinking when it comes to drinking. I know that sounds weird but it’s been my experience that left to my own devices my mind will almost always find a way to justify having a drink ... whether it’s rose tinted glasses playing havoc with my memory or my ego telling me that I’ve learnt enough now that this time will be different ... my mind is not to be trusted when it comes to “permission thoughts” or whatever else you want to call it.

It’s pretty normal for our minds to seek the path of least resistance and especially when it comes to feeling unsettled and wanting to “fix” those feelings with alcohol. Old habits die hard and it can feel like a slog with no end point ... leading on to wondering what the point of all this effort is, especially when it can all be undone by a single f*ck it moment.

Our minds tell us many things and not all of them true! For example why do we believe our efforts come to nought if we give in to a momentary lapse of judgement leading to a drink / binge / lapse / relapse? Well maybe it’s partly so we can justify carrying on in our drinking since we’re going to “fail” if we try again anyway. See what I mean? Our minds tell us things that just have no basis in fact.

The fact is we can stop, and we can stay stopped. We can learn the skills required to live life without running back into the bottle for whatever reasons we care to think of ... good, bad, happy, sad, bored, angry, lonely, tired, hungry, mad, jealous, resentful, euphoric, stressed, depressed, in pain, in shock, facing death, facing loss, coping with illness, coping with financial woes .... gosh the list of whys goes on and on.

I remember so clearly someone dear to me saying “you’d drink too if you had my life”. Life isn’t always easy but drinking ... well it feels like it’s helping us to cope ... and that is yet another lie our minds feed into. The reality is that drinking robs us of the chance to develop stronger, healthier coping strategies to deal with the stuff life throws our way. Temporary escape has it’s allure but the cost is so much higher than we ever care to admit ... even to ourselves.

Life sober is simpler. Is it easy? Well no not really ... but is life drinking easy either? If my experience is anything to go by drinking felt good in a transient way, but deadful in the aftermath and in the ongoing consequences. I’d say stick with not drinking, and focus on the positives rather than feeling deprived. To my mind sobriety offers a freedom I never experienced whilst drinking ... the freedom to be truly me.
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Jjjj of Old » 22 Oct 2018 18:18

Excellent post, Jos ;)? <:)>
Tai wrote:
22 Oct 2018 17:26
The fact is we can stop, and we can stay stopped. We can learn the skills required to live life without running back into the bottle for whatever reasons we care to think of ... good, bad, happy, sad, bored, angry, lonely, tired, hungry, mad, jealous, resentful, euphoric, stressed, depressed, in pain, in shock, facing death, facing loss, coping with illness, coping with financial woes .... gosh the list of whys goes on and on.
That reminded me a bit of something in the Allen Carr book for giving up smoking. I'll probably paraphrase wildly, sorry...

If any one of us (most of us, I'd assume) were going through a really hard, stressful time for whatever reason and a friend came to us and said, "Here, have some of my heroin, it'll make you feel brilliant. It's the only way to cope, mate," we would recoil in horror.

Most people don't use heroin to cope, because - ultimately - heroin is simply not necessary to survive. It would certainly take the rough edges off life (to say the very least) but it wouldn't solve anything. In fact, it could only make things worse. Alcohol is EXACTLY the same. The only difference is that it is (mis)used so much more pervasively in our society as a supposed panacea, cure-all, for all ills that we forget that it, too, isn't of any benefit to our survival.

A heroin addict may believe that a shot of heroin can cure the pain of any problem. I, as a non-heroin addict, know different.

I, as a problem-drinker, have to remember that the same is true of booze. It doesn't cure a thing. It only impedes my ability to overcome or work through whatever issue life presents me with.
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Topcat » 22 Oct 2018 18:24

Great post Jos ;)?
Tai wrote:
22 Oct 2018 17:26
I’d say stick with not drinking, and focus on the positives rather than feeling deprived. To my mind sobriety offers a freedom I never experienced whilst drinking ... the freedom to be truly me.
Hear hear (::)
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by SoberBoots » 22 Oct 2018 19:54

brilliant post Tai
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Maypole » 25 Oct 2018 06:42

Tai wrote:
22 Oct 2018 17:26
I think one of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to learn is to distrust my own thinking when it comes to drinking. I know that sounds weird but it’s been my experience that left to my own devices my mind will almost always find a way to justify having a drink ... whether it’s rose tinted glasses playing havoc with my memory or my ego telling me that I’ve learnt enough now that this time will be different ... my mind is not to be trusted when it comes to “permission thoughts” or whatever else you want to call it.

It’s pretty normal for our minds to seek the path of least resistance and especially when it comes to feeling unsettled and wanting to “fix” those feelings with alcohol. Old habits die hard and it can feel like a slog with no end point ... leading on to wondering what the point of all this effort is, especially when it can all be undone by a single f*ck it moment.

Our minds tell us many things and not all of them true! For example why do we believe our efforts come to nought if we give in to a momentary lapse of judgement leading to a drink / binge / lapse / relapse? Well maybe it’s partly so we can justify carrying on in our drinking since we’re going to “fail” if we try again anyway. See what I mean? Our minds tell us things that just have no basis in fact.

The fact is we can stop, and we can stay stopped. We can learn the skills required to live life without running back into the bottle for whatever reasons we care to think of ... good, bad, happy, sad, bored, angry, lonely, tired, hungry, mad, jealous, resentful, euphoric, stressed, depressed, in pain, in shock, facing death, facing loss, coping with illness, coping with financial woes .... gosh the list of whys goes on and on.

I remember so clearly someone dear to me saying “you’d drink too if you had my life”. Life isn’t always easy but drinking ... well it feels like it’s helping us to cope ... and that is yet another lie our minds feed into. The reality is that drinking robs us of the chance to develop stronger, healthier coping strategies to deal with the stuff life throws our way. Temporary escape has it’s allure but the cost is so much higher than we ever care to admit ... even to ourselves.

Life sober is simpler. Is it easy? Well no not really ... but is life drinking easy either? If my experience is anything to go by drinking felt good in a transient way, but deadful in the aftermath and in the ongoing consequences. I’d say stick with not drinking, and focus on the positives rather than feeling deprived. To my mind sobriety offers a freedom I never experienced whilst drinking ... the freedom to be truly me.
Gosh. Wow

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Cowboy » 27 Oct 2018 09:32

Middle of the night ramblings. I'll probably wake in the morning and read this and delete it.
Last edited by Cowboy on 27 Oct 2018 13:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Sandy » 27 Oct 2018 09:43

Don't delete cowboy
it makes perfect sense.
As a long termer I believe just not drinking at all is easier- there is no debating, no should I or shouldn't I?
However I have never said I will be sober forever....nine sober years down the line ...brilliant eh all thanks to BE ….but I have never used the forever word, just aimed for sobriety on a daily basis. I think that took/takes some pressure off me.

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Re: The relationship I have with myself.......

Post by Pork » 27 Oct 2018 09:52

Bit like Bruce Banner’s secret to preventing the hulk emerging is that he’s always angry.

Tintó is always thirsty :cry:
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