The Nine Month Challenge

Rose13
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Rose13 »

Happy Easter folks!

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Action
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Action »

Morning Peeps!

Sorry I missed your earlier post Rose. Have you decided what to do about the garden party...has it been and gone or is it sometime soon? You must do whatever feels right for you. <:)>

Well I’ve had a few tricky days, partner issues, but things have settled down again now...thank goodness. Still have to work through things but at least there won’t be any ultimatums and ill feeling.

Had the odd wine thought. It’s a bit like Christmas ... that whole everyone together, celebration thing. I also had a very low self esteem moment too but due to being sober I could chose to remain sober ... I could rationalise everything. I also saw the thoughts as a red flag and made sure I invested in some self care. I’m probably still skimping on the self care a bit to be honest but will keep working on that.

How’s the cycling Smithster? Rose, hats off to you for all your early morning yoga ... I am in awe of your discipline!
Trina ... have you been out this Easter in your camper? Here in the UK the weather is glorious today and the night sky was amazing last night .. so clear. It nippy though!

Well Smithster we are officially 196 days sober, as of today (28 weeks) and I have saved £1,463! It doesn’t show in my accounts but I have spent a bit of money on home improvements, which were so overdue! I’m loving that! ;)?

Well Happy Easter Everyone. <:)>
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Take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet.

Smithster
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Action wrote:
04 Apr 2021 09:21

Well Smithster we are officially 196 days sober, as of today (28 weeks) and I have saved £1,463!
Indeed, we have done well. Soon be over that 200 day line!

Moneywise, I have saved around £3000! It's not all in the bank, but I am a bit flusher than I was, and I have bought quite a bit of cycling gear. New Carbon wheels, jerseys and stuff. Think I have more cycling clothing than normal clothing now :lol:

Funny weekend this weekend. Loads of cycling (Training indoors Friday/Saturday), then an 100 mile ride today outdoors. But I was on edge on Friday and yesterday, probably worse that Christmas.

Think it was the first Sunny weekend of the year that did it and it was Easter too. Bit of gardening being done, lots of people out and about, all the things I normally associate with a good old drink afterwards. Didn't help that all the buzz from everyone has been centered around booze, especially after coming out of lockdow.

Over the worse now, looking forward to a chill rest day tomorrow and to plan some more competitions for mid summer. I have entered 3 25mile Time Trials for late summer, so just something else to focus on and to build toward those.

Hope everyone else is good and enjoying the weekend. Hope everyone hasn't found it too tough either.

Stay Safe everyone. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Rose13
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Rose13 »

Hey guys,
It’s been a bit tough for everyone these last few days with all the sunshine and ease of lockdown and yes I agree the focus around meeting up around alcohol doesn’t help ! Why does it have to revolve around alcohol!! I am slowly learning that in order to be happy and not drink I need to focus on other non alcohol related activities.
Sorry I missed your earlier post Rose. Have you decided what to do about the garden party...has it been and gone or is it sometime soon? You must do whatever feels right for you. <:)>
I didn’t go!! Action. I made the decision that I wasn’t ready to go and sit in the cold and watch everyone get drunk whilst I was a taxi service. That may sound harsh but I do feel I need to put my foot down sometimes.
But I did go and visit OH family yesterday and have been down to my local tennis club a few times in the last week so social without the alcohol ;)?
I am apprehensive about next weekend with the pubs opening but if I keep it local I can always leave early and walk home.. baby steps
Well done on getting through the Easter weekend folks ! It’s been tough but it’s another accomplishment \:)/

Rose13
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Rose13 »

Moneywise, I have saved around £3000! It's not all in the bank, but I am a bit flusher than I was, and I have bought quite a bit of cycling gear. New Carbon wheels, jerseys and stuff. Think I have more cycling clothing than normal clothing now :lol:
Money well spent Smithster ;)?
I bought quite a lot of running gear this time last year! I should probably start up the running again . I have been wearing it to tennis though :lol:

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Rose13 wrote:
05 Apr 2021 09:15
I am apprehensive about next weekend with the pubs opening but if I keep it local I can always leave early and walk home.. baby steps
Well done on getting through the Easter weekend folks ! It’s been tough but it’s another accomplishment \:)/
Baby steps sounds like a good plan, also switching our focus to non-alchol centered activities also ;)?

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Action »

Amazing work Smithster ... I saw the funniest picture yesterday of a man in a cycling outfit but I can’t put it on here ... it’s a bit rude! :lol2:

Rose, well done you. <:)> That must have been a difficult decision to stay away but a really sensible one for you. Self preservation is key at the moment.

Isn’t it funny how Easter was difficult, I wasn’t expecting it. But I think, as we’ve said, it was combined with the sentiment of summer just round the corner, which is another psychological sobriety twister! I sat and ate my Easter Sunday lunch (which mums cooked) with a Cucumber flavoured Cucumber Tonic. My partner had cider and my mum had wine, which I poured (and I was okay with that). They were both worried that they shouldn’t drink around me but I told them not to worry. I think it was easier because I’d already made the decision to be sober and I explained to them that with each new day I notice a new benefit to not drinking, which keeps me motivated. Interestingly both mum and partner didn’t drink much. On a previous occasion we would all have drunk, things would have been a bit hectic, tensions would have raised and at the end of the dinner things would be nearing a disaster. It was so nice to leave with no ill feeling and behave like a decent human being! ;)?
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Smithster
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Well that's another situation which we would normally associate with drink done and dusted! Easter done and gone.

Logically looking at it. I bet the times I thought about drinking were far less than the time I would have wasted had I drunk?

Collective time over 4 days thinking about drinking = 15 mins?
Collective time wasted had I drunk through hangovers etc = all weekend and into this week probably!

Think logical folks!!!

Have a good week. 👍

Rose13
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Rose13 »

Collective time over 4 days thinking about drinking = 15 mins?
Collective time wasted had I drunk through hangovers etc = all weekend and into this week probably
Big difference there Smithster!
It’s amazing isn’t it .. how little time you think about alcohol once you get used to being a non drinker. It’s gets less and less as the months go by.

I’ve played tennis 4 times this week :lol: when I would have spent that time drinking

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Action »

Hi All!

Smithster ... it was our bicentennial anniversary yesterday! (::)
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Action wrote:
09 Apr 2021 23:29
Hi All!

Smithster ... it was our bicentennial anniversary yesterday! (::)
Hahaha - Yes it is!

Was going to post but you beat me to it. Well done to us both for being 200 days totally booze free!

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

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Action »

Smithster wrote:
09 Apr 2021 23:36
Action wrote:
09 Apr 2021 23:29
Hi All!

Smithster ... it was our bicentennial anniversary yesterday! (::)
Hahaha - Yes it is!

Was going to post but you beat me to it. Well done to us both for being 200 days totally booze free!

\:)/ \:)/ \:)/
Congratulations Smithster (::) \:)/
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Thanks action! ;)?

Rose13
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Rose13 »

Well done \:)/

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Rose13 wrote:
11 Apr 2021 15:34
Well done \:)/
Onwards and upwards!

I cycled an event today around the Peak District. 103 miles with 11600 ft of climbing.

Two things of encouragement.

1. I got up at 5.30 to get to the start line for 7 30.
2. I did the route fairly comfortably, even managing to PB a few climbs on the way round.

Both of those things would never have happened had I been drinking because I'd never have hot to the start line, and even if I did I would have never have got round!

Encouragement for a Sunday on reasons to continue sobriety.

Ps. Got a bottle of beer at the end which I took home for my long suffering cycling widow. ;)?

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Trina »

Hello my friends!

Action and Smithster, congratulations on your 200 days! And Rose, I'm sorry I don't remember what day you're on, but you are doing well if I recall correctly.

I've not been around recently for the usual reason - a bit of drinking! Nothing extreme, but certainly not AF. A few weeks ago I visited a friend in Virginia. She is my oldest friend and we hadn't seen each other since way before covid. I was pretty sure some wine would be had, and it was. I've been AF since I got home, but haven't really felt right posting on here. So that's where I am, doing my best every day and lurking in the background.

It is definitely spring here in North Carolina - warm weather and trees flowering everywhere I look. I am off again tomorrow for three days of cycling with some friends. These are non-drinking friends, so it will be easy to keep things AF on this vacation. It shocks me to see how much I am affected by the behavior of others. Not even by their expectations, as I don't think any of my friends care whether I drink or not. But if others or drinking, it is really hard for me to abstain. That is my biggest challenge at the moment.

Anyway, I hope you're all well and enjoying the warmer weather - assuming it is warmer where you are!

Trina
Just because the monkey is off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town -- George Carlin

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Trina wrote:
12 Apr 2021 00:39
Hello my friends!

Action and Smithster, congratulations on your 200 days! And Rose, I'm sorry I don't remember what day you're on, but you are doing well if I recall correctly.

I've not been around recently for the usual reason - a bit of drinking! Nothing extreme, but certainly not AF. A few weeks ago I visited a friend in Virginia. She is my oldest friend and we hadn't seen each other since way before covid. I was pretty sure some wine would be had, and it was. I've been AF since I got home, but haven't really felt right posting on here. So that's where I am, doing my best every day and lurking in the background.

It is definitely spring here in North Carolina - warm weather and trees flowering everywhere I look. I am off again tomorrow for three days of cycling with some friends. These are non-drinking friends, so it will be easy to keep things AF on this vacation. It shocks me to see how much I am affected by the behavior of others. Not even by their expectations, as I don't think any of my friends care whether I drink or not. But if others or drinking, it is really hard for me to abstain. That is my biggest challenge at the moment.

Anyway, I hope you're all well and enjoying the warmer weather - assuming it is warmer where you are!

Trina
Thanks Trina, feels good to tick off another landmark and I generally feel things are easing and getting better.

I am glad I have over six months behind me now, as things are getting warmer here in the UK, and with lockdown easing, peoples talk is turning to drink. We seem as a nation to have an unhealthy relationship with booze, 3 months of lockdown and 1000's of deaths, and the most important thing buzzing on social media is you can now get a shitty, watered down, overpriced pint of beer, and have the pleasure of sitting outside freezing your nuts off to drink it!

How do you feel about having had the occasional drink, is that something you think you can control and are happy with?

I think it's on a personal level with everyone, and I can only speak from own experience that drink becomes the controller of me and has taken away great chunks of my life. I have tried controlling the quantities I have consumed in the past, but the inner voice is always in a battle with myself.

I was reading a post by 'Annie Grace - This Naked Mind' on Instagram, asking have you ever set yourself these rules?

1. I won't drink before 5 PM
2. I will only drink at weekends
3. I will only drink 2 drinks

To me the above is where the conflict starts. 5pm becomes 4pm (If I have done some DIY around the house so can use it as a reward excuse). The weekends become Thursdays then Wednesdays (Because it has been a stressful week at work). 2 drinks become 3 drinks, because what's the point of leaving a 1/4 bottle of wine in the fridge? Or I will open another bottle because I have talked my wife into another glass, even if it's a very small glass meaning there is another bottle for me. Oh and then maybe sneaking a quick shot whilst I am in the kitchen.

And on it goes, until I am just drinking everyday again and doing nothing else until the guilt returns, the anxiety, the bad stomach, the weight gain, the inactivity, the wasted time. Rinse and repeat about once every few months.

So for me abstinence is the only way. It takes away all of the above and once I got my head around it, it's the easier option for me.

Sure you do still get the cravings, but how long do they stick around? 10 mins, 20 mins, maybe all night. But even if it is a night, it's still shorter than a continued spell of drinking.

I may be a more severe case, so things may be different for you. For me abstinence is the only option.

My saving grace is that I have been there before and got the badge. I was on BE back in 2012 and quit for 3 1/2 years and stupidly started drinking again because I though I could control it. I did at first, but slowly and surely it took it's grip, so from starting back drinking in April 2016 (2 beers on a cycling Holiday), led to day time drinking on Holiday in August 2016, to full on drinking by Christmas.

I did quit again in Jan 2017 for 8 weeks as I was due to go cycling again, but that cycling holiday had a few days of full on binging again (with some embarrassing moments), and by the late Summer of 2017 I was on full on benders again. All the cycling went out of the window, I had a good job that suffered, and that rolled on to Sep 2020 when the ultimatum came from my wife.

So sorry for waffling, but I thought I would get that off my chest and explain why I think abstinence in the only way for me!

I think one of the final kicks for me was from a cycling friend who I met after I had quit the first time. He said to me one day 'how come you went from a healthy vegetarian, to a meat eating piss head'. Not the nicest description I have ever had of myself, but it was quite true!

I do however like the description someone gave me on Sunday when out on an event at the weekend 'Looking lean and strong there pal, smashing those hills'. I'll try and keep those thoughts in my head over the previous ones.

Don't get me wrong quitting is hard, very hard. But the rewards far outweigh the negatives by an absolute country mile.

I have started to tell people why I don't drink now and they respect you for it. Those that still encourage you to drink are not doing it for you, they are doing it in the main for themselves to validate there own problem.

I have found it a hard road back this time, my health is getting there. But I still have to mend some relationships with some people, and break relationships with the toxic people that I seemed to keep around during my drinking days.

Hope everyone else is well on the this thread.

Take care everyone, stay safe. ;)?

Rose13
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Rose13 »

Hey everyone :\:
Hope you are all ok? Not posted for a while . Struggling a bit here with the emotional side of things but otherwise ok.
Have a great week everyone!

Smithster
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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Smithster »

Rose13 wrote:
20 Apr 2021 21:40
Hey everyone :\:
Hope you are all ok? Not posted for a while . Struggling a bit here with the emotional side of things but otherwise ok.
Have a great week everyone!
Thanks for checking in I was beginning to worry where everyone had disappeared too.

I am all good here Rose, hope you are okay, if you need to check in to spill out any issues and rant please do. I hope the emotional side of things pick up soon. I do know it's difficult at this point as the sun is out and with all the pubs opening back up it isn't easy.

Anyway, take care and have a good week.

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Re: The Nine Month Challenge

Post by Cowboy »

Just thought I'd drop by to check in on my old posse. You guys are doing great. I'm sober today and happy about it. Sobriety is so much better than that other way. Stay the course and don't pick up. It's not worth it. Not one bit. Ciao. Cowboy.
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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