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 Post subject: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:57 pm 
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I have not had a drink in two weeks. I'm thinking about it... but not drinking today!

Problem: my birthday's next weekend. What can I do to help myself stick with my abstinence?

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Get a plan.

Plan activities to fill the time that couldn't involve drinking-- where no one around you will be drinking either. Go to a cabin with your hubby or on a boat sans alcohol or something really low-key at home with friend or really just anything that you would like to do to celebrate (except of course, having that drink) that will keep you busy and not wanting it so much. And don't worry about your friends/family not being able to drink-- this is your b-day, you get to call the shots. Just let everyone know upfront so there's not a last-minute awkward situation where you have to be around something tempting.

Really good work, Trin. I'm impressed. I hope you are proud of yourself! And....try not to build up the b-day weekend too much in your head. One day at a time. It's only another weekend of sobriety except you get to celebrate a birthday. It doesn't have to be a Big Deal unless you make it one in your head, ya know? For me it's really a matter of keeping my priorities in the forefront of my mind-- do I want that joint/pill/freak-out/all-nighter (whatever) or do I want a lifetime of healthy, happy living? Not really a hard choice when I put it to myself that way. The problem for me always comes in when I start bargaining with myself-- "just for x occasion" or "I'll be okay, just a little". It never is just once or just a little. Knowing that and remembering that helps me remember what I DO want in my life on a permanent basis.

You've made it this far, you will make it that weekend too. :biggrin

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:55 pm 
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What are your plans for the birthday time?

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:37 am 
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Congrats on your two weeks! :thumbsup (Is it nearly three now?)

For your birthday, I'd suggest thinking of all the other things you enjoy. Maybe plan some sort of activity in an environment where alcohol isn't available? For my 30th, I'm going to do this:

http://www.goape.co.uk

Lirael

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:06 am 
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I'm going to visit family and friends in Miami. So...... I'm not making it easy on myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:19 am 
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Wow. That sounds challenging. Do you have any ideas for ways to cope?

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:14 pm 
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I'm actually falling apart. It's as though I don't trust myself to behave, so I'm just going to fuck it up before it gets fucked up on its own. This is old behavior. Sabotaging myself before I have a chance to fail. And I know I'm doing it!! Why won't I stop it? (I already fell off the wagon last night. :( )

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:29 pm 
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I'm sorry to hear that Trinity. :(

Why do YOU think you won't stop sabotaging yourself?
Are you not 'worth' it?
Are the things you have to do in order to not sabotage 'worth' the effort?
What's the payoff either way?
What can you do about it?
What do you want to do about it, other than watch it happen?

I hope you've had time to think about this and evaluate your choices. I hope you are feeling better. If you would like to talk about it, I'm here. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:12 pm 
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How are you doing, Trinity?

Last week I listened to two people I know talk about their history with alcohol. R. is a 45-ish guy who started drinking heavily in college, at some point realized it was too much, that he was incapable of stopping on any given occasion, once he had started, until he was totally trashed. He quit totally for years, then decided to try again to drink "a little" socially, and soon found himself right back where he had been before. So he joined AA and has been sober since. The other is a 75-ish woman, whose own mother had been an alcoholic, but who started drinking more heavily after her second divorce. She denied to herself she had a problem because she never drank before 5 in the afternoon, but, as she said, she more than made up for it in the evenings. One of her children finally called her on it, she tried outpatient treatment but had trouble sticking with it, and finally went to rehab. She's been sober for 6 years now. She said she takes it one day at a time. She doesn't worry about tomorrow, but concentrates on today; when tomorrow comes it will be today, and she can handle today. That makes a lot of sense to me.

If you're not able to stop once you start, then committing to stopping entirely is probably your best bet, and some kind of group setting like AA meetings (there are non-"higher power"-oriented programs out there if that's an issue for you) is probably best. My dad never went to AA after he left rehab, but he kept telling himself he never wanted to end up back in rehab, since he'd done it in a big urban hospital setting where there were all kinds of multi-substance abusers and criminal types who totally creeped him out. He stayed sober for a number of years -- in the last few years of his life, when he was no longer driving, he'd occasionally have a drink, but after one episode when some friends took him out for dinner and he got shit-faced, fell down, and felt like crap for days, never more than one.

Don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. It's a very hard habit to break, and not that many people sail through without slip-ups. Like with so many other things we work on with ourselves, like controlling our anger or recognizing twisted thinking, it doesn't feel "normal" or comfortable for a long time. So try what my friend said -- for today, I will not drink. I'm not going to worry about tomorrow until it comes. Then it will be today, and for today, I will not drink.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:59 pm 
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Trinity, how are you doing with this? Thinking of you ....

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:41 am 
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Well, I survived the weekend. I only got trashed on Friday. The rest of the time... well I was having too much fun with my old friends to think about getting trashed. We were telling stories about getting trashed in the good ole days. Man, how we survived without killing ourselves or others I do not know.

One of the main stressors that keeps alcohol on my mind is work. I have my job. But I've moved forward in that regard, so I feel like I'm doing something to get out of that hell hole.

As for the whole sabotage deal, at the time, no I don't feel I'm worth it.At all. I need some sort of reminder so I can look past whatever event is causing the stress and realize that it's all temporary. What can I do? I'm trying to figure it out.

Sari, I'm leaning more and more toward the rehab route. I'm ashamed to say this, but I hate my job so badly that I have a couple of Bacardi and Diets during lunch. Asking to get caught, I guess. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:27 pm 
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I'm guessing the Cuba Libres as a way of literally taking a liquid form of the "I don't give a shit" pill but could you do that without actually imbibing the alcohol? I don't care for my job either (as you may have picked up on over the last 7 years) but I've taken a virtual "I don't give a shit" pill. I can do the bare minimum, I can tolerate the stupidity & ignorance, I can put in my hours every day and for that penance, I get a paycheck, benefits and 128 hours a week to do with whatever my little heart desires. They don't own me, the job doesn't define me. The job is just a thing, the maroons (morons) are just annoying little gnats that are of virtually no significance to my overall happiness - something to plod through in order to get to the good stuff in my life.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:31 am 
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Ash, that's exactly what I should be doing. But I'm Super Trinity. I must be the best! I must garner attention and accolades! ... I must learn to validate myself. I'm starting school in a couple of weeks so I can move forward from this ridiculous company.

Now, if I could figure out how to get home from work at 6:15 pm and sleep until 7:30 am the next day.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:37 am 
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I have snapped. Between yesterday and today I've hung up on about 4 people. I had a panic attach, got up, and came home. Yay, FMLA! As I was driving home it took all my willpower to not just close my eyes and ram full speed into a tree. Now I'm home, and I wanna drink. I have alcohol,but I haven't touched it yet. I called my T all sorts of crying. Now I just want to go to sleep and make everything go away. Good thing I'm sleepy. Now to keep myself from self-medicating until I crawl out of this hole I've made for myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Hope today has been a better day.

School? What are you going to study now? Is it something that can lead to a career path (hopefully something more rewarding/more fun/less stressful than what you're doing now)?

It takes a HUGE amount of guts to say "I have a problem" publicly and deal with it. I haven't gotten there myself yet, sad to say. I'm still on the "slow suicide by cigarettes and wine" path, and haven't been able to figure out, or commit to, the alternative. I think if I ever do, it would probably take inpatient rehab to get me put back together. I don't have any responsibilities to anyone (like a spouse or young children) or anything (like a job) that I can't muddle through in my present state, though I live in fear that someone will come to my door and see the deplorable state of my apartment and call someone to take me away in a padded wagon. I could be on the "Hoarders" show one of these days. Ugh. But anyway, I don't think I could straighten myself up on my own, at least not at first. But rehab has always been a non-starter for financial reasons, at a minimum, especially since I haven't gotten to a point yet where I'm determined to straighten myself out and commit to being healthy. Even if I had the money sitting around, I'd be wasting it unless I got to that point.

Today was a rough day. I went to a funeral for an old friend who killed herself in a particularly horrendous way. I saw another person who I'd been fairly close to a number of years ago and went to say hi to her, and she didn't recognize me. I know I'm fatter and grayer, but I don't think I've changed that much. And then yet another one-time very close friend, who's had all sorts of mental health issues of her own, suddenly appeared, and it was clear she's still as wacko as she's been for a while now, and she started talking about calling me and wanting to get together, and I don't know if I can handle that. I feel like that time of my life is over and done with and I don't want to go back -- I'm a long way past my 30's -- and her particular brand of nuttiness makes me crazier than ever and ultimately isn't good for me. So I'm sitting here sipping away...

Where does B. stand on all of this with you? If I recall correctly, at one time he was capable of, um, over-imbibing himself. Would he support you if you made a real commitment -- as in a rehab-serious commitment -- to sobriety. I feel for you, kid -- these are all tough decisions. For myself, I feel like I'm a pretty used-up, taking-up-space good-for-nothing and it doesn't matter much what I do to myself, but you're 20+ years younger and still have so much to offer, and I'd hate for you to get too far down the wrong path and lose a lot of things that are good in your life.

Hugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:57 pm 
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If it helps any, I had a rather aggravating experience with Apple support today. My iPhone's internet (Safari) browser stopped working yesterday and the six (6!!) times I tried loading the upgraded versions of iTunes, QuickTime and Operating Software all failed. I was beyond pissed and annoyed and all manner & sort of nasty things when I called. I got one girl who basically treated me like a frickin' moron & told me to call back. Luckily I got someone else when I called back and I sort of went off on the guy about how frustrating, how idiotic, how absolutely absurd the whole thing was and how pissed off I was. And then I said "I hope you know it's not YOU that I'm pissed at; I'm just pissed in general at this whole situation and I'm really frickin' frustrated."

His response?

"I'm glad you said it wasn't me because I was about to curl up in a ball under my desk."

We both sort of chuckled and spent the next 1 hr & 45 mins on the phone together.

Would it help to ask these people outright (the ones that you're tempted to hang up on) if they're really mad at you (Trinity) or if it's just the situation that's got them upset? Maybe actually having the distinct clarification between the two of you would help both of yiz understand that you're really on the same team here - trying to resolve the problem, that it's not really Trinity's fault, that the customer has a right to be pissed but Trinity's gonna do everything she can to help.

I posted something at Peanut recently ('new fiscal') that talked about a vision board and I did one up & have it posted in my cubicle (behind my monitors where I can see it pretty much all the time) to help remind me of my overall goals. It sounds to me like you've built up this particular job into such a mountain that every negative comment ever said has accumulated and when you get home, without the distraction of a ringing phone, they start to weigh on you & feel like you need to escape that negativity through alcohol (which can feel liberating but is truly a depressant.)

Here's another suggestion that may help ...

Is there something you could leave at your desk all the time (like 24/7, that you wouldn't want or need while you're at home or away from the office) that you could also wear while you're at work? Maybe a watch or a pair of shoes or a bracelet or a necklace or a sweater or an ankle bracelet or a hair accessory or a particular pair of glasses or something like that which you would have to put on and take off? My thought is that you could condition yourself to intertwine the act of removing that item at the end of the work day with the act of removing Trinity The Grunt (whipping post, goat to beat, person to scream at) from Trinity The Wonderful Person (wife, girlfriend, daughter, cousin, aunt, rocker chica) so that you can almost-literally leave the work-crap at work, in a drawer and NOT bring it home with you where it weighs you down, invades your thoughts, haunts your every waking minute. If it's not with you, if it's safely tucked away in a drawer far away from your personal life sanctuaries (home, with friends, with family, out for a nice evening) then there's really nothing to "escape" from. It's just something that you put on & take off as part of the job, as part of doing what's necessary to get paid for the time being.

TAKE NOTHING PERSONALLY. :shysmile

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Sari, I'm sorry to hear about your friend. And I'm sorry that you are feeling so down. You are not good for nothing. You're good for me, damn it. :) As for B, he's definitely behind me doing what I need to do to get healthy. That helps a lot. And school? I'm going to study to be a legal assistant. So, yes, new career. I need something.

Ash, you always seem to have good ideas. I have to figure out what I could wear that I could leave behind at the end of the day. Something concrete like that usually works well for me.

I'm doing better. Of course, it's the weekend. I have an appt with my T tomorrow morning. I'm telling her everything I've been doing and thinking. I know at the end of the day, it's my decision how I want to handle my treatment. Bottom line is I need a healthier coping mechanism. How I find it is my next decision.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Cool on the legal assistant thing. How long does it take? That would be way more intellectually appropriate for you than what you're doing now. Not that you wouldn't have to occasionally deal with an irate client from time to time, but not all day every day. Is it full-time, or would you continue at work while you're doing the course?

Oddly enough, after I posted yesterday about the "hoarder" condition of my apartment, I remembered that I actually had to deal with somebody coming and seeing the disarray here recently, and -- true -- it was the first intelligent and competent Comcast tech I've ever dealt with. I was having all kinds of problems with my TV reception and my phone service being crappy to non-existent and internet outages, and had gotten a few runarounds and failed fixes, and Mike showed up and was the first to actually check the signal coming into my unit and it was basically zero. Genius! So then he wanted to figure out how the place was wired, and we had to look for a certain kind of outlet, and he got the whole view, including my bedroom, bathroom and closet which are, obviously, normally off-limits to visitors. I kept apologizing, and he kept saying he'd seen worse. Sadly, that's probably true, but it's no testament to my housekeeping skills. Mortifying. But he was so nice, and he popped some kind of amplifying doohickey on my cable outlet, and presto! everything has worked since then.

I like Ash's idea of having something you put on and take off, or use and then put away or whatever, to signify putting on your work persona and then leaving it behind when it's time to go home. I hope that you can find some way to make that work for you. As for the rum at work, don't forget that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and makes it more likely you'll lose it and tell a customer off when you get bitched at. If you honestly don't care if they find out and fire you, then... um, whatever. But if that happens, and it affects the kind of recommendation you might get from Comcast when an attorney is considering you for employment, you might want to reconsider. Just sayin'...

I'm glad you had a good weekend, and hope you have a good T session tomorrow. (I'm seeing mine Tuesday -- much needed.) I know you'll make thoughtful decisions about how to take care of yourself. But if you can tell me that I'm good for you, then I can tell you that you're not all the bad things you keep telling yourself either. You have so much to offer, you have a guy (and friends like me) who loves you and wants you to be healthy and happy, and I hope you will find a way to get there.

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I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining. -- Jane Wagner


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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:35 am 
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Hate to tell ya this, Sari, but don't be surprised if you see a trouble call charge on your next bill. When the issues are the interior wiring, we charge you to fix it unless you have the protection plan. I hope I'm wrong! As for the legal assistant thing, it's an Associate's, so all my Bachelor's general credits transfer. I'll only be taking classes for one year. :)

Well, I saw my T today and it seems I already made up my mind. I quit my job today. I feel like the sun is shining down again. AND I already have an interview tomorrow at a law firm!!!

Now.... let's see what happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:41 am 
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Wow, can't leave you unattended for ten minutes! LOL

I'm teasing, of course. I'll cross all manner & sort of things for your interview tomorrow.

Out of curiosity, what got you interested in the legal profession? That's a far cry from rock DJ and even further from marketing.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Don't blame you a bit for quitting the job. It was making you crazy.

I'll be sending good vibes for the interview. Let us know how it goes.

Well, the guy didn't actually have to DO anything to/with the interior wiring, he was just looking for a particular outlet that would tell him how the cable had been strung when the place was under construction. So, we'll see. If I get charged, so be it. At least now I can watch High-def without the picture breaking up and the sound being distorted, my phone doesn't quit in the middle of a call, and my internet hasn't gone out, so it was worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:14 am 
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I don't blame you either. I quit my call centre job in similar circumstances last year - the environment is sooo not conducive to good mental health in my experience (and I worked for one of the better ones!) Sometimes the stress of a particular job is actually worse than the stress of being out of work and struggling financially.

So how are you doing with the alcohol now you've left?

Crossing everything for your interview today. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:43 am 
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Ash, I've always been interested in the law. The only reason I didn't go to law school back in the day is because that's what my mom wanted me to do. Can't have that! LOL. I don't regret not going to law school, as a lot of things would not have happened if I hadn't taken the path I did. But sometimes I wonder what it might have been like. And I also now realize what a STUPID reason not to do something that I really had a passion for.

Glad your cable stuff is working, Sari! :)

And thanks, Lirael. My interview is in 2 hrs and 20 minutes. Let's see how it goes! :) As for the alcohol, I've removed a huge trigger, so I know that's going to help. I also should really learn how to respond to these stress triggers differently so I don't have the same drinking issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Alchol-free for 14 days
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:18 am 
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It's never too late to go to law school! There are many "older" law students, and fewer kids go straight from undergrad. So if this rethinking of law as a direction for you reignites a genuine interest, keep it in mind.

Hope the interview goes well!!

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I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining. -- Jane Wagner


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