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 Post subject: I don't feel well
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:16 am 
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So, I have been going through an "out-of-control phase" - acting out, etc. My T and I discussed what I have been doing and how it is not beneficial to therapy and how I have to actually commit to working on making changes, etc. etc. So, I tried to get myself into the right mindset to get in control, focus on helping MYSELF, not acting out, making healthy choices. I am going on vacation in less than two weeks so I decided to focus on eating right, exercising, attending Weight Watcher meetings and working toward a goal weight that I want to be when I go away. It really helped to have the goal of looking good for vacation to strive for. I definitely took off some of the holiday weight. One of the behavior changes I discussed with my T was cutting back on drinking. I said I would consciously make an effort to drink less and that would really help me to not act out since drinking triggers me to overeat, say things I don't mean, call/e-mail people, you get the idea. And I did that too - last week I was at my BF's house and I was really concentrating on how much I drank, how I felt, and being careful to not get carried away.
Then, there was last night. I was supposed to go out for happy hour with my co-workers but we had to reschedule. I called my BF and told him I didn't go to happy hour - thinking maybe I could go to his place instead. And he was tired. Called my friend and she was just heading home to take it easy. So I figured, OK, I will have a nice night at home. I don't get to sit at home and relax much anyway. But, as is often the case when I am home alone, I ended up drinking and binge eating. Now I feel so sick. My stomach is bloated and I have this lump in my throat like I am going to throw up. It doesn't help that basically all day yesterday I was "off track" with my being healthy goal. I could see it happening, too. I wrote in my journal that I needed to focus, get back in control, but something in me just said "f--- it". I think it was because at my Weight Watchers meeting the night before my weight wasn't as low as I thought it would be so I was frustrated.
Anyway, my question for you all is - how do I recover from last night? How do I dust myself off and get back "on the wagon"? Right now I feel like I do not have control over my acting out and I do not have the motivation to make changes. But I need to. My T is going to fire me if I don't stop acting out. I am going to gain weight and be grumpy and that will affect my relationship with my BF. And so on...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 am 
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The way I hear it NAM, occasional relapse is part of most successful recoveries. Nothing any of us can do to make yesterday come out different. But we can all make choices today to make it the way we want it. IMO beating ourselves up for stumbling only makes our recovery more difficult. Come on back on the bus when yer ready.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:44 am 
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Thanks IBF. I know that people on this board don't like to hear about acting out. I know that it is generally "unacceptable" if someone really wants to work toward recovery. But I just don't know how to get a handle on myself and keep that handle. Like, last night I knew I was being out of control. I kept trying to convince myself to stop it, but I didn't. Some people would say that was my "choice" - I chose to act out and binge and drink instead of doing something healthy or using some of the tools to get through the situation but I don't really understand how I could have done that. Maybe it is a slow process - maybe just being aware that I had other choices in that situation is the first step and the next step is actually implementing some of those tools? Why would I keep "choosing" to act out? To sabotage myself?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:15 am 
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I am thinking that perhaps the weight issue is hiding some deeper things for you? You seem to have a lot riding on success of weight loss. Sounds like you were angry with yourself for not achieving the weight loss goal.

This has me wondering if you can identify any of the other emotions you were feeling that evening?

What other coping mechanisms can you put in place for treating yourself well when alone? That might help you ride out the underlying feelings instead of acting on them.

Above all I think IBF is onto something re giving yourself a hard time.

Could it be worth breathing and continuing on your way accepting the stumble as just that? Today being a new day.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:37 am 
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I don't think that, in some circumstances, we CHOOSE to act out as much as we DON'T choose to do anything else. It sounds like binging and drinking is your default "I've got nothing to do" behavior. So perhaps when you ran out of ideas, that's what you did.

It IS a process. First we find out that we do act out sometimes. Then we get to watch ourselves act out. Then we start trying to do something else. And any other number of steps along the way. So maybe you didn't have enough practice at not acting out when home alone, so you got an opportunity to watch it. (don't know about you, but mine ain't pretty)

You know how awful you feel today? Hang onto that. Remember that. next time you find yourself thinking about that sort of behavior, call up just how crappy you feel right now physically just as much as mentally). Sometimes that negative association can be just enough to keep us steady. Lemme tell ya - any time I feel like drinking I just have to remember a few of the really bad hangovers, and that maritini just isn't worth it...

I can see some twisted thinking in what you've posted. Can you see it? Maybe you could play with untwisting it. That would be a recovery oriented activity that might reinforce that you ARE moving in the right direction.

And what else can you do to try to "short circuit" some of that type of acting out? If you have a problem with drinking when you're home alone and bored, you might want to consider NOT keeping alcohol in the house. If you tend to binge on certain types of foods, maybe you don't want to keep a lot of that stuff on hand. I can overboard on the ice cream if I keep it around, so I only let myself buy it every other month or so.

If you were sitting home with no plans and nothing to do, one option might be to use that time to do some therapy homework (or BPDR homework?) - or you could catch up on housecleaning or sew on the button that popped off your coat. Plan to give yourself a manicure or pedicure, complete with the soaking and polish. Basically, get some ideas together so next time you're home with no plans you already have something lined up. Then just hold to doing that INSTEAD of drinking or eating. Distraction is a wonderful thing...

Pay attention to how you are feeling, what you are thinking. At some point last night, you may have had had some thought that a drink or two would be OK. And didn't think much about that thought, just followed through. If people do not ingest alcohol they cannot get drunk and lose control. Maybe that thought that a drink or two is fine isn't a very wise thought at this point in your recovery. You can have the thought and not act on it. That's something you could practice, too.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:29 pm 
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Wow, thanks Minx. Can you help me find the twisted thinking?

Your reply is just what I need - to learn how to take an experience like this and learn from it so maybe I can prevent something like this from happening again. And also understand what happened to cause me to "snap."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:41 pm 
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I'm an alcoholic. I have accepted that if I have any alcohol in the house, I will drink it until it's gone, a lot of the time. So I don't keep it in the house. I decided I would cut back. So I decided to limit my drinking nights to Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. I cannot drink on Mon, Tues, or Thur, no matter what. I find that I do not want to drink Fri, Sat, and Sun. At the most, I will drink two out of the three, and I don't always drink on Wed. And if I do drink, I ok that with my bf, since I cannot keep him up 'til all hours. So I go that night and buy what I am going to drink that night. And it is usually beer - from two to six. I know that's still a lot. But it is working. I am drinking about maybe six to 12 beers per week. So the answer for me has been not to keep alcohol in the house.

I also suggest perhaps a hobby. I know that my hobbies keep me so interested when I'm at home that I don't even think about alcohol or food most of the time. Just grab something to eat and run.


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 Post subject: Re: I don't feel well
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:13 pm 
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It's not just twisties in your post. Some of them show up in your path yesterday.

You mentioned that you were frustrated because your weight was off at your WW meeting, and that kinda threw you into a f#@% it attitude. When I do that, it's a form of all or nothing thinking. "I haven't lost the weight so why am I even trying?" My mind will that moment on the scale and project it out over weeks and months, until it sounds like "If not today, then never". Y'know - I didn't lose weight last week/I can't lose weight/I'm doing all this work for nothing. Success or failure, and if I'm not succeeding, then it's all a failure! Which may not have been in the FRONT of your mind, but it was under there, weakening your confidence.

When you tell us "I am going to gain weight and be grumpy and that will affect my relationship with my BF", that's straight-up fortune telling. You had one bad night. I suspect that for you to gain enough weight and be grumpy long enough to bother your BF, it's going to take more than one night. When I start thinking that today is going to be the rest of my life, I forget all about yesterday, and last Saturday and back in October when I felt differently, when I behaved differently. Yeah, it COULD be that crappy, but probably not. We've got a million chances each day to start over and choose differently, and another million tomorrow!

When I was in IOP treatment for my alcoholism, they explained to me that recovery is not a steady path. It's very normal to take one step forward and one step back, then two forward and another back, then three forward and two back...it's up and down. We learn from experience...

Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from Bad decisions.

In between the fully conscious decisions we make and the subconscious one we don't even know about lie the semi-conscious choices we make. That's a lot of what takes us time - learning how to identify where the choice was and what other options there might have been.

I've been through phases where I REALLY wanted to UNDERSTAND why I did the things I did, because I thought that if I UNDERSTOOD, I could make it go away. Well...That didn't work out too well for me. I'm trying to reason with an unreasonable mind. I can't think my way out of a drink, but I can sure think myself into one. So what do I do now? something else. Anything else.

Matter of fact, Since my mind is so good at picturing the worst possible scenario, why don't I think about everything that could go wrong if I choose to act on my impulses? I can think about tipping the scales at 170, I can think about eating so much I wish I could puke, I can think about going to work with a broken hand because I hit a wall...

But that may come later. Right now, you can just pay more attention to what you might be thinking and notice when your impulses come closer to the surface. You'll recognize the patterns over time, and once you see one, you get to start breaking it! Last night wasn't what you really wanted to do. That's OK, it's today now, and you've got something fresh to look at and think about. It's not the end of the world - it's a learning experience!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:45 pm 
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I know its far more complex than I made it out to be NAM. But till we have those scary strange thought patterns figured out, what else can we do but pick ourselves up and walk on? Spent decades in that place with booze. I know how much it hurts.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Thanks for being there everyone...


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