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Abstaining from alcohol.

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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby bumble on Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:43 am

Yesterday, I was feeling anxious, as though a dense fog was inhabiting my chest. All day.

Shocker, I know, that spazzy me is anxious and weird. QUIET.

I'm supposed to be drafting this Big Deal Paper for my boss and I feel inadequate and/or intimidated or something. Avoidant? All of the above? Beats me.

Then The Orange Child was being herself (reincarnated Bette Davis) and I felt really overwhelmed.

Anyway, this is the exact sort of moment a glass of wine or three would have been my usual. Alcohol affects GABA just as Xanax does, reducing anxiety.

So instead I handed off Ms. Diva Thing to her dad, listened to a really stupid spy book, and fell asleep at like 8 god damn pee emm while listening to a guided meditation on the Calm app.

I'm *really* going to need some better options, especially when March rolls around and my new Master's program starts. And I'm going to a conference for a week.

March is going to suck.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby andyman on Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:52 pm

You might hate hearing this, but exercise is the only way I know of to wipe stress without drinking...

Apart from eating a kilogram of chocolate, of course.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby matt_stevens on Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:47 pm

Hey Bumble, I'll second the exercise recommendation - after I stopped drinking my anxiety went off the deep end and it took me a few months to get things under control. I found that yoga helped a lot as it was both physically exhausting and meditative. I've not been doing that for a while but I still feel much better when I'm active, I've been doing more swimming recently.

My other coping mechanism was to keep the freezer well stocked with large quantities of ice cream.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby bumble on Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:51 am

Thanks, team.

So. I have 5 am-6 am open. (When school starts, that will sometimes be taken up with studying.)

I have some exercise stuff I do, but have been looking for a good yoga home practice.

Does anyone have any good home-yoga resources? I am bombarded by ads for home practice but would appreciate recommendations. :)
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Riff Magnum on Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:09 pm

I know it sounds ridiculous but that DDP Yoga is supposed to be fantastic. I don't think you have to buy the program unless you get into it hardcore and want to do more and support the thing, but you can go as easy or as crazy as you want, so it's not super intimidating to beginners.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby Hexensabbat on Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:27 pm

My friend likes Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. Her tone can be a little corny sometimes, but she has videos for all levels, plus a foundations series which helps you get a better grip on a lot of the foundational poses.

Exercise has definitely helped. Also, cooking.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby biscuitdough on Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:45 pm

I have been very stuck at work since I quit drinking about a year ago. I somehow got promoted into a position that has me doing a lot more self-directed project type stuff and I get catatonically anxious whenever I even think about properly starting any of the goals I have to finish by July.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby bumble on Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:25 pm

biscuitdough wrote:I have been very stuck at work since I quit drinking about a year ago. I somehow got promoted into a position that has me doing a lot more self-directed project type stuff and I get catatonically anxious whenever I even think about properly starting any of the goals I have to finish by July.


I have problems starting up, too, and my current gig is like yours. So I make myself.

I use the Pomodoro Technique to help me focus. You do one task for 25 minutes -- no email, no social media, just the one task -- and then take a 5 minute break.

I use a website called My Tomatoes http://mytomatoes.com/ to keep track of what I worked on.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby biscuitdough on Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:22 pm

Thank you, FM bumble. I will try that.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby mrcancelled on Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:00 am

I think I've linked to it on this thread before at some point, but I don't think I provided many details beyond maybe a one sentence description.

I find a large portion of Reddit to be garbage, but their Stop Drinking sub was an incredibly helpful resource for me, especially early on. I was very hesitant to go to meetings at first due to anxiety and stuff, but this was an awesome way to connect with other folks in the same boat. The community there is incredibly supportive and has grown exponentially in years past. It definitely got me through some rough times.

On the sidebar, there's a link to where you can "request a badge" that tracks your sobriety day count. I know it sounds like nothing special, but watching that number go up was a cool little occasion I'd look forward to each night. I still use it as my primary reference to see how much time I have under my belt.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby n.c. on Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:03 am

a good friend just fell off the wagon after over 8 years. i'm pretty concerned. i've been honest with him that it's not going to go well, while also letting him know i was open to him.

there are some drugs involved as well. he's been going on the dark web. this is a complicated situation.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby tmidgett on Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:29 am

bumble wrote:This Naked Mind for a summary.


(this'll be too long. i know b/c i already wrote it. sorry in advance.)

I just read that book. I have a family member who is in need and deeply skeptical of AA, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Liked some things about it. The focus on alcohol. The (true!) notion that you don't have to hit rock bottom.

Some people can drop it like a rock, often once they have sufficient knowledge of how alcohol works. How addictive it can be. How incrementally damaging and insidious it is. How easy it is for it to fuck up your life before you pick up on what is happening. How invasively it is pushed on literally everyone in Western culture at every waking moment.

This book provides much of that baseline info. Most of the data and science in the book is presented in a useful way, to people who don't know any of it yet, especially. Alcohol's effect on the brain, in particular--just fucked up and underrecognized.

But there are some really key mistakes/oversights. She gives short shrift to genetic predisposition to alcoholism--well-established as a real thing at this point. I would suggest Beyond the Influence as a much better source on that front (better book in general). And she falsely claims (twice) that teen drinking is on the rise, that it's never been more prevalent. Just not true at all. It's been on a steep decline since the early 80s.

And the book glides over the tremendous difficulty some people have getting and staying sober. If you've hit it even moderately hard for any kind of while, it might be months before you are at physical or mental equilibrium. Odds are that recovery time will be rocky. Often not something you can read about in a book and understand. Better than having continued a drinking life, but it may not feel like it a lot of the time--and an alcohol-addled brain encourages anyone in recovery to question the wisdom of having stopped, often long after the initial drying-out.

To advocate making that trek w/o organized support...I just have a problem with it, when it's put forth as if it's The Answer. I think it's a bit pat.

That said, I know the basic method outlined in the book works for some people. It's essentially what worked for me.

But I had sixteen years of living with an alcoholic, watching him get sober, and going to AA meetings with him, before I even started drinking in earnest.

Anyway, maybe This Naked Mind is about 25% problems and the rest is pretty good. Better than most "here's the new special way we figured out to quit drinking" things. Good enough to send to someone who thinks 12-step is bullshit and hope she reads it. Whatever gets a person quit when they need to quit is all right.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby matt_stevens on Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:52 pm

At some point in the last week I ticked over the three year mark.

Quitting around Christmas was a funny one, especially being around family on Christmas day - the sherry comes out at 11am and there's a more or less continuous flow of drink from then on. I remember a lot of politely declining glasses of things, and trying to avoid any awkward conversations about why I was drinking water or orange juice. I think that held out for a bit then there was eventually a *does not compute* moment from my dad. It's more likely than not that he'll offer me a beer tomorrow anyway, though he knows I've stopped. I'm glad to be spending Christmas with them, I just need to be patient sometimes!

High fives to everyone doing sober family Christmas!
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby offal on Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:01 pm

I'm about to finish month 5. Still happy with the decision. On most days, it's not even remotely A Thing, which is a relief. Still, the holidays have given me more than one exasperated evening thinking that just a quick shot will dull the nerves... but so far, so good.

There have been a few brutal reminders that my social anxiety and awkwardness are still very much intact. I thought I had made real progress over the past decade or so at being more social. Nope: I had just become a "better" social drinker. Humbling.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby A_Man_Who_Tries on Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:04 pm

Wishing resolve for those of you who find the holiday season a testing time. Keep on keepin' on (the wagon).
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby jbar on Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:48 pm

My brother works at a liquor store and brought over a Big Fuck You Bottle of my Favorite Fuck You Brown Libations. It's been staring at me all weekend. But I'm holding. Stay strong everyone!
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby andyman on Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:18 pm

jbar wrote:My brother works at a liquor store and brought over a Big Fuck You Bottle of my Favorite Fuck You Brown Libations. It's been staring at me all weekend. But I'm holding. Stay strong everyone!

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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby hayate on Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:51 am

Ate a six pack of guiness to myself for easter brunch this year, so thought I'd change it up and go in dry for xmas and let them do the drinking today.

My way of protesting the pagan holiday too, I guess. I've always hated xmas.

Selectively abstaining is the bees knees. Drink to capitalism I will not.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby jbar on Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:15 pm

Survived Christmas, now for new years and then, my birthday. Then I'm in the clear. I can do it.
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Re: Abstaining from alcohol.

Postby A_Man_Who_Tries on Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:30 pm

jbar wrote:Survived Christmas, now for new years and then, my birthday. Then I'm in the clear. I can do it.


Yes you can.
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