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Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Relapse.

Postby Sober*Melinda » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:51 pm

This is what Im scared about, I dont want to relapse and know that if I do I will not survive it, this is basically guarenteed.... I wouldnt last more than a month or two of drinking b4 my body would shut down... it was already starting to shut down, but in the past 22 days, I have been feeling better....
Anyway, I am admiting that I have been putting myself in risky situations, some out of my control, some not so much....
Like going to buy alcohol for my friend when shes too drunk or hungover to do it herself, I dont like it but know where shes coming from.... Not only does it make me feel like a piece of sh!T when I do that, but setting my foot in the door of a liquor store is horrible for ME. I start shaking and I can taste the alcohol in my mouth, I feel like I want to buy just a small mickey.... just a taste, but I always know that it will not turn out good in the slightest if I end up doing that....
Im scared for my soberiety, for it is like my child, I want to nurture it and help it survive no matter what happens....
I did also have to go downtown to take care of something, and that was hard to do, but alas, I didnt relapse, thank god!
Im just scared for the fact that I have been willingly walking into a liquor store and buying alcohol...... I know its wrong to do but I didnt know what else to do, my friend has been to a meeting and we both decided that I wouldnt be buying her anymore booze NO MATTER WHAT. I CANNOT GO INTO A LIQUOR STORE.

My question is, what are affective ways of dealing with these triggers? I do use the phone and read all my AA literature.... but I dont know, is there other things people do?
Thanks- Melinda :!:
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Postby DiggerinVA » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:51 pm

The most effective defense is to work the steps.

The Big Book says
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone-even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality-safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.


Get with a sponsor and do the work. Heck make sure they understand you need it. I'm sorry I have heard too many people say "their sponsor says they are not ready for the steps".


Bill W. wrote this
[b]“Sobriety — freedom from alcohol — through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an A.A. group,â€
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Postby Dallas » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:45 am

Hey Melinda, nice to hear from you today.

Keep in mind, that the BB quote above, happens after Step 9... and it's part of Step 10. So, depending on if you have taken Step 1 or 2, you still have something like 8 or 9 Steps to go, to get to that place of not having to fight it. That's why some of us urge those that are willing -- to take the Steps soon -- so that the obsession to drink, and the thinking about drinking will not progress into the over-powering compulsion to drink -- before relief comes from the Steps.

When I was in your phase of sobriety, it was tough, but... I got through it. And, you can get through it, also... if you'll make some changes.

1. I knew that I was on shaky ground -- so, when I was new like you, I avoided getting myself into places and situations that I knew were trouble for me. I physically stayed away from alcohol and from anyone drinking it.

2. I went to a lot of meetings and hung out most of the days and nights with sober AA's that I'd meet in the meetings. I would share in the meetings that I was having a rough time and was afraid I was going to drink. And, I ask for help. I let sober people know that I'd just love it if they'd let me hang out with them -- where I'd be less likely to get into situations where I'd end up drinking. Sometimes, I met with them in coffee shops before the meeting, then during the meeting, and then more coffee shops with them after and in-between meetings.

3. If there is an AA club house near you -- you can always volunteer there to clean up or help to be of service between meetings. That will keep you in a safe and sober place. But, also keep in mind... you'll probably be around other newcomers that may not be as determined to stay sober as much as you are determined. Either way, you can find another new girl and hang out with her and try to help her stay sober today. And, she can help you. And, that's kind of how it works. We end up saving our ass while trying to help another alcoholic save their ass.

4. Don't be shy about asking the old-timers if you can hang out with them, also. They will be your best bet. They know and understand what it's like for you -- because they were as new as you are, when they started out in sobriety. And, most, I'll bet, would love to share their time with you and share some of the things that helped them. Keep them busy helping you -- and you'll be helping them! :wink:

5. Another little secret that I stumbled on to that helped me tremendously, and I've used it with a huge bunch of other alkies, and it helped them, too was: "Instead of thinking about not drinking" and "Instead of trying to figure out how not to have the next first drink"... I did a total 180 with my thinking on drinking.

Instead of trying not to drink -- I started focusing on "How do I stay sober?" "What do I have to do right now... to stay sober?"

You see, the mind doesn't hear the "NOT drink" in "not drink"... the "not" is a negative. The mind has no power and no direction in "how not to do something"... The mind automatically thinks in terms of "how to do something"... so, when we're telling our head to "not drink" what our head is only hearing is the "drink." And, it becomes like a self-suggestion to drink... by trying to not drink.

Reverse it. Turn it around. Instead of focusing on "not drink" focus on "stay sober."

It might sound dumb... but, it works. It's the law of attraction in action. God gave us brains "to use" (meaning to use for our highest good in life) -- not brains to "not use." This is why "will power" doesn't work for an alcoholic to "not drink." "Will power" (determined and focused thinking)... is for the purpose of "to do something" and not for the purpose of "to NOT do something." Our will power fails to keep us from drinking -- because will power was not intended for "not drinking." Yet, it takes all of our Will Power... "to do"... the things... "take the actions" to stay sober. It takes will power to get off our butts and get to a meeting. It takes will power -- to follow direction and take suggestions.

Just try this: Start asking yourself the question: "Ok! What do I need to do to stay sober?" :wink: Then, if you'll be busy doing the things to stay sober... you'll stay sober and not be thinking about not drinking.

It's those little tiny things that add up and become the collective big things that ends up helping us and working for us -- or... working against us.

So, rather than try to do the "big things" we focus on the "little things." Example: Go to a food store instead of a liguor store. :wink:

Hang with someone sober... instead of hanging with someone drinking.

Be with a sober person instead of being alone.

Those little things will help you until you get through the Steps and have the obsession to drink removed from you. That's one of the things that the Steps are for... "to remove the mental obsession to drink."

Best wishes for you,

Dallas
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Re: Relapse.

Postby Graystone » Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:23 pm

Sober*Melinda wrote:My question is, what are affective ways of dealing with these triggers? I do use the phone and read all my AA literature.... but I dont know, is there other things people do?
Thanks- Melinda :!:


Melinda the simple answer is if you see something as a trigger then the best thing to do is avoid it but that is not always possible. Until 5 years ago I lived in Maryland where I could only buy beer (my drink of choice) in a liquor store so it was easy for me to avoid that trigger by not going into a liquor store. Then I moved to North Carolina where beer is sold in grocery stores and just about everywhere else with a cash register. For the first few months every time I went grocery shopping here I was always shocked to turn the corner and run smack into the beer displays, mountains of my favorite brands. It was tough but I have to eat so I just had to bear it and it did get better to where it no longer is an issue.

What I do to stay sober is go to meetings and I have a close relationship with a sponsor where we meet one on one every week & I am actively working the steps with him. He had me begin with step 1. For me asking for help has been the toughest part of staying sober. I view my not asking for help as a sort of trigger which will lead me to that first drink.
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Postby albertawind » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:17 am

Some excellent advice has been offered here. I particularly like the part about turning it around and focusing on "how do I stay sober" as opposed to "how do I not drink." That's what I do. When I wake up in the morning my first thought is, "what do I need to do today in order to stay sober." Usually it begins with a prayer, and I ask my Higher Power to give me strength and courage.

During the day I try to focus on working my program. Whenever something good happens I tell myself it's because I am sober and good things do happen when you are sober. If something bad happens I take a time-out and think about it. Why did it happen? Could I have prevented it? Was I at fault or not? Usually by dealing with it like that I can see the clearer picture and put whatever it was that bothered me behind me.

At the end of the day I give thanks and pray for the people who need help. I never forget to give thanks!

Sobriety is precarious and you have to guard it fiercely. If you want it you have to be willing to do anything to get it. If you have the willingness the rest will fall into place. Accentuate the positive! As Dallas pointed out, you should be focused on what you need to do to stay sober today. Don't waste precious brain cells worrying about relapse, it's counterproductive.

Graeme
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Postby GeoffS » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:43 pm

If you hang around a barber's enough, you'll get a haircut.

If you keep relapse as a focus in your mind...you'll relapse

If you keep 'enjoying sobriety' as your focus... you just might
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Postby Ranman99 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:54 am

In South Korea if you hang around a barber shop long enough you'll get more than a haircut :lol: and maybe even drunk to boot.

In the last 11 months I would have to say I have been in 3 situations where others were drinking or what would have been trigger places.

It's just not part of my scene any more.

I will go where I need to go if I have a legitimate reason to be there and I will leave when I need to leave. Full stop.
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