My tips for staying away from the booze
How did I make it 6 days?
I wanted to take a few days and see how I would do without having a blog to write. I was getting a little worried that my failures with falling off the wagon weren't very helpful to others reading my blogs. I am now 6 days sober and really actually putting in the effort to fight the cravings. How am I fighting the cravings? I owe it to God. I have asked the Lord to take this and let me rest from it. I prayed and cried letting Him know that I am weak and unable to do it alone. I handed this disease to God and said I can no longer handle this problem. I have faith that you will be my rock and my refuge. I do still have cravings for drinking. I remind myself that I have given this problem to God and there is no reason for me to want it back. Here are some things that I have been doing to keep myself on the straight and narrow. I guess if you can call it the straight and narrow. Maybe more like walking around trying to keep myself busy.
1. Added sugar back into my drinks. I was removing sugar and trying to quit alcohol at the same time. Wrong answer!!! For me at least. When my daughter said "maybe you should just work on one addiction at a time, seems like it would be easier if you ask me." Hmm duh why didn't I think of that? So I picked my poison and I would take the sugar over the alcohol. I have been eating a lot of chocolate lately. Sugar, whether in its natural form or as high fructose corn syrup, affects the brain by boosting levels of dopamine. Dopamine is the same chemical that’s released when an alcoholic drinks. Dopamine is sometimes called the reward chemical because it creates feelings of pleasure – the very feelings the brain wants to replicate. Sugar also increases levels of another hormone called serotonin, which plays a role in mood as well. OK then that explains it. Do I feel guilty? Nope not for now. I am just barely managing to get by without the alcohol. Do I think I may be creating another habit I will later have to break? Yes, I do but this habit of sugar won't turn my marriage into ruins and won't cause my kids to say "she wasn't there." So I will take it. Where do I sign up? Hershey isle here I am so stay stocked up.
Changed my enviroment
2. Eliminate the activities that I usually do while drinking. Yes, this has cut out some time with my friends and trips to go out dancing but that is OK. My true friends will understand and support me. It isn't like I will never enjoy those things again. Just not right now. I am taking that time for me and I am being selfish with my time right now. While I am turning down engagements I do feel a pang of guilt for putting people and activities off but at the same time I am patting myself on the back saying "you know you would have had a drink if you would have went, so it is OK". Make it clear that drinking will not be allowed in your home and that you may not be able to attend events where alcohol is being served. This one has been tough for me in the sense of not having alcohol allowed in the house. Even though I made that rule it went out the door when I fell off the wagon twice. So I am back at square one with that but for now I request that it isn't in my fridge or my reach.
Be kind to myself
3. Be kind to myself. When I have a craving I immediately feel disappointed in myself. Then I remember that it is normal to have a craving but I should be glad that I didn't cave to the crave.
4. When I feel like it is a little overwhelming that I want a drink, I pray for strength to not drink and I grab something else to drink. Water, soda, juice, or coffee. Whatever it takes to curve the crave. Delay. The mental activities of cravings and urges disappear over time unless you actively maintain them with your attention. Given time, they will run their course and disappear. If they aren’t gone in 10-15 minutes, then chances are you are still exposed to the stimulus that cued the urge in the first place. Just don’t give in no matter how bad the urge is and it will pass. All the urges you have ever had have passed. Once you have denied an urge, you know you can do it again and again. And after a short time, there will be fewer cravings and the ones you have will diminish in intensity. Waiting them out is a great step to recovery.
Get out of the house
5. Get out of the house! Get to church. I can easily just go for a walk and possibly end up at the corner store so when I leave the house to avoid alcohol, I go to church. It does work for and I feel better when I get back home. I feel like I have switched out my worn down armor and replaced it with a newer reinforced armor. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life. It just is. A church community cannot be everything to everyone in times of crisis, but when the bottom falls out of your world, it’s great to have a community to lift you back up. Bad stuff is going to happen in your life, part two. The time to build a relationship with God is not when life turns ugly, and you’ve run out of all other options. Attending worship regularly helps build a relationship with God and others that will give you a solid foundation when the winds blow and the storms come.
Something just for me
6. Find something I enjoy that is mine.. For me this is writing, adult coloring books, and indoor plants. The main reason I like these things is because I can visually see my progress. I am wouldn't want to tackle this addiction without some positive progress. When I am writing, coloring, and caring for plants, it feels as though I am growing past the addiction and getting into my brain. Why do I want to drink? What are the reasons I no longer want to drink? How much better can my life be without booze?
Pray Pray Pray!
7. Pray, pray, pray! I can't do this alone and alcohol isn't the only thing I want to rid myself of. I have been disappointed through out all of my life by people so there is no way I am placing my faith there. Praying is also a way that I can keep honest with myself. Our species has probably been praying for as long as we have been able to contemplate our existence. And though we may never be able to establish evidence that a deity or spiritual force actually hears our prayers, in recent years, scientists have begun to consider the potential tangible (i.e., measurable) effects of prayer. And this research suggests that prayer may be very beneficial.
I will continue on my journey to sobriety and as I do I will constantly be reaching out to help others in any way that I can with their addiction issues. I am no doctor or specialist. All I have is what works so far for me. I know 6 days isn't very much but that is better than none. I am determined and passionate about ridding myself of hangovers and guilt behind booze. As time goes on and I learn more about what is helping me, I will share for all to have the same help if they want to try it. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you". John 15:12