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  #31  
Old April 15th, 2012, 01:57 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Day 26 & Day 27

No drinks Friday, which made 3 days in a row.

Saturday, I caved. Hung out with one of my other "safe people" and ended up having 3 beers last night. I'm not so upset about that as it's a legitimate occasion to drink, but I did say I was going to take 2 weeks off. Sigh. So, I begin again.

There may be another night this week where I cave due to an activity planned but other than that, I'm going to start my 2 weeks over now. Let's see how long it goes...
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  #32  
Old April 15th, 2012, 02:44 PM
theyorker theyorker is offline
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Hi Darkstar. Nice to meet you man. My name is Chris and I am 46.

I read through your log and I can relate to how you feel. I've struggled with pot and alcohol use since I was 16.

As I read your posts I get a sense that you are just way too fucking judgmental with yourself. You want to go there with yourself all the time. I did good so I'm a good boy, or I did bad, so I'm a bad boy.

It's a lie. You are not being a good boy or a bad boy if you drink. You are a man and you are trying to take care of yourself. Clearly, you have some issues you are dealing with and you need to medicate. We all have problems man, that doesn't make you good or bad.

As for alcohol and pot use, here is my two cents. Wifey took kids and left me alone starting Thanksgiving. For December and January I drank at least 2 bottles of wine everyday and went through what I had to go through. I also smoked weed constantly.

Looking back in my life I became aware that alcohol IS bad for me and the way I use it makes it a double whamy. I decided that I don't want to use alcohol anymore because I know it's bad for me and I don't do things that I know are bad for me. The first five days were a struggle, but now I don't think about it and I would be surprised if I ever drank again. I just know it's really unhealthy for me and I just like myself too much to do it to me.

Now I allow myself to smoke as much weed as I want. I don't feel bad about it and I don't feel bad about myself. I am NOT a drug addict. People use drugs to get better and heal. MJ is helping me heal. I am aware that healthy people don't use drugs and I do believe the time will come when I'm ready to live life without medicating. That time is not now, but that doesn't mean I'm good or bad.

Stop judging yourself man. If you drink you can judge yourself as bad, feel bad about who you are and then wonder why you want to medicate...or you can say I'm going to keep giving myself what I need and right now I just must NEED to drink. You are not doing good or bad, you are learning.

I'm pulling for you brother.
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  #33  
Old April 15th, 2012, 06:11 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Originally Posted by theyorker View Post
Hi Darkstar. Nice to meet you man. My name is Chris and I am 46.

I read through your log and I can relate to how you feel. I've struggled with pot and alcohol use since I was 16.

As I read your posts I get a sense that you are just way too fucking judgmental with yourself. You want to go there with yourself all the time. I did good so I'm a good boy, or I did bad, so I'm a bad boy.

It's a lie. You are not being a good boy or a bad boy if you drink. You are a man and you are trying to take care of yourself. Clearly, you have some issues you are dealing with and you need to medicate. We all have problems man, that doesn't make you good or bad.

As for alcohol and pot use, here is my two cents. Wifey took kids and left me alone starting Thanksgiving. For December and January I drank at least 2 bottles of wine everyday and went through what I had to go through. I also smoked weed constantly.

Looking back in my life I became aware that alcohol IS bad for me and the way I use it makes it a double whamy. I decided that I don't want to use alcohol anymore because I know it's bad for me and I don't do things that I know are bad for me. The first five days were a struggle, but now I don't think about it and I would be surprised if I ever drank again. I just know it's really unhealthy for me and I just like myself too much to do it to me.

Now I allow myself to smoke as much weed as I want. I don't feel bad about it and I don't feel bad about myself. I am NOT a drug addict. People use drugs to get better and heal. MJ is helping me heal. I am aware that healthy people don't use drugs and I do believe the time will come when I'm ready to live life without medicating. That time is not now, but that doesn't mean I'm good or bad.

Stop judging yourself man. If you drink you can judge yourself as bad, feel bad about who you are and then wonder why you want to medicate...or you can say I'm going to keep giving myself what I need and right now I just must NEED to drink. You are not doing good or bad, you are learning.

I'm pulling for you brother.
Hey Chris, nice to meet you too and thank you for your post. You make a great point. It's really important to "judge the sin, not the sinner". Not that it's a sin to drink but you know what I mean. I'm trying hard not to judge myself and just observe. I want to grow and recover and it can be a struggle sometimes to push myself to grow without being upset at myself when I slip.

Maybe you're right though... if I need to medicate at times with the alcohol, I can do that. I am not bad for it; I just haven't reached a goal yet (the goal enjoying alcohol without using it for medication).

I guess I have to be careful when setting my goals. When I set them, I tend to aim high. It's rare that I live up to them exactly as planned. For example, trying to not drink for 30 days. Given my track record, it's unlikely I'll do that when I say I will. But if I've been drinking daily and aim to not drink for 2 weeks and only make it 3 days, it's still progress.

Sometimes I do feel a sense of shame in that I put my goal out there for "the world" to see, didn't achieve it and then had to report back. But that's a trap I need to free myself of as well. This thread in the end is to help myself, not to show off, so I shouldn't feel ashamed to "let down" the people who might be pulling for me to succeed.

But I think the self-medication I'm used to may be a slightly different type than what you're doing now. The thing I recall liking about pot when I started was, it makes everything more entertaining. In the end, that was what I didn't like about it. It was more entertaining, in my eyes, than getting out there and living a fulfilling life.

I smoked weed for about 20 years, usually daily. In the early days I justified it by thinking, "look, look how good you're doing. You're in school, you're doing something with your life. It's not holding you back. It's relaxing, fun, expands your mind, etc." But in the end, I started to notice a lot of ways that it distracted me from building the life I would have wanted and has left me empty. It caused me a lot of social anxiety, kept me in my head too much, made me lazy following the path of least resistance not taking risks, and made me a hermit. Actually I shouldn't say "it made me" that way. I may have just been that way, and it provided a numbing that satisfied me as a substitute for actually facing the fear of getting out of my comfort zone and dealing with those things.

It would be like if I needed a knee surgery and instead I just kept popping pills and telling the doc, "hey I'm cool, I'm not in pain, I don't think there's a problem". Eventually, my knee just buckles and gives out. Contrast this to what may be a more healthy self-medication that you're talking about. That's where I actually do go in for knee surgery and tell the doc, "hey can you prescribe me some pills to use for the next few months to deal with this pain while I'm healing?"

If I could do it the latter way, I'm OK with that. The concern is just not to let myself do it the former way. I know (logically) either way it doesn't make me a bad person. But if I'm self-medicating too much to get off my ass and get in for surgery, it's a cause for anxiety and for good reason. Getting overly anxious about it isn't helpful but having just enough to get me motivated may be good in the long run.

Now that I have moved on from the pot, I want to make sure I don't make the same mistake with alcohol. Sure, I had some great times with pot, and I'm not trying to regret the past, but a lot of the issues I'm having now would have been dealt with earlier if I hadn't kept my head in the sand, which pot helped me to do. And I can't go back to pot because I've already seen the writing on the wall, but I have always viewed alcohol as the worse of the two, so I want to be careful because it's so easy to become cross-addicted.

Thanks for your post man, it is helpful. Getting judgmental and harsh on myself isn't going to help. I'm going to need to learn how to set goals and watch myself reach or not reach them without internalizing the outcome to be either too proud of myself or too down on myself.
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  #34  
Old April 17th, 2012, 12:33 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Day 28 & Day 29

Sunday, I had 4 beers. Basically finished the alcohol I had left from the weekend.

After the 4 beers, I still wanted more, so it's probably good I didn't have any more available at home. Again, I noticed the alcohol bringing up feelings of sadness. Not sadness about the alcohol, but about the ex.

I think two drinks is good and more than that just causes me needless suffering. The only problem is that each drink I have makes me want more.

Yesterday I didn't drink anything.
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  #35  
Old April 17th, 2012, 11:06 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Day 30

No drinks today. I was pretty tempted to pick up some beer when my roommate and I were out grabbing dinner but I realized I wanted to read tonight instead.
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  #36  
Old April 17th, 2012, 11:29 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Just realized today was the last of the 30 days. I was curious so I tallied up my drinks for the month.

Out of the 30 days, I drank on 19 days, and didn't drink on 11 days, so I guess that's 4 or 5 days a week drinking.

The total number of drinks for the month was 100, so on the days I did drink, that averages a little over 5 drinks per session. It also averages 23 drinks a week.

I think this thread helped because I'm sure it was higher in the previous month. I think with a little more discipline, I can bring my numbers down to a more moderate level.
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  #37  
Old April 24th, 2012, 10:19 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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OK, I think I need to continue with this. I did notice a little more shame from drinking while I was posting on here because it was like I was breaking a promise to a degree every time I drank.

On the other hand, the accountability helped me cut back. So the goal here is the best of both worlds; keep up the accountability but without being ashamed when I do drink.

Interesting though, the shame was a mix: shame mostly induced by drinking, as in feelings of toxic shame about the past situation with ex and not working on myself. The other aspect was sort of feeling guilty that I wasn't reporting back with "success" in the drinking reduction goal.

Over the past week that I wasn't updating the thread, I've been drinking more but with less of both types of shame.

Even though I hadn't been updating this thread, I've been keeping a non-detailed log offline. So here's how it's been going for the last few days:

Day 31: 5 beers (baseball game)
Day 32: 8 beers (don't recall the details)
Day 33: 9 drinks (birthday celebration, beer and wine)
Day 34: 6 glasses of wine
Day 35: 9 beers (partying on the river)
Day 36: 3 beers

OK, I'm definitely above the average here, so now that the cat's out of the bag, it's time to pull in the reins again. Let's see if i can reduce the drinking and also not be down on myself when I do drink.
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  #38  
Old April 26th, 2012, 09:12 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Day 37: 5 beers
Day 38: 3 beers, 1 glass of wine.
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  #39  
Old April 26th, 2012, 03:43 PM
fishhead fishhead is offline
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Eat more bread and rice. Eat a sandwich around 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.

The grains will help reduce your alcohol cravings (grain based).

http://www.livestrong.com/article/31...ohol-cravings/

Keep up the good work. You cannot adress an issue if you don't acknowledge the issue.
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There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them.
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  #40  
Old April 26th, 2012, 10:38 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Originally Posted by fishhead View Post
Eat more bread and rice. Eat a sandwich around 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.

The grains will help reduce your alcohol cravings (grain based).

http://www.livestrong.com/article/31...ohol-cravings/

Keep up the good work. You cannot adress an issue if you don't acknowledge the issue.
Good tip, thanks fishhead! I appreciate the support.
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  #41  
Old April 28th, 2012, 01:03 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Day 39: 5 glasses of wine
Day 40: 6 beers

I think the problem is I'm still in a bit of denial that I'm over the "getting smashed" way of living. I'd like to become a 1-3 drinks, 1-3 nights a week kind of guy. Sometime within the next week, I'm going to take another stab at my 2 week break.
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  #42  
Old May 9th, 2012, 08:46 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Days 42 - 51

Days 42 - 49...

Kind of lost track. I was drinking a lot of beer and just stopped logging it.

Now I am starting a 2 week moratorium as part of my BFE#8 (approval-seeking moratorium). The reason I included drinking is, well, for one, an excuse to take a break from drinking. The other reason is to practice for resisting peer pressure to have more drinks than I would have otherwise. The latter part obviously is related to approval-seeking.

I was supposed to start this moratorium on Monday, Day 50. However, I consumed the two beers I still had at home. Day 51, yesterday, I didn't drink.

So the moratorium is on. Let's see if I can make it two weeks, and then implement my Moderate Drinking Contract.
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  #43  
Old May 9th, 2012, 08:56 AM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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My Moderate Drinking Contract

I almost forgot. Here's the Moderate Drinking Contract I wrote up based on what was in the book. It starts with the two-week moratorium, and then I can drink again, following the contract.

I'm not allowed to modify the contract to loosen the rules until I have demonstrated good control for 3 months. I can tighten the rules if I find that I've been slipping.



My Moderate Drinking Contract

1. When I drink, I will at most drink: 4 drinks

2. I will only drink the following types of alcohol: Wine and beer. I will also not drink wine after beer if I'm still feeling a buzz from beer.

3. During a week I will at most drink: 4 times

4. I will only drink in the following situations (be as specific as possible):

With others, I can have my 4 drinks.

Alone, I can only have up to 3 drinks maximum.

I can only drink alone 2 times per week.

5. I will never drink in the following situations (be as specific as possible):

Currently I don't think I have any situations where I need to abstain. When I say "situations" I mean as defined in the book (like situations that get me in trouble).

6. Situations I will completely avoid are (be as specific as possible):

Currently, I don't think I have any situations that I need to completely avoid. ("Situations" as defined in the book where I shouldn't drink and yet wouldn't be able to resist drinking.)


**** If I cannot successfully control my drinking, I will make the decision to stop drinking entirely.

Signed,
DarkStar
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  #44  
Old May 14th, 2012, 04:34 PM
DarkStar DarkStar is offline
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Shoot, well I realized that I had crappy scheduling because this coming Sunday I have something that I had been planning for months, and it's definitely going to involve drinking. So... either my two weeks will be cut short, or I may try another two weeks after that.

And uh, realizing that, I said screw it and had 1 beer on Saturday night. I was out with mom for mother's day and yeah, if there's ever a time I need a drink it would probably be when hanging with my parents. :/

So, it's apparent I won't be acing this test, but at least the first week off has gone reasonably well so far.
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  #45  
Old May 14th, 2012, 10:11 PM
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TophFletch TophFletch is offline
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They said ironically that the lady who started moderate drinking from a book relapsed and killed someone in a car accident and was charged with manslaughter.

Does that mean moderate drinking doesn't work? Not at all. Just not for the founder.

I don't follow 12-steps and have been sober for just about six months. I haven't read your thread DarkStar but you thinking outside the box gives me more faith than you than a person who spent three months in a rehab.

Lots of binge drinkers slow down. Hell, if I could just keep it to six drinks (which is one more drink than what is officially considered binge drinking in studies) I would. Just because I can't doesn't mean that many others can't.

It isn't black and white. The all or nothing approach

I've gotta read the whole thing. I like how your keeping a log. I've only peeked at the last two posts.

Come to think of it, you aren't just keeping a log in a little notebook. It is accountable. It's like you have to check in and know that if you fall below your moderation goals listed there that you might lose the privilege of drinking period.

2-4 drinks or a little more. Briefly skimming I see that you have certain restrictions like no wine after a certain situation, etc.

Why not think outside the box? Statistics from Harvard medical school show that the majority of people who quit quit on their own. I knew a few that got good results from AA in my family. They're not AA nazis.

The thing I hate about the 12-steps is that they imply if you don't do it their way that there is no other way.

It looks like you tried abstinence and are seeing if you can do moderate drinking.

If that doesn't work out then maybe https://rational.org/index.php?id=97
The http://www.orange-papers.org/ is a good read too.

I am rooting for you. You're like me in that 12-step recovery ain't for you. Maybe later for you. Never will be for me.

Last edited by TophFletch; May 16th, 2012 at 09:06 AM..
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