Tagged: Elevating Life
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January 21, 2017 at 2:26 am #15884
It’s after midnight on Friday Night…and I’m sitting here in my living room sober, hydrated, and with a belly full of pizza. My teeth are brushed, my hair combed and all cozy ready for a good night’s rest. I’m lovin all my feelings right now…
But, let me tell you that… I was NOT feeling “all the good feels” earlier today.
I don’t want to bore you with the details, but basically, my spouse and I had a “dinner & drinks night” planned for tonight for over a month with this very nice couple who we hadn’t seen in YEARS, and we just could NOT cancel.
I was worried about tonight ALL WEEK… and thinking…”this may be one of the dumbest ideas to go out on the first Friday night of the program!!” But… I guess I’m always up for a challenge.
Anyway, I had a VERY stressful workday yesterday and a VERY stressful day today- And I was irritable all day too because I was disappointed cuz I knew I couldn’t come home and have a drink! And all I could think is “YOU NEED that RELEASE!”
As I was driving home from work…the social anxiety/fear started creeping in about the dinner date I was about to have in a few hours. The self-conscious “me” was starting to take over – and thoughts of drinking just kept creeping in… but, it is only natural, since I have been drinking on Friday nights for as long as I can remember…and now all of a sudden, I have to INTERACT with OLD FRIENDS, At A PIZZA BAR, ON FRIDAY NIGHT, When I’m Stressed out…..AND YOU EXPECT ME NOT TO DRINK!?! WHAT?! …(lol).. but really, these exact thoughts were POUNDING in my head.
So, I walked in the house, looked over my journal, checked on here, and then just had to get outside and listen to my Day 6 Chapter ( I have the Book on Audio and I love it
b/c it forces me to exercise while I listen).
Day 6- The Outcome Solution- was absolutely perfect for me right at that moment. How he talks about how this day in particular is when some cravings can really hit ya. Anyway, I don’t know, but the chapter was just PERFECT for what I was going through earlier today. And by the end of the chapter/ end of my Goal Setting… I was singing in my car, and was FAR more PRODUCTIVE than I would have been last Friday night!
My motivation was back in full-force and my social anxiety had eased.
I was (and am) really proud of my goals and feel really motivated.
So- the dinner was FINE. I was still nervous up until we got there… but way less so…
Once there, we hugged, chatted, ordered our drinks…. and I’m telling ya, once I ordered my diet coke, A huge weight was lifted. Everyone else ordered beer and wine, and honestly I didn’t even crave it. I thought as I looked at their drinks – I thought, “ Wow, I am not even craving those! I am drinking zero calories, my belly doesn’t already feel bloated and full, and I don’t feel “guilty” about eating this HUGE piece of pizza!”
I really did feel some of what the book/program has been talking about…..You start to feel the real pleasure of being sober— the POLAR OPPOSITE of what I usually am on any Friday night gathering.
And although I noticed some “minimal” pains of drinking (calories, bloating, etc..) — it IS a Start!!
I hope everyone can experience this. I really do believe that since I’ve been taking the actions steps really seriously… it’s really starting to help me make some breakthroughs. Also-when I wrote my goals at first…. I re-read them a few times, then looked back over my Vision Statement and “NEW me description” ….and as I tweaked them here and there—they really evolved into something beautiful. I highly recommend taking your time on setting those 🙂
January 21, 2017 at 3:00 am #15886
PS- excuse my typos above.. 🙂
One more quick note- I am normally a very gregarious person. Extraverted naturally. And all my life- I’ve LOVED being with people, re-connecting with people, meeting new people…etc…
But, As I’ve slid down the slippery slope of using alcohol as a coping mechanism- it’s shocking to really see how much it’s affecting my social life/ my natural extroverted nature! The one thing I’ve always been the most proud of….
I just noticed tonight (and other rare nights I stay sober and DD or whatever) – that I really do LIKE myself sober… I MISS that girl. But it’s like I’m fighting this HABIT of making myself StUPID… or rather… just making myself…Not MYSELF. Like this invisible force compelling me to drink even though sometimes I don’t even want to!
It’s especially hard with my childhood friends. They wonderful, good influential women, and I have been avoiding them these past 5 years… instead of thriving in sobriety and life- and being WITH THEM – Shame free!
I’m really hoping I’ll get there… that by the end of this, I will have mastered and defeated that stupid force/habit.
Any others feel this?
June 24, 2017 at 11:10 pm #18184Participant
Thanks very much for sharing ElevatingLife. I’m doing my first sober Friday tonight and man has it been TOUGH. Just makes me realize how much alcohol has woven into everything I do to have fun. I’m getting ready to go out to dinner with my wife tonight and just can’t seem to get… I don’t know what the word is. Loose? Of course I know it is worth it but part of me is wondering, am I always going to feel this SERIOUS for the rest of my life? Has anybody else been through this? Did it take you a while to get back to a place where you could really relax? Or is part of being sober just sort of accepting this more “adult” state of mind?
Appreciate your thoughts and also just want to say hey, made it to day six! Nice!
June 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm #18198
THank you for your note! GOOD JOB making it to day 6!!!
How did your Friday night go?
As for your question— really good insight on your part. I remember feeling the SAME way and thinking that- Wow, is this really what it’s going to be like now? So serious and I remember just NOT feeling like “myself.”
BUT, it gets SO MUCH better with time. Seriously, my first sober Friday night was actually sort of miserable… (afterwards, I was really proud of myself and DID have a good time and was thankful to remember every detail, etc.. and I relaxed once we started eating/talking) BUt, that’s the tricky thing with alcohol. For me… I was so accustomed to drinking every single weekend and every dinner outing…that I forgot who I was TRULY. Honestly, keep going and by week 2 you’ll already feel better…and by week 3/4… I honestly was loving myself even MORE. I realized how goofy and relaxed I am without booze…and how booze literally just makes me the opposite – it’s all an illusion. Booze makes u relax and feel funny, etc.. for only that small window of time… and then the rest of the night is like a battle of keeping that buzz, but then also wanting more, and it’s just a freaking uphill sprint.
I hope this helps… I am sort of rambling 🙂
I’d love to hear how your weekend went!
January 21, 2017 at 7:20 am #15888Participant
Congratulations ElevatingLife! Man, that is a tough situation to be in but you did it! That kind of successes builds momentum and gives you a milestone to refer to as you encounter greater challenges.
I had a similar situation Friday as well. I’m a member of a fraternal organization and on Friday nights my lodge has dinner, shuffleboard, pool, darts and lots of drinking. Every Friday I would be there hanging with my friends and drinking. I decided to go out to the lodge and see if it was even possible to avoid drinking and have fun. I did! I played all the bar games, conversed with friends and drank about two gallons of club soda! I received more than a few hairy eyeball looks but when I said I was just taking a break from drinking they accepted that and moved on. All in all it was a good experience and I feel stronger as a result.
Keep on keeping on.
January 21, 2017 at 7:58 am #15889Participant
Fridays are a commitment killer.
I can usually make it through the week without booze, mainly because I don’t keep it in the apartment, BUT, Fridays I drive up to the cottage for the weekend, drooling for that first Scotch before I even walk through the door. I now have two sober Fridays under my belt, but the second wasn’t any easier than the first. However, I am very grateful for the hangover-free Saturdays!
The key for me when I am out is getting through that first decision point, the one where the waiter (or flight attendant) asks me what I would like to drink. I have to silence all of the rationalizations in my head, shut down my brain, and just don’t think and then blurt out water (also easier to do if you are the first one to order). The anticipation of making that decision is painful, but I find that once I get past it, and the order is in, I am actually fine, and fine for the rest of the evening. I find that most waiters, once you indicate that you are not drinking by your first choice, mercifully don’t ask again. The whole thing is over in a matter of seconds, but critical seconds. Sometimes it is helpful to narrow down your commitment to 30 seconds, and the 30 days will come. You should also internally give yourself a high five as soon as you are past that point, put a big smile on your face, take a deep breath, you made it, and then remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing this, like your vision statement. It is also helpful to rehearse this before the scenario comes up, and maybe link it with some tapping (Chapter 13). Also, letting your spouse know your intention can also be helpful, they can be supportive, and you don’t want someone asking “Are you sure?”.
January 21, 2017 at 11:03 pm #15908Participant
Way to go ElevatingLife!!
January 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm #16094
Thank you everyone! And good job to all of you also!!!
Today is my second Friday Night! LUCKILY, no plans. Probably just dinner and soda waters with Lime 🙂
I’ve already received a lot of “I’m so proud of you” from my sister and husband, also my close friends. That really has been helping….and sort of making me realize, these are good friends…and crap… I really must have had a problem. It’s funny how I am still rationalizing my ‘problem’ after 2 weeks…. But, I know it’s going to take more time, and more digging deep.
Did anyone have trouble with the limiting beliefs action steps?
I came up with two big ones that seem to umbrella my whole issue… basically, not having fun without alcohol (and thinking i’m funny/a social lubricant like the example in the book), and basically, having a romantic – type relationship with it when I’m home alone.
I know there are more deep down in my brain– it’s just hard to come up with.
I’ve also been feeling really rushed this week with completing the reading and action steps.
My Grandma passed away on Tuesday morning…and things have just sort of taken a down-turn on my energy level, and motivation.
December 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm #19695Participant
It is my 1st Friday night which is the one night a week I always drank. I will keep this short and sweet. I am sober zero beer. I bought a bottle of Welch sparkling grape juice and enjoyed 2 glasses as I did my sobriety reading and action steps for day 6. All is complete and my SMART goals are hanging to the left of my bedside. I’ve had my moments today as my work day ended however I kept myself busy with positive activities and here I am ready to travel in my slumber and awake to phase 2. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am wondering how each of you are doing now Elevating Life.
January 14, 2018 at 7:31 am #19981Participant
I loved reading your post – you reminded myself of me! I am really loving myself, I have a spring in my step, I have my sparkly eyes back, my face looks and feels better – I am smiling at myself so proud of myself. Last night we went to a restaurant – a favourite for steaks and a glass of red of course. On the way there I thought maybe I would be excused for having a glass of red, just one as a steak isnt a steak without one! I battled with myself all the way there and met myself half way – I didnt order steak, I ordered Duck and ate it with a diet coke – my first challenge and I won! I walked on the beach early this morning taking in the air, I feel so lucky to have found this programme the trouble is no one knew I had a massive drink problem – I hid it from everyone – I struggled alone, hating myself, not remembering who I had had conversations with on social media the night before – making terrible decisions, feeling shame like you wouldnt believe – phew even writing this is just the most amazing feeling.
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