Home Page › All Forums › Day 17 – The Eternal Optimist Solution Community Forum › Share your negative thinking traps with others
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January 16, 2016 at 10:32 am #4656Keymaster
Many people find that sharing their negative thinking traps helps to expand their awareness about where their problem drinking started. Share some of your “traps” in today’s forum thread – Day 17 – Negative Thinking Traps. You may find this experience to be very freeing.
February 9, 2016 at 7:37 am #6907Participant
Although I am on day 17 of the Sobriety Solution, today is my 24 day without ETOH. Yesterday was the first day I had a very noticeable urge to drink. The desire to drink wine surged and subsided throughout the day. I didn’t drink and knew that I wouldn’t, but along with the urge came the thought that after 30 days (be it my own 30 days or the sobriety solution 30 days ) I could choose to drink ETOH again.
Yesterday I was caught up at least two negative thinking traps.The first was deletion. As I dreamed of sipping a glass of cold Chardonnay, I cut-out that I am not much of a sipper. Not that I gulp (rude) but I sip, let’s say frequently and I take big sips. I omitted the anxiety I feel when my glass is half empty (yup) “Will the waitress return soon?” “Can I catch her eye so she brings me another right away?” etc. I edited out the cold surrender in my voice when I announced
“I want to stop and pick up wine.” and hidden sadness my husband’s “Sure”. I deleted the next morning hangover filled with self loathing, labeling, headache, and “here I go agains”.
The other thinking trap was personalization as in, “Poor me, I cannot drink while lucky others can.” When the truth is, my past has proven that I absolutely can drink copious amounts of wine. And, at any given moment I can make a run to the liquor store and buy a bottle. I have the means, I have the id, I am good to go.
Instead, I choose not to drink alcohol.
As for the lucky others, I cannot be certain of the amount they drink. Some may have a glass or two and stop. Others may be like me, have a glass or two at dinner, then pick up a bottle or two on the way home.
I don’t know and this isn’t about them, this is about me.
Being me, I CHOOSE not to drink because it is my best choice.
February 9, 2016 at 4:10 pm #6922Keymaster
Thank you for sharing your negative thinking traps so eloquently. Those are two powerful traps that many people get stuck in, whether related to drinking or not. I appreciate how deep you dug, coming up with examples and posting it here- I know it will help others as they move through the solutions. And what an empowering decision, to CHOOSE not to drink, rather than being held hostage by alcohol. Great job!
March 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm #16951Participant
Ive been struggling with knowing what exactly a negative thinking trap is and you explained it so perfectly! I struggle with the same thoughts and didn’t see how to expand on the thoughts to the negative outcomes. thank you your post really helped me.
May 30, 2016 at 10:12 am #11639Participant
This was so good for me to read today. Thank you so much for sharing so honestly.
March 31, 2019 at 12:55 pm #121964Participant
I really appreciate your thoughts. I feel very similar. Thank you.
December 14, 2019 at 9:56 am #122895Participant
I see this post is a few years ago but I just added deletion to my list. We could be twins! Thanks for reminding me my picture of how I drink is not how I picture me drinking.
February 11, 2016 at 3:23 am #7001Participant
It’s kind of funny that I’m so predictable! Yesterday I had an emotional moment and had the urge to drink, but I knew I wouldn’t. The anger remained this morning and I spent some hours tapping it out.
An old trigger/wound was set off and set me down a familiar path, perhaps accentuated due to hormones.
Emotional reasoning was at play big time, justifying my position and why I had been ‘put down’ I took the situation personally, and did some mind reading to concur with my general thoughts/emotional generalising.
Quiet a moment that had me right in the throws of anxiety. Negative labelling, and self loathing. A very interesting exercise, and at an opportune time. A good walk on the beach helped clear what was left after tapping, though I still had the urge to drink. But didn’t.
I also should on myself, I should be more successful after all this time. Negative labelling comes into this scenario as well…. The expression ‘you attract what you are being’ ….I have attracted drunks and losers… Hhmm as we can see the generalisation is at play as well. Because this is simply not true. Perfectionism coming into play, I never thought I was a perfectionist because I had this feeling nothing I’d is good enough….duh.
A work in progress, still learning. Thank you.
February 16, 2016 at 4:39 am #7194Participant
Even before this chapter in the book, I realized I receive daily criticism from my wife;especially during our evening cocktail hours. In the past, I would affirm all her criticism. Now, I gently counter her thoughts as I feel I can filter the criticism rather than passively accept everything that is presented to me?
March 23, 2016 at 5:17 am #8753Participant
What is ETOH?
April 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm #10192Participant
April 6, 2016 at 9:50 pm #9406Participant
Some of my negative thinking traps include, “I just need a drink to relax” when in reality I have more than one drink….usually one bottle of wine, and I have a terrible sleep, toss and turn all night then wake up not rested, and going to work and put in a very unproductive day, not engaging with people I work with and just doing the minimum. And I don’t like myself then. And I am definitely not “relaxed”.
I also think I will just have a glass of wine, a big one, while I do the gardening, I think I will enjoy gardening more that way but I did some gardening today, first time in a long time without drinking, since winter is just over, and I really enjoyed it. I was very productive and got a lot of spring clean up done.
April 9, 2016 at 8:28 am #9486Participant
I also used drinking while cooking to relax ,for stress and for neck and Back pain. I pour one drink then keep topping until a bottle was almost gone. Being on meds also, you can imagine my high. I’d wake up next day with a “sinus” headache and felling crappy ,guilty and a failure.
Now 17 days sober, I realize that I got through all my excuses each day and I feel wonderful and happy and joyful. Don’t think I didn’t have to often remind mself of the pain of drinking vs the pleasure of sobriety.
I now exercise, and when I cooking I drink warm water with lemon and honey and I find it is very comforting to me.
I love the program. Thank you.
April 12, 2016 at 8:04 am #9623Participant
All my negative thinking traps boil down to fear. Fear I am not enough and can’t do enough to make up for it. Daily meditation and tapping help so much. It is still a challenge to focus on positives, negativity has been so ingrained in me. The best news is that my sense of humor is back without drinking and one of my core values.
April 17, 2016 at 8:07 am #9800Participant
ETOH is the abbreviation for CH3CH2OH (one carbon molecules three hydrogen molecules and so on)
which is the chemical formula for ethyl alcohol commonly known as drinking alcohol.?
April 20, 2016 at 8:06 pm #9976Participant
I generalize when thinking about the past 15 years of nearly drinking everyday. I horrify thinking I will relapse because the habit is just too hard to break. Today was one of those times I feared I’d be down and tempted to drink. I know I wouldn’t due to my commitment but the FEELING feels like I failed. Basically the day was to end late like many other days in the past. I used to call my husband on the way home to make sure he handled dinner, usually a carry out or delivery. I’d also tell him to pour a glass of wine for me because I was on the way home. I’d slug that puppy down so fast due to the lateness of the evening and gosh darn! I had catching up to do! This HABIT I fear. Being stressed at the end of a long day only ended one way for 15 years.
Specifically every time I envision a drinking situation, I generalize it with all other situations.
So to handle this, I made sure to spend some time alone before my evening appointment. I tapped to release the stress of the specific habit I feared of working late and how I relieved that stress in the past. I told myself this is just one situation you have to get through. Not one of many, just ONE. focus on just this one! I felt equipped for the “test”.
Guess what happened? My evening was cut short by an hour at least. Call it a miracle or whatever but I came home early. I called in our Chinese order and went to pick it up. Didn’t even think of drinking!! GOD IS GOOD.
IM OK AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE OK ONE DAY AT A TIME.
May 1, 2016 at 10:46 am #10486Participant
My main Negative Thinking Traps are Perfectionism, Generalizing, & Shoulding all over myself and other people for that matter. It’s not surprising that all of these fall under the categories of the All or Nothing Mindset. Since 2014, I’ve been doing a lot of work to be more in the “gray area of life” and to focus on progress not perfection. The perfectionist mindset is very exhausting and very disempowering to never feel like you’re good enough or doing enough to succeed at anything.
By doing a lot of self-development work over the years, I do my best to keep the words, should, have to, &/or need to out of my vocabulary because it usually means that I’m operating in someone else’s value system instead of my own. I do my best to replace them with want to, get to, or CHOOSE To do something…This is way more empowering than the word “should” because it just makes me automatically resist whatever the action or step is.
May 1, 2016 at 11:44 pm #10512Participant
Good aquarius30. You’re on the right track. Definitely words to avoid.
May 12, 2016 at 10:47 pm #11067Participant
I loved reading everyone’s posts tonight. Thank you all for sharing. I I hate to say that it’s nice to know that there are others out there who feel like I do. I often think I’m the only one and reading your stories gives me strength to change and thrive in sobriety. I definitely struggle with generalizations, perfectionism, shoulding, deletion, negative self talk and many others. I have been working on them all for quite some time, but having this today really put me back into the mode of watching, analyzing, and reprogramming my inner voice, that witch in my head won’t shut up!, trying to be more positive too. I catch myself running on auto pilot all day long and when mess up I call myself names, now I’m trying to remind myself to stay in the moment t and focus on what I’m actually doing right now instead of thinking about everything else I need to do. I’m meditating and exercising to relieve the stress too. I remind myself of the reality of drinking and the morning after if my mind starts to tell me how wonderful relaxing or fun having a drink would be. As if, one would be enough 🙂 I chose not to drink and enjoy my mornings now. Instead of nursing a hangover I do my daily reading and activities while drinking coffee. Much more fun.
May 22, 2016 at 6:39 am #11391Participant
Perfectionism (YIKES – BIG TIME!!), jumping to conclusions, exaggeration, and personalization… I read those negative traps and they jumped right off the page! It seems like much of my focus in the past has been on what could go wrong… I am also guilty of “should” statements, toward myself and sometimes also toward my family. I never realized how often I was doing this, and how useless and disempowering it can be! (Everyone has to grow at their own pace, when they are ready, and when the want to.) Learning to recognize these traps will be a huge step in the right direction. I loved the lesson today about “fixing a dark house by turning on a light, instead of trying to push away the darkness” – simply by being aware of negative thoughts / patterns, and replacing them with positive, optimistic and reaffirming thoughts – what a powerful concept!
May 22, 2016 at 10:26 am #11396Participant
Hi all – I’m a new-comer to Forum participation. I started the 30-day Solution last Thursday May 19th and have read the book through to end of Day 3 session but falling behind in my journal entries – will finish Day 2 today and deal with Day 3 tomorrow. I think this book and online support group program is terrific – like-minded people working together to trek through he wilderness toward sobriety.
I just want to let you know I’m here and listening to your input and suggestions. I’m, by nature, a pretty quiet person but I’m thinking of publishing my journal on this site or on a Facebook, page so anyone who’s interested can follow me through these 3o days, provide comment, guidance and criticism and maybe develop some ideas on how to become involved. I’ve been struggling with this alone for years, and assume many of you are in the same position. Now we’re doing it together.
My 3+ days involvement update:
May 19: downloaded book and joined the website; ‘got my feet wet’ with this program with the Intro Chapter (book) and online introduction videos and ‘housekeeping guidance’
May 20: read the book through the end of Day 1; created and organized My Journal (MS WORD – Create A Journal); decided my timeframe – 30 days; listened and followed the Time Travel Technique exercise, I also stopped drinking last evening; this is the 1st Day Of Sobriety for me.
May 21: Read Day 2 session; fulfilled action steps including the Before You project and 30-Days Vision Statement; reviewed and began using the E+R=O formula; spent a lot of time on the website exploring videos, tools, forums etc. to familiarize myself; called my personal doctor and made an appointment for this Wednesday; I also set up my photo room to take a ‘selfie’ as a benchmark for the future. Also this morning, I disposed of all alcohol in my house and have committed not to frequent licensed establishments until I feel confident I can go there and avoid the temptations.
… and now here I am, I thinks pretty much set up and ready get at it! I look for ward to working with you all on this. Cheers!
So now I’m here, pretty much setup and ready to get at it. I looking forward to working with you all through this ‘adventure’. Cheers
May 27, 2016 at 6:33 pm #11560Participant
In three days, it will be one year since I lost my wife of almost 40 years. This is about the last of the holidays(occasions) that I have to process for the first time. As I contemplated an evening for the start of a three day weekend, my thought turned to the many happy times I experienced over these time periods and how nice a drink would be to help the evening along. Of course, one might turn into two or three. The gamut of thoughts turns from why can’t I enjoy alcohol in reasonable quantities? to why am I probably alone for this evening. Getting out from under my thoughts, I realize I could manufacture something to do and I have other events planned for this weekend. In the last few days, my commitment to getting through the materials has flagged and I see how I can detour into regrettable directions. I have to say I love the program as I really don’t consider drinking and I find the exercises in each chapter insightful as to why my behavior manifests itself the way it does. What is nice about the program is that you can take the Success Principles and their related practice and fill in the holes around them where I tend to fall down. I particularly enjoyed the concept of “Traps” and discerning my specific ones. The primary one is that there is a shortage of resources
to live a life of abundance. This invitation to comment was just what I needed as it reinforced the Chapter 17 content and has me pointed in the right direction. Thank you.
June 17, 2016 at 6:31 pm #12112Participant
It is so great to read all your posts knowing that I am not alone. Thank you all so much.
June 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm #12309Participant
I’ve found Day 17 solution extremely helpful with helping me become aware of negative self talk traps. It was very freeing knowing I am not alone with them and awareness is the first key. it’s all about choice really, we are all humans and what sets us apart from those that thrive in sobriety and live in success is choosing differently. We too can be successful and are more than good enough for this. I related so well to Matt’s story, it was a piece of me, especially the fact he felt he wasted so much of his life not living his life. The Forgiveness Solution has helped me with this. The “Ultimate Irony” of this Day 17 solution is I found I was trying to perfect the solutions themselves. Being very hard on myself in getting them right so I don’t fail. When in front of me I was doing a fantastic job. Using all the solutions thus far in my life. Everyday repeating them when I felt myself in need, and dropping minimalising what I am doing and celebrating it. I had a false sense that I had to whip myself round to do the solutions which bizarrely enough is setting myself up for failure and only punishing myself which is a no win situation.
I am grateful for this awareness and am so proud of how far I have come on this programme. It is intense and freeing and I am loving the changes in my life in so many areas, including being sober for 175 days – wahoo!!!!!!
September 29, 2016 at 7:44 am #14012Participant
Boy, I am on Chapter 17, 18 days sober and today’s message and action steps are a perfect example of synchronicity. I woke up just plain frustrated with myself, my money issues and career issues. After going down a very familiar path of self-loathing and nasty, negative self-talk I got to the website here and did some soul searching and made a discovery. A huge trigger for me is jealousy (and I didn’t even recognize it all these years!). I am not a big Facebook person, but just seeing what others post made me feel even worse about myself, until I recognized it for what it is… I will be staying away and continuing to work in my journal and on my issues and I will be staying sober! I feel so much better and I haven’t even read the chapter yet, but certainly will tonight after work and can’t wait. Thank you so much for this program!
October 2, 2016 at 7:29 pm #14071Participant
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October 12, 2016 at 9:40 am #14513Participant
I am loving being 17 days sober. I know one of my biggest triggers to drink is that my marriage is slowly falling apart as my husband drinks excessively. When watching TV together at night I pour myself a nonalcoholic wine and sip that while he drinks several gin and tonics. I feel I am moving farther and farther away from the desire to drink as in looking back I do not have any euphoric memories of drinking. My memories are exclusively related to painful memories. I look at how many things have changed. Hands do not shake,handwriting 100% better, no hangover, much better sleep, happier at work, very proud that I have come this far thru Christ who strengthens me!
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March 7, 2017 at 5:34 pm #16769Participant
Negative thinking traps: too tired, need a drink to push through cooking after a hard day at work
“I can’t”, I can’t do this or that without a drink to calm me
” I’m afraid” I’m afraid that I’ll be so foggy and feel like crap and won’t be focused at work…can’t do what needs to be done ….If I stop drinking for an extended period
Not good enough, don’t have enough energy.
Lots of traps
Lots of opportunities to shine the light on negativity
March 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm #16801Participant
Day 17 couldn’t have come at a better time. So far this book has opened up my eyes and mind to all the things that alcohol has pacified. Each day has truly been one chapter at a time. I guess for right now my main thinking trap would be staying so positive, when is the floor gonna drop?? How can I keep this up?? But the book does explain to me that trying to be perfect is putting way to much pressure on me, labeling other people was just a mask to hide my faults. And jumping to conclusions??? It’s clear that you cannot change the past and you cannot predict the future, you have to let things come and have the courage and confidence to see it through. Setting small goals and seeing them unfold has been awesome, It’s been a great confidence booster. Tapping also has slowed my anxiety to a halt. I haven’t challenged myself yet out there in the real world , but I am slowly introducing my sobriety at work with my friends and family. St. Patrick’s day will be hard, with parades this weekend and usually on that day I take the day off and start with a liquid breakfast. I can’t wait to write in my journal that day.. Staying optimistic is key, turning those negatives into positives is paramount. It might sound corny but I have been saying this to myself every day and so far it’s been working for me ” Look where you where, Look where you are , Look where you want to be”
Don’t give up !! Hang in there!! Hope (I Will) be writing to you on day 30 !!
May 12, 2017 at 5:37 am #17751Participant
I used to get stuck with, ” Why am I the alcoholic of the family?”
Then I would think of all the reasons that I was not an alcoholic person.
And then that would lead to all the really fantastic reasons for drinking.
Which of course led to more drinking.
That part of my life is over now.
The negative images , are there though, and are a great catalyst for my continued thriving in sobriety life style.
July 2, 2017 at 10:00 am #18271Participant
Big deletion trap…When I get the urge to drink, it’s usually around generating the excitement and courage it gives me as I become the “alcohol king” and talk about all my big plans for success in my life. What I delete is the feeling of failure when I don’t follow through on my alcohol king’s big plans… Leading to my negative labeling of myself as a failure.
I never realized how much I used alcohol in order to courageously tap in to my creativity and break down the walls I built up around me.
Honestly…just writing that makes me want to drink…to let the wild animal loose I guess.
But I’ve had too much pain watching the alcohol king fall again and again. I will persevere and continue developing clarity as my real energy and confidence returns through good thoughts, good movement, and good food.
Thanks for listening and thank you all for sharing. It’s a challenging but amazing journey and I’m glad to have you all here along with me.
July 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm #18408Participant
Hi, I’m doing really well with the program thus far and enjoying a new way of thinking. I had never tried to quit drinking before this. I always shut the idea down immediately. “Out of the question,” “I am and have always been a daily drinker,” “I would be so bored, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself,” or “I can’t possibly sleep without it.” But now, I’m looking more closely at those rationalizations and finding them to be completely untrue! I have been downing a bottle of wine per night for years based on faulty assumptions about myself and my capabilities. Wow.
July 22, 2017 at 10:12 am #18478Participant
Negative Labeling is the biggest trap for me. Yesterday was Day #17—I wrote in my journal some re-worded messages to overcome this challenge. I already knew of it from the yogis telling me to say something positive to myself every day, and even years back my personal trainer warning me that negative self-messages can manifest negative outcomes. It had become an ingrained habit. Also, combined with perfectionism, the negative labeling was reinforced. But habits can be changed. I recall from earlier in the Solutions that I am supposed to look in the mirror and say “I Love You,” which to date is the most difficult and uncomfortable exercise here.
The Tapping Solution has helped, because in the positive tapping, I repeat “…I love and accept myself completely.”
Emotional Reasoning is also a significant trap for me. It was ironic that my bf and I were discussing an issue and having trouble communicating about it—and I felt that he was upset with me—but he said “This is not how it’s going to be permanently—it is just a disagreement.” Which immediately brought to mind the Day 17 solution that I had read that morning.”
July 23, 2017 at 6:53 am #18493Participant
Wesley I know what you mean about the Alcoholic King and the negative effects. When I was drinking I would tell myself and others of my big plans and how great my life was gonna be. I even got a divorce because I didn’t need my ex, because he was the problem not me, and without him I would have a great life. How stupid I was, and still trying to forgive myself and move on. I see others doing the same thing when they drink, and I think to myself Oh the alcoholic king is here. When I read about the alcoholic king it was like I was hit over the head with realization of what I was doing.
January 2, 2018 at 11:05 am #19856Participant
Mind Reading – I assume everyone is unhappy with me, is picturing me in the worst way, is only seeing things in a way that make me look bad
Emotional Reasoning – I get very unhappy about the lack of time or energy to do things I want in life, and the lack of appreciation or feeling of teamwork or support with my wife, and I just get down and angry and want it all to go away.
Generalizing – Although things are pretty bad, I do tend to generalize the current situation to all similar situations, forever. This has been worse lately because there have been so many weekends, one after the other, where my trapped feeling has borne out and life is flying by. So right now, I’m not sure I’m exaggerating things, but I can do this at other times.
Deletion – I focus on the happiness of drinking. I romanticize the bad parts of drinking. I delete any of the little happiness-es of sober life with the girls, and focus on the hours of drudgery and having to put up with my wife sober.
Exaggeration/Minimizing – same as others above. Right now I’m not sure this is the case because things really may be as extreme as I think they are. At least for the next couple of years, which feels like forever at this point.
Should Statements – Thinking about how life should be, how my wife should act, how a healthy relationship should be, how a nice home with functional relationships should feel.
Negative Labeling – I tend to label situations and people in order to put a point on what I hate about what is happening, what makes me feel bad, and what I’d like to describe as unfair.
February 21, 2018 at 7:33 am #20329Participant
List negative thinking traps
highly opinionated 5 sensory people can exhaust me (left brain low-intuitive hyper-intellectuals)
highly opinionated people can exhaust me (left – hyper intellectual or right brain – pseudo intuitive)
I can’t have an intimate relationship with highly opinionated 5 sensory people or pseudo-intuitives
I can’t have an intimate relationship with highly opinionated people
How to change negative thinking traps?
the opinions of people don’t have to stick to me
I can meet anyone at their gift level (where they are really conscious or attempting to be truly conscious) with compassion and empathy
I’m responsible for whether or not I wear out emotionally
April 17, 2018 at 10:52 am #20682Participant
This is my second time through the 30 Day Solution and I am finding it easier and well worth another go. I do not seem preoccupied with finishing so that I can try drinking but rather looking forward to the continuation of the benefits of being happy and content without drinking or with drinking occasionally without “chasing the buzz”.
One of my negative thinking traps is personalization. I’m beginning to think that while it is important to be fair and open, I have been feeling too responsible for others’ happiness.
September 28, 2018 at 2:57 pm #120912Participant
Today has been a milestone in understanding myself. My mother encouraged me to never rise above my station in life. She is a good woman but somehow thought this was the way to raise me. I can’t believe its taken me this long, I’m 68 to realise this is the root cause of my need to drink. I was literally a pack of beer plus every night for at least the last 38yrs and at one time was never out of a pub. Luckily I reduced that intense level years ago. It hurt too much the next day. Nature has its ways. I had a late night working today and I suppose because its Friday night I fancied a beer. I bought a pack of Becks Blues -non alcoholic!. I find that gets me over those pitfalls. Just had a couple mind. I don’t know about anyone else but once I’ve had my evening meal the desire goes away and always had.
Best of luck to you all. It’s just so worth it.
September 26, 2019 at 9:51 am #122592Participant
Good day everyone.
I am on Day 17 with the 30-day sobriety solution but currently tackling my 26th day AF. I was just reading through all these posts and realized that no one has posted on this Action Step since September 28 of 2018, 2-days shy of 1 -year ago. I wonder why…… I thought that I would post to contribute my negative thoughts I am painfully aware of and share my journey on how I have managed to stay AF for this past 25 days.
In conjunction with this 30-day Sobriety Solution I am also involved with Annie Grace’s 30 day AF challenge which began Sept. 1 2019. This is my 2nd time around participating in her challenge, the 1st time I lasted 3 days which was quite depressing. I paid good money to join her intensive program which is similar to this however the difference is that you have the option to do all your writing work online. Maybe I wasn’t ready my 1st go around but I find physically writing in a journal and working your program much more effective and made me present and focused on what i am placing on paper. It feels like much deeper work. And I am here almost 26 days sober.
My negative thoughts today are looming on how I can succeed at moderation. Yesterday was a day I travel to babysit for my daughters who both have infants and 1 toddler, and then spend the end of the day with my mom who is sadly losing her mind slowly……Boy did I want to drink when I got home….so badly I was waiting for my husband to make himself a cocktail so that I could just go along with him. By the grace of God my husband did not and nor did I, however 3 – 00 AF Heinikens helped appease the urge.
I realize that I am spread far too thin on Wednesdays and I seek to make everyone happy and put being there for my family into such a small block of time that when I return home after over an hour drive all I want is to not feel anything. Numb myself. Alcohol is perfect for this. As a matter of fact I have used alcohol to do this for every painful feeling I have, whether it be sadness or shame, or using it as a coping mechanism to endure all the emotional abuse my husband dulls out to me each night when he gets home from work. I have learned that I also use alcohol as a reward. I want it after a big workout or long bike ride, to celebrate a successful day, and mostly to keep me company and be by my side as I cook dinner and unwind for my day in preparation for the night. These are my patterns most are negative. My husband and I almost split up 10-days ago. When I broke my pattern of drinking each night to put up with her verbal lashing out I realized I no longer was going to use alcohol to fade out his actions. As I became more sober and strong in my thinking and actions he became more out of control and uneasy, maybe even threatened with my new me. Anyway, I basically told him to get help or leave and he began counseling this week. I am relieved that today I do not have to think about going through a divorce and also that I can be strong and clear in my thinking when I am not drinking. This is a journey. I can never see myself going back to drinking like I was and hope I do not go back at all, however my stinking thinking with a Cabo trip planned in a cple of weeks seems to be over crowding my mind.
Hope someone will find insight in this but sure did feel good to write anyway.
Thank you for your program!
September 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm #122593Participant
Thank you for your post. I was grateful to read it, and am so reminded of myself. Keep posting please. And be sure to open the Site Wide Activity Forum so you can see all the recent posts. This site isn’t perfect, but I’ll say it saved my life. And I’m always happy to see when others post. Onward…
September 30, 2019 at 7:57 am #122604Participant
Thinking of you Yoganow28. Much of what you wrote sounds familiar to me…numbing out with alcohol, celebrating with alcohol, winding down with alcohol. Oh this journey. I pray that you enjoy your vacation in Cabo and through your internal searching and dialouge discover many ways to celebrate this life alcohol free. But…whatever you discover and/or decide remember to love yourself. Onward with this journey!!
October 17, 2019 at 2:33 pm #122677Participant
I tend to be all in or all out and that comes from my perfectionism. If I’m not in tip top shape, not drinking at all, working out like crazy, eating overly healthy…doing everything right to the max extreme…then I am doing the opposite which includes drinking 1+ bottles of wine every night. When I am in the “bad” phase I tend to use a lot of “should statements” and “emotional reasoning.” My inner thoughts at that time is filled with statements like “I can NEVER be a normal drinker”, “I have an addictive personality…I am hopeless”, “Why can’t I do ANYTHING in moderation?” I also compare myself to other moms. Somehow “mommy juice” ,AKA wine, has become a very normal coping mechanism amongst mothers. It is easy for me to not feel like I have a problem.
October 18, 2019 at 4:26 pm #122682Participant
DM – you sound a lot like me. All or nothing. One thing I think about a lot, is that wine has become a normal coping mechanism because every time you turn on the TV, or open a magazine, or newspaper, we are bombarded with images of sparkling glasses of wine, or adds for Skinny Girl Wine, or some other nonsense.
The wine companies want us to think that drinking is good, normal, beneficial. We’ve been duped, and as we “Mommies” wake up, we are getting stronger, healthier, and smarter.
Stay the course, keep posting here.
If you haven’t already found it, go to the Site Wide Activity Forum to see all the posts. You might also like the Soberistas site.
October 26, 2019 at 9:49 am #122718Participant
I read a few of the above posts and have just read the 17th day Eternal Optimist Solution. It hit home to me. I never really got the relationship trap between being a perfectionist as I am and not feeling good enough. Low self-esteem and allowing that shame energy to be a major player in life is not only a sobriety killer, but also a blanket placed over me by my subconscious mind.
I am 73 years old, educated, successful and prosperous enough that I have good health, live pain free, and prescription free. I am proud of that since I work hard at learning the best of nutrition, exercise, and positive attitude. It has served me well. My blood work is near perfect. That all aside, I could be healthier, happier, stronger, and have more friends. I have a wonderful family of 3 children, 9 grandchildren and get along with my only ex. And that also aside, I know I struggle. I know we all may struggle somewhat, sometimes. But, I struggle with feeling I am not enough. Old tapes play – you’re stupid, you’re not clean enough, you dress funny, you waste time, talent, and money. In spite of the old tapes, I know from experience and self help endeavors that I have made tremendous progress and live a wonderful life. I am grateful for the 30 Day Solution Program. I use it like a life line. I use it like some use the Gospel. I read it every day in a disciplined fashion. It is the outline for my life that is still becoming. Someday, I will no longer use alcohol to relieve stress, boredom, and solitude. Until then, I maintain the best way I know. Peace to all.
October 26, 2019 at 7:32 pm #122720Participant
Hi David! Welcome back. I am impressed that your bloodwork is “near perfect”! You have a strong constitution my friend.
Keep posting, I love reading them. BTW, if you are able to find “Site Wide Activity “, you can post in response to people currently active on these Forums.
December 27, 2019 at 2:56 pm #122929Participant
Got thru Christmas Eve and Christmas( Good for me) though I did serve wine to 3 guests with a little left over. Today I woke up sort of down, worry about my kids and their futures. They did not know how much I was drinking. I am doing lots of negative self talk after my daughter had a fight with my son. I was doing lots of personalization and thinking I cause her issues. In late afternoon I thought about drinking and took the leftover wine and poured it down the sink.
Day 17 is a tough chapter; so much to digest and so much more activity to do every day but I am doing it. Today was the first day of the program I emotionally felt bad. I’ll get through and start some positive thoughts and self talk
January 11, 2020 at 8:37 am #123030Participant
Day 17 Day 10 AF – I still find it crazy that the solutions seem to come at the perfect time they are needed, and this one was a real doozie. I have been doing just fine, sleeping better every night, feeling better during the day, and then yesterday happened. Some of my negative thinking traps reared their ugly heads and it turned into an all-day argument. Exaggeration, first and foremost, taking something so small and blowing it out of proportion. But when the same comment was made a second time, the pig spore hit the wind spinner and the rest of the traps came flying out. Mind reading, “she thinks I’m…” Should statements “you know, you should…” It’s like I was trying to start a fight and that I was feeding off the negative energy. I think now I was looking for an excuse to have a drink to “calm my nerves” I know that doesn’t help and would probably spiral into an even darker place so I just fell mute. As this chapter concluded I realized that I was having these thoughts and how often they come up, it was really alarming, am I always so negative? It gives me something to work on and put the mindfulness practice to work. I always thought that observing my thoughts and taking notes was all there was to it, but seeing how my actions and words affect others is an entirely new practice to undertake. I am really glad this chapter came when it did, it gives me a lot to think about.
May 6, 2020 at 7:23 pm #123566Participant
I am on Day 17 and have been sober for 31 days. I have had a lot of AHA moments working through the solutions and action steps. Is it just me or is anyone else feeling somewhat overwhelmed with all the information coming at them? I find I am getting somewhat anxious that I am not processing all the information well enough. ( or maybe that is just the perfectionist coming out in me) I feel like I am going to have to start the book immediately again as soon as I finish. Maybe I should have been on the 60 or 90 days rather than the 30.
June 20, 2020 at 10:54 am #123753
I have had quite a journey since I began this 30-Day Solution. I downloaded the audiobook from my library and started it on May 5, 2020. I abstained for 8 days, which is honestly a VERY big achievement considering I don’t recall going more than 1 day without alcohol for the past 7 years (at least). At that point, I relapsed horribly for another 10 days. On May 23, I began Day 10 of the book again. The withdrawal symptoms were not great again – restlessness, sweats, vivid dreams, pounding heart, anxiety, “hearing” things all night, etc. Yet it still didn’t stop me from drinking again the very next night. That brings me to June 15 (Day 12) – I had to borrow the audiobook again because it expired. As you can see, this is taking me more time than I planned. I abstained all day and at the end of the evening, I had just a little bit of vodka in seltzer, but something pulled at me and said this wasn’t right. In truth, I had about a bottle of pinot grigio hiding away that I planned to drown my self-pity in that night. I knew the only way for me NOT to drink it was to dump it. So that’s exactly what I did – I poured it down the sink and took the bottles out to the recycling dumpster. Out of sight, out of my hands.
June 16 I got back on track with Day 13 and I haven’t had a drink since then and I don’t plan to at least for the 30 day period, but my heart and soul wants this to be a permanent decision and behavior. I am one of those people who should never drink again. I am powerless over the love affair I’ve had with alcohol. It has caused me and those around me more pain than any of us deserve. I can’t even say “deletion” is one of my Negative Thinking Traps, because I fully recall and feel shame about every negative experience with drinking that I have had in my life. I’ve been tapping on the shame for a few days and it is very effective and slowly removing that guilt and embarrassment I am carrying around privately. I am mostly a “drink alone” kind of person so this has been a struggle I’ve fought mostly on my own, with God, with one trusted friend, and with self-help such as this program.
My biggest traps are Perfectionism, Personalization, and Jumping to Conclusions. All of my negative thoughts tend to revolve around what others think about me, what I WANT them to think about me, and the events I can’t control ahead of time so I assume the worst. A common characteristic about highly functioning alcoholics is that most people would never know they had a drinking problem. This is because they are a perfectionist with their appearance, the appearance of their lifestyle (clean house, nice car, nice things, family photos, etc). Social media is truly the worst thing for a perfectionist because all I do is compare myself to all the other supposedly perfect people out there and feel like I’m not even close to how lovely their life seems to be. Personilization is a downfall of mine because I can be very self-absorbed and selfish. I think everything is about me – the way people look at me, if I can’t hear what someone is saying I think they’re talking about me, I think a vague social media post is directed at me, I think my husband is coming to dinner upset when he really was just going to compliment me, etc. I invent a world of negativity in my mind all day long, expecting that outcome, so that all my actions tend to fulfill that false prophecy just by the nature of my thoughts. Finallys, I love to Jump to Conclusions (cue Office Space reference). If it were a board game, I’d win every time. If family is planning a holiday or get together, all I can do is think of is every inconvenience, bad thing that will happen, uncomfortable situation, or disappointment possible. The former me would also be planning how I can manage to drink so that I can cope with all these inevitable disasters (which tended NOT to happen…).
I am pleased to say that this past week I have done things sober that I haven’t done sober in a very long time. I have enjoyed moments with my children and husband that I normally would avoid at all costs. I have prioritized taking care of myself and them instead of putting all my mental power into planning, consuming, and recovering from drinking alone or secretly.
I know this website is outdated and not used much, but I hope someone out there will see this and be encouraged. And I hope to find encouragement from your stories as well.
“Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining (against God) and questioning and doubting (among yourselves).” – Philippians 2:14
June 20, 2020 at 7:02 pm #123754Participant
Hello Fellow Sobriety Seeker!
I’m impressed by your honesty and vulnerability. With your tenacious attitude, you’re on the road to success! That road is a bumpy one at times. Another person on this Companion Website coined the term the “Sober Coaster ” and it’s apt!
So strap in tight, it’s a wild ride worth the price of admission.
BTW, I think it’s worth having the actual book in hand. I’ve owned my copy since 2016 and I still refer to it.
Keep posting! Even though this Companion Website is in disrepair, the program works.
It will work for you!
June 22, 2020 at 3:14 pm #123766
Thanks Sina! Yes I think I will inevitably wind up purchasing a copy of the book to refer back to. The audiobook I’ve had to write extensive notes in my journal when I’d much rather be underlining and highlighting a real book. I agree it’s totally worth it!
June 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm #123772Participant
Thank you so much for your post. I’m on day 15 visualization. I’m so proud of you and I’m proud of myself! We can do this! No can’ts!!! I have the what other people think disease too. I’m doing much better because accepting myself as I am and celebrating it is in my thriving in sobriety goal. I don’t say I love you to myself as much as I need to, but way more than I ever have, and that’s a plus for me. Anyway, keep up the good work strive on!!
June 23, 2020 at 5:47 pm #123773
@sadaliamay25 I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well too! I need more of the “love thyself” talk for sure. It really does help.
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