Tag: sober_living

Safe & Sound Treatment: Love Yourself

Wonderful words of inspiration and hope from my new friends on Instagram Safe & Sound Treatment!

Follow them on Facebook HERE.

Visit their website HERE.

The Hell With Triggers

wp-1484928101125.jpgI’m proud of myself!  Yesterday I was faced with two events that normally would have triggered me to drink.  I won’t get into what they were, suffice it to say one was a major disappointment, the other was an awful reminder of the life I once had.

I have had little chance to experience “bumps in the road” in my sobriety.  I am in a treatment facility that is safe and that holds you accountable in your recovery.  Since they test randomly, a lot of folks feel that the true test of recovery doesn’t occur until you are on your own.  I disagree.

Although I am randomly tested, I still choose not to pick up.  I don’t care where I end up finding myself, sobriety is a choice I make everyday.  And, to me, it doesn’t matter where I am:  I am still responsible for my actions and reactions.change on justruminating men's blog

With yesterday’s two triggers I would have normally just gone to the package store and stocked up.  I didn’t.  I would have normally let my mind wrap itself around the issues and unravel.  I did not.  I refused to give those two events any more attention or emotions than a “healthy” person would have.  I have come so far!

I am so proud of myself for maintaining my mental health–something I wrote about yesterday “Change The Tape.”  I let my feelings come, then I took an honest look at both events and dealt with them.  I dealt with life on life’s terms.  And you know what happened?  Nothing!  I didn’t have a meltdown.  I didn’t go to the drink.  I didn’t even let them ruin my night!  I simply let them be what they were and moved on.

Yes, I do not need to be in “real life” to know that my recovery plan is doing just fine.  I am doing just fine.  I no longer have to let my past define my present, and I no longer need to let the future dictate my feelings.  I can simply live in the now, live fully present.  I can simply deal with them, and then go fold the laundry.

growth on justruminating men's blog

Safe & Sound Treatment: Your Story

Wonderful words of inspiration and hope from my new friends on Instagram Safe & Sound Treatment!

Follow them on Facebook HERE.

Visit their website HERE.

These Stinkin’ Emotions!

wp-1484928101125.jpgSo now that you’re not burying your feelings under drugs and/or alcohol, what next?  I’ll tell you:  a shitstorm of emotions seemingly coming at you at the sound of speed!

This is something I have found out in my nearly 8 months of sobriety:  alcohol is not my problem, regulating my emotions is.  In addition to the fact that I have Bipolar I Disorder, I have the pleasure of having to deal with emotions that are sometimes on steroids.

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What to do?  Well, I have learned some really helpful skills in emotion regulation; those little darlings of life that can bring you to the depths of despair, or make you soar so high you’d think you could lasso the sun.

Here is a quick synopsis of how I have been able to move from emotional chaos/alcohol abuse, to a somewhat symbiotic existence on the plane.

Emotional Management:

  1.  Check the facts.  Does this emotion fit the facts of the situation?
    1. If yes–>Is acting on this emotion effective?
      1. If yes–>Be mindful of those emotions and keep them in perspective.
      2. If No–>Do not act on the emotion or consider Opposite Action (like walking away from a situation when we are angry, or distracting ourselves with something nice)
  2. Check the facts.  Does this emotion fit the facts of the situation?
    1. If No–>Is acting on this emotion effective?
      1. If No–>Do not act on the emotion, consider changing your thoughts or using opposite emotions.
      2. If yes–>Be mindful of those emotions and keep them in perspective.
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Example:  You are about to go into your first AA meeting and you are full of apprehension and fear.  Why?  Perhaps you are afraid of rejection.  Afraid of what people will think.

Does the emotion fit the facts of the situation?

NO–>There is no basis for you to decide how the people will react to you.

Is acting on this emotion effective?

No–>Be mindful!  Use Opposite Action:  Go in with an overabundance of confidence.  Result:  You attend the meeting with confidence and chances are excellent that you will be accepted.

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SO, now that you don’t have alcohol and/or drugs to act as the garbage man for your emotions, it’s time to stop-drop-and roll with your emotions!  Slow down, take a moment to check the facts, then proceed with an appropriate measure of the appropriate emotion.

And by the way, don’t be fooled by that wonderful feeling ANGER:  many times it is a cover up of some other emotions we are feeling:  hurt, fearful, guilty, shameful.

Anger is the addicts’ ultimate weapon of mass destruction:  it keeps all the other emotions and/or people/situations causing unwelcome emotions at bay.  But that’s another post entirely.

I promise you, the more you practice emotional regulation, the more adept you will be at handling situations!  It’s working for me–well, mostly lol.

thoughts vs emotions

Thoughts On Recovery

wp-1484928101125.jpgOk, so I haven’t written about my sobriety or recovery in a little while.  I will tell you I am strong and healthy in it.  I am doing well.  However, I am noticing a disturbing trend:  many of our fellow writers are tormented with recovery “shoulds,” and rules that are really myths.  So I’d like to share my own two cents on this.

First of all, I am not sure counting recovery days is a sound practice.  But I do see it’s value for many people.  What I don’t think is healthy is folks who feel as though they must reset their sobriety date because of a slip; a perceived relapse.  Also, get rid of should haves, would haves, could haves; they are all self-defeating and serve no purpose in your long-term recovery plans.

ONLY I CAN PREVENT MY RELAPSE–NO OTHER PERSON, PLACE OR THING CAN

A slip is just that:  you drank or used and the next day you realized the error of your ways, and so you re-devoted yourself to your sobriety.  Plain and simple, forgive yourself!  Be compassionate to yourself and just keep on keeping.  Your sobriety date need not change!

A relapse is a more prolonged conscious decision to pick up again.  A relapse can go for several days, or several months.  In my opinion a prolonged relapse warrants a recovery date reset.  A relapse of an extended length kind of defeats the purpose of having a recovery date.

sobriety on justruminating men's blog

I TELL MYSELF EVERYDAY:  I WILL DRINK TOMORROW, BUT NOT TODAY

As far as judging yourself for the feelings you are having:  STOP IT!  It is OK to feel whatever feelings you are feeling at the time you are feeling them!  Emotions are going to get a lot stronger than they are weaker, I can attest to that personally!

We used to numb feelings.  We used to escape.  We used to isolate and avoid.  Now that we are not using, we are faced with the things that we tried so hard to avoid:  FEELINGS.  So, please, fellow drunks and addicts, give yourself a break!  Accept yourself in the situations you find yourself in and do the best you can!  Love yourself as much as you can while you are learning to be yourself once again.

THERE IS A SIMPLE FACT THAT KEEPS ME SOBER:  PICKING UP IS NOT AN OPTION!

I care about each and every one of you and your struggles.  I may not always get a chance to read all your posts, but you can ALWAYS reach out to me if you need a friend.  You can ALWAYS email me just to vent.  I know what it’s like to struggle.  I know what it’s like to be alone.  I know what it’s like to fight for each hour on some days.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  Email me any time:  keatsj1964@gmail.com.  I really do care.  If I can help someone struggling, then that helps my struggle too!

signs of relapse