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  • Ways of rewarding yourself / finding the positives in *not* using?

    For people making and maintaining change in their alcohol and other drug use. Connect here to share your story and gain motivation today.
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:00 pm

    Ways of rewarding yourself / finding the positives in *not* using?

    Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:53 pm

    Hi everyone.

    This is my first post here, and my first time seeking help for drinking other than from friends. 10 years of problem drinking (irregular binge drinking).
    I recently did serious damage to my social network, in a way I never thought I'd dare. I mean, I've done a lot of self-sabotaging things before, but I never thought I'd go that far. It's left me incredibly isolated.

    I've been trying to focus on the positive incentives of what will happen if I stop drinking, because thinking of the negatives makes me beat myself up. When I get really angry with myself, I don't care what happens to me- so I just drink anyway.

    As you can probably tell by my username, I've got some travel goals for next. I've been thinking about how much money I spend on alcohol. A night out, once you add in transport, costs me $100 - $150. I reckon I've spent at least $3500 a year on alcohol, particularly since I started working more after university. I quit for 9 months one year, a few years back, but that still makes at least $15,000 on alcohol over the past 5 years. I'm hoping that by the end of next year, I'll be able to think of the money I spend on my flights and travel as money I saved by not drinking. That's a really good incentive for me.

    I also want to lose weight, but I don't find that to be a very good incentive because one of the ways I've been avoiding alcohol this week is by not being so strict on my eating. I usually am quite strict (I went years on low carb + basically never eating anything sweet or "junk"-like), but have really struggled with both alcohol and food in the past month. (And the food isn't helping that much - I last drank yesterday, on day five of sobriety. Today is day one again.) I'm trying to stick to comfort foods that aren't that bad for me in the grand scheme of things, but I'm taking on a lot of carbs (pasta) and fats (cheese).

    This probably sounds kind of silly, but in other "rewards", I really wanted to go to AA for the sake of earning the sobriety token. (But their 12 step program really doesn't look like it's for me). In a show I was watching (I won't say which, because I'd hate to post spoilers!) a character shows one of his friends his 1 month token. The character is kind of embarrassed that they're so proud of their token, but he really wanted to show his friend that he'd managed it. I really wished that I could have something in physical form to show people, like a friend I complicated things with recently, that I'd managed that and that I was earnestly trying to stay sober. Does anyone here go to AA? Do the tokens help you stay motivated?

    I might have a really interesting change of role lined up for work next year. But I'll have to work extra hard, and do extra study, if I get it. I'm trying to stay positive and think about all the extra time I'll have to study and work if I wasn't wasting time being drunk or hungover. (Rather than the fear that keeps creeping up on me - that I'll be overloaded, stressed, won't cope, will drink and end up jeopardising my employment).

    I really need some rewards/incentives that get me out of the house and meeting people. The trouble is that meeting groups of people isn't my idea of fun at all! Also, I really don't like driving at night and there's no public transport to my house, so evening events have that added stress.

    Is there anything else people do to incentivise not using? :)
    0 x
    User avatar
    Senior Member
    Posts: 206
    Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:54 pm

    Re: Ways of rewarding yourself / finding the positives in *not* using?

    Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:23 am

    Welcome Mexico2020 and thank you so much for sharing your story.
    There's a lot of productive questions that I hope others will jump in with their experiences on soon!

    But I was thinking about your incentives question, I wondered whether making plans for Sunday mornings might be something that could help? Something fun that you're able to do because you're not hungover.
    Doing something outdoors is a double-win because it's also free - more savings for your travel plans!

    Sounds like you have a lot of great things to work towards! Looking forward to hearing your updates on your first goal of one month no drinking - keep us updated :)

    Vik, Community mgt
    1 x
    The Mythical Liverbird
    Posts: 18
    Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:38 pm

    Re: Ways of rewarding yourself / finding the positives in *not* using?

    Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:44 pm

    Hi @Mexico2020 , just checking in on how you're going? Doubt you got much travel done this year, but keen to find out about your experiences. :)
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