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  • Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Thu Nov 17, 2022 8:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing all that @Judas.............it's great to read along with the evolution of your journey and the steps backwards and forwards along the way. It's amazing what a part mindset plays in things and what we're capable of when we fully commit to change............and how our minds can sometimes drift setting us back and forth to a different stage of change.

    I really love your words in the maintenance section
    I know that using drugs threatens those things and makes it so that I can't properly enjoy them
    . I've heard it said quite a few times that when people use that they don't really enjoy it because they know what's at stake and that deep down they don't really want to. Also, that it just doesn't have the effect they want it to. It loses it's shine and attraction.

    I'm glad to hear you're in a good space these days.
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:59 pm

    Hi All…………how’s your week been?

    Any news to share…………..good, not so good, or somewhere in between?

    I took a day off for some self-care during the week because my head and body were telling me I needed a break. It was the best thing I could have done and although I had more work to catch up on I was in a better headspace to do it. There’s been some ups and downs with work, some family stuff going on, I’m not sleeping well, and I’m feeling some financial pressure at the moment. I’m in a space I need to be careful in right now. It’s important for me to remember that it’s right now and that it’ll pass in time. Thoughts of acting out……..drinking or taking drugs for an escape and of gambling to relieve some financial pressure have been on my mind but there’s too much to lose if I do that. There are things in my life that keep me accountable.

    So that got me thinking that this week we could focus on accountability. I’ll share below but for now…………who or what keeps you accountable?

    @Didge @Jack Loades @Bstindawst @MissNieNie @Pauly86 @Mud1973 @Caitee @Ikka @Zecush
    Last edited by PnorkelPW on Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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    Amulro
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:35 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:29 pm

    Hi all, I’m new here, I’ve been sober for a week and a day. I’m a binge drinker on weekends so don’t find weekdays an issue but Friday and Saturday nights are really hard! It’s rare that I’ve been sober for more than one weekend in a row for about 15 years. I want to abstain for a while as my behaviour lately really doesn’t align with the person I want to be. I’m tired of waking up every weekend ashamed, embarrassed and riddled with anxiety. Anyway, I’m reading “The Alcohol Experiment” and using the Head Gear app atm, along with starting up a couple of new hobbies to give me something to do! I’ll be aiming to check in here as much as I can too 😊
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:05 pm

    Welcome aboard @Amulro...........thanks for sharing.

    I remember waking up with those feelings. I think the worst for me was waking up in fear because I had no memory of the night before, only a dark feeling that I'd done something messed up. Waiting to find out what that was was just torture. I'd try to laugh things off all the time but it ate away at me inside.

    What are you planning on doing on a Friday and Saturday night if you're not drinking? And what are you planning on doing with your Saturday and Sunday mornings if you're not in bed hungover??
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:19 pm

    I made change to my drinking and drugging a number of times over the years but was never able to maintain it. Some of the things that motivated me to make change were my wife and daughter. I wanted to be better for them but I always took for granted that they’d always be there and when things got better I thought it would be alright to start again. In that, I lacked accountability. When I had to leave the house things took a massive downward spiral and I’d lost all reason for a while. I’d make change again and try to maintain it but I wasn’t seeing them much. Over the next couple of years I just sorta drifted.

    When I got out of rehab I had a strong focus on abstinence, I still do, but there are times when I struggle and that’s just a part of the story of addiction. I know what it feels like to drink, drug, and gamble. I know the highs that they provide and sometimes it’s easy to forget the lows that it took me to as well. Sometimes when life starts to throw its curve balls, or even when it’s going really well, my thoughts and wants can drift to wanting to use again. I think it’s a feeling that a lot of people will recognise. Part of what stops me is that I have things that keep me accountable.

    People, places, and things keep me accountable and they’re what I think about when thoughts of using happen. I have a relationship with my daughter that I never thought would be possible. Relationships with my family have improved. I have friends who support me and tell me things I don’t want to hear at times. I have a mortgage, a lease on a car, a job in drug and alcohol that I love. But it’s not the material things that mean the most, it’s the things like self-esteem, pride, confidence, hope, direction, goals, and the big one……….choice. Choice is something I don’t have if I start using again.

    The thing that keeps me most accountable though is my journal. Every day for over 7 years I’ve written in my journal. It was something they made us do in rehab and it’s the thing I’m most scared of stopping. It’s where I’m honest with myself……….even if it takes time. It’s where I see the patterns forming. The thoughts getting dangerous. It’s where I see myself bullshi**ing to myself and have nowhere to hide.

    So when I think about giving into addiction again, or those thoughts of “just once won’t hurt” start to appear I stop and think about the things I’ve got to lose. These things have taken time to build and haven’t come easy. I make tough choices to protect my abstinence. I have to keep myself accountable.

    So who or what keeps you accountable?
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 687
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:33 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing @Amulro,

    It's great that you've recognised you want to change your drinking behaviour on the weekends and that you're trying some stuff to get you through without picking up a drink. Also that you're reaching out on here :)

    I'm wondering if you've heard of SMART Recovery? They are groups that you can go to in a peer supported environment to work towards weekly goals howvever lofty or small they are to work towards the change you're seeking. I know one thing that helped me incredibly, and still does is having something to be accountable to which I found in support groups, much like @PnorkelPW mentioned in their previous post.

    It would be great to know what hobbies you're taking up as well :D
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    Amulro
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:35 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Tue Nov 22, 2022 6:13 pm

    Hi all, thank you so much for your responses, it’s really heartwarming. I too have had that feeling when trying to quit smoking in the past, that after you start to feel better that little voice in your head says “surely having one or two won’t hurt”. I get that most weeks when I seem to get a weekly amnesia about how badly I felt the weekend before and tell myself that “this time will be different and I won’t get so drunk etc.” but of course, that’s never true!

    What holds me accountable is my relationships. Especially the one with my partner who is fantastic. I’ve finally found someone who is supportive, kind, patient and loving and who I want to spend my life with. I want to be the best version of myself so that life together can be a happy one. I’m also doing it for the relationship with myself. I want to be proud of the person that I am and a role model for my nephews who mean the world to me.

    I have heard of SMART recovery but have never attended any groups, I will look into it! As for hobbies, I’ve set myself up a “hobby space” in our spare room so I can do a puzzle I’ve been putting off since lockdown, go back to painting/drawing etc, have set up the computer for streaming gaming online and I want to get back into some photography….just for a start. The plans for Friday and Saturday nights will either revolve around these or avoiding pubs etc for now. Last weekend we had one of our friends who doesn’t drink come over and we played Nintendo together and watched YouTube with a lot of snacks and it was a great night!
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 687
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:58 pm

    I can relate to that @Amulro, it's like selective memory in way...romantacising using, thinking about only the good times and forgetting the reality of the day to day grind of addiction.

    I also spent a good couple of years thinking it would end up different if I approached my substance use in different ways, "surely this time will be different if I only do it these times, in these ways and avoid the people"...but alas, I was wrong and had to swallow the difficult pill that I couldn't get away with any of it.

    That's so great that you've got such great relationships in your life to keep you motivated and that you've been able to set up that space for yourself.

    It would be great to hear how you go if you decide to check out SMART Recovery and how your weekend ends up :)
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:19 pm

    That’s great @Amulro ………..it sounds like you’ve put quite a bit of thought into this and have some really good plans. A lot of the time people don’t have much of an answer for the hobbies question. The fact that you’ve got so many straight away and have already started setting them up or doing them puts you ahead of the game.

    I remember what dragged me back to drinking after taking a break was that life was going pretty well again and I thought I was ‘ready’ to drink again. Unfortunately every time I started again it got worse. Eventually I realised that the only reason I ever felt ‘ready’ and life was going well was because I wasn’t drinking. I wish I’d made that realisation earlier…………..but that was my story and it’s different for everyone.

    It’d be great to hear how things are going so be sure to tag us if you need any support or just want to give us an update. You’re off to a pretty good start though.
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:25 pm

    Hi All...........how's the week been for you?

    I thought this week we could talk about doing what works because this week that was very important for me. If I hadn't known to do what has worked in the past then this last week could have turned out very differently.

    I'm always interested in what people do when they're trying not to use because there's always new things to learn. So.................what works or what has worked for you when you're trying not to drink or use?

    @emphymae @Didge @Jack Loades @Bstindawst @MissNieNie @Pauly86 @Mud1973 @Caitee @Ikka @Zecush @Fifi54 @Professor @Steveg281 @Chezza48 @all0rNothin247 @Sealions @qboln @Relentless love @Mii84 @Harry1975 , @Karly P @donnalee72
    Last edited by PnorkelPW on Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:01 pm

    This last week was what I can only call a struggle. On Friday I just felt like the world was against me and nothing was going right. I'd had an incident earlier in the week that really effected me. A falling out with someone close to me and some words said that have cut me like nothing I've felt for a long, long time. On top of some other issues it was getting on top of me and I came dangerously close to a drink. I was sitting at work and had pretty much decided that I was going home to drink. In my mind I'd bought the beers and pizza and was sitting on the couch drinking. It felt sooo real and like an unstoppable train.............but something was telling me it wasn't worth it. That it wasn't going to solve my problems and they'd still be there after I drank. I played the tape forwards and thought about the potential damage I'd do if drank and just how much I had to lose. But no-one had to know. I could just drink and not tell anyone...............but the thought still rang in my head............the problems will still be there and drinking won't solve them!!!

    I felt powerless and alone and I knew if I left work I was going to drink. I'd given myself permission...............but I knew there was somewhere I could go. I stayed at work late, an extra two hours, and when I left I drove straight to an AA meeting. I went to another one Saturday night. And another one Sunday night. And another one tonight. I hadn't been to a meeting this year and I reckon I've been to 5 or 6 meetings in the last 4 years but I knew it was where I needed to be. I knew it worked because in the first few years of my sobriety I went to three meeting per week and I set a foundation for my recovery. Going to meetings these last few nights has helped me get perspective. It's helped me realise that those thoughts I was having are normal for an alcoholic. It's helped me settle my head. It's helped me realise that I'm not alone. The problems are still there...............but the difference is I feel a bit better about them................and I haven't had a drink. I have a sense of pride because I haven't had a drink. I have a huuuge sense of relief too.

    I also wrote 6 pages in my journal on Saturday morning just to get some of the thoughts out of my head and onto paper. To slow down the loop they were doing in my head. I took away some of their power. I've talked to people about things that have happened. I've looked at what part I played in them and what I can do to try and make amends. I'm also going to have to sit in some uncomfortability for a while until things settle.

    Life isn't always easy but drinking or using isn't the solution.

    So what works for you?
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    ringtail
    Junior Member
    Posts: 6
    Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2022 9:16 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:04 pm

    how does the Monday meet work?
    Is there a group chat somewhere we go to or is it the posts here? thank you
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:09 pm

    Hi All………..I hope your week has been okay.

    So I thought tonight we could focus on environment. Like everything, people have different ideas on what this means to them but I’m thinking along the lines of changing your substance use and what this means as far as people, places, and things.

    The word environment comes up a lot when we talk about making change to substance use and it’s often said that you need to leave your old using friends behind, stop going to places you used to use, and be careful about where you go.

    I’ll share a bit on my thoughts and experiences in another post after this one but for now……….what needs to change about your environment if you’re to change your substance use?

    Or what else is on your mind?? Anything you want to talk about?
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:13 pm

    Hi @ringtail ..........I usually post something on a Monday to get started but essentially you can talk about whatever you want. If there's something you want to talk about just post it on here and either myself or @ScorpionPW will respond and hopefully there are others who are checking out the thread join in too
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    ringtail
    Junior Member
    Posts: 6
    Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2022 9:16 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:37 pm

    I am finding my own environment more difficult than new ones or ones away from mine. last week I decided to give up drugs as I had the opportunity to be in a different place for two days in town. I was okayish when I was there and then managed to continue abstaining the first two days back. but stuffed up the next two days, then managed to rein it in again and stop for the last 3.

    I really struggle in my own environment as I'm a recluse as well as work from home for long hours. today I feel really scattered and my brain is not normal or relaxed. I find it really hard feeling scattered, my mind is all jittery and on edge and it makes the pull back down the familiar slide really strong.
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