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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!

    Mon Dec 26, 2022 8:08 pm

    Hi All..........Christmas is over for another year

    How was yours?
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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 26, 2022 8:27 pm

    My Christmas was a bit tough yesterday and I got lost in the thoughts in my head for a while. My head got busy and was hard to stop. It gained momentum as the day went and I stayed trapped in it for a bit too long.

    I spent an hour in the morning at my daughter's house, I haven't missed a Christmas day since I moved out 10 years ago but yesterday was the toughest since year 1. I'm not getting along with my daughter's mum and yesterday was just awkward and I couldn't wait to get out of there. I could have handled it differently but my anxiety was at an all time high. That's just how I handled it yesterday............not perfectly but as best I could.

    I got home and that's when my head started. I always spend Christmas day alone but yesterday was one where I would have been better off reaching out for help. In the end I did the next best thing. I did have a sleep in the afternoon just to try and break the rolling thought pattern and when I woke up I went to an AA meeting. There was people there that had good days, mediocre days, tough days, and I identified with them. I was able to see that my day wasn't that bad in the end and after the meeting I went and watched the sunset with my feet in the water at the beach. I decompressed and got home and in a better frame of mind.

    The best part is it was another day where I got to put my head safely on the pillow at the end of the day.............and I didn't have a drink or drug.

    It wasn't easy.........but it was possible.
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Jan 02, 2023 8:18 pm

    Hi All………Happy New Year and welcome to the forums @Seeker-62 , @Raid_inpact379 , @76057605 , @Starke , @Readytostop , @Megzzy123 @Jac2001 , @Bubbles50 , @Camelgus

    I hope you had a safe New Years Eve. What did you get up to?

    I’m wondering what your hopes and goals are for 2023?

    Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?

    What else is on your mind?
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Jan 02, 2023 9:03 pm

    I had a quiet New Year’s Eve. I was On Call for work and needed to catch up on some work too so I just spent it at home doing that. To be honest, I’m not really big on New Year’s. Even when I was drinking and using I always found it to be an overrated night. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to have an amazing night but it always ended up being just like any other.

    I’m a bit the same about New Year’s resolutions. I feel like they put a lot of unnecessary pressure on and in some ways end up being unrealistic due to the lack of planning and thought that goes into them. If they don’t end up happening or being achieved it can lead to feelings of disappointment and frustration which can just lead people to giving up all together. This can lead to a feeling of hopelessness, especially if the resolutions were around decreasing or stopping alcohol and drug use, and this in turn can lead back to using drugs and alcohol. I think one of the biggest ones is giving up cigarettes for New Year’s. I said it soooo many times and I’ve heard it over and over again from other people. The thought is there but generally the planning isn’t.

    When it comes to New Year’s resolutions do they have to start on January 1st??? Why not think about the how, why, when, who, and what and get a proper plan in place. Decide on what the best start date will be, who can help you with it, what you need to do to prepare, your motivation and reasons, and get that plan established. It’s important to give yourself the best possible opportunity. To come back to the cigarette example I feel like everyone says that they’ll quit on New Year’s Day but let’s face it…………….it’s not the best day of the year to try and start. Why not put a plan together and pick the best time for you to start.

    The same goes for any other resolution or goal you might have for 2023. They don’t all have to have started on the 1st January. Work out your plans and set dates that suit you best. Ease into them rather than rush and have added pressure. This year I’m asking myself how I want life to look by the end of 2023 instead trying to rush. I’ve kept things simple and I’d like to have lost 10kg, be doing some form of daily exercise even if it’s just a walk, have built some muscle mass, have my health in a good place, be getting more than 6 hours sleep each night, have saved some more money for house improvements, have been to Thailand for a holiday with my daughter, and I think most importantly have improved my work/life balance. All of this gives me something to work towards. It lets me keep focusing on things for the year and gives me time to achieve them.

    It’s also important to note that just because we make resolutions or set goals, it doesn’t mean we’ll achieve them and nor does it mean we’ll achieve them in the timeframe we’d like. That doesn’t mean we need to give up. It means we need to look for new solutions and maybe keep them going into next year.

    I find that I can make change and start to work on things but I have difficulty maintaining that change. For me, the biggest thing this year is how I’m going to go about maintaining the changes I start to implement.

    So I guess that can be my resolution…………….maintaining change.

    How about 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 Jan 09, 2023 8:24 pm

    Hi All..........I hope you had a good weekend.

    Welcome to @Shiloh23 , @Ktulu , @OllieM , @JMJ, @Soaks19, and @Golfer2880..............it's great to have you all onboard.

    Have you found anything helpful on the forums so far?

    What sort of information are you looking for?

    And what about anyone else who might be reading this...............what have you found helpful or what are you looking for?
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Jan 09, 2023 9:42 pm

    So I've just been away for a few days with my daughter. Some family were staying somewhere so we went and stayed in the same town. My daughter doesn't see much of her cousins so I thought it might be nice to spend some time together. My family is not a close family and I'm the only one of the 5 of us that talks to everyone. There's been two separate 20+ year rifts where some haven't spoken to each other and our kids have never all been in the same room. Alcoholism and addiction have caused issues. Anyway, I watched a family member drink the way I used to, behave the way I used to, and go through changes in personality when drinking. It was a very good reminder of why I don't drink anymore and a reminder of what will happen if I do pick up another drink.

    I've got multiple years of sobriety up but I always find that at the start of summer the thoughts to drink get strong. It's something about the hot weather, the beer gardens, everyone out and about having beers at the beach, there was even a late Christmas party at our accommodation with everyone drinking..........it was just in my face. I start to think that maybe i could have a beer or two and I'd be alright but I know that can't and won't happen. I don't have just one or two beers. I don't drink for the taste. I drink for the effect. I drink to get drunk. Once I start, I don't stop.

    The family member I watched was drinking mid-strength and they drink mid-strength so they can try to have some control over the effects of alcohol on them. They came to visit me at my accommodation before we were all going out for dinner one afternoon and brought 6 cans with them..........it was 4pm and we had reservations at 6pm. They kept drinking through dinner and got louder and more obnoxious as the night went on. I saw the behaviour changes. I saw the way they spoke to family. I saw what I become when I drink...............and I didn't like it. I saw why I prefer my life without alcohol.

    When I was in rehab one of my counsellors used to say to me "Let other people relapse for you". It sounds harsh but it's always stuck with me and it got me through 3 months of rehab. It's got me through my recovery up to this point. When I'm at AA meetings I listen closely to the stories of people who have lapsed or relapsed because I want to know what the warning signs are. I want to know what led up to it. I want to know what I need to know to avoid doing the same thing. I want to know why they thought they could drink again after it had caused so many problems in their life before that. I want to know what lessons I can take from their experiences.

    So these days when I feel like a drink I look around at other drinkers. I look at the issues it causes them. I remember the problems it caused me and play the tape forward to see what would happen if I picked up a drink again. By the time I got to rehab I'd hit rock bottom so many times and the trap doors kept opening taking me further down. Rock bottom doesn't describe where it took me. What I know for sure is that I don't ever want to go back to that or feel what I felt.

    There are warning signs everywhere if we look for them. There are lessons everywhere. Alcohol has caused too many issues for me to go back.............there's no such thing as just one drink for me and there never will be. I'll keep trying to let others relapse for me and look for the lessons in that.

    I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this? It'd be great to hear from you.
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 687
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Wed Jan 11, 2023 9:31 pm

    I just stumbled across this @PnorkelPW and there's alot I can relate to.

    I also know what it's like watching family members and their behaviour change once the drinks start getting around. Not once have I been in a situation like that, watched the people drinking and felt like I was missing out on something. Quite the opposite where I actually feel pity on them and very grateful that I don't do that anymore.

    I remember so many times when I was drinking at some kind of family or social event, thinking it was helping me to connect with people better, feel less anxious and allow the conversation to flow more freely. Now I was just wonder how I actually looked/sounded after being sober and seeing people doing the same thing I used to.

    I remember being told to "let people relapse for you" as well. It has been a sad but important part of my recovery learning from other people's mistakes and not once have I seen somebody come back from a relapse saying that it was great or they wish they were still going. And that's the ones that made it back, I know a lot that haven't. Everytime I've seen somebody relapse over the years nothing original has happened. Sure, the individual challenges and circumstances that lead to it can be different, but it's how people deal with challenges and manage their difficult moments that end in relapse that are always the same...Something I have learnt a lot from and continue to learn from.

    It's important for me to remember that there is no such thing as one drink either. Once that switch flips, and my addiction is awakened, I don't really have a say over what happens next. One is too many and a thousand never enough...

    It would be great to hear how this resonates for others and how people manage being around family members or being in other social settings with people who drink?
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Jan 16, 2023 8:22 pm

    Hi All.........how was your weekend?

    Welcome to @Rd , @readyplayer1 and @Gaz01 , I hope you find what you're looking for on the forums.

    I had an interesting couple of weeks which got me thinking about difference I feel when I just get up and do something instead of sitting around watching TV. Early days of recovery are hard and people can find it hard to fill their time. There's a lot to be said for just getting up and walking out the front door and seeing where the day takes you. I fall into the trap of not really being sure what to do so I do nothing but what I find is that if I just walk out the front door and go somewhere I can end up filling in quite a bit of time and feel good about myself at the end of it.

    What do you do to fill your time?

    Where are places you can go?

    Have you ever gone out thinking you'll only be gone for a few minutes and got back hours later?..............that didn't involve using drugs or alcohol
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:35 pm

    So I just had two weeks off work and my daughter was with me. Doing things can cost a lot of money these days so I needed to make sure I didn't blow my budget but that we kept busy too. In the end I think the balance between home time and out and about time was pretty good. There were a few days there where I was getting restless because we were sitting around so we just went for a drive to the beach or a walk to the park...........but we went to different spots than we usually go. We saw new things, new places, new parks.

    It took me back to being fresh out of rehab in early recovery when I wasn't working and didn't have drugs or alcohol to fall back on and pass time. I needed to keep busy because having nothing to do and letting boredom set in was a dangerous space for me to be in. Sitting around the house wasn't easy and my head would get busy going round and round in loops and at times I'd be thinking about using. Watching TV can get pretty boring too. I love TV but there's only so much I can take. It's important to get rid of some energy too and finding productive ways to do it. Built up energy can get confused with cravings and it's another reason people turn to food a lot of the time.

    One of the best things I found to do was just get up and walk out the front door. There's a lot to see out there. When was the last time you just took a walk around your neighbourhood and looked at the houses and gardens. Have you ever been to a caryard and pretended you want to buy a car so you can take them for a test drive? Been to house openings whether they're for sale or rent and just had a look through them to see what they're like? Been to the shops and just looked around? Gone to a country town to look in those shops? Some country towns have some amazing art galleries, craft stores, machinery stores, etc to look in. Op Shops have so many different bits and pieces to see and they're cheap if you want to buy something. Taking public transport instead of driving can help fill in a day too. Have you ever jumped on a different trainline to go from one end to the other and back again? It's just about being creative.

    You'll never do any of it though if you stay inside thinking about what to do. I've wasted days inside thinking and I always end up feeling frustrated and bored and unfulfilled. My anxiety builds. But if I just get up and walk out that door to go to a park and sit for a bit, watch the people, watch the dogs - maybe even pat some - then time will pass. I might walk a longer way home or stay out for some lunch, check out a new cafe or food van, visit new parks a few suburbs away. Walk a different beach each time. Finding public gardens. It's about keeping busy and there's plenty of ways to do it. Taking company with you is a great way to go too.

    I think one of the best things about doing some of these things was that I felt like I'd done something. I felt like I'd accomplished something and I didn't feel like I'd wasted the day. Sometimes I found out that I liked something I never knew I liked before. One thing led to another and sometimes I'd leave in the morning and not get home until late afternoon or night time.

    I think you'll notice that most of what I've suggested doesn't cost any or much money which is always a bonus.

    I'd love to hear some ideas from other people on what can be done to fill time..............what do you do?

    What could you do.........try to think outside the square.
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 759
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:14 pm

    I can't believe it's Monday again. Is it just me or has this week flown by?

    How was your week?

    It'd be great to hear from you

    @lille @delemarie @zenadelphi @Chloe69 @skyechange @StivingForaBetterMe1966 @GypsyLee @lookingforhope @Berko @Missbliss @TheBatman
    Last edited by PnorkelPW on Mon Jan 23, 2023 9:04 pm, edited 2 times 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 Jan 23, 2023 8:41 pm

    I set a few intentions at the start of the year. Not New Year's resolutions...........intentions of how I want to approach life. One of those intentions was to try and be in the moment more. I can spend a lot of time thinking about what might have turned out differently if I'd made different decisions or choices, and I can spend a lot of time thinking about the future and how different decisions or choices might play out if I make them...............and consequently I waste a lot of time. The other downside of this is that when I'm doing things i don't fully enjoy them because i'm thinking about other things...........what's next, what if, what if I did this differently, and many other unhelpful thoughts.

    An example is last week when i was at the beach on a hot Saturday night. I was going back to work on the Monday after two weeks off and thoughts about what I'd be walking back into were starting to creep into my mind. My daughter and her friends were out playing games in the water and I was just hanging by myself. It occurred to me that I was thinking about things that may or may not happen and I had no control over. I was getting edgy because I was on holidays thinking about work. I walked out into the water and just floated. I looked up at the sky and listed to the water and sounds of other people around me. I watched the clouds. I felt the water moving around me..............and I switched my mind off.............and i had a great night at the beach.

    That's what I'm trying to do with each day. Just be in each moment. If I'm watching TV I'm not using my phone. If I'm reading a book, the TV is off. If I'm in the sauna I'm not thinking about work later that day. When I'm talking to someone I'm not typing an email at the same time. I'm giving everyone else and myself and each moment the attention it deserves. I've found it to be much more relaxing and I've felt less pressure and stress. As a result of that, time has started to fly and I'm okay with that.

    Trying not to use drugs and alcohol is similar. The thoughts can get strong but if you can manage to be in the moment and think about what it is you're doing in that moment it can be a way to shift your thinking. What about the moment can you see, touch, smell, hear, taste? Sink into the moment and see if you can forget about the thoughts of using. The cravings can disappear for a while. They'll come back but if you can get into the moment again you might just get through the day without using.

    Have you tried anything like this? It'd be great to hear whether it works for you or maybe you could let us know what else works for you.
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