Welcome to our online peer support community. Connect with others making change in their alcohol and other drug use. Join our online community today.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally moderated. Free of judgement.
  • Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 628
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:56 pm

    You couldn't help yourself could you @PnorkelPW :roll: :lol:

    Glad to hear you're coming out the other side of it :D

    I've been a bit the same, started the week feeling really flat but been really content and grateful the past couple of days. Such minor adjustments in what I focus on and how I manage time/let go of things that don't really matter can just change my perspective so drastically.

    I find through lockdown there's an even greater need to make an effort to readjust perspective all the time because so much time is spent alone and in thought. So many lessons from this whole thing that we've all been through...kind of had enough of that now though, ready to get back to regular human contact haha :D
    1 x
    BonsaiBeginner
    Junior Member
    Posts: 24
    Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:30 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:20 pm

    Back again after a set back.
    The long weekend derailed me and I thought I'd be able to get back to being sober but Sunday was one of the worst hangovers in months.
    I finally saw a counsellor today so I have some new strategies try. Two days sober and aiming just to not drink at all next weekend. Hubby is back at his 2nd job this week so no mid week drinking and I have plans with my sober friends for the weekend. The counsellor has suggested a diary with actual dates and jotting down some feelings and goals each day rather than a journal which I am never consistent in using. I know checking in here helps too. So two tools to work with.
    3 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:06 pm

    Happy Monday Everyone!!..............well I hope it’s happy for you because as I type that I become aware that for some of you it may not be. If that’s the case I encourage you to share what’s happening for you and maybe one of us can help……….or at the very least offer some support.

    That’s one of the really important things about changing your addictive patterns……….asking for help. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of believing that you have to solve everything yourself. I know it’s something that I constantly have to monitor and when I find myself struggling a bit it’s usually something I can trace back to trying to do too much myself. Most people are good at working to their strengths, even if they don’t realise it. It’s how we survive. It’s how we thrive. But being able to admit that there are areas we need to improve in, areas we might not be doing things as well as we could, areas we need help…………...that’s where real strength lies.

    I believe that one of my strengths is that I don’t tell people what to do. I like to ask the question of what it is they want to achieve and help them work towards those goals. From there it becomes a matter of how long it takes to reach them……….if at all. What matters is that they are working towards their goals because it’s unrealistic to believe that we’re going to achieve every goal we ever set. Working towards them though, that’s what’s important………because even if you don’t reach the goal you can feel a sense of achievement……….you give yourself purpose. There’s a term known as ultracrepidarianism. It’s the habit of giving opinions or advice on things that are outside of your knowledge or competence. It’s when I find myself falling into this trap that life get tougher.

    I’ve said many times that stopping using is the easy part……….it’s living life without it that’s the hard.

    I’ve discovered the hard way that life gets tough when I’m not asking for help. I have to remind myself that it’s okay not to have all the answers and that the best way to get things done is through teamwork. Working from other people’s strengths and using them to help with problem solving has been a newly learnt behaviour since I got into recovery. When I live and work this way life gets is easier. I say easier because no matter how well it’s going………..life is never easy. Accepting that has been a big part of my turnaround too.

    I have a team around me now. A GP for medical help, a psychologist I can call on if needed, mates to support me, friends who give me great advice around work, friends for financial advice, dating advice, health and fitness stuff………….you get the picture. Problem is, sometimes I forget to call on them for help. I’m a pretty independent person. I live alone, have done for about the last 5 years. I can keep myself entertained and these days I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin. I like to think I’m a good problem solver…………I just forget sometimes that I can’t solve all my problems and that I don’t have all the answers.

    Active addiction was full of guilt, shame, remorse and a whole lot of other negative emotions because I didn’t feel like I could share it with anyone. Recovery taught me that sharing this stuff is the only way to move forwards. It’s our secrets that keep us trapped. I’ve become better at telling people that I’m struggling. I’ve become better at trusting people and taking chances. I’d be lying if I said that has come easy…………I’d be lying if I said that it is easy. I’m not lying though when I say that life is easier when I’m living it that way. Everybody has times when they’re struggling. We get sold an idea that life is supposed to be this picture perfect postcard where everything is going right but that’s not true. Life can be hard at times. Life can be brutal. This is compounded however when we try to do it alone. In speaking with a friend today I was reminded of this. She’s been working on something for a long time that has just started to gain some traction and that’s because she’s enlisted the help of other people and opened up to collaborating on ideas. By doing this a number of pathways have suddenly appeared and many doors have opened.

    So this was going to be a simple “Happy Monday” post but sometimes my mind just fires and words hit the page………….it’s sharing. I guess that’s the upshot of what it is I’m trying to say. If things aren’t going well then share it with someone…………and we’re here to share it with. Totally anonymously and with nothing other than support and understanding to offer. I’m not always going to offer advice. Most of the time I just like to share my experience and see if something resonates for you. Only you can figure out what’s going to work for you by trying new things……….but you need to hear what other people have tried so that you can have some new tools to call on in times of need.

    So please………share with us if you’re struggling……….share with us if you’re not. Either way it’s going to help you or it’s going to help someone else. I feel better for having shared this. It’s helped me………….I hope it can help someone else in their journey too.
    1 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 628
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:48 pm

    Seeing where you're at @BonsaiBeginner is a massive reminder of how important it is to strive for progress and not perfection. It's just great that you've reached out for some help again and you're trying some new things to get to where you want to with it all. That's what recovery is really, finding the tools that will work for you to be able to maintain the quality of life and freedom you want for yourself.

    Everybody's recovery is as individual as their fingerprint and the most important thing is not giving up on giving up/finding what the right balance looks like for you.

    It took me a good couple of years after first recognising I had a problem to find what would work for me to get recovery, keep on the path and thank you for sharing this with us :)
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:25 pm

    It's Monday again and we're here to listen, share, support or whatever else we can do to help make the pathway easier for you to manage

    How was the week @BonsaiBeginner ?..........did you achieve your goals?........what worked??........what didn't????

    You've made some really good choices and I'm loving the fact that you've just kept walking forwards and trying the next thing when you've hit a pothole

    I worked from home all last week and it was a great chance to reset. I got through a power of work but the downside was that I didn't really maintain my boundaries well...........which gave me a chance to reflect on where I can do better. I ran a group today on lapse/relapse and as I was talking with the group I was reminded of the need for me to take care with my work/life balance. It doesn't matter how much recovery time you have up.............if you stop doing what works then you're opening the door for a lapse. And if you fail to acknowledge that the balance has shifted then you're leaving that door wide open and inviting the relapse in

    There's no such thing as failure in recovery..........or life...........just lessons to be learnt

    So today I walked in with the intention of maintaining my boundaries around work and home life............it's a work in progress but a necessary one to protect my recovery

    What can you do?
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:30 pm

    Another Monday rolls around and we get to do another week..............what's going to be different about this week for you?

    I'm not gonna go into detail on my week last week but I will mention theses 2 things..........On Tuesday I was elated because it marked the day 6 years prior when I walked in to rehab. I don't count the Tuesday as my first day in this stint of recovery because I was far from substance free..........the Wednesday marked the day for celebration............but once again I was reminded that it was no different to any other day in recovery. It's just a day at a time that results in an extended period of recovery and I have to keep doing the same thing I've done every day for the last 6 years............everything I can to make it another sober day.

    By Thursday I was having the most difficult week I've had since beginning work in the Drug and Alcohol field..............and by Sunday I knew that there's no way I would have got through it the way I did if I wasn't in recovery. It was challenge after challenge after challenge. In recovery I've learnt that I'm capable of more than I could ever have imagined.

    I guess last week was just another reminder that life is gonna keep throwing up challenges. When I thought I was having a great week it turned into a shocker...........but when I look back at the end of it I realise that there was more growth than I could ever have imagined.

    So whatever this week brings for you I hope there are some learnings in there for you because there will be good times and tough times of varying degrees..........it's how you respond that counts.

    Good luck everyone..........I hope your week is orright
    2 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:24 pm

    Mondays come and go and the year is disappearing quicker than ever...........I can't believe it's November already!!!

    I must say that living here in Melbourne I feel like I've undergone a massive shift over the last week.........we're finally starting to open up again. There is hope in the air again. The sun is shining and the peeps are starting to emerge from their homes.........albeit with some degree of caution.

    This is a weekend of caution for me. Sure it's a long weekend for The Melbourne Cup but I have to be careful I don't fall into the gambling trap again. I've got my daughter with me so that I stay busy and I'm distracted from the festivities.

    Life is too short to waste on short term highs and short term fixes............that's one of the things that pointed me down recovery road in the first place. I knew there was a life out there for me and slowly I've started putting it together. It'll never be complete because I'll always need to find new interests, new challenges...........new experiences. That's one of the true joys of my life now............experiencing it without any false highs.

    So this weekend so far we've been bike riding, beach walking, it'll be beach with friends tomorrow and just enjoying each day. What experiences have you found???
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:23 pm

    AAAArrrggghhh............sometimes I hate Mondays!!!

    I just returned to work after a three day weekend feeling quite relaxed............I'd had a great mix of chill and activities, crossed some things off the to do list that had been starting to wear me down and felt like my energy was replenished.............I even got up at 5am and went to the gym and did 15km on the exercise bike and had a sauna. I haven't been to the gym before work in months and months because of lockdown and I was feeling great. Not long after getting to work though the struggle began.

    Upon reflection I found it difficult because i wanted things to go my way. A massive list of tasks got bigger as the morning went on and a couple of deadlines approached. I was feeling the pressure and having trouble deciding what to do first. Then I made a strange decision...........I went for a walk. Yes there were things that needed to be done but I needed some space to be able to get my head straight...........and it worked. I was late with a deadline but it doesn't matter...........the task got done and the sun will still come up tomorrow.

    I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes the smartest decision you can make is to just walk away.

    If I'd stayed in what I was in today I would have continued to get worked up, things would have felt harder and the pressure would have felt much, much heavier. I gave myself the space to get some perspective, to figure out what was important and what could wait..........and I came back and completed what needed to be completed.

    Do you need to walk away from anything?? Do you need to give yourself some space?? What is the right thing for you right now?
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:43 pm

    I'm sitting in a bit of deep reflection on this Monday because of the weekend that's passed. What was a great weekend with my daughter getting out and about again with some bowling, shopping, movies, hot chocolates watching a wild ocean and just chilling at home was tinged by some decision making that I feel was well out of alignment for me..............it was against my values. This is one of the rare cases where I won't share what the decision was but will talk about the negative impact it has had on me. The hard thing is that it has potential to have a negative impact on other lives as well.

    When I was in active addiction choice was almost non-existent. Every decision I ever made was driven by my need to have a substance in my system or a behaviour to distract me from realities I did not want to face. Recovery has brought freedom of choice and I'm not proud of the choice I made a few days ago. Once upon a time I used the substances as an excuse for my poor decision making............."I was drunk"............."I was off my head"............"I don't even remember that". This was a decision I had control over but chose not to take the correct path.

    I'm not perfect and I never will be. I don't want to be perfect. I'll forever make mistakes but there are mistakes that cause my thinking to become negative and question my judgment, my values...........myself. I can make amends for my actions and I can ensure that I don't make similar decisions in the future. I don't want to feel like I do right now but I need to feel this. I need to feel it because I need the reminder of how I don't want to feel again in the future. I also need to feel it because I can't escape it........there is no easy way out. My decisions have consequences and that's how life works............no matter how much I don't want it to at times.

    So how do I move forwards???? Not by using substances. Not by running away. I'll talk to the person in my life who is my identified advice giver in these situations. I'll work through it slowly. I'll understand the drivers and I'll just keep getting out of bed each day until at some stage in the future I'm feeling like I've worked through it. I'll keep trying to live life by my value set.

    I suppose that's something I can be grateful for............that I have a value set. It's what helps me identify when I'm straying from the person I want to be. I'll be grateful that I have choices and I'll be grateful that at this stage no damage has been done........even though there is potential still. I'll be grateful that acknowledging my decision making and owning it prevents me from spiralling into a world of self loathing and negative head space.

    No one decision will ever define me. What will define me is how I continue to move forwards. My addictions will not define me. My recovery will. Life is going to bring ups and downs and more and more mistakes. I won't hide from them. I will accept them as part of my imperfection.

    Was there anything about your weekend that was against your value set? And how will you move forwards?
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:33 pm

    Hello...........how was your weekend? How was you Monday?

    Mondays can be tough..........so can any other day but Mondays always seem worse for me and today wasn't the best Monday I could have had. I keep making the mistake of going into the day thinking I can control the outcome. It's something I constantly work on but continue to find myself falling into the trap. All I can really do is prepare for the day and do my best to get through. Preparation is the key to lots of things in life........not all......but lots........and with Christmas coming up preparing is something you can start to do.

    It might seem a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but it can be an extremely difficult time for a lot of people..........especially those living in addiction or recovery...........or somewhere in the middle of both. You can start to plan how you're going to spend your time, who you're going to spend it with, where you're going to be and more importantly..........where to avoid. You can start to work on your plans with friends, family, counsellors, GP's, Psychs or whoever else helps you with the tough stuff. It's no good pretending it's not going to be hard or hoping it won't be...........but you can prepare for it.

    Over the next few weeks I'll share a bit about what I've found hard over the Christmas, New Year period and what I've done that's made it easier. What would be good is if you can start thinking about what you might find difficult..........that way you can start to think about what you can do to counteract that.

    It's never to early to protect yourself

    It'd be great to hear from some people about what's on your mind leading into the Christmas and NYE period
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Nov 29, 2021 8:36 pm

    Hi All.............Monday Meetup is here again and I'll share my thoughts to see if anyone is out there.

    My Monday was full of frustration, fear, anger, pride, remaining calm when I wanted to explode, giving my time now in the hope it will make life easier further down the track, prioritising needs, putting things off till later, feeling like the day was just being swallowed and I was never going to get anywhere, difficult conversations, holding my ground, standing up for others, voicing my opinion, meeting new people, wishing I was outside getting some sun, too much time driving.........................and at the end of the day I'm sitting here thinking that overall it wasn't such a bad day.

    Despite it being a tough day, it won't be made any better by having a drink. I said it last week in one of my posts somewhere..............I've been surfing some pretty big urges lately and I need to do some assessment on that. Nothing will get any better if I drink or use or gamble.

    The Christmas and NY period will be full of all sorts of difficult emotions and conversations too. My family is an interesting study in psychology and Christmas always brings up feelings of frustration and anger. I've become better at setting my boundaries and usually end up spending Christmas on my own because I've discovered it's a great day to reflect. It's a sad day for me. I put on a brave front but it's a constant reminder of the marriage I destroyed through my addictions and when I watch my daughter and her mum head off for lunch after I've been around there to do presents in the morning I feel a smack in the face. It hasn't changed in ten years and I like to be alone for that............but that's what I've worked out works for me.

    For many reasons Christmas can be tough for different people. I've worked out that if I get my dad and brother done in the few days leading up to Christmas and my mum for Boxing Day then I get the space I need. My sister is just a phone call so that's not so bad. I get resentful at Christmas because of the issues between my family and I have to stay aware of that. My approach isn't for everyone but it is for me. Who knows? This year ight be the year I do things differently.........but I doubt it. I went to a mate's place one day but I picked the wrong family to visit...........30 Irish sitting around getting boozier and boozier was not my greatest choice.

    So I've identified family as an issue and identified that I like solitude on the day. It's a great day to be at the beach because no one else is.

    What is an issue for you and what is something you can do to combat that???
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 06, 2021 8:29 pm

    Hi to everyone who reads this............with less than three weeks till Christmas I hope you're doing orright.

    I've addressed a couple of things over the last few weeks and today I was reminded about a trigger that can really cause some trouble leading up to Christmas.............finances. I know it's a major trigger for me.

    One particular Christmas it sent me into a spiral and I was lucky a mate came to the rescue. Living in Sydney and wanting nothing more than to get back for Christmas to see my daughter and be able to afford presents. Things weren't going to well for me at the time and I was relying on some money from a betting syndicate to come through but there was a problem with it. I didn't have savings...........who has savings????........I was living pay check to pay check boozing as much as I could because my alcoholism was out of control. Thankfully I got a loan from my mate and was able to fly down and buy my daughter some presents...........it's incredible how close I came to gambling that loan away though because I wanted to be able to give more, more, more.

    I suffer from the disease of "more" because nothing is ever enough. More booze, more drugs, more gambling, more sex, more food, more gym, more work.............if it makes me feel good I want MORE!! In this case I wanted to give my daughter more because nothing satisfied me at that stage in my life. The funny thing is that she didn't care...........she just wanted her dad home for Christmas. And that's one of the lessons I've learnt over the years. The best present I can give people is my time, my attention, my focus..........me. My daughter is just happy to see me, my family are just happy to see me..........and I'm just happy to be there with them...........mostly.

    Over the years I've learnt to save some money, to put some away early in the year for Christmas time. Not to go nuts and buy every toy in the store, just to be able to give something but more importantly it's not to feel the pressure of not having money at Christmas time. It's hard enough to afford to live with an addiction, let alone to put the pressure of Christmas on top of things. The triggers of family, trying not to drink or drug, the emotions, the loneliness, isolation, the guilt, shame and remorse, seeing others happy when you're not, the ups and downs can be relentless at Christmas time.

    Try not to put too much pressure on yourself this Christmas.............try to remember that the best present you could give to someone is just to clean and sober for the few hours you see them on the day.

    And the best present you can give yourself is a day without substances.
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:36 pm

    This week I plan on sitting back and reverting to basics. I got extremely knocked around by some sort of sickness last week and spent days sleeping. It affected both my physical and mental health and gave me some time to think about where my focus has been...........and it's not been on the right side of work/life balance. This has meant that my focus on all things recovery has been severely out of alignment and I've been battling with thoughts of drinking and using again. My head and body have been screaming for a release............like I just wanted to get completely messed up and have a blowout. These feelings have been building for a while but became really strong over the last couple of weeks and even during my sickness I've wanted to blowout.

    This is a dangerous time...........I even flicked the races on the other day and imagined myself betting. With the time to reflect I've understood that my energies have been taken by work and chasing women and it's all been trying to distract myself from what's really going on............I've been bored, lonely, not exercising, overworking, letting emotions build up, not using self care and most dangerously............I've been pretending that I'm okay and not acknowledging that things have been building up.

    So having identified this.............again...........because it's a bit of a pattern, I know that I need to redirect my attention to self care and recovery. I looked up some meetings to get back to as well. I'll be setting stronger boundaries around work, monitoring my health with my GP and talking to others about not being okay. One of things that happens when I'm on here is that I keep trying to send messages of positivity and tell you all I'm orright but the truth is that life has it's tough times too and I need to share the tough times as well or I'm falling back into people pleasing behaviour and that's another sign that my addictions are at play again.

    I've done a few things right over the last few weeks by getting back to golf and taking RDO's but I've also allowed myself to drift back into dangerous territory. I've had to get brutally honest with myself and acknowledge that I've slowly crept closer to lapse.............thankfully I've prevented it for now. I have come close to hurting others unnecessarily through the dating and misleading but I've also managed to get honest about my intentions there too and prevented causing pain to others.

    Addiction plays out in many forms.......................where are you really at????
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:11 pm

    The Monday before Christmas.............what's on your mind???

    How are you feeling about the holiday period?
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 694
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Monday Meetup - Join us weekly!

    Mon Dec 27, 2021 8:23 pm

    I hope your Christmas went well. Mine was orright. The morning was spent with my daughter and her mum doing the usual present unwrapping and then we went to lunch in the park. One of the gifts of recovery was that I was able eat Christmas lunch in the park with my ex-wife and her family. 10 years ago that wasn't possible but these days it is and we can have a laugh.

    Boxing Day was mum's birthday so we went for a two hour drive to see her for a double celebration including Christmas............I'm just grateful there was other extended family there too. I have a difficult relationship with my mum and it's hard for me to spend extended amounts of time with her alone. I've come to a place of acceptance that she is who she is but I find her views and opinions extremely hard to be around. It's easier not to bite and enter conversation but it also makes me uncomfortable. I continually redirect conversation but find the balance between setting my boundaries and just giving up quite tiring. My daughter loves to see her Granny though so that makes the trip worthwhile.

    Overall I'm glad the Christmas stress is done. Sometimes I feel like the Grinch when I see other people getting so into Christmas. A couple of people at work were giving out little gifts and getting all excited but for me it's never really been a time of year I've enjoyed (playing Santa for my daughter in the early years the only exception) due to the family stuff.

    From here I'm moving on to a fresh focus for 2022 but I'll share more about that on Thursday's post.

    How are you feeling in the lead up to NYE?
    1 x

    Return to “Monday Meetup – Join us weekly!”