Getting sober has introduced a whole new language to me. How about ‘training the sober muscle’ or this one: urge surfing? It is about when you have a craving and you don’t run away from it but stay with it. It describes very well what I did when reading Jason Vale’s book on quitting with drinking. I still drank at that time. That made it easier to get all the information in and discover some new terrain without being fearful.
WARNING: DON’T READ THIS WHEN YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH CRAVINGS. I found the text brought cravings back.
When you’re struggling with alcohol cravings, try these strategies:
Talk to someone you trust: your sponsor, a supportive family member or friend, or someone from your faith community.
Distract yourself until the urge passes. Go for a walk, listen to music, do some housecleaning, run an errand, or tackle a quick task.
Remind yourself of your reasons for not drinking. When you’re craving alcohol, there’s a tendency to remember the positive effects of drinking and forget the negatives. Remind yourself that drinking won’t really make you feel better.
Accept the urge and ride it out, instead of trying to fight it. This is known as “urge surfing.” Think of your craving as an ocean wave that will soon crest, break, and dissipate. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think.
The 3 basic steps of urge surfing:
Take an inventory of how you experience the craving. Do this by sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths and focus your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander through your body. Notice where in your body you experience the craving and what the sensations are like. Notice each area where you experience the urge, and tell yourself what you are experiencing. For example, “My craving is in my mouth and nose and in my stomach.”
Focus on one area where you are experiencing the urge. Notice the exact sensations in that area. For example, do you feel hot, cold, tingly, or numb? Are your muscles tense or relaxed? How large an area is involved? Notice the sensations and describe them to yourself. Notice the changes that occur in the sensation. “My mouth feels dry and parched. There is tension in my lips and tongue. I keep swallowing. As I exhale, I can imagine the smell and tingle of booze.”
Repeat the focusing with each part of your body that experiences the craving. Describe to yourself the changes that occur in the sensations. Notice how the urge comes and goes. Many people, when they urge surf, notice that after a few minutes the craving has vanished. The purpose of this exercise, however, is not to make the craving go away but to experience the craving in a new way. If you practice urge surfing, you will become familiar with your cravings and learn how to ride them out until they go away naturally.
Source:National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Visited the new GP, weird conversation. I was trying not to ‘make in impression’ and use ‘power tools’ to make a statement, try to keep a check on the ego. Well, that didn’t work and apart from that: I couldn’t even finish a sentence. It does confirm to me that one needs at least a little bit of ego to come across or walk about in the world. Or maybe I set myself and her up to fail because I’m secretly (?) pissed of with her. Bull, I couldn’t finish a sentence because I was too chicken and too confused to say what I think because since I have been labelled ‘addict’ I think people doubt everything I say.
She doubts if I am on the right track because I do this on my own without a certified addict specialist. I’m now struggling why I find her doubt so hurtful. And than there’s that ego thing that if she hurts me I should get even, or at least prove she was absolutely wrong. Ha, let’s call it what it is, I’m not struggling, I am pretty pissed off because I find it fucking irritating that somebody doubts me!!! (I statements only… ;-)) And…. I do think it is important to work out the whole why of it.
First, I am not irritated, it started of with confused, moved to scared and only after that I got to pissed off and defensive. She could have said ‘congratulations on stopping’. I would have liked that (powerthingy language game, call her not nice without saying that? Trap, trap). But her whole attitude felt like she thinks I am destined to walk the wrong walk. (assumption trap). And with that doubt and her continuous ‘it is not getting sober, it is staying sober’ speak the road to drinking is textually opened up again. That irritates me because it is an image that I do not want at a place where I did not expect it.
Ha, got it!!! These doubts opened up possibilities that I took in without checking and the made me think drink. I should practice:
Let doubt not enter my system; keep it out with the same determination as drink think. The road to Booze is closed. Not closed until October, or closed till the new safety rails have been put in place. It is CLOSED. This is where that rule of laws of attraction works; I should not think ‘I should not drink’ because it keeps my focus attached to ‘drink’. Instead of that I think ‘I am free’.
I AM FREE AND HAPPY!!! (and crying)
Jason Vale says; be happy that you stopped. It could be considered a stupid mindfuck and it is, it is a brainwash technique. But if there’s brainwashing to be done I prefer this one over ‘oooh, have pitty on me because I stopped.’ or ‘drink because it makes you look cool’. Funny thing is, when I brainwash myself to happiness, I immediately don’t care anymore what the GP said. Isn’t that strange.
So, today I stumbled over my power thing, tried to reinforce the power thing in a blog, wrote 20 pages in which I was right and got righter by the minute, the GP was evil (sorry 😦 ), then deleted 19 and did some ‘ahaa Erlebnissy thing’ in the final page and tarted it up with a gif and realised:
It’s day 10, on, or during this day all the alcohol should be finally out of my body. Based on advice from Jason Vale I will now stop counting the days. ‘Counting days is something you do in prison, you are not in prison, you have free yourself!’
I’m on page 66 of Nakken. Something about the drive to connect. Big issue, can’t even read it. Words go in and out, don’t even stick in my the brain. It touches where I think (know) I am strange. Either too little or too much. Awkward. Awkward.
There are things in connecting that I have never learned. Having a father that has Aspergers probably didn’t help and living on a farm far away from other people neither. Very little social life.
Can’t change what’s done. Can try to see what’s going on now. Feel as awkward as I did when growing into my womens body, arms, legs, clumsiness and all these feelings racing. That is about the time that I first started drinking. I think it is why I started drinking and why I continued along that road. To get rid of all the awkwardness. To not feel.
Well, going to see if I can get it right this time around. 🙂
Not sure what happened but suddenly I have this craving, craving, craving, wanting to run, well, drink, and hide. And I don’t want to fight it. That is dangerous.
What happened? Tomorrow happened: tomorrow is Monday and I need to get going with my life. I’ve stayed indoor 7 days to get me past the first days. Hardly been in contact with anybody. Tomorrow I have to start dealing with the shit I left laying around. Paying bills, paying the tax office (already overdue). I still have money, but no income and pretty large costs. It’s only bills, the money is there but it feels like I need to fix me tomorrow. I don’t want to be broken.
I am so ashamed that I let myself go from successful and reasonable rich to unsuccessful and struggling to pay bills. Reading Nakken I realise that I there is so much work to do. As I ‘felt my way’ through Jason Vale’s book it helped me make internal decisions against alcohol. For every trap he explained I checked how it connected to me, cut the energetic bond and sealed the entry so I could finally not drink. I am glad I did that book first. If I would have started with Nakken when drinking it is my guess I would have doubled my intake. Heavy shit.
Reading Nakken’s ‘Addictive personality’ tears open this whole dark internal world of unprocessed pain, loneliness, self loathing, lack of trust, lack of guidance and mostly incompetence in connecting with people. The addictive patterns he shows have been going on from a very early age in my life. I identify them as my base position. Not sure if that’s the word, and he uses other words, but to me it is the position from which I interact with the world. That hurts. I do not want to be like that. I want to be true. And hope to become whole. I guess it hurts most because he says it’s going to take years to unravel, undo and build up again. But hey, I want it all and I want it now.
Part of this post is a reply to a reader. Currently reading some more in my new book ‘The addictive personality’ from Craig Nakken. Jason Vale was about the alcohol part of an addiction. I know now alcohol is bad, which is why I don’t drink it. I can’t make more of it.
This book is about the addiction part of the addicted person. To some of you that have had addiction treatment this book may be yesterday’s news but I’m doing this sort of on my own and found every sentence from the first say 11 pages quote worthy.
I have bought the book because I have always thought, even from a very young age that I have this character structure that gets addicted to everything possible. There’s this German saying ‘Je länger, je lieber’. Which means something like: the more the better but with loads of yearning in it. I’ve had that all my life. My mother could read me the same book 10 – 20 times over while my brother never, ever reads a book twice. He once went nuts when I put a CD on repeat. Which surprises me because I had been listening to it for 2 months in a row already… I can eat the same dish 2 weeks in a row because I can’t get enough of it. Actually, before I quite I ate one dish 9 months everyday for breakfast and lunch, recipe will follow.
At age of 14 I went from not smoking to 15 per day in one week. I have drunk 3 litres of cola per day for at least a year, 1 to 2 litres in the years before that. I combined that with at least 2 litres of strong black tea per day if it were not five. And of course 3 litres of beer. Note to self: get kidneys checked. Same with everything. I can wear the same clothes for a month onwards because I like them (I do wash them if you care to know). I have bought the same black t-shirt for 20 years in a row now, adjusting sizes from XS to XL as I drank more and got fatter. And if I don’t get the things that I like, that specific cheese, rice crackers with cheese and marmite, a specific stock in my chicken soup I get irritated. Part of it has to do with being hypoglycaemic, blablablabla. And blaaaaablablablaaaaa.
Writing this down is ok, reading it back is quite overwhelming. Starting to become aware of the bullshit in me. Ooooh, the powers that are within. Did I really do all that? This is one of the parts where I think I am weird. I guess that’s a justified feeling then. And I think I cover it up with righteousness, decisiveness and projecting security outwardly in a rather aggressive way. ‘Don’t come near me, don’t touch me, don’t disturb the brittle safety that I hold within.’
Yesterday I wrote: ‘To me it feels like I have a tendency to structurally replace something for something. Not sure what the somethings in this equation are, apart from the drinking, of course :-D.’ Today I read that addicts replace intimacy with excitement and try to nurture themselves with an addiction that finally gives the sense of omnipotence, amongst others. Yes. That would be me. And the addiction also numbs the real feelings allowing the addict NOT to deal with the life issues that are. Then pain turns into despair and the shit hits the fan.
They say with detoxing from alcohol there may be some nausea. I’m only getting that now when reading this book. What have I done to myself? And I would really like to jump over the grief to the ‘I’m so glad I stopped’. And maybe, just to get me through the day, I will do that. Trap, trap. Ubuntu, girl, ubuntu. Have mercy, have mercy. Crying. This is me, and this is what happened. All the bullshit that I carry around, what a weight.
Realising something: I put up all these walls. I was thinking of using the same move to keep booze out. But booze is already out. No worries. Not going back.
Looking inside now. The rigidity does not help me cope with things, it makes it so that there is no movement, fluidity, suppleness, or how you call it in me. Makes it hard to breathe and when breathing it does not bring life. Focussing now on the energetic walls around me and the effort I put in to them. Letting go and focussing on the intention I have to bring them back up, very visible all now. Shit, coming of the booze gives me so much ability to learn! It’s almost as strong as a ayahuasca trip. Learning, learning, feeling my way back into life. 🙂
Despair, mourning. My gods, have I wasted so much energy, time, life, cut myself off so badly? So cut off. MAMAAAAAA!!! Why hast thou forsaken me? Why have I forsaken me?
This world, my world (?) seems to lack a spiritual mother. Not sure what that means.
Flashes, flashes of history coming by. Moving house at 8 years old, totally new environment, alienation, been beaten up by best friend day before. Lost, no place to go. Walls beginning to build. Powerless because it was all decided for me. Strange because I left, strange because I was new and did not speak nor understand the dialect which was found to be strange, dangerous. And I? ‘I will keep you out because you keep me out!’ Threat, fear, anger. Where is Yoda when you need him? Breathe, relax and drink water.
Feeling my body come to life! Not sure how the correct frase is in English but the water that I was retaining (?) is getting out of my body. Wow, this feels so great! I can twist my neck and look behind me again. My fingers move easily and bending over is no problem anymore (apart for the belly). Yeah! It’s funny that I can be so high on an achievement that actually consists of NOT doing something.
I will certainly continue my 1,5 pint of morning vegetable drink juiced from cellery, apple, lemon, ginger, cucumber and carrots. And not drink alcohol of course. That works out to be a very good plan.
Starting a new book as well: ‘The addictive personality, understanding the addictive process and compulsive behavior.’
Jason Vale tought me how alcohol works. What I learned is that the process of getting hooked did NOT happen after we made the bad decision to start drinking more that our GP’s. It happens in our society that advertises alcohol in all of its communications. It happens by getting young people to like alcohol by feeding them sweet mix drinks. And third and most important of all: alcohol is so addictive that we step in the trap with the first drink we like. That’s when it closes on us and only very smart thinking and lack of possibility and lack of reason will keep people away from it.
As Jason Vale points out; people that say ‘I only eat bananas in the weekend and try not to eat them during the week. So I do not have a banana problem’ already have a banana problem. That is about 80% of the population.
Well, that was all about the booze. Good book. And it has got me preaching sobriety within 5 days! Yeah! Preaching = trap! It is not about the other. It is about me.
So now I will try to look into my side of the addiction and I hope to do that with a book that hopefully helps me to understand the how and why of having an addictive personality. Did anybody (of the 3 readers I currently have who help me greatly by reading and commenting on this blog, read this book? 🙂 Addition: having people objectifies them, objectiving people is part of addiction behaviour. In the works of Willow to Spike: ‘There will be no having of any kind!’
2 Persons have read my blog, not sure if they finished, but somebody found it! Now I’m starting to feel responsible for what I put out there. That is a funny thing, feel like there is a trap in that. Like I’m automatically trying to tune into The Other. The trap is in losing me and then trying to wash (drink) away the feeling of being lost.
It’s day 4, I slept from posting the 2nd post to 10:30 this morning, woke up once to drink water. Normally I would wake up 10 times in the night. I dreamed all kinds of stuff. One part of it was being at a university in Japan where this tall, blond, muscular, male, handsome, young student was wasting his life on booze. Always funny how I dream about myself, well I guess the student was me as well, in pictures that are the total opposite of how I look. He gave me a glass of heavy liquor but it looked like water. He did it on purpose because he thought I was an arrogant bitch and wanted to break me. Noting some issues with aggression and self hate here? I spit it right back in his face and then flipped a massive table over him (turned the tables?) in a ‘YOU, SHALL NOT PASS!’ kind of way, ghegheghe. But one thing I did not do is break the double bind, he still has me caught in his despise. Need to read up on that, repair myself. Or maybe: I still despise myself for drinking. I do.
The guy sought me out because I was insecure, felt like I was trespassing in a world that was unknown to me but known to everybody. Much like any school I went to actually. He got a double bind on me in seconds. Forgot how he did that. Or maybe the feeling of being an alien is enough to make me shrink. ‘If you are them, if you are with them, they will not hurt you – thought.’ Nasty system fault.
I noticed that I take giant steps internally through this writing. That’s part of my character that needs looking into. There’s a trap in not being able to stand still and feel the moment. Part of it is that I have nobody to speak with about getting sober. I was in this medical intake process but it somehow did not feel right. And then I noticed that ever since I started the intake process I only felt worst and worst. I figured out it was because I had given my Initiative away and got this ‘I am a patient, only The Other will make me better’ thought over me.
When they did not call me at the day they said they would I felt like they thought I was not important enough. So I stopped drinking by myself quite probably to prove that I could do it. Should I apologise for this childish trait? Not sure.
Yes, I know, major trap number 1 there: ‘You hurt me so I don’t need you and I can do it better myself anyway.’ Note to self: the hurt only happened because you placed yourself in their hands and gave up your Initiative. I have an issue with connecting, can’t balance it, but now disconnecting is helping me to set my own personal energy boundaries again. With the help of Jason’s book feel through every lie that is within me and out there to see and mostly feel how it enters / entered my system and made me drink. During the reading I would spot where the lie would attach to my thinking and energy and chuck it out, close the door. I’ve seen these words ‘practising the sober muscle’ somewhere online. I guess that’s what it is what I did before I stopped and then I stopped. It is part of how I feel my way back into life.
Still need to decide on what to tell the intake people.
The way I see it now is that I have taken what is my weakness ‘not connecting’ and turned it into a strength. I did exactly what I did not dare to. I thought I was going to die or at least be taken into hospital at the weirdest hour of the day. I have this motto, it’s a bit long (like the rest of what I write) but it goes like this; when you want something but are afraid to do it, start with that what you are most afraid of.
That was part of my decision and of course, and this is a bit dangerous… Jason said in his book that the effects of withdrawal are minimal if you get some good nutrition in you. I actually don’t think he should be saying that, but he was right in my case / I made the case right. For me it worked out fine. But, but, my blood values were good to start with AND I have this strange sensitivity that I can sometimes feel stuff and ‘know’ stuff about health – which is the thought that helped me trough the last 3 days but actually it might as well be a very fake idea of coping that I made up myself. You never know… But it worked for me.
DISCLAIMER: what I write below is NOT meant as medical advice. I’m not a doctor, non of this is in any way meant as medical advice, it is just written down to inform you of my thought process during my detox. Please consult your GP or addiction doctor to discuss detoxing.
What I did is I felt my way through the detox. Detox as far as my knowledge goes has to do with 5 things:
Mineral balance of potassium, calcium, sodium (mostly in too high supply anyway), magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.They arrange the communication of molecules between cells. It they are out of balance, all your systems go wrong.
Lack of vitamin C, D and probably A, E, B something, called Thiamine, general lack of any of the vitamin B’s.
Making sure my sugar level are correct / if breath, sweat or pee smell like acetone the shit hits the fan. Not good. Up front I told myself that this for me was a point were I would call a doctor. But in fact I did not, I immediately ate some grapes and All Brans with milk and got by.
Serotonin overdose. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that connects brain cells. If they become too high a brain starts to connect like crazy and that can actually make people psychosis crazy. Not good. I slept a lot, it calms me.
Omega 3 and 9 fats, we seem to get plenty of 6 anyhow. The brain wallows in Omega 3 fat and funny enough all our food is deprived of it and alcohol wears omega stocks down so I eat loads.
If I felt a tiny lightning in my brain I drank water with Celtic Salt which is a special salt that contains all the salty minerals. I ate 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds per day, chew to paste and swallow for calcium. Started of the day with 1,5 pint of home juiced vegetable juice made of celery, apple, ginger, cucumber, a lemon and some carrots which is generally good, they cleanse and bring minerals in the correct balance in your body. During the day I ate 2 handfuls of walnuts and almonds for minerals and vitamins, about 5 dried apricots for potassium, 1 spoon of cod-liver for vitamin A and D, several multi-vitamin pills, several multi-vitamin B pills, some beer yeast pills, some maria-thistle pills to cleanse the liver and some All Bran cornflakes with milk when my blood sugar would feel like it got of track. Next to that I ate ecological pork meat when I felt like it because that is a very good source of al kinds of vitamin B and while drinking I noticed that it has better results than nuts and pills on tremors. Also, when my brain would feel like it overworked I took 2 spoons of flax-oil. I also had about 5 cooked potatoes, 3 servings of wild rice with avocado. And I ate cheese, but that’s just because I like it. I should have eaten chocolate as well but I incidentally bought the milk version in stead of the extra pure so that was only going to make me fat and not add a lot of Magnesium.
In between I drank about 2-3 liters herb thee and water with Bach Remedies. That’s one of the reasons as well not to want to go internally to do a detox; Back Remedies are herbal medicine that influence mental stuff and I think manage energy levels of all kinds. But they are conserved in alcohol. AA minded people would want me to loose them but they have actually helped me get healthy and happy in a lot of situations. I do 10 drops in 1,5 liter water, pour half a glass and then dilute this with water. If I do taste the alcohol I water it down. For me they are not in the drink area, they are in the medicine area. But you’ll be the first to know if I got it wrong.
And here I am. At the other end of a 3 days detox. Ghegheghe, did not lose weight, but that will not surprise you. Actually I gained 1,5 kilo in the first day. I guess the retaining water has to do with not getting the usual diuretic (booze). Think it does not have to do with the salt. Salt is bad for the blood pressure and heart but I think to notice that the Celtic salt does not influence me that much. It is the table salt that has only the Sodium Chloride that throws the body out of balance. But yes, I am still waiting for national pee day; the day that I go to the toilet more than I drink water or tea. Also, I went to bed when I wanted and did what I wanted and made sure I was absolutely glad that I had stopped drinking. That seems like an important part of it.
They say it takes 3 days for the last alcohol to be out of your body. And then there is another 10 day mark or so and then, with training the brain, it will take another 4 months before the path of drink think is removed from the brain as a reward system.
My head is tired. Wrote for 3 hours. Tired. Don’t want to stop, feel like I need to get stuff out there. See, there’s a trap. I need to write for myself, but if I do that for myself only then I feel alone. But if I write for other people I have the fear that I look crazy when I would write down the funny stuff. Then again, I feel that a lot of learning has to be done there were the funny stuff starts. Like that I’ve not had a shower since I stopped. It feels that if I would relax under the shower I would wash off the determination. Major Trap. It probably means that the ‘relaxation’ and ‘peace’ that I feel is actually something that I force upon myself. WHAAAAA! Ooooh! I let it go for a second, now I know why I hang on to the determination and am out here blogging the hell out of me. Ghegheghe. I hang on to the determination because if I don’t there’s an empty world with nothing out there. Major Not Knowing. Infinity is sooooo big. Finally crying.
Going to lay down now, taking care of me also needs to be done when I want to do something else.
Hello, bloggers, readers, I’m new and out here, now. This is the third day after what was hopefully my last drink and I decided not to lurk around your blogs anymore. Belle, special thanks for the word ‘lurking’ :-D.
I worked myself through the first 60 hours of detox without withdrawal symptoms while quitting from about 12 glasses an evening 7*7 for a year and about 6-10 the 10 years before that. Hurray for the lack of withdrawal symptoms!
After I decided to stop, someday, sometime, fear of a Delerium Tremens was ‘what kept me drinking’. Or in other words, I placed the fear of a new, sober situation on the idea that I was going to have a DT and end up in the hospital, most possibly sweating, crying, undressed and with puke in my hair. It did not happen. I still have 12 hours to go to the 72 hour limit and I guess I’m going to make that just fine DT wise.
I was high on happy hormones this morning – those are normally depressed by booze and without booze come flooding through my body. Now utterly tired but I want to shout out to the world that I did it! I did it!!!! I stopped.
2 Nights, no drinking. It was actually easy, did sleep a lot, did keep a watchful eye on me the rest of the time. But according to Jason Vale’s book I could start right after the last drink to enjoy my freedom and happiness and celebrate with a glass of, ooh no. So I’ll just do that, just be happy.
Pretty sure this is my first pink cloud and the traps are digging themselves eagerly everywhere around me, I’ll see, you’ll hear. Gonna lay down now, breathe, feel my way through.