Substitute addiction / time to get a move on

It’s my 2 months sober anniversary! 🙂 And after reading Belle’s post this morning I remembered why I never signed up for a 100 challenge day; I thought I needed to get sober for forever. Yes, ‘looking for help’ was not in my dictionary. But I am going to ask help. If all is well I am meeting somebody next Tuesday – not a professional –  that I hope is going to help me with my eating pattern and daily life.

I do cheat a little on the trusting ‘not a professional’ because she is a vicars wife and she wants to be a professional in her specialisation and I am the guinea pig. 🙂 But I hope she can help me get on with the practical part of life because I still rather read blogs and blog but that will not bring bread to the table….

So… Reading blogs this morning (while I should actually be doing admin) I came to the post from Greg W who reblogged a post about substitute addiction from which I copied this part:

He writes that the addict in recovery “may maintain potentially magical thinking that the Higher Power will fix him or her without engaging in corrective action…and may try to use rituals of connection to a Higher Power as means to escape from painful feelings.”

Some of you might know that I am not religious but I do really like the spiritual-like insights and experiences that I have ever so now and then. I do not only like the Ahaa Erlebnis but also the relatively easy way it gets me to understand stuff. And even though I sometimes have to dig deep and face a lot of shit, it feels like I don’t really have to work for it. Which is I guess, true-ish. For me it is easier to feel my way through stuff and blog about it then, I don’t know… how do you solve issues? I actually don’t know what the other option is. Well maybe this explains it: it is easier for me to ride a craving and experience what it is trying to tell me, where it comes from and where it wants to take me than actually fighting it.

I know I can’t do the fighting. I would be afraid that I would lose I guess. Alcohol is strong. Do I lack willpower? Yes! No! Don’t know… My willpower has just been trained to say ‘I want to drink!’ And that statement feels very willpowery and convincing and real and true. I only realise that my willpower is fooling me when I get to the last check which is: ‘Does is make me drink?’ Yes -> not good, beware. Can I fight it? I don’t think so. And I do not want to try to fight it because I think I will lose. That scares me. Addiction runs deep.

So I need to find something that does work from my sober tool box. Most of the time that is bringing my thoughts, fears, feelings to the light. Which is ok. It has worked so far. Happy that I quit. But I’ve had so many beautiful insights in my addiction that by now I feel that if I don’t get enlightened at least once a day that I am not really alive. New addiction? Yes, it feels like it because I feel I have become dependent on it. And also no because it has transformational qualities in it. True addictions don’t do transformations do they? It feels like those experiences change my mindset, my cells, my DNA, my view on life and I need that.

To which my inner voice says: ‘Stop shitting yourself, you are addicted to life changing experience, you get bored if you do not experience stuff. And when you get bored your addict starts to speak up and you get to the danger zone. In alcohol you found freedom of the physical boundaries and you forgot what you call ‘the misery that binds you to the earth’. You now crave the explosion of inner freedom that is in the Ahaa experiences.’

😦 True. Or 🙂 True!!! So what now? So that is a wonderful insight and because I am experiencing this totally happy feeling about this conversations with me I can not imagine why I need to do anything about it. 😀 Gheghegheghe.

And I wrote the below paragraphs before I got the above conversation with myself, now I just can’t see what I was worried about. I actually am high on experience. Wicked! 😀 While 10 Minutes ago that I was worried and probably should be but I can’t feel it now:

Happy that I quit, not happy with that I am not doing the stuff I need to do. Yesterday I had such a big insight in how I face things that the insight itself gave me a splitting headache and I went back to bed and slept for hours. And I was doing exactly NOT what I should be doing. Which is the same I do now. Again and again and again and again. There is another part where I do not want to be clear. Hiding behind stuff, blog.

Enough thinking, here’s an anniversary song. For all of you that are out there and that are, or ar not on the happy train. Join in, sing along. 🙂

Now that I am reading back what I wrote I realise the intention of not doing stuff and berating me about it. I always seem to need something to keep myself down. (I am thinking ‘attached to the world’?) God forbid I should be genuinely happy and content with myself. Can’t have that now can we?

Yes, we can!! 😀

Say who was not doing what she needed to do???

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Urge surfing

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.

Quote from Helpguide.org

QUOTE

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

UNQUOTE