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Coping Skills
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This community is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people who drink and are trying to quit. The forum covers topics ranging from Health Issues, How to Quit, Reasons to Quit, Relapse Prevention, Friend and Family Support.

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Coping Skills

What are things you do to keep from drinking and ultimately quit?  It's pretty much the only thing I can use to effectively reduce anxiety and stress at this point in time, I would like to quit it but I just don't see much of the good in quitting even with some obvious bad repercussions of it.  It also doesn't help me quit that I never experience a hang over even when I was drinking roughly several shots worth of 75.5% by volume alcohol straight from the bottle.
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455167_tn?1259261471
Hello. The fact that you are relying on booze to deal with anxiety, in addition to what sounds like a high tolerance coupled with a disregard of negative consequences, are all warning signs of a potential problem. As far as quitting, there are lots of considerations. First off, you may need to do so under medical supervision, depending on how much/often you drink. This is important because withdrawal can be dangerous unassisted, and there may be additional underlying conditions such as depressive or anxiety based disorders. Once you are initially separated from alcohol, it will be necessary to make some changes. The most obvious being the avoidance of people, places and things associated with drinking. Eating and sleeping well in addition to exercise are important. Aftercare, through aa or other support group, and even therapy will improve your outlook in respect to remaining sober. Also, don't expect to get better overnight. Its taken time to get where you are now, and it will take time to improve things in your daily life. This site is also a good place to get input and ask questions, there are folks here that have been where you are, and likely some who have been through much worse. Stay in touch and take care, GM
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your reply.  I actually do go to a group for chemical dependency which was recommended to me when I calculated my BAC level from one night and it was through the roof but I was thinking of going to AA if I could ever find someone to go with because right now I'm taking a medicine which I take for a condition and I shouldn't be drinking with but I am anyway.  I had trained myself to only think of alcohol in negative terms which helped a bit but then I got stressed and lost that way of thinking and now I'm trying to get it back.  I think you're right about avoiding the people, places and things associated with drinking, one of my friends was high and it triggered me to go drink before since i don't smoke weed, although that's not drinking but it still triggered me.  I wasn't expecting it to get better over night because it had taken me almost a year to even make any progress towards not drinking internally by choosing not to and dealing with urges even though externally I had stopped for all that time.  They said at the CD group their end goal was to make it where we can walk through a booze aisle for example at a store and choose no instead of avoiding it.
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455167_tn?1259261471
Hello. Its good that you are being proactive and making an effort to get some help. Most areas have a local number for AA that you can call to inquire about nearby meetings and even possibly transportation. Also, from my experience, if you can get to a meeting, there will be someone there who will get you home. As you become acquainted with other aa members, you will discover a world in which people are able to not only function, but actually enjoy life, without drinking or using. Keep moving forward, try to keep an open mind, and let us know how things are going! Take care, GM
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Avatar_m_tn
Just a comment for you-- over time, alcohol can actually cause stress and anxiety as opposed to relieving it.  It used to relax me as well, but after enough years it made my heart race and made me very agitated.  The only time I felt at peace is when I was very drunk, and you can only maintain that for a short period of time.

Bottom line is that this will turn around and bite you.  Initially quitting will cause agitation in the form of withdrawal, but it passes.  Do you think that your current drinking habits are actually causing your anxiety?

Much of this has to do with the effects that alcohol has on your central nervous system.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Holy smokes, I hope I'm around to worry about anything at age 110.  

But seriously, I second what other posters said and would only add this: science seems to show that we're born with a temperament that is lifelong and hard to change. Thus, writers like Philippa Davies and Melvyn Kinder wisely advise us to accept our nature if we can't change it and try to structure our lives in such a way that we can function well and be happy despite our temperament. Look around for the sources of your stress and try to eliminate them one by one. Get the things you need out of life in ways that involve levels of stress you can handle.  You're different, so you'll have to structure your own plan. If any of the following doesn't apply, just take it for what it's worth, for reference.

First, my toxic family of origin was a big source of stress, so 25 yeas ago I bid them adieu to wallow in their own sty of resentment and pettiness. Not all people can do this, but one strength I have is independence, thank goodness. Geography has helped, as I live in a different country. So, not all people can do that. But if you have a toxic family, don't think for a moment that you can't get away from them. But this goes for many of our so-called "friends" too. Bottom line: if you realize that a person is a jerk, put them in the transporter and beam them to the next universe - get them out of your life. Every minute you spend trying to patch things up with an inveterate jerk is a minute you could spend with many of the truly wonderful people who do exist in this world.

Second, relations with competitive and Machiavellian co-workers was a big source of stress. But we need money to live. My solution was adapting my skills so I could work on my own, independently. It's not easy, and I make less money - in fact, not much at all from my job. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. We spend a huge amount of time at our jobs. So the lesson is get the skills you need to do a less-stressful job that will give you security. So get your job and financial situation in good shape to eliminate that source of stress.

Third, money was indeed a big problem: I kept losing it - in the stock market!  It's hard to lose savings you accumulated over years and years of stressful work among vicious reptiles in business suits. I couldn't reach security without investing, but how did I know I wouldn't just lose it again after working years more in the same insane rat race to make it back again? I realized I had to _master_ investing. So I got back on the horse and studied book after book on the techniques, politics and psychology of investing until I developed a system over the years to make money without losing it. I've never wanted to be "rich" but just secure, and just the thought that now I'll be secure in the future is enough to banish any momentary stress. I guess this lesson is that if you can only tell the difference between a book that is true wisdom and a book that is garbage, books – including books on alcoholism – can be life-savers.

Fourth, I love meeting new people, talking with them, sharing ideas and friendship with them - but I studiously avoid getting too close to people because I've found that, almost without exception, the vast majority of people out there take more than they give. If they aren't outright selfish, they want someone to lean on. I like relationships in which both people are independent and want to share common interests with others rather than using others to satisfy their emotional "needs." Keeping my distance from people makes it possible to have the types of fun but unintangling relationships I prefer. Never let yourself get emotionally dependent on anyone. I've managed to stay a bachelor, and I've never regretted it.

Your system will be different. But the bottom line is: identify your weaknesses, identify your sources of anxiety and structure your life so you can obtain what you want and need out of life in ways that produce levels of anxiety you can handle. That won't mean you won't feel the urge to drink.

But maybe you'll be able to limit it to one or two times a year, as seems to be my pattern at the moment. But hey, I no longer drink every other day like I used to. They get less and less frequent, and with every passing week I feel more and more the last one will be the last one.

For what it's worth. And take care of your health!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you all for your supportive comments and advices.

>boogieman
I will definitely look into AA more in the near future.

>Jacker
I will keep this in mind from now on that it is going to turn on me and do the exact opposite eventually.  I don't know if the drinking is causing the anxiety, I have experienced background anxiety for no apparent reason most of my life.  Trying to figure out why it is.

>Gunnermanz
LOL yeah I'm holding up well for my age at 110, I expect to live 110 more years!  But your comments make logical sense.  Yeah I've already read about the big headache of moving to another country.  I moved to another state to get away from my home town for reasons similar to yours so I sort of took care of that but still have a few problems in that respect.  I also finally managed to find a low stress job but somehow drama from the day shift still finds its way to the night shift but oh well I guess you can't have a totally stress free job.  Money isn't really something of concern on my mind at this time but I know it can be for a lot of people.  Thanks for all your advice.
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557230_tn?1269433429
Hi,  I'm sorry you are still struggling with this.  I began using opiates to deal with stress and anxiety, and after giving them up in 2008, noticed that gradually I was beginning to turn to alcohol for the same escape.  I stopped drinking 90 days ago.  And have gathered a lot of help around me.  I see two counselors too...one a general therapist to talk through my problems with, and an addiction psychologist who has really opened up my eyes regarding why I've done what I've done and how I can reprogram myself to deal with the stressors and anxieties I face each day.  I am learning new ways to deal with things.  Most importantly is to be true to yourself.  Accept yourself for who you are.  I know easily said, much more difficult to do.  The other biggie is to open up to others.  I attend a small group therapy meeting once a week just for addicts/alcoholics and I attend AA/NA.  The best part of both of these meetings is that I can be totally honest about my feelings (totally new territory for me as someone who never likes to rock the boat and wants to please everyone!) I can say what seems to me the worst things, and hear acceptance.  And I also get so much advice about ways others in the group have coped with similar situations and tricks they use to keep off the slippery slope.  

Are you involved in any group meetings or friends with people in recovery?  I think doing everything you can to get get to a meeting is worth it.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I found your comments on humans and avoiding toxic folks to be in agreement with mine!Such a challenging world out there indeed!And forming true friendhsips with those who aren't narcissitic and drama laden is equally as challenging!I have found a major task in recovery to learn to be comfortable in my own skin and be ok by myself.....i too am an independent creature that has found a few good friends...they say if u can fit them on one hand u r indeed fortunate which i am!:)But as for the finding of a companion ah!a needle in a haystack!Our culture has changed in a way with technology and the glut of websites with dating usually meat marketing and porn as folks not needing the teamwork once valued by a previous generation.I was watching CNN the other nite on Infidelity special.There was a man who was quite proud of the fact that he started a website for married folks looking to cheat on their spouses.5.5 million estimated members in the USA with 70% men and 30 % women.This is a sad commentary as Dr.Drew Pinsky commented on the breakdown of working for individual/couples health in our society.I will always march to the beat of a different drum........never was a lemming!So i find it best in recovery to hold fast to my values and morals.......and not follow the crowd........have u seen the Man in the Glass poem?Google this.....there is a Woman in the Glass poem as well! I find it to be true!Refuse to be what Albert Camus once said....Most men lead lives of quiet desperation!Some women do too...if they so CHOOSE!
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Avatar_m_tn
I Googled it.

Words of wisdom indeed. Thanks.

In reading the poem, I think about how many people there are in the world busy trying to conquer other people in one way or another, and you can't help but think it's because they can't conquer themselves. It reminds me think of that line from the original Little Women in the father writes to his daughters, saying that he hopes when he comes home he'll find they've conquered themselves so beautifully that he'll be prouder than ever of his "little women."

Divorce - tell me about it. I'm an expert on it, and I've never even married! Almost every relative I had and so many friends, colleagues and employers were divorced. And that doesn't mean just splitting up. I'm talking about vicious hatred. I'm not ashamed to call myself a drunk because I make darn sure I hurt nobody. But to be drunk with the kind of hatred that I've seen in the eyes of divorcing people.... No thanks. AA is so right in saying in effect that the journey to lasting sobriety is becoming a decent person. Hey, at least we know that, right? Heck, we're way ahead of so many "sober" people who waste their sober hours harboring hatreds and doing no good in the world. I have more respect for a half-dead drunk in the gutter than someone who goes around hurting other people and spreading misery. I'm proud to say recovered drunks are among the most decent and precious people I've known in my life.

And a thought from Poor Richard's Almanac, which I was reading in bed last night:

"It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it."

-- Ben Franklin
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Avatar_f_tn
I was told in 1983 by my counselor that one of my greatest tasks in recovery would be learning to handle my anger/resentments and that has come to be true!i used to supress so many emotions with alcohol/drugs.I too have never been married and i'm glad for that.I do however harbor some resentment towards my x-boyfriend.But they have decreased MUCH since 2006.There is the parable of the posion snake which i love.And many times its not so much what a person does its HOW they do it that stinks!But i do take responsibility for giving one the benefit of the doubt who never initially deserved it.Hoping one will change because you believe u'll make a great duo and they agree NEVER works!How many does it take to change the litebulb?the bulb has got to want to change!:)it is also a relief in life to have what KD Lang sang about in Constant Craving the craving is gone!i do like The Gal in the Glass..no one can complete me...just enhance what i might bring to the table!:)
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Avatar_m_tn

I have two elder sisters. I grew up under their wing as they are just over a year older. Amid the flotsam of my parents' divorce, they had no competent guidance, and for whatever reason, both married losers. I know what women go through at the hands of these guys. I also know what my sisters might have had to go through if they hadn't had three brothers -- one of whom was a huge combat veteran who'd served in every elite military unit from the Green Berets to the Rangers.

In addition to protective brothers, my sisters were identical twins and derived immense support from each other. I also know they got a love of psychological support from their kids. Especially my niece, who last I knew never spoke to her father (just like me), is devoted to her mother.

When I look at a lot of other women without this kind of support, I don't know how they cope.

But hey, that's what forums like this one are for, right?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been most fortunate to have a good loving mother.She had a abusive childhood in all spheres...no role models for parents cept her grandparents whom she loved.There are six siblings in my family with me being the youngest.She has been the best mother to all of us and now she is in Alzheimers assisted living with Lewy Body Dementia.I go see her bi-weekly with her being an hour from me.I treasure what time i have with her.She is 91 and dually battles congestive heart failure.I loved my father who passed in 2006.But it was his way or the highway!He loved us in his own unique way and 2 of my sisters married very domineering men in which their thoughts feelings and opinions were totally disregarded.I watched this and said I will never go there!My fathers wish when he passed was for those of us who were squabbling to cut it out and pull together for my mother.Four of us have managed to do so!Family is really all ya got when its all said and done and i'm glad u have some that u have good feelings about.Hope u stay in touch with them!And yes......so much support in this forum!
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