If you’re 23 days in to sobriety, there’s a good chance you’re having some issues sleeping. Before I go any further I’ll say that this is normal, and it wont last forever. As someone who would regularly head to bed somewhere between decently buzzed and completely hammered, I had issues falling asleep in those first few weeks. Continue reading “Stop Drinking and Sleep Better | Stop Drinking Solutions”
One of the things about AA that trips people up is the God element. In this day and age, religion is a touchy subject that a lot of people don’t want to get in to. Much like the parts of your body normally covered by pants, religion is something most people want to keep to themselves. Going in to a room filled with strangers who want to talk about GOD was not something that appealed to me very much. Continue reading “A less Ego Driven Life | Stop Drinking Solutions”
So I took a week off the blog, but I swear I didn’t fall off the wagon!
I just got a little busy, and it definitely didn’t help that I injured myself in a fairly embarrassing way. Not painful enough to do any lasting damage, but lingering for much too long. I didn’t stretch enough at the gym and I paid for it. Continue reading “Hunker Down and Stop Drinking | Stop Drinking Solutions”
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man; healthy, wealthy and wise! Benjamin Franklin
In December I entered a contest and won a large, expensive TV. It was too big for my apartment, and additionally it was a monstrosity of consumerism. I mean, I felt bad having this TV that was worth more than my first car. Continue reading “STOP DRINKING BECOME WEALTHY | Stop Drinking Solutions”
Some musings on 500 days without alcohol.
I haven’t climbed a mountain, nor have I run a marathon. I didn’t cure cancer, I didn’t score the game winner goal against our bitterest rivals. I did not run for office as a lovable underdog, nor did I reunite with my long lost father/mother/dog/lover/etc. Continue reading “500 days (and counting) without alcohol | Stop Drinking Solutions”
I was watching Dawson’s Creek on Netflix (guilty obsession* at the moment) and came across a bit of recovery wisdom from the character Andie McPhee. For those unfamiliar with the show, Andie is the perky blonde over-achiever whose role in the show is to create situations for After School Special type moments. The goodie two-shoes who is always letting her good intentions get her in to awful positions, while the principle cast canoodles through melodrama and slings a vocabulary far beyond the reach of most REAL over-achievers.
At some point in the show she has a mental breakdown and spends the summer in a mental hospital and comes back to endless drama. Most of this is side-plot, but something jumped out at me while Andie was explaining to her brother Jack about her obsession with her role as assistant director of her schools play.
Andie: I had this, uh, this mantra in the hospital. You wanna hear it?
Andie: Structure and purpose. I mean, I know it was just a stupid little school play, but thats what it was to me: structure and purpose. I think when you have something like that in your life, you know, to hold on to, thats not another person, but its more like a part of yourself, like a goal or a dream, the whole world falls apart around you, youll be okay.
So I wouldnt exactly take this as a cure-all for your mental problems, but consider how adding some structure and purpose to your life can help you steer clear of alcohol.
When you have no purpose, then theres no reason to get your life on track. We all have purpose, but a lot of us have lost sight of it and drink to fill in the void.
Structure can be a bit harder to nail down, but having some type of routine in your life is rarely a bad thing. Some people drink to escape the same-old same-old, so its easy to equate structure with monotony. Thats why the purpose is such an important part of that mantra.
Youd be surprised how helpful waking up in the morning, and really having a reason to wake up can help getting over alcohol.
*Not to be confused with a guilty pleasure. I don’t really take any pleasure in Dawson’s Creek but, like a car crash I cant look away.
(note: this was originally written just as Canada had won the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Ice Hockey)
The last time Canada won a gold in hockey at the Olympics, I drove in to town to celebrate with a friend. It was a Sunday night and I had a job interview in the morning. I didnt mean to get drunk, but I did.
I got really drunk. Both me and my friend who invited me out were asked to leave the establishment at different times. I honestly dont know how I got some intoxicated. I knew it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.
The bouncers kicked me out, and wouldnt let me back in to find my coat. Thankfully there was another friend who was willing to grab my coat and give me a ride to my friends house to crash. I had brought a change of clothes and went to my job interview the next morning. Needless to say, I didnt get that job.
I didnt wake up early to watch hockey this year. I dont particularly care for hockey, especially since that night. Im glad that we won, ice hockey is Canadas national pastime and I wouldnt want to take that away from anyone.
What I would like to see is more focus on the celebration of sport and athletics, and less on the obsession that if youre not playing, its your national duty to get drunk.
Drinking out of social obligation
Sometimes it seems like there is more to lose than gain when you want to quit drinking. Its true that there is a lot of social obligation surrounding alcohol. A few things Ive read and heard:
What about New Years, Birthdays, Vacations?
What about this upcoming work convention?
What about my friends? WHO WILL THEY DRINK WITH?
Do you need help, or are you slam-dunking this sobriety thing?
Its a tricky question for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I cant answer the question. I’m not a doctor or a addictions professional of any kind. If you want to send me an email, I can give you a suggestion but that’s all it will be. Continue reading “Do You Need Help To Stop Drinking? | Stop Drinking Solutions”
Its Friday night and this is around the time you’d be two beers in to a six pack right? I usually leave work at 4:30 pm and the patios (in the summer) are usually getting towards being full by that time. Its not unusual in our culture to begin imbibing in the early afternoon when the weather and circumstance allow.
So you get off work a bit early and your normal stop at a patio or liquor store becomes a direct route home. You see its before 5pm and you wonder what youll do with your time. Youre still going out with your friends, but the party doesnt really start till around ten.
You dont feel like sitting around with your buds pre-drinking and watching sports before grabbing a cab. Youre just going to say hi to the birthday girl, have a soda, some tapas and a slice of pizza on your way home at midnight. So now you have at least 4 hours to kill.
So you flip on Star Trek the Next Generation and do the same thing you might normally do when you were predrinking: veg out in front of the TV.
Theres a problem though. Youve got a craving. The action triggers something in you and you want a beer. You resist, remembering your recovery so far, thinking about everything youd have to lose. The memories of your bottom, the reason you quit become very clear and the craving passes.
You grab a pen and a piece of paper and you write an expletive word in the middle of the page. Surrounding the word you dash enough exclamation points to get over your silent frustration. Your attention diverts back to Capt. Jean Luc Picard and his crew.
A commercial break snaps you from the fantasy world, and back in to the cold reality of capitalism. The television tells you that this program is brought to you by a popular brand of beer. The lifestyle they are selling is appealing to you, and again your body gently aches for a cold sip of that popular drink.
Your hand finds the pen and more scribbles meet the page. Picard is back, debating Data in the prime directive or perhaps hes back on his familys ancestral vineyard in France. The space captain tastes the fruits of his family and you sit in a lonely room with your science fiction program and still 3 hours to kill.
Again you find the pen and you begin to take out your frustrations in sketches. First they are crude and chaotic, evolving like single celled organisms into more complex shapes and patterns. Faces are drawn and scribbled over in an ever changing smudge of pen marks that resembles a plate of spaghetti.
You find some more paper and your artistic odyssey continues. Your shapes turn to letter, and the letters come together to form words. Your elegance in penmanship is both remarkable and absurd, youve no clue why you are making these markings.
You look to the clock and you’ve lost an hour, and gained a tableful of unmitigated artistic expression. You save one of the drawings, and put the rest in the recycling bin. You fold the remaining sheet once, then again, and in an ink of contrasting colour you inscribe:
Happy Birthday Old Friend
(and you head to the party a little bit earlier than you normally do, and its cool and you have more time to actually talk to people before it gets super loud, and the pizza on the way home was definitely worth waiting for)