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Impulse Control

September 30, 2015 7:54 pm

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The inability to control impulsive behavior has a long standing link to alcohol and drug use…..  It is linked to the initial urge to drink and do drugs as well as to relapse behavior.  In recovery, learning to control impulses is essential for recovery.

Today my impulses are pretty rudimentary.  Here are some examples:

cement

Do I write in the wet cement?

pool

Should I jump the fence for a quick dip in the pool considering I have ridden my bike 15 miles, it is 104 degrees out, and I have 15 miles to go?

I actually consider doing these things if only for a fleeting moment……

My past behavior would have demonstrated impaired decision making and/or poor impulse control – writing in the wet cement, jumping in the pool, drinking THREE 40 oz of malt liquor!

When it comes to drinking, I have been able to resist the impulses.  I have developed the ability to think through the consequences of my actions.  This is not only with drinking, but also in all areas of my life… 

For those who do know me….  I do still demonstrate impulsive behavior when it comes to picking pretty flowers however. 

flower

 

Echoic Memories – Oceans of Corn

September 10, 2015 8:53 pm

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Last night the fields of corn behind my Mid-West home were blowing fiercely.  The sound they made blowing in the wind reminded me of waves crashing throughout the night during my childhood on the Central Coast of California.

It’s funny how sound can bring up such nostalgia.  It sure made me miss the crashing waves…..

ocean

I am also reminded of how powerful memories of all the senses are and what can be triggered by such memories.  What comes to mind is when it was suggested to me, in early sobriety, to listen to different music.  I did not understand it at the time, but I followed the suggestion.

Listening to the same music that I listened to when I was drinking could have triggered me to drink, just by association….  This is because of the potential for the strong maladaptive association between alcohol and the environmental stimuli (in this case music) to prompt cravings and drug-seeking behavior thus leading to a relapse…..

I still pay attention to this….  Even after an extended period of abstinence our brain remembers associations….  These associations or triggers come out of nowhere, just like the corn triggering my memory of ocean waves……

corn

 

 

Thank you!

September 10, 2015 12:48 pm

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When I was just two months sober I received a hand written thank you note from a friend for just attending her 1st year sobriety birthday…..

I had never been to an AA birthday party.  I did not know that the ladies from my Home Group brought each other gifts.  I was just touching down to Earth and it was all I could do to go AND to be social.

This note meant the world to me.  Not only did it help me to feel welcome, but it taught (and reminded) me the importance of saying thank you.

Now in my life, I send thank you notes frequently.  Not just a text or an email, but a hand written note…  I am a believer that the hand written note still has personality, warmth and shows gratitude….  I also believe that people like opening the notes…..  I know I sure do!

thank you

 

Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds

September 6, 2015 11:40 pm

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Today I have been alive for:

41

I am not one of those folks who thinks that they would have died before their 30th birthday of they kept drinking.  I am, however, one of those folks that thought they would never, EVER be happy again.  I could see no light, no new beginning…..  I was wrong.

My life did start again.  To be exact it started:

12ago.

Today I am happy.  Most of all I never thought I would have the family, friends, husband, and puppy that I do today…  I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  I am convinced it is all a result of stopping drinking and taking action of doing the next right thing.

Like they say, it isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it!