OYNB Challenge: Day Six

Challenge guided by One Year No Beer website.

The Backup Plan

The last time I went alcohol free, for an extended period, I went out on a works do. I knew there would be pressure to drink. At that point I had enough resolve not to bow to the peer pressure.

However, I spent a full night not enjoying myself because me being AF was the focus of many of the conversations. It got boring pretty fast. People trying to find out the “real reason” I’d stopped drinking because “I just want a break from alcohol” wasn’t good enough.

Looking back on this challenge and the advice given, I would now handle this differently.

OYNB offers good tips. The break from alcohol is one of the first step tips. But I didn’t try anything else. Now I would use the “I’m doing a challenge” tip. People love a challenge, not sure why.

The next stage is one I’ve been doing for years, but can’t for the life of me understand why I didn’t do it the night of the works do. In the past, when the night got to the tipping point of no longer being fun, I would just go home. Even when drunk I could spot that point and know when to exit.

This is what I should have done at the works do. As soon as it got to the point I was getting sick of the questioning and peer pressure, I should have picked the right moment and left. In a polite manner. People know this is something I do. For some reason, when sober, in my mind I thought it would be rude. I need to get over that.

Success (sort of)

Photo by Sides Imagery on Pexels.com

Friday night was horrible. All the triggers were hitting me. I’m 45 and for as long as I can remember Friday has been a drinking night to ease the stress of the working week. Thats a hard, long term, habit to break.

I’d tried all the counter measures I’d put in place. Exercise, reading, listening to music, etc. But the craving was still strong. Luckily the off licence closes at 7pm, in these lockdown times. In the end I just took myself to bed.

When I say success, only by circumstance. Now I need to put things in place for next Friday night.

OYNB Challenge: Day Five

Challenge guided by One Year No Beer website.

The Slip Up

Here’s a question I don’t need to answer, but I feel there is a decision to be made:

But what if you don’t catch it in time and you do slip up?

OYNB

To simplify things, there are two answers to this question:

Do I start again from the beginning and retrace the steps I have taken?

or

Do I write it off as part of the process and carry on?

Keep calm and carry on
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

In the past I have done a full reset, even over a one off blip. Which is fine, but I feel that this has been the wrong approach. Its tedious and I found that I soon lost interest and reverted back to old drinking habits pretty quickly.

Rather than fall in to that pattern, so long as it is a one off blip, I’m going to go for option two. Try something different and see where it takes me. It can’t be any worse than the alternative has been.

What Are My Triggers?

I guess this is the part where the blip is headed off at the pass. With depression I have learned to see the signs of my mental health deteriorating and try to take preemptive action. By identifying my triggers, or as many as I can at this current point in time, I should be able to do the same with drinking.

Trigger One

At Work. The last hour of the working day. Feeling stressed, tiredness after a long day of video calls, technology playing up, general work issues

Trigger Two

I could be anywhere. I feel depressed due to the pain I’m in. The thought to drink follows a day spent in pain. I get to 6pm and think I can now drink to numb the physical pain.

The list goes on and exists in my diary, but this blog post is getting too long, so I’ll spare you.

Good News

One thing not drinking has given me back is reading. I’ve enjoyed reading every night this week. It’s really helped ease the stress from the working day.