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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:18 pm 
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I read something interesting today from, of all places, MORE magazine's website:

"Recognizing what triggers your bad habits is important, especially around the holidays, says Day (Deborah Day, a licensed mental health counselor in Florida and author of the book Be Happy Now!). Many people use “HALT” an acronym for “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired” to remember that these feelings often cause relapses. Anger, especially, is one of the biggest triggers for recovering addicts and it’s not unusual for it to surface during the holidays, says Jones. “People expect family gatherings to be great and wonderful, and then they get angry when they turn out to be stressful, which triggers unhealthy habits,” he says. If you train yourself to recognize these triggers before you start eating or drinking (or using) you can slow down to realize that you are letting your emotions get the best of you."

I wanted to share this with you, because I think it's pretty good advice. The holidays can be very stressful and being aware of those feelings we have that can turn into a trigger can go far in preventing relapse.

I was thinking that maybe we can use this thread throughout the holidays to discuss our stresses, triggers, cravings that we are challenged by. This way instead of letting those potentially dangerous feelings just eat away at us, this thread can be an outlet to discuss those stressors with each other (our support system).

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:37 pm 
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I think this thread is a great idea. I wonder how many addicts of all shapes and forms relapse over the holidays due to the particular stresses the holidays can bring on. I'll bet there is a lot of justification going on too, for example...it's the holidays, surely I can eat just one pill to get me over the hump or maybe you are near friends or family that use? OHH, that's playing with fire.

I'll go ahead and start with my stressor that is coming to stay in our house for 5 days starting today. My mommie is coming today :roll:

Don't get me wrong, I love my mother, but she drives me up a wall, around the bend then back again. I have been dreading this visit since the last visit. She just has a knack for getting on my last nerve.

I'll just do what I always do, I'm going to get stoned out of my mind, I mean I'm going to get higher than Jackson Brown...oops, can't do that anymore...I guess I'll just have to put my happy face on and rely on my wife to and daughter to keep me sane for a few days.

AHHHH, that felt so good to get that off my chest! Thanks Hat


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:58 pm 
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I so get the 'mother coming to town' stress. My mom lives in Florida (I'm in Michigan) and we get along great - ON THE PHONE. If we're in the same place, or even the same state, well, that relationship quickly begins to sour. I think you're smart, Romeo, when you said you'll depend on your wife and daughter to keep you sane. They can keep you grounded in your everyday life with THEM and help you to know that this stress will be temporary. Try to have some fun, okay? :)

I don't think I'll have any major stress this year. For turkey day, my husband and I are making our own meal, just the two of us. No stress there! It will probably be the same for xmas, although we may have to spend some time with his family. Which can actually be very stressful for me, now that I think about it. In my old using days, I used to swap my xanax for vicodin with my sister-in-law. And as far as I know she's still taking them. Not major stress, but something that will no doubt be in the back of my mind. I've seen her since I got "clean" and it's not been a major problem.

Here's to a stress-free turkey day, everyone! Cuz here come's that xmas chaos!

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:12 pm 
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You said try to have some fun, can I punch my mother in the nose? That would be fun!!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Oh boy great idea Hat. This is something that is on my mind at all times when this time of the year comes around the corner. Turkey day fine no trouble but once December start that when my hell starts. I love giving gifts and being with family but I could only handle so much of xmas till I get stressed out. And that’s when I would take a extra 80 mgs of oxy just lock myself in my room with my dog and zone out watching Clark Griswold make a ass of himself in xmas vacation GREAT MOVIE! And once I quit oxy it was weed this is will be the 2nd xmas without a coping tool and I know I won’t relapse but at the same time I can’t drink cause once you get me started all hell breaks loose and all the lil family secrets start to come out;( So I always just stick close to my dog cain and he keeps me safe and sane.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:37 pm 
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Well, turkey day has come and gone, the food was good and the company was great. It was just my husband and I, so I didn't have any family stress. But I can tell you this, when a holiday comes around it seems I ALWAYS want to get high. I quit smoking pot when I started sub - I was out of control with it. I've smoked a few times in the last 2 years, but I don't ever hold any. So when I craved getting high what I really wanted was to smoke a fattie! I didn't crave opiates, so that wasn't a problem.

I guess it's just that in my head, celebrating still means getting high - to a degree. I've got to work on that.

So how was everyone else's holiday? Stress in check? Let's keep this thread going thru xmas.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Mommy leaves tomorrow morning :D , but then that afternoon/evening I have to go to my in-laws to have my fingernails ripped out one by one, er...ahhh, I mean go for Thanksgiving dinner.

So one stressor leaves to be replaced by another.

I'm really fine though, it's all just a thang to me. Just plod on through it.

I totally get where you're coming from about wanting a 'fattie', I have had no cravings for any drugs...except my weed. Me loves my weed, but I know if I start it will end up being an everyday thing and I'm not OK with that, so I just listen to the best music I can get my hands on and it does a good job of getting me high.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:28 pm 
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This is a great thread to have thru xmas. I am so grateful to NOT have to see my (ex) husbands family any more. Romeo...you said it....I'd go there to get my finger nails pulled out or shards of glass put under them...either one! EVERY vaction we had after we got married for 7 years was going to visit inlaws. I was C and S during that time so I couldn't escape. But after a while I finally set my boundaries and said I was staying at a hotel, with my OWN car and my OWN escape in case. MY ex MIL is alcoholic and xanax addict and is quite a southern biatch, backstapping and all. Wow, gotta work on forgiveness, eh?

I have clients write safety plans. sounds silly maybe but I'm going to do this for myself. I don't want to promote myself so I won't tell you my website! BUT I do have something I named The Road Kit and clients can click on various topics to get info...one of them I recently added was holiday stress and how to deal and also how to write a safety plan for times that you are under increased stress. Mostly it is about breathing, taking care of ourselves, setting good boundaries and keeping them! Don't engage in BS crap, finding a supportive person to talk to, don't feel pressured to tell anyone about addiction or if recovering from alcohol to not feel the need to tell anyone WHY you don't drink. Well, the drinking thing goes for all of us I guess. I personally don't do any mind altering substances as I know for me...well.....I'm outta control. And to not let anyone pressure you for anything. Duh. But when in the midst of the stress its hard to come up with a plan....that is why I have clients write one out...that way they have thought through some potential problems before hand.

I never had boundaries before recovery. I let everyone walk all over me and felt like such a victim. I don't do that any more. I have learned how to say NO. and I don't care what anyone thinks and I don't apologize or explain my No. I think we grow up feeling like we have to answer every question someone asks us and if we say No and they say why that we have to come up with some really good reason to turn them down. We don't! We owe them nothing but No.
The hardest boundary was with my mother may she RIP. I had to set a boundary with her even in the last months of her breast cancer because she wouldn't do anything to help her situation and yet she'd call me at the last minute and need emergency assistance from me. I did it for a while until I realized the insanity of that behavior. I'd even drop a visit with my daughter to "take care of my parents" and that stopped. My daughter is first. I love my parents and altho my mom and I had a tough time I loved her a lot. But she catastrophized so much and chaos just doesn't work for me any more.

Well, hope everyone has a really great holiday.
Oh, one more thing....I was ready a post by Kinectic I think who was talking about music...and now off methadone and getting ready to start sub I am listening to music again. My god I missed it! I play piano and drums and never listened to music on methadone (methadone maintenance that is...for 2.5 years). Even in recovery on methadone it just took away my desire to do anything and to listen to music. I lost my JOY. I hope it won't be like that on sub. so, if anyone has music they love please let us know. I am out of it and haven't listened to anything new until the last week. I did download the 2 bands that kinectic said were great and it was really fun. (Fader and Black Keys). Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:42 pm 
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ChinaGirl,

Diary of a Quitter set up a thread named--Listen Here (its about music, yo!), it's on the main page under Recent Topics. It's a bunch of music that she likes and right at the bottom I posted a couple that I like. The whole point is for us music lovers to get together and share our favorite songs with each so we can broaden each others horizons musically, so to speak. So far, DOAQ and I are the only ones who have offered up suggestions and we need some more members to join in. I hope you do.

I feel a little sheepish telling you this, but I have read all of your posts so far and I am just overwhelmed by your story. It's certainly not that I don't want to try and help you, but after I read your story I feel like I have been hit by a train and I'm kind of afraid to say the wrong thing I guess.

It breaks my heart so devastatingly when I hear of a couple with children having problems. I am the luckiest guy in the world, I married an angel and have an angel for a daughter and my brain will simply not let me participate in a conversation about marriage problems and the like. Just typing about it now my heart is weighing heavy and I can't handle it. I hope you can understand and I'm sorry I can't talk about it.

So, I absolutely wish you and your beautiful little daughter the very best, but I'm afraid I will only be of limited help to you.

P.S.--I've still got Fader blaring into my ears...angels walking through the cold rain to rescue YOU---still gets me.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Hey, thanks for writing.
I feel badly that you are overwhelmed by my story. I certainly don't mean to sound like I can't find help here..I'm not even sure if that is the accurate thing to say because I doubt that is what you are saying...It kinda scares me to hear what you wrote and I hope I haven't pushed everyone away!

Your wife and daughter are very lucky to have you. I wish my ex would be like that. Caring, kind. it's sad. He was dx bipolar, tried treating himself and mixing up antidepressants and other meds along with his porn addiction and yada yada...he was a mess.He actually told me about 2 years into therapy that he has no empathy or compassion for women close to him..(he has issues with his mom and sister) and despite trying to save the marriage once I heard that I knew I had nothing more to work with. He is more messed up than me. I was clean and sober after we got married and it was a struggle to try to help someone who so didn't want it...not from me anyway. I wish the judge could see the truth. But I have had to learn some huge lessons throughout this stuff.

Anyway, I have read a lot of your posts as well and have spent a good day here reading while getting ready to get on sub, starting w/d from the methadone. I'm grateful for any support and think this site is awesome.

Thanks for the music link. I knew I had seen it but then couldn't find it again. I'll check it out. I smashed my ipod at the gym in a machine doing quad exercises....3k songs that took me an entire weekend to put on the computer. I had sold my CD's after I got the ipod going. Wow, how dumb was that? So I'm desperate to find new music again.

I wish you the best Romeo.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:14 am 
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chinagirl,

He said he has no empathy or compassion for the women close to him...he might as well have drop kicked you through the nearest window, what a punishing thing to say.

That's a major bummer to have lost 3000 songs, I would have gone ballastic.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:31 pm 
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hatmaker510 wrote:
Well, turkey day has come and gone, the food was good and the company was great. It was just my husband and I, so I didn't have any family stress. But I can tell you this, when a holiday comes around it seems I ALWAYS want to get high. I quit smoking pot when I started sub - I was out of control with it. I've smoked a few times in the last 2 years, but I don't ever hold any. So when I craved getting high what I really wanted was to smoke a fattie! I didn't crave opiates, so that wasn't a problem.

I guess it's just that in my head, celebrating still means getting high - to a degree. I've got to work on that.

So how was everyone else's holiday? Stress in check? Let's keep this thread going thru xmas.


Turkey day was good just my mom, dad, brother and his wife were over and I get along well with my big bro and his wife so no stress there. But now that it has passed I realized how close all the hell of xmas is coming and shopping starts now, wrapping and helping my dad hang lights which I hate more than anything in this world I hate heights and climbing on latter’s hurt my knee really bad. But a good bonding thing so I do it and want to know how to do it when I have my own place, I think the only thing I enjoy about xmas is going out in the woods with my mom, dad and dog to cut down a tree never forget when I was old enough to carry the saw I forgot it in the car and my dad had to go get it then come back but like 2 minutes after he left a family friend passed and I used his saw to cut down the tree my dad didn’t talk to me or my mom for 2 days.

But will see how thing goes this year just goanna try to keep out the spot light and relax!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:47 am 
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I want to keep pushing this thread to the top, because as the holidays grow nearer, the stress will become stronger.

Again, I encourage everyone to use this thread to discuss their holiday stressors and how they deal with them so as it avoid relapse this time of year. This is for venting about those stressors, too.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Well got some of my shopping done just got to find something for my brother and his wife. But man what are 4 weeks away and these mall and jewelry’s stores are nuts! I’ll never shop on black Friday people go crazy over the littlest things. Last year in Buffalo and person died because she got trampled over by the whole crowd and this year a guy had to be taken to the ER, All for what a TV!


Anyways another thing that triggers my stress is how much money this holiday coasts me. I love giving gifts but when your 23 full time students, got to pay for books, school, all my co pays and meds and so on just sucks. And it brings back bad memories of how I would cope with this stress 1 and 2 how I would pay for all my gifts. But I’m glad to say I made it through the start and just got a few weeks left.

Oh yea anyone else get stressed about new years and not being able to drink??? I can’t touch booze ever since I started suboxone one shot fells like 10. But once all your family and friends are drunk they seem to 4 get you can’t drink and keep pushing all this shit in your face. And I use to love drinking so would of said well ok most would of said I had a serious problem. So a lot of triggers coming up as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:01 pm 
The holidays are definately a trigger for me, which I've known for a long time. It kind of snuck up on me this year. I've been doing well at a low dose as far as not having cravings. Then, the week of Thanksgiving thoughts of getting high just crept into the back of my mind. I think something on another thread, about "that feeling" brought up the memory, and it's been going around in my head- who might have pain pills that I could "borrow" - just like when I first got started.
I know it's really unhealthy, so I figured I woud tell on myself before I went ahead and did something stupid. I just keep taking my sub every day and not following through on my "ideas" - but they're definately there - and I'm sure I'm not the only one at this time of year. So let's stick together everyone.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Lilly,

You're right, you are not the only one who has trouble with those issues at this time of year. I'm going to say the majority of us do.

I believe the fact that you identified your 'bad thinking' and fessed up was critical to your not 'falling', way to go.

Stay strong!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:01 am 
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I wasn't expecting much in the way of triggers this holiday season, but unfortunately, that has changed. My very favorite cousin died yesterday. The whole situation has been tremendously stressful. Plus at the hospital this week, I was actually offered "something for my pain". But I'm proud to say, my very first reaction was, "Thanks, but no". I didn't even think twice about it. I do find it funny how so many people seem to pass their vicodin around whenever someone is in pain. This particular person doesn't know about my addiction history, and I felt no need to share it still.

One of the main triggers for me right now is that the stress has my fibro pain in high gear. This is when I get pissed off at myself for having abused my meds and now I can never take anything for my pain again. Normally the sub makes my pain tolerable, plus I take muscle relaxers. But right now neither one of them is helping my pain. THAT is the biggest trigger of all. Once the funeral is over I'm hoping this flare up will start to subside and thereby the trigger will also subside.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:58 pm 
Have you ever tried taking lyrica for your fibromyalgia?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:08 pm 
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Yes, I tried Lyrica. Unfortunately, it didn't help me at all.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:23 pm 
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Hatmaker said, "One of the main triggers for me right now is that the stress has my fibro pain in high gear."

I wonder if there are any "stress reducing" techniques you could try to reduce your stress, which maybe would reduce your pain?

I can't think of many that would agree with your Fibro (I assume Yoga positions are too difficult?)...maybe breathing exercises. Something along those lines?


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