Monday 27 March 2017

Day 26. The Positive Addiction Solution

Adding fun, healthy and confidence building activities to your life.


Just like every up has a down, an in has an out, a swallow has a spit, a negative has a positive, and today we get to think about all the positive things we can do when we free up time and in my case some money from not drinking alcohol - i'll liken this to going on the love boat - surely, i can have some fun, a bit of romantic comedy and some good kind of dramatic element as i get my passport stamped when i hit 30 days alcohol free.
Given that i was pretty much just an evening drinker, i did have lots of time to do things i love that didn't revolve around having to fit in with alcohol. Being still relatively new to melbourne, i can't wait for the weekends when i get out and about to explore the city and surrounds and up until a few weeks ago, i would declare it wine time about 5pm after i had finished doing daytime stuff, i might have a cold beer a bit earlier but again came the issue of once i started this habit each day, it wouldn't stop till i flopped. And when I came home from work and depending on how i felt, i mightn't have a glass of wine till 7 or 8. It generally wasn't walk in the door and head to the fridge, but again, there was no off button.

I can't say i would go out heaps, because to be honest, even though i work, my rent takes up a lot of my cash, as does my sexually transmitted debt from my marriage so i live a really simple life - which is necessary to see me through, so my big luxury that i afforded myself over the year was salsa dancing each week, an occasional photo class and wine. Staying in and having wine night was my cheap night out, except i would be in, hanging out with my friend chardonnay.

Now that i am this far into the journey, it's all about setting ourselves up for success once the last chapter of the book is read and the book is put down, or borrowed out to the many people who have been fascinated by my journey - yep it's been a discussion point.

Boredom is apparently one of the leading reasons why people return to drinking so we need to think about how we will fill our time - because we are gaining a lot of it back to do purposeful things.

So let's set sail on this ship and see what the cruise director Julie can recommend we do to keep us entertained while on this cruise of life after booze.
First up on the manifest is our theme of positive addiction, where we are introduced to fun, healthy and confidence building activities now that alcohol has been thrown off the ship. For me as an habitual drinker, i will gain a lot of time back in the evenings, but imagine how hard it would be for someone who spends most of their day drinking to suddenly feel like they are on a rudderless ship, so the choices of fun and inspiring activities are right up there. the journey has been about replacing the negatives with positives, so new positive behaviours will thrive on new positive activities. We want to work towards improving the top five aspects of a positive healthy life - food, water, breathing, exercise and sleep - i may never get off this cruise.
We have to get moving - think jane fonda workout album, or olivia newton-john physical or eric prydz call on me - we got to move it or we lose it and the benefits of this will show in our mental and physical health and it can be something as simple as going for a brisk walk. The myth of needing booze to get a good nights sleep is asked to walk the plank and cruise director julie has to make sure that we have fun, laugh and do lots of both to send those feel good vibes pumping through us.  I feel a game of quoits coming on.  did i spell that right, or is it spelt coitus? we either got to do it, or play it. People still play that right?

And after that workout, i need to get to my action items as decided by me, my own life cruise director.

Action 1. Start exercising
10 mins a day is a start. I actually do a lot of exercising, between salsa, walking everywhere, i have a pushie and a gym membership through my work.

Tonight i found my blow up basketball hoop, so i set this up because we also need to have fun and what could be more fun than this.  Maybe quoits, or is it coitus? still not sure. It might be more fun.
Action 2. Review the 101 new activities list
There is a list of 101 activities to consider and we are asked to pick which of the ones that interest us and begin incorporating them into our life over a period of time.  I picked 50 and added a few newbies of my own.  There was a lot that i didn't feel interested in, but here''s just a few that i can do.

Practice smiling at others
play a board game or cards - scrabble, chess, quoits.  
have a party - FUN
randomly stop what i am doing and do 10 push ups, star jumps, sit ups or squats - yep - GOOD DRAMA
sell some of my stuff 
go on a punt ride in the gardens, or take the ferry up the yarra
reconnect with learning a language
make clothes to sell
go to a comedy club
go lie in a park and read a book
do a random act of kindness

The list of things to do is endless, and with what i am not spending on alcohol, i may be able to use towards things that will help make my life a little bit more fun and enriched.

Action 3. Listen to the rediscovering joy meditation and note down any observations from before you ever started drinking - things you enjoyed or felt
- i loved to play with my friends
- i loved to play my piano and i loved to dance
- i loved sport - swimming, softball, netball, tennis and riding my bike
- i loved cooking
- i think i always felt a bit out of place and unloved.

I am going to revisit this exercise, cause there's a big negative sitting right there at the captains table.

Action 4. Revisit relaxation and entertainment goals. 
Do activities that bring, balance, joy, laughter, passion, relaxation, connecting with others in new and interesting ways and have F U N.

So i guess as a single woman who is still developing a circle of friends, that i have a lot of opportunities ahead to enrich my life in a lot of great ways.

As i prepare to head back to my cabin, after a long day navigating the sea of sobriety, how am i feeling.
A M A Z I N there a better word i could use?
My thoughts about alcohol are less and less, as once i would be thinking "i can go home and have a drink now" and i don't feel that way.  I feel unencumbered by booze.
My sugar craving was off the chart - i wonder if that's a symptom of my age related internal personal life change or this current life change?
plus, i'm adding some extras today, to show what might have been on the cards if i was socialising in the past - a drink after work, or a catch up with a friend.  It easily adds up and i am not even sure if the extras represent what may be reality.
I'll add a few more just to be sure.

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