Managing Triggers

For the past few days I am happy to report that I really have not had any triggers or cravings. I am keeping busy but careful not to be too busy where I get tired and cranky as that can result in a “what the hell” attitude which leads me to opening a bottle of wine. I have begun running again which is something that I loved to do but it got very difficult with a hangover. I am also going to my Bikram Yoga class at least three times a week. I find this very relaxing because for 90 minutes I do not think. This year I have also decided to make some of my own Christmas gifts as it gives me something creative to do. My daughter and I have been doing this together which has been lovely. I took this year off to focus on my health and wellness which was on a steep decline due to stress. That is a goal for the new year – to spend more time on wellness and that includes engaging in creativity. It is a great way to spend extra time that used to go toward numbing out in front of the tv.

My husband and I are going away to an all-inclusive for seven days. I am very excited and wary as well. I had a trigger for a moment last night when a beautiful shot of the beach came up on the tv and my husband said, “We’ll be there in a couple of days…” And my immediate thought/feeling was gut dropping – how will I not drink there? I caught the thought and reframed it to “I get to go there and not waste a single moment being drunk or hungover. I will run. I will read. I will come home actually rested.” That seemed to work in the moment and I could feel myself physically relax. You can do this. You can do this. You can do this. I just hope that I have some tools to make my brain think this way it when we arrive and the tray of welcoming cocktails is being handed out in the lobby. I am not sure what I can do to fortify myself or prepare myself. I am very grateful that we are flying out very early in the morning which takes the airport triggers out of the equation. I need to think of the holiday as two separate paths, a fork in the road. One pathway is what happens if I drink. How will the holiday look, feel, turn out. And how will I feel at the end of the seven days. The other pathway is an entirely alcohol free seven days. How will the holiday look, feel, turn out. And how will I feel at the end of the seven days.

Every all-inclusive I have visited while drinking ended with regrets. There was one time I did not have regrets at an all-inclusive: oh yeah, I didn’t drink. No regrets. No shame. No wasted time being hungover. Nice healthy tan, clear eyes, and complexion. Ran most days and read LOTS. That is the woman I am meant to be. So why do I keep buying into the lie that life cannot be fun without a drink in hand? Things are never better or more fun when drinking becomes the focus of the vacation. It is so clear right now, in the morning, while sipping my coffee. Why does this clarity of thought slip away so easily later on in the day???

I am grateful to be even attempting to quit wine during this season let alone on an all-inclusive vacation… I am grateful that by the end of today I will have completed my Christmas shopping… I am grateful for a very deep and restful/restorative sleep… I am grateful to have found an art class I want to take in the New Year… I am grateful that I am being kind to my liver today… Kind to my soul…

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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