(0.49) Self-help journey
(1.45) Ups and Downs
(2.57) Tip of the Week
Welcome to the 3rd Thursday Tally
It’s great to be off the alcohol for three weeks now! My mind feels clearer than ever. I’ve done a lot of work on the website, tidying things up etc. I’ve really clicked with my yoga classes and I’m on the third week in my 5k training. None of this would be possible without having first given up the alcohol.
I don’t know really what has changed in my mind over the last few months, but something has really clicked into place. In the past, I’ve always viewed alcohol as something that was a major part in my life, something that I enjoyed doing, even associating it with my identity as an “Irishman”… Oooh what a stereotype ha ha…
My ‘Geeky’ Hobby
Since I was a teenager, I’ve had a fascination with phycology and self-help. I’ve spent a lot of money over the last thirty years buying courses and books, mainly to try and figure what makes me and others tick…I know, I’m a bit of a weirdo, right!…
Having gone through hundreds of these things I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that most of what’s being said out there is bunk, writers trying to sell books and courses. They’re generally making mountains out of molehills, looking for the ‘new’ angle or ‘quick fix solution’, and mostly causing more problems than they’re actually curing.
A lot of what’s being written is just too generalized. Most of it tries to help everyone and ends up helping no-one. We’re all individuals with different problems in our lives and we try to deal with those problems by using our own unique skillsets. You can read clichés until the cows come home, but you need to know how you can relate the advice to YOU and YOUR life.
Only around 10% to 20% of the books and courses out there are going to help YOU. The materials I’m talking about are the ones that once you’ve read them, you have the map of what you’ve got to do next… you know what steps YOU have to take in order to achieve YOUR goals.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that some of the stuff I’ve read over the years has just flown straight over the top of my head. Now, with a bit more life experience, I’m beginning to understand things on a more fundamental level.
I’m not sure exactly how I got into this state of mind that I’m in right now. Whatever it is, I’ve turned a corner in my life and I will never drink again! That’s something killer for me, it’s an awesome feeling.
So, I’m on a journey of self-discovery, trying to figure out exactly what has happened in my brain?
What is it that flicked the switch?
Where is the switch, and can I bottle what it’s made of?…
Ups and Downs
One of my “Up” moments again has to be staying off the drink.
Another up, was feeling exhilarated coming out of my yoga class and again when I ran for more than 3 minutes, the first time in years since I’ve done that…
I went out again to my favorite local restaurant this week. When I’d stopped drinking in the past, I was always envious of other people who were still drinking, not this time, not even for a second! I didn’t even try to substitute alcohol with a coke; I just had plain old water.
I lost 6 pounds last week which brings me a little closer to my goal weight. I’ve a long way to go…57lbs to be exact…give or take that is! I’m not obsessing about my body; I find having concrete goals makes it easier to focus on what I have to do. Just living a healthy lifestyle, good food and exercise, is enough and will get me to a weight that is natural and easy to maintain… I’m not gonna swap an alcohol problem for a dieting one…
One of my “Downs” this week was putting my back out. I’m trying to move forward way too quickly with my exercise routine. My brain still thinks I’m living in an 18 year old body instead of one that’s 46. It’s going to take a bit of time to recover from the years of poisoning…maybe walking, running, yoga, cycling, press-ups, sit-ups, lifting weights, and dancing for joy at finally being free is too much at once…the heart is willing but the body (or back) is weak.
Tip of the Week #3
Don’t try to not think about drinking alcohol!
Trying to suppress your thoughts about drinking only leads you to think about it…when you’re trying not to think about drinking, your brain has to think about it in order to remember what it is that you’re trying not to think about…Confused?…Me too!
Try not to think about a bright pink elephant standing on its back legs wearing a tutu…
It’s impossible…How can you not think about it?
Imagine if you are dieting. You have a big bar of chocolate in your fridge, your favorite type.
You keep saying to yourself “I’m not going to eat that bar of chocolate in the fridge!”
What do you see yourself doing?
Eating the bar of chocolate, right! You’re brain doesn’t hear the “not going to” part of it, it can’t process that…it only hears “eat the bar of chocolate in the fridge!”
A much better way of dealing with these inevitable thoughts is to be positive…say to yourself “I am so glad I’m a non-drinker” or “My life is so much happier without drinking!”
Or just acknowledge that you’re thinking about a drink, accept it and move on…
I hope you got something out of today’s Thursday Tally, see you next time…
Onwards and upwards!