Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Hazel »

Okay, I misread my counter, it's been 10 days, not 15. So there's some additional context to feeling like it hasn't been 15 days. :rolling:


Thank you all for the support. :bow:
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Hazel wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:01 pm Okay, I misread my counter, it's been 10 days, not 15. So there's some additional context to feeling like it hasn't been 15 days. :rolling:


Thank you all for the support. :bow:
What are you doing with the time that you used to spend drinking? IME ( some personal experience and as an SUD counselor), spending this time in a way that takes away from focusing on your cravings is one way to make this early time feel less chore-like.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Hazel
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Hazel »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:07 pm
Hazel wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:01 pm Okay, I misread my counter, it's been 10 days, not 15. So there's some additional context to feeling like it hasn't been 15 days. :rolling:


Thank you all for the support. :bow:
What are you doing with the time that you used to spend drinking? IME ( some personal experience and as an SUD counselor), spending this time in a way that takes away from focusing on your cravings is one way to make this early time feel less chore-like.
Many of the things I did before, but sober. Essentially work on personal projects (programming), get distracted by and subsequently angry about Samsarabook (aka Facebook), and studying the dharma.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

I've found that Facebook is friggin terrible for my mental health. There are a few studies on it, nothing super conclusive yet, but it's enough for me to know that it's designed to trigger the reward mechanism in the same manner as gambling, or even substances. The habit of using it even feels like smoking to me..something I did compulsively without really enjoying it 90% of the time. I quit using it and I'm happy I did, I just kept messenger. YMMV of course, don't want to get preachy, and FB does have some very good uses as well.

One piece of advice early on when you quit something is to change up your schedule during times when you'd be triggered, new activities, stuff you haven't done before, etc.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Hazel
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Hazel »

Day 15.

Ive been slowly telling people I quit drinking as every day feels more real. This place was pretty much the first place I told and this thread helps keep me honest.

Haven't told the person I've been receiving Dharma instructions from. Feels like if I tell them, then there's no going back. A very big step.

I've continued to take 24 hour vows of not drinking (some times with the other precepts). It's increasingly unnecessary. I do occasionally pray for strength though.
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:21 am I've found that Facebook is friggin terrible for my mental health. There are a few studies on it, nothing super conclusive yet, but it's enough for me to know that it's designed to trigger the reward mechanism in the same manner as gambling, or even substances. The habit of using it even feels like smoking to me..something I did compulsively without really enjoying it 90% of the time. I quit using it and I'm happy I did, I just kept messenger. YMMV of course, don't want to get preachy, and FB does have some very good uses as well.
I've been trying to go to this forum instead of Facebook when I am looking for distraction. At least then I'm potentially getting something out of it.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:46 pm Day 15.

Ive been slowly telling people I quit drinking as every day feels more real. This place was pretty much the first place I told and this thread helps keep me honest.

Haven't told the person I've been receiving Dharma instructions from. Feels like if I tell them, then there's no going back. A very big step.

I've continued to take 24 hour vows of not drinking (some times with the other precepts). It's increasingly unnecessary. I do occasionally pray for strength though.
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:21 am I've found that Facebook is friggin terrible for my mental health. There are a few studies on it, nothing super conclusive yet, but it's enough for me to know that it's designed to trigger the reward mechanism in the same manner as gambling, or even substances. The habit of using it even feels like smoking to me..something I did compulsively without really enjoying it 90% of the time. I quit using it and I'm happy I did, I just kept messenger. YMMV of course, don't want to get preachy, and FB does have some very good uses as well.
I've been trying to go to this forum instead of Facebook when I am looking for distraction. At least then I'm potentially getting something out of it.
Good job, keep it up and keep us posted.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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👍👏
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

I also wanted to ad, if you slip up -do not- go down the road of "oh I screwed up now my clean time is gone might as well I'll give up".

Maybe that's obvious to you IDK, I know you said you had some previous struggles.I see it all the time with people in recovery though, extreme black and white thinking is a thing and can turn a slip into an actual relapse. Viewing those moments as opportunities to build your relapse prevention skills is vital. Another reason a real relapse prevention plan is so necessary in early recovery.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Hazel »

Tonight/tomorrow I hit 20 days.

Have also been struggling to get my eating under control since the beginning and am making some progress. I am somewhat of an over/compulsive eater. Low key, but it still has lead to issues with my health and is generally stressful.

Today I deactivated my Facebook account. It'll probably last like 2 days max, but worth a shot.

Lately I have been frustrated with my progress on the Buddhist path and have been wrestling with doubt, but maybe this is what progress looks like.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:13 am Tonight/tomorrow I hit 20 days.

Have also been struggling to get my eating under control since the beginning and am making some progress. I am somewhat of an over/compulsive eater. Low key, but it still has lead to issues with my health and is generally stressful.

Today I deactivated my Facebook account. It'll probably last like 2 days max, but worth a shot.

Lately I have been frustrated with my progress on the Buddhist path and have been wrestling with doubt, but maybe this is what progress looks like.
What kind of progress do you expect to be making, and where do you yourself not making it?
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:13 am Tonight/tomorrow I hit 20 days.

Have also been struggling to get my eating under control since the beginning and am making some progress. I am somewhat of an over/compulsive eater. Low key, but it still has lead to issues with my health and is generally stressful.

Today I deactivated my Facebook account. It'll probably last like 2 days max, but worth a shot.

Lately I have been frustrated with my progress on the Buddhist path and have been wrestling with doubt, but maybe this is what progress looks like.
I personally pray to Buddhas to keep me on the right path. I venerate Vairochana specifically.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:26 am What kind of progress do you expect to be making, and where do you yourself not making it?
"What kind of progress do you expect to be making" - I know you meant that non-rhetorically, but taking it rhetorically I have to chuckle because it reminds me I'm on a path that takes aeons and I'm getting fussy after the first handful of months since I started practicing daily/consistently.

The big thing that's been frustrating me is that the more I'm reading and learning, the more I seem to have difficulty meditating. It becomes less clear what I need to be doing/focusing on and I have a head full of ideas that just seem to get in the way from actually meditating. And then there's the "is anything actually happening? Am I doing it in a worthwhile manner? Is this correct?" (doubt) that undermines anything I do attempt to do.

On top of that, as I learn to be a better person, I'm finding myself being mean to myself about my slip ups and harshly critical instead of kind.

I may ask the person I'm taking dharma instructions from to give me some specific things to work on.
LastLegend wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:31 am I personally pray to Buddhas to keep me on the right path. I venerate Vairochana specifically.
Are these with prayers you've learned along the way or ones of your own devise?
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:01 am
Are these with prayers you've learned along the way or ones of your own devise?
1) I am too lazy to recite or memorize any prayer.
2) I’d say things like, “Please allow wisdom arise in me to guide me towards total liberation.” I don’t stop praying no matter what.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by DharmaN00b »

Badass alocholic sermons: fr 2 njoy: :namaste:

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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:01 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:26 am What kind of progress do you expect to be making, and where do you yourself not making it?
"What kind of progress do you expect to be making" - I know you meant that non-rhetorically, but taking it rhetorically I have to chuckle because it reminds me I'm on a path that takes aeons and I'm getting fussy after the first handful of months since I started practicing daily/consistently.

The big thing that's been frustrating me is that the more I'm reading and learning, the more I seem to have difficulty meditating. It becomes less clear what I need to be doing/focusing on and I have a head full of ideas that just seem to get in the way from actually meditating. And then there's the "is anything actually happening? Am I doing it in a worthwhile manner? Is this correct?" (doubt) that undermines anything I do attempt to do.
You can watch those thoughts in meditation, you can make them your object, as it were. IME people who have struggled with addiction and/or mental health issues, trauma etc. often have some pretty frenetic "Self talk" under any circumstances..just getting some space from it in the beginning can help. It's also perfectly ok to put down ideas for a while and focus on the silence of your practice. It's there, underneath and all around the self-talk that's concerning you.
On top of that, as I learn to be a better person, I'm finding myself being mean to myself about my slip ups and harshly critical instead of kind.
You HAVE to stop being so mean to yourself because it's what you SHOULD do. Get better at it NOW.

Joking of course, but making a point hopefully....you can't really "try" to relax towards yourself, in that sense acceptance is related to relaxation. So, while I know you want to be less judgemental towards yourself, don't get too judgemental about being judgemental, as it were. These are just thoughts brought on by conditioning, the more you can observe them as just thought, the less emotional resonance they have.

One technique for this sort of thing is instead of thinking "oh I'm so judgemental" is changing to something like "I'm having these judgemental thoughts and feelings right now". The first is emotionally charged identification with your pain, the second is simply a more accurate description of what's happening, and sometimes can help people gain some perspective on their thought process.
I may ask the person I'm taking dharma instructions from to give me some specific things to work on.
That's probably a great idea.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by Hazel »

39 days.

Told my teacher the other day about having quit alcohol.

Also asked them about progress on the path. When I posted about that earlier I was also meaning worldly desires like suffering less in this life time and being a kinder person - but I didn't mention this because I felt bad about it after the Secular Buddhism thread. Anyways, my teacher said that essentially you don't just one day notice a sudden change on your own, you see it in your interactions with other people, whether it's you reacting to them differently, or someone flat out telling you. At least that's how it's been for them - they speak in a very humble and personal "this is my experience" and rarely make grand statements about how the universe works.

Sometimes I remember I don't drink or drug anymore and I have a momentary panic that feels kind of like mental free floating and floundering as to what to do with myself... or like a flying trapeze artist suddenly realizing there's no net. I really need to work on replacement coping mechanisms and hobbies.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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You're going great. It can be done, one day at a time.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

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Hazel wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:44 pm 39 days.

Told my teacher the other day about having quit alcohol.

Also asked them about progress on the path. When I posted about that earlier I was also meaning worldly desires like suffering less in this life time and being a kinder person - but I didn't mention this because I felt bad about it after the Secular Buddhism thread. Anyways, my teacher said that essentially you don't just one day notice a sudden change on your own, you see it in your interactions with other people, whether it's you reacting to them differently, or someone flat out telling you. At least that's how it's been for them - they speak in a very humble and personal "this is my experience" and rarely make grand statements about how the universe works.

Sometimes I remember I don't drink or drug anymore and I have a momentary panic that feels kind of like mental free floating and floundering as to what to do with myself... or like a flying trapeze artist suddenly realizing there's no net. I really need to work on replacement coping mechanisms and hobbies.
It's pretty normal to feel that way in early recovery. You're doing a great job, there was never any net though, a life somewhat numbed by drugs and alcohol just makes it seem like there is.

Make sure you're getting sober support, there are a lot of different forms that can take, but it's really critical at this time.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by ford_truckin »

Quitting alcohol permanently will be the best choice your ever made in your life and complete abstinence is also what the Buddha recommended. I hope you succeed and maintain strong discipline.
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Re: Quitting alcohol. Dharmic advice?

Post by DharmaN00b »

Hazel wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:44 pm my teacher said that essentially you don't just one day notice a sudden change on your own, you see it in your interactions with other people, whether it's you reacting to them differently, or someone flat out telling you. At least that's how it's been for them - they speak in a very humble and personal "this is my experience" and rarely make grand statements about how the universe works.
My brother wanted me to sit with him the other day. I didn't have to drink but... "when in Rome". He likes to smoke up too. My mind was doing cartwheels and I'm trying my best to be mindful but I'm slowly turning into a frightened child. My mind was vegetating :crying: . The person in front of me isn't my brother. I'm sat with my family and they are just strangers. Later the headache comes on and the anxiety is worsened by the memory questioning what had I become what has my brother become. No more of this, the turning point has arrived.

Lets live our adult lives sober together. :smile:
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