I Said No Thanks – 3 Times

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I am proud of myself for saying no to a beer – three times. It isn’t really about the no, it is about what happened in my head.

I showed up and they had a cold one ready to open for themselves. We were chatting outside and I thought “That beer would be a perfect compliment to this moment.”

Then we took a casual stroll over to see progress on a project and they asked again if I wanted one for the walk and talk. Again I thought “That would be great. Sharing a beer and some interesting conversation.”

Back inside we ate some homemade food and again, more out of politeness, since they grabbed a second one, asked if I wanted one. This time I thought “If I had said yes earlier, I would be saying yes to my second one now, and in a little while saying yes to a third one.”

A few weeks ago I would have said yes. I have felt so much better not drinking lately that I just didn’t want to start that whole roller coaster again. The part that really caught my attention though, was why I thought “certain situations” seemed like they would be better with alcohol.

During our conversation, I had brought up Intermittent Reinforcement for something else, but I think that is what happened with my thoughts. It HAD been fun to have a beer in the past in those moments, a couple times, but by no means all. That ELUSIVE MOMENT.

I think starting sobriety late in life has the unique challenge of 40 years of ingrained beliefs. That is a lot of years with no other story than “Alcohol can make this moment better.” Last night I came home and watched some tv. A little guilty pleasure show. I was just quiet and content.

Each night I say no to drinking is creating a new proof that alcohol doesn’t make anything better.

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Getting Rest & A New House

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After finally getting a day or two of quiet, the urge to drink has also quieted. I tried to remember my last day of drinking but I couldn’t. Then I decided to not think about it and just keep going forward.

I put an offer in on a house, but not for me, for my 18 year old son. When you can save $6000 a year owning, versus living on campus and putting housing expenses on a student loan, it was a no brainer for me. I gave the boy life, but I will not give him student debt. (I see the destruction it brings to 30 and 40 year old lives. They are unable to move forward and create wealth with the giant burden of “good debt”.) When my son finishes his tech school we can flip the house or he can keep it. He (I) will have made money instead of debt. His rent payment to me will be his down payment.

So how do these things tie together? When I got rest, I stayed sober. When I was rested and sober, I believed in myself. When I got my confidence back, I trusted myself to make a decision. When I made the decision, my heart and my gut were filled with passion. When my mind is busy with things I love, I don’t want to drink and mess that up.

Food Nerd

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You know you are an official food nerd when you take a picture of your successfully spatchcocked chicken.