My new routine now consists of: heading to the gym for 30 minutes right after work — no excuses, no debating, no questions. Ms Crazy and her monkey chatter may enter my brain, but I pull the “I have a date with the gym and I must go there NOW” tool from my box. After the workout, I go home, set a pot to boil and make a cup of tea. In day’s past, I would have popped the cork on a bottle as soon as I stepped through the door. So, I am just modifying that scenario. It’s cut and dried. And of course, once I eat, I’m back in the sober zone. Seems to be working so far.
Can you believe it? Saturday January 18 will be 4 MONTHS since my last drink. Un-f’ing-believable, right? Seems like it took forever, yet here I am. A lot of days better than most, some days not so good. I’m learning my triggers and reaching deep into my box of tools. Some days I just want to give up and melt into a haze of numbness, some days I don’t. Yep, and some days I feel like a nut. . . .
I read this on Bye Bye Beer’s blog today and wanted to pass it along:
“He needs the help of “bright lines,” a term that Ainslie borrows from lawyers. These are clear, simple, unambiguous rules. You can’t help but notice when you cross a bright line. If you promise yourself to drink or smoke “moderately,” that’s not a bright line. It’s a fuzzy boundary with no obvious point at which you go from moderation to excess. Because the transition is so gradual and your mind is so adept at overlooking your own peccadilloes, you may fail to notice when you’ve gone too far. So you can’t be sure you’re always going to follow the rule to drink moderately. In contrast, zero tolerance is a bright line: total abstinence with no exceptions anytime. It’s not practical for all self-control problems—a dieter cannot stop eating all food—but it works well in many situations. Once you’re committed to following a bright-line rule, your present self can feel confident that your future self will observe it, too. And if you believe that the rule is sacred—a commandment from God, the unquestionable law of a higher power—then it becomes an especially bright line. You have more reason to expect your future self to respect it, and therefore your belief becomes a form of self-control: a self-fulfilling mandate. I think I won’t, therefore I don’t.” ~ Roy F. Baumeister and Jon Tierney from Willpower.