Ask me anything
Oddly enough, as you all get older and more responsible, you'll find this question answers itself.
Some of your best, truest friends will also stop (or significantly ease up on) their drinking.
Others will respect and support your decision and do everything they can to include you in social gatherings while still protecting your peace of mind.
And some of your "best friends" will turn out to be not so great in the cold light of day. When they're drinking and you're suddenly not, you'll start to realize that some of them are reckless, selfish, drama-prone, and just not that fun to hang out with anymore.
If your friends are holding you back from making a healthy, life-changing decision, they're not your friends. Your true friends will help you make those decisions every day.
Well shucks! As long as it's ok with my husband, sure.
Learn to value yourself.
Once you have respect for yourself and a desire to see yourself succeed, you are a lot more protective of your body, your assets, your stability, and your happiness.
This might sound like selfishness, but some of us need to counteract a lifetime of programming that taking care of ourselves was somehow wrong. Take care of yourself FIRST, don't get sucked into others' negativity and drama, and make the world a better place.
I tried AA/NA for a while, but talking about and hearing others talk about drinking and using for an hour at a time ended up making me very anxious and depressed. When I'd only been clean/sober for a few days at a time, hearing that stuff and feeling those feelings was enough to get me knocked off the wagon.
I ended up doing a "hotel detox"-style clean break. I sequestered myself away from everyone until I was clean, moved to a new city, formed new associations, and just stayed the hell away from everything from my old life and old habits.
Oh, I think that's a bit of an illusion. I'd say the Internet doesn't know nearly as much about me as it might think.
The first year is the hardest! Now all you have to do is just keep doing what you've been doing, keep strengthening those good habits, and find other happy, productive things to do with your time, energy, and money.
Best of luck!
I've been talking to more and more entrepreneurs who are setting up extra-terrestrial missions. As the opportunity becomes more realistic, I'm sure I would. I'd love to leave Earth behind forever and try something new, something that might actually be important.
I was never actually invited. Producers were apparently miscommunicating amongst themselves, I'm being told.
Great major -- very practical, lots of career options/job opportunities all around the world.
Honestly, I'd go with an oddball minor that speaks to a unique interest you have or that emphasizes the diversity of your skills and abilities. Sociology, literature, art/design, languages... express and exrcisee the full right/left brain duality! It's more challenging and fun than all IT all the time, and it'll look fabulous on your resume.
Lots of luck!
Thanks! I'm happy I can be helpful to the community.
Sometimes, of course. But that's part of being an adult. I have to deal with the consequences of my actions, and I've stacked up a LOT of bad karma for myself!
I can't avoid the consequences. Those wheels were set in motion a long time ago. But I've learned that accepting responsibility and doing whatever I can to make it right is the better, stronger thing to do than just running away from my past.
It's hard, but it's fair. And most of the time, addressing problems from my past doesn't screw up the new life I've built for myself as much as I might fear.
I'm glad you made this a two-part question, because for me, relapse and life changes really do tie together.
I tried to get clean and sober a few times before it "stuck."
The first time was in 2007. I'd gotten myself into some trouble the year before due to drinking, and I wanted to change my life. Four months in, I felt great and had a lot of clarity, energy, focus, ambition. I did, as you said, feel like I was becoming the person I wanted to be.
But then I thought I could learn to drink in moderation. I had a half a glass of beer at a summer backyard barbecue, and within months, I was drinking, using, and in the hospital.
I halfheartedly tried to quit drinking a few times after that, but life was stressful (dangerous neighborhood, low income, constantly under threat from one thing or another) and I was weak; I kept resorting to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism and a way to escape.
I kept going like that until I moved to San Francisco and found that I would NOT be able to keep the parts of my life that I enjoyed (partner, home, job) if I continued drinking.** The fear of losing everything again is what kept me from relapse.** There were many, many times when I was under pressure and wished more than anything that I could escape the way I used to, but I knew that if I did, everything would be gone within a couple weeks.
Fear was my motivator -- doesn't that sound weak? But it worked well enough until I found other reasons to stay sober.
From the first day I decided I would never, ever use or drink again, I decided to change the rest of my life, too. It was a huge effort. I changed my appearance with a rigorous diet and exercise regime, and I went back to school to improve my career. I felt very early in my sobriety that life was changing for the better, and very rapidly, too.
Eventually, my partner left me, I got a new home, and I changed jobs. I learned to stop being motivated by fear and start being motivated by how awesome and healthy and NORMAL my life is now.
It's a lot easier now that those old urges aren't as strong -- but every now and then, they still come up on a bad day. Half because I fear the consequences and half because I love my new life, I always make the right choice.
I carry a Shirley Temple or tonic water with lime, and I act like I'm having a great time. Most of the time, I am.
Sans alcohol, my shyness is a lot more obvious, but aside from the fact that I'm more nervous about leaving the house and talking to people, it's pretty much the same, except that I'm in control of my behavior and make a much better impression on people.
Also, it's good to put a time limit on yourself. I almost never stay at any party for more than 45 minutes or an hour. I get in, make a loop around the room, chat to the people I know, and get out.
Hope this helps, and GOOD LUCK with your new path in life! I hope you find it profitable, enjoyable, and highly rewarding. =)
We've had one hanging around the house since Google I/O. Seems like a perfectly serviceable tablet, and it's gotten no complaints from the resident gadget junkie. It'll probably go back to Google soon on principle alone (ethics policy: we don't get to keep the fancy toys companies give us), but it's worth checking out.
One day, you'll realize that you just have to make the choice.
For me, that day came when I realized I was on the verge of losing everything -- again -- and I was so, so tired of losing.
Aren't you fed up with it yet? I know I was. The constant physical sickness, never knowing what was going to happen from day to day, knowing that nobody I knew respected me, not knowing if I'd be able to keep my job or the roof over my head. It all felt awful.
And then, one day I just decided I would do anything to not have to go through that anymore.
It was an easy decision, an obvious one, even. But following through took all the strength I had, every minute of every day for months.
You CAN do it, and it is so worth it. I wish you the best of luck.
It's too late to regret the past, and the present is pretty dang amazing.
Make an investment in yourself! You are worth it, and the more you invest, the better and stronger and happier you'll be.
Investing in yourself means taking care of yourself and your health, taking time to know who you are and what you need, working hard, understanding where your self-worth comes from, and minimizing destructive influences in your life.
I think a lot of journalists and editors drink enough that they don't recognize alcoholism in others. I think it can be a work-hard-play-hard lifestyle. It's like a lot of other industries in that way -- advertising, technology, sales.