Checking in daily to help maintain focus


I’m not going to give you advice, as I don’t know the details of your situation. But I can tell you about ultimatums have worked for me, which is badly. I have twice given ultimatums - once to my ex-husband 13 years ago and once to my ex-partner 2.5 years ago. Both resulted in the relationship ending - for ME, that was the right outcome; HOWEVER, these ultimatums still haunt me and i am STILL talking about them in therapy now for a few reasons.

First, I did not get the answer I wanted - the answer I got was crushing and left me feeling unlovable, unwanted, invaluable as a person and full of self loathing and resentment that I still carry with me to this day (working on all that crap in therapy after all these years) and it has colored all my subsequent interpersonal relationships.

Second, the way I think about them now is that I gave an ultimatum because I did not have the strength myself to make my own decisions and therefore I absolved my responsibility by forcing the other person to make that decision (and then didn’t like the outcome). When I think about them now, I think that those ultimatums came from a place of internal weakness rather than internal strength and I resent myself for being unable to make my own decisions and forcing someone else to make them for me. Again, still carrying those feelings around and just trying to deal with them now, after all these years.

The only real advice I can give is tread carefully and really think about your motivations and what you are trying to achieve before making any decisions. Good luck :two_hearts:


Hey Bill – you’re doing great. That anxiety/nervousness is something I can understand, I’m sure many people feel that way heading into the holidays sober, especially for the first time.

I can tell you that I did Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years sober last year (and plan to again this year, obviously), and it was the BEST. With an unaltered mind, I could truly enjoy the spirit of the holidays and the company of my loved ones. I know you can do the same, and I know you will.

Have a great time away from work, and a wonderful holiday with your family!

PS: re-gift that champagne!


I’ve absolutely got the same anxiety about a sober Christmas. I’ve revised my expectations to: staying sober, not having any major disasters/dramas, get to the other side sane and sober. I don’t mean to be a downer, but I feel like going into things with low expectations for myself and for others helps set the right tone and then anything over and above that is a WIN.:two_hearts:


This is amazing and made me LOLZ at work. I love food related codes and trying to figure out how to get them in a sentence when they seem so out of context to the rest of the conversation.:joy::rofl::sunglasses:


Love the code idea!!! My code is going to be as follows… I will look at my wife and scream, “YOUR MOTHER IS DRIVING ME FUCKING CRAZY!” And then go hide in the basement.

Not subtle enough? :grin:


you guys are bringing the lolz today.
or maybe my sleep deprivation is making me slightly loopy.


Woke up to 81 days today! :slight_smile: spent all yesterday in an irritable mood, kept wanting something to take the edge off but knew drinking wouldn’t help one bit. Must have been really getting to me because last night I had a dream that I started using cocaine…wtf? Lol Waking up today feeling proud of myself for not drinking yesterday.

Stay strong, stay sober :heart:


I feel you brother! This xmas is going to be challenging. My family (parents, 3 sisters and their familes) get together for dinner and a “white elephant” style gift exchange. We (my wife and I and our kids) will not be participating in the exchange because last time a couple of my sisters and niece made snide comments about the quality (i.e. price) of some of the gifts we chose to bring.

I know this choice is going to cause some friction so I guess the bright side is being sober, I’ll won’t say something stupid… hopefully. :wink:

My plan is to show up late, leave early; minimalize the time I’m there. And while I am there, i’ll hang out with my kids. Should be interesting.


Sending you lots of :two_hearts: and positive thoughts. Keep sharing, it gets easier and feels better. I love seeing how you are getting so involved around here. You are doing a fantastic job in challenging circumstances - keep it up :two_hearts:


That is exactly how the code turned out with an ex and I. We used “broccoli” as our code, which just turned situations into something hilarious when we would just randomly say “broccoli!!!” in mixed company. :rofl::rofl:


This is such a funny idea…like a sober “safe word”. Can choose the most random thing you want, and have fun with it.

“Did you see that special on…dramatic stare TELEMUNDO…last night?”

“This morning I slipped in the shower and hit my elbow on the…dramatic stare SOAP DISH”

“Remember that…dramatic stare, increase in hunger AVOCADO FARM…we thought about investing in?”


I can see it now, “Alright gang, the safe word is ‘Cristmas’, just say the word and we’re gone!”

Get to the door, wife says “Hi, merry christmas!”

“So sorry, but i think we left the stove on, we should go check on that because… cats. Merry Christmas!!! Bye”.


Hi James. You are doing great and handled last night perfectly. Early in sobriety you are going to feel a lot of stress. Your body is adjusting to the fact that you’re not washing the stress away with booze. But you’ve got a great attitude. And I hope you won’t feel vulnerable sharing here. I find it to be the most cathartic part… I can let it all hang out and not be judged or ridiculed… because everyone here has been through the same thing or something similar. And the feedback is so helpful & reassuring. Best of luck on your continued sobriety!


@Mtrav0040, a lesson my mother taught me at a young age was this: Ultimatums have only 2 possible outcomes, one you will like and one you will not like. Before you ever give one, know for sure that you can live with either outcome. In my mind, most people use ultimatums as a means to manipulate another person into doing something WE want them to do, when in reality, we can only control and take responsibility for ourselves, our actions, our reactions, our thoughts and our feelings. People do what they want to do, and they show that to is every day, but we just don’t want to see it.


Aah, ok! I see it mentioned often but never understood how it factored into recovery. So, for you, it’s to deal with your pain, but not necessarily a supplement to deal with withdrawals or whatever.


Not sure what dreams were about last night but I did buy a giant jug of vodka and a gallon or orange juice at the store in the dream. I was walking along with them and remember thinking, ew I don’t want this vodka, and trying to figure out how to get rid of it. Day 19!!


You guys are cracking me up today with the code words! Thanks for all the support and feedback. Feeling better already!


Thank you for the support. I’ll try to keep sharing and checking in, it helps.

@BillS Thanks a lot. I can see you have had a tough day too - temptation is everywhere around this time of year, but with eachothers support we can do this. Good luck to you too!


Day 374. Had a dream last night about my boss’s boss. In it he sent me an email that I needed to get one of our projects done before the end of the year (would take 3 weeks in reality). My resentment flaired and was there when I woke up this morning. While it’s just the kind of thing he would do, he didn’t do it, my subconscious conjured it up to reinforce my resentments toward him. Gotta work on this one.


Hahaha lol!