1. The thing I love about this sub is that it has helped me to see that I didn’t fail my dog. Not all dogs with issues have them because of their owners. My dude has caused me to live a restricted life to make his better. I’ve tried everything I have the resources to try with him. I know that if he regresses I’m going to have to do the right thing for him and have him behaviorally euthanized. His stress can make him miserable, and no meds help. We raised him from a puppy. We followed all the rules. He bites. As soon as we think he’s having more bad days then good, we’re gonna make the call for his sake. And it’s gonna suck if it happens, but we didn’t fail. Our buddy just got a rough deal.

  2. Something I've reflected on a lot is that the reward you get for confronting a major problem is that you get to deal with all the smaller ones. For me, drinking was a huge problem. The biggest and most visible and most acute. When I stopped, my reward was to deal with depression, low self-esteem, and what turned out to be ADHD. When I started dealing with depression, other things emerged that had been buried under that.

  3. This, right here! I also try to remind myself I have so many years dealing with my problems by drinking; it's going to take time to get really good at using other strategies. I'm also diagnosed ADHD, and that's not something that's going away - but it IS something I can continue to learn to manage better.

  4. So, I work intake at a busy shelter and I'll fully admit there are some days we all skip our lunches. But most days we're pretty good about making sure they happen, probably partly bc it's modeled by managers all the way up the line. And also bc they will literally start sending people. (Usually not individuals just, "Ok it's getting late. One of you has to go on lunch, I don't care who.") It works for us bc we know it's done out of care, I can see that approach seeming micro-managey depending on the team and how it's approached? It does help with that, "I don't want to leave my coworkers hanging" feelings, though, when you're literally being told "I know it's busy but one of you has to go, we can handle it." (They also follow up to make sure everyone goes in turn.)

  5. I had to decide I was willing to do anything that didn't hurt me or anyone else rather than having another drink. So read a book, play a video game, drink water, eat junk food, take a walk, etc. I had to accept that those distractions wouldn't "replace" drinking right away, they weren't going to feel as good at first bc my dopamine was all jacked up. I had to commit to doing them anyway and just hang on until I got some more time sober and my brain and body started to settle out.

  6. The freedom of not having to have a drink after a crap day is amazingly freeing, fwiw. Source - my day was both shit and slightly traumatic at work yesterday. I work at an animal shelter, and a pet I'd been trying to nurse back around passed overnight and I'm the one who found him. Later in the day some members of the public got incredibly loud and violent - no one was hurt, but they did some property damage and would have come inside if I hadn't locked the door. REALLY SHIT DAY. But not feeling that pull to have a drink was amazing. I had a nice dinner, did some light exercise, did some other self care. I've still got a lot of feelings about it all, but I know I can handle them sober which I 100% wouldn't have been able to say before.

  7. So, my thought is every career is going to have issues. The trick is finding the career, job, and position that works for *you*, personally. For me, it's shelter med. I tried other careers and then I tried vet office work but what works for me is specifically shelter work. For someone else shelter work might be the absolute worst and burn them out within a year. I can 100% say I love what I do and I wouldn't do anything else, while also understanding other people feel very differently. I don't think there's anything wrong with you wanting to do something different, but I do think it might be jumping the gun to make that decision based on what other people say about it rather than trying it yourself - but you know better than I do how you're feeling and what's the right choice for you.

  8. I tried coming off my Strattera when I got sober and found out...yep I definitely still have ADHD when I'm sober and it's definitely managed better through meds. I do wish I'd discussed it with my doctor more so I'd at least kept her more up to date with what was going on. I'm not sure about Zoloft, but I know when I've been on other antidepressants and antianxiety meds in the past, some of those I needed to come off gradually so it was very important to talk to my doctor first when I decided to go off those.

  9. Life is a series of battles. Some people combat their selfishness, some people combat their anger, some people combat their malicious intents, some like us combat alcohol, and some don't combat at all and give in to their urges and float around without working on their flaws. It's not a choice to some people to have very high adrenaline reaction to something irritating, they didn't ask for this, they get it harder than those who can be calm effortlessly, but it's their choice to learn to be calm.

  10. This! I liken my sobriety to my ADHD in that way. I didn't choose ADHD either. I didn't choose for some basic parts of life to be struggles for me. But it is what it is and I'm continually learning and growing with that, too. It's also something that teaches me compassion for others. Thanks for sharing, I love this comment. :)

  11. My problem is.....I can't imagine still visiting this sub 612 days from now. I don't want to have to still be fighting or even thinking about trying to stay sober 2 years from now. I quit smoking, and never think about it. Why can't I do it with alcohol?

  12. Eh, different people are different. My bf is like you with smoking. He quit smoking and never looked back. Then quit vaping and never looked back from that either. Me, I've been quit of cigarettes since 2014 and I still miss them regularly and am still on and off vaping.

  13. If it helps at all, something I have to remind myself of (also in shelter work) is that it's pretty impossible to perfectly gauge exactly how long things with animals will take. The longer you do it the better you get, ofc, but still.

  14. Every week I tell my bf we need to buy more big black garbage bags. And every week he's like, "We already went through that huge pack we got from Sam's Club?" This has been going on for months now. xD

  15. I'm lucky to have an old treadmill at home and a cheap used exercise bike I bought from a coworker. I put on a movie or some Youtube and it's a double win since I have trouble sitting still to watch things. Watching helps me get my exercise in and exercising helps me make it through whatever it was I wanted to watch. I also put something on if I'm doing strength training, so for me the solution is "do something else at the same time that my brain finds more interesting." After doing it often enough, I also did start enjoying the exercise itself, it just took a while for me. :)

  16. It's great that works for you! I was able to borrow an indoor bike from a friend and that was exactly my plan but a movie/video on it's own just isn't enough for me to make it interesting. Or maybe the simultaneous exercise keeps me from getting into it idk

  17. That makes sense to me. Most of the time I'm watching Youtube on whatever I'm randomly interested in that week, your comment made me realize I still don't know if I could do a whole movie and stay interested. It was one of my goals but I think I only ever actually did that with Encanto, and I wasn't walking for the whole movie.

  18. I know "lists" is the worst thing to mention, but I have them on my days off, too, and they include things I want to do, not just things I ought to do. I'm medicated, so that helped. And it took me a long time, but I finally found a career I love even if every day isn't rainbows. (For me, animal shelter work. It wouldn't work for everyone, for sure.) I've also found working 4 10's works better for me than 5 8's. I also double book myself a lot and watch a movie while I'm exercising or liisten to an audiobook while I'm doing chores.

  19. A variation: I got sober for two years, then decided I should try to moderate, and slowly ended up relapsing badly for 5 years. Sober again and not planning on that changing ever. So not exactly repeat relapsing but also not exactly getting right back up to try again either!

  20. I work in shelter medicine. And for me it's the drama. Constant fuckin politics in shelters.

  21. Y'know, I was struggling to think of something I dislike in shelter med bc I legit find it so fulfilling even with things most people would find to be negatives...but yeah, drama gets old. There was also drama at the vet office I worked at though and drama at some of the retail places I worked so who knows. Shelter med is highly emotional work (not the any vet med isn't) so maybe there's just a lot more bleed over into crap behavior.

  22. Atta boy! Keep it up! Just started my journey. I'm on day 23. Proud of you.

  23. Proud of you, too! Early days are no joke, but you can absolutely do it!

  24. I used to joke-but-not-really-joke that I'm "bad at life." Sober, I'm working on rephrasing that bc repeating it to myself only convinced me it's true. I'm not "bad at life." I have ADHD which makes some things harder than I'd like them to be. I have some trauma and other mental health issues that aren't always great. But sober, I can find tools and try new things. I can also give myself grace because, go figure, the mistakes I make sober are a lot less damaging and important in the big scheme of things. I don't have to compare my life to anyone but myself and my own past.

  25. I purposely still hang out here regularly, though I don't post as often. Partly because it helps keep me from being complacent, partly bc I can try to help others, partly bc it keeps me grateful.

  26. Most places I've worked - from retail to vet med - will find things for employees to do if it's slow. During seasonal slow periods, it ends up being a lot of cleaning and organizing that no one can get to when it's busy. On a practical level, they obv don't want to pay people for sitting around doing nothing, but they also don't want to send people home if you're going to need them later.

  27. My test is: "Have you ever gotten out of the shower and realized you forgot to rinse the soap out of your armpits?"

  28. I got distracted thinking about something just a couple weeks ago and somehow forgot to wash my armpits. I only remembered when I went to rinse them and didn't feel any soap. I was just glad I remembered while I was still showering, at least.

  29. One of the greatest pieces of advice I received from a mentor when I was deciding if I should try to go to vet school or not was “don’t get into this to get away from people…. Every animal has at minimum 1 person attached to it, often entire families.”

  30. Agreed - and I can tell you that even shelter med is rarely zero people. (Besides the obvious that you need to deal with your coworkers). The vet team at our shelter deals with families of new adopters, foster families, families of pets adopted out with medical waivers, and sometimes when a person has literally nowhere else to go we will do owned pet euthanasia's and medical care - it's pretty rare, but it happens. And then sometimes the person who finds a lost pet is super attached to it and the vet team ends up talking to them.

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