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Old 10-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How did you guys break the cycle?

So I've noticed that with my drinking it followed a very specific pattern. I would drink and feel terrible the next morning and I would vow to not drink that night and would dump whatever booze I had left in the house. But that evening I would always feel the itch and I just couldn't stop myself from drinking. And the morning after that, I would feel shame and make the same vow, and of course there would be a repeat from the night before.

I just think there is more to breaking the cycle than just sheer willpower. Did/does anyone else experience this. How did you cope and break the cycle? It's just really frustrating...
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey coming out.... You describve the typical alcoholic cycle. Most all I speak with describe the same events and patterns. Not to say you or anyone is typical just not a new story.

Glad you are here. SR is a great place to gain knowledge and support to break the pattern / cycle.

I have been working at this fro a few months and feel I am just about breaking it with new non drinking patterns.

How long have you been drinking? Do you feel its a problem and are stopping?
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Comingout - Yeah, it is tough to stay sober on will power alone. A lot of people find success with some sort of support group or system. Many of us identify with what you wrote.

Your post reminds me of one of the most memorable posts I've ever read on SR: (Jesus Chris you gonna save my soul - Well could you do it tomorrow?)

By BackToSquareOne

Let me take a wild shot in the dark here. When you drink you get sort of a warm glow, you're totally at peace, your mind seems to expand, your brain can wander off into all kind of fantasies, your inhibitions vanish and all things seem possible. When you wake up the next day all of that seems to vanish, the warm glow is replaced with a sense of impending doom. Noises seem louder, you have a constant subliminal anxiety, you're restless, irritable, something is direly wrong with the world. You can't get comfortable, can't focus, you're now a depressed anxious mess. That's the merry-go-round that you get on with alcohol. You buy the ticket, you take the ride.
Won't you look down upon me Jesus?
You've got to help me make a stand.
You've just got to see me through another day.
My body's aching and my time is at hand,
I won't make it any other way.

- James Taylor
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Comingout.

Sorry for the delayed reply.

The cycle you describe is one that is all too familiar to me. Personally I refer it as going down the toilet because that is really what it felt like while I was in it.

I was fortunate and was able to break it but it took a combination of things for that to happen. Probably the most important thing was to never give up and always keep trying. The other things I think vary from person to person.

For me it took finding a program of recovery. The one that works for me is AA. There are many programs out there and I have no doubt there is one for everyone. If you try one and really apply yourself and still find it is not working then I encourage you to try another program then keep trying until you find the one that will work for you.

I do think it is very important though that you do work the programs that you choose. I have seen people come into AA and then claim the program failed them but they never applied the 12 Steps to their lives. That is like buying a motorcycle jacket and claiming to be a biker..... It just doesn't work because you missed the biggest ingredient that way.

Also SR has been a constant tool of my recovery. The support, encouragement, and help here has been wonderful.

Here is a pretty good list of recovery programs. I encourage you to look it over and find one that works for you. (Recovery Programs and Resources Information)
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, you and I sound very similar.
I enjoy working out. Go out for a walk, do some push ups, lift weights in the evening when you would usually start drinking. You'll probably feel sore in the morning, but it's a good sore. After a few weeks, your body will feel incredible and your thinking will become much more clearer =)
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I totally agree with Buck... as I write this now I am in the middle of doing sets of pushups, then going to do some sit ups, and a little jog before I have set plans at 5. I think a good way to start in the early stages is to have something concrete planned to do at the times you know you are most vulnerable. Congregate with those who support you not drinking and will not drink either (at least in the beginning). Keep busy, keep focused, and keep the goal in mind
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are. -- Hafsat Abiola
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips! But exercise is not an issue for me and unfortunately hasn't helped with cravings... Since about March, I have lost about 35 lbs through a combination of better diet (outside of booze) and starting a training program with kettlebells. The problem is I have just taken time from other activities to get in much better shape while still drinking.

My alcoholism stems more from psychological and emotional problems. Throughout the day, my mind focuses on a plethora of things, and by the end of the day, I'm just exhausted and don't want to have to think for the rest of the night. Alcohol has become the only thing that quiets my mind enough to get some semblance of peace.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by comingoutsober View Post
My alcoholism stems more from psychological and emotional problems. Throughout the day, my mind focuses on a plethora of things, and by the end of the day, I'm just exhausted and don't want to have to think for the rest of the night. Alcohol has become the only thing that quiets my mind enough to get some semblance of peace.
It's good that you recognize that addiction is psychological. Understanding what one is up against is key. Addiction is at the core of our being, and knowing that addiction dictates thoughts and actions to the brain can give one a fighting chance.

Addiction is basically a physiological state in which failing to ingest a substance leads to symptoms of withdrawal - a state characterized by anxiety, tension and craving. It is very psychological/emotional and is very powerful. Addiction will bombard you and confuse you - and wear you down. That's its job. It will stop at nothing to get you to fulfill what it's telling the body it needs to survive. That's what makes this so difficult.

This is the hard work of recovery; "rewiring" ones thoughts and actions. Accept and acknowledge and address these emotions as they come, and at night, learn to redirect your thinking (craving) that alcohol is the only way to quiet your mind - it can be done.

Everything we do begins with a thought - whether conscious or unconscious - and it is going to take some time, work and commitment to begin and maintain recovery. I can't remember if you are seeing a qualified addictions counselor; if not, consider trying one, they may be very helpful in helping you change and address these emotions, and give you the tools necessary to continue in your recovery.

Keep at it; it really does get easier as you progress.
With the GIFT of recovery...The sky's the limit...
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