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Old 07-16-2010, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What does unmanageable mean?

I don't like the phrase, but I'll use it to get my point across - I'm probably a high-bottom alcoholic.

I'm still plodding along. I'm miserable. To sum it up, as someone commented a little while ago - I'm just existing.

But there are no major calamities. I have a job.

Drinking is taking up more and more of my non-job time, leaving little time for friends, family, hobbies, basic stuff like cooking and cleaning.

Occasionally, there are some dramatic incidents, but I've learned enough to avoid them by not leaving home and drinking. When I go out and drink, bad things happen. So, I don't go out. So, I've got that reasonably under control

My life isn't perfect, but I don't know if it's unmanageable?

What is meant by unmanageable?
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't view this as as external condition at all. External conditions come and go for good and bad. Jails, jobs, relationships, etc., are all just an external manifestation of my internal condition.

At it's simplest, I've lost the power of choice in drink. Because I can't safely drink (phenomenon of craving and no off switch), my only hope is not drinking at all. But because I can't stay away from the first drink (mental obsession), I'm in a hopeless spot.

I can make a decision to not drink, but I can not manage that decision. Therefore my life is unmanageable.

A little deeper level is that I have a spiritual malady. I experience restlessness, irritability, and discontent unless I can drink. But we established I can't drink. So I'm catch 22, damned if I do, damned if I don't.

I have an internal condition, a dis-ease, that is the result of my spiritual malady. That internal discomfort makes my life unmanageable whether I drink or not.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spryte View Post
I don't like the phrase, but I'll use it to get my point across - I'm probably a high-bottom alcoholic.

I'm still plodding along. I'm miserable. To sum it up, as someone commented a little while ago - I'm just existing.

But there are no major calamities. I have a job.

Drinking is taking up more and more of my non-job time, leaving little time for friends, family, hobbies, basic stuff like cooking and cleaning.

Occasionally, there are some dramatic incidents, but I've learned enough to avoid them by not leaving home and drinking. When I go out and drink, bad things happen. So, I don't go out. So, I've got that reasonably under control

My life isn't perfect, but I don't know if it's unmanageable?

What is meant by unmanageable?
Its right there in your own words.
Just existing isn't a good description of living.
Notice you make the distinction of just existing, you don't call it "just living".

Unmanageable means your life is not under your control, its under the control of alcohol. More apt, its under the control of your alcoholism.
So its not under your control as you stated, thats the self deception.

Many years ago, in one of my first AA meetings a guy quipped "its almost as if you can't trust your own mind". We were new guys and only vaguely aware how true his words were. But his words were so true.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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looks like booze is managing your life,forcing you to make decisions you would not usually make.
if you can,read chapter 3 of the big book
It describes unmanageably and some of the stuff we do.I believe a few of the things you mentioned may be in there.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For me it means that booze calls the shots in my life....

Quote:
Originally Posted by spryte View Post

Occasionally, there are some dramatic incidents, but I've learned enough to avoid them by not leaving home and drinking. When I go out and drink, bad things happen. So, I don't go out. So, I've got that reasonably under control
I love this post, thanks. I stayed in inside the house for the very same reason and thought I was reasonably "safe". After a few months I would wake up with bruises, cuts and burns and not know how they got there. I passed out several times with the oven on.

"Existing", thanks for that too, that was what I did, exist. IMHO I was a oxygen thief in that state. No good to myself, loved ones or family.

Alot of honesty in your post and it helped me alot.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Understanding the essence of an unmangeable life requires rigorous honesty of the life we truly desire and will work at to accomplish. There was a time in my alcoholism when just wasting away hiding out from my life was a blessing of sorts for me. Countless problems were dealt with simply drinking them away and so at those times my life seemed manageable enough to me. Of course eventually drinking was not enough either. Getting a mild drunk on and nursing that drunk throughout the day became the new requirement to keep my life manageable and just the way I liked it.

Being drunk is a wonderful asset if we want to be drunk. Nothing was more easy for me back in the day than drinking. How wonderful to just hole up and stay drunk. I actually prided myself on how drunk could I get and still do what i wanted to do with my life. Of course my wants were not lofty by standards of rigourous honesty. I pretty much just wanted to evaporate and dream up a better life than i had. What i had was not a life, so anything would have been better almost, including drinking, and I knew it, and so drinking made perfect sense. In that way I had a manegeable life. Just the way I wanted. LOL.

Sober today things are different. It's obvious to say today is different because of everything going on with my life now. I'm still an alcoholic and I still manage my life as I want. Yeah, as I want. Every thing I have today originally began way back when I had my last drunk. That single day is the foundation of all my days since. Thousands of them. And more to come many of them to be my best days yet. All this from my agreement that I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable.

Step One was [and still is] a covenant with me and God. I could see where the other steps were going and so doing step one was useless unless i was gonna do the rest. That was my first agreement, do the rest or do none. My second was although God could run my sober life He could only do so because of my agreement and not before. As well, my agreement went only so far as my alcoholism went. My personal life was hands off for Him. He worked the alcoholism and soberiety terroritory but that was it, end of story. The third thing was that my part in all this was I simply just had to stop drinking. Nothing more then that. And it stayed that way until I could want to do something without be drunk to do it. Anything that I wanted to do and not wanting to be drunk to do i promised I would do no mattter how difficult or how much I had to change to do it. This last agreement put me in the position to test if being sober made any difference in quality of life. Without drinking, would I want sobriety? And wanting it, would I change to live a sober life? And living a sober life, would I stay sober for good and all? I had no answers for those questions on day one. What i did have though was the foundation to be an alcoholic drunk who did not drink alcohol to stay alive. I could actually stay alive and not drink. I so needed that alcohol to define me and being without was akin to dying for me. Would be sober give me just as easily as drinking did, would it give me the life I wanted to live? Otherwise, forget about it, you understand?! LOL. Alcoholic to the bone.

We each have our own walk through life both drunk or sober. My being a drunk changed me into something that I can never ever not be and I'm okay with that because of that last day i was drunk I accepted with complete honesty that all I wanted was to just be drunk and live that way always. Just get drunk and stay drunk, thats all I wanted. It seems a paradox that the more i accepted my want for being drunk the more I also accepted how powerless I was over alcohol. So I went with it, that new understanding and acceptance, and that led me right into seeing that my life was unmanageable because of my want for alcohol and not because of anything else i was doing or not doing. My wanting to be drunk all the time brought me eventually to wanting to be sober all the time because not being in charge of my own life was the ultimate evil to me and so anything that kept me in charge i was gonna do somehow. Paradox. It was a lightbulb moment.

From that day forward, with my Step One covenants with God, I seeked progress and not perfection. I got what I wanted in the end simply by being rigorously honest with myself and my life with alcoholism and sobriety. Even my obessions with alcohol itself, that old street friend who I loved to hate, exists only in my past life. My alcoholism illness is arrested today and my sobriety rules, just the way I want it to be for me.

Even after many years of sober living I still see the changes required to honor my original promises. I still do whatever it takes to live my life as long as it dosen't get me drunk in the doing. I am totally blown away with what i have been able to do without being drunk. I never would have believed life could be this awesome with out alcohol. I'm a believer today in being powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmangeable hands down. it's all so freakin' clear and obvious now.

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Old 07-17-2010, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Generally anything that you have to control i.e by staying indoors instead of being able to drink in a social environment then it is out of control. For me unmanagability was the amount of lying,manipulating,cheating,hiding I had to do just to drink. In the end evern that didnt work.

I truly wish you the best and keep coming back !
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your responses

I think I'm going to have to remind myself in excruciating detail of how unhappy I am and how my life sucks. And compare it to the life I'd like to have.

Instead of telling myself that it's fine to be this unhappy, because I don't really want to be happy. And if it's fine to be this unhappy, well, that's almost like being happy.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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page 52 of the big book.
Do you feel this way?
This is unmanageablility.
Don't let anyone read your big book for you your life depends upon it.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Luck has nothing to do with it...

Spryte,

My life has been unmanageable for me since before my very first drink, during long periods of abstinence, and when I was back drinking again. I needed some help and a fresh perspective. I got it from working the steps and trusting others. This may not help you, but here's what resonated for me when I first heard it:

We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people. When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did." "We Agnostics" P. 52 "Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous"

As an aside, let me suggest that if you are just starting your spiritual journey, try not to figure too much out. How it works" doesn't tell me how it works. It tells me what to do. I haven't lived your life. You cannot experience my sobriety. Trust the process.

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Do the work that faith requires.

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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After months and months of struggling, I am finally getting somewhere with this! I think. Maybe? Yeah, I think so.

I'm going to list out how drinking has negatively affected my life.

On the powerless end of things, I'm reading the Big Book...something...self will...something something...gotten me nowhere...need to try something else...something...

I think drinking and me being me is like gasoline and a match. I can't run the show, and drinking (or any drug for that matter) exacerbates that wrong-headed approach to life. I can't put out this fire on my own, because I am the fire. And I'm doing no good in the world. Something else needs to put it out.

Oy, what a tangly metaphor.

Still though, SO CLOSE! Maybe.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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unmanageable

I first came to an AA meeting at the age of 13. My dad was drinking a lot and I was upset by it. I just wanted to go. I was secretly hoping HE would go to the AA meetings, because I started going to them. I didn't really drink, that I can recall until the age of 14.

It didn't take me long to drink excessively and I experienced black outs early on and that scared me. I attended alateen, sometimes alanon and AA from a young age and am very grateful for the program and that it is free. Attending therapy and seeing psychiatrists wasn't enough for me. It seems like nothing was never enough. I was so needy. AA meetings were like "group" help and back in the state where I was growing up, AA meetings were available 24 hours a day. Those times when you just need to hear other people talk.. when you are feeling like absolute crap... you know, completely unmanageable? Yeah. Definitely I felt my life was unmanageable and abusing alcohol and prescription pills was just a symptom.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I had big problems with "unmanageable" myself. Alcoholic......well, I'd probably give you that one......but admit (or even believe) my life was unmanageable...... sorry...... it's totally manageable.

For me, what I helped was looking at how "well" I was managing it. I thought of it in terms of a sports team. Being from Detroit, it was all to easy to correlate my record as the manager of my life with the record of the Lions and their managers. Were their managers nice guys? sure. they weren't "bad" people. When it came to managing a team though, they just weren't on point. Maybe it wasn't even their fault.....but if the team's bad - blame goes to the manager.

If my life up to my early sobriety was a sports team..... the Lions would be a good fit for sure. The '03 Tigers might have been a better fit. Nice guys all around, plenty of potential, just couldn't get it together all that often. Their manager was a Detroit baseball legend (kinda). Everyone loved the guy......but he had to go.

That was me. I was "managing" sure enough.....but the record wasn't good. It was definitely time for new blood. Firing yourself isn't easy but it's necessary for alcoholics.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spryte View Post
I think drinking and me being me is like gasoline and a match. I can't run the show, and drinking (or any drug for that matter) exacerbates that wrong-headed approach to life. I can't put out this fire on my own, because I am the fire. And I'm doing no good in the world. Something else needs to put it out.
((Spryte)), your realizations are true examples of victory over the inherent angers, arrogances, ignorances, and selfishness of alcoholism. And your growing gratitude for knowing the resolutions required must come from beyond ourselves is inspiring for so many, I'm sure. It's being fulfilled with the experiences of surrendering to a greater good and force than ourselves which are the keys to the very freedom of being ourselves that we all searched for while drinking. You know, if sobriety didn't give me more than alcoholism offered, I would have never ever sobered up. What would be the point? I was too far gone to become sober and suffer the rest of my days. The suffering had to end one way or the other, you know. The wreckless freedoms being drunk gave me if even they were false dreams, they were at least to me living such a galactically stupidly false existence, real enough while drunk. "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven" -[John Milton] was my hateful philosophy on my being drunk in my drinking days.

Hey, you're not just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic in your awesome struggles with unmanageability. Stay with it!

warmly,

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Old 07-25-2010, 10:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Unmanageable is not about DUIs, hospitals, divorces and jails. It's about losing power, choice and control.

Look at the external consequences of others and you run the risk of not being able to identify. Look at the corrosive thread of unmanageability that underlies it-- the powerlessness-- and you will realize just how unspecial your condition is.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi Spryte,

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. I've been there too, and drinking at home kept me drunk for a lot of years. Maybe it slowed down the approach of my rock bottom. But eventually it caught up with me. For me, there was nothing I could do to stop. I couldn't even stop for one day. And no human power, not rehab, not psychiatrists, not counsellors, not self-help books, could relieve me of the problem.

Can I ask you to consider this: can you stop drinking on your own power? Do you have the willpower to stop now, and stay stopped? Are you drinking even when you really don't want to, because you have no choice in the matter?

That was my long experience of powerlessness, putting a glass to my lips and drinking the booze even when a voice inside my head (my spirit) was screaming "please stop!".

Consider this too: would your life be better without alcohol?

When I faced these things I was ready to truly begin my journey in AA. I couldn't and can't do it alone.

On manageability, I like the first pertinent idea in Chapter 5,

"That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives."

It was absolutely impossilbe for me, once I crossed the line where alcohol was in control (aand that happened very early in my life), to manage any aspect of my life, whether it was balancing the check book or coping with relationships, emotions, etc.

My life today is more manageable, but I believe that I still cannot fully manage or control it. Me in control is always a bad thing. For that I need a new manager, a Higher Power, to manage my life for me. He does that by guiding and directing my thinking, giving me inspiration and intuition at the right time, and putting teachers in my path when I'm ready for them. Usually my problems start when I try to manage things myself and think that I know what's best for me.

God does a much better job of it than I.

(Quotes from Big Book, 1st edition)
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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From dictionary.com....

Unmanageable: adj
difficult or impossible to control, use, or manipulate

I am not the brightest bulb on the tree, and while going through the process of the Steps, I had looked up a lot of words in the dictionary, even if I thought I knew what the definition was. And I would always pick out the definition I could identify with and that applied to me and my alcoholism. This definition above applied to me real well.

Reading this particular post and all the replies is like reading my own story, I can identify and relate. I have learned not to compare.

I drank if it was a good day at work, kind of celebrating that I had a good day. I drank if it was a bad day at work, I'll show them. I stopped drinking hard stuff because I didn't think I could handle it as well as I could if I was drinking beer. Not that it mattered really because when ever I drank, even if I didn't mean to, I drank to get drunk. I'll only stop in to have one or two beers. Ya, at two o'clock in the AM they were telling me I had to leave because it was closing time. I drank before I was going to a party, gathering, wedding, funeral or whatever because I needed to be primed. I always made sure I had alcohol in my home to have more when I got back. I too had even stopped going out and stayed home getting drunk. I can remember one time, I lived real close to a bar so I walked to it. When leaving one night I was picked up by the cops because I was endangering my own life because I was staggering all over the sidewalk and street. They put me in a cell for my own protection.

I'll tell you one time I did stop drinking, it was when I started smoking crack cocaine. The reason I stopped drinking was because I couldn't afford to do both of them. And it's funny, I wanted to stop smokikng crack and was thinking of going back to drinking.

I do remember though, a time came when I really didn't want to drink anymore and I couldn't stop. And when I had that notion that this was it, I was done, the slightest thought of a drink got me to a bar or a package store.

I got to a point that I wasn't even employable anymore. Couldn't even stop drinking long enough to get to a job interview, not just on time, couldn't get there at all. Getting evicted from one place after another. Until I finally became homeless and moved into a shelter for the homeless. Which by the way was my own bottom. For it was that night I went to a meeting and haven't had a drink or a drug since, but for the Grace of God.

I know I can't see anything manageable about my life here. And as another person had said, my life was also unmanageble before I started drinking and even before I crossed that line and started drinking alcoholically. Even after getting sober I have those days that are unmanagable, because I decide to take my own will back and manage my life my way.

Welcome to the SoberRecovery forum Spryte. I hope you keep coming back and please do share for I know what you have to share helps me. So I hope and pray that what people here have to share helps you.

God bless and keep coming.

Harry
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What I am is a gift from God, what I make of myself is my gift to Him.

Sometimes I think I have all the answers. What I am starting to realize now though is that I don't know all the questions.

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Old 07-30-2010, 01:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Still at Step One, y'all. The HP idea is planted, but not growing much. But it's planted. For real.

I'm back to raising the bottom, finding my motivation to take all steps to beat this. I think I'm going to do some SMART worksheets on the negative effects of my drinking. I still haven't done that. I really don't want to do that.

It's like throwing salt into a wound. But more than once, as one makes a list. The list won't be that long, but it's hard to be honest with myself about how I've allowed drinking to cut me off from things I want in life.

I've been really good at convincing myself that I don't really want things. Not fame or fortune, or silly things like that, but basic things, like friends, relationships, and peace of mind.

So, I've got to do that SMART worksheet.

Thank you all for your replies, I read them with great interest.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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"...I think I'm going to do some SMART worksheets on the negative effects of my drinking...The list won't be that long..."

Goodonya, spryte,.......and you might find that list longer than you think. If I had written your first post in this thread, I would count almost ten negative effects that drinking has had.............but that's just me..........


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