6.5 Months...in a slump. - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information >
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read





Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-14-2015, 06:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Bunny211's Avatar
 

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,602

6.5 Months...in a slump.


So I made it this far. I've been doing all the right things. I have a strong sponsor. I hit my knees in the morning and at night. I'm working the program. I attend meetings regularly. I have a home group and a job. I am working the steps. I am currently on my 4th step.

Up until about 2 weeks ago I had the "pink cloud." I made it through rehab, got into sober living, got a little "get well job" for a few months, began exercising and trying to eat healthy, taking vitamins etc. I felt a surge of gratitute to God for giving me another shot at life. But....it seems like I have lost that cloud and the rains are setting in. My get well job was going fine but I was NOT making enough $$ to pay my bills. So, I got a full time 40/hr a week gig in my career field. It's stressful but ok. It's just that lately I take no pleasure in anything. My life feels like drudgery. Get up, call my sponsor, go to work, go to a meeting, come home, pray, go to bed...repeat ad infinitum. I have no passion or interest in anything. I have to force myself to get through my day....I keep trudging along, head into the wind and I feel really ******. More anger than sadness. I wake up every morning in a foul mood. I pray and ask God to redirect my thinking. But I feel nothing. I feel no connection to my higher power. I've started exploring different churches and lately, I get nothing out of church. No feelings whatsoever. I am not looking forward to Xmas. And usually I DO look forward to the holidays because I get to see my little god-daughter. But even that brings me no joy now. It's just a chore. Life feels like a chore.

I'm getting scared that I am majorly depressed or something. I feel like an empty shell of a person with no passions, hobbies or interests. The only relief I look forward to is sleep. I feel moments punctuated by laughter and joy...but they are fleeting and then they are gone. I'm scared that I am slipping into an abyss.

I should mention a few things. My thyroid levels are very, very low and they have upped my medication to fix that. So, I am feeling tired and rundown to begin with. I've been dealing with a painful rash for 2 months (saw 3 different docs with 3 different diagnoses) that will not go away. Now they think it is related to the thyroid condition. Also, over Thanksgiving my father was in the hospital for 5 days, came out, and was re-admitted for another 3. I spent my holiday in the hospital visiting him. They finally found what was wrong and he is fine now. Plus my entire family drinks and Thanksgiving was just plain miserable for me. I really didn't feel, at the time, like that affected me so much but maybe it did and I just didn't recognize it?

Now, I am on my 4th step and my sponsor says that it is normal to feel this way when writing one's 4th. But I was going over some of my resentments with her yesterday and she asked me why I was not crying. She said when she went over her part in things with her sponsor she was bawling. I'm not. And, a lot of things I know I SHOULD feel guilty about I just don't. Some of my actions in the past seem, to me, to be "not that big of a deal." That makes me feel like I am some sort of defective sociopath or something. Like, why am I not sad? I will say, however, that I am VERY angry all the time. Little things make me fly off the handle....like someone cutting me off in traffic. I only express this rage alone...never in front of people. But, I have been known to have a temper tantrum in my car, screaming and slamming my fists etc.

I rarely cry. I just don't. And if I do it is usually out of frustration. I'm not crying because of the things I've done in the past. I feel like I am still crying because I am sad about the state of my life. And, I feel like this is the wrong way to feel. I just feel like I am doing something wrong, here and even more concerning to me is that I am slipping into a horrible depression.

Can anyone relate?

Thanks.
Bunny211 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bunny211 For This Useful Post:
CaiHong (12-14-2015)
Old 12-14-2015, 06:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Mountainmanbob's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Lakeside, Ca
Posts: 10,186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunny211 View Post

I feel no connection to my higher power. I've started exploring different churches and lately, I get nothing out of church.
I wouldn't give up on church attendance. Truth is that it may take some church shopping before finding the right fit. I would recommend a Reformed Church for good solid straight from the Book teachings.

Not much makes sense until the Holy Spirit changes ones heart.
Just having the desire to attend a church
tells us that this may be a coming event.

What is Born Again-John MacArthur
https://youtu.be/0IvNLYvgVmM

Hang in there -- sobriety is worth a little boredom at times
M-Bob
Mountainmanbob is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Mountainmanbob For This Useful Post:
tomsteve (12-14-2015)
Old 12-14-2015, 10:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
Sober Alcoholic
 
awuh1's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,432
You are coming off the pink cloud and it is somewhat normal to become depressed. Anger is often an expression of that depression. Depression could be due to your body's long term adjustment to getting sober and/or it could be connected to the thyroid problem. In any case depression is not something to fear. It's actually quite treatable. I would suggest that you ask about medication that might help.

Don't beat yourself up about how you feel while doing your fourth step. I also was somewhat depressed while doing it. I did not have many of the reactions that I had expected I would. It is what it is, and that's ok.

As for church, I think this quote by Carl Jung is sometimes applicable... "One of the main functions of organized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God." People often have a direct experience while, or just after, doing a 4th and 5th step. I did anyway.

Again, get treatment for your depression. There is much that the professional community can do to address this problem. I have a feeling your going to get through this and that the emotions will level out.

All the best to you.
__________________
For the rest of my life I will reflect on what light is. Albert Einstein

1 John 1:5 God is light

God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
Albert Einstein
awuh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to awuh1 For This Useful Post:
CaiHong (12-14-2015), tomsteve (12-14-2015)
Old 12-14-2015, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 169
I felt like you did when I stopped drinking, I know this is the reason I picked up another addiction.

I lost something when I stopped drinking, a huge part of me died and i have not been happy since, on top of that i couldnt drown out the memories of my past.
I read these stories of people being so much happier sober and figure i must bedoing something wrong.

i am currently tapering of opiates and cant sleep so feeling miserable again. I cant really say much to help, but your not alone, and although we feel miserable now drinking wont help in the long run. Keep fighting and we will be alright in the end
IWalkTheLine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 12:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
12 Step Recovered Alcoholic
 
Gottalife's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Thailand
Posts: 6,436
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunny211 View Post
Now, I am on my 4th step and my sponsor says that it is normal to feel this way when writing one's 4th. But I was going over some of my resentments with her yesterday and she asked me why I was not crying. She said when she went over her part in things with her sponsor she was bawling. I'm not. And, a lot of things I know I SHOULD feel guilty about I just don't. Some of my actions in the past seem, to me, to be "not that big of a deal." That makes me feel like I am some sort of defective sociopath or something. Like, why am I not sad? I will say, however, that I am VERY angry all the time. Little things make me fly off the handle....like someone cutting me off in traffic. I only express this rage alone...never in front of people. But, I have been known to have a temper tantrum in my car, screaming and slamming my fists etc.

I rarely cry. I just don't. And if I do it is usually out of frustration. I'm not crying because of the things I've done in the past. I feel like I am still crying because I am sad about the state of my life. And, I feel like this is the wrong way to feel. I just feel like I am doing something wrong, here and even more concerning to me is that I am slipping into a horrible depression.

Can anyone relate?

Thanks.
Perhaps the first thing to consider is that if we are unwell physically, it can put us off beam. Hopefully that can be treated and will be a passing thing.

I just had a good look at the directions for the fourth step and there is no mention of bursting into tears being part of the process. It wasn't for me either. But then my fourth step was about the flaws in my character that caused my failure.

I took the best part of a day with my sponsorget through step 4 , and discovered the things about me that made me my own worst enemy. Selfishness, dishonesty, fear, resentment etc. I began to see how these traits tripped me up.

These things affected me when I was sober, which was why I was never happy sober, and they got me back to drinking, seeking that feeling of ease and comfort. As you say, it wasn't a big deal. For me it was enlightening. It explained a lot about how I got to feeling so crap when sober.

In the next chapter, it talks about step 5. This was much tougher. It didn't have me crying, but I was stuttering and shaking as I got out the revolting episodes that happened on my sprees. The defect lead to the spree which (maybe coupled to the defect) lead to the revolting episode, which may sometimes have lead to harm to another. Step 5 was my life story in terms of all the wrongs I had done, mostly drunk. I didn't put that in writing, and I used my inventriy list as a prompter.

Afterwards, my spritual connection began to be restored. What you refer to as the pink cloud, I think of as God's grace. Pre steps, it is like a free sample of what life can be like. God's grace came back after the fifth and has never left, no matter what the life throws my way.

I am thinking your sponsor seems to have some set ideas about how you should be feeling about these two steps, in contradiction of the big book directions. The fifth is critical, and the big book emphasises we should think very carefully about who we will choose to hear it. It lists options which do not include an AA member. I suggest my sponsees go to a minister of religion, because those people are trained to hear this sort of thing and I am not. I have seen devastation in the newcomer when the wrong person is chose. Confidence may be broken, or judgement passed, none of which is helpful.

Something to think about.
__________________
Mike.

What you most need will be found where you least want to look
All BB quotes from 1st Edition.
Gottalife is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Gottalife For This Useful Post:
CaiHong (12-14-2015), tomsteve (12-14-2015)
Old 12-14-2015, 07:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
CaiHong's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,305
Hi Bunny,
I remember I felt a lot of anger early I sobriety and then flashes of anger, I have mellowed out somewhat. I experienced and do experience the flatness you are talking about, I can relate. It seems odd that your sponsor would question you about not crying. As for finding a spiritual experience via an established religion that's up to you, reading William James , The Variety of Religious Experiences may be of interest to you.
Anyway I read your post with interest and a lot of empathy.
All the very best and would like to hear how you get on.

CaiHong
CaiHong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 08:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
~sb
 
sugarbear1's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: MD
Posts: 15,145
I worked those steps on days 14 and 15 of sobriety.

At 6.5 months I had a lack of enthusiasm for things. I believe it's part of the healing process and does not have anything to do with the step one is working on, although I don't think those steps were meant to take very long (the spiritual experiences I've had did come from working those steps)....

Relax, help someone who is new, keep a routine, commit to a specific number of meetings a week and keep moving forward! This WILL change. Give time time.

love and hugs to you
__________________
Someday it will all make sense, so laugh at confusion, smile through tears,
& remind yourself it All happens for a reason.


All Big Book quotes are from the 1st edition.
Linked with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Sober since May 16, 2011
sugarbear1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to sugarbear1 For This Useful Post:
CaiHong (12-15-2015)
Old 12-14-2015, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 6,030
Bunny,
yeah, i can relate.
i got sober and expected my anger and reactivities to considerably lessen just automatically.
found out later (by going to my doctor) that anger can be one expression of depression, though usually a more "male" one. it was out of proportion to whatever had happened, and seemed to have no real "reason".
and seemed mostly a non-matching response to occurrences.
and on my old forum at just around a year sober i started an entire thread because i found myself not crying about things worth crying over. or "normal" to cry over.
certainly i felt there was something very wrong; something very blocked.
i didn't come to the step-work until i was several years sober, and it's made a huge difference.
my own experience of step four i think of as teabag-like: i steeped. maybe a bit too long. and no, i didn't cry. i didn't feel sad. i did feel quite appalled, though. as i gained clarity about my part, that shift in perspective was crushing while a relief at the same time. a relief because i knew down the road i'd make amends. i'd have tools. and i was sure i'd be okay, eventually. some kind of faith in that.
but cry? no.
my sponsor-type person never had any expectations (far as i know) about how i should feel while going through a particular step. they met me where i was, so to speak, shared their experience, made suggestions, and was a very safe, non-criticising person for me.
for my step 5 i went to a christian nun who's had years and years of experience listening without judgment, helping me see patterns, accepting what i laid down.

i hope you'll get yourself checked out for the possibility of depression.
i also encourage you to keep going. step 4 is no fun but you will not stay there indefinitely
i actually expected to have no troubles whatsoever while doing it, since i thought of myself as honest with myself and introspective. i thought i'd breeze right through all that inventorying. wrong! took weeks, was shocking at times, many "wow!" moments.

so great to see you reaching out, getting connected.

and way to go on all the stuff you're doing and on your many weeks of sobriety!
fini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2015, 08:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
Trudgin
 
Fly N Buy's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 6,343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunny211 View Post
So I made it this far. I've been doing all the right things.
Wow, you are indeed doing a lot!

In my first 6-7 months I was trying to get an A in AA and did very little right. I was trying to be perfect and learned I had to give myself a break and breathe. No one was keeping score.......

Just because a sponsors experience is different than yours in a 4th step doesn't make you less feeling or a sociopath. It's your journey, not hers and your mileage may vary!

Things change quickly in new sobriety - look at how far you've come in a sort period. Try to keep things in perspective - tomorrow you may start to feel differently.

Growth is painful - Your post reminded me of the Grapevine quote from Bill W

"Suffering is no longer a menace to be evaded at any cost. When it does come, no matter how grievously, we realize that it too has its purpose. It is our great teacher because it reveals our defects and so pushes us forward into the paths of progress. The pain of drinking did just this for us. And so can any other pain."


AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1958
Editorial
AA Grapevine

Keep up the good work
Fly N Buy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Fly N Buy For This Useful Post:
CaiHong (12-15-2015)
Old 12-14-2015, 09:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
sg1970's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: SE USA
Posts: 599
Lots of great responses here. All I will add is that 6 months is a drop in the bucket. If your experience mirrors mine your brain is still healing. Things probably aren't quite leveled out yet.

Hang in there.
sg1970 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sg1970 For This Useful Post:
CaiHong (12-15-2015), sugarbear1 (12-15-2015)
Old 12-15-2015, 07:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
CaiHong's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,305
I would second that SG, some great responses

CaiHong
CaiHong is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
confusion , depression , feeling empty , slump


Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:35 AM.