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Mourning the Loss of Alcohol

Old 09-09-2010, 07:48 PM
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Mourning the Loss of Alcohol

This is actually from the thread about the kitty. Fiveyearzen's contribution brought up sort of a new topic that interested me. I didn't want to hijack that thread, so I just started a new one.

Originally Posted by fiveyearzen View Post
Sorry, I thought of something else since the trigger here is the grieving process. This something nobody told me when I quit drinking.

It is my conviction that an alcoholic must grieve the loss of alcohol.

I don't remember all twelve steps anymore, but I don't remember that being one of them. I think I can safely say that for all of us, alcohol was a dear friend. It was there for us when nobody else was, through thick and thin. It helped us through some rough times. It gave without asking anything in return. It was always happy to see us. It was a wonderful listener. It emboldened us. And, most importantly, we loved it more than anything else in the world. Sobriety means the death of that friend. Once we are sober, we see alcohol for what it really was: a destructive addiction, but the alcoholic you still exists in your mind, and he/she disagrees. I found it immensely helpful to bury the alcoholic me along with my dear friend, alcohol. I even went so far as to make an effigy and have a little ceremony. It wasn't exactly a viking funeral, but it did the trick.
I'll put my answer in a next post.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:56 PM
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You know, I did mourn the loss of alcohol and alcoholism. I never thought of it that way before, I but I did mourn. I still tell people I lost my best friend.

With 2.5+ years distance, of course, I'm able to admit my "best friend" was the sort of friend who gets you into trouble. My best friend was killing me a drop at a time. My best friend physically injured me, leaving scars I still carry today. My best friend helped me ruin my credit, helped me alienate people who still hate me today . . . the list goes on forever.

The thing is, though, I still lost my best friend when I quit drinking alcohol. I had to mourn the loss of the comfort that friendship gave me. I had to mourn the loss of how good I felt about myself when I was in the haze of that relationship. I had to mourn the good times, of which there were many. I did things I'd never enjoy doing today, and they were fun.

Thinking back, I even went through the stages of grief -- denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

I think I hit the stage of acceptance once I got to SR and started reading. The people here really inspired me to move on. I've also picked up some good habits -- studying AA literature, meditation -- that I believe are helping.

The thing is, though, I never realized I was mourning all this time until Fiveyearzen pointed it out. Wow.

Life is really intense, especially when you're sober.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:36 PM
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I think most of us grieve.

For me alcohol was one of the longest lasting relationships of my life...and even tho it was a bad relationship for so many of those years, I always hoped it could be bought back to how it used to be, and I missed it like hell when it was done.

Not surprisingly I was like that in other relationships too....

Happily I learned to move on, and I think I gained a helluva lot from doing that

D
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:08 PM
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Oh, I so mourned it. The day it hit me, really hit me, that I could never ever have another drink, well, i actually cried. It seemed so stupid and silly at the time, but i get it now. ..

And i think it was good for me to go through it. I am much stronger now.

Nice post!
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:10 PM
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When I decided to quit, it was because I knew that alcohol wasn't what I wanted it to be anymore. Of course I am nostalgic for my first year of drinking, when I didn't worry about having a problem and I had only good impressions of it. But I realised that when I asked myself what the last ten times I drank were like, I was unhappy during each of them. If I still enjoyed alcohol, quitting would have been a lot harder for me. I was drinking out of habit and thinking of dumb movie cliches like 'I need a stiff drink' and sometimes I still think about those. But I know that the truth is those are all lies now.

I wrote on a site for loneliness about this topic, but I didn't save it (or at least I can't find it) and I deleted it on the site because I didn't like them. But basically I described me and alcohol as friend's who drifted apart and who were keeping up a friendship needlessly. I think it is important to see this distinction of what alcohol is to you now as separate from what it was in the past. The 'alcoholic' in me knows that alcohol today is bad. The alcohol that was good simply doesn't exist anymore.

I like that fiveyearzen has brought this up, and I like what fiveyearzen did to overcome it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:13 PM
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To be honest...I've seen so many people mention this and it doesn't apply to me. Ever since I poured that last bottle down the drain I have felt like celebrating the loss of alcohol. I have poked and prided to see if I am in some sort of massive denial but I can't find it.

I think back to 5 years ago when I first realized I would have to quit and had I done so at that time I dothink I would have mourned...but for me alcohol had turned into that friend who had so outstayed his welcome that I want to dance with joy when I realize he's gone.

I can't remember ever being in love with alcohol...just horribly dependent on it. This Nguyen be a gift of selective memory...if it is I am profoundly grateful.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:57 PM
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I love SR! No where else have I heard such topics talked about. It is so helpful for me.

Part of me does consider alcohol my best friend. I am going to consider a formal grieving process and ritual to say goodbye to it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:07 PM
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I remember mourning, but I can't remember if it was the booze, coke, or both. Nonetheless, I remember mourning.

If you think about it, its absolutely baffling that you would grieve over a substance that has wreck havoc on your and sometimes people close to you.

Anyways, Jack, John, and Jim are no longer my friends. We had a falling out. They bite me in the ass too many times.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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No.....I did not mourn when I quit drinking.
Drinking had turned me into a woman I despised....
depressed and soul satuarated.

I was estatic to find a way to become a recovered alcoholic
I would have dyed my hair purple had that been required.

The only thing I was sad about in early recovery
was cutting myself off from my excessive drinking
friends. Even that turned out to be a positive
because it gave me time to connect to sober ones.


Recovery for me is a win win lifestyle.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:15 AM
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Such a great thread. I definitely think I am in this mourning process although maybe straddling anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance depending on what time it is ... LOL. I have had some very good times and very bad times with my friend chardonnay. If I can remember the very bad times this "breakup" is easier. It is when I remember how much fun we had together that I find myself really missing my former friend. I do know that this once carefree relationshp is gone forever and that is a good thing no matter how hard it is!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:11 AM
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When I was a child, my mom used to pick my friends for me. If I happened to hang around the wrong ones, she was quick to let me know.

As an adult, we're supposedly capable of selecting our own friends and as we've seen, sometimes we pick some real losers.

Alcohol and I have been hanging around for more than 25 years. Ironically enough, I've called my mom and told her I haven't been hanging around with my long-time friend for over 50 days.

I do miss my friend and many times we'll run into each other in passing but it's just not the same. I'll nod and think to myself, alcohol has many more friends than I do so I'm sure he'll get along just fine without me.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:33 AM
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I'm wondering about the Good times we've had with alcohol...the weddings, the parties, baseball games and picnics...those were wonderful occasions weren't they? But were they wonderful because of the booze or because they were alreaady good times?
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
I'm wondering about the Good times we've had with alcohol...the weddings, the parties, baseball games and picnics...those were wonderful occasions weren't they? But were they wonderful because of the booze or because they were alreaady good times?
For me, the Good Times were wonderful because of the booze. I was drunk and relaxed. I felt good.

Sober, I won't attend events. They aren't fun by any stretch of the imagination. Being around a big group of people requires me to put on a happy mask and get into character. By the time the event is over, I am exhausted and just want to be alone to recharge.

When I was drunk, I enjoyed being social. Granted, I hated the woman I'd become by the time I quit drinking. I was obnoxious and mean. The fun, by that time, was long over.

When I think of the fun times, it's that period after I became a heavy drinker but before things got so bad I'm remembering. It's gone forever, though. And that's that.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CarolD View Post
No.....I did not mourn when I quit drinking.
Drinking had turned me into a woman I despised....
depressed and soul satuarated.

I was estatic to find a way to become a recovered alcoholic
I would have dyed my hair purple had that been required.

The only thing I was sad about in early recovery
was cutting myself off from my excessive drinking
friends. Even that turned out to be a positive
because it gave me time to connect to sober ones.


Recovery for me is a win win lifestyle.
Hey.....you got a problem with purple hair of sumthin???? <G>

zenbear
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:56 PM
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Oh yes, I mourned. Alcohol was my cheerleader, my best friend, my councellor, my girlfriend, my Higer Power. Without it I wasn't much. But I knew it was killing me at the same time, I'd seen through it and knew that I needed to change that relationship. It's over now and it's going quite fine without it I tell ya!

What a liar alcohol is!

Atb
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:18 PM
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A massive part of my recovery, particularly the first 6 months, was mourning booze. You have to remember that when you give up the booze completely then it ain't just the chemical that you're giving up, but a whole lifestyle and identity. Particularly being 23 and living in UK where alcohol is central to everybody lives. The people who it ain't central to aren't the people who you would naturally hang out with and those that it's central to are still drinking and drugging.

But I ain't complaining. I love being a recovering alcoholic. It's a gift that I am grateful for. I have the ability to appreciate the smallest things now that most take for granted. I am grateful to be happy and comfortable in my own skin. It's a great feeling. Everyhting that I have in my life is courtesy of my acceptance of my alcoholism. Without my acceptance of my alcoholism then I would be in the gutter with nothing but the next blackout to look forward to.

Alcohol was my best mate. I used to sit alone on a bench with a super strength in my hand and 8 cans of lager in the carrier bag and just sit for hours drinking them and wandering round thinking about life and how I'd messed it up so terribly. I truly loved booze and drugs and the lifestyle and crayness that went with and was associated with it. I had to mourne and grieve all of that stuff.

Peace
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
I'm wondering about the Good times we've had with alcohol...the weddings, the parties, baseball games and picnics...those were wonderful occasions weren't they? But were they wonderful because of the booze or because they were alreaady good times?
I almost always drank alone, not celebrating anything in particular. I watched a lot of artful movies that I know my experience was more emotional because of alcohol. I would be sad and annoyed from a long day, and then I'd have a drink and I'd be thoughtful and content. I mean, if it didn't make me feel better I wouldn't have done it at all, you know?

I will say that in my last few months of drinking, when I saw someone and didn't enjoy myself (and we were drinking) I would wonder 'is the alcohol just making me feel sick?' Since I've been sober I've seen that friend a few times and I still don't enjoy myself with him. It really had nothing to do with the alcohol, but the key note is that the alcohol didn't help. It stopped making me feel better. I don't know if it makes me feel worse, I just know it doesn't help at all. So on top of being unhealthy it became pretty useless as a mood enhancer. It took me awhile to see that happen, because I'd always have nostalgic memories of the first year that it had been so reliable.

Call it tolerance? I don't know. But I didn't drink when I was already happy. This is my perspective as a reclusive person.
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:45 PM
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Che, the happy times I think of when I was drinking were when I was already doing happy things. Alcohol didn't make them happier. By the end I drank alone. The last two years or so I don't know if I had a single truly happy moment. Now I'm happy all the time:-)
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:13 PM
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I didn't mean to suggest it isn't the case for you. Just wanted to add my own experience.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by aehmnm View Post
Oh, I so mourned it. The day it hit me, really hit me, that I could never ever have another drink, well, i actually cried. It seemed so stupid and silly at the time, but i get it now. ..

And i think it was good for me to go through it. I am much stronger now.

Nice post!
I'm empathetic. I cried more than once. Once for whiskey, once for white wine. And maybe a couple other times, too. I'm kinda a crier.

But that was all in the first month or two. I'm probably not through all the stages of mourning, but it's certainly a lot, lot easier now to embrace a future without alcohol!
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