When did you stop grieving

Old 08-29-2016, 04:44 PM
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When did you stop grieving

alcohol? I started my journey 12-2015 and at the time I realized it needed to be treated almost like someone I loved was no longer in my life and that there was a grieving process. But I still haven't gotten over it and I get angry with myself for not being able to drink like a normal person.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:50 PM
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Don't get mad at yourself for not being able to drink like a normal person. Be glad that you can be free from drinking.
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:51 PM
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Vinificent. I used this same technique and it really helps. Everyone grieves differently. The thing to do is to make sure you push yourself through all of the stages of grief - especially anger.

And even then I sometimes think about it - but since it's dead to me there's no way (in my mind) that I can ever resurrect it.
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:12 PM
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I don't recall grieving. When the suffering stopped and I saw the reality of what alcoholism had done to me, reduced me to a barely functioning human being who was morally and spiritually bankrupt, I didn't feel any grief at all.

When I think about the bewilderement, despair, frustration and terror that alcohol regularly brought to me, if anything I dance on its grave.
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:29 PM
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Hi Vin

whats your recovery plan look like?

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Old 08-29-2016, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post

whats your recovery plan look like?

Hi Dee - There is a long list to my plan - things to turn to when cravings hit. This anger is something different...just like a feeling sorry for myself. It helps to come on here and be reminded of the really dark place I was at when I first logged on almost 7 months ago and I am infinitely grateful for not being there anymore, but I still have that nagging "why me?"
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:05 PM
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There are presumably excellent reasons why you quit drinking. Can you focus on those, whenever you start veering into that misty-eyed feeling of loss that is really the addict voice trying to get you to go back to drinking? Maybe stay a bit angry that alcohol caused so much damage in your life, and remember things as they really were? That can go a long way towards keeping you happy that alcohol is no longer a part of your life, instead of sad.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:17 PM
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I feel like that too, sometimes. I wish I could drink normally, but the fact is that I can't. My cousin told me once that as diseases go, alcoholism/addiction is a pretty good disease to have. It is instantly cured by NOT doing something. It's not like diabetes or cancer where you have to take medicine to get better. Our medicine is abstaining. I thought it was a good way to look at it.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:27 PM
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I wouldn't say I've ever grieved over it. And I've never been angry, either. But I do, very occassionally, have some mild sadness that I'll never be a normal drinker. Particularly at social occassions or, like recently, to be able to have a glass of wine with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

I chalk that up to only being 3 months into sobriety. (Nearly 4, actually, on the 3rd of September.) I hope it will get better with time. I always remember the reality and recognise it's my AV trying to be tricky with my mind. The fact is, I aint a normal drinker and never will be - nothing I do can ever change that. But I can change the way I feel about that, so that's what I try to focus on.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:17 AM
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Cravings are a big deal early on in sobriety. Later on, we have addressed the immediate issue of our alcoholic drinking, but still have the alcoholic THINKING to deal with. It's our alcoholic thinking that brings the self-pity and fear and resentments that we need to address in order for sobriety to be comfortable and sustainable. Maybe you could add in some more gratitude work to your recovery plan. And something to adjust your perspective from being as inward looking - maybe some volunteering or help some newcomers or similar.

Stopping drinking and dealing with cravings is just the start. The real rewards come from continuing our recovery work and changing our attitudes so that we start to really enjoy our sobriety.

I was about six or seven months into sobriety when I had a real struggle, and I think that this is a common problem. I wasn't going to drink. But I just didn't want to live any more. I was sober, but had no real recovery to be honest. That was despite me going to AA meetings, where I sat and listened, but didn't really engage. And I certainly wasn't prepared to ask someone to sponsor me and do all that stuff. Anyway. Things gradually got worse and worse. My boss noticed and was very worried about me. In the end she referred me for counselling, where I wasn't entirely honest. Through a convoluted web of omission (I couldn't tell her anything that might cause her to think badly of me) and half-truths (to cover us the omissions, you know) I gave her a distorted view of myself each week. I didn't need to get to the end of my course of sessions with my counsellor to understand what the problem was. I was not able to be honest. Even with myself. And the line from the AA How It Works chapter rang in my head... "Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. " (p.58 Big Book 4th ed.) And, I realised, that was me.
Next meeting I asked someone to sponsor me, and got myself engaged with the program and have stayed engaged with it. I don't want to go back to feeling like I did then.

Obviously, AA is not for everyone. That's not really the point. The point is more that it is necessary for us to address our alcoholic thinking (stinkin thinkin as some call it) and our faulty perspective. That perspective that tells us that outside stuff (booze, chocolate, gambling, sex, or whatever) are the answer to our inner problems. For me, working those steps with the fellowship of AA and doing service turned things around. But there are plenty of people on this forum who are not AA and have still addressed their stinkin thinkin. Hopefully they will tell you how they've done that their way, and you will end up with a whole list of ideas of things to add to your plan.

Also, this is a bit of a well used link, so you may well have seen it already, but it might be helpful....

Wishing you all the best for your recovery. BB
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinificent View Post
I get angry with myself for not being able to drink like a normal person.
If you view sobriety as a the punishment for being alcoholic, then yes, I can see how you might be angry at not being able to drink. But the longer you wish you could drink normally, the more likely you are to think, "Hey, maybe I can drink normally."

Try not to entertain the "What ifs," or the "Why me" thoughts. They lead to resentments and resentments are recovery killers. Sobriety isn't the punishment for alcoholics, our drinking is.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinificent View Post
alcohol? I started my journey 12-2015 and at the time I realized it needed to be treated almost like someone I loved was no longer in my life and that there was a grieving process. But I still haven't gotten over it and I get angry with myself for not being able to drink like a normal person.
I had to (and I'm still working on) understanding there is no reason to grieve because I haven't lost anything. Instead I've gained so many great things by quitting booze.

Allen Carr's book "Stop Drinking Now" helped me to understand that the reasons I believed I was giving up something important and pleasurable are almost entirely based on illusions.

Personally, I have to rid myself of any feelings of missing out. If I don't, my sobriety will be miserable and shaky at best.

I highly suggest Carr's book to help dispel any notions that sobriety means one is missing out on anything.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:24 AM
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I kinda see booze like one might see poison or a food they are alergic too. i mean i can get mad and upset all i want that i cant have it but the reality is it just is what it is and that is that. This kind of acceptance allowed me to just kinda shrug and move forward with my life.

but yeah if i see a new beer out or something i do sometimes think aw shucks i wont be able to try that *sigh*. but whatever least no hangovers and so on.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Vinificent View Post

But I still haven't gotten over it and I get angry with myself for not being able to drink like a normal person.
If we stay sober long enough we will get over it.
It's so easy to fool ourselves -- yet again.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:04 AM
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I have not grieved as it was not a loss. Sobriety is the single most amazing gift I have ever gotten - and I work really hard at it. I say work, because my plan is detailed, specific and repetitive as well as challenging, so by work I mean action.

I realize that I am fortunate in this regard. I honestly cannot think of one single thing reason or aspect that make alcohol worth grieving, emotionally, psychologically or otherwise.

Berrybean has wise words, which I agree with as usual - AA is my way, as well.

Emotions of anger, guilt, sadness and - grief - come up, of course. Past - must be dealt with (I have done step 4 and 5, and greatly believe in living and continued amends, made much easier to do now that I am sober) and in an ongoing sense as things happen in the present. I "cannot change the past, nor do I shut the door on it." Alcohol had the role it did in my life; it no longer does.
But grief for alcohol? Never.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:53 AM
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i had no reason to greive over something that was killing me.

what would you say to a cancer survivor who was greiving because they no longer have cancer?
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:55 AM
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I haven't grieved it as a loss, per say...the times I may get a little "wistful" are things like, yesterday I saw an ad for a local sushi place. Date night, two all you can eat sushi dinners and a bottle of house wine or champagne. That sounds nice, and also, if you don't drink, does it cost any less? (doubtful) All in all, it wouldn't be worth it to me to chance trying to drink in moderation and end up back down the rabbit hole.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:00 AM
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Some here did not grieve, and that's great! However, I felt a very deep sense of loss. I was losing that "special feeling" I got while drinking, but more importantly I was saying goodbye to a lifestyle that I'd become attached to.

Much like a poor child who has been removed from a war-torn, poverty-stricken environment will still yearn to GO HOME to that environment, I also yearned to GO HOME to my comfort zone.

It took a while, but I moved forward. For a while, I felt as if I'd lost a limb. Now, I know what I lost was more akin to a tumor. You'll get over it. Just don't drink during the grieving process, and you'll be okay.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:04 AM
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As is true of many relationships, it's the loss of what might have been or could have been rather than what was actually happening that provokes a sense of loss. What I "lost" was a ghost of my own creation, one that had nothing to with what was real, a phantom that I believed I needed in able to avoid pain and increase comfort and satisfaction in my life.

Alcohol isn't made by wizards and never was the magic potion that we hoped it would be or, as happens much more frequently, the the magic potion that we convince ourselves it truly is in order to continue drinking, while denying the reality of self-destruction.

I don't know about grieving, but alcohol became less important to me the more I worked on building a life in which drinking had no meaningful place, but only after I put down the drink and dropped the illusion that drinking made life better for me in any way. In other words, after I started getting honest with myself.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:18 AM
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Isn't this the obsession of the mind we talk about in AA? Much more subtle than one might think. It goes " I really miss drinking and the good times, I wish I could drink like other people, maybe I could drink like others, yes this time will be different." It never is, excepting that it is usaully worse than the last time.
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