Not sure that sobriety is doing me much good

Old 12-01-2016, 09:52 PM
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Not sure that sobriety is doing me much good

Hi everyone. It's been a very long time since I've posted on here, and a lot of you probably remember me from various Classes. I was both overwhelmed and apathetic at the same time regarding SR as a resource this latest time that I got sober... My anxiety was horrific for the first several months. It still is really awful at times. So, I ended up just closing the book on SR for then.

I am back now because I just feel like I want to relapse.

I have been sober now for over six months (194 days), which is the longest I've gone without a drink since starting to drink heavily about five or six years ago. Unfortunately, I feel like my quality of life has only gotten worse since.

I have not had any positive changes in my energy levels. In fact, my energy is much worse. I haven't had the drive or energy to organize or clean my apartment this entire time. It is a chaotic place right now.

I have continued to have digestive issues, which almost seem to be more frequent. They initially got better for the first month or two, but that changed.

I have had much worsened depression, and MUCH worsened anxiety.

I don't really look forward to anything, and neither old nor new activities really interest me. I don't care about doing things or seeing people like I used to. I don't get excited about things like I used to.

I generally just feel an awful and gut-twisting juxtaposition of anxiety and apathy all of the time. I am not happy.

In retrospect, I got along much better when drinking if considering my general mood and quality of life. There were worse things and better things, but that's the overarching take-away I have had.

Whenever I wish I could have a drink for whatever reason, I know that I would just end up cycling down the same thought process and experiences and end up back at that moment, and then over again, so I haven't. I got sober for a reason, so I have remained that way.

But, it's been awful. Not awful insofar as cravings or self-discipline or anything like that...but awful insofar as the excitement and energy of life that I had is just gone. I am not happy. I am apathetic and tired and rather miserable.

I'm not sure why I keep continuing sobriety when it feels more negative than positive. I'm just really sick of feeling so crappy and not looking forward to anything.

Just wanted to get my thoughts out there.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:09 PM
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I am glad to read your story, and sorry that you are struggling. One suggestion is for you to check in with your doctor. Your body has to be really liking the break from allcohol, so maybe something else is going on?
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:17 PM
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WT- perhaps see a doctor to review if you have depression. I did- and the visit was a game changer. PJ
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:24 PM
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I think I'd see a DR too before I went back to drinking.

This is what your AV would have you believe:
In retrospect, I got along much better when drinking if considering my general mood and quality of life.
This is the reality:

Reading your first post again it seems to me these problems have been around a while - drinking didn't seem to fix them for you the first time around, and as much as you or we might want it too, alcohol won't fix it again this time.

I do empathize - it took me a reasonably long time to deal with my underlying issues and various physical ailments - much of my first year - but I got there in the end.

There is light at the end of the tunnel WT, providing you keep walking the right way

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Old 12-02-2016, 12:31 AM
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Have you looked at PAWS, I felt similar to you at 6 months.......but there was no way I was going back to the colossal waste of time my life had become because of drinking, mentally I was not well.
At 6 months sober I was unhappy but I was more unhappy drinking, I am no longer unhappy and the thought of drinking rolls my stomach in a wave of nausea.
I think a check-up at the GP is a good idea....and getting active to improve your quality of life and mood could help.
Don't let the AV have the last word, tell it to bugger have worked hard to get to 6 months and it is a wonderful investment to a good future.
Congratulations on 6 months.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:07 AM
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You could have been describing me and what happened in my serious attempt to stay sober without AA. I had been locked up in the nut farm by the courts, I was 21 years old, When I got out I still had some court ordered sentence to do which kept me busy on saturdays. I stayed sober and got progressively more miserable. I had a job and a tolerant employer, yet my level of functioning got lower and lower until I could not get out of bed.

The domiciliary nurse visted and wrote in his report that I was living in absolute squalor. (I saw it a year or so later when I had discovered how to be happily sober).

This was life and the only solution to it had been alcohol. Just stopping drinking did not appear to have given me a new solution, so I returned to the old one. At the end of that I had lost job, friends, family, possessions and was sleeping in parks. The old solution had stopped working.

I found myself left with a stark choice. Face an alcoholic death, or live on a spiritual basis. Always looking for wriggle room my first reaction was to ask "what was the question again? I need to have a drink to get my head around that one!"

Now, it looks to me that I was suffering from a spiritual malady, a disconnection from life, which only the booze could fix. Now I have an alternative solution, found in AA, and I am happily sober living on a spiritual basis.

Alcohol comes in bottles, alcholism in people. Stopping drinking does not fix alcoholism, it usually brings it out.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:51 AM
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If you really thought going back to alcohol was a clear solution to your problems, I doubt you would come here to talk about it. I think, deep inside, you know it was what started your life down the wrong path and would only promise to take you even further down it if you turned to alcohol again. I would heed the advice given by others here and see a doctor about what sounds like depressive issues to me.

Alcohol throws everything out of balance. All our problems don't magically disappear just because we stop drinking. In many cases, all the problems we sought to escape make themselves much more apparent after we sober up. Recovery is a process, not an event. I urge you to not ignore or turn down the help that is available to you. Can you really think of even one instance when going back to alcohol turned out well in the end?
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:04 AM
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I agree with the others who stated seeing a Dr or a therapist. IEveryone is different, but for me doing this made me realize the ADHD and depression I have had since i was a kid didn't go away, just masked by alcohol. The right meds and talking to someone with an outside, proffessional perspective were huge in helping me make the changes that is making life a lot more apealling. I was around six months last winter and wanted to drink weekly, not anymore. It's tough to take that step, but may be just what you need. Congrats on six months, hoping all the best for you, it gets better!
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:26 AM
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I was under medical care at the time. They even moved me into sheltered housing. And they diagnosed depression. What alse can the medical profession do? They have no cure for alcoholism and untreated alcoholism has virtually the same symptoms. So anti depressants were prescribed - no effect.

This is what gets me. Alcohol is a depressant, so taking it to treat depression should make me worse. It didn't. It instantly made me feel better, at least for a time. Alcohol was the only thing that worked. The ADs had some fancy name which was of great interest to my drug using friends, so I traded my pills for a substantial amount of booze.

Of course it was only a temporary solution and a year later I was back looking for ways to end the misery. Liquid or pill, I couldn't find the solution in a bottle, and just not drinking didn't work either.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:51 AM
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I was put back on antidepressants when I stopped drinking at my request- after tests by my doc. They made a big difference- my moods are much more stable. I have major depression. On the scale ranked for depression out of 50- initially I was just under 40. Last week I was tested again afte r 7 months, it was 17- within normal limits.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post
Stopping drinking does not fix alcoholism, it usually brings it out.
I really like this quote. Ceasing drinking in alone was never really enough for me, either. I would get to a place where I would honestly be so miserable that it didn't feel "worth it" to continue, and I'd wind up saying f'it, and slide into relapse.

To the OP:
I would definitely suggest you describe these symptoms to your doctor. What you are detailing sounds like both the physical and mental symptoms of depression. There are several options for medications that may help improve your mood, as well as a handful of therapeutic techniques to address the effects of this diagnosis.

Are there any reasons you have for not wanting to address this with your doctor?
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:28 AM
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Some people are able to learn to cope with and prevent depression from coming back on their own. Maybe theirs is situational, good for them. I think a visit to your primary care doc about all the problems you're having is in order, and he can recommend if you should see a psych.. and there's nothing wrong with that.. We live in a stupid society where mental health is not treated equally with physical health and it is no different.. You'd go get albuterol for asthma symptoms, and you should get some medication for depression that is preventing you from living your life.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:22 AM
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I have found to be true that sobriety does absolutely nothing for me............except allow me to change my life for the better. If all I had done was quit drinking, I would still be in the same place as I was when I quit. I would be no better only sober and yes, I may have been worse in a sense, because I would not have the buzz to make me pretend for the short time it worked and did not become a disaster. Usually it worked for 3 hours or so. I think the thing so often overlooked is the simple fact that quitting drinking does not make things better, but it just allows US to make them better. Honestly, during my drinking, I could not have even really imagined the life I have today. Just did not see it coming. It is only because I did not give up, kept putting one foot in front of the other in a positive direction that I arrived where I am. Exercise, healthy eating and achievable goals in that order is what made my life great. I would not change my journey if I could because I am afraid I would not be where I am today. You can effect positive change in your life. I guarantee it. It will not just happen though because you got sober. It is what you do with sobriety that will make things great.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:52 AM
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I'm sorry to hear you're struggling.

When we get sober, any crap in our life that was there, or coming, can still come or happen. Getting sober does not always equal life instantly becomes awesome, all problems solved.

A lot of good suggestions made by others.

I was also wondering, what sort of program you had going? Did you just quit drinking and thats it or are you working some sort of recovery program?
Do you have a fellowship? Going to counseling? Are you exercising? Are you eating right?

For me, discovering spirituality and discovering/entering into a fellowship is what really helped my life get better. Spending time with sober friends talking about our issues and socializing is what I needed to enjoy sobriety. I wanted to fit in to something, I needed friends who encouraged my sobriety and understood my issues.

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Old 12-02-2016, 12:05 PM
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have you made any other changes in your life other than just stopping drinking?
whats your doctor have to say about your symptoms?

alcohol is pretty good at masking problems a psychologist and medical doctor can help with.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:08 PM
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Seems like the milestones in threes are particularly painful...90, 180 days were tough and 9 months was more so.

But it does get more consistently better (that's one awkward sentence, sorry) and for absolute certain, consuming an aggressively depressant drug on top of underlying depression is like throwing lighter fluid on a stove burner.

Please see your doctor?
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:20 PM
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One very common misconception that we hear and read over and over is that alcohol is a depressant. This is a myth.

Alcohol does indeed act on the central nervous system and can retard, or slow down = depress - if you will, bodily functions. Among those effected is breathing........very dangerous.

Initially when ingested alcohol is a stimulant. Early in recovery ( how long did you drink? ) I missed that and my body reacted. I turned to(another form of) sugar to supplant that stimulation. My teeth were bad, and I gained a lot of weight [email protected] Not suggesting processed sugar as a substitute, but I had to do other things than just quit drinking, certainly.

This book helped me a lot and has been read by many over the decades;

Discusses how an alcoholics body metabolizes alcohol differently than a non-alcoholic and some necessary dietary changes after we quit that help get the engine firing again!

Of course those in the medical profession in your community are there to help as well. Recovery for me is Body, mind and spirit. One without the other and the stool wobbles.

You are not alone........

Last edited by Dee74; 12-02-2016 at 03:05 PM. Reason: fixed link
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:38 PM
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"One very common misconception that we hear and read over and over is that alcohol is a depressant. This is a myth. "

Is it Fly? That's news to me. Just goes to show you can't believe everything the doctors and addictions experts tell you. Maybe they mean alcohol is an ant-anti-depressant.

Research I read on this site suggested a strong causal link between excess alcohol consumption and depression.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:06 PM
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Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant when you consume more than your body can handle.. This argument is splitting hairs, it's pointless! YES, alcoholics drink to try to medicate their sadness because it makes them happy at first and then they get depressed more.. We understand this as alcoholics because it's a daily routine. Or was.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:23 PM
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Did some searching and all of the reputable medical and psychology sites I looked at are still saying it's a depressant? I'm confused by that link, does it only point to the book "Under the Influence" or are there additional sources for this theory?

FWIW, from the completely unscientific experiment of only my personal experience, when I'm drinking, I'm depressed. At eleven months' sobriety, I'm not, despite many stressors and not-so-great life events at the moment.
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