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Old 10-22-2019, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
JPA
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Help me with this...


Ok, so Iím struggling. But Iíve made an interesting observation.

Generally speaking I have two modes:

1. Content, productive but on-edge (sober)
2. Unhappy, unproductive but relaxed (drunk)

If given the choice, Iím sure the average normal person would pick option 1 as the better way forward. And yet despite all I know about my mind and its flaws, I go for option 2 every time. Every day.

Whatís wrong with me? Feeling relaxed, even if that means feeling relaxed about leaving my wife without a husband and leaving my kids without a dad, trumps clarity of thought and the love I honestly feel for my family during my sober hours.

It sounds thoroughly mad as I type this, but itís the best way I can describe how I feel. Can anyone relate?
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am all kinds of emotions then and now, including relaxed even.
but in Recovery I am not always sure where this trip is heading ----that is a ride I'm still on.

I eventually knew where option 2 Always eventually truly led me.

I applaud you for seeing 2 options, that's all I found there was.

I am thrilled you are here.

There is NOTHING wrong with you.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I pick 1
Personally, I like being on edge. I feel it keeps me sharp and on guard against any threat (like drinking) that may come my way.
I'm a natural edgy person so this is just normal for me. If we're talking about the same kind of on edge.

I feel being on edge gives me an advantage over those who are complacent and unaware.
**** yes, number 1.
I haven't been drunk in over ten and a half years and I'm still on edge. If it comes with the territory of being sober, so be it. I'll take over being drunk and not functioning in any meaningful any day.
Unhappy? Unproductive? What kind of life is that.
You're not content, you're drunk. And that comes with consequences.
So does sobriety, but once you get some time in, you'll understand.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd suggest getting into recovery and working out what makes you on edge sober. For me it was mostly 'where the hell is my drink?', till I got some sober time under my belt and I no longer asked that.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can relate to this. When I was drunk, I cared about very little. It was easier to drink than to live life as a productive person actively showing up in my life. Lets face it, getting sober is hard, but so is living life drunk. Pick your hard JPA.

This is going to sound harsh, because it is harsh. Reread your post.. Do you see how selfish your thought process is? Have you tried a recovery program? AA, SMART. I was very selfish too, so I get it. I do AA, and was once a never AAer. It has changed my life. I couldnt imagine life without drinking. Now I cant believe how long I lived in that misery.

Do you want to be sober? How long have you gone without a drink in the last 6 months?

Alot of people choose #2. Both of my parents picked 2 and orphaned me.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For me exercise takes that edge off. From a good run or lifting session I get a lot of what I like from a beer buzz without a lot of what I dont like from a beer buzz.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Addiction is not logical. Trying to make sense of something fundamentally illogical is futile.

Thinking about things is good - but thought by itself doesn't initiate change.
Action does.

You need some action in there JPA.
Any ideas?

D
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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what do you mean, if given the choice?
when do you /do you not have the choice?
if you donít have choice anymore then you are powerless. if you have choice and make this one, then you are making an insane, selfish choice.
anyway, thatís what it came down to for me.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JPA View Post
Ok, so I’m struggling. But I’ve made an interesting observation.

Generally speaking I have two modes:

1. Content, productive but on-edge (sober)
2. Unhappy, unproductive but relaxed (drunk)

If given the choice, I’m sure the average normal person would pick option 1 as the better way forward. And yet despite all I know about my mind and its flaws, I go for option 2 every time. Every day.

What’s wrong with me? Feeling relaxed, even if that means feeling relaxed about leaving my wife without a husband and leaving my kids without a dad, trumps clarity of thought and the love I honestly feel for my family during my sober hours.

It sounds thoroughly mad as I type this, but it’s the best way I can describe how I feel. Can anyone relate?
I did what you did for decades. I was selfish and lost my true values in life. If you come to genuinely believe that a buzz is preferable to obliteration, then you will not choose to get obliterated. It’s that simple.

Do you believe that you can be happier reducing/quitting your substance use than you can be by continuing it as is? When you can answer that question in the affirmative, then you can know that you will never have to feel an “uncontrollable urge” to use problematically again.

When your values trump your addiction, there is no addiction.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I relate.

When I felt like that before as an active addict I didn't understand a key issue.

I have irreversible brain damage from drinking.

The booze has permanently altered my ability to make normal decisions at times, especially under stress. I had fight or flight responses way too much.

I had one today. I internalized it. It faded. Now, in my quiet time, my demons return. I relive all the negatives of today and the past. I can't help but wonder that if I didn't drink until I was 50, I would be better at this aspect of life.

Everything started clearing up slowly when I stopped drinking. But, the demons remain. They have less impact, but they haunt me.

Booze was my escape and my prison. Suffering, being a big boy, was my way out.

I am suffering now, and that is why I am here.

Thanks.
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When I crave I think of the next day after effects:

high blood pressure, sleep issues, strength loss, immune system compromise (sick).

BpSSS. My mantra.

Studied "alcohol kindling" and "alcohol PAWS."

Last intoxication: 8 May 15.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I see this all the time....dudes in there early to mid sixties walking around using a cane.

They are not limping, they have trouble with balance.

I totally relate to this. As my drinking continued, my balance, especially when drunk, got,worse and worse. Especially when it was dsrk.

Now that I quit drinking for a longtime, my balance has improved, but not like when I was in my 20s and 30s.

This is central nervous system damage.

Brain damage.

I don't want it, I dont drink.

I haven't been fully sick since I quit drinking. I get under the weather for 24 hours, but my immune system kills it quick.

For these 2 reasons alone, i will never drink again.

The only real reason I drank was because I was uneducated and physically addicted.

Those days are gone.

Thanks.
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When I crave I think of the next day after effects:

high blood pressure, sleep issues, strength loss, immune system compromise (sick).

BpSSS. My mantra.

Studied "alcohol kindling" and "alcohol PAWS."

Last intoxication: 8 May 15.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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There are things you can do in recovery to help you relax and not feel on edge. Exercise, meditation, hot baths, vitamins, just purposefully relaxing. Besides, the on edge is probably just part of your withdrawal if you haven't been without a drink for very long. Lots of people go to the doctor and ask for help with anxiety and tension. Just don't let the doctor give you anything addictive.
Once I made the deep down decision that I was ready to get sober, I had to do a lot of things to make it happen. It wasn't just a decision I made, it was action. Have you read the post on SR about building a recovery plan? There is so much information out there on what helps.
But for me, when I decided to quit and then just expected it to happen, it never stuck. I had to make it my number one priority. Study it and practice it.
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA View Post
[left]

Generally speaking I have two modes:

1. Content, productive but on-edge (sober)
2. Unhappy, unproductive but relaxed (drunk)
When were you last in mode 1 long enough to make an accurate assessment of how you feel?

From your posts, you've been in mode 2 pretty steady. Any short periods you have "not drinking" is probably withdrawal mode and being "on-edge" is an understatement.

Accumulate some sober time and then ask yourself, "What is so discomforting about sobriety that makes me turn to the drink?"
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Being compelled to use substances is completely logical when you look at your behavior from a psychological perspective.

We drink to feel better!

Therefore, addictive behavior is employed to regain control over our emotions. Specifically, I am referring to circumstances in life that we find overwhelming and cause us to feel helpless, trapped, powerless and out of control. We regain control with a quick fix or mood changer of chemicals. This makes us feel temporarily empowered and in control of how we feel, our emotions. The antidote is not rocket science. Unlearn or reverse engineer the psychology. Regain control, escape the powerless trap with a more direct healthy behavior that empowers us. I’m not saying it is easy, but it starts with understanding why we get obliterated in the first place. Then finding high value behaviors to replace the corrupted behaviors that enable you to regain control of your emotions and life.

Values and purpose are the main navigational tools in life. If you have lost them-find them. If you don't have any-get them.

Alternatively, you can go through life feeling you are a powerless victim of a disease over which you have no control.

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF CONTROL."
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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hm...re-reading, you say in mode 1 you are content and on edge. interesting...when i'm on edge, i'm not content and vice versa.
you really are both simultaneously?
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hows it going JPA?

D
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Whatís wrong with me? Can anyone relate?
You're addicted to alcohol, that's what's wrong. Physically, mentally, physiologically, and spiritually addicted to the chemicals you are putting in your body everyday.

By addicted, I mean you have changed your brain chemistry to the point that as soon as the alcohol supply depletes your neurotransmitters start firing off signals it needs more (racy, edgey). Once it has more, the (relaxed, unhappy) feelings kicks in.

What you describe is no different than the signals your body and mind sends out when we're hungry, difference being alcohol obviously is poison we put in our bodies repeatedly until it's as natural a craving as the need to eat.

I think we all can relate and, for me, one of the the biggest reliefs in sobriety is losing all the mental, physical, and physiological junk thoughts and reactions I kinda knew, but, never fully appreciated ate up so much of my headspace, time, and energy day after day, drink after drink, pass out, repeat.. Just like you're feeling right now.

I often think if I could get in any alcoholic's heart and show them just how different they'll feel and think simply by getting a little space between themselves and alcohol, I'm certain you'd start to really enjoy a whole new mode~ calm, peaceful, and hopeful.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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When were you last in mode 1 long enough to make an accurate assessment of how you feel?
This would have been a great question to ask myself when I was stuck in the revolving door of relapse. The less knowledge that people have, the more stubbornly they cling to the "knowledge" they do have. It took me a while of not drinking to accumulate enough new knowledge to stop clinging to the old.
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Addiction is not logical. Trying to make sense of something fundamentally illogical is futile.

Thinking about things is good - but thought by itself doesn't initiate change.
Action does.

You need some action in there JPA.
Any ideas?

D
I found that there are so many more options than those 2 when I finally quit drinking. Doors 3, 4, 82...whatever because I gained the power and freedom to choose what I am and what I do.

It's real, which makes for ups and downs and good parts of me (and not!) coming out....and it's worth it.
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