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Almost 4 years sober and feeling like day 1 Help?



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Almost 4 years sober and feeling like day 1 Help?

Old 11-30-2019, 01:34 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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StillPooh and friends,

I too have suffered from anxiety and depression, which is terrible. The worst thing I have ever endured.

I can say I am better now and cannot recall when last it came to call. But when it did, I remember wishing it was cancer as that I would know how to fight. So bad.

Started with the birth of my second child, and continued on and off for about 5 years. But not related to drink or the lack thereof, but who knows what will screw up those chemicals.

I am thinking of everyone. I do think that everything folks have listed are good tools and that a good therpaist is a godsend. And I did take antidepressants. I had to take a few before I found one that worked though, but it was a game changer for me.

I would also love to learn about your protocol -- everything that helps. XX
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:07 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hi Stilpooh,

Iím glad youíre starting to feel better. I am at the same point in my recovery journey as you, I will be four years sober on January 1st. I find Posting no reading on SR daily to be really helpful. I post about how I am doing in the 24 hour thread, and Iíve developed great friendships with other SR members on that thread and several others. I also enjoy offering support to those just starting out in sobriety.

I also deal with anxiety and the two things that have he.led me the most with this are daily walks outdoors (something about exercise and nature combined is calming) and practicing mindfulness. There are lots of apps and you tube videos you can use to help you with mindfulness, but just learning to slow down and remain in the present helps. I have an I watch, and if I am feeling really anxious or stressed I will stop for a moment and find a quiet place to use the breathe feature. Focusing on my breathing helps to calm me and allows me to move forward with my day.

I hope to see you posting more on SR, itís nice to have another January 2016 peep on here!
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:51 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stillpooh19 View Post
Life was going well, then boom, I was hit with terrible anxiety and depression. I believe it was an accumulation of life events that finally became too much.

Has anyone experience this? If so, how did you manage? I am thankful to not be experiencing the other symptoms like depersonalization, derealization, paranoia etc but whew, I thought I was in the clear.
You're saying it's PAWS. I experienced very similar symptoms but I didn't find it had anything to do with any type of withdrawal symptoms. In my case, those symptoms ARE untreated alcoholism and one who's alcoholic (or a drug addict) can and will experience them regardless of how long it's been since their last drug or drink.

I too had a lot of "clean time" under my belt at the time but, as I came to discover, I hadn't really recovered from alcoholism. I would have said I was IN recovery or that I was recoverING..... but really I was basically not getting drunk or high anymore and doing my best to navigate life. Precisely the same things I did that led to my drinking and drugging and precisely what I did while I was IN my addiction.

From what I know of PAWS, the passage of time and possibly some therapy/counselling/or maybe some meetings can help greatly. If it's untreated alcoholism, as it was with me, those same 3 things may help but that's doubtful. In my case they worked for a short while then it was back to that oh-so-familiar restlessness, irritability, discontentment and bone-crushing depression.

Eventually, my complete unwillingness to continue living in that up and down hell-scape got me to consider some recovery avenues that, up to that point, I was unwilling to try.

Maybe it'll go away.......but maybe it won't. Luckily for us, if it's the former you'll be good to go sooner or later. And if it's the latter, there's a solution for that too.

I'm curious though, how would one know those symptoms are PAWS rather than untreated alcoholism?
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:48 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
I'm curious though, how would one know those symptoms are PAWS rather than untreated alcoholism?
After more than 6.5 years of sobriety in which I have both dealt with serious PAWS issues and made a genuine effort to treat my alcoholism, here’s how I have come to perceive it works for me:

When thoughts inform feelings, it’s likely to be more of an untreated alcoholism issue. When I allow my thought patterns to return to the rat-run of “ego” and self-centeredness that characterized them in active alcoholism, feelings of anxiety, depression, and resentment — as well as the craving for relief via a drink — can result. These I deal with by practicing my recovery on an ongoing basis.

When feelings inform thoughts, it’s likely to be more of a neurological issue. In this case, repeated detoxes from alcohol have left me with a chronic neurobiological imbalance which can manifest as anxiety and depression and exert a negative influence on my thoughts. These feelings and thoughts are unrelated to my environment, my existing mindset, or the status of my recovery. All the lifestyle adjustments or recovery practice in the world won’t entirely cure them because they’re causing a state of mind as opposed to resulting from one. For me, only the passage of sober time (and the occasional prescribed anti-anxiety med) has made much of a difference, although I'm happy to say that at this point the symptoms have mostly faded into the background.

In practice it’s not quite this cut and dried, of course, but I hope my description provides some useful basis for understanding.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:55 PM
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hmmm..... that totally wouldn't work for me but I'm glad you've got it down pat for yourself.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:10 AM
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Hi, I am getting better each day. Still not 100% but I know it will come in time. I joined an emotional support group for women and that helps too. I have decided to come back here even after I am feeling better to help support other along the way. It is so important to hear you are not crazy when in recovery.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DayTrader View Post
Y
I'm curious though, how would one know those symptoms are PAWS rather than untreated alcoholism?
Well, i am not sure I have the answer to that question but here is what I am learning... the brain takes up to two years to heal after getting sober. My problem was I stopped using alcohol and switched to coffee and sweets before really healing so some of my PAWS symptoms never went away 100%. Sugar and caffeine wreak havoc on the brain! I am very clear alcohol is not an option for me nor have I had any cravings since stopping. I also understand how important therapy is in the recovery process. There is a fellow named Terri Gorski (sp) who has done lots of work on PAWS who says after initial withdrawal people struggle around years 5, 10 and I think 15. I have also learned that what I am feeling is common so we have to remain vigilant about maintaining sobriety.
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Old 12-12-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stillpooh19 View Post
My problem was I stopped using alcohol and switched to coffee and sweets before really healing so some of my PAWS symptoms never went away 100%. Sugar and caffeine wreak havoc on the brain!
Yes, I had the same experience. After quitting alcohol I replaced it with caffeine and sugar, which exacerbated my PAWS symptoms. Cutting out caffeine and sugar drastically reduced my PAWS symptoms.

However, I am certain that the alcohol was the root cause of my PAWS symptoms and not the caffeine and sugar, because I went back on the caffeine and sugar at a later date and my PAWS symptoms didn't come back.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:43 AM
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As I read through the thread I had similar thoughts to Daytrader. What about untreated alcoholism? The thing about alcoholism is that it is not treated merely by stopping drinking, if you have the power to do that. In fact stopping drinking tends to bring it out.

When I got sober PAWS had not been invented and even today I have never heard it discussed anywhere in AA until last wednesday when it was raised by a person sober 6 days. But I did hit a bad patch at about 22 years which lasted for quite a while. I became angry and depressed, and had periods of moderate anxiety, or in AA speak, I was resentful, fearful and self pitying. I had not been active in AA for a while, and coincidentally the problem vanished when I did become active in working with others.

Working with others in a modest way has got me through some pretty tough spots on my journey without thought of a drink. I am in the midst of one of those spots at the moment, it would make a really good excuse to drink, but the thought has not come. Instead God has dropped a couple of newbies into my lap for me to work with, and I thank Him from the bottom of my heart for that because I know from experience that I will stay safe and protected through my troubles as long as I try to do what I believe he wants me to do.
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