Sudden Massive Insecurity

Old 11-29-2022, 06:00 AM
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Sudden Massive Insecurity

Ill start with some background. Im 39 years old. I quit drinking 15 months ago as a physically addicted alcoholic for close to 20 years. I was mostly functional bc I stayed in the gym and have a physically active job but I hit the point where I was gonna either quit or drink myself to death. BP like 196/120, shaky all the time, no matter how hard I tried I could not make it a day without drinking 20+ beers. In short, the ride was over and I knew it. I quit cold turkey, rode out 5 days of withdrawal hell, and then began my journey with PAWS. It’s been horrible. Despite working out hard for 2+ hours a day, I still slip into periods of extreme rage, bottomless depression, and now extreme insecurity in my marriage.

My wife and I have a fantastic marriage. She’s incredibly supportive and she’s a drop dead knockout with a very outgoing personality. I trust her 100 percent. We have a mind blowing sex life, great mother, etc.

But she still drinks. Not a lot, mind you, and way less since I quit but she still likes to have a few beers watching football, going out with her friends, etc. I dont want to tell her to quit because I dont want to control her or have her resent me but now Im having these constant paranoid thoughts. “She knows how hard it is for me, why hasnt she quit to support me?” “Im not fun anymore so she has to find that with other people”. “This is destroying my marriage.”

She recently went on a cruise with a bunch of her girlfriends for her 40th and it’s absolutely eaten at me knowing she was drinking more than usual, getting attention from other men, etc.

Again, I have no real reason to be concerned. She’s not ever going to do anything and I have zero doubts about my appeal to her and honestly to most other women too. As I said, I live in the gym.

But nothing seems to help me with any of this. It makes me resent her and cripples me with depression and feelings that Im now less than.

Anybody been through this? Just more PAWS? (Ive had it as bad or worse than most I think). Im going back to therapy as Ive been staying sober pretty much on my own.

I wish people had a true idea of how unimaginably hard this stuff is.
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:37 AM
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I haven't had those exact insecurities, Gadawg, but I've had similar ones. I had one major one this summer with my business partner which ate at me for weeks - and although it was helpful to speak to other alcoholics and work my programme to identify what ego driven fears within me were at play (what part did I have in how I was feeling and was this a reasonable response to his behaviour?), full relief from the stress only came from actually confronting my business partner with a big long explanation of how I was feeling, caveated so he knew I was aware that this was my fear at play and that my interpretation of his actions was highly, highly likely to be unreliable. Thankfully he is a great guy and although not sober his emotional sobriety is 100%. He calmly dealt with all of my points and kindly pointed out that I had totally gotten the wrong end of the stick. Not everyone would have handled my situation so well, but I think all would confirm to me very quickly whether my fears were based on anything other than fantasy. That confirmation and clearing of the air was huge. I've been feeling MUCH better about life since and hugely grateful for my relationship with him.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:48 AM
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We’ve discussed it and she’s adamant Im being completely irrational (which Im sure I am). Im just unable to stop this obsessive thinking and anger. This is a disease of the mind after all. Im just so tired of fighting everything all the time. I still want to drink every minute of the day despite absolutely despising alcohol. I hate that liquid nightmare more than anything on earth, yet it still dominates my thoughts. Just not my body.
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:55 AM
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From the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (p. 64): "Resentment is the 'number one' offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else."

And from p. 66: "[W]ith the alcoholic, ... this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison."

Now here's the punchline: I have come to conclude that there is a type of alcoholic for whom the only solution is fully committing to the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have no idea whether you are one of those types, but I am -- so feel free to PM me if you want to chat more about that.
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:25 AM
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I’m sorry you’re struggling Gadawg. I don’t thinks it’s PAWS, perhaps its just… insecurities. I have plenty, and had them well before I ever started drinking, due to my childhood situation, absent dad, etc. Drinking was a way of coping with them, which worked for awhile, but of course we know where that leads, and it all caught up with me too around your age. Do you recall why you started drinking? Also, you can’t expect her to give up something she enjoys, we can only take care of our own stuff. I know its hard, I had a drinking partner and it didn’t work out, partly because of that, and my being rigid about it because i couldn’t stay sober.

I also want to say that I don’t think you’re being completely irrational with this cruise situation. You have an attractive wife, she went away with her girlfriends on a cruise.. they were partying, etc. Its a situation out of your control, and it would take a lot of trust for anyone. We’re men, so we worry. Thats not abnormal. I’m sorry she shuts your concerns down and I hope you can continue to talk openly about it. But having said that, its in the past now, and you need to try and let go of the resentment and obsession or you could relapse.

You might want to work on these issues with a therapist, mens groups, etc. No shame in that at all. We need input and advice from unbiased people.
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:38 AM
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Gadawg, a major aspect of the AA programme is a thorough deep dive into all of our fears, worries and resentments which results in a really good understanding of how our minds work and also that it is our pesky overactive ego which is making us worry and stress about things that aren't real threats. They are simply things our ego perceives as threats - we learn that our egos are trying to protect us from genuine threats but can't tell the difference between those and other stuff. I think knowing what's actually going on when we have these thoughts is really, really helpful. Allows us to let it go as we know that it's simply a malfunction of the brain.

We learn that us alcoholics have a tendency to make everything, absolutely everything about us - even your wife going away with her friends you bring back to you and how it makes YOU feel. We learn that viewing absolutely everything in life through the prism of "self" causes us enormous amounts of pain as it manifests itself in all sorts of undesirable ways: you end up thinking the world is out to screw you over (truth is the world isn't thinking about you, they are trying their best to keep their own heads above water) or you think you have it worse than others or that you are better than them or you are envious or whatever it might be. It also manifests in us always wanting more cos we have this innate fear of losing what we have - so we get greedy, or lustful or dishonest or whatever. Learning to let go of all of that and accept that it's not all about you and everyone is mainly just trying to do their best will provide you with a lot of relief.

It sounds like you have some work to do to get some clarity around your fears and resentments - you will find that if you do this a weight will be lifted. Sorry if the above is full on!!

All of the above being said, I do agree with advbike that it's a pretty normal thing to worry about and not irrational. I guess it's just the extent to which it is eating you up is the bit that is different and needs addressing. I think it is in that respect that the work I mentioned above can be invaluable. Please PM me if you would like help in working on that and other stuff.
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Old 11-29-2022, 10:33 AM
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I appreciate everyone’s input. I am returning to therapy tomorrow and we go as a couple next week. It always works wonders. Im gonna stay in it for a while this time.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:21 PM
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I hope the therapy helps gadawg - I see my insecurities and lack of trust as existing long before I ever drank, so I have needed to do a lot of work to get at the roots of the thing/s.

I also needed to build myself a sober life (and a sober social life) where I can be totally sober and have fun. That also was a process of some length.

Don't give up now - 15 months is great!
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