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Class of October 2014 Part 17

Old 07-06-2015, 06:31 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Thanks, Dee! I really like that.

Something I've noticed in sobriety is "that spark" is most evident when I'm working on building relationships with other people, whether new or established. Many times, it means doing and saying things that are just a small stretch out of my comfort zone because I'm naturally pretty introverted. And the feeling of true, genuine, clear-minded and clear-hearted Joy is undeniably better than any short-lived, empty booze buzz.

Take THAT, AV. Lol


Have a great start to the week, friends!
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:51 AM
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Thanks Dee. Trying. It's hard.

Feeling really good this morning. Life's a lot easier with some good sleep. Baby slept remarkably better last night. You can't plan these things with a newborn. 😉

Have a great day everyone.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:18 AM
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Morning gang,

Was actually in the sixties this morning, that's a rare treat for July and to celebrate I had the longest run I've done in years.....felt good.

Good point Conquest. Like many, I have to be "on" at work and interact with many in the community as part of my work. I'm great at the polite chitchat but when I'm not playing that role I'm naturally quite introverted. The social situations I'm avoiding in my personal life have at least temporarily led to a bit of isolation. Something to work on.

As different in age and background as we all are, there is certainly the common bond of the path we're on. The last few days have prompted me to do an evaluation of where things stand for me.

I feel as though I have the 'not drinking' thing down for now. This past week alone gave me a chance that doesn't come around much to test the waters in secrecy.....not gonna do it. So how do I feel?....

Mostly ok I guess, but I proceed with a resigned acceptance of things for now. It brings to mind the 'pleasure unwoven' thing and brain receptors, all that stuff. I still admit to life with muted emotion/joy and I have two lines of thought on it.

Number one is this is all part of the healing process and will get better....when? According to what I've researched between one and two years. I can get to a year I know. After that time I know that my expectations will begin to rise. We're all working out butts off to get this and it seems reasonable to expect a payoff right? Something. Instant gratification would be fine with me but I don't think it works that way. Slow and steady gets the prize.

This brings me to depression/anxiety. I will consider after a year or so that there may be other factors such as a diagnosis of depression. That's hard for me to admit. My sobriety is not threatened at the moment, so I've deferred looking into this for now....just rolling with it and giving it the time that I mentioned above. I don't want to start medicating something that may work itself out. With exercise and staying busy, and having travel plans scattered through the year to look forward to I can manage.

Between the first and second year of sobriety will be a time of testing for me. If I don't have solid progress on the emotional front, I will seek professional help of some sort. Years ago a cousin of my mom's (my only northern relatives...from Newton MA) were in town and we had them over for dinner. He was relating his journey through depression. He made the statement that he knew intellectually that he loved his family etc., but that he just didn't feel much of anything. I've never forgotten that. He had a son coincidentally named Mark that I barely knew that killed himself in a horrific manner. He also has a daughter about my age that later started an organization called Families for Depression Awareness. Her name is Julie Totten and there is a story about all of it if you google her name and babson.edu. I will potentially reach out to her for guidance.

Let's all hang in there and give this a chance long term. We can do it. I'm counting on some of that Technicolor spark that Dee referenced. It's out there for us too gang.

Wishing all the best day.....Mark
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:46 AM
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Thanks, Mark. That spark IS out there for all of us, and I think it's very normal to go through periods of "what do I do in the meantime?"... Just gotta keep moving forward, learning coping skills, pushing personal boundaries, avoiding backslides any way possible.
When I checked in with my therapist prior to surgery, he did an evaluation and determined that I barely met criteria for depression. It took me aback a bit... Didn't like the label at all. However, another portion of the evaluation noted that I'm also a tad euphoric right now, indicating a breakthrough (He said it's most likely the relief that stems from letting go of the past behaviors and all the personal work and self-care I've done since October). My point? Depression can be beat. It won't happen overnight, obviously. But it will happen with time and a lot of hard work.
We're headed in the right direction, folks. Just keep going!
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:55 AM
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I wish there was a blood test for things like depression. You know? Either you have it or you don't type thing. That clarity would help me. But you're right Conquest, we're headed in the right direction. Onward.

And now to go pick up lunch for my team.....
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:38 AM
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I know I struggle with chronic, low grade depression. Maybe even major, but if it's all I know, it feels pretty normal to me. I feel rather emotionally flat much of the time. Not unhappy. It runs in my family, and my daughter has had some severe mood issues. She is fine on a SSRI. Still the occasional swings, but she IS a nearly 16 yo girl!

Exercise, sunshine and a routine are key, I think. Sometimes, you just have to force the motivation, but then you gain momentum.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
The difference between that chemically induced spark and real joy is like black and white to technicolour arbor - don't lose hope

D
A thousand times - Amen.

The display of Technicolor didn't come for me for some time - in the third year of my sobriety. But, before it, came a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction (both wrapped in peace); that sustained me until the joy set in; there are still times when I do a mental Happy Dance to the tune of sobriety.

It will come, dear Octsobers, in time; my bet is that it will arrive earlier for you; I had literally no support during the first 26 months of my sobriety. SR has helped it ignite that spark.

Never give up; sobriety absolutely rocks.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:00 AM
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There's no doubt that finding the RIGHT therapist could do wonders to speed this process up. If given the time and resources. Something I've always been curious of. Most people in general would benefit in seeing someone, but mental health care in this country is well, as we all know it not a priority.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:03 AM
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Mark, I have experienced severe depression once in my life - it came wrapped in a package of grief; truly working on its roots was key to recovery. I found a grief support group, stayed with it for eleven years (nine years as a group facilitator); it was extraordinarily healing.

I see you as 'keenly aware' and sense that you will know when to take steps for treatment if it becomes necessary. In the meantime, working on any underlying issues can bring understanding, acceptance and healing as it did for me.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:28 AM
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Leigh, you are a sweetheart! It's so good to see you back and I do lean on your advice because I know you've been there. It gets me through. Thank you.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:39 PM
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V, are you feeling any better?
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:28 PM
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I'm with Mark. You are an inspiration to us Leigh. It's always nice to hear from you.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:54 PM
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(((Leigh)))

Hope you're feeling better, V. It always takes me a few days to bounce back after a tummy bug. Keep the water refilled.

Gnight all
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:42 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I had a very bad night...and so working today was a bit tough.
But it it a gorgeous sunny day, so that helped.
Feeling better, just tired.

I dunno Mark...I probably need to read your post again....

We're all working out butts off to get this and it seems reasonable to expect a payoff right?
I think we have all had major wins. Even with all of the challenges I have had, I consider every sober day a huge payoff. Every day that I am not filled with shame is awesome.

I appreciate that you're a very analytical guy, and I read your plan. But there may well be other things you can do for yourself if in fact you are suffering from depression. I would talk to your doctor if I was you. A good GP will help you to decide if this is happening with you. And will not necessarily medicate. You may well just need to have a few sessions with a good counsellor/therapist. I guess my point is, why wait?

Just my thoughts.
Okey dokey....time to make some food.

Love to all of you. ♥
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:55 PM
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I didn't want to leave the impression the switch to technicolour was instantaneous...

it took a lot of work and longer than I would have liked...but nowhere near the 30 years I gave to drink or drugging....it was a pretty good deal really.

As for depression - I don't think that's a failing or a weakness any more than being an alcoholic is - it just *is*...

if you can deal with it alone, then great, but if not I don't see any shame at all in asking for help from a professional.

Hang in there Mark

D
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:47 PM
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Checking in. I don't feel like talking, but much love to you guys.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:04 PM
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Much love back darling Briar.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:02 AM
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Good morning all. A very grey day here today with 100% humidity. Glad I'm working inside LOL.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:07 AM
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Gosh, 100% humidity....that's not good. Hope it's good for the soap though.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by venuscat View Post

I appreciate that you're a very analytical guy
Yep, sometimes it serves me well. Other times not so much. Drinking was a misguided attempt to turn it off.

Glad you're feeling better.
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