Having trouble dealing with my stress!

Old 09-21-2009, 10:03 AM
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Having trouble dealing with my stress!

A quick run down:

-I have quit drinking for 5 weeks now
-I tried AA for 3 weeks, no one boths to talk to me or help me. I am not going to ask for help either. Whatever, I don't like AA, it's not helping me.
-I don't miss drinking, and was feeling happy that I felt good waking up in the morning.

Since quiting it has became very apparent that I used alcohol to deal with stress. In the last 2 weeks or so, my temper has gone haywire. I snap at every little thing, and my head at times feels like it's going to explode. My stress level, just seems to keep building and building, with no relief in site. I have never felt this amount of stress in my life.

Steps I have taken

-I made an appointment with my family Dr, but it's a week away, on my own, I won't make it a week with this amount of stress.
-Got on this forum, to talk with people that may have been through this before.
-Going to talk with a family friend, that could help me get counselling pretty fast

I guess what I am asking, is how do I deal with stress, now that I am sober?
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:55 AM
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I'm glad you're posting about this problem.

For me, exercise really helped. And, in my case, I choose to take long walks outside and it helped so much on so many levels. It calmed me, made me feel physically better and helped me deal with the negativity I was feeling.

Hang in there and know that you can get through this.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:02 AM
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Good for you Jam for not picking up to calm yourself down - which as we know does the opposite, but old habits die hard. The fact that you don't miss it is huge.

5 wks. is great, but still early days yet for you. You are learning to deal with all your emotions in a different way, and it takes time to get used to not falling back on booze. Every time I faced a challenge and got through it I was that much stronger. I don't have much of a temper, but I started choking up over everything in the beginning, and all that eventually passed. You're doing everything right - seeing your doctor especially. Be patient with yourself.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:40 PM
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Hi Jam - welcome to SR

I had a pretty stressful week too. What I found was I was letting my expectations get the better of me. I can only do what I can do - and what I can do, changes from day to day.

Anna's point about activity is good too

As for AA - if people won't talk to you, have you tried talking to them?

I'm not an AAer but it seems to me that reaching out is one of the most important parts of letting go of old insular ways and stepping into recovery

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Old 09-21-2009, 03:56 PM
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Welcome to SR.

I hope you find a solution to your stress problem without drinking.

Because drinking is NO solution anyhow, right?

I know what you mean about AA, I see people come into the rooms alot with the attitude that somehow AA should benefit them simply because they show up. Unfortunatly they drift back out.

It reminds me a lot of a math class I took in college. I went for three weeks, no one bothered to talk to me or help me. I wasn't gonna ask for help either. Whatever, I didn't like math and it wasn't going to help me anyhow (with my attitude I was going to be sure it wouldn't help me ) Consequently I flunked the class and didn't succeed in college.

Several years later when I REALLY wanted to succeed though I went back to math class.

If your way becomes too painful, maybe give AA some effort?

Keep coming back.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:41 PM
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I suffer from anxiety myself, and would recommend "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" by Edmund J. Bourne. It is a guide to anxiety solutions from all sides - nutrition, relaxation, exercise, positive self-talk, challenging mistaken beliefs, spirituality, etc. Moreover, the end of each chapter contains suggestions for further reading.

The exercises in the book can be accomplished on one's own, if you are sufficiently motivated, but you can also work through it with a counselor or therapist.

Like anything, though - AA included - what you get out of it will be in direct proportion to what you put into it.

Be well!
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:22 AM
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:54 AM
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Welcome to SR Jam, you have gooten some great suggestions so far. That asking for help for me was a very hard thing to do. I know that for many years I tried quitting drinking my way and alone and the anxiety and anger always drove me back to drinking.

Alcohol finally forced me to ask for help, I became physically as well as spiritually and mentally adicted to it, the last 5 years I drank even though the majority of the time I really did not want to. I had to drink just to function every day.

When I was at my bottom I called an alcohol and drug hotline, they set me up to see a doctor, I told the doctor the whole truth about my drinking and asked him for help, he told me flat out that the only way I would be able to even begin to stay sober was to be medically detoxed.

In detox they told me to go to at least 90 AA meetings in 90 days and to get a sponsor! Well I darn sure was not excited about that, but I was sick and tired enough of being a drunk to where I did just that.

Alcohol made me go to AA and to swallow my pride before it killed me and to ask for help! The very first meeting I went to I asked a guy to be my sponsor, not because I wanted to ask him or any one else, I asked because I did not want to be a drunk any more!

I still experienced the anxiety and the anger, but I did not expereince it alone, I had my sponsor and other people in AA that shared with me how they dealt with all of it in thier early sobriety.

For me staying sober was like buying a car. If I want a car I have to go to a dealership or to some one selling a car and ASK for a car, if I just stand there and say nothing, I will never get a car.

AA is one alcoholic helping another alcoholic stay sober. AA does not chase down drunks and help them. Drunks who want to get and stay sober chase down AA and ask for help.

You came here, you asked for help and you got a ton of people willing to help you out and all you did was ask! Why not go back to AA and try the same thing?
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jam52633 View Post

I am not going to ask for help either. Whatever, I don't like AA, it's not helping me.
Just get yourself to a place, literally and figuratively, where you will ask for help...

I was in a whirlwind when I got out of rehab and it took a while to settle down. Having a program of recovery made all the difference... I could work my program anytime, any day, anywhere....

Keep posting here, there is a lot of help here... Keep coming back.

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Old 09-22-2009, 05:49 AM
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Did you try some different AA meetings ? When I first searched out local AA meetings, I was amazed at how different they were ! Big speaker meetings, versus small friendly discussion meetings, mens meetings, step meetings, spiritual meetings, etc.... Bounce around to a few and check them out. Different place, different people - something might click ! After a few months, I just found a Sunday night meeting that is really different and I like !

You can do it !
I was doing well sober for the first several months and then at about 6 months is when my stress built up. it's quite a change that we are all making in our lives...... It is for the better once we make it through the adjustments........ Best wishes !!
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:47 AM
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Thank you to everyone that replied

A couple things I would like to note:

1. It's stress/anger I am feeling not anxiety. I had terrible anxiety for a week or so after not drinking. That was what made me want to stop. And since I have stopped that anxiety feeling has subsided. I now feel like a ticking time bomb, anything and everything gets me right pissed off. The littlest things will set me off, and I will have a couple fit. I need to figure out a method or series of methods to control my stress level. Going to try exercise, meditation. Anything. It's been getting so bad, I don't know if I can make it till Monday, when I see my Dr. I almost drank last night to releive my stress (and yes I know that sounds crazy, but what else am I to do).

Thank you for the "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" by Edmund J. Bourne suggestion. I read that book. I gave it to someone that really really needed anxiety help at the time.

2. AA is not the end all be all for becoming sober in life. Yes it works, and yes it helps and helped lots of people. The last attempt I made to go to AA, I took it very seriously. I went to alot of DIFFERENT meeting, I got the big book and started reading it. I stayed around afterwards and helped put chairs away (trying to put myself out there). I am very shy, and will not go up to people to start a conversation, but I have really forced myself to try and stay after the meeting is done, and not just run out. It also took me about 2 weeks before I stopped running to the bathroom when it was time to introduce myself. So it's not like I didn't try. 3 weeks, almost every day, a bunch were to the same place, I saw alot of the same faces, nothing. It's like I am attending a closed circle, that I am not apart of. I stand there and watch all the friends chat with each other, having a great time, and me, NOTHING. So do I want to go back to AA, HELL NO.

You know it's funny, my freind tells me, when he started going, people would throw themselves at him, left and right. He said they were practically attacking him, to start doing his steps and for them to be his sponser.

So what did I do wrong?
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:57 AM
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smile even if it's only in your mind- you're body will thank you.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:04 PM
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Thank you all for helping me out. I was really stressed, and I mean stressed. I actually deleted the part about thinking about suicide, cause I didn't want to freak anybody out.

But yeah, in the last week or so, it is looking like taking my own life is easier then trying to beat this. I asked for help beating stress, and I don't give a **** about AA.

As of right now, I have drank, yeah! It was that or move on from this life, seeing no one wanted to help out.

So I will wait to see what my Dr has to say on Monday. Sorry for wasting everyones time, maybe I didn't approach AA right, maybe I have to know someone or something.

You know what, I will give AA 1 MORE shot, please tell me what too do. Cause I am a useless peice of ****, being myself is no good there.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:21 PM
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you seem like your hurting pretty bad honey, I'm sorry. Just keep trying different things and reaching out for help, it will come.

pretty much everyone I have ever conversed with on this site wants to help you. I have learned so much here, both from the people who made me feel better, and the people who said things that made me feel uncomfortable. Just keep posting and reading.

Im not really sure what the difference is between anxiety and stress, but I know when I feel either cleaning helps (call me crazy, its ok). Once I bring it down a notch, I can take a good book, some scented candles and some decaf tea in a hot bath and usually that gets rid of the rest.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:25 PM
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OMG you are so not a useless peice of ****, and being yourself is so right.. and please give AA another shot and maybe do something differently this time,, talk to someone, push yourself that extra distance and talk to someone get out of your comfort zone,,, remember if you do what youve always done youl get what youv always have successfully completed one of the hardest things "quitting drinking" and you dont even miss it,,, my god that is huge, fantastic, great... dont give up now when you are confronting the reason you drank for, you are doing well, you just need some help to get through it.. and suicide is NOT an option,,, you erased it from your post so now erase it from your mind,,,,, this will pass it really will......

hang in there mate.....
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:27 PM
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sorry i missed that bit about you drank,,,, so what you are drinking,, you can do it again with the right support this time please dont give up.........and you havnt wasted anyones time.....
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:16 AM
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Jam you said you had a friend in AA, why not go with your friend?

Here is another thing to try, call your local AA hot line, tell the person you talk to exactly what you told us about how those meetings were going for you and how it seemed as though no one was reaching out to help you.

I can only tell you what I would tell you if I answered your call. I would first of all apologize for you being left with the feeling of not being wanted there, then I would set you up if you were willing to meet with some one of your gender for coffee and then to go to a meeting together.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:16 AM
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Ugh, I HATE that feeling of being pissed off at the world. When I was working in pharmacy, I hated every customer so much, that I started popping pills in order to just deal with them.

I know the difference between anger/stress and anxiety, and the former is so much harder to deal with. While anxiety is organic, I think stress/anger is functional - what do I mean? I mean that anxiety is in the body and can be fixed with relaxation techniques, while the stress/anger has to be fixed internally, at the emotional level, with a chang ein attitude (this is all my opinion). SO much easier said than done.

My anger is so overwhelming at times, that I will actually look for ways to perpetuate it, even in spite of myself. I drive like a dick so I can be pissed off at other drivers when they won't get out of my way. My anger has a life of it's own. The ONLY way I was able to reduce it was with a complete change of attitude that I got from working the steps.

Hear me out - I hated... HATED every last one of you cliquey smiling jerks in the meetings because you didn't talk to me, you acted like your world was perfect while I was dying inside. I mean that true black agony inside your heart that makes it hurt to get out of bed. WHY COULDNT YOU ALL SEE THAT I NEEDED HELP? Finally, one day during a meeting, my hand shot up. When they called on me, I dont think I even said my name. All I said was "I dont want to be here. I don't like any of you and you don't seem to like me. But I don't want to drink and I am going to drink if I don't get help. "

Amazingly, this awesome lady stepped up and I hated what she had to say at first, but she let me be honest about that. I was honest about not liking her or the sh*t she made me do, but I did it, and gradually the anger subsided. It still pops up, but she taught me the tools that I needed to use when it happens.

Perhaps try Emotions Anonymous if you are burmed out on the AA people. Same stuff, different focus. And don't lose heart. You are NOT alone. AA people are like vampires: they can't come in unless you invite them (True Blood fan here .

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Old 09-25-2009, 07:22 AM
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Please hang in there, stay strong, go 2 a meeting today.
Sit down, just listen, speak or not, whatever...just go. I promise it will get better.
I like 2 pray, prayer helps me, I write it down 2 and that helps.
I clean, I walk, I work in the garden...
We R all here 4 U. Grab our hand that is extended, hold on, sit down, read until it is time 4 yr AA meeting. Tell this board, SR all about yr meeting. We care!
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:52 AM
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Quse56 that was an AWESOME post!!!!

Trust me you are not the first person to do what you did in a meeting.

I can recall feeling that people were "Watching" me & "Judging" me in some meetings!

Well I kept going back, I was not going to let those jerks run me off! Turns out those folks were not even noticing me, they were in the same boat I was sinking in and they wanted a life preserver just as bad as I did, but I was blind for the first month of sobriety, my anger, resentments, frustrations, self pity and self hatred made it to where I could not see or hear the very people that were trying to help me.

Some of those folks that were "Watching" me & "Judging" me went out and drank again, a few of them were like me, they stuck around and like me they discovered that no one was "Watching" them, or "Judging" them. One of these guys I am close friends with today, I picked up 3 years last week, he will be picking up 3 years Oct. 7th. He made sure he came to my home group when I picked up my 3 years, he chaired the meeting. I will be at his celebration on the 7th.

We both refused to let any one or anything keep us from having the miracle we saw in the rooms our selfs.
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