Why do we have to act like we're so tuff? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information >
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read





Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-22-2009, 09:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: CA desert
Posts: 1,599

Why do we have to act like we're so tuff?


These are the thought patterns of my life, "I don't need any help, I'm a man's man, I take care of my own, I can handle it, I'll take care of it, blah blah blah," the thoughts whirl round and round.

I'm normally a fairly sharp guy, but lately have really been struggling at college, and in other areas of my life, trying to pull it all together. And you know what, for the first time in many years it's beginning to work. Now that's great news, but I have to ask, what's different today that is helping facilitate these positive changes in my life? The truth is I've started reaching out for help, and you know, it's ok, nobody seems to think less of me, and people actually seem to really want to extend a helping hand when asked. While I was drinking, just 22 days ago, I didn't really trust anyone, and thought I would handle it all by my itty bitty self. Hogwash.

Here's an example: I've really been beating myself ragged trying to catch up and get on track with my algebra class, but seemed to keep falling further and further behind. I got to class early today and caught my instructor in the breezeway before class, and mentioned my dilemma to him. He asked me to wait till after class and we'd talk. He took role in class, as always, then he surprised us all by asking if anyone else was having problems staying up with the course. At first, a couple hands went up, including mine, then others tentatively raised their hands. We were scheduled to have another exam this Thursday, but after looking around the class, our instructor said we need to spend more time on this section of study, so he'll put off the exam till next Tuesday. Well, I gotta tell, I felt like hopping out of my seat and yelling Hallelujah, but I just smiled. Seems I wasn't alone in my plight and that's the same in all areas of my life. My attempts to stay sober were just periods of time between drinks. I can't do it alone, and it took me a long time to figure that out, so I'm reaching out, here at SR, at AA meetings, and with my friends and family. I even, surprisingly have a couple of drinking buddies who are rooting for me to stay off the sauce, what does that tell ya about this ole drunk. I was a pretty bad case, but not today. Today, I've had plenty of coffee, and water, but just haven't had to pick up a drink today, and that's a miracle in and of itself.

I thought I was of the hopeless variety, but discovered it was just my ego telling me to handle it all by myself. Today, I don't have to try to do that, and that's ok with me.

Thanks SR for letting me post a few thoughts.
__________________
Today is a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone, what happens today depends on me.

Reach for the stars, but keep a ladder handy just in case you've got to climb a bit.
firestorm090 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
Cause no harm
 
Creekryder's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 596
Blog Entries: 21
firestorm,
We are raised to be strong, unbending, never cry, and never stop for directions at a gas station. We are men. The truth is we are just little boys, not much different when we were physically small. We cried when we fell down, got angry and punched our brother when he took the baseball cards out of our room, asked mom or dad to open the lid on the peanut butter. Sometimes things just was out of our hands and needed help, but we were told "you're a big boy now, you do it." That is not at all a bad thing, we do need to do and take care of things for ourselves. But somewhere the idea got a bit convoluted and it became a sign of weakness if we couldn't do it by ourselves. Even when the big things came that was really too big for us to tackle alone, it was not manly to ask for help. Then, on that certain day of our life, we reach a point to say, "You know what? I need some help. This is too much for me." After reaching that point, it becomes easier and easier to realize and to accept help. Hells bells, I don't even try to fix my car by myself anymore because I don't have the ability, or tools , or knowledge, or whatever. I ask for help.

My life has gone completely out of hand the past few months because of alcohol and I can't do it all by myself. "Hey, Buddy, can ya lend a hand to your pal here? Thanks, I sure could the help."

See? That wasn't so hard. And you know what? I'm still a tough guy. I just happen to have some tough friends to help me kick alcohol's sorry butt.

Hang in there, tough guy, we're all in this together.

Padraic
__________________
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Creekryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: CA desert
Posts: 1,599
Hey Creekryder,

I checked out your thread about the werewolf yesterday, and even watched the video someone posted a link to, and could relate one hundred percent to your analogy. It really is as if we have two personalities, one that wants a better life, and one that's too scared to chase it, so it wants us back in the throes of hell, where we feel more comfortable. After a while, the comfort gives out and we are miserable again, it happens over and over and we get used to it, we even find comfort in being miserable, drunk and lost out on the fringes of life.

I'm beginning to discover, after a few hundred attempts to get sober alone, that not asking for help has caused me to lose more years to the bottle than were necessary. I may be tough, but that doesn't mean I need to continue to be crazy. It's crazy to me to expect that the bottle would be easy to put down, after decades of drunken existence. That bottle became fixed to my lips, like a bugler at sunrise, I had to have a drink just to feel anything, good, bad, or just plain indifferent. And I wasn't alone in my misery, my best friends were drunks like me, the 8am type, the drink all day type, the party never ends type, you know who I mean. We were the "in" crowd, mainly because we were the only ones constantly living "in" the bar, lol. So you know I've been there.

You've been back and forth, like me, and I stumbled upon this little gem of wisdom about asking for help quite by accident, but it does lessen the load we carry if we get a hand from our friends. I'm proud to include you among my new group of friends and I hope, if you need someone to be there, that I'll be along shortly, as well as our other friends here at SR.
__________________
Today is a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone, what happens today depends on me.

Reach for the stars, but keep a ladder handy just in case you've got to climb a bit.
firestorm090 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
Looking For Myself...Sober
 
Aysha's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Where the heart is
Posts: 10,210
Blog Entries: 26
I like the tone of your post.
I too wasted so much time thinking I could do it alone.
I didnt want to be 'weak'.
But what was weak was my mind and my ego thinking I have the power to beat this crap all by myself.
Alot of times I didnt want to be a burden. But I was doing just that in the worst possible way by continueing my use. All because I let my pride get in the way.
What I didnt realize too was that pride went out the window a very long time ago.
There is nothing to be proud of when you are lost in addiction.
It takes alot of courage and strength to ask for help.
And can save people alot more pain and difficulty.
I am really happy for you.
You never know what another person may be going through until you ask. Keep it up.
__________________
Dont just count your days...Make your days count!


It may not get easier, But it will get better.
Aysha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 05:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by firestorm090 View Post
These are the thought patterns of my life, "I don't need any help, I'm a man's man, I take care of my own, I can handle it, I'll take care of it, blah blah blah," the thoughts whirl round and round.

I'm normally a fairly sharp guy, but lately have really been struggling at college, and in other areas of my life, trying to pull it all together. And you know what, for the first time in many years it's beginning to work. Now that's great news, but I have to ask, what's different today that is helping facilitate these positive changes in my life? The truth is I've started reaching out for help, and you know, it's ok, nobody seems to think less of me, and people actually seem to really want to extend a helping hand when asked. While I was drinking, just 22 days ago, I didn't really trust anyone, and thought I would handle it all by my itty bitty self. Hogwash.

Here's an example: I've really been beating myself ragged trying to catch up and get on track with my algebra class, but seemed to keep falling further and further behind. I got to class early today and caught my instructor in the breezeway before class, and mentioned my dilemma to him. He asked me to wait till after class and we'd talk. He took role in class, as always, then he surprised us all by asking if anyone else was having problems staying up with the course. At first, a couple hands went up, including mine, then others tentatively raised their hands. We were scheduled to have another exam this Thursday, but after looking around the class, our instructor said we need to spend more time on this section of study, so he'll put off the exam till next Tuesday. Well, I gotta tell, I felt like hopping out of my seat and yelling Hallelujah, but I just smiled. Seems I wasn't alone in my plight and that's the same in all areas of my life. My attempts to stay sober were just periods of time between drinks. I can't do it alone, and it took me a long time to figure that out, so I'm reaching out, here at SR, at AA meetings, and with my friends and family. I even, surprisingly have a couple of drinking buddies who are rooting for me to stay off the sauce, what does that tell ya about this ole drunk. I was a pretty bad case, but not today. Today, I've had plenty of coffee, and water, but just haven't had to pick up a drink today, and that's a miracle in and of itself.

I thought I was of the hopeless variety, but discovered it was just my ego telling me to handle it all by myself. Today, I don't have to try to do that, and that's ok with me.

Thanks SR for letting me post a few thoughts.
LOL I'm mister "I got it under control, I can stop anything, any time" and am stubborn - been that way since I was a kid. And my issues extend far beyond alcohol but its always there. My ego is my worst enemy with relationships, getting plastered and just about everything. Hang in there.
Wolf00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 05:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
Cause no harm
 
Creekryder's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 596
Blog Entries: 21
Firestorm, your words are like looking in a mirror for me. I understand completely what you are saying. The countless attempts and promises of quitting are like chapters in a ten-thousand page cheap novel...numerous and pale. Even my commitment this time is shadowed by events and occasions in the future that I know will test my resolve. A gallery reception where wine will be served, a dinner party at a co-worker's home where drinking is a paramount activity. The challenges are always going to be there. The battle continues.
We'll have to have help. I will need someone to cover my back.

Padraic
__________________
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Creekryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
Awaiting Email Confirmation
 

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,942
Good topic and excellent first post, firestorm.

At times I don't ask for help because I think I am the only one with the problem, and I don't want people to see that particular 'weakness' in me.

When in fact, others share the exct same problems.

All too often I compare the way I feel inside to the way someone else appears on the outside, as they are hiding their problems as well.

Additionally, I used to be a huge ego-maniac with a severe inferiority complex.
tommyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: CA desert
Posts: 1,599
Hey Wolf and Creekryder,

I'm just having my second cup of coffee, so I'm not bright eyed yet, but it sure is great not to be hungover and hacking my guts out. Just a cup of coffee and me, that's good stuff. Thanks for the help guys.

Creekryder, I know you have some tempting events coming at ya, and know the turmoil of watching others suck down a few drinks, and feeling like why can't I do that? Always wondering what's wrong with me that I can't just have a couple? Well, today it doesn't matter and I don't have time to figure it out, so I'm just gonna keep my track record in mind and say no for today. Another great thing about asking for help is that others, when they see we are sincerely trying, we are putting the jug down for today, they become our cheerleaders, and I need a ton of them, because my self-esteem is too low and fragile to do this by myself. Alcohol kicked the crap outta me and each time I hopped back into the ring, I got another beating. It's like a little puppy barking and growling at a huge grizzly bear, the bear could kill the pup in one swat, and that's kinda like me and the ole jug, it's just playing with me and could kill me with one swat, but it likes to play, to prolong the inevitable, till I"m writhing in pain and whipped into a bloody, smelly mess of a human being. But, others are there to pick us up and wash away the blood and bandage our wounds, then they will help us stay clear of the bear, they've got our backs. If confronted with superior force, the bear will wander off to safety. Why don't we? I'm tired of fighting with that ole bear, so I'm sticking with the people who helped bandage me up and get me on my feet again. Stick around and find some people to help keep you safe, cause you already know, it's a jungle out there, be careful and carry a big stick.
__________________
Today is a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone, what happens today depends on me.

Reach for the stars, but keep a ladder handy just in case you've got to climb a bit.
firestorm090 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
luckedog's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rural OK
Posts: 329
"Firestorm, your words are like looking in a mirror for me. I understand completely what you are saying. The countless attempts and promises of quitting are like chapters in a ten-thousand page cheap novel...numerous and pale."
Creekryder,I could have never said it that well, but it captures my sentiment exactly!!
Firestorm I'M with you. Relate TOTALLY! Hang in, your on the right track!
luckedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
coming_clean's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,351
I recognize the stubborness....and how relieving it can be to reach out and ask for help...

good post..
__________________
Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
coming_clean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: toronto
Posts: 12
there's nothing wrong with knowing that you can do something on your own... maybe some people cant, everyone is different and if aa or whatever is helpful to them than thats great.. but i know that holding hands and talking about god with a bunch of people who dont know anything about me or my problems will not help me at all... no one even comes close to understanding me except for myself...
Sara420 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
Follow Directions!
 
Tazman53's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Fredericksburg, Va.
Posts: 9,730
I know exactly where you all are coming from, I was raised to be a man!!! Some how I got this twisted idea that men did not ask for help, they just toughed it out and did it!! I spent way to many years being a man and trying to control and then quit drinking, I hated the weak useless man I saw in the mirror in the morning, he was nothing but a weak drunk who could not find the power to stop or control his drinking.

Alcohol took me to a place where I felt totally hopeless, I was standing on the edge of a cliff, if I continued to drink over I went and the bottom was a slow lonely death from alcohlism.

I was given the Gift Of Desperation!!! I was beaten by alcohol to the point of surrender, I finally was willing to ask for help, when I asked for help and held out my hand, it was taken by so many. I was led to freedom!!!

There is nothing in the world wrong with pride, but there is a difference between stupid pride and good pride, my stupid pride darn near killed me!
__________________
All BB quotes are from the First Edition of the BB

Follow directions!

Sobriety date 18 Sept. 2006

Sober today thanks to AA
Tazman53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 06:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: CA desert
Posts: 1,599
Thanks everyone for your support.

Sara, I know and have felt exactly the way you feel now, and have been that way for many, many years. I'm not a touchy, feely kinda guy, in fact it turns me off for the most part. But I remember going to the bar lots of times and having smelly drunks come up to me, try to give me a hug and say, hey, I luv ya man, blah blah blah, can ya buy me a drink? Get outta here. Now that was sincerely repulsive, but I tolerated it because I wanted that drink bad enough to put up with crap like that. I remember all too well the phony friendships over booze, then wondering why none of my drinking buddies called the next day, when I was broke and needed a drink so bad I would pawn my tv to get one. I've lived it, am not proud of it, but I don't have to live it today. If that means hanging out with people who want to hold hands, say a prayer, and talk about God, then that's ok today. I know I'm better off with them than with my ole drinking buddies, and I know, left alone for too long, that I'll end up right back at my old bar stool, pushing away the same old drunks I've known for years. Today, I'll just go to a meeting instead, and have a cup of coffee.

Thanks for your reply and I hope you can find a way that helps you find a better way to live.
__________________
Today is a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone, what happens today depends on me.

Reach for the stars, but keep a ladder handy just in case you've got to climb a bit.
firestorm090 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 07:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,095
Like others have mentioned, I too was raised with Western male, independent to a fault, don't need nothing from nobody, stand up for yourself, blue collar work ethic, work hard play hard, etc ideas.

None of them are necessarily bad ideas or beliefs. But after being beaten down by alcohol to the point of surrender, I got to look at some of those beliefs in a 4th step and beyond.

One great gift of my recovery is knowing that I'm not perfect, that I'm not all that good at some things, that I don't have to be the best at everything I do, that I get to be a member of the human race instead of standing outside and apart from it.

I thought I knew what being a man was, but really I was like a scared little boy, and I didn't even know I was scared. AA made a man out of me.
keithj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
Follow Directions!
 
Tazman53's Avatar
 

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Fredericksburg, Va.
Posts: 9,730
Sara I felt the exact same way at 20, 30, 40, & even at 50, at 52 standing inside the gates of a mental hell that I saw no escape from I finally accepted that I needed to ask for help or die.

Sara ask your self this question honestly, "If I can get and stay sober all by myself why am I postin on SR?"

I know what it is like to think I can do this without help, if you don't like AA that is fine with me, I hated it for many years because I thought it was just a bunch of old men sitting around drinking coffee and whining because they could not handle thier booze any more.

You are right about stting around with a bunch of people who know nothing about you, at my first meeting no one there knew a darn thing about me at my first meeting, except I looked like death warmed over in clean clothes, but the more meetings I went to the more I knew about them and the more they knew about me.

Think about it Sara, the first time you see a new doctor they know nothing about you, nor does a therapist, or a shrink, they have to learn about you and that takes time.
__________________
All BB quotes are from the First Edition of the BB

Follow directions!

Sobriety date 18 Sept. 2006

Sober today thanks to AA
Tazman53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: anaheim ca
Posts: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara420 View Post
there's nothing wrong with knowing that you can do something on your own... maybe some people cant, everyone is different and if aa or whatever is helpful to them than thats great.. but i know that holding hands and talking about god with a bunch of people who dont know anything about me or my problems will not help me at all... no one even comes close to understanding me except for myself...
so funny!!!:rotfxko standing around hoding hands talking about god..... if that whats your experience with aa is..... whatever works for you. the only thing that matter is that we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, no matter what program you use or dont use. LOL too funny. i love aa:rotfxko
soberat23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
Kez
Member
 
Kez's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: WA Perth
Posts: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by soberat23 View Post
so funny!!!:rotfxko standing around hoding hands talking about god..... if that whats your experience with aa is..... whatever works for you. the only thing that matter is that we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, no matter what program you use or dont use. LOL too funny. i love aa:rotfxko
LOL thanks for the laugh CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (no offence to you Sara at all)
Kez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
is ☞ optimistic.
 
Zencat's Avatar
 

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxnard (The Nard), CA, USA.
Posts: 7,975
Blog Entries: 11
I couldn't do it alone either. I needed an addiction treatment program and the encouragement from caring others to supported me in my personalized addiction treatment efforts. Being the once hopeless bottom dwelling variety of addict was a hollow and lonely existence. I don't want my recovery to be lonely experience.
__________________


Race Around Will
R.A.W. HO Slot Car Racing
Zencat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 09:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
Kez
Member
 
Kez's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: WA Perth
Posts: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
I couldn't do it alone either. .
same,, i did it alone a few times, i quit but eventually head straight back where we always go, but THIS time i dont want to go there again, so i am doing something different which is getting support from here and my natropath,, because THIS time I dont want to fall I want to succeed......
Kez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2009, 10:40 AM   #20 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: toronto
Posts: 12
this is exactly one of the reasons why you people cant understand or help me... you all think that substance abuse is "the problem" and if we all hold hands and and pray and somehow manage to stay sober than everything will be alright... well my substance abuse is a symptom of my problems, and I'm not really sure what what those are. And if i dont understand it, than no one else can either. until i figure out whats really wrong with me it wont make any difference if i'm sober or not.

im not sure if that was on-topic or not, but i had to get it out
Sara420 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:02 PM.