Let's hear it for negativity!

Old 09-27-2009, 09:41 AM
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Let's hear it for negativity!

I hope I’m not giving the impression that my recovery is a picnic. Yeah…I’m doing better…but it’s not a bouquet of roses all the time. There are many times when I feel like complete sh!t and I want to give up.

I cried myself to sleep last night over many things. After a while I was crying just to cry.

I cried a little at work this morning. It happens.

I think I can see why so many people succumb to addiction. Feeling raw emotion is draining.

Nearly six months sober is a long time for me, but in terms of healing…I know I have a long way to go. I’m changing my entire life around. I’m not going to be “healed” in half a year.

I don’t know how to convey what it is I’m trying to say…just know this is my attempt at a hopeful message for those struggling. Getting well takes time…we didn’t fall into the hole overnight. It’s important to stick with healing even when giving up is the only thing you want to do.

To steal a remark from my therapist: when you feel sad/upset/utterly hopeless…it is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and it needs to be fixed. It’s a warning system.

Listen to your body and mind…take care of yourself.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:52 AM
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Bamboozle, congrats on nearly 6 months!!

I agree. Raw emotion is exhausting. And dealing with it without my crutch is even more exhausting. Now that I am sober, I have to deal with life and I haven't done that since high school.

I'm 37 now.

I always try to remember people on here saying, "Please be kind to yourself." I think that helps me put into perspective that we didn't become alcoholics overnight, so don't expect it to go away overnight.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:04 AM
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One of the things I had to learn was the receptors in the mind that receive emotion are the same receptors triggered by drugs, endorphins etc and that just like I can get addicted to heroin or alcohol, I get addicted to negative emotions, it's the exact same thing, so one of the things I do in sobriety, am doing, is remapping my brain.

I had to learn that since I was addicted to negativity I would unconsciously create and recreate situations that would generate negative emotions, that's why it said in recovery that suffering is optional, and we avoid the deliberate manufacture of misery.

The best, and quite frankly one of the only ways I know how to do that is to help others, it's not a matter of minimizing my emotions but being aware that they are usually lying to me. One way is they try to make me so miserable that taking a drink or drug is a good idea, the other is, the truth of the matter is I am addicted to negative emotions, that's why we so frequently sabotage ourselves, our lives and our relationships. We are comfortable being uncomfortable, suffering is our normal, that's why we drink and used was to "feel better".

It takes 90 days to break and change habits and I have read it takes a year to remap the receptors in the brain, so in that year I practice practice practice focusing on the positive, focusing on helping others, focusing on not thinking about myself, that's why they call Buddhism a practice, and why in the twelve steps it says we practice these principals, because we have to exercise those muscles.

Einstein said we cant fix the problem with the same level of thinking that caused the problem, and I needed to learn that dwelling in negative thoughts WAS the problem...literally....that's what's wrong with me, and so I need to realize that my thinking will lead me back to that place, my mind is not my friend.

It took me many many years of sobriety to learn this, and truthfully it was on hindsight, there was a period of years when all my dreams came true, I lived with a beautiful woman in a wonderful house, I spent 4 months a year on surf trips vacationing around the world, I was a quasi-well known sculptor, and I surfed or sculpted during my work shifts (I was a paramedic in a beach town) and I have never been so miserable in my life.

So if circumstances were enough to make me happy I would have been deliriously happy, but I was MISERABLE. So what did I learn from that experience?

That the truth of the matter is I didn't know how to be happy. The old timers had tried to explain that to me repeatedly but I didn't understand what they were trying to say.

How to Be Happy - wikiHow

In the 1970s, researchers followed people who'd won the lottery and found that a year after they'd hit the jackpot, they were no happier than the people who didn't. They called it hedonic adaptation, which suggests that we each have a baseline level of happiness. No matter what happens, good or bad, the effect on our happiness is only temporary and we tend to rebound to our baseline level. Some people have a higher baseline happiness level than others, and that can be attributed in part to genetics, but it's also largely influenced by how you think

In one study, two groups of people were asked to pick out a poster to take home. One group was asked to analyze their decision carefully, weighing the pros and cons, and the other group was told to listen to their gut. Two weeks later, the group that followed their gut was happier with their posters than the group that analyzed their decisions
So what these facts say to me is my brain is untrustworthy, it spends a great deal of time lying to me, and learning how to differentiate between the deliberate manufacture of misery and reality becomes of critical importance in my sobriety if I expect to either remain sober or have a happy contented life.

Feel your feelings by all means, but for me I have to realize that feelings aren't facts and that my emotional state has absolutely nothing to do with reality and has no bearing to what's actually happening in my life
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:36 AM
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Whatever it takes, congrats.
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:25 AM
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Crying is okay. Feeling those raw emotions and learning to deal with them is definitely okay. Congrats on almost 6 months, Bam!
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:48 AM
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:53 AM
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Congrats on six months! I understand what you're saying: I'd like my life to just 'become' wonderful all at once now that I'm sober, but it took longer than this for the habit to become very bad... so it will take some time to form new habits to replace the bad ones.

But a day at a time, it is getting better... despite my dk problems, things are starting to get better, more tolerable, anyway.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:25 PM
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PS One other thing I wanted to say, first I would like to say by no means was I minimizing what you are going through, it's very real, and very painful.

One saying I used to hear in AA meetings, don't worry about "getting in touch with your feelings" they will be getting in touch with you

We drank specifically to avoid them, so when my feelings started coming up I was helpless in their grip, they were bigger and stronger then I was and I had to learn to ride them out, my last post was the next step after that.

I'm very proud of you Bam, you are doing awesome and you are right where you are supposed to be.
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:10 PM
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It's an important message to convey, Bam - those of us who are newly sober should not become discouraged or disheartened. I kept waiting to feel fabulous & it took far more than 6 mos. I was on edge all the time, wondering if it was really going to last this time - wondering if I'd get through the holidays, vacation, etc. When a year passed and I still hadn't picked up, I felt very encouraged, because I knew I'd made it through most of my trigger times.

We really are learning to live again. We were numb for so long. I'm proud of you all, each and every one. No one knows how hard recovery is except for those of us who are living through it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:30 PM
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"Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while,
so that we can see Life with a clearer view..."love Oz..
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