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Old 10-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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cycles


Hilltopper got me thinking about the cycle some of us go through with drinking. How we stop for a few days, feel great... and then reward ourselves with a drink again. Besides the addiction part, I've been thinking about something else.

Sometimes I wonder if I drink after a few days so I can feel bad to appreciate feeling good again. I know this sounds nuts, but hear me out. After a few days of feeling good, I sort of lose my perspective as to what "good" feels like. It doesn't feel "good" to feel sober, it just feels normal. But if I get tanked and get all hungover...boy, the next morning I'm NOT... feels fabulous! There's probably something deeper goin on here, but it's a starting point. Thoughts?

(That smiley icon has absolutely no relevance...just wanted to try it.)
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you're pretty spot on. We get used to operating between dual extremes. We're building up an emotional tolerance in parallel with a substance tolerance. It was like I was circling the drain -- which was for me a big spiritual hole -- in bigger and bigger arcs.

When I had about 40 days sober I told my sponsor I thought I was going crazy -- everything seemed too plain and simple, like something had to be missing. He said, "no, your just feeling normal."

I've grown to like it. And there are still moments of great excitement and amazement, and now when they pass, I no longer lose the perspective you mentioned.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with you Mirage.

I would stop drinking for a few days and then begin to feel uneasy. And, I would turn back to drinking, over and over again. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I finally realized that the thought of succeeding and feeling good about myself, scared me so much. I had grown used to failing and having negative feelings about myself. It felt comfortable. Feeling good was 'way out there'. I really had to take a leap of faith to get out of that cycle.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirage View Post
Hilltopper got me thinking about the cycle some of us go through with drinking. How we stop for a few days, feel great... and then reward ourselves with a drink again. Besides the addiction part, I've been thinking about something else.

Sometimes I wonder if I drink after a few days so I can feel bad to appreciate feeling good again. I know this sounds nuts, but hear me out. After a few days of feeling good, I sort of lose my perspective as to what "good" feels like. It doesn't feel "good" to feel sober, it just feels normal. But if I get tanked and get all hungover...boy, the next morning I'm NOT... feels fabulous! There's probably something deeper goin on here, but it's a starting point. Thoughts?

(That smiley icon has absolutely no relevance...just wanted to try it.)
A big part of my recovery was finding new 'rewards' in life other than drinking. Also new coping skills. Those were probably the two biggest reasons for my drinking on a lot of occasions. To reward myself for things like (this is how sick I was...) going to the gym, cleaning my house, working hard that day, dealing with stressful situations.. whatever. In terms of drinking to cope.. meaning drinking to deal with boredom, sadness, excitement, celebration, anger, the wind blowing, the sun coming up.. you get my drift.

In active addiction I never thought of the negative consequences as a deterrent for future drinking, had I been able to do that, I probably wouldn't have gotten drunk again after my first hangover, my first lock up in jail/detox, my first car wreck, my first drunken break up... Obviously negative consequences of just one more hangover wouldn't deter me from more drinking, hasn't yet! Seems a bit counterproductive to quit an addiction by engaging in said addicition to feel the negative consequences..huh? That, to me, makes about as much sense as me going out right now, snorting up an 8 ball of coke and dealing with the negatives for a few days so I wouldn't do it again. lol.. holy rationalization to use, batman!!! to me it was much easier to stop drinking by actually stopping drinking. Who'da thunk it?

Interesting.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I never deliberately drank to feel worse (so that I could later feel good about being sober). It was either about having fun or dealing with some negative state of mind (fear, loneliness, anxiety, stress). And I never planned on going on three day benders either.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gravity, don't get me wrong. I'm not deliberately thinking, "I feel too good, I need to feel crappy tomorrow". It's just to what I've become accustomed. The "dual extremes" that chrisinautin mentioned. I think I've got some of what Anna was talkin about, too. I'm used to beating myself up about it. Not sure what life is like without that.

I understand feeling like crap...and I understand feeling great about not feeling like crap...but just "being"? I don't get that. I'm just sorting it out, out loud. (This is my version of "out loud". ha.)
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A pro told me that a lot of people have that feeling.
The kick that you get when you are feeling like **** and then the the feeling you get after the first sip. l recognise it.
Or wrecking a lot of things in your life and then trying to put it together again.
Sounds familiar.

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Old 10-10-2009, 02:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with what you're saying Mirage and although I don't see it so much in myself with the drinking, or maybe I do? Like sometimes (like NOW) I just feel so numb for so long and I KNOW that once I drink something is going to get really stirred up and I'll feel SOMETHING again. It really doesn't matter whether or not the results are predictably good OR bad. As long as it's SOMETHING to get me out of THIS. Everyday life is just so fricking BORING. Does anyone else feel this way?

When I was younger, before I developed the more serious side of my alcoholism, I recall telling a friend who was trying to cheer me up that it was OK, that I LIKED it when I was sad, and I even liked it when I cry, because that way I knew I was ALIVE. He thought I was CRAZY because he didn't understand that I didn't NEED to be cheered up. Feeling was feeling, either one side of the spectrum (happiness) or the other (sadness).

What a great post. Thanks for sharing! I needed that. But wait, what's the alternative now to going out to get hammered in order to frickin' feel something? I've been numb this ENTIRE year. HELP!
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for your post mirage. I used to operate on two levels:

the conscious one after a period of abstinence

'I feel so good now - I must have overreacted - you're being foolish - you don't have a problem'.....

and a deeper level Anna mentioned...I'd been dealing with life by not dealing with it for so long, that being sober - feeling, no buffers - was strange and uncomfortable... sometimes even frightening.

To my irrational mind then, drinking was a measure of control to me (even tho I often got frighteningly out of control doing it) it was my way of controlling my own personal environment.

Getting sober meant facing a lot more than just not drinking.

Still the best thing I ever did tho
D
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes Learn, that's exactly what I'm talkin about and how I feel. Problem is, it only takes a few days for me to get to that point. Then I'm ready to feel somethin again..even if it's a headache and regret. At least it's somethin. And then I can swear it off and get feeling really good the day after the hangover.

Wow, that really sucks, doesn't it? Geez..I have some work to do! Thanks all for your responses...they really do help me figure things out.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I can really empathize with this thread & its helpful. I've been feeling better on day 3 & then drinking again to celebrate what i done & that i've proved that i can do it!
It all gets very wild after day 3, the feeling of normality, no drug of any kind in my body to make me feel normal & that actually feeling normal (drunk or high) has been my normality for years.
I guess its being so used to anesthetizing myself from life for so long.
Each Sunday i start my 3 or 4 days, i just want to know how, when i want to reward myself, when i feel good & clear, yet agitated & ratty & argumentative & a bit scared of being straight, & when i know that going to 5,6,7 days etc, do i say no to my reward that at day 3-4 i so crave!
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I truly believe life in general travels in cycles. We just need to learn how to hang on for the ride....without a drink/drug in our hand.

Good Thread!
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