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Old 10-20-2009, 07:04 AM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Madison, WI
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Just joined, introducing myself

I found this site last month when I was really going nuts, but climbed back up a little by regulating my drinking. I can't seem to quit, my last drinks were 9 hours ago, so to try to stretch the hours in between, I registered here.

It's nice to read so many going through the different phases, I hope to make it someday. Right now I can't stand the sweats, night and day, that tell me I need more alcohol. I can't ignore the depression and anxiety that tell me alcohol will help, because it always does.

I just got reluctantly divorced yesterday, and am going to drop yet another class today. I've always drank, except for when having babies, but my little sister dying 2 years ago right as I was being diagnosed bipolar has sent me on this bad road...

I'm an atheist, where do I get willpower?
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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keep coming back to this forum, wether you relapse or not, this is a great place with great people..
Practice not-doing,
and everything will fall into place.
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR! Do check out the Secular forum at Secular Connections - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Lots of good people here and lots of good info on getting and staying sober.

Again, welcome!
I'd rather live in my car with my dogs than live in a castle without them.

Dogs may not be our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.

Don't wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day. -Albert Camus

Find the good and praise it. - Alex Haley

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Old 10-20-2009, 07:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi and Welcome,

I used alcohol to self-medicate too. It could be that your depression will left once you stop drinking. Alcohol is a depressant and can make things worse. Are you taking medication for depression and/or bipolar disorder? I had to get my depression treated before I was able to be motivated to stop drinking.

Please talk to your dr before continuing to detox. It can be very dangerous to detox from alcohol.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Williamson
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Any clean addict is a miracle and keeping the miracle alive
is an ongoing process of awareness, surrender, and growth
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:07 AM   #6 (permalink)

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I stopped taking my mood stabilizer a few months ago because I was drinking so much I wouldn't remember to take it consistently and it's long term side effects are kidney and liver problems. It didn't seem to work well anyway and my psych doctor is unwilling to change meds when I'm in a crisis situation. My healthcare makes it near impossible to change psychiatrists (I tried already for a second opinion and that Dr. recommended I stick with the first Dr.). So I guess I chose drinking over meds to reduce liver damage because it works better. He took away my antianxiety and sleeping meds when I became suicidal, even though those were the things that kept me from drinking.

Wow, thanks for making me realize I've got to try again for a new doctor...
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Alice, welcome.

I've found that you don't get willpower. Not in terms of bucking up and tapping my ego-self anyway.

As an atheist, do you feel any spiritual connection to something in your life? When you take a walk in the woods or something similar, is there a sense of wonder? When I was drinking I was totally disconnected from the beauty and soul of what was all around me. In strictly technical terms, I guess I'm an atheist as well. But through meditation, spending time outside, and working with others I feel a connection now to something greater than me, something mystical. To paraphrase Bill Plotkin, my conversation with the universe has gotten larger. I find God there. There's a poster on these boards who goes by Ago -- some of the stuff he's written on his atheism paints a picture of what I'm getting at rather well. There's also someone here who identifies as a pagan witch who draws her strength from Gaia, or Mother Earth. I think that's awesome too.

There's a strength in these connections that supersedes will. It's very powerful. My drinking and sense of constant unease I believe came from a long disconnect from that power. Finding it again has changed my relationship to both myself and those around me, where the urge to drink that dominated my entire life has faded into the distance. I've been rescued from myself; I've been rescued from my willpower.

There are many, many roads to finding this connection. Best wishes.

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Old 10-20-2009, 08:25 AM   #8 (permalink)

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Welcome AliceCaholic,

I am an atheist as well and have struggled with the concept of god in AA. The way I look at it, god is simply a concept for what makes you happy. It could be family, hobbies or whatever. I even heard of a guy in OP that had a goldfish as a higher power.....the counselors hoped the fish didn't die....... My point is I needed to find what makes me happy and what to strive for, and for me, that is my wife, starting a family, and simple projects around the house.

Keep coming back. I have greatly benefited from SR
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR AliceCaholic (I like the play on words!).

It sounds as though you are in the same spot I was, having to drink in order to function at all without going insane.

There is one big difference though, I had gone through the stage you are at now, you say that alcohol still works for you, well if your alcolism progresses like mine did, the alcohol will quit workiing as well, then I drank just because I had no choice but to drink.

Have you HONESTLY told your doctor how much you drink? How often you drink? What happens to you when you do not drink & what happens to you when you drink?

From what you describe you should really see a doctor. The doctor I saw told me that there was no way I could stop drinking SAFELY unless I was medically detoxed.

Once you get honest with your doctor then I would suggest a long term recovery program to help you stay sober.

BTW do not eleminate AA because of it's spirituality, I know quite a few aethiest and agnostics in AA. One can be quite spiritual without being religous, I count myself among those.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Taz is right Alice - eventually the alcohol ceases to work, and I don't wish that on anybody.

Pls think about dealing with this now. Don't talk yourself out of getting help - bottom line recovery is about acceptance - accepting you cannot drink alcohol, admitting that you have a problem and admitting that your addiction is controlling you.

You need to stop drinking - what support mechanism you use is up to you.
Here a link to several programs - do also check out the secular forum....they have more links down there


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Old 10-20-2009, 06:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Alice - we totally understand you. Keep reading SR. Talk to others. Go to AA or another group. Will power alone didn't help me, but there are many here and out there who want to help.
The New Me as of 1/11/09

Still searching for that darn wisdom to know the difference. Do you know where I can find some?
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:02 PM   #12 (permalink)

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Hey Alice...well so far, what I've learned thru AA etc, is that it's not about "will power" it's a "disease". Some people agree with that statement and, some don't. Maybe that'll make you feel better, it did me, b/c I felt like a failure so many times, every time I picked up a bottle after I told myself I wouldnt. I basically just checked myself into Detox a couple weekends ago, stayed for four days...it helped. The urge is there for sure...the good thing about dtox, is that it made me sober for awhile...so I had time to get my thoughts together, soberly, for the first time ever. They offer tons of counseling there as well...so you even come out feeling positive, although unsure to-least I was. But it's been about 10 days...the longest I've been sober, since I don't really remeber...7-8years.... Maybe Detox would be helpful..I know it's not easy, having to arrange your life...especially if you have work, children, etc. But if you can find a way, that's what I suggest. I never really thought it'd help. I'm not cured or anything...but I've been sober for 10 days; I'm just shocked and proud of myself. And if I should relapse, and I hope I won't, but I'll just write about it, think about it, try to find ways to not let it happen again and continue to move forward. The cool thing they teach you, is not to be ashamed...just keep trying. So I'm just going to keep trying, and pray for the best...and if you don't pray, then just hope for the best. I wish you the best for sure....
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