Asking for Help - Relapse

Old 10-29-2009, 11:22 AM
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Unhappy Asking for Help - Relapse

Hello All,

Hope all is well. A little background on me prior to my unloading my concerns but I am a 29 Year Old Male name is Sach and I am an alcholic ... and have been drinking for 3 years daily and of course at times to oblivion.

When I hit rock bottom (5 months ago) I decided enough was enough and I picked myself up went to a meeting and was dedicated to AA from that point. I had a rough detox at home with everything including DT's (mild) no hallucinations etc ... but massive ammounts of anxiety and depression.

I had been so involved in AA it was my life apart from working during the day. I was volunteering in so many things at my home group I found myself a sponsor read the big book at least 3 times. Things were getting better despite that depression anxiety always being there it was much better than the bottom I felt before I came into the rooms. Over time I started to feel better and due to work travelling and life responsibilities (getting married next year) I started to feel better and hadn't gone to a meeting in a couple weeks since I was out of town. Well long story short yesterday I had a drink .... I promised myself I would never do it again and 3 months ago you couldnt pay me enough money to touch alcohol and here I am writting with so much guilt over what I have done and pain. I had a few drinks last night after almsot 6 months of sobriety and feel so ashamed.

I am fearful of telling my sponsor since he has been so amazing and would be so disappointed in me, I once again proved I was an alcoholic as the desire to have more and more and more was incredible last night.

I am stuck here in a state of panic / fear afraid that since I drank I will have to go through the withdrawls and intense cravings once again. I can't not believe how foolish I was to do that ...

I am really seeing the imporance of the two most basic slogans "Keep coming back" and "Remember When" ...

I don't want to drink again I feel like hell from all the guilt ... in fact don't even know why I even bothered since the alcohol just made me more depressed and anxious ... arghhh I hate this disease ...

I would appreciate anyones thoughts ... I suppose I should talk to my sponsor of course and tell him ....

Is depression / anxiety normal even months after being sober ... I think this underlying issue is what I need to resolve all well.

Thanks for listening my thoughts are all over the place today.


Panicmansach "Alcoholic"
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:43 AM
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Being sober after drinking a lot brings a lot of changes. Changes in health, personality, and one of the changes is having to deal with our feelings. I too have a lot of depression and anxiety after three months sober. But then, I was diagnosed depressed many years ago.

Your feelings of anxiety and depression could be due to Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. The period of time after getting sober in which your body and brain are adjusting to normal functioning without alcohol. Can you see a doctor about the depression and anxiety? There are meds for both that can help.

I too relapsed after almost six months sober. The overwhelming shame and regret still bothers me. It doesn't do any good to beat yourself up over it though. You must forgive yourself and start over again. Don't give up. Start all over with a clean slate. Staying sober takes a lot of effort but is so worth it.

I'm glad you found us! This is a great place for support and good info.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:45 AM
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You're not alone... so many of us thought we were done with alcoholism only to find that it never really left.

I think you learned a hell of a lesson about how quick all the pain and anxiety returns no matter how long you've been perfectly sober. And I think for you to write about that is a good help and you should look at your early posts often to "remember when"

Try not to beat yourself up too much... its a big lesson yes, but one if you obsess about too much then its likely you may head out for some more alcohol to dull the pain... another big lesson!!

Stick around and post often. I, and many others, have been where you are and are happy to read what you have to say and offer help when we can.

Oh, tell your sponser. Do you think that everyone quit on their first try????
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:01 PM
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Thank you so much both for your replies. Your absolutley right the obsession is intensifying the urge and desire to drink again because I feel like the only way I can get rid of the guilt is to drink again but I KNOW that the moment I drink one it will turn into even more guilt .... I am trying not to beat myself up but I am certainley through with attempting to entertain those dumb thoughts which say "Ahh one drink aint gonna kill you just stop" ... its sooo silly because I knew I didn't want the taste or enjoyment of the drink right away I wantd the feeling that comes with it ... that "ahhhh" relaxed sedated state.

I sent a txt message to my sponsor who immediatley replied " Its ok we'll get through this together" ... I am heading to a meeting tonight and will get my desire chip once again ...

I feel perhaps this was a test from my higher power as I started to feel better slowly and I sucumbed to it ... oh well I know my high power forgives ...

PAWS is horrible ... I just hope for some serenity for longer stretches than just a few days in the early stages of sobriety.

Thanks and God Bless all,

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Old 10-29-2009, 12:16 PM
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I am glad you told your Sponsor, and from the reply you recieved, it sounds like you have a good one. Relapses just stink! We feel guilty on top of everything else, and it is usually that guilt that keeps us drinking. I am so happy you are jumping right back into recovery, it really is the only way. Please be kind to yourself, I personally don't know anyone(including myself) who hasn't had a set back (I have had enough for three people, my head is pretty thick). This disease will try all sorts of things to keep us out there, and guilt is one of its most powerful tools. hang in there, we are here for you.

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Old 10-29-2009, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by panicmansach View Post
...I once again proved I was an alcoholic as the desire to have more and more and more was incredible last night.
This is the key right here. Despite being sober for a few months, that craving (the physical allergy) was just as strong as ever. That's how it works with alcoholics like me. But I think you're missing the whole other component that proves your alcoholism: Despite your sincere desire and hard work and effort to not drink, you drank anyway.

This is described in Bill's Story of the Big Book. When he really wanted to get sober, and completely resolved himself to never drink again, he still got drunk a few more times. This is exactly how one moves into Step 2. Your post is an example of powerlessness. Defense must come from a higher power. Apologies to non-AA persons here. I'm speaking only in the context of AA.

The one thing lacking from your description of throwing yourself into AA was any mention of the spiritual awakening as the result of taking the 12 Steps. You mentioned reading the book, having a sponsor, going to meetings, doing service for your group. I can't tell you how many people I've seen relapse doing that exact same thing. And most everyone around them, including themselves, thinks they are doing the real deal. They are right in the middle of AA, and they are missing the whole thing.

I could be way off base here, but what step are you on? It's really all AA can offer anyone. The Big Book is just a set of precise directions to forming a conscious contact with a higher power of your own understanding. That's all it is.

Originally Posted by panicmansach View Post
I am really seeing the imporance of the two most basic slogans "Keep coming back" and "Remember When" ...
Personally, and I've been sober a while, I think these two slogans are crap. If I'm without defense (can not recall with sufficient force of memory the humiliation and suffering of even a week or month ago), coming back and remembering won't do squat for me. My own experience shows me the truth of that. I have got to connect with this higher power, or I'm doomed to drink again. Phrases like, 'Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path' and '...'-What do I have to do? It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done' are more likely to point you on the path.

What is the path? What, specifically, have we done in order to recover? That's where the answer is found. The path is the steps.

Yep, on my soapbox here. I sometimes get frustrated with the rooms of AA pushing everything except the program of AA. Some poor, hopeless drunk comes in and we feed him an easier, softer way of fellowship and comfort. And then we blame him when he gets drunk again. When really, we just haven't shown him the solution for the alcoholic described in our basic text.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:26 PM
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Ever wake up the morning after drinking to relieve the stress and say "Ahhhhhh what a relief those drinks were..."

LOL Nope, me neither
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:41 PM
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Relapse to me is going back to a chronic drinking and A thought pattern that tipifies what could be considered a active alcoholism. You slipped. Your not drinking daily, don't start again. Talk to your sponsor, be honest, with yourself most of all, and continue working your program. You don't have to tailspin or bottom out again unless you want to. It is a choice. Took me about 20 years (5 years of intellectually laboring over whether I had a problem) to get it. Relapses and slips are part of the game. You can look at it as a battle between, your old self and new self, drinking self and thinking self or as the saying goes straight up stinkin' thinkin'. You do have choice and can
pick your own bottom. At your age you have done minimal (if any) long term damage to your body. Your withdrawal experience tells me you were heavily chemically dependent; which also means you probably quickly go back that if you allow a full relapse to happen. Each subsiquent withdrawal increases the risk of some really nasty stuff happening. Off my high horse now. That kinda stuff scares me in a good way. Best of luck; sounds like your doing great to have gotten to 5 mo.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:59 PM
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Well, stop beating yourself up, very few of us make it without at least one relapse. In reading your thread i saw the magic words "I started feeling better and hadn't gone to a meeting in a couple of weeks...." And of course there's the litany of excuses - work traveling, life responsibilities, things are getting better, and so on. You set yourself up here, and the drink was the last step in the long process of relapse. I'm like Keith in that the slogans don't mean much to me. Now. Initially, they did. I kept coming back until I began to understand what recovery is all about. Now I keep going back because my recovery requires it.

You made a bad choice in drinking. Learn from it. Move on. You made a couple of good choices, too. You told your sponsor. (Were you really going to try and hide it from him?) And you came back to the program. Shows you've learned something along the way. I doubt this was a test from your higher power. It was simply a lesson in life, and it looks like you gained something from it.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:00 PM
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Hi Panicmansach

Welcome to SR - congratulations on your recovery time
lots of good advice here

Have you seen a doctor about your chronic anxiety, Sach?
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ElegantlyWasted View Post
Relapses and slips are part of the game. You can look at it as a battle between, your old self and new self,...
I don't know, Elegantly, to each his own, but that sounds miserable to me. Forever doing battle with that urge to drink, having a 'slip', getting back on the wagon, holding it together for a few months, over and over. Sounds exhausting.

The whole point of being recovered, in my view, is that I'm not fighting that battle any more. My experience has been that there isn't any old self left to do battle with. That old self has been remade, or reborn, if you like.

I see guys that have been doing that for 10-15 years. They're in recovery, then out, then back in for a while. It doesn't look fun, and they have very little that I want. If one wants more than just not to drink, some kind of fundamental change is required that goes way beyond resisting the urge to drink. And if that fundamental change can occur, the drinking is not an issue any more. This is where freedom can be experienced.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:28 PM
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Hi and Welcome,

I'm glad you posted and are back working on your sobriety.

For me, I had to get my depression diagnosed and properly treated in order to recover. The depression came long before the addiction in my case.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:02 PM
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how is your step work?
because if i was working with you id ask you everytime time i saw you.

thousands of meetings........thousands of cups to wash....doesnt and didnt keep this old drunk from his next drink.

i met a guy that was sick to death of me rolling around in my own misery and he told me of a program of recovery that.....if followed pricisely could and would remove my obssesion to drink......and i would recover.

having used up all avenues and reached the point of wanting to blow my head was an easy decision........just to prove him wrong.

i am/was a chronic alcoholic.....a vagrant......
the last hospital trip i was suffering from malnutrition and swollen liver.
the whites of my eyes and skin was yellow...
40lb underweight.....i stunk like a pole cat....and my feet were rotting.
i had to be restrained to the bed to get through delirium tremens.
i lost contact with my whole family and children..

and yet......given that desperate hopeless state......i recovered from alcoholism and didnt drink again.
gone 9 years......i dont want/need a drink.........the obsession is GONE.

why/how?.......i did the 12 steps with a sponsor with the same passion and vigor i did my drinking.....
a simple suggest program of action.....outlined in that book...alcoholics anonymous.

i also suffer with depression..........another illness
which i manage as best i can with support and advice from loved ones and close friends...sometimes doctors.
i dont consider my depression anything to do with my alcoholism....i treat that as a seperate illness..

i hear the word "battle" alot in threads here.
for me...i battled alcoholism for years and every time it whipped my ass.
once i surrendered and held my hands up....believe it or not it was a relief.
there aint no battle......only surrender........for me anyhow..

for this drunk the answer was the steps.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:04 PM
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:12 PM
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same planet...different world
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"the courage to change the things I can"

there it is. It takes great courage to admit when we mess up.
We alcoholics think we have top be perfect.

congratulations for doing the right thing!
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:59 AM
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your story sounds close to mine, but im trying to get thorough 2 days. im brand new to trying to quit, ive been drinking the same amount, a fourth of vodka every single night, but for 6 years instead of 3. ive only been able to go 24 hours without. im trying on my own.

god its so hard, i dont want to drink tonight but feel like im going to
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:12 AM
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Hi myxomatosis

Personally, I don't think anyone does this alone - but it's up to you what support network you choose.

You've made the first step - reaching out here.
All we can do is take it a day at a time

Keep posting.

Detox can sometimes prove difficult - please think about seeing a Dr.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:21 AM
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thank you, im so glad i was able to reply, i have been having trouble getting through on this site. im young, i dont know what im doing or what to do, i just know that i have to quit, 6 years of drinking to sleep, my heart hurts, my kidneys hurt, my blood pressure is insanely high. im going to die if i dont stop.

being able to go the 24 hours is a huge step for me, please help me get there, anyone. i dont know what to do besides keep trying

i would love to see a doctor, but i dont have health insurance, or alot of money. thats why i feel like im on my own on this, but also why im so so happy to have found this site.

Last edited by myxomatosis; 10-30-2009 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by panicmansach View Post
Is depression / anxiety normal even months after being sober ... I think this underlying issue is what I need to resolve all well.
I think so too.
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