Better before attempting recovery?

Old 10-31-2009, 12:14 AM
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Better before attempting recovery?

I feel awful.

Did you ever relapse, (or whatever you choose to call it) then feel worse than before you drank?

I feel worse now that I drank again, after a couple days without drinking, than I did before I drank. I didn't drink alot tonight, and actually came home much earlier than usual, but still feel sick inside simply because I drank again.

When I drank all the time and didn't really want to recover, I just took the blows from my alcoholism and kept on going. Now that I know there is a better way, I keep stumbling and feeling like a fool each time I stumble, which is much different from when I didn't care so much about my drinking. Every time I drink now, regardless of the amount I consume, I feel like total crap. I've been on this website since February, 2009 and I'm wondering if I've learned anything at all, or if I'm just p!ssing in the wind. I hate drinking now, but I still seem to get a few days together without a drink, only to drink again. I don't know why, yet I keep donig the same things over and over again. I am crazy because of this.

I wish someone could tell me what the hell my problem is.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:22 AM
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Wow. I was sitting here at the keyboard wondering something very similar, afraid to post it.

I got nothing, but I'd sure like to know the answer too, FS.

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Old 10-31-2009, 12:26 AM
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You're an alcoholic Dallas.
I don't know precisely what going on inside your head - but in mine...

for a long time my life was crap whether I was drinking or not...but I kept on returning to drinking because, in my insanity, at least drinking only filled me with revulsion shame self loathing and guilt, not the sheer breaktaking terror of never drinking again.

I could deal with revulsion shame and guilt - fear not so much. The supreme irony for me was - I didn't want to cede control of my life to ...whatever.

I was a puking, mewling mess - and I was still so proud I didn't think anyone or anything else could do better.

That's genuine insanity right there.

You need to trust people D , not least of all yourself - yes, it will suck - probably for a much longer time than you want it to...

but it WILL get long as you stop thinking of drinking as a viable option.

We're all here to help.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:35 AM
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Thanks Dee and tb,

At this point, all I know is that drinking sucks and not drinking leaves me lost.
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:40 AM
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same goes for you Bubba

Think of it this way - we've drunk ourselves midway into a dark's gonna continue to be dark for a while while we're travelling onwards, but eventually we'll see the first glimmers of light....

if we're not drinking, at least we know that light won't be an oncoming train.

At this point, all I know is that drinking sucks and not drinking leaves me lost.
thats the pits yep....

and thats where the faith and trust come will get better, but...I'm sorry, not just yet.

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Old 10-31-2009, 12:50 AM
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D, I like the halfway in the tunnel idea. That's what it seems like, truly.

Just can't see myself being as happy as everybody with lots of time on this site, I suppose. Like it's for other people, just like happiness is for other people nowadays in my life.

I don't know. Sorry to jump in on your thread, FS. I been there where you're at too many times lately, and I really noticed that part about how it's different since trying to sober up. I been thinking about that a lot lately--like it's some evil Pandora's box I sometimes wish I'd never met.

And other times, I'm happy and on top of things, and that's the best feeling in the world, so I don't think about drinking or not drinking then. Then I fall, usually for no apparent reason.

Take care,
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:08 AM
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I don't want to hijack FS's thread either but...

Just can't see myself being as happy as everybody with lots of time on this site, I suppose. Like it's for other people, just like happiness is for other people nowadays in my life.
Your mistake is thinking you're the only person who ever felt like this TB.

I stayed sober for a long long time because I didn't want to die...I figured emptiness would be the price I'd pay for being alive.

But once I got the not drinking bit down, I was free to look at what else was going on....

I'm full of metaphor today...but it was like the tide went out and all the old stuff was revealed again...stuck right there in the muck.

I started to pick up the debris and build a new just happened...I got happy. Not overnight, and not so that I was aware it was happening, but it did. And it stayed.

I'd spent 30 years being unhappy. Even before my first drink.
Realising I wasn't anymore? That was a *spin*.

It will happen for you guys too - all you need is the commitment not to drink anymore... and the courage to accept that that's the tip of the iceberg.

And the patience.

LOTS of patience.

OK that's enough outa me LOL
go easy you guys

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Old 10-31-2009, 01:42 AM
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Part of the problem is that you are probably putting yourself into post acute abstinence withdrawal over and over again: I know, I did that over and over again.

I was a daily drinker and a binge drinker and I never experienced the state of abstinance withdrawal, because I drank everyday, I never went through withdrawal.

When we drink large amounts of alcohol for a period of time, our brain compensates for the depressant effect of alcohol by spiking up adrenaline-like activity. When we stop abruptly, the brain is still operating in that mode and that accounts for the sweats, the shakes and some of the more acute symptoms of detox: it is the brain still supplying the adrenaline rush. It takes the brain a while to discontinue that increased adrenaline like activity, sometimes up to a week.

Once we are past that first physically difficult stage, there is a longer period of abstinance withdrawal that lasts for weeks and even months. That is a more intellectual and mental form of withdrawal, including feeling depressed and being emotionally upset and having cravings.

Usually, when I would ask myself why I relapsed, it was because I wasn't working my program. My program isn't just AA, it is other things. When I didn't connect with my program every day, in whatever form it took, such as a yoga and meditation class, meeting my counselor, reading literature or calling my sponsor, I went back into old (drinking) ways of thinking.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post

and thats where the faith and trust come will get better
Hey Dallas and Thirty...

I thought I'd highlight what Dee said....

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Old 10-31-2009, 05:00 AM
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Every time I relapsed I always felt much worse than before I gave in. I've got that image of me, feeling like sh!t, fixed in my head so that I've got a deterrent built in for any time I get an urge to drink. I also remind myself that if I go back to drinking, I may not have any more recovery left in me and don't want to chance it.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:07 AM
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FS & Bubba, sorry you are both hurting - but SO much good stuff has already been said on this thread, I'm going to print it out & keep it to refer to. Dee - some of your most insightful & helpful observations, ever. You nailed it.

No need for me to repeat what's already been said, because it's perfect. I agree that it's the waiting that sucks. Waiting for the hopeful, joyful feeling that so many seem to have right out of the gate. I was too filled with anger, resentment, and fear to see any sort of brighter day on the horizon. The hopeful thoughts came creeping slowly in & a small candle was lit inside me. It only flickered for awhile, but finally began to glow brighter as my sober days started to add up. Many times I almost snuffed it out, but knew I couldn't go back into hell. My candle burns bright today, but it was a struggle. You are not alone.
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:35 AM
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Having faith is really important in early recovery. You need to believe and you need to take the leap of faith, that things will be okay.

I had to learn patience in early recovery and that was hard for me. After a few years of drinking, I wanted everything fixed at the moment. Of course, it didn't happen that way, it took time.

Keep trying and don't ever give up!
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:03 AM
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Did you ever relapse, (or whatever you choose to call it) then feel worse than before you drank?
Every single time. If that alone was enough to keep any of us sober, we wouldn't be here. I needed more help than simply 'not drinking' to ever have any hope to feel better and stop the madness that I was choosing to create.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:00 AM
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I felt worse after stopping drinking - for about 3 months. But then, I began to feel better - a LOT better. It just takes time. You've got to get over the physical and mental dependency -- and then work on the reasons why you drink (e.g. stress, anger, self-esteem, etc.). I posted last night that I am actually happy to not drink. At first, in self-reflection, I thought my own comment was B.S., but then I thought about it and I really am happier not to drink now -- and it is because I know how good it feels (plus all the tangible benefits in the family, work, health, etc.). Just focus on not drinking today and having faith that in time, it will get better.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by thirtybubba View Post
Like it's for other people, just like happiness is for other people nowadays in my life.
Along those lines, I used to think that support systems just happened to other people. Like they were worthy of a caring group of folks coming together to help them and I wasn't. But I realized this week that I had made my own support system! I have been seeing a counselor and a medical doctor, been honest with them, and took their advice. I have talked to a few good friends and been honest with them about my ups and my downs. I asked for help and I created a support system! And it is really helping, not overnight, but the more I acknowledge it, the better I feel. Whether it's AA or SMART or medical support or friends, it is up to us to reach out and get the support system, we are all worthy of it.

You guys can do this! I have been in a similar place for the last 8 months or so, but I kept trying new things and keep reading and learning at SR. I am slowly starting to believe in myself again. You will too.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:45 AM
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I don't think it's talked about enough - the feelings we have after the physical withdrawal. I went into rehab (to impress the judge for my DUI hearing) & once I detoxed they sent me home because insurance wouldn't pay for a long stay. I remember the feeling of desolation & despair. I felt totally kicked to the curb. I no longer had my friend to fall back on, but had no tools or skills to work with to begin my new life. It was so easy to fail again, to go running back to the only comfort I had known-to grab the quick fix instead of staying the course to see where it would lead.

It may take us months to feel as if we're getting somewhere, but every day is a tiny triumph and we are moving forward. We just don't realize it at the time. I look back over this past year & 9 mos. & I'm a completely different person from the shaking, terrified soul who poured her last beer down the drain. I promise, if you give yourself chance, you'll be like a flower unfolding in the sun.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:26 AM
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At this point, all I know is that drinking sucks and not drinking leaves me lost.
There used to be a saying around the rooms of AA:

"A head full of AA and a belly full of booze do not mix."

Now for you I think it could be more along the lines of:

"A head half full of recovery information and a belly full of booze do no mix."

What TB posted may also be part of it:

Just can't see myself being as happy as everybody with lots of time on this site, I suppose. Like it's for other people, just like happiness is for other people nowadays in my life.
I certainly couldn't. But I kept going to meetings because 1) I felt SAFE in them, probably the only place I did feel safe, 2) these folks were REAL. When they smiled it went all the way to their eyes. When they laughed it came from their gut, and when they cried it came from the heart, and 3) they gave me HOPE that maybe someday it could get better.

However, as anyone on these forums, with any length of recovery will tell you, it takes WORK, lots and lots of HARD WORK on ones self to get there.

I didn't put the plug in the jug and within a few weeks become Happy, Joyous, and Free. There were day, weeks, months at a time where I felt like I was plodding through muck, mire, and quicksand, and yes even sometimes when it felt like the alligators were biting my azz. But ................................ I kept moving forward and REFUSED to put alcohol and/or drugs in my body again. Why? Because even in the worst of times during those early years, there was no way I was going back to the HELL I had lived for all those years, this way was better, much better, even on my worst days.

Dallas, you have to make a decision and only you can do it, of which you want more. IF that decision is you want to be sober, then I would suggest for you, first a Detox and direct from Detox to a rehab program where you can get some direction, regimentation, real information about what is happening to your mind and body, and one on one counseling.

The choice is yours my friend. Do a "Pro and Con" List. No do two of them. One on the Pros and Cons of continuing to drink and one on the Pros and Cons of getting sober and staying sober.

By doing that, it might give you more incite into making YOUR decision.


Love and hugs,
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:00 AM
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Cool Just For Today

When i had problems with drinking and relapsing i deeply felt like living was useless, and dying just as useless as well. No way to win. Just kept losing.

I wanted to quit of course. Really did. I would get a few days in sober and suddenly *it* would only make *sense* to me if i had a drink to think things over. Insanity. As i drank, my thinking would clear up, and i felt better. It just made sense to drink and the longer i went without it, the more sense *it* made to drink again. Of course, i felt worse again later. Doing the math, it obviously was impossible for me to quit drinking from just wanting to quit.

So i stopped just wanting to quit. i stopped trying to stop. i stopped trying to get better. i stopped worrying about the whole thing. i gave up on *wanting* and began *accepting* that i was completely done. I was going to die slipping and sliding until i was dead, and all my misery was not going to stop it from happening. Inevitable. Just another drunk loser. So be it.

The thing is, the more i *truly* accepted my demise, the more i felt like living. The more i understood that i was at the end of my rope, the more could see that *drinking* was the thing killing me. Not my feelings. Not my thoughts. Not my loves. Not my hatreds. Not my failures. *Drinking* was killing me.

i could begin to see that *honest and rigourous* acceptance of my drinking was the very thing that i had not been doing. I would start off with looking at my drinking, but i would end up just looking at the mess of my life. My drinking always just became a troublesome thing in the scheme of things compared to the troubles in my life.

In those last days of my drinking i simply kept honest and true that *drinking* was my *only* problem of any importance. All my other problems were like nothing compared to my drinking. I still had them as problems, but now they seemed to be simple and understandable in a way that had always escaped me before. I could actually *see* how drinking would wreck any plans i may have had or not had. i was starting to see the truth of my miserable life.

i began to battle with my drinking in a different way. i just hour by hour stayed honest as to what was keeping me away from drinking and i would simply do what that required, no matter the cost or the insanity or the misery, what ever kept me away from drinking i would just do. Simple and direct. Not some big plan or anything special. Just whatever it took i did to stay away from drinking.

it worked, of course, for i am here today.

the last beer i had was just an hour before an addiction specialist was to examine me. i had finally asked for help from an organised source for my alcoholism. The specialist informed me i was suicidal and if i didn't off myself before my time, i would most likely be dead in five years anyways form drinking. i didn't care, to be honest. And it showed.

He offered a residential detox and treatment program, which with my new way of going about things, i just accepted. The bed would be opened on the Wednsday. It was a Friday then, i think. I went to my first AA meeting on the Sunday. Saw a few of my past drinking buddies there. Surprise surprise. On the Wednsday i entered the doors of the rehab, still not caring, just doing what it took to not drink. I never drank again.

Since July 1981 i have been an alcoholic drug addict who does not drink or use drugs. Before that, i slipped many years trying to quit, so i have been there, i remember.

My ESH for you today is just your *completely embracing* not picking up that drink will open a new path for you to journey. You don't have to care. And you don't have to figure it out. Just don't drink, follow the path from there into a supervised detox, AA, or whatever, and your drinking will be over.

Sound to simple and obvious? yeah, that is eactly what kept me from doing it for too many years. What a miserable fool i was from that blind ignorance.

Now i really do care about my life. I thought i did before of course, but i really didn't. i just *wanted* to care, i know that now.

i don't know what your problems are exactly. i hope you have a good day today. godspeed.

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Old 10-31-2009, 11:06 AM
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fabulous post robby robot.thank you.he has said it all guys!
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:36 PM
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I can totally relate FS. When I would "quit" and find myself visiting the dope man after a few days or weeks, it was euphoric when I was sitting with him toking up. Then I'd go out to my car and sit there with a bag in my lap and think WTF did I just do. I'd even cry about it somtimes, but I'd never throw it away. I can't tell you how many times I went through this. It's gotta be even harder for an alcoholic. At least I had to go out and activelly seek my pot. You can get alcohol just about everywhere, it is so easy to give in.

You might really want to consider giving some kind of formal program a try. AA, outpatient treatment, addiction therapy, or a combination. Just trying to "white knuckle" it doesn't seem to be cutting it for you, and you are certainly not alone there. For me, it was only when I started addressing the issues surrounding my use that I started making any progress at all. It still won't come easy, but if you at least have a "team" of some sort working with you, it can really help. Take care.
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