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survival mechanism

Old 11-28-2009, 06:59 PM
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survival mechanism

substance abuse. usually when one thinks of the word 'abuse' and what it entails it's met with a desire to get as far away from it as possible and quickly. generally speaking, people who've been sexually or physically abused don't really have any immediate desire to be abused any longer. substance abuse is the only type of abuse that people (addicts) are drawn back to. personally, for me, alcohol actually supplied me with an identity. not exactly the identity i longed for growing up but still, an identity. although terrible, my alcohol abuse almost gave me a sense of purpose in a very sick way. you take it away from me and i feel as though i'm nothing more than a survival mechanism floating in and out of every day life attempting to resemble a 'normal' member of the human race. as an alcoholic i'm aware of how diseased my way of thinking can be. living a life without alcohol is very difficult. it's almost like someone cut off my right arm. obviously abstaining is the right thing to do but never in the history of doing the right thing has anything been so difficult. but then again, nobody ever said learning to live was easy.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:05 PM
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It's very difficult to change the way we live and they way we react to things JK - but there's hundreds of people here who prove it's possible.

My advice is keep it simple - try not to think too much and complicate things...keep reaching out...concentrate on the not drinking - everything else has a way of falling into place

D
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:13 PM
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Dee's advice is right on the mark.

We do understand how difficult it is, but for now, just focus on staying sober and things in your life will begin to work out.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:33 PM
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I know this is going to sound trite, jk, but please hang in there. It does get much easier to deal with the cravings over time. It's so very hard in the beginning...it's a race without a finish line...each minute...each hour...each day is a checkpoint. I had to fill up my time with sober activities and I slept as much as I could. I did therapy then and now. I've done a lot of crying.


Persistence got me through it...and after a while I wasn't racing.

Being sober is an adjustment that's worth it. I've made some personal gains since giving up the booze. I'm a lot more assertive and confident with myself. I have a ways to go but I now have a good start to a new life.

Come here as much as you need to for support and if you can find face to face support, in whatever form, please use it.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:35 PM
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Yea. That pretty well sums it up.
We all know how you feel and alot of us are going through the very same thing.
But we make it. Thats all you need to know, Is we can make it.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:43 PM
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I remember thinking similar things in the beginning-wondering who I would be without alcohol.I was terrified I'd be really boring and wouldn't be able to cope socially without it.I had a strong tendency to run ahead in my mind and 'awfulize' everything without actually knowing.

As Dee and others have said-at this point?It's best to just keep it simple.The first few days are rough and it's best to just focus on staying clean/sober and take care of the other stuff later.Every minute sober is a real triumph at this point, believe me, we know.

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Old 11-28-2009, 07:48 PM
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Red face

thanks everyone.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:01 PM
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Alcohol wove itself into the very fabric of my life.

it became my decision maker.....my upper.......my downer.
it became my persona i wanted to project......when really i was a frighten little boy inside..

remove that overnight..........and life becomes uncomfortable........the real me exposed...
i had know idea how to manage my own life.......or manage me.
I Expected to become a functional human being overnight.......it is only booze right?....

for some of us we needed and wanted a program of recovery......for some of us life gets better pretty quickly without it....
some went to therapists.......some went to aa.........some went to church.
some went back to booze unable to cope without the bottle.

for me it took time........to grow a new skin.............to learn new skills.
learn to except that its OK to admit I'm a frighten little boy.
deflate my ego a bit and reveal the real me.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:36 AM
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:48 AM
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This is the same thing I am coping with now that I am living clean. Who AM I?
I don't know how to feel, how to react to things without my old bag of tricks.
I look at my house and car and belongings and wonder why I have those things, that the don't fit me at all...I feel sort of numb and puzzled.

I was recently laid off, which doesn't help, since the identity of what I did for a living and being part of a team of coworkers was lost at the same time I got clean.

Then I had surgery...and a long homebound recovery further isolates me from my old life...my hobbies, even shopping etc and seeing the cashiers at the grocery store or whatever.

I really feel like the old me has been taken away, and I have no idea who the new me is.

I go to NA meetings at least once a day, and that much I DO know, that I am a recovering addict, and that through working my recovery program I will take a deep look at who I was and learn the possibilities of who I can become.

When I was using, I had all these things and ideas about who I was...that were tied up in using. I created a persona that allowed me to use, that hid my using from others, that allowed me to justify my using. "Look, I'm a good generous person, therefore I am allowed to do these things to relax, I need to do this so I can go out again tomorrow and be a good generous person..."

Now...that's all gone. The bumper stickers on my car make no sense to me. The collections I have seem stupid and pointless. The books I bought, I have no interest in reading.

It really helps me to go to meetings, listen, share if I come up against something that scares or stumps me...and listen to the responses. I see that this stage is common, others are going through it or have gone through it..and come out the other side a happier person with a better sense of purpose.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:28 AM
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HaHa

"nobody ever said learning to live was easy"

Yeah that aint no lie JK. But I must tell you the life I have today is far easier than I ever thought it could be. I always made life hard for some reason. It's because I'm an egomaniac by nature. I make myself and my life out to be so important every little detail overwhelms me.

I remember putting off doing my stepwork for the same reasons. Getting drunk, and calling my sponsor a day later. Telling him how hard the whole "recovery" deal has been for poor little helpless me. Especially the 4th step.

I'll never forget: He said "Ya this deal aint for sissies" Oohh that burned me up. But it was what I needed to hear. And even that didn't make me do my stepwork right away. Eventually alcohol beat me into a state of willingness I had never even dreamed of.

Today I look back at all the time I spent beating myself up, analyzing life, and trying to figure everything out. What a waste. AA has taught me how I feel isn't a result of what I've been thinking. It's the result of what I've been doing.

My job is small. His is big. (Higher Power). I just do the little things in front of me that he would have me do, and it makes life so much easier.

Best Wishes
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