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Day 15. Pandora's box

Old 03-06-2010, 03:17 AM
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Fighting my Demons
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Post Day 15. Pandora's box

"Never trade what you want the most for what you want at the moment"

Recovery is like trying to close our own Pandora's alcoholic box. We gently press the cover down each day just a little bit more, each day fewer demons escape and tempt us a little bit less; but will be ever able to shut this box completely? I don't think so.

Years ago we opened it, maybe when we got drunk one time too many, maybe it happened with our first drink or maybe the urge to let the demons out was deep within us before we even knew the taste of alcohol. How does one define the point in ones life when there is no going back? Is there any sense in doing it? Would it help us to understand the root of this problem or would we just dwell on the past instead of moving forward...

For 15 days now, I am pressing down the cover of my Pandora's box, everyday new demon escapes, with new arguments why I should let alcohol back into my life. Some are weaker, but some have tremendous strength and great reasoning. I envy them. With these abilities I would be able to overcome every obstacle… But wait, these demons are part of me, their strength lies within me. Although, why is it so hard to gather this strength to embrace positive aspects of life and yet, so easy to use it for self-destruction. It's all about the rewards and satisfaction. With self-destructive behaviour they come so much quicker. Getting pissed takes few hours, getting a promotion at work, years. You got pissed, you are satisfied, you got a promotion, you already yearning to climb on the higher step of the corporate ladder. We don't give enough credit to our small successes, instead we focus on chase for more, more and more. Not embracing them enough drives us to wanting the instant satisfaction, the booze. Don't confuse embracing with celebrating though, oh yes, we do know how to celebrate, even the tinniest success, with booze.

15 days ago, I went to my neighbours party, I drunk so much that I woke up in my bed next day remembering maybe first 30 minutes of it. The embarrassment and fear of what I might have done, was too much (and yet, so well experienced in the past). Until day before yesterday I haven't spoken to her. I feared the worst. She knocked on my door with a big smile on her face, telling me what great time she's had and how much fun I am. The demon slipped out of the box, he told me "you see, I was right, you are so much fun when you drink, everybody loves you, the drink makes you funnier, it makes you interesting, it makes you who you are". I walked with this demon on my shoulder for a day or two, reasoning with it & listening to it's seductive whispers. He told me everything I wanted to hear, that I can have just a few drinks for a bit of courage, that I am not this awful drunk that does shameful things when under the influence, that I can stop when I choose to do so. Then I thought about the past two weeks and how good it feels to experience the world without regret. How great it is to have your heart free of pain, guilt and shame. How liberating is having control over my own life… and even though I have no doubt that others will come, today, I brushed this demon off my shoulder.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:51 AM
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Thanks for posting EllaBella. Nice one on 15 days sober too!

I think total acceptance that I am an alcoholic is crucial to my sobriety. I also think remembering that I will always be an alcoholic is crucial too... And that most other people aren't.

It's surprising how many people were calling me an alcoholic a good few years ago now. Remember I wasn't an all day every day drinker or anything like that... I just was just a wreckhead! Or so i used to say!

I know the awful feeling of anxiety and paranoia that you describe when you black out after 30 minutes at a party or whatever. I used to go to parties and not even remember that i went to a party untill someone told me. Then the flashbacks came haunting me, I reckon I probably weren't that bad in my behaviour other than obviously being totally utterly wasted, but it was the not knowing that used to eat me up inside.

You sound like you used booze as a medicine to help release your 'demons'. In my own experince this is what separates alcoholics from just binge-drinkers. I used to also drink away my demons... But it is only temporary and the demons are still there in the morning and they come back stronger.

It is possible to live each day and not crave or have any desire to drink booze or use drugs. This takes work on your own 'recovery' from alcoholism using a programme. I use AA, SR + much wisom from elsewhere.

Also though it's frightening how quickly you can go from not thinking about drinking for two+ months to, BAM, the old thoughts crop back up... That is because I am an alcoholic. But 'Just for today i will not drink'. The thoughts possess so much less ferocity and I can pinpoint why they are occuring. It is crucial that you are grounded in your acceptance when the old thought 'type' come back with a vengeance. certainly for this alcoholic anyway.

You are doing well and have the ability to express your feelings creatively and have your own slant on alcoholism/addiciton and i think this is really cool. SR is great for enabling your creative writing to be used positively!

Remember that alcoholism is a "thinking" and not a "drinking" problem. So it is your thinking that always takes you back to a drink. So it needs to be changed dramatically by embracing 'recovery'.

Keep The Faith x
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:22 AM
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AA 12 Steps
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -
that our lives had become unmanageable.

Well done on your sober time ...
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:44 AM
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Congrats on Day 15 Ella! you are so right about waking up free of guilt and dread, brush that bad-boy off your shoulder indeed, then stomp him with your heels. my personal demon is this deceptively pretty glass with cabernet swirling in the bottom...i've packed away my nice wine glasses in a cupboard I don't use daily so not to see them...(i'm on day 19 now).

reading your beautifully written post makes me think it would make a great movie...i can really visualize the conversation between you and your neighbor.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:08 AM
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That was beautiful, EllaBella - thank you so much. Even at 2 yrs. sober I have days when I think to myself I could have "a few" - surely I wouldn't blow it again!? Even though I know there's no such thing as a few for me. Why that thought would creep into my head when I feel so good & hopeful, I have no idea.

When we share our precious thoughts with each other it takes the sting out of this whole thing. Together we are courageous and invincible.

Congratulations on your Day 15, EllaBella!
Congratulations on your Day 19, Fandy!
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:25 AM
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Thank you!

Your honesty and eloquence are wonderful - I'm tagging your post for inspiration. Thanks so much!
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by EllaBella View Post
"Never trade what you want the most for what you want at the moment"
Thank you for this quote, and for such an insightful, thought provoking post. I completely understand the demon battle going on, I have had it many times myself - either in my head or with my friends. A few of them have tried to tell me exactly what you have said in your post, "It's okay to have one or two to take off the edge". In the past many of my friends have said "We like drunk Omega, drunk Omega is fun!"

I used to cave to their comments, just to be "fun" and fit in. But as each sober day passes, I look at the way I interact with people, and realize that sober me is fun, too. I'm just not over the top crazy when I am sober. The longer I am sober, the more I realize that "over the top crazy" is not a good thing - it is that over the top craziness that puts me in dangerous situations like wandering around downtown by myself at 3:00 AM looking for a taxi. Or worse.

Yes, one or two does take off the edge, but once that edge is gone I also no longer have any boundaries. That's the point where I am in trouble the most. My logical reasoning is gone completely, and it isn't until drink 6 or 7 or more that I realize I am in the exact place that I am fighting so hard to not be in. By then it is too late because the voice in my head then says "Well, you really screwed up. Since you can't change what you have done, you might as well make the most of it and start over tomorrow." I follow up on that voice by consuming another drink. Past attempts at sobriety had me even saying to myself "This is your week off of abstinence, so go ahead and drink until Sunday, then you can begin again."

Lately as I have been examining myself more and more, I realize how scary it is that some liquid can make a normally intelligent person into such a delusional person.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:00 PM
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Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments & 'Thanks'! You're a lovely bunch!

Neo, valid points all over.

Originally Posted by NEOMARXIST View Post

You sound like you used booze as a medicine to help release your 'demons'. In my own experince this is what separates alcoholics from just binge-drinkers. I used to also drink away my demons... But it is only temporary and the demons are still there in the morning and they come back stronger.
I don't think that I understand fully what you're trying to say here, are u saying that drinking 'to release demons' is binge drinking and 'drinking your demons away' is alcoholism? Sorry if I misunderstood, please clarify

Originally Posted by NEOMARXIST View Post
You are doing well and have the ability to express your feelings creatively and have your own slant on alcoholism/addiciton and i think this is really cool. SR is great for enabling your creative writing to be used positively!
Thank you so much, it really makes me so much happier to be able to express myself through writing and to hear your comments. It makes me feel heard and is also giving me a chance, to put my 2 cents into the support pot.

Originally Posted by CarolD View Post
AA 12 Steps
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -
that our lives had become unmanageable.
I guess I'm going through the 12 steps even unknowingly ;-) Thanks for the warm words Carol

Originally Posted by Fandy View Post
Congrats on Day 15 Ella! you are so right about waking up free of guilt and dread, brush that bad-boy off your shoulder indeed, then stomp him with your heels. my personal demon is this deceptively pretty glass with cabernet swirling in the bottom...i've packed away my nice wine glasses in a cupboard I don't use daily so not to see them...(i'm on day 19 now).

reading your beautifully written post makes me think it would make a great movie...i can really visualize the conversation between you and your neighbor.
Thank you Fandy, for great support and wonderful complements! I know what you mean, I recently got as a gift a set of beautiful wine and champagne glasses… still standing on my shelve though… risky business, might follow your steps Congrats on day 19! And I do love my heels, will squash this little bug!

Originally Posted by Hevyn View Post

When we share our precious thoughts with each other it takes the sting out of this whole thing. Together we are courageous and invincible.
Beautifully put Hevyn! I agree, solidarity gives us tremendous strength. Thank you for reading and 'seeing', even at 2 years sober, congrats on that btw!

Originally Posted by crayola View Post
Your honesty and eloquence are wonderful - I'm tagging your post for inspiration. Thanks so much!
Thank you Crayola, can't remember when someone called me honest (drinking makes you wrap these little lies around everything) or when I felt that way, what a lovely feeling. Thank you!

Originally Posted by Omega10 View Post

Lately as I have been examining myself more and more, I realize how scary it is that some liquid can make a normally intelligent person into such a delusional person.
It is scary, isn't it? The delusional part even makes you think, that you are even more intelligent while you drunk… I suggest recording yourself on video… Oh my, when I've seen my philosophical monologue during the blackout my heart went into spasms of shame. I read a lot on SR about lack of support from friends, makes me wonder, are they our real friends that just lack knowledge about this problem or are they not worth our friendship, since they don't have a problem seeing us, well, eventually, killing ourselves….? just a thought.

Thank you all for the wonderful input, words of support and great food for thought! Wouldn't be here without you guys

E.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:15 PM
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Simply put; using/viewing drink as a solution to life tends to be a common theme amongst alcoholics.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by NEOMARXIST View Post
Simply put; using/viewing drink as a solution to life tends to be a common theme amongst alcoholics.
Oh yes, that I do understand very well!
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