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the grip of alcoholism

Old 04-21-2010, 12:48 PM
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the grip of alcoholism

day 17 without drink. I'm very relieved that the initial anxiety i had is no longer such a big problem.
since giving up drinking, I've felt alot better about myself. I no longer feel afraid. I no longer hate myself. my appetite is alot better, and i've got more energy. I also feel healthier, and despite eating more, and getting breakfast every morning, I've lost a tiny amount of weight. My sleep has also improved.

I'm going through a rough patch at home and at work right now. Its difficult to go into details, but my long term career situation is not stable (not due to alcohol, thank god!) but more as a result of the current financial climate. Every so often, at the end of the day, I feel completely wipped out, and a thought pops into my head 'wouldn't it be great to get a drink' 'you'll feel great' 'it'll help you relax'. I immediately stop myself, because i know all that is a lie! I wont feel great, i will become anxious, it won't help me relax, and my sleep will be ruined! I usually force myself to head to the gym and that helps.

I wouldnt call those 'cravings', more like disordered thoughts! I think after over 2 weeks off the drink, I shouldnt be physically dependant on alcohol anymore right? but why do i get those thoughts in the 1st place? I KNOW that they are false, I KNOW that alcohol does me more harm than good, yet can't stop myself feeling tempted. Thankfully, at this point of time, I'm far to afraid to slip up. is this a normal experience?
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:59 PM
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Yes, it's a normal experience.

The 'addict mind' doesn't want to give up and it won't give up. It will try to trick you into believing you need to drink or that it will be okay to drink. Just recognize the voice for what it is, hear it, and let it go.

You're doing great!
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:01 PM
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It's been normal for me. I've got a bit over four months and still have 'disordered thoughts'. I've had a lot of tries at sobriety but this time seems to be 'right' as I'm able to talk myself out of such thoughts/cravings without a problem. As long as you can get past the urge to drink you'll be ok. I think it's our long-standing habit to 'medicate' with alcohol so any times of stress your mind is going back to its old coping mechanism. Just don't fall for it. The addict voice is lying to you.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:05 PM
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I wouldnt call those 'cravings', more like disordered thoughts! I think after over 2 weeks off the drink, I shouldnt be physically dependant on alcohol anymore right? but why do i get those thoughts in the 1st place? I KNOW that they are false, I KNOW that alcohol does me more harm than good, yet can't stop myself feeling tempted. Thankfully, at this point of time, I'm far to afraid to slip up. is this a normal experience?
Oh yes, priceyjunk it is quite normal. I used to have those thoughts too, I didn't feel the physical craving for alcohol, but the escape it represented.
I think disordered thoughts is a good term for it. Your addict brain is trying to trick you into drinking.
My experience was that the more days I put between me (my brain) and my last drink, the less these disordered thoughts came.
Beth

Last edited by wicked; 04-21-2010 at 01:07 PM. Reason: add phrase for clarity
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:41 PM
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I've been feeling an urge to have a few beers the last day or so. I feel really confident that I won't give in this time, tho, now that I have some support here.

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:14 PM
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Thanks everyone for your words of support and encouragement. I keep wondering about these disordered thoughts. I know alcohol is bad for me, I know I'll regret drinking, I know that all i ever get are adverse psychological and physical effects. yet for me to get the urge to drink, my mind must on level see some benefit to using alcohol, but what could the benefits be?
I guess I'm trying to intellectualise the experience in order to cope with it.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:16 PM
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Hi priceyjunk.

I relate to "disordered thoughts" as what I experienced as an obsession of my mind. Fortunately my behaviors can be influenced by a greater desire to remain sober than to follow through with action on what I refer to as "stinking thinking".

For me, learning to live alcohol free took practice, patience and lots of persistence.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:43 PM
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Stay strong and great advice here! Those thoughts are just another one of alcohols nasty little tricks to suck us back in.

All the best!
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:48 PM
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First, it helps to realize alcoholism is a disease with no cure that we will live with the rest of our lives - Sounds simple huh?

You may have heard the word "cunning" as a descriptor. The thoughts that our mind uses to try and rationalize drinking are devious!

For me, keeping alcoholism simple in my mind worked the best. Just be willing to accept that we cannot drink today; string enough days, weeks, months and years together and it does get easier (the disorderly thoughts part.)

And by the way, the gym is an excellent diversion!

Take care,

Dave
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:45 PM
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First, thank you for the beginning of your first post which reinforced just some of the many reasons why living in recovery is so much better than drinking.

Second, it was and is important for me to understand that I drank alot, not just a little, but alot, and for a very long time. The notion that I would not have a knee jerk reaction to have a drink any time life gave me a hiccup (or even when it didn't!) took practice.

I had to learn that alcohol doesn't cure my problems - it isolated me from them, which didn't resolve anything and left me feeling physically and emotionally horrid on top of the problem still being there.

For me, re-centering my mind, body and emotions to break the habits that contributed to my dependency on alcohol had to change.

Exercise produces a surge in the body's endorphins (those chemical messengers in the brain) that increases positive feelings and reduces stress. Way to go on the gym choice! Keep at it.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:54 PM
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I started picturing a little drunk on my shoulder spewing those lies, oh how badly he wanted to convince me after X amount of days not drinking, I could have one or two to wind down.

I would picture him so I could laugh at him, call him a liar, then banish him.

It is not one or two I miss, it is the oblivion. To be free from my fears, angers, shames and loneliness, if only for a brief time.

I don't want to be oblivious ever again. I don't want alcohol to ever again have control. So I do what ever it takes to make it through each day sober as it comes.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:11 AM
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Thanks priceyjunk, I can relate to that *so* much. 18 days sober here, and all those same thoughts are assaulting me. Although I "squelch" them immediately, it sucks

I don't want to wake up again unable to remember what I did last night
I don't want to wake up again covered in puke and lying in ****
I don't want to spend another day lying in bed unable to move
I don't want to lose my job and my wife

I don't want another drink.
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