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Can of Worms

Old 04-24-2010, 10:15 PM
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Rev
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Can of Worms

Giving up drinking has opened a can of worms in my life. I want to change the very nature of how I live, now. I want some kind of accomplishment. I want to feel in control of how I live my life.

Drinking held me back. Feeling hungover was a great excuse to put off doing things. Now that I'm not hungover, I have no excuse, and I can feel a pressure building in me.

I have had a lifelong habit of avoiding. I procrastinate to the point where I feel helpless to change it sometimes. I bend over backward to avoid conflict with others, because of the anxiety it causes me to have people I rely on in life (either emotionally, or in some other way) angry at me. I have difficulty holding onto a routine, whether it's going to the gym, working on my book every day, keeping up the housework, whatever.

These are all things I want to change. I've always wanted to change them, but now I feel an almost panicked urgency about it. Anyone else feel this way when the fog of drinking was pushed aside?

Rev
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:42 PM
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I was so freaked out in early sobriety I just wanted to get through each day. Procrastination is one of my problems, avoidance, getting overwhelmed and the the ef-its...

I don't know Rev, I kind of liked the easy does it attitude in sobriety. That doesn't mean not doing, but not sweating it too much.

Well, can't sleep just now, so I thought I'd come on here. So that's my two cents, FWIW.... Meditation music helps.

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Old 04-24-2010, 11:00 PM
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I felt like that too, I had so many wrongs to right. The past year+ has been such a trip, and I have made big changes and gotten amazing things accomplished, BUT most of it was not of my doing, or in my time frame. The universe, my HP, what ever is out there brings things to me as I surrender. Now a days, I just try and ponder/meditate/journal and listen. The things that need doing get done. Wonderful new activities, people, hobbies, ideas and thought patterns have come in to my life without the need to chase them.

hmm, I may be to tired to make sense. . ., I'll stop now :P
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:49 PM
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Getting sober forced me to take a long hard look at myself and my life. Kind of scary to realize I had so many changes to make but I wanted to make the necessary changes and get on with my sober life.
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:45 AM
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I've always been pretty ok with getting things done, even when drunk, but I think one day at a time works for a lot of things, Rev.

I had a Pandoras Box of things I knew I'd drunk to try and 'control' - the fear they'd overwhelm me when sober, and the temptation to deal with them immediately to try and preempt that, was pretty darn strong.

Instead I listened to a lot of wise heads here who counselled me to walk before I could run - focus on the not drinking part first, then get to know who you are sober second, then start making some kind of to do list, mental or otherwise....

Now I can see if you're a procrastinator that might sound like it's pretty much putting stuff off but it's not...

it's learning to listen and trust your own inner voice, while taking counsel, and going through the various stages of recovery when it feels right to do so.

Don't worry - if you start to ruminate too much, there'll be a few friends here more than ready to lend you encouragement and cheer you on

D

Last edited by Dee74; 04-25-2010 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:08 AM
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Avoidance has been a major issue for me. Even now, I've set myself a target of 30 days booze free before I even try to reintegrate into society and get on with things. That, by definition, is procrastination but I see it as a necessary way to consolidate my sobriety.

In the past, once the depression had lifted, I'd have been back on the horse, laughing and joking about my antics, brushing it aside with a shake of the head, a grimace, then a cheeky smile before ordering a pint.


This time, by deliberately procrastinating, I've been able to put some distance between myself and temptation. Hopefully this method works and I know within myself that I've no desire to booze. The proof of the pudding will be in this week's tasting of getting out and about and facing up to life again.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:46 AM
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Hi Rev. I relate to a lot of what you said in your post about feeling the need to "accomplish" and how this can lead to panicking feelings if procrastination gets in the way. I also relate to what others are saying about giving yourself permission to take it easy right now. For me, giving myself permission to be low key right now has been a huge, huge help. I'm doing the bare minimum of what is "required" and filling the rest of the time however I feel will be good, in the moment -- reading posts here at SR, writing in a journal, walking, outings I would not have taken otherwise. I'm not pressing myself to work on my creative projects or other big endeavors. I read somewhere on the Internet that Raymond Carver, the famous short story writer, spent his first year of sobriety not writing (didn't see the point) and getting fat on doughnuts. He then went on to accomplish his greatest work. So, if I need a year without accomplishments, so be it. Getting to a place where I feel more comfortable in sobriety (I'm on 8 days now! woo! but it is a roller coaster (such a cliche but yes) of fear, hope, ease, temptation, shame, etc) will be a huge accomplishment in itself.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:51 AM
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Rev, very simply, just as it is said "one day at a time" make it also "one task at a time." There is no rule that says you have to get up and get everything done right now. One thing at a time, one step at a time is how we get there.

I know for me that even when I would just do ONE thing, I felt great. Then it gave me more courage to move on to the next.

Today I have strength that I didn't have over two years ago, the progress is amazing HOWEVER, I got there one step at a time. One second, one minute, one hour, one day and so on.

Take it easy, you'll get this. Be good to yourself too, you're already do awesome by taking steps to improve your life, you should be patting yourself on the back for that.

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Old 04-25-2010, 01:52 PM
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Sage advice. I do feel like I've woken up late for life, and therefore must rush. But I can see the advantage to not giving into that urgency. I AM doing important work in my life already, just not drinking. "One thing at a time." I'll try to keep that in the front of my mind in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks.

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Old 04-25-2010, 02:18 PM
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I can relate to the need to accomplish. Last weekend I was trying to find my life's purpose. I'm trying to take it easy too.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:42 PM
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Hmmm....:
I've always been a "jump in....think later" woman.
That's how I committed to AA recovery.

I had no idea if it would work...what they did...changes
expected. All I wanted to do was stop my depression.

me.....it's still an awesome adventure in self discovery
and I continue to grow as a person.
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:41 PM
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I've been going through some of those same feelings. The scariest thing is that when I used to "project " all of what needed to be done , I became overwhelmed ...and it seemed like opening a bottle was always the natural solution to relieve the anxiety.

These past few weeks sober have been productive compared to doing next to nothing when I was drinking, but I have to guard against comparing my accomplishments in these early days of sobriety with what I used to achieve with a healthy mind and body. That can be a real downer. It helps me to repeat the phrase I learned in meetings years ago; ...."progress, not perfection "

As long as we're moving forward in sobriety,

......... I have to trust everything will work out in time.

Patience, with my own affairs; has never been my strong point, so, for me, it really does take a leap of faith to believe time ( to heal ) is such an important factor right now.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:06 PM
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These are all things I want to change. I've always wanted to change them, but now I feel an almost panicked urgency about it. Anyone else feel this way when the fog of drinking was pushed aside?
I feel the same right now. I want to clean out closets, write my book, organize a bunch of pictures that i've been putting off for 2 years, and have my finances in order, yesterday. The good news is that I can do all this, but it can only happen one day at a time. so my main thing is to stay in today and do the next right thing as best I can
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:16 PM
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Rev, I feel the same way about sobriety. For me it is a bit overwhelming because I am now seeing clearly all the things I want to do and I no longer have the excuse of being drunk and saying - yeah....I will do it tomorrow. I also am learning how to handle stress with reaching for the bottle to numb my frustration, etc. It is a challenge since I used to just pour a drink to avoid confrontation and all I was doing was hurting myself. I have a flood of emotions about everything but I am doing tons of reading and learning new strategies and coping skills.

Its amazing what we discover about ourselves and our lives when we are sober. Definitely eye opening!

All the best!
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:32 PM
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My CBT counselor told me a story in early recovery, he is recovered himself. He said he worked in the leading rehab in UK and the 'funniest' thing was when patients came in, got a couple of weeks sober and then wanted every single health test under the sun and wanted to ring everyone telling them they were sober and he said a lot of the time was spent trying to stop them acting on the panicky, 'got to get it done now' behaviour.

The reason he said it was 'funny' is because here you got a guy who has drunk for 20 years, not looked after themselves at all and 2 weeks without a drink wants all tests and wants to know the best vitamins to take, what herbal tea should i drink etc...its the balance thing Rev and we don't have a good swing, we go from one extreme to the other...either we are hell bent on destruction or having to be the healthiest perfect being...and both are the same old compulsive, obsessive behaviour which is why as alcoholics we are just as insane drunk as dry until we make changes on the inside...

Take it easy, one day at a time, keep it simple...yeah cliche i know but the best way to move forward....and get some external f2f help:-)
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev View Post
Giving up drinking has opened a can of worms in my life. I want to change the very nature of how I live, now. I want some kind of accomplishment. I want to feel in control of how I live my life.

Drinking held me back. Feeling hungover was a great excuse to put off doing things. Now that I'm not hungover, I have no excuse, and I can feel a pressure building in me.

I have had a lifelong habit of avoiding. I procrastinate to the point where I feel helpless to change it sometimes. I bend over backward to avoid conflict with others, because of the anxiety it causes me to have people I rely on in life (either emotionally, or in some other way) angry at me. I have difficulty holding onto a routine, whether it's going to the gym, working on my book every day, keeping up the housework, whatever.

These are all things I want to change. I've always wanted to change them, but now I feel an almost panicked urgency about it. Anyone else feel this way when the fog of drinking was pushed aside?

Rev
Rev.. Recovery is a Long Process That Can Not Be Rushed IMHO.. in the last Six Months or so i have Become Aware of More and More Things That Need My Attention.. There is No Graduation From A.A. The Process Lasts Our Life Time!
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by yeahgr8 View Post
...its the balance thing Rev and we don't have a good swing, we go from one extreme to the other...either we are hell bent on destruction or having to be the healthiest perfect being...and both are the same old compulsive, obsessive behaviour which is why as alcoholics we are just as insane drunk as dry until we make changes on the inside...
That is it, isn't it? I can see the truth of it. It's all about running away from oneself, either by dialing out on a six pack, or trying to change everything so I won't be the same person. It's the same thing.

Man, but this is one big adventure! LOL

Thanks,

Rev
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