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Old 01-23-2011, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4 months sober and feeling pretty down


Today is 4 months sober! It has been a long, but productive, ride. I've got a job, I'm back in school, I'm paying off people I stole from, making amends, and all of the recovery stuff. I've been really down the last week or so and just wondering if sobriety is worth it. The only thing getting me through it is realizing that if I go back to using I'll have NOTHING. But at this point I'm having a hard time caring.

It's just such a rollercoaster ride. Two weeks ago I had the best week of my life and now after the last 7 hellacious days I'm wondering if I'm going crazy or if this is just part of the process. It's not the first time this has happened. And I KNOW that everytime I have these bad streaks I come out feeling better than ever, but it just doesn't seem like a fair trade off.

When do these 'promises' start coming true...
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats on 4 months! You've got more sober time than me so I don't know when things start to even out, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm feeling the roller coaster too. We have to keep in mind that it isn't worth it to go back. We'd just have to start our sobriety all over again, and those beginning days are hard. It is worth it, you quit for a reason I'm sure. Hope you stick with it.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hello jme, and welcome to SR. Congrats on your 4 months!!

I don't have any direct personal experience but my son did. It took a long time before he finally had enough. To make a long story short: he used for over 10 years, had the typical problems and issues related to that and ended up in jail a couple of times.

He lost everything but the shirt on his back and spent over a year in jail before he got serious about changing the course of his life.

That last time he used on the night of his last arrest...was his last time. He's been clean now for almost five years and his life is so much better. He's been married to a wonderful young lady for about 3 years & has a steady job.

The main thing (for me anyway) is that he got out in time before more serious problems arose...not to mention that he might not be alive if he hadn't found recovery when he did.

So...from a mom of an addict in recovery: Hang in there, it's worth it. You are worth it.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am 4 months sober as well (well, I will be Tuesday, at any rate!) and just finishing up the 8th step (still need to go over it with my sponsor).

Tell me a little about your program-- how have you been working the steps? What is your sponsor like? How often do you get to meetings? How is your relationship with your HP? I think all these things can play into how you are feeling at this stage in your recovery.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Congrats on the four months!

If you are working on your amends, you should start experiencing some of the Promises fairly soon. Are you working with a sponsor? What is he telling you?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is worth it. Don't try to force it too much. You are doing great. Exercise helped me a lot when I was at you're stage. The peeks and canyons will ultimately become easily manageable small hills and and level ground in between. You are in the process of making that happen.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onewithwings View Post
I am 4 months sober as well (well, I will be Tuesday, at any rate!) and just finishing up the 8th step (still need to go over it with my sponsor).

Tell me a little about your program-- how have you been working the steps? What is your sponsor like? How often do you get to meetings? How is your relationship with your HP? I think all these things can play into how you are feeling at this stage in your recovery.
Well I got out of inpatient and went directly to Intensive Outpatient. I got a sponsor about a week after I got out and we immediately started working the steps. I have had to cut back a little bit of my program because school started last week. But I call people every day, read the AA book, talk to my sponsor every day, hit 4 meetings a week, pray every morning and night.

My sponsor is very hands on, he holds me accountable and doesn't let me make any excuses which is great for me.

My relationship with my HP??? ummm.. it's a work in progress. I really don't know what to say. My "common sense" tells me there is no God. With all the different religions it makes me feel like it's all made up. But with that being said I'm going to church every week and like I said praying day and night.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is worth it. Don't try to force it too much. You are doing great. Exercise helped me a lot when I was at you're stage. The peeks and canyons will ultimately become easily manageable small hills and and level ground in between. You are in the process of making that happen.
Thanks for your support, it means a lot. I love instant gratification and having to work for this is really challenging. How long does it take for this emotional rollercoaster to level out?!?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The HP thing is hard for me too. I still just want to back out of many of the beliefs I have developed, thinking they are just too illogical, etc. Praying is a good step, though. Pray to whatever's there, whatever you've been told is there, whatever, just pray! I need to pray more, in earnest, it is easy to get caught up and just pray when you need things, and that is old behavior, IMO.

Glad to hear you have a sponsor who holds you accountable, I do too, it's nice to have someone who doesn't co-sign on your BS, it's a reality check for me.

I think the 9th step promises are supposed to come true after we make all our amends-- it's a process, I'm sure it doesn't happen overnight.

Hope you feel better!
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Depends on you own body chemistry, extent of prior abuse, nutrition etc. In general most people start to feel really good after a year. I soooo get the instant gratification mindset. For me, my natural maturation process was severely stunted. The only thing else I can add that may help is to make an effort to surround yourself with people you actually like and respect. Took me a little to figure out who those kind of people are, but I know I know it now. Welcome to the journey. You can't appreciate the sweet with out the bitter....
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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jme - the promises? Young man, you got a job, you're back at school... I think that's some promises starting to happen.

I'm coming up to 3 months and get these good and not so good weeks. I guess it is normal.

You're doing a great job with your meetings and prayer and all, things (feelings) will pick up.
vee
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome to sr!

I find meditation helps a great deal with balancing out ones life. I learned this from a friend who has 15 years sober and used to be a lead singer in a pretty successful rock and roll band.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome to our recovery community...

You are far ahead of where I was at 4 months
Congratulations on a solid beginning...

The 9th Step Promises started to come true for me
so slowly....I did not notice.
Step work was the key..

Forward we go...side by side
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Congrats on your four months sober. I see an addiction counselor once a week and it's been very helpful in all aspects of my life. If you don't start feeling better soon I'd recommend seeing a doctor to rule out physical causes. But as I say, counseling helps me a lot.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't believe there is anything "abnormal" about feeling down occasionally. Non-addicts feel crappy too. The difference is, they don't use it as an excuse to use or drink. Ride it out. You used the term rollercoaster. An apt description. You are at the bottom...the incline up is just ahead...

Hang in there.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:19 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Well I got out of inpatient and went directly to Intensive Outpatient. I got a sponsor about a week after I got out and we immediately started working the steps. I have had to cut back a little bit of my program because school started last week. But I call people every day, read the AA book, talk to my sponsor every day, hit 4 meetings a week, pray every morning and night.

My sponsor is very hands on, he holds me accountable and doesn't let me make any excuses which is great for me.

My relationship with my HP??? ummm.. it's a work in progress. I really don't know what to say. My "common sense" tells me there is no God. With all the different religions it makes me feel like it's all made up. But with that being said I'm going to church every week and like I said praying day and night.
JME hello, Sounds to me like your doing just great!! I stumbled and fell and slipped on that HP thing for almost five years. I would try and work the steps but it just wasn't working till I finally figured out that HP thing for myself. I won't go into the hows and whys I came up with this,but if your curious pm me and we can chat. What finally worked for me is; My HP whom I choose to call God is inside me! Not out in the universe somewhere. This way I know He hears my thoughts and prayers and speaks back to me as my conscience. This mainly allowed me to finally fully trust my HP and become friends with my conscience instead of it being my enemy. Then I was able to go back and really work the steps and they made sense to me. That was 14 years ago. I'm still sober,happy and comfortable in my own skin. As you'll hear at meetings "take what works and leave the rest" also applies to this forum.

All the best,

Ron
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I find myself often wondering, "When?" I feel like I am sometimes waiting on God to do something, and I get anxious when I wait. (I'm also a big fan of instant gratification.) But I'm trying to learn to be patient and just let things come to me. The way I see it, God works on his timetable, not mine. I believe if I continue to pray and ask God to work his will in my life, it will happen. He's given me no reason to believe otherwise. I may not always know what his will is, and sometimes it may not be revealed to me for quite some time. I drank and lived a ridiculous lifestyle for several years. I reckon it'll take a little while for my life to find a since of balance, an equilibrium.

Hang in there, homey. Often what we're looking for is right around the corner. We just have to make sure we're patient and paying attention.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Congrats on your 4 months!

Reading about what you did to get sober if very impressive. I'm also an AA'er so I think it's great you're in the program.

Look, you're not always going to feel great. That's not specific to alcoholism, drug addiction, AA, being sober or any of that.

That's life.

That's what every single human being that has ever walked this earth has felt. Ups and downs, triumphs and failures, wins and losses.

Heck, you might even wake up tomorrow and feel ok again. My advice to you is put in even more work into your sobriety and go help someone else.

Helping someone else works every time. Every time.

Pick your head up. You're in recovery. You're a walking, talking miracle. Keep putting that to good use.

You have MUCH to be grateful for.

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Depends on you own body chemistry, extent of prior abuse, nutrition etc. In general most people start to feel really good after a year. I soooo get the instant gratification mindset. For me, my natural maturation process was severely stunted. The only thing else I can add that may help is to make an effort to surround yourself with people you actually like and respect. Took me a little to figure out who those kind of people are, but I know I know it now. Welcome to the journey. You can't appreciate the sweet with out the bitter....
That's encouraging and at the same time a bummer. I have heard it takes around 6 months minimum for the whole brain chemistry thing to level out but for most people it's about a year. I don't know why I think I should be healed bodily and mentally after 4 months sober when I was using from age 14-22, not to mention a selfish S.O.B. since I was born :p I agree about the maturation process. I was going to live off of my parents money (that they don't have enough to support an addict/alcoholic) forever I thought. Why would I want to grow up if it takes work and I can depend on them??? hah.

I really don't like hanging out with people unfortunately, not because I don't like them but because I am not real comfortable in my own skin. It's not always like that but when I get down it's hard to get my mind off of myself and be social. That said I don't isolate anymore fortunately. I go out to eat Saturday mornings with a group of guys that are from my AA group and I like and respect them.

cant enjoy the sweet without the bitter?? I think you're dead on with that.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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jme:

Another thing you might want to consider is: the best seven days of your life, followed by the worst seven days of you life... and guess what? You didn't drink. You made it. It may not have been fun, but the PROGRESS is that you were able to identify that those seven days were tough, and you were able to make other decisions besides picking up a bottle.

That IS leveling out. There ARE different choices and you made them. Of course they are not easy, but you are not now living with the shame, guilt and remorse of a relapse. So on balance, your worst days sober are still better than your best days drunk. Can you see it?

There is a tiny little miracle going on inside you. Your body is healing itself. If we could heal ourselves overnight, there would be no alcoholics or drug addicts or AA. Yes? Whatever it is that is keeping you strong and moving forward... THAT is the miracle. That is the power greater than the desire to take the first drink. I don't know that it needs to be defined and labeled. Maybe just experience it for awhile and see how it reveals itself to you.

I believe instant gratification is a misnomer. It goes against the laws of the universe, particularly the third law of physics: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Instant gratification, then, supposes there is no equal and opposite reaction. All you have to do is turn around and consider the residual effects of your drinking to see that there is no truth in instant gratification. Keep that in mind the next time the Committee To Return to Drinking starts meeting in your head.

Pull back, keep it simple, and move one day at a time. The confidence you are gaining, day by day in yourself that you can do this, is well worth moving forward in spite of crappy days. When your brain begins to consider yesterday and tomorrow, pull yourself back to the moment. "Right now, I'm okay. I may not be doing back flips, but I'm sober."

That's all you need to do.

Hugs honey.
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