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15 days sober, obsessions, fight or flight, adrenaline rush

Old 09-13-2012, 12:15 PM
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15 days sober, obsessions, fight or flight, adrenaline rush

I posted about this in the mental health forum, but I'm not sure it actually qualifies for that? Or if it's more of a newly-sober issue.

I'm 15 days sober and yesterday I started obsessing about an ex. This "ex" was more of a fling that lasted a few weeks, and the whole thing took place about a year 1/2 ago. This person's completely unstable (I suspect borderline personality from all I've read but what do I know), unpredictable, worshipped me one minute and reviled me the next. Completely emotionally unavailable, and contact with her brings responses ranging from immediate replies eager to see me, to short, curt, thinly veiled hostility to sometimes nothing at all. No argument has to take place, no altercation; just utter unpredictability from her end.

So I'm not trying to make this a post about a relationship; this is certainly no relationship and I'm not trying to make it one - and I know that has it's own section anyway. I'm not asking for advice with this actual person, at all.

What I'm really getting at is that attempts at correspondence with this person, and whether or not we actually end up planning to get together (which one of us always bails on), always - ALWAYS - causes a fight-or-flight reaction in me.

That is the only thing that stays consistent - it produces an affect. I'm not trying to "date" this person now, which is all the more reason why I don't know what I'm doing when I reach out to contact them. Or, maybe I do...

This must sound absolutely ridiculous, because as I'm writing it I'm thinking how crazy this is.

So, here it is- I obsess about this person off and on, which is a bit of a rush because I know it's entering the danger zone; and when I am obsessing, I ultimately drive myself to call, email or text them. It's like the rush I feel afterwards is invigorating. The fight-or-flight thing, because I know I'm most likely making a mistake doing this, and I don't know if I'm going to get a nasty response, or a response where I'm up on the pedestal again (for a minute).

I have no intention of trying to form a "relationship" with this person; I'm not that out to lunch. I don't think this is about this person at all, it's about me. I guess I'm wondering that now that this is kicking in after 15 days of sobriety, if I'm replacing the alcohol high with this rush of adrenaline brought about by doing something I know will likely kick me in the ass.

OMG reading everything I just wrote... I sound like I'm completely insane...

I just realized it sounds a lot like a form of a gambling addiction. This whole twisted ritual is a crapshoot of which emotion will drop down the slot after I pull the handle. Either the painful rebuff bruising my ego, which can really screw me up, or the elated high of feeling momentarily idolized, the risk of which always causes the guaranteed adrenaline rush while I wait. And maybe the biggest telltale sign of all is that the only possible results from contacting this person are one of those two extremes.

I'm suspecting that all this is is an elaborate ruse concocted by my Addict Voice to get its "fix". Switching the alcohol high for the adrenaline high.

Damn, writing this all out has been more therapeutic than anything else I've tried so far...
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:43 PM
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My addictions manifest themselves in a variety of different ways backbeat, but obsession is at the base of them all.

It doesn't sound like there's much good to be had from this communication, for either of you....I reckon there's got be healthier ways to feel exhilarated

what are you doing for your recovery, backbeat?

D
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:02 PM
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Thanks Dee74. No, I know there's no good to be had. I guess I'm just curious to hear if anyone else deals with this and why it happens. Its relationship to addiction.

What I'm doing for my recovery is spending time on here, talking to my therapist, meditating, getting involved in sober things (Buddhist retreat and a photography workshop) and not drinking.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:08 PM
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If it helps, I find my obsessions are much less these days - and when they do occur it's usually on good healthy stuff...or at least harmless stuff like a new music artist or TV programme I like.

Guess we can actually teach us new dogs a few new tricks

D
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:32 PM
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I don't think that sounds crazy backbeat... though it does sound like incident hunger... Your Inner Coaching Voice, No. 10: Incident Hunger « Michèle Taylor Coach

I had to get rid of at least one relationship which always caused drama in my life in order to find the peace I needed to stay sober.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:27 PM
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My guess about your obsession with your ex has to do with you being newly sober.
That happens and its normal. When I first got sober I often confused the two. I quit because of a guy, got sober because of a guy, relaped because of a guy then quit for myself. Being newly sober definately messes with your head. You try to blame other people or situations but thats the addiction talking. Obsession is also the addiction talking. Give yourself 3 months to think and breath. Thats how long it takes most people to think clearly. It's a scary ride but you can do it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by backbeat View Post
I posted about this in the mental health forum, but I'm not sure it actually qualifies for that? Or if it's more of a newly-sober issue.

I'm 15 days sober and yesterday I started obsessing about an ex. This "ex" was more of a fling that lasted a few weeks, and the whole thing took place about a year 1/2 ago. This person's completely unstable (I suspect borderline personality from all I've read but what do I know), unpredictable, worshipped me one minute and reviled me the next. Completely emotionally unavailable, and contact with her brings responses ranging from immediate replies eager to see me, to short, curt, thinly veiled hostility to sometimes nothing at all. No argument has to take place, no altercation; just utter unpredictability from her end.

So I'm not trying to make this a post about a relationship; this is certainly no relationship and I'm not trying to make it one - and I know that has it's own section anyway. I'm not asking for advice with this actual person, at all.

What I'm really getting at is that attempts at correspondence with this person, and whether or not we actually end up planning to get together (which one of us always bails on), always - ALWAYS - causes a fight-or-flight reaction in me.

That is the only thing that stays consistent - it produces an affect. I'm not trying to "date" this person now, which is all the more reason why I don't know what I'm doing when I reach out to contact them. Or, maybe I do...

This must sound absolutely ridiculous, because as I'm writing it I'm thinking how crazy this is.

So, here it is- I obsess about this person off and on, which is a bit of a rush because I know it's entering the danger zone; and when I am obsessing, I ultimately drive myself to call, email or text them. It's like the rush I feel afterwards is invigorating. The fight-or-flight thing, because I know I'm most likely making a mistake doing this, and I don't know if I'm going to get a nasty response, or a response where I'm up on the pedestal again (for a minute).

I have no intention of trying to form a "relationship" with this person; I'm not that out to lunch. I don't think this is about this person at all, it's about me. I guess I'm wondering that now that this is kicking in after 15 days of sobriety, if I'm replacing the alcohol high with this rush of adrenaline brought about by doing something I know will likely kick me in the ass.

OMG reading everything I just wrote... I sound like I'm completely insane...

I just realized it sounds a lot like a form of a gambling addiction. This whole twisted ritual is a crapshoot of which emotion will drop down the slot after I pull the handle. Either the painful rebuff bruising my ego, which can really screw me up, or the elated high of feeling momentarily idolized, the risk of which always causes the guaranteed adrenaline rush while I wait. And maybe the biggest telltale sign of all is that the only possible results from contacting this person are one of those two extremes.

I'm suspecting that all this is is an elaborate ruse concocted by my Addict Voice to get its "fix". Switching the alcohol high for the adrenaline high.

Damn, writing this all out has been more therapeutic than anything else I've tried so far...
This happened to me. I'm really not in any position to dish out advice about relationships since i've only ever had one... but I fully appreciate the "fight or flight" response you speak of.

It's a form of co-dependency I think. I was only with this girl because I couldn't be without her, and vice versa. Yet any contact; text, phone, face to face, provoked this ugly anxiety. Receiving a text from her had me squirming with nauseous panic, NOT receiving a text from her had me squirming with nauseous panic. And my GOD the breakup was awful. I walked away from her car with my head held high, enjoyed my new found freedom for all of 45 minutes, and the second I walked through the door I burst into tears and didn't stop for about a month. Awful, toxic, abusive.

As I said I don't want to dish out advice since I only have one experience of which to call upon, but I just shut her out after realising what a negative influence she really was. 8 months it took for the "fight or flight" reaction to any thought of getting in touch/her getting in touch with me to disappear. I'm bloody glad I took that step though, or I would have had my heart stamped on (she was a serial cheat in past relationships, luckily I ditched her before she had a chance to do that to me).

I know exactly where you're coming from though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:20 PM
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Thanks.

Originally Posted by hope22 View Post
My guess about your obsession with your ex has to do with you being newly sober.
That happens and its normal. When I first got sober I often confused the two. I quit because of a guy, got sober because of a guy, relaped because of a guy then quit for myself. Being newly sober definately messes with your head. You try to blame other people or situations but thats the addiction talking. Obsession is also the addiction talking. Give yourself 3 months to think and breath. Thats how long it takes most people to think clearly. It's a scary ride but you can do it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:27 PM
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No matter what the object of obsession, it is the words: "Addiction to the rush" that tells you to back away.

Intermittent reinforcement is one of the most highly addictive routines there is. Thats what gambling games are based on. And unstable relationships. Money comes and goes. Don't gamble with your heart or your body. We only get one of each.

I've been there, and addiction is addiction. And the cure is total abstinence from whats addictive. The result is a life driven by you. Thats the best rush I know.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:33 PM
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Well said, Hope. Very well said. So true.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:14 PM
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Thank you for all your responses. I really appreciate it. I entered sobriety 15 days ago thinking my drug of choice was alcohol and that I also "dabbled" in other things (not drugs) but food, the internet. Now I'm realizing the extent to which I've allowed my addictive voice to infiltrate my being. I'm sure I'm in for a lot more eye opening introspection. I guess that's why it's called a process.
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