when going sober, is it like a substance? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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when going sober, is it like a substance?


let me explain.

i have been doing some thinking lately. a lot. like, a real lot of thinking. and i'm quite happy to be honest. i feel like the gears are working good up here right now.

but they could be much, much better.

anyways; as i sit here, laying down with my daughter as she falls asleep, i had this thought;

it seems like i'm expecting something when i go sober. (whether it be weed, alcohol, caffeine, <insert drug here>,etc). however, when you quickly realize that you made that decision to go sober, and follow through with it for a short while, and nothing happens, it seems that then, at this point, is when the decision to go back to whatever <insert drug here, again> drug you were doing, or worse, picking up other habits in place of it that are simply unhealthy.

anyone see my point?

i did some serious thinking tonight, and another thread i created which i still haven't replied to yet, got me thinking. this guy was right. he called me out and said i'm not sober even though i quit alcohol. a drug is a drug. and i have been sober from alcohol over 5 weeks, but not weed..and other things, but i won't go into it. (nothing hardcore, not a true drug addict...just an addict in general).

so i decided that tomorrow, no matter what, i'm just going to get through the day without any substance being placed into my body.

i had a funny talk with my mom tonight while we were hanging outside on this beautiful day with my little one, and she acknowledges that ever since i was a kid, i could never do anything in moderation. its all or nothing. and i'm still on that boat.

time to put an end to this journey, and start a new one. i really have no idea what to expect..but i can tell you i'm ready for the unexpected if that makes any sense.


thanks all for the support once again. i slowly keep finding myself back on this site reading all the new threads daily.

maybe i'll find out who i am once and for all
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think I understand your point. It reminds me of a post I read yesterday where someone said they were on Day 17 and didn't feel any different and were asking if that was normal. I really related with that question. Although so much has changed for the better in just 3 weeks such as gaining mental clarity, not feeling sick and tired and hungover, becoming productive at work and a lot of other things - somehow I don't "feel" any different. It's like I got so used to substances that it's almost as if I expected to get a "high" from sobriety when in reality it's been more like the absence of the "high" and the "low". Is that what you are talking about?

Also like you posted about yourself, I'm also not known as a moderate person. No matter what I latch onto, I tend to take it to extreme or excess no matter if it's beneficial, harmless or potentially destructive. It tends to work in my favour with something like sobriety because I go "all out" into being sober. Conversely, it works just the opposite when I find something such as alcohol or drugs. I see it at play already with caffeine since I've quit drinking - my coffee consumption is slowly ramping up in the 3 weeks I've been sober.

Although I firmly believe people like you and I should permanently stay away from alcohol, how do you think it is best for us look at and best deal with that part of our nature that pushes us to excess? Should it be something that we look to change, or is it something that is better dealt with by ensuring that the motivation and energy is pointed in the right direction?
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think if you're going into it expecting massive changes or that every other problem you have will be fixed and it will be raining lollipops...you're probably going to be disappointed.

That initial period - early recovery - can be rough. And when things are rough whats the impulse for us guys?
Thats exactly why so many people go out again.

If you can get past that, and you're willing to make changes in your self and your life to make relapsing harder, you'll find some pretty cool things, in terms of peace, serenity and clear thinking, really do happen

D
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I commend you for this decision. I understand how tough it is to feel like you are giving up everything but, in reality, you will get so much more when it is all gone. I could start naming the list but I think that you will be able to make your own list of positives soon.

Start with putting you and that precious little girl at the top of the list! You are both far more important than any drug/alcohol out there. I also understand the moderation problem too. It affects all aspects of my life, not just the drugs/alcohol problem. Funny how our brains work.

I wish you all the best!! Keep your mind focused on what you want so that you do not lose sight of it.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I first got sober, waking up every morning after a night of completely uninterrupted sleep with no hangover almost felt like a high to me after all the years of abusing my body with alcohol. It felt so good to not be nauseated, dehydrated, etc. upon awakening that it felt like an altered state.

I did relapse once after about six months without alcohol because I kept waiting "for the magic to happen." Everyone kept saying that it would happen and it did, but it didn't and that tripped me up. I had to work on myself and my issues that lead me to alcohol to begin with. Alcohol was the solution and not the problem. In my case, anxiety and my complete inability to deal with it properly was what sent me to the bottle. Over the years, I have equipped my personal tool box with the tools I need to face things head on such as anxiety and not use alcohol as an escape. My point is nothing other worldly is going to happen by just stopping drinking. You have to work on your issues and determine what was making you want to escape through the drink.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I commend you for this decision. I understand how tough it is to feel like you are giving up everything but, in reality, you will get so much more when it is all gone. I could start naming the list but I think that you will be able to make your own list of positives soon.

Start with putting you and that precious little girl at the top of the list! You are both far more important than any drug/alcohol out there. I also understand the moderation problem too. It affects all aspects of my life, not just the drugs/alcohol problem. Funny how our brains work.

I wish you all the best!! Keep your mind focused on what you want so that you do not lose sight of it.
Hi, thanks for the reply.

I just want to be clear on this here, and I hope I don't sound rude because that's not the intent;

But I remember the day my daughter was born; I was told myself I was going to quit weed the night before she was born.

yet here I am 3 years later still toking. 3 YEARS.

My point? It doesn't matter who you are, you can tell me that my daughter is number one priority in my life (and she is) but that doesn't stop me from being an addict. i've tried a thousand ways to use my daughter as an excuse to be sober but it doesn't work. and why should it? i'm a loving dad. I spend all the time I can with her. I've never drank around here, NOT ONCE. weed? yea but that's not as bad (i know, i know...) i've supported her in every way possible, i'm doing things better than how my parents raised me; i tell her i love her a thousand times a day, hug/kiss her, make sure she is secure in every aspect of her life. just signed her up for soccer every saturday morning..i mean the list goes on and on and on.

i'm just trying to say, i've somehow managed to be two people at once. an addict and the best dad i can be. and i've been complimented by hundreds of people on the kind of dad they see that i am (single father by the way, have daughter 1/2 time, meaning thurs-sundays or sun-wednesdays). this is in no way an ego boost to myself, im just simply saying what people have said to me. and i do accept compliments, because it reenforces my positive role model Ora that i have going on for my little girl.

I just hide it well I guess? Only my closest friend really knows whats going on in my life, and he has similar issues. my parents have no clue; most friends don't know whats going on.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There is no time like the present, my friend. Your beautiful little girl needs you to be completely present in her world. You CAN be free of these other things that are controlling you. I was just like you in that it was all or nothing for me as well. Now that I have 20 months sober and almost 16 months w/o weed just about EVERYTHING is so much clearer and easier to understand.

I am here for you if you'd like to chat in private.... so PM me anytime.

Have a GREAT clean and sober day tomorrow!
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did relapse once after about six months without alcohol because I kept waiting "for the magic to happen." Everyone kept saying that it would happen and it did, but it didn't and that tripped me up. I had to work on myself and my issues that lead me to alcohol to begin with. Alcohol was the solution and not the problem. In my case, anxiety and my complete inability to deal with it properly was what sent me to the bottle. Over the years, I have equipped my personal tool box with the tools I need to face things head on such as anxiety and not use alcohol as an escape. My point is nothing other worldly is going to happen by just stopping drinking. You have to work on your issues and determine what was making you want to escape through the drink.
yep, I listened to everyone say that life would be 'amazing' once I quit, and it wasn't. No surprise to me - not a single person could quantify how their life became 'amazing' or 'better' in any measurable way when they stopped drinking. What exactly changed? Nobody ever says what exactly changed. What exactly changed that made things different? Did you lose weight or become less depressed, or did you just start telling yourself a simplistic platitude that 'things are better'?

I can say life just sucked when I stopped drinking. Same as usual but without the alcohol barrier and the daily hangovers. I guess you all can feel smug about being sober for xxx days... but the 'amazing' part never happened to me..
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Howie

Yeah, my life didn't get much better in lots of material ways...I'm still disabled, still on a fixed income, still got health issues...

but I have a sense of peace serenity and happiness I never had before, at least not as an adult

You're right in that just getting sober didn't make me that way...I also had to do a little work and actively change the things I didn't like about myself or my life.

Getting sober gave me a solid base to work from, rather than trying to also deal with all the catastrophes an active addiction brings in its wake.

D
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I completely understand where you are coming from. No rude intent taken. You are right, your daughter will not cause you to become sober...you will.

Until you put YOU at the top of the list, the struggle will continue on and on. That is all I meant, you first, daughter second. Without you taking control of your own life, she has no ability to change anything or foreseeable benefits from the change.

I was functional as well but I knew there was something more out there for me. I just want you to enjoy life in your full potential if that is what you desire the most. You have already taken great strides, why not squash the final battle? You are in charge of your life.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Howie
Yeah, my life didn't get much better in lots of material ways...I'm still disabled, still on a fixed income, still got health issues...

but I have a sense of peace serenity and happiness I never had before, at least not as an adult D
Thx Dee. This kind of honesty helps a lot.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What exactly changed that made things different? Did you lose weight or become less depressed, or did you just start telling yourself a simplistic platitude that 'things are better'?
Hi, one big difference was I finally began letting go of resentments. These resentments caused me great anxiety. I had a lot of anger at my father for the way he raised us which was basically verbal terrorism on a daily basis for 18+ years. I looked at his life and his hardships (growing up in boarding schools since his mother died at age 5) and forgave him. I knew I had to let it go or I'd never get sober.

Also, the anxiety from hangovers in the end was so bad that I started having panic attacks. Basically, the alcohol stopped working for me as the solution. Instead of escaping anxiety, it was making it much worse. That in itself made staying sober so much easier than any past attempts.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey, I grew up with a mom who smoked weed a lot. I can tell you this, my dad who drank was a more connected person with me than my weedhead mom. Pot made her distant, dumb, stupid, vapid. I used to dump out her weed. So for our world who thinks weed is so innocuous, it isn't. It makes people completely selfish, same as alcohol. My brother and sisters are potheads, and same, though they are not aggressive, they are completely. Gone.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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And by the way, successful, but that is not the point. Same deliverance.
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi Krete. It does sound like you've been doing a lot of thinking and that's awesome. Great job on tackling the alcohol part. Since you mentioned weed, I'll tell you some of my observations from my journey, not that I assume yours will be similar (I'm not an all or nothing person).

I'm only on day 21 no weed (after 22 years daily use) and I don't really feel THAT different. I felt crazy and awful going through withdrawals but once they were gone I felt almost normal again. For me normal is a great thing. I was so terrified that I would change into some strange tweaky manic sober square person and that life would become something I had no road map for. I kept asking "what the eff do those strange sober people DO all day anyway???"

But surprisingly my familiar world is still here (my world was already pretty good on the outside). I would still say I feel a lot better now. As in, I have WAY less anxiety (although during withdrawal had anxiety attacks). I feel in control. No more hiding it. I feel free, like I pried the claws of clingy addiction out of my back. I do have some super on top of the world moments but those come and go.

Feeling kind of the same now makes me wonder why I felt I needed pot. If I can feel like myself but better without pot, what was I getting from it? In the end all I was getting from it was withdrawal prevention. It's early days but I am SO glad I kept at it through the hard part.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Sobriety has some short-term benefits, but a lot of the benefits are definitely long-term, i.e., they come on over a period of months without you noticing, until one day you wake up, stretch, and say to yourself, "wow, I've come a really long way over the last seven months." It's a little like an overweight guy making big changes in diet and exercise (I was an overweight guy who made big changes in diet and exercise) -- you see some changes in the short term, but you really need to take snapshots and compare from month to month to see progress.

If you're in the short-term gratification mindset, it is hard to get excited about progress that is only apparent over the span of months. Thus I think it's important to work on long-term goals in sobriety (sobriety is the very model of a long-term goal, after all). My life did get better, but not because sobriety was a "magic button" -- it got better because I was working on making it better.

It also helped me to realize that my drinking would likely lead to an early, miserable, lonely death. But again -- long-term view, not short-term view.
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