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The anxiety finally won.

Old 06-18-2014, 03:11 PM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
I take the good with the bad. There's more positivity here than anything else.

I get it. Some here are rock solid in their sobriety. Good for them. Admirable beyond words.

That ain't us Nuu.

Now don't make me pull your hair. Because I will lose.

I'm a lover, not a fighter.
Ooh, I think you are more of a fighter than you are admitting or giving yourself credit for at the moment

My sobriety is more like a coral reef with solidity: soft and squishy when wet, hard as a rock when dry. One and both. Wait, no, quite delicate when both wet and dry. Oi! I'm only a few months in, but I hope beyond words that when I need it (like everyday, at the moment) I will have the strength to come here for a swift kick in the ***.

Let's just say that I draw inspiration from both your actions and words...*all* of your actions and words.

In seriousness, I am happy beyond words that we are both here. If this is selfish of me, then so be it. We are here, no?! You have a ****load to teach and learn.

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Old 06-18-2014, 03:16 PM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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Just quit while you still can would be my earnest wish for you.
The place that awaits if you get to that 'drink that you can't put down' is beyond hell.
Then we become willing to do anything, just anything to not drink.
No fancy words, no philosophical debates and we will 'know loneliness such as few do'.
I pray that you never go there and that you find another way to face your demons.
Be safe.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:24 PM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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I didn't wake up one day with 'rock solid recovery' AO

There's 20 years of sadness, despair, rage and hard work behind the Dee that sits here today.

I spent 15 years fighting but drinking, swinging blindly at a foe I couldn't recognise much less understand.

I was also only using one hand. Fear of change, fear of what would be required of me to live sober held me back. A big part of me was comfortable being a screw up.

Eventually I had myself so backed into a corner I had no choice but to stop drinking.

It wasn't the end of the struggle - there was still a year or two in that yet - but things got better, gradually after the last 7 or so years.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is the old AA thing - don't leave before the miracle happens, cos miracles do happen. They really do

D
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:52 PM
  # 64 (permalink)  
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Love ya AO
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:21 PM
  # 65 (permalink)  
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Alpha I've been following this thread for the last day, but yet to comment. Partly because what can I say that you likely won't be able to out talk me on.

I knew something was up, checked your page a few times to see if you'd posted. Nothing..... You know why I checked well because there are a few members here who can actually reach inside me. You're powerful your words tickle, they move, they sing, they sting, they bite.... But they are never ones that fall on deaf ears. Part of my very own recovery has been try to find a voice that others will hear. I've always been taught to be seen and not heard. And you have always been at the top of my lists of ladies that inspire.

From where you're standing now you've still got it all in your hand. But your standing on a landslide. And once the ground starts to move its hard to make a quick recovery.

I really care about you and it saddens me to hear you suffer from debilitating anxiety. But alpha you've just gone through a traumatically abdominal surgery that is even harder on a Woman's emotional state and identity as a female then any scar. Could the sudden crushing anxiety be due to not dealing with what you've had to go through. You've spoken of a child soon leaving the nest, another major change to the role you've created as alpha.

You are special to so many of us. And if you really break it down is that wine that fun???? That moment if ahhhhhh relief was not from alcohol it hadn't hit your System. That moment of ahhhh was a moment of a perceived white flag you mentally assigned to wine. The wine ain't worthy of it. But you are. Come back when you are ready but don't take to long!
LANDSLIDE STEVIE NICKS .... Gets me everytime
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:35 PM
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^^^^beautiful message, ImperfectlyMe.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:56 PM
  # 67 (permalink)  
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I remember you. I have always related to your posts. I'm from the windy city as well. I just want to tell you that I admire your honesty..I hope you continue to post. I have driven home from work with incredible anxiety...and have not been able to stay sober like you have. Thank you for posting the things you do to overcome this..I only wish the very best for you. You stayed sober and fought a very good fight. I'm sure you can do it again! Be well..
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:47 PM
  # 68 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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Thanks IM. I can't listen to that song without hyperventilating. It reminds me of my poppa.

Im sure if I dig deep enough, I can find a thousand reasons why the anxiety is ramping up and once again becoming borderline unbearable. Yes, surgery. Yes, nest leaving. Yes, elderly mom. Yes, crazy business. Yes, yes, yes.

What got me, really good, this time though, is I was picked up by my hotel in a Mini Cooper after leaving a college visit at NYU. When I saw that moving coffin pull up, I about bust a capillary right there and then. You see, this old gal has, in addition to a myriad of other strange and wonderful phobias, a claustrophobia issue that sends me climbing 30 flights of stairs rather than take an elevator.

Rather than speaking up for my damn self, I jumped in the back seat, shaking, and thought, "OK, tough girl. You have been working on facing all your crap, complete with affirmations and breathing excercises. Time to put your money where your mouth is."

I figured, what an awesome chance to overcome yet another of my "things".

Once locked into the back seat of that bad boy, two doors, no windows, I took one look at my daughter and thought - Jesus holy hell. This ain't gonna end well.

Forty five minutes later, the driver was lucky I hadn't pummeled him at the last stop light. (It's always those final minutes that seem to be the most agonizing when you are facing a challenge). When I unfolded myself from the back seat (read "trunk") and poured myself out of the car because I had gone to jelly, I made a giant spectacle in front of the Met and proceeded to walk back, 43 blocks, to my hotel.

We had stopped for lunch at, of course, a teensy tiny restaurant where people sit practically on top of you, and I was up in a hot, loud, dirty attic. But I was still trying to acclimatize to the crazy. Finally, I threw in the towel and took a Xanax.

Couldn't cope.

The next morning, I got up and headed out to St. Patricks Cathedral to do a little praying. Two women screamed at me because apparently my pace wasn't quick enough for 5th avenue rush hour foot traffic. Another man, PHYSICALLY moved me out of his way !

By that point, I was destroyed.

The poor bag checkers at the door of the church must have thought someone pissed in my cornflakes because the tears were just streaming down my face.

I couldn't figure out how to make the next 5 days work in a city that was clearly having me for lunch.

At dinner, I ordered wine and effectively said, screw it. Sobriety ? Over it.
I'm not cut out for it. And as the wine started to work, I suddenly didn't care about the abrasiveness of the city. As a matter of fact, I walked through Times Square to see Les Mis. And if you haven't ever done that nonsense, it's equivalent to cattle being rounded up and moved into a pen.

Good god.

But, by that point, the numbness had taken effect, with one glass of wine.

And I could breathe again.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:15 PM
  # 69 (permalink)  
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Hey AO, I wrote this after a recent commute home from Times Square:

I flee from Times Square by way of 47th St. and Broadway
Through the armpit of the universe on a spring night--
A babel of sound and a seizure of strobing lights
Tilt-a-whirl with moving billboards, hucksters and carnies
Who leer and lean out the doors to cry
“Hey guys, get your drinks special here, drink special”
And every 13th girl is 6 foot 2 in 5 inch heels--
I fall into the bowels of hell to ride the screeching R train,
And emerge again, not enough fat in me and overcooked,
But my feet carry me home. Bed, silence.


Times Square and the daily hell that is Manhattan aside, I don't think the alcohol in your wine provided the numbness that relieved your anxiety. My gut tells me it was the psychology of your addiction and how it's tied up with your anxiety. Your brain has made a monstrous error -- in response to a psychological syndrome, anxiety, it identified a treatment, alcohol, which then became so associated in your mind with relief that you probably felt better as soon as the glass reached the table. Pavlovian. The monstrosity of the error is that the treatment will do you more real harm than the syndrome it was intended to treat.

You have two separate problems, alcoholism and anxiety. You have to treat them each, and not use them on each other. Believe me, I sympathize. I used to think that every sidewalk grate would open up under me, that scaffolding was always just waiting to collapse on my head. I've never driven in the city, or rented a car to visit my son upstate because I'm afraid to drive on bridges or under the rivers. Etc. But alcohol is a truly bad, potentially disastrous treatment for fears like those, and for any other mental health problem.

I really hope you get professional help for your anxiety. And that you don't have to visit my fair city too often.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:54 PM
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Courages post was so good I feel like quoting it again...but I won't

In all seriousness and in a spirit of caring, this doesn't sound like something you can deal with on your own, with or without alcohol, AO.

One of the things I've accepted is I need some help from time to time.

I've been too proud, too annoyed, too stubborn, too scared and too stupid to get help in my life at various times.

but I'm learning....

Give it some thought.

I really hope you'll consider getting help.

D
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:07 AM
  # 71 (permalink)  
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IM that was beautifully said , really resonated .

You are so loved AO

Much love from ALL of us xoxoxo
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:05 AM
  # 72 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
The next morning, I got up and headed out to St. Patricks Cathedral to do a little praying.
Really curious... why didn't you pray when in the back seat of the mini cooper? Had I been in that situation, with those feelings, there's no doubt I'd have said, "Dear god... please, PLEASE help me through this situation in whatever way possible. The fear is overwhelming, I want to drink, I want to escape, I feel I'm going to implode. PLEASE help. Keep me sober. Keep me on a steady path of healing. I completely give this to you... bla, bla, bla...".

I still have similar fears. The other day I had to go, thankfully only 20 minutes, in the backseat of my brothers BMW, where there are no rear windows and the front seat plasters you in the rear compartment of the car. My hands sweat just thinking about it. Yet I rolled with it, and while I didn't pray during that particular incident, I did, out loud, turn the entire day with all it's events and people, over to my HP. Was father's day, and things could could sometimes get sketchy around family. Another important thing I started doing in prayer is pray for the ability to be there for others. And not be concerned with myself. To be there to give love only. It's amazing the effect that can have.

Quick story I've written here before that I'd like to share. Only have about 5 minutes though as I gotta get to work.

Early sobriety, action park NJ, water slides. I'm afraid of heights, but decided I could do the cliff dive pool. 2 levels you can jump off of. The lower I believed I could handle. Waited on line, climbed to the jumping area, and froze. Kids were getting upset with me cuz ya gotta jump one at a time. I decided to let them go, and stood to the side. While standing there, I also decided to pray. Threw out a quick prayer realizing my HP had helped me with fears that were way more intense and paralyzing than this. There's no reason they shouldn't work now. Walked back to the edge. Frozen in fear, I managed to somehow jump. Thought I was dying on the way down, and when I hit the cold water I was pissed. My heart was racing, I thought I wasn't going to be able to swim to the ladder to get out. I thought, thanks HP, for nothing. The fear was till rattling my body. When I got out of the water, it occurred to me. I did it. The prayer worked, 100%. The fear didn't disappear, yet I was able to walk (jump actually) through it.

Story probably doesn't sound as profound here as it was to me, but that experience stayed with me since. And I believe helped my fears to heal. I was able to walk through many more after that, knowing that it was ok to experience them. They didn't have to stop me from doing anything. And they would pass. They always do.

You're obviously an artist (your writing says so). I believe as artists, and alcoholics, our emotions run a little higher and lower than most. I embrace that. I can get really low, and I can get really high. Without the aid of any chemicals. How awesome is that .

Last note... went to Rome last year. Rome did to me what NY did to you. Even got in a fender bender in the cab on the way to our hotel. It passed though, and I was able to take home some awesome memories. And a really nice refrigerator magnet, too . If you ever plan on going Italy, I'd suggest Venice.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:30 AM
  # 73 (permalink)  
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First, I can totally relate to the relapse moment. I had dozens of them. I started out naming them, like the "Rose relapse". Then there were so many names became pointless. I guess my point with a reference to a relapse is that it doesn't have to mean the end. I finally emerged from the relapse tunnel and didn't go back.

Second, going to New York city would completely terrify me. My husband suggested a trip recently and I blurted out: "I'm too old for New York!" No way.

Thirdly, this jumped out at me big time:

I had a glass of wine at dinner, and for reasons I am not even remotely proud of, suddenly, I felt it all lift.
Man oh man, do I know that. But I'm going to toss out a little something to chew on:
you know it wasn't the wine that lifted it. Wasn't it your brains idea that the wine lifted it?
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:41 AM
  # 74 (permalink)  
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Good morning AO!

Put the bottle down, and step back slowly, hands in the air. . . .

Nobody has to get hurt.


We've all relapsed in our time, but we're here with wagon waiting for you to get on
and get on with it already.

Capiche?
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:33 AM
  # 75 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by alphaomega View Post
Rather than speaking up for my damn self,
THAT, for ME, jumped off the page.
Betraying myself is a huge trigger.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Nerv View Post
Last note... went to Rome last year. Rome did to me what NY did to you.
Oh my, guys... these two, Rome and NYC, are my two favorite cities in the Western world... There must be something utterly wrong with me!

Very interesting how we react to different kinds of environments. And of course sometimes annoying.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:38 AM
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There is so much love for you on this thread, AO, and such great advice. I can'tmtell which post is my favorite but one thing is clear from the posts, YOU are a favorite among the posters.

Come back, AO, to the sober side.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:42 AM
  # 78 (permalink)  
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Um...I don't want to appear daft.
But are you in fact...still drinking AO?
Like are we discussing a relapse that you are still active in?
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:13 AM
  # 79 (permalink)  
Its a cold and its a broken hallelujah.
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I didn't drink yesterday. Haven't yet today.

But I'm weary and forlorn.

And the day is still young.

And my attitude ? Well, let's just say the big old F.U. Is still running the show.

It's like I care SO much I just dont a crap anymore.

Not my finest hour.

Tread lightly. I'm fragile and cracking and pieces are starting to fall off...
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:24 AM
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Maybe try taking a long hard look at what you're actually getting from drinking again. Without romanticizing anything. It's either truly helping you, or it's not. And I doubt there's many people on this forum who'd wager that it's actually helping with anxiety or any other issue.

My suggestion is to play it out. Play out in your mind what really happens when you drink the wine. It's sometimes the only thing that keeps me from drinking.

And what does the drinking KEEP you from doing in your life? Sometimes it's the absence of something in our lives that's more glaring than the obvious consequences.
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