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frustrated with addictive tendencies

Old 04-14-2015, 08:31 AM
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frustrated with addictive tendencies

I'm just venting this morning about my frustration with my addictive tendencies. It seems like my whole life I just wander from one addiction to the next. When I was young it was food, then when I started intentionally losing weight it became alcohol. When I discovered club drugs I lost all interest in alcohol for probably at least a year or more as I dashed madly down the path of being high. Then when drugs made me too miserable and I quit using, alcohol came back into the picture. I always thought I was in control, but the last time alcohol came into the picture was when it really dug its claws into me.

In the 5 months I've been sober I replaced alcohol with food. I've eaten whatever I wanted which includes a lot of sweets. I'm at a point in my sobriety where I felt ready to take on my eating habits, so in the past week I've done really well with eating more reasonably - it's not perfect but it's a work in progress. Well surprise, surprise, within a couple of days the eating has been replaced with me drinking cup after cup of coffee. Yesterday I had so much coffee that at one point at work I had an uncomfortable high feeling and could hardly focus.

I'm just frustrated and this is coming from an emotional place, but I wonder if I've made any progress at all in sobriety work or if I'm just a dry drunk deluding myself. Granted, over eating is preferable to dying of alcoholism, and being overstimulated on coffee is probably better than chronic over eating, but what is wrong with me? If I "moderate" my coffee intake, then what's next on the obsession list?

What is wrong with me? Can anybody relate, and how do you work with this?
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:36 AM
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Im with you on this, i got addicted to exercise last time i quit alcohol and in the end was probably weighing myself 6 or 7 times a day and getting upset if i put a pound on after eating my dinner. Sadly dont know a solution as im still exactly the same.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:38 AM
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I can relate, Lance. When I find something that I like I tend to do it to excess. Years and years ago it was weed and hallucinogenics. I've done coke a handful of times and know that if I had easy access and money to burn I'd have gotten hooked on that.

Now I focus on exercising and eating right, though I do find myself obsessing over it somewhat. At least that's a healthy thing though, right?

I'm definitely in that camp of "anything worth doing is worth WAY overdoing."

Balance is something I'm trying to work on.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:46 AM
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Yeah, I think it's based on the premise of trying to fill yourself with something outside of you. I think that's why there has to be a spiritual (not necessarily religious) aspect of recovery. I had to find a way to reconnect with my soul and to find a purpose in life. I had to learn self-love, and it's not easy for those of us who have believed we needed things outside of us in order to feel fulfilled.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
Yeah, I think it's based on the premise of trying to fill yourself with something outside of you. I think that's why there has to be a spiritual (not necessarily religious) aspect of recovery. I had to find a way to reconnect with my soul and to find a purpose in life. I had to learn self-love, and it's not easy for those of us who have believed we needed things outside of us in order to feel fulfilled.
Do you have any support on how to do this? I like to think that I'm a spiritual person and do spend time each day on deliberate spiritual / religious practices, but maybe I'm missing the mark. I don't know if I really feel a sense of purpose in life, and sometimes even in the middle of these practices I wonder why I even bother.

Self-love is a tough one. When I shared with my sponsor this morning, she asked me to do an exercise of giving her support as if she had the same issue. Suddenly my anger, frustration and tension melted away and I felt this wave of compassion as I told her that this was all part of the journey and that she should just stay the course because everything would work itself out in time.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:44 AM
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I am just like this. Cigarettes, weed, hallucinogens, cocaine, speed, alcohol, sex, food, coffee...I've spent my whole life quitting one to adopt the next...and then I cycle back again. The hard drugs didn't cycle back as I got older, simply because I'm a professional and would have very little access to them and no time to devote (tripping in particular requires a few days set aside...now that I look back I am fascinated that I devoted so much time and energy to drug use in my youth).

I have been sober now for eight months, and am noticing that it has re-emerged in my relationship with food. In truth, it isn't a "re" - this is the most dysfunctional I've been with food. I "allowed" myself sweets for the first 90 days, but then didn't put them away. My nightly squares of very dark chocolate have become an expected aspect of evening...

I'm (lately) having the same experience with "quitting" this behavior that I had with quitting alcohol - lots of deals and promises that fall spluttering to the ground before I'm halfway through the evening. It is interesting, because I weigh the same as I did when I was drinking, but it is no longer acceptable to me. I exercise, and eat somewhat holistically, but there are sweets there- - daily, and the occasional burger and fries.

I don't know if some of us just have larger "appetites" than others. A good friend once noted this tendency while we were traveling; my whole day is loosely structured around "getting what I need" - which in that instance was coffee and cigarettes. I had to do all sorts of machinations on that trip to "get what I needed." I also had an ex-boyfriend recently tell me that my sexual appetites made him feel pressured (?? - I thought guys weren't supposed to say/feel that!!).

But I don't want to be that girl just pulling all the cookies to her side of the table with both arms, like gathering all the poker chips! I don't want to be the Queen of Excess, my cavernous mouth demanding "MORE - MORE" like a nightmare monster!

So the quest to find enough...ENOUGH!...well, this is the quest...

With alcohol, I didn't hit enough. I didn't hit enough with cigarettes either. I quit both because I couldn't stand what I was doing to my health long-term with them. So, as we are taught here, I chose abstinence, because my being cannot define "enough" and so cannot ever moderate.

But how does that apply to things like food? There isn't any quitting food. Yes, I could quit sweets with powerful vows, or be abstinent from french fries (which may or may not be a good thing), but none of that addresses the gaping maw.

People talk about a spiritual solution, and I don't want to dismiss that, but I haven't found it so far and I am very open to spiritual solutions. The AV counters the spiritual solution idea by saying: "it was God who made you this way - a lover of good food, and good sex, and good feelings. You are sensual - with every sense. You are a Taurus - drawn to physical comfort and satiety. Just accept yourself, and stop trying to impose an artificial austerity on yourself. This is you - a woman of many appetites..."

I don't have any answers. Abstinence was my only answer with the most self destructive of my appetites. Now that those are out of the way, the more subtle stuff is showing.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:19 AM
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Here is an article about this

Why Many of Us Trade One High For Another | The Fix - Page 0
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
Yeah, I think it's based on the premise of trying to fill yourself with something outside of you. I think that's why there has to be a spiritual (not necessarily religious) aspect of recovery. I had to find a way to reconnect with my soul and to find a purpose in life. I had to learn self-love, and it's not easy for those of us who have believed we needed things outside of us in order to feel fulfilled.
I agree. The spiritual was an essential part of My recovery and filled the whole that I had tried unsuccessfully tried to fill with alcohol for years. It completed me as a person
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
Yeah, I think it's based on the premise of trying to fill yourself with something outside of you. I think that's why there has to be a spiritual (not necessarily religious) aspect of recovery. I had to find a way to reconnect with my soul and to find a purpose in life. I had to learn self-love, and it's not easy for those of us who have believed we needed things outside of us in order to feel fulfilled.
This
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ArtFriend View Post
This is a sobering article that really hits home.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:55 AM
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Thanks Art for sharing this. The part about treating underlying issues really resonates with me.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:58 AM
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i find that even i over do it with spiritual practices.. which may not be true. but balance is needed. and in that balance having boundaries. My partner told me i've been depressing as of lately with my practices and its because i get so knee deep into them that I forget to have fun and be cheerful. I get extreme.
Then when i loosen up.. I get loose. And start feeling horrible about myself. That was this morning after I woke up late, or rather, after I let myself sleep in.
Its tough and I am developing my balance.
hang in there, dont give up
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:00 AM
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I agree that addictions are not so much about the actual substance but rather trying to cope with underlying psychological/emotional issues. Most addictions alter mood states which prevents feeling the true, albeit uncomfortable feelings that need to be addressed.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ArtFriend View Post
I identify myself as an alcoholic addict because that is what I am. I am capable of becoming addicted to anything. I always have and always will have trouble with balance. Today I recognize that my problems with alcohol are a symptom of other problems and am constantly on guard
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:49 AM
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what helps me is chewing a lot of sugar free gum and sparkling lime water. Snacking on healthy stuff throughout the day kept me from crashing when I got too hungry. Like fruit, nuts, granola, carrots etc. as far as addiction and obsession goes. I'll be like that for the rest of my life but I'm learning better ways to cope now and just know there are certain things I can't have. Like alcohol.
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