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Update: PAWS and the Voice

Old 05-29-2015, 02:46 PM
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Update: PAWS and the Voice

Hello,

I am writing to update my progress since I joined this site on March 12th. That was the day I started a quick taper and have been sober since (with a disastrous relapse on April 15).

Sigh.

It has been really, really, really difficult in every way imaginable. I really cranked up the drinking in the few months before I decided to be abstinent. The main, consistent progress I have made has been that I no longer find drunk bloopers humorous anymore. I broke a toilet the day of my relapse. Not broke as in clogged it -- I literally broke it. At the time, I had a fairly nonchalant attitude (while being wracked with intense guilt) about the toilet episode. It has been a month and a half since then and I seriously have trouble believing I committed porcelain-icide or that I found any humor whatsoever in it. I cannot believe it, because like all drunk escapades, I don't remember it. That makes me pretty sad.

What makes me feel even sadder was the realization that I am going through severe PAWS symptoms now and I still have a long way to go before I am out of the woods. I sat in my car one day running errands, waiting for a changing traffic light when I realized I forgot where I was going because I spaced out. Ten seconds later, I remembered my destination. It was then that it hit me that I have been drinking regularly for half of my life.

I realize that my memory is going haywire since my neurons are finally getting a chance to reach their full potential. A few days ago, I came out of a severe PTSD episode with vivid flashbacks and nightmares. It was so difficult, I was afraid I might kill myself in my sleep.

Today my husband left a bottle of wine in the fridge - the AV went nuts.

Good Sense said, 'Dump it out now.'

AV said, 'Ask husband first if it is okay.

Good Sense said, 'What the hell? You don't need permission.'

AV said, 'You could just drink it and nobody would now.'

Good Sense said, 'Nope. You're impulsive. Use that part of your personality to dump it out now. Right now.'

AV was literally counting down the fractions of the bottle remaining in slow motion as Good Sense dumped it. 'Three quarters, five eighths, one half, one third...(you could stop now and drink just a third. That won't get you drunk)...one quarter. Really?'

'Nope.'

I have read other people describe this internal interchange and said it felt like telling a child, no, you can't have candy, but nice try. I never felt that when I was dealing with the AV until just an hour ago. It was not going to win the argument; it just wasn't going to happen. I have had a lot of practice lately with this type of interchange when I go to the grocery store.

There are these little wine bottles near the deli that have these wide-mouth, screw-off lids that are sold in singles. Seriously, they are visual porn for an alcoholic. Just one, right?Every time I go to the store, I know I will have to deal with that temptation. Yesterday, I was walking in the store and the AV was planning to go by the mini bottles -- just to look. It was then that I, and not Good Sense said, 'Do you remember your first trip to the grocery store during the first week of sobriety?' That was weird. I had been staying home for months on end, avoiding food and people that I forgot where to find beans, or olives or soup. I hadn't been anywhere in such a long time that the fluorescent lights were blinding and I felt like a person who just came out of the Congo to a foreign and sterile place.

So, it has been little victories and nothing more. However, I am grateful for those moments -- and mostly for this online community. Thanks for letting me rant.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:07 PM
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Congrats to you on pouring that wine down the drain. I don't think that's a little victory at all. It's a huge one.

Appreciate your honesty and I'm grateful you decided to "rant." You've helped keep me sober today.
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CaseyW View Post
Congrats to you on pouring that wine down the drain. I don't think that's a little victory at all. It's a huge one.

Appreciate your honesty and I'm grateful you decided to "rant." You've helped keep me sober today.
That might be one of the nicest compliments I have ever received, thanks!
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:42 PM
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You are doing beautifully, Pouncer, despite that demonic AV and seemingly endless PAWS. Pouring that bottle of wine was a huge accomplishment.

You will eventually reach the point where the good days outweigh the difficult ones; you will get there but that time will be only a stop along the way. The destination is so incredibly satisfying, Pouncer - you will have worked hard for it and you will be rewarded with a kind serenity and fulfillment quite unlike any other. Sobriety and recovery are unbelievably wonderful. I promise.

Hang in, Pouncer.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:04 PM
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I don;t think it's a little victory either pouncer - things like that can be turning points

D
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:06 PM
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Good job pounced and I know what you mean. AV is a very sneaky entity.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:29 PM
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Glad you decided to pour it out!

I've had many conversations just like that. I still get cravings, but once I realized how stupid and ridiculous my AV can be, it has been coming out less and less. Or at least in less obvious ways. So I guess that's a step in the right direction! The cravings seem to be more habit based now than anything...
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:48 PM
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I'm having similar memory problems.....I had 3 appts this week and I wasn't my usual sure of myself girl ...... Something was off......I realize that it's gonna take a while ...... I'm hoping at 90 days I'll have settled into my new sober self and these problems will be less problematic.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:29 PM
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I love this post! Thanks pouncer
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:33 PM
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Awesome job on pouring that down the drain. For me, this is huge.
Thank you for sharing. Let's stay strong together
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:40 PM
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Good thing you poured the wine out. It was no small thing.
I remember those little wine bottles. I used to make my beer "fortified" by pouring wine from those little bottles into a pint. On the way home (last half mile home) I'd kill one in the car.
Six months sober and the thought of that cheap wine and beer is nauseating. That and the anxiety and panic that made up the last year or two of my drinking- it's a good deterrent.
I wish you the best in your struggle to beat the bottle.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CaseyW View Post
Congrats to you on pouring that wine down the drain. I don't think that's a little victory at all. It's a huge one.

Appreciate your honesty and I'm grateful you decided to "rant." You've helped keep me sober today.
^This! ^
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:37 PM
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Great post Pouncer. Thank you
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GnikNus View Post
I remember those little wine bottles. I used to make my beer "fortified" by pouring wine from those little bottles into a pint.
I was no stranger to that. It was usually better with a spicy german beer and a mildly sweet one like chenin blanc. I can still remember the white wine hangovers. That should keep me uncomfortable for a while.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:01 PM
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Pouncer one of the things that helped me during the early days was to remember that a thought is just that -- a thought. We don't have to act on thoughts.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:09 PM
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Pouncer ,
sounds like your doing great work there , it gets better if you stick with it .

keep on

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Old 05-29-2015, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcher13 View Post
Pouncer one of the things that helped me during the early days was to remember that a thought is just that -- a thought. We don't have to act on thoughts.
Yes! Such simple advice, but so helpful. It is just a thought. I can deal with bad thoughts; I am starting to become an expert

I am finding that what used to work to quiet the AV is no longer working. I have to change tactics and outwit it -- I come prepared.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mecanix View Post
Pouncer ,
sounds like your doing great work there , it gets better if you stick with it .

keep on

m
I hope it gets better. Really, I am finding that I don't really need that much encouragement to feel accomplished. I thought I was deeply insecure and flawed to a point of no repair, but it is simply not true. I can get by with the 'little victories.'

This was probably the third time I have done that: pouring leftover wine bottles down the sink. This time was different, because it was nearly full and it was the perfect opportunity. I had nowhere to go, nothing to do -- but, I am a responsible a-dult now -- and a much better mom, too.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:44 PM
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I found with urge surfing ( as i later found out it was called) that the AV only hangs around for so long if you ignore it and don't engage .

The more i read about alcohol , the more i read of peoples experiences of it here the further off the table it got pushed .

It fell off the table completely at about 14 months for me , all i get these days is a fleeting thought "oh you could have a beer" then the rest of my mind scoffs at the idea and says , "NOT !" in a 1990's kind of way, then i carry on dealing with life sober and my mind focuses on something else .

the further it is off the table it was as an option the less repetitive thoughts i had over time .
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Pouncer View Post
I am finding that what used to work to quiet the AV is no longer working. I have to change tactics and outwit it -- I come prepared.
I found that too Pouncer, it's actually a good sign. Your AV is not getting what it wants, the old tactics it used on you before don't get the results so now it's changing what it says. You, in response, change what you say/how you act.

In time you might like to try not engaging with AV at all. Let it whine, let it scream, let it have a tantrum because, in the end, AV is just a toxic thought.
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