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Old 07-05-2017, 11:04 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by halfalife View Post
Thank you for all the responses.

I suppose building myself and life into someone who enjoys it all to the degree that I would never conceive of allowing alcohol to be part of the equation is what I'm seeking. I know it will take work, and so far the effort has reaped rewards. Maybe I will regain a sense of what I have to offer in life sober as time goes on.

The pink cloud has never surfaced though. Physical aspects of sobriety are good as I would have hoped, but mentally and emotionally...it's an uphill climb. Made me wonder and pose the question and ask if I should focus elsewhere in my recovery.

No urge to drink at all most days surprisingly. Just ready to feel a sense of peace somewhere/somehow.

Thanks again to all that responded.
It took me about 18 months of sobriety to start feeling more comfortable and good. It was pretty much a dogfight the whole time though but I lived 2 miles out of town and had no car so I wasn't in a position to do AA or anything like that.

I gradually started to get outside of myself and that's really what the big difference was. There's a huge difference in the way I approach life now but it isn't something I specifically set out to do. It just occurred with sobriety. Just being present and experiencing everything that happens in life instead of pouring alcohol on it was a massive change and to be honest I was pretty raw emotionally eventually which was a big surprise as I had always been quite stoic.

But to answer you original question, I never put much thought into why I drank. I had a million different reasons. I drank because I believed I liked the sensation of being drunk better than I liked anything else. But I hadn't experienced anything else really. My world was tiny and self absorbed.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:34 AM
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17 MONTHS is hardly long term sobriety. But I think on this...
Because of a very badly smashed up shoulder requiring surgery- my arm was in a fibreglass sling. I chose booze over healing, so in a blackout, a ciggie in my mouth (they assume) fell into the sling- fire, molten - 4th degree burns to 20% of my body. That was not the medical staff's major concern- even tho I died on the slab 3 times. My cognitive performance post- burns made them realise I had Korsakoff's. Irreversible they knew. Well it was not- it was shock, and elephant strength surgical and pain drugs, mixed with shock..blah.
But on entering into the very serious recovery program I am in (1 year now), they were not even concerned about the cognitive or the burns- they thought my problems arose from very deep, buried psycholomologiccal reasons going back to (yep=you know it) childhood.-C-PTSD
So with professional guidance and a great deal of very hard work, using CBT-I am beginning to understand the reason why I drank. Which means I can change how I think and feel and act. Until now- not one craving or temptation to drink.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:53 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Why did I drink like I did? Because I am an alcoholic. Why am I an alcoholic? Who cares? It wouldn't have made the slightest positive impact on my chances of recovery.

Maybe I could have found someone to blame. That would be just one more resentment to add to the list. Perhaps my mother dropped me on my head. I doubt that knowledge would have got me sober. The fact is that I am an alcoholic of a certain type and if I want to get over it, all I have to do is follow a certain solution.

I may have issues in my life and I can use professional services if need be. But there has never been a case where alcoholism of my type has been caused by external factors. Alcohol comes in bottles, alcoholism comes in people.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:20 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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"did focusing on why you drank (reasons/triggers/anxieties if any) help you remain successful? "

welp, the "why" could be simple- i was an alcoholic with untreated alcoholism.

but then theres the underlying issues alcohol was just a symptom for. without lookin at the 'why" of them, i doubt i would have been able to maintain sobriety.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:28 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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My sobriety became successful and rewarding when I stopped worrying about why I drank and just focused on sobriety.

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Old 07-06-2017, 04:31 AM
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I drank because I drank. There may have been a why's along the way but I'm sure that as soon as one why was solved my AV would cook up a new why. Just another day that ends why....... why not another drink?
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:54 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I've struggled a lot with the Why? I really felt that if I could understand Why I drank/used that this would give me a much better chance of "fixing it". Unfortunately I don't think there is any way to ever get a definitive reason so therefore it is almost an unanswerable question. I was so angry/disbelieving that I WAS an alcoholic that I felt that I almost needed the reasons explained to me WHY I became one. Just not possible and I've accepted that now. I think the closest I've come to an answer is that it is probably an amalgamation of many different factors : family history of alcoholism, personal trauma, my own way of dealing with stress, physical intolerance to alcohol, learned behaviour, bad habit, addictive personality, laziness, boredom, lack of direction , self destruction , because I wanted too I could go on and on and on and I'll never get a concrete reason. So I now just think its been a mix of things and I focus on how to deal with the triggers and behaviours that I have noticed i.e boredom so go do something, stress go for a walk. I do think it does help a little to at least try to work out why we are doing our addictions but at the end of the day the main thing I focus on now if just not picking up a drink .

Peace X
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:45 AM
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In my case I believe it was ultimately helpful, but I went down a lot of distracting paths en route looking for other reasons than the one that I finally discovered - I was addicted to it.

I liked the way drinking made me feel, so I did it a lot. I did it enough that it broke a part of my brain, and now that part of my brain is programmed to tell me that I need alcohol. Understanding that dynamic made it easier for me to deal with the part of my brain that was constantly telling me to drink. Understanding that the feeling I needed alcohol was the result of 'some broken bit of neurology' (to quote Saochick) made resisting that feeling easier than it had ever been.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:13 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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The "why" question actually held me back from getting sober. Looking back what I was really trying to do was find out "why" so I could FIX why and then drink normally again. Until i unconditionally accepted that i simply AM an alcoholic, I was stuck in the loop of endless research and failed "moderation attempts" of various kinds or wacky cures/solutions.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:47 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Your responses have been immensely helpful for perspective.

I posed the question initially to find out of the approach I have been on the past few months was not going to lead me to finding some peace within myself.

I have healthy physical habits and routines that have staved off cravings and helped me stay focused, but mentally and emotionally have been struggling quite a bit...maybe it's related to being 39 and at a crossroads or pivot point and not having all the answers.

I have a couple months of sobriety under my belt and just wanted to know if doing the internal work on 'why' would help me not only stay sober for the long term, but help me find answers.

I know that half the time I drank because I wanted to drink, but I also chose to drink and heavily during some rough periods and that's where I think the switch flipped. The tables turned when I relied on it to mask and numb the pain. Maybe I wasn't as resilient as I believed myself to be.

Thank you to all that responded with their perspectives - helpful for hopefully others as well as we all work on sobriety.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:00 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
The "why" question actually held me back from getting sober. Looking back what I was really trying to do was find out "why" so I could FIX why and then drink normally again. Until i unconditionally accepted that i simply AM an alcoholic, I was stuck in the loop of endless research and failed "moderation attempts" of various kinds or wacky cures/solutions.
yep!!!

in fact, for me.... "Why" actually led me back to a year-plus relapse.

In searching for "Why" I had identified a set of things, reasons, times and places.... here are all the conditions I "just need to make sure I'm tending to" and it'll be fine to drink!!!

(It wasn't).
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:04 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Great Topic, great posts

I'll add my 2 cents.

The "whys?" are easy for me, and I don't dwell on them:
-It helped me fit in,
-I liked it,
-And I was young, and never developed other coping skills

Why I continued is a little harder, but is getting clearer:
-Hereditary alcoholism manifests itself through different biochemistry that facilitates addiction
-Never developed those coping skills.

It's not like I have a ton of experience in sobriety. But what is helping me in moving forward is developing those coping skills, and realizing why I drank in the past, and that its not who I am now. And what really has given me peace recently is understanding (and seeing, unfortunately) that my body physically does not process alcohol like normal drinkers do.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:59 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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i had a **** childhood, with good bits, with an alcoholic family. i took their way of living as mine and as far as i was concerned, my childhood experiences didnt define me as the adult i became. i drank for a lot of that adulthood then managed to stop for over two years. the reason i started again? seems that my childhood did define me. just stopping wasnt enough, i needed to sort my head out and that my alcoholism is a product of it, and actually not an isolated problem.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:54 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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For those of SR with long term sobriety, did focusing on why you drank (reasons/triggers/anxieties if any) help you remain successful?

no.

my focus needed to be on why i wanted sobriety, and on how to achieve that.

but i used to think i needed to know why i drank in order to quit.

red herring!
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:17 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I had to quit then work on the why's. Of course I had issues to contributed BUT I couldn't work on them till I was sober.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:17 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Because I liked what alcohol did for me. I liked the ease and comfort of the buzz. Eventually I liked that feeling more than anything else. Chasing that feeling became my life's purpose, but it kept taking more and more to get there, while taking more and more away from me. Eventually it bit me and ruined my life. Then I decided to stop.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:12 AM
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BlownOne's post says a lot to me - similar to what I would write.

A friend told me that there was always a reason for him to drink: had a good day, had a bad day, work went well, got a job, lost a job... on and on.

I thought a lot about that, and what I came to conclude was that I didn't need a reason - I simply liked being drunk. But it took over. As time went on, it took more and more to get to that place. Since I didn't want to kill anyone or get arrested, I drank alone at home. Wondering WTF I was lonely. But that is not the person I want to be. Are there reasons I could dig for? Probably, but it seems secondary to me. The primary goal is to stay sober.

Damn, I sound resolute for a guy on his second Day 2...
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