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The Why

Old 07-05-2017, 04:41 PM
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The Why

For those of SR with long term sobriety, did focusing on why you drank (reasons/triggers/anxieties if any) help you remain successful?

*** I have viewed a few postings from those that didn't feel why they drank was relevant to their recovery.

For me I'm starting to believe that will be necessary to move forward.

Thoughts? Thanks...
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:51 PM
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That's a good question.

Personally, I drank and did other things to get "stoned" ... I enjoyed the feeling.....simple as that... Started when I was 13...

Finally after 40+ years my body gave me a "wake up" call and I came to terms. Enough was enough.

But I don't think about why I drank at all.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:58 PM
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I'm very new to recovery (60 days tomorrow!! Yay) and my whole life I thought I drank due to my past. I have a history of abuse and trauma. Now I know I did partially drink due to this but now that I'm clear minded I ruminate less about the past? I'm not sure why or if that's even healthy. So far I know it works right now so I'm going with it. I have a specific flashback of drinking and almost dying that I'm having issues with but the "why" doesn't seem as important now. It sucked but I'm able to deal with it better. Again not sure if that's healthy or if it will come back and haunt me. Great post btw. Thank you
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:59 PM
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I have one year sober and understanding my triggers was absolutely critical to staying sober. I had to see a bad situation coming before it was to late. As far as emotional reasons I drink I haven't spent much time on that. The conclusion I always came up with was first I just loved it then I was addicted. In the end as long as I'm sober I'm happy.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:05 PM
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Previously I blamed my drinking on people, places and things that I deemed triggers. But if that were true, if I eliminated those people and avoided those places and things, I'd stop drinking; and if I stopped drinking, those things wouldn't be drinking triggers anymore. If they were linked that way.

My alcoholism is its own separate issue. I relapse because I want to drink and I continue drinking because I want to continue drinking.

I still find a lot of people annoying and a lot of situations stressful. I know I don't have to drink to deal with them, but I also know that even though I have stopped drinking, and even if I stay stopped from here on out, those things are still going to stress me out and trigger negative emotions, I just won't react by drinking.

I drank because I drank. No other reason.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:11 PM
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half,

I drank because that is what we did. My family, my job, my friends. I took it to far.

The drinking became part of everything. Happy, Sad, Bored, Angry etc. It really wasn't part of everything though, I was heavily....physically....addicted.

I was working out fairly hard when I quit. I had a physical break down that could have cost me and my son our lives. It terrified me so much, that I still have PTSD from it.

Staying clean w out meds was the hardest thing I have ever done. I am not out of the woods though.

I come here just about daily, it is a habit. Coming here is my AA meeting.

My AA friends talk about stuff like this...man I woke up today, my wife was nagging me, my dog chewed up my shoe, my boss hates me...I needed to come to a meeting. I needed to call my sponser. I needed to call my AA bro.

They have adapted their sobriety plan to AA. My sobriety plan is right here. So far it works. I am sober 25 months.

My AA friends worry I am depressed or that I am hiding my drinking. I am doing neither and I don't care that they can't believe me. I know how amazing I feel being sober.

I enjoy the way I look and feel. My energy is way up. My eyes are bright white. My serenity is stabilizing more each day. It is all about time. It is all about dopamine.

When I was a drunk, I would be hammered right now. It was a nightmare.

Get clean. Unlearn drinking. Let your brain get used to normal. Keep posting and reading. Hold yourself accountable.

If you can't do it on your own...definitely hit up an AA meeting and get a sponsor. They can take charge of you until you get some sober balance.

Thanks.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:21 PM
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That's a darn good question, and to think about it too deeply will take me to a place mentally I don't want to go. I gave the usual excuses like stress and rewards, traditional celebrations, time off etc....as to why I drank. But I think a big reason I drank was because I felt like I was a loser in life. I am not wealthy, I am not powerful, I have no kids, my business grew....then shrunk. I thought I was going to grow old living a very undistinguished and unremarkable life. Basically a poor childless drunk. And that may have come true if I continued to drink.

I personally don't think its necessary to know why, but that's just me. I try to always look forward and to find out why means I'd have to look back. I'm not the same Jeff I was 2 years ago and never will be. I don't need to look back, I know what it was like, I was there. haha.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:29 PM
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When I stopped drinking, I had a lot of inside work to do or I never would have remained sober. I needed to deal with issues in my life that I'd been ignoring and I needed to start looking at myself with complete honesty. I learned to say 'No' and not feel guilty so that I had less stress in my life. I had to find healthy ways to deal with anxiety/depression/insomnia so that I didn't self-medicate.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:45 PM
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Don't drink, don't drink. No matter what, don't drink.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:16 PM
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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.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:17 PM
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I didn't focus on the why so much. My theories on the why switched a few times anyway. Right now I don't believe there was anyone reason. All the whys will be dealt with after you get some time in. First thing is to just stop poisoning yourself.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:21 PM
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I didn't really focus on it, but a lot of why I drank was to mask depression and anxiety, and once I'd been sober a few months, the depression and anxiety was a lot better so it became easier, and more fun, to stay sober.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:28 PM
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I accepted that maybe I am just born with alcoholism.

No need to know "Why" but I do work those 12 steps to seek insight into myself and who I am and what I have done/lived through.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by halfalife View Post
For those of SR with long term sobriety, did focusing on why you drank (reasons/triggers/anxieties if any) help you remain successful?
When I drank I didn't wonder about the reason why...so why didn't matter when I quit.

If "why" helps you, great. But if "why" remains a mystery, don't let it keep you drinking.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:07 PM
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I set knowing why as a condition to quit...twenty years later I was still drinking...

so, I just up and quit.

A few months on, with a clear head I was able to better appreciate the why....turns out it was pretty simple.

I leant on my crutch so much I'd become addicted.

D
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
When I stopped drinking, I had a lot of inside work to do or I never would have remained sober. I needed to deal with issues in my life that I'd been ignoring and I needed to start looking at myself with complete honesty. I learned to say 'No' and not feel guilty so that I had less stress in my life. I had to find healthy ways to deal with anxiety/depression/insomnia so that I didn't self-medicate.
Amen!
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:40 PM
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I never really considered the why...I guess bc I knew it was to stuff my feelings. Lots of trauma...and I remained sober for the first 35 years...that the straw finally broke the camel's back and I was exhausted from just getting over it...I drank. And it rapidly became a problem.
I was hung up on the "how?"
HOW did I get this sick this quickly?
It consumed my thoughts. How did this happen?
Then I realized, it's happened. You're here.
I've been trying to focus on the" how are you going to rectify this mess Jules?"

I guess I have a vague idea of why and how...but I try not to rehash the past too much bc that can trigger me (but sometimes it's very hard) ... I am just trying now to undo it. I falter and fail and chronically relapse, but I continue to fight. I keep looking for help. I keep getting back in the ring ready to KO this beast.
I think it's very smart to identify what made us sick, but *for me, mulling it over too much can be a slippery slope.
Great post.
GL,
Jules
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:07 PM
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You know those pictures within a picture that you get, where if you look at the ugly old crone just so, then you will stop a beautiful girl? And sometimes you can stare and stare at it and not be able to see that darned beautiful girl, but then later, when you're not looking for her and your focus is different, out she pops, right in front of your eyes when you least expect it.... Well, for me the question of WHY was pretty much the same. Once I stopped dwelling on that and focussed my attention instead on my recovery, every so often I would suddenly get little bits of insight into my past behaviours. I suspect that if I'd not worked on my recovery first I would still be sitting there trying to spot my Why's. I needed the altered perspective that recovery afforded me to make sense of what was always there.

PS. A man stood on a burning ship. Someone called to him to jump on the lifeboat. He stood, a tragic and noble figure. "I will not get off this ship until I find the cause of this fire." ....

Sometimes we just need to focus on getting our butt out of the flames. First things first and all that. Plenty of time to think about the other stuff later.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:32 PM
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I'm not quite on a roll again but, what i know is this...

Logic didn't get me to this place

Logical thinking won't get me out.

I have to put the foot down once and stop and not look back.

stuck in the muck is what looking at the past does, i should know I'm an expert at it.

what if you had amnesia and you woke up and didn't remember that you had a bit of a booze problem? you wouldn't remember that you needed to drink to get thru the day. Also ruminating is generally upsetting / comforting and leads to the same behaviours as the previous day(s) .... so finding a way to head that off at the pass is a priority. - ruminate on the bright future instead.

these are also points i'm trying to incorporate now. it's difficult, hope it helps in some way. like most people say, just move forward don't look back.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:46 PM
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I knew I would need to replace alcohol with healthier behaviors for dealing with anxiety and stress. I started practicing mindfulness, I also began a healthy eating and exercise routine at the same time. I tried to make recovery about being the best me. I also spent a lot of time reading and posting on here, and read some great recovery books.

So while I did t focus on the whys of my drinking, I knew I needed healthy outlets for my stress and anxiety.
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