Thinking of just giving up

Old 01-16-2018, 07:13 PM
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Thinking of just giving up

What to say really? I'm currently 93 days sober. I had eight months plus sober before that, so nearly a year total since I first tried seriously to quit drinking. Before that I was a serious binge drinker for 20 years. I didn't really quit for any particular reason, other than that it was time and things were getting bad with secrecy and having to drink the mornings.

I'm so disappointed with my progress. Despite being sober for 50 out the last 52 weeks, the last year has been the worst of my life in many ways. Many of the things I hoped would improve without alcohol have steadily gotten worse over the year.

I am still grossly depressed, which mostly manifests itself in stress and anxiety, but also self-hatred and a lack of motivation. (Wellbutrin might be starting to help with the last one, now that I think of it.) Since quitting drinking I have been self-harming during crisis points, as this gives something of the temporary relief of drinking (all the subsequent self-loathing and shame, too). I have frequent ideas of suicide that seem to come from from the same place as the AV. These are intrusive, obsessional thoughts, much like the constant thoughts of drinking during active alcoholism.

My relationships with my wife and kids have suffered because of this. I'm permanently irritable, over-stressed and moody. I have good days and then trash everything with fits of anger and resentment, set off by stupid things. It's horrible. I was doing a bit better with this with Lexapro, but is started making me numb and slothful, so I had to give that up.

My marriage is in limbo. My relationship with my wife has been ruined by alcohol, but not in the usual dramatic way. My drinking has always been directed inwards, private almost. But she hates the fact of me being an alcoholic, rather than for anything particular I have done. (She had a long-term partner who was an abusive alcoholic, and I always feel I am being punished for someone else's crimes, but all that is beside the point...) It makes me so sad to read here of people whose spouses/families support them in their recovery and whose relationships have improved during their sobriety. My efforts have been met with nothing but scorn and resentment.

I live in the US, but am from the UK. I have no real friends here, maybe a couple of people at work. I can't really speak to my parents about any of this as they are so far away and we are "British" in the sense that talking about things is painful and awkward at the best of times. (When I told my mother that I am an alcoholic and that I was quitting, all she could say was "Oh, that's nice dear..." )

Anyway, I've found myself obsessing about alcohol quite badly the last week or so and keep thinking about just giving up. I picked up a book about British cuisine the other day and stupidly read the chapter about beer, which has set my racing thoughts off big time...

Oh well, I feel better for having written it all out. Seems like a stupid rant now I read it back.

**** it, nothing to do but never drink again, I suppose!

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Old 01-16-2018, 07:23 PM
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I suppose so too!
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:44 PM
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Hi McTell

I think a lot of us have an expectation that all we have to do is stop drinking and life becomes sweet.

That wasn't the case for me. If finding recovery was like surviving a shipwreck, staying in recovery was like being washed up on a beach when the tide had gone out...there was a lot of driftwood to clean up.

to dispense with the metaphor, I'd stopped drinking but I had the underlying reasons why I drank still there in place.

Some of that stuff was easy to deal with, a lot of it was harder.
Some I needed doctor and counselling help with.

I needed patience too - it was well into my second year until I felt like I was making real headway.

I hope that doesn't discourage you.
The point is, I got there, and I think you can too.

Being in recovery didn't solve all my problems but it gave me a great levelled tool bench to work from.

the bottom line is if you're 'quitting quitting' and go back to drinking, you'll only have to quit drinking again at some point in the not too far future.


Last edited by Dee74; 01-16-2018 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:45 PM
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I don't think it's stupid at all. Have you told your wife these feelings and how much you need and want her support? If I were you, I would show her this post. It sounds like you want to build on your progress (quitting drinking) by taking another positive step (working on your relationship). I bet you got sober in the first place to have room and energy in your life to work on other areas of your life.

And congrats on 93 days! That's inspiring in and of itself.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:50 PM
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Iím so sorry you are feeling this way. I have suffered with anxiety and depression as well, which is a big reason I wanted to quit drinking... I was scared of what I might do when drunk. If you are feeling suicidal, please donít drink. I would also suggest talking to your doctor. They can refer you to counselors and help you get your medicine right if it isnít already.

Like Dee said, we have to work on all the underlying stuff that we drank to escape. Itís all still there waiting for us unfortunately.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:07 PM
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Sorry you are having a rough time . But I am sure you know that nothing about drinking will improve this , indeed it will only make things worse.
Tough times can be there when we quit, but it does get better and sobriety gives you the base to start working on things in your life that need fixing. You are worth it, your family is worth it. Stay with us.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:15 PM
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I relate a bit. Since quitting the drink the real world got me down.

I exercise 4 to 7 days a week. No meds except for bp meds which can cause depression.

Imo...meds drag out the addiction. One drug for the other. But, once a person starts them, it seems impossible for them to get off. Then I hear after a while a tolerance gets built up. Basically a nightmare.

Last weekend i found an article about making a worry list. So now I write down my obsessions followed by direct and concrete decisions or solutions.

Whether the solution is the correct one, having a mental plan seems to ease the burden.

Your issues are more serious than mine though.

If my wife and i are fighting i am usually pretty down.

Sorry about that. Love is a 2 way street. If the wife is not on board, it will not work.

If my wife was inconsolable, I would have no choice but to end the marriage. What is the point?

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Old 01-16-2018, 09:46 PM
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You know, my lowest point came after I'd been sober about 6 months. I was even going to an AA meeting each week, but not doing the step work or talkkingbto anyone as.... well, I wasn't THAT bad an alcoholic to need all that stuff. I hated my life and my thoughts and my emotions. I went to bed each night praying that I would never wake up again, and woke up cursing the fact that I had. Every day as I drove to work tears would start rolling down my cheeks. Often my clothes would be pretty much soaked by the time I arrived at work.
I'd been up to the doctors. My boss had referred me for counselling. But I suppose I knew that what I really needed was to change how stuff made me feel. Learn to LIVE sober, not just BE sober.

Then one day at an AA meeting I must have actually been listening rather than just deciding what to have for tea when I hit home because I actually 'Heard' How it works. What I heard can be summed up as "you're no special snowflake, if you want to feel better you need to get off your high horse, get a sponsor and do the effing work". I got myself a sponsor there and then. And started doing the recovery step work. I can honestly and 100% say thay life has fekt much easier since. It hasn't been plain sailing and there have been disappointments and problems along the way of course. But they don't affect me how they once did.

When we look at the 12 steps of the AA recovery program (which has been adapted for all kinds of other things) the thing that always surprised me at first was that alcohol is only even mentioned in the first step off the 12. Now I understand and know, stopping drinking is only the first step. Recovery is what makes that sobriety bearable, sustainable, comfortable, and one day preferable to drinking. How about looking at your recovery plan and what you've added in to your life since you stopped drinking, and maybe start adding to that plan and routine. The Paws article was really helpful to me. It helped me understand the reasons working a program of recovery is useful, even to those of us who didn't end up with string belts, living on the streets drinkingbout a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. (Psst...wanna know why I'm always recommending recovery plans?)

This thread might be useful as well... (Drinking too much but no major problems (yet)?...)

A couple of things I'll suggest which seem counter-intuitive when we're low, but really do make a difference are Gratitude Lists, and helping / being useful to others. A lot of our problem is getting stuck looking at ourselves, our own sadness, and all that we don't like about our lives. Shifting the focus is a big relief. I've heard alcolism described as having a dis-eased perspective, and that was definitely the case for me.

I do hope that you don't entertain these thoughts of drinking again. That wasn't any good solution before, and it won't be now. After all, if nothing changes, nothing changes.

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Old 01-16-2018, 10:37 PM
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First off, Congratulations on 93 days of sobriety. That is something to truly celebrate, & be grateful for. However, while reading your post it struck me that you don't seem to be in touch with gratitude at all.

But hold on now, as I truly do, understand that. Early in sobriety I also didn't realize what in the world I had to be grateful for. I just didn't understand gratitude at all. After all, my life had just basically been ****, and every body else that I compared myself to, appeared to me to have it a lot better than I did.

However my sponsor in AA said that I needed to get in touch with gratitude as it was the key to feeling better. Now I listened to that, because I sure did want to feel better. At the time I had a real lack of "feeling good", and especially of feeling good about myself.

But I didn't have a clue about how to go about feeling gratitude & I told my sponsor that.

My sponsor said, "Well that's easy." When you wake up in the morning just thank your higher power, for waking up, because it didn't have to be that way, I could of died in my sleep. Now that was true.

Then he said, give thanks for the sun shining in the sky, because it enabled life to go on, & as it hit my skin provided me with warmth which felt good.

Or conversely, give thanks for the cloudy sky & the rain hitting my body, for it provided sustenance for the plants & enabled everything to grow and flourish, and also made my body feel alive irrespective of the fact that it could also feel uncomfortable.

In other words start recognizing the little things that we take for granted, because even though we take it for granted, it really doesn't have to be that way, we've just gotten used to it & assume that that's the way it's always going to be..

Then, give thanks for the fact that there are over 61,000 AA meetings every week in the United States, because that meant that there were 1, or 2, or 3 that I could attend today, so I could grow & flourish, which I was desperately in need of, as I, like you, had no friends or people that I could speak to, or share my feelings with, and in AA meetings I found those people that I needed in my life.

Then, give thanks for the fact that I actually walked into an AA meeting, even though I was very stressed & filled with anxiety about doing that, because I was sure everyone would be looking at me & judging me. Instead they welcomed me, and in time I found a comfort that I had not known in my life without using alcohol or drugs.

In time, I even found myself becoming grateful for the fact that I was an alcoholic & addict, because it led me to this accepting & healing place called Alcoholics Anonymous, and a lot of people had other problems, & no place to go like Alcoholics Anonymous.

If we stop drinking & using drugs & that's all we do, we have stopped at the starting place. There is so much more, & it is worth it.

We suffer from the Societal expectation that if we just stop using the substance everything will be alright. It's just not that simplistic.

All we have to do is overcome our fear to walk through the doors of AA, & make a commitment to return to the same meeting for 6 times in a row. It will get easier.

Throughout the years I have told many people that if you want sobriety for a lifetime, go to 90 meetings in 90 days. I have known many who didn't do that, but I have never known anyone who has done that who has gone back to using. It's only 90 days, & I'll gladly refund you your misery.

So the key, I was taught, is start with the little things in life , the stuff we overlook countless times every day. This will give you practice, & in very little time at all, with this practice, I found an abundance of things to feel grateful about having in my life.

And I've gotta tell you Gratitude FEELS A LOT better than anger, bitterness, & resentment.

Actually I've found, that it's impossible to feel gratitude & resentment, or bitterness, or anger at the same time.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:16 AM
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Don't give up GotTheBlues. 90+ days is awesome. I've had 90 day stretches with many Day 1s and have always regretted starting again. One day at a time. I'm rooting for you.
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:52 PM
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I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to reply. I'm feeling a lot better about things today, and your messages of support have meant a lot.

I'm hanging in there right now, trying to the positive things. Bought myself a heavy punching bag for the basement today, so that's a lot of frustration that's going to be channeled in a different direction.

I'm also seeing the doctor on Friday, to continue with my year-long quest to try and get a decent drug regimen in place. I also start therapy next week, with a therapist who also practices as an addictions counselor.

Anyway, thanks again.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:08 PM
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Sorry that I am late to this thread, GotTheBlues.

It wasn't until the sixth month mark that I even BEGAN to catch a glimpse of the true benefits and blessings of sobriety and recovery.

While integral to the process of recovery, staying sober was only a part of the process. There was a huge amount of introspection and self-reconciliation that needed to take place. That took time and quite a bit of it at that.

Have you considered counselling? Do you practice meditation? Yoga?

Please don't ever give up. Keep at it. Sobriety and recovery will get easier, with time and dedication to the process.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:18 AM
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keep us posted on how its going.

Its all a process.

I like NQTD -- never quit the decision.


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