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Old 07-12-2018, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to accept that I am capable of anything when drunk


Hello All

I am afraid. Very afraid
I am sober and working the steps. But I am having a hard time accepting that Iím one drink away from any possibility

Iíve never been arrested
Lost a job
Killed anyone drinking and driving

Iíve always been a ďhigh functioningĒ alcoholic
But Iím aware that I was just lucky

I feel like i have to spend the rest of my life carefully treading a line

And on the other side of this line is potential irreversible disaster
I donít feel safe or secure
I donít like that Iím one thin line away from irreversible destruction

Here are the things Iím trying to tell myself to cope:
1. All I can do is my best, one day at a time
2. If I do relapse, I most likely will just binge at home and avoid trouble like I did for 10 years...if I didnít do crazy things in 10 years of drinking, a relapse would most likely be the same isolated self destruction and not the horrible consequences I fear
3. I trust myself to do whatís right, and accept the possibility I fear, turning it over to God (this is the hardest for me)

None of this makes me feel better
I donít want to live in fear of ruining my life in one moment

Please help
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Soberfitness. I can completely relate. There is no telling what I would or wouldn't do during a blackout. I think the more sober time we gain, the more secure we feel in our sobriety. I am new in recovery, and I have the same fears. In fact, just yesterday I found an extra $10 in a pocket of pants, and what was my first instinct? Ah, a "free" $10?! I could spend this on alcohol guilt-free!

Then I had to remind myself, NO; it is neither financially free nor guilt-free by any means. Sometimes I fixate too much on whether or not the next time something like that happens I'll just say F* it and go out and buy a bottle. Well, maybe I will, maybe I won't; but what I do know is that today, I will not drink. I try to keep it simple like that. I can't worry too much about what will happen next week or the week after in terms of drinking, or I'll worry myself sick.

As far as your number 2 point... I know you're just trying to reassure yourself and get rid of the doomsday feeling, but honestly I think having a healthy fear of the consequences of alcohol is a good thing (at least for me). Alcoholism is a progressive disease, as I'm sure you've heard. Sure, nothing catastrophic happened to you in the past 10 years of alcoholism, but please be aware that if you drink, things can always get worse. Ten years ago, I would never have imagined some of the things that have happened to me would ever be part of my life. This isn't exactly a scare tactic, but a reality check.

Remember: you are in control of taking that first drink. What happens after that is likely to spiral out of control. If you manage, one day at a time, to NOT pick up the first drink, you'll be fine. I have faith that in time, I'll feel more secure in my sobriety as well. Glad to hear you're sober
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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if you never drink again, you are guaranteeing a few certain things that WILL NOT happen. you will not get drunk, you will not drive drunk.

to us, it's as deadly as drinking bleach. so we don't do it. ever. not even a little bit.

sobriety is a gift, not a curse. enjoy it, embrace it, enhance it!
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the fear will diminish as you continue in recovery.

It also sounds a bit like you're leaving the door open to a relapse. Relapse is a possibility, but it's not a given.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yet. Get out while you can.
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Alcoholism as described in the book AA is ďan inability to control ones drinkingĒ once you start. Consequences donít make somebody an alcoholic but often inevitably happen to somebody who canít control their drinking. It tells you how to diagnose yourself ďstep over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinkingĒ e.g. how do you feel when you have a few drinks? Can you walk away and leave it or are you yearning for more and then having a magnetic pull to just drink more and more? If youíre honest with yourself you should be able to determine the answer for your reality based on your past experiences. I know I can/have/did.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Another realization

My past couple slips have been because (besides wanting to drink) I am trying to prove that I have at least enough control to not be afraid

Itís a paradox
So by drinking and not having a catastrophe, the fear subsided, but always temporary
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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we are powerless WHEN we drink, but we have absolute control of NOT drinking.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Let me chime in against the AV

Quote:
2. If I do relapse, I most likely will just binge at home and avoid trouble like I did for 10 years...if I didn’t do crazy things in 10 years of drinking, a relapse would most likely be the same isolated self destruction and not the horrible consequences I fear
not to be a fearmonger but you don't *know* this at all. No one can.

my alcoholism progressed - by the end it was very rare I didn't fall or injure myself for example.

I could never remember what happened.

Even tho it all happened in the relative safety and privacy of my own home it as still very much cause for concern.

Drinking is a gamble - you never know for sure where you'll end up.

The best and safest way for drinkers like us is not to drink.

Thats absolutely possible

what kind of things are you doing for your recovery right now?.

D
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe you don't have to accept that you're capable of ANYTHING when drunk.

How about just accepting that when you start drinking it affects your life negatively. You can maybe make a lit of the ways alcohol has affected various areas of your life. For example....

Relationships (mine would be, dumping out positive relationship because they interfered with drinking, choosing people who were not good for me because they supported my drinking lifestyle, being mean and cruel when drunk, being selfish and miserable to be around when sober, being fearful and paranoid regarding my friends, treating people I care about badly. I was convinced while in active alcoholism that I drank because people were so awful to me, but when I stopped drinking I started to see things a little differently.

Financial I ended up with so many unpaid bills, fear around money, living on the headline when (without alcohol) I could be comfortable and secure, not taking responsibility and getting several court threats which was scary and depressing, losing a house I owned and not even really caring because the house I then rented was nearer to my booze supply. It felt like everything was hopeless financially, and I kidded myself that my finances MADE me drink. Once I got sober the finances gradually sorted themselves out.

Career Left several good jobs because I knew I was peeingbthem off and it would be a matter of time before they pulled me up, shoddy work, being unprepared mentally and physically to do my work thoroughly and with integrity, being an arse to co-workers because living in active alcoholism made me fearful and miserable to be around when sober. Again, I thought my career MADE me drink. When I stopped drinking it got much better.

Home My house (whichever one I lived in at any time) turned into a chaotic filthy hovel. (If you lived in a house like that, you'd drink too! Hahaha. You spotting a pattern yet?)

Liberty Risked arrest a number of times (that luck would've run out eventually. Loss of integrity and fredom to be the person I felt I should be because I was controlled by my alcoholic thinking. When in active alcoholism I really did thing that drinking was my one true little bit of fredom, but ohhh what a big fat liar alcohol is.

BB
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I know what you mean. I was watching Glow on Netflix last night and one of the girls on the show got terribly drunk. Slurring, swaying, and kept drinking.

I haven't gone out much for almost a year, keeping things quiet for my first year, so seeing someone hammered was disturbing. I haven't seen anyone that drunk for a long time.

Freaked me out a bit because it repulsed me and I had some sharp memories of that fully drunk feeling, steeped in chemical liquid, no motor control, no cognitive control and it shocked me that I used to do that on purpose. I had a sliver of fear that I am vulnerable to that and it made me nauseous.

I don't want to drink at all anyway but seeing that made me want to run.

I went right back to my normal state of just being. No reason to dwell on the bad stuff when it's over. No reason to believe that I'll drink either, because I don't drink anymore.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I also don't want to be a doom monger but to follow up on what Dee said, I had a friend who died falling downstairs at home drunk. He was only 29 and he wasn't even an alcoholic, just horribly unlucky. Why take that chance?
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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A "high functioning alcoholic" is synonymous with a "mild form of cancer" or "a relatively short sentence in prison." Any active alcoholic is living a half-life at best, from CEOs to the homeless.

What are you doing to stop drinking today?
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you for all of the replies

I am still sober and working steps 1-3 currently

Life is actually pretty good
But I have OCD and am STRUGGLING to live in the present moment one day at a time

The same fear outlined above is still haunting my daily

I wish I could have a realistic fear of alcohol based on my life experiences

If I drink
I could lose my job
Get arrested
Ruin relationships

Those are realistic consequences and I am willing to accept those as possible

But he cognitive distortion of:
If you drink
Itís possible to blackout
And if you blackout you could kill someone or lose yourself in rage

That seems logically unrealistic to me

I want a respectable fear of alcohol but not to feel Iím one drink away from an irreversible mistake

Please help
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't drink anymore. So I'm not one step from ruination or catastrophe. That confidence comes from a firm commitment to sobriety and a solid foundation of recovery.

When you've acquired enough sober time, hopefully you will gain a more realistic perspective.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
But he cognitive distortion of:
If you drink
It’s possible to blackout
And if you blackout you could kill someone or lose yourself in rage
Sorry - I don't see any cognitive distortion.
I've read that story, here at SR.

People don't set out to drive drunk and kill someone, or burn down their house passing out with a cigarette in hand. they don't think that one more hit of smack that a drink makes sound so good will kill them...they don't expect not to wake up one day when their battle weary heart finally gives out.

all true stories ripped from the pages of SR.

Lives can change in an instant in active addiction.

If you think you're immune from that you're kidding yourself sF.

D
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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For me I had to recognize the AV at work and sort of flip the switch on my perspective about not drinking.

I'm not missing anything. Not drinking isn't a sad state of affairs. It's not some kind of funeral that I should weep over. Not drinking isn't me losing some part of my self - at least, not any part of myself that is healthy and constructive.

No. Not drinking is cause for celebration. Be excited about the opportunities not drinking creates. The freedom it brings. The relief in finally being honest with ourselves and ending - for good - the lie and all the wasted energy of keeping up the image and all the other b.s..

Might sound cheesy, but I read a Tony Robbins book a long time ago where he suggested associating a really nasty, gross image in your mind with any habit you want to break. After repetition it tricks your brain into associating the negative thoughts that come with the image with the habit, thereby making it easier to break the habit and re-wire the brain. Not sure to what degree, but I think there's at least something to this.

Bottom line is we have to see what alcohol and its effects in our lives really are - not the romanticized image of it our AV puts in front of us all the time.

See it for what it is - the hangovers, the money spent, the wasted time, the maintenance of an image so people don't find out, etc. etc..

Best to you, keep working it it does get better - especially if you can start seeing it for what it is and recognize the AV voice. If you haven't already I'd highly recommend checking out some stuff with AVRT.

-B
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The steps doesn't say you are capable of anything when drunk.

Step 1 asks the question are you powerless over alcohol. It means are you powerless over alcohol when you start drinking. Does it get out of control? Do you have difficulty stopping after 1 drink? Does alcohol control and dictate what you do in life? Does alcohol dictate what you don't do in life?

You need to take an honest look at your situation.

It also needs to you to consider whether your life has become unmanageable due to drinking. It may not be now, but if you continue drinking what happens?

Do you recognise that it is a progressive condition if you keep drinking?

In summary, it is about creating a self belief that you need to stop to fuel the massive commitment required. This commitment will likely be challenged by your subconscious later when you try and talk yourself into I am ok and a few drinks won't hurt.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=soberFitness;6985228

But the cognitive distortion of:
If you drink
Itís possible to blackout
And if you blackout you could kill someone or lose yourself in rage

That seems logically unrealistic to me

Please help [/QUOTE]

You have never had a blackout when drinking?

The steps don't talk about blackouts. However, they are a reality to most us that drink to excess. I have driven in blackout, pissed on a piano, fought with my wife, mysteriously had cuts and bruises on my body when I woke up. None of which I have any recollection of.
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