Flashbacks, do these last?

Old 07-25-2018, 05:00 PM
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Flashbacks, do these last?

Hi everyone, hope you are doing well today.

Have been sober 6 weeks tomorrow, managed 5 months sober prior to this before I relapsed. This resulted in me losing my wife, home and job.

Seem to be very slowly getting back to myself again but I keep having flashbacks all the time, always about bad things I did either to obtain alcohol or the money to buy alcohol. They seem to hit me at the most random times and totally paralyse me for a minute or two.

Has anyone ever known this or experienced it themselves?
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:21 PM
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Try carrying a pad and journal them. Great stuff for a counselor or self reflection!
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:00 PM
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Hi Rob82201 welcome and congratulations on 6 weeks sober.

It happened to me on a fairly regular basis when I first got sober although in the last four weeks it's happened less and less (I'm 83 days sober), I'd be happily going about my day then suddenly remember some idiotic thing that I did whilst I was still drinking. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it until I'd made myself feel terrible. I'm getting better at pushing them aside now and realising that I can't change the past, they are just intrusive thoughts caused by anxiety. Meditation and journaling my way through them has helped me a lot.
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:39 PM
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Hi Rob,
yes it happened to me every night for the first month or two of my recovery. It seemed realy unfair. Here I was doing my best each day, and succeeding a good bit of the time, yet every night when my head hit the pillow, these skeletons would come out to dance. It was almost physical, gut churning so to speak.

It was about the things I had done that betrayed my own values, and the people I hoped to avoid for the rest of my life. What happens if someone finds out? What happens if I run into so and so? I was terrified of being "found out"
I even thought they would kick me out of AA if they knew.

It stopped and never recurred after step five. That night, for the first time, I slept like a baby. In the process I had discovered that I was a run of the mill alcoholic, that did run of the mill alcoholic things. I was the same as everybody else, no longer alone and afraid.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:12 PM
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Flash backs, oh yeah! I remember them.( no pun intended)
I’d be driving in the van and one would hit me.
I’d literally shout out whilst driving ‘OH NO, OH NO. Pomp pi Dom pi dom, la la la it doesn’t matter anyway’.

Although I was shouting it I called them ‘paranoid mumblings’

My brother ( 5 years sober now) got them at night and used to shout OH No too then counted to a certain number fastly and loudly before settling back down.
The neighbors thought he was crackers!

I no longer do that and nor does he.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:21 PM
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Are you working a program of any kind? Our past actions were $hit we did and we have to/should own that,make amends if/when possible,ect..I know it sounds cliche,but..what else do ya have? Journaling is a great way to get outta your head and have a 'record' for when you're ready. Stay sober.
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:52 AM
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I don't think its that unusual to have flashbacks that scare the crap out of us. I do believe they lessen or go away with time, at least they did for me. Sorry to hear what you lost to alcohol. I hope you can rebuild.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:04 AM
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I think of it as a reminder of where I have been and where I do not ever want to return to. I have a really good memory so I have to learn to let go of some of the horrific things I recall from my drinking days and forgive myself for my past actions. I have got to keep moving forward in order to keep living a better life.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:25 AM
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When I was suffering the worst of my PTSD I had what I would call flashbacks. I don't think they were anywhere near as bad as I have read they can be, but they would take over and I would 'feel' in the moment, if only for a few seconds. I had a hard time distinguishing the 'real' moment from the flashback.
I haven't had one in some time, thank God.

Now cringe worthy moments? Yes, lots, often. I've been addicted to alcohol, or at least abusing it, for quite a long time. I have done lots, and I mean lots, of things that make me feel so much shame and guilt. Embarrassment, amazement....jaw dropping crap. Some of it pretty run of the mill, some of it well, pretty uniquely horrible. I have probably 5 top hits that I think about daily. Not all day. But they are there. I'm not sure, quite frankly, the magic trick. Time? Processing? Steps? Talking about them? Acceptance that that was then, this is now, I don't have to do that again? Ownership? Living amends? I guess all of it.

But I always remind myself I never have to behave that way again. Provided I don't drink.
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