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Old 08-12-2018, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Struggling today

Hi, I am struggling today and would like to reach out to ask for some support or, just as good, any input you wise crowd might have. Iím coming up on 7 months sober and, while itís been a period of time not without its bumps, for the most part itís been very manageable. Crucially, I havenít been hit too hard with the desire to drink, not even a couple of weeks ago when I was on vacation with the family in Miami and all-day, every day drinking seemed to be pretty high on a lot of peopleís agenda. (And no judgement: in years gone by, Iíd have been greasing my wheels whenever I felt I decently could or wasnít too hungover to drink.)

So thatís a bit of background. The last week, however, I have been knocked flat by a wave of what I can only describe as sadness and specifically a sadness that relates to stuff in my younger life ó the details donít need discussing here ó and, over the last day or so, sadness that relates to the damage I did to myself and the way that I behaved during the most active periods of my drinking. (Itís belatedly occurred to me that I could well have died on more than one occasion: passing out in the floor and then waking up vomiting wasnít unknown behavior, for example, and in hindsight I have experienced some really brutal withdrawals.) Remorse for the way my behavior has affected others is not new to me, but remorse for the way I have treated myself and sadness for what has happened in the past is definitely new. And, in contrast to feelings of sadness that may have come up before that I was always great at sweeping under the carpet ó drinking into oblivion, more like! ó I feel currently like I am powerless to stop feeling all the feels, no matter how uncomfortable and bleak these feels might be.

I guess what Iím saying is this: itís almost like Iíve been wandering around in a fog for years, which has now lifted and the sunlight is too bright. Have others experienced this? I have read a lot about the way that alcohol can stunt our emotional development, which makes perfect sense, but is it also the case that it can deaden our emotional range so effectively that we are in effect able to disconnect from ourselves? And is what Iím experiencing now, in effect, a reconnection?

Iím sorry if this is rather jumbled. Iím struggling to get my arms around it myself!
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think it's all those things.

I know exactly what you're talking about, and you describe it really well.

is it also the case that it can deaden our emotional range so effectively that we are in effect able to disconnect from ourselves?
At one point in early sobriety I had a distinct feeling that I was coming back together, almost like an Escher puzzle drawing.

Lots of physical and nervous system healing going on. And, yeah. Everything was too fast too bright too loud.

I also had to forgive myself about a thousand times, and try very hard to stay in THIS moment. Not the past or the future.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.
~ Isak Dinesen
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)

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Hello wynwrights i really liked your thread ...i hope you soon feel better. Well done on 7 months now it seems you are going through grief of some not so good choices, but please do not beat yourself too hard . Some lost opportunieties , some terrible self destructive and their natural consequences would make anybody sad. It is to pat yourself you stopped and entered healing. This is the most important. After sadness you reach acceptance in grief process of course if i sense right. as maybe it is something different. Sending big hugs and prayers xD
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I experienced the same thing that you are going through. And, I think, for me, it was the hardest part of recovery. I had to look clearly at what I had done to myself and the problems I had caused myself, and it was hard. But, I think it's also part of the recovery process. You can look at it, feel the emotions, and then work on letting it go. You might find that journaling helps you get through this. Forgive yourself.

This is one of my favourite quotes from the brilliant Maya Angelou:

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now I know better, I do better."
And I dont know what the future is holding in store
I dont know where Im going, Im not sure where I've been
There's a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me
My life is worth the living, I dont need to see the end.

John Denver
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:57 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Thank you all for the input. The advice was great and itís heartening to know that what Iím feeling is by no means out of the ordinary. I need to remind myself more regularly that thereís a lot of damage to unwind ó and a lot of (re) growing to do, physical and mental ó and that Rome was not built in a day!
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:03 PM   #6 (permalink)

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I love your post..I only have under three weeks right now but I have hadsome months and nearly a year of sobriety in the past ( pregnancy.)

Right now I feel dull and a bit numb at times. Iíve had waves of emotions and tears..but daily the most emotion I have is irritability and blah.
During long term sobriety I felt what you are describing. I made so many poor choices when drinking..and I almost feel like I was abusing myself my ALLOWING others to use me. I was so unkind to my body and soul. I put on a front like I made my own choices and I was independent and strong. But, without alcohol many things would not have happened. I would have been somewhere else. I did dangerous things to myself and potentially others. It is HARD to accept and forgive.
But we can do it! It helps knowing others feel the same and have been through it.
So many cliches but so much truth as well. NO ONE is perfect. Even people without addictions make horrible choices. No sure if I should be glad that I canít remember a lot of mine
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:54 PM   #7 (permalink)

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Wynwrights, your post makes perfect sense to me and it would be surprising if there wasn't some emotional turmoil. Don't regret the past and don't shut the door on it as AA says. Be thankful you are moving on. Yes our emotional states are stunted as we chose not to face things and live in a self absorbed way. Objectify your emotions let them pass and know that they are temporary.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I know what you’re talking about. It’s disorienting to realize the full effects of denial and all the other stuff going on in our minds that informed large periods of our lives. I just tonight remembered something I did that I swept under the rug, that some other people probably didn’t forget as easily as I did because it was pretty awful. And a lot of the stuff hurts.

I think we have to forgive ourselves.
Traded alcohol, hubris, and resentment for gratitude, serenity, and hope August 12, 2016.
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