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I need ro be sober, but don't want to be....

Old 08-31-2018, 12:11 AM
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I need ro be sober, but don't want to be....

I have been struggling to stay sober for years. I can be very destructive when drinking and have many consequences as a result. When I do sober up, I have to face these problems which I don't know how to fix. I get overwhelmed and seek to numb myself again.

Sobriety means isolation and hopelessness. I don't have any support to lean on. Everyone I know have largely distanced themselves or just moved on with their lives.

AA is great but it's the other 23 hours I struggle with. How have people here handled the fear and anxiety in early sobriety? It always gets the best of me, even after 6 months sober.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Wastinglife View Post

Sobriety means isolation and hopelessness.

How have people here handled the fear and anxiety in early sobriety? It always gets the best of me, even after 6 months sober.
You say sobriety means isolation and hopelessness.

May I remind you that a perception like that doesn't make sobriety appealing in general. What I mean by that is how I overcome the initial fear and anxiety as you have asked, was by learning to actually look at the good sides of sobriety.

It's not easy, i know, it might not be what you want to hear either, but stay with me here; If sobriety could be good for you, would you enjoy it more? And the question then becomes: How can sobriety be good for me if right now it feels bad for me?

Ah, but I guess the only real trick if you are already 6 months sober is to figure out what you can do to solve your problems. I don't know what problems you have though so they might be enormous for all I know, but as a sober person atleast you can operate more effectively then when you would numb your mind. It might seem preposterous because our addiction has a tendency to make us believe using it makes life better compared to being sober.

But I personally have found life and its struggles alot easier to handle when sober then they ever were when I was drunk or hungover. So in your case, if your problems are very difficult to handle, can you get help for those problems? We sometimes do need help and depending on the situation there usually are people who can advice and help you out, so that is sort of the difficulty here for me since I don't know exactly what your problem is so maybe my suggestion is complete non sense, so I apoligize if that is the case...

There's a tendency for us all to focus our minds on the past and on what good things we think we might have had in the past, but there is also a future which can be absolutely incredible but that same future takes shape out of this very moment, so it means we can only move forward if we make sure we do the right thing, right here right now to make sure the future takes care of itself.

In your case, a future of sobriety where you don't have to feel whatever you are currently feeling, it might be alot of work or it might be an easy step, that is the difference between people and how far their addiction took its toll on them and their lives...

So sadly, i think non of us can give you some magical idea that would instantly solve your problems but I do know it always comes down to a matter of ''outgrowing'' who you were and what you are facing so you become a better and stronger version of yourself all together
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:02 AM
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I need ro be sober, but don't want to be....
Sobriety means isolation and hopelessness. I don't have any support to lean on. Everyone I know have largely distanced themselves or just moved on with their lives.
These are are the kind of thoughts to challenge, not accept blindly.

If sobriety means hopelessness and isolation that would mean there's a lot of people here isolated and helpless, me included - and that's just not true

If you have problems you don;t know how to fix, what about asking for help and input?

If all your current friends have moved on, then find new ones.

I'm not saying any of that lightly.

All my friends at the end of my drinking days were drinkers like me - take away that element and they drifted off.

I'd moved away from other friends when my drinking become all encompassing - I was able to reconnect with a few of those, and I made new friends in the course of building my new sober life.

I started to really face my problems instead of running from things in the bottom of a bottle.

It was a slow process to begin with and I used my support net - this place, doctor, counsellor - very very often in the beginning...but I got somewhere in the end.

If you have no doctor or counsellor what about using AA as another place to ask for that help apart from SR? AA can be more than just an hour a day

I'm not going to tell you all of that was easy - it wasn't - but it was actually easier than trying to drink all night long and work all day and be everything everyone wanted me to be.

Trying to keep alcohol in my life was a *constant* struggle and strain - letting go and letting that part of my life drift away was actually a relief.

I don;t know how to convince someone to quit when they don't want to man - but I reckon if you re-read some of your past posts and threads, you might get a fair way towards admitting things need to change - or you'll never get out of this loop you're in.

D
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:20 AM
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Sobriety means freedom, gratitude and joy.

You’ll discover that when you want to.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:28 AM
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While I don't agree with your assessment of how life works without alcohol I really appreciate your honesty. Unfortunately, even your own assessment of the situation does not show a winning lifestyle option going forward. I hope you keep working on improving you life whatever path you choose to take.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:32 AM
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You'll have to forgive me if this is a stupid idea because I don't know how it works, but if isolation is a big issue couldn't you go to more than one AA meeting a day just to get you out of the house and in the company of like minded people? You could go in the morning and evening maybe? You might even make some friends there?
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:38 AM
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There are other options for support, to handle the things in life that we find difficult. AA isn't the only thing out there- you can go inpatient or outpatient. You can find a therapist. You can learn how to meditate. You can learn yoga or take breathwork therapy. Singing bowl therapy. You can find a hobby or job that fulfills you. It's not just about "not drinking."
Once we stop drinking the chaos settles down a bit but life doesn't just magically get easier and it sounds like that is what you are expecting. Life still happens, and you will still have ups and downs, especially that first year. I had a very hard time the first year but now, almost 16 months sober I can tell you that it was the best decision I ever made. And getting sober is the only reason I am doing other things like developing my spiritual side. I learned Reiki. I made the best friends in the world in a spiritual development class. I am pursuing my dreams. I couldn't have done any of that if I was still drinking.

Your addiction is trying to convince you that drinking is better than sobriety but I think if you really examine that inside of you, you know that it simply isn't true. You wouldn't be here if it was.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by FreeOwl View Post
Sobriety means freedom, gratitude and joy.

You’ll discover that when you want to.
I had to want to be sober more than I wanted to drink. I had to take what I saw as a big risk to trust that what I would find in the over side would be better.

That's the part of the equation you began the thread with....you have to want sobriety. Then go from there.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:33 AM
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I think you have to want sobriety or at least a better way of living, and then be prepared to do what it takes.

I take your point about AA meetings and the other 23 hours. That is absolutely relavent. Though it is something of a misconception to think that you can't be drinking at a meeting. I have seen it many times. So even just for that one hour the meeting is not 100 percent reliable.

The only way I know to take care of all 24 hours is to work all the steps, which is done away from meetings, and learn to live the 24 hour program as set out in the last three steps. That is what worked for me and quite a few others. Of course you would only do that if you were sufficiently desperate to stop the misery as I was.

It is a few weeks since I was able to get to a meeting, yet I am fine. I am now in an area where there are some meetings, so I will make an effort to get along and see if I can contribute something. Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:15 AM
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We were in the same June 2016 class, WastingLife. I think you've zeroed in on the big issue right there in the thread title. Often we get stuck wanting the world to be a certain way instead of observing the world closely and accepting it as it really is. Which is of course so easy to say but sometimes can seem almost impossible to do in practice. Meditation and Buddhist ideas have helped me a lot along the way. All the best to you.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:21 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I have tried therapy and AA before. My main issue is that I have ADHD and don't do well with drawn out, muli-step processes. I did 6 months of daily AA meetings, had a sponsor, then got bored and impulsively decided to get a job and start dating. Was soom drinking again and lost the job after a few months. I did the exact same thing after a rehab stint with the same result. My impulse control is like that of a child. I can't use the medication fot it because I abuse it (amphetamines). I had a late diagnosis at age 35 while in rehab for substance abuse so the ship may have already sailed as far as those meds.

I am in such a mess....
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:59 AM
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I had a lot of underlying issues that I tried to self-medicate myself with via alcohol too, mainly anxiety. I found that for me I needed to isolate and accept them as distinct issues that each needed action on my part.

First off of course is the drinking itself. Alcohol is a mind altering substance, so any therapy or drugs that you might need to treat your underlying issues are either going to be less effective, not effective at all, or possibly even counter-effective. AKA - the very first step in order to even have a chance of solving the other issues is to stop drinking. You can't install the first floor on a house before you've built the foundation, right?

ADHD is a very treatable condition, but just taking Meds is not always the answer. Did you seek any help via counseling or therapy for it when you were sober for those 6 months? My issue was anxiety and my doctors just wanted to give me drugs too, but I decided to see a counselor and it made all the difference in the world. I can't believe I waited almost 2 years to do it after I quit.

The bottom line though is that you need to stop drinking first. You've done it before, and you can absolutely do it again. And don't throw out what "didn't" work either because this time is different.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:09 AM
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I know how you feel, I really do...it's what kept me drinking for much longer than I should have...even when I did end up alone on my island, drinking by myself on the patio at night. It's all I had, and damn, was it good to be numb....at least I thought it was...I've currently never been faced with more debt and financial consequences, I have like no friends basically, I'm unemployed having messed up my career opportunities not once but twice in the last nine months, I'm going through all these weird GI issues with no insurance basically and I don't have any family to lean on. Sitting here at 58 days, and I still wouldn't trade it to go back.

I'm definitely not in the best situation or the best version of myself, but holy hell, I never knew sobriety would feel this good. Yes, the mental clarity, the way lowered anxiety (didn't realize how impactful the booze was on that!) and the not having to do damage control over my actions is gold. But the biggest gift I've found is I'm noticing I actually give a crap about myself. I'm actually acting in self-preservation subconsciously instead of having a "who gives a crap?" eff the world, cynical attitude. That gives me hope that life is worth living, that I won't feel like every day is a punishment and I'm stuck here for another X amount of years. And I'm finally excited for something, even if it is getting my gassy, unemployed, lonely ass down this sober journey. I used to roll my eyes when people would post on here or tell me in AA, "no trust me, it's so much better sober, whatever you have going on is so much better to handle sober". Yeah, okay...try my life and meet me. But I'm laughing because IT'S TRUE!!

Our ego ("You haven't met my problem, my situation is different"), our fear ("it's not going to work, I can't possibly face this") and our pride ("Why do I have to change? I'm not climbing that wall, the wall should move for me") are our biggest obstacles to our disease and most problems in general. Do a 180 and challenge yourself to fight them.

I'm glad you're on here and posting and reaching out. Drink if you must, but that inner voice and nagging realization isn't going to go away, it's pushing you to where you need to be. I say cheers to a new thirst...I would bet you won't regret it.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:16 AM
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Hello,

I'm so glad you're here and posting. The biggest thing for me when I finally got sober after many failed attempts was I really, really, really wanted sobriety. I did not want to continue to wake up feeling lousy, and manage to get through the day anymore. I wanted to fully enjoy every part of the day.

I started with SR, and a counselor, I now just use SR daily to check in, and also to offer support to others, I still find reading and posting here daily very helpful. Exercise and getting outdoors in nature daily have also been part of my recovery, there is something therapeutic about just being in nature. Finally, mindfulness has been a key for me. I have used different techniques to help me grounded in the present. I do not dwell on the past, and if I feel myself starting to I will listen to a mindfulness video on YouTube, or in an app. I also don't worry about the future, I plan for it, but try hard not to stress.

It truly is about getting up each day and making the decision that you are not going to drink that day. I am now closer to three years, than two and it is very rare that alcohol even pops into my mind, and when it does the thought is fleeting.

You can do this, but it really has to start with you wanting it, and I promise you sobriety is absolutely worth it!!

❤️Delilah
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:59 AM
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I'm sure you've gotten much better and more complex responses, but my take on it is this: You need to be willing to not drink no matter what, for a long enough time for the positive changes to take effect. At the beginning, your addiction will do everything to convince you of the "if you had my problems, you'd drink too" mentality. People deal with far more severe problems than ADHD without drinking. Give it more time.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by FreeOwl View Post
Sobriety means freedom, gratitude and joy.

You’ll discover that when you want to.
This x 100. Simple as that. But it takes work, pain and discipline in the beginning - like anything at all in life that has value and is worth it.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:51 AM
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I can totally relate to not wanting to stop. I didn't want to stop for 7 years, so I continued on the crazy train, the obsession, the impulse, the destruction, the lies, the pain, the heartache, the legal issues, the INSANITY.
That was such a miserable life to live.
I didn't want to be miserable anymore.
I didn't want to be hungover on my couch anymore
I was tired of not living to my true potential.
I was tired of the expense financially, mentally, and physically.
I had enough

When you have had enough or hit what you want to consider your bottom, you will want a better life. You will want to see tomorrow in new light, you will get past all the BS.
BUT
It takes work and dedication and NOT half-heartedly trying something. It is an all or nothing situation, just like your drinking.
Put your drinking energy into your recovery and you will flourish.
But only if you want it.
If you don't..... Well continue to live like you are and you can't complain about the situation you continue to put yourself in, seriously, its the victim card that cant be played. Can't play the victim to your own doing's.
(I honestly say that with true compassion, I HAVE BEEN THERE)
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:46 PM
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Can you find a specialist who focuses on addiction as well as ADHD? Surely there is someone out there that can help you. I’m sorry you have added problems but I do believe you can still stop drinking. You may just need extra support. And there are alternatives to AA like Smart or Rational Recovery or Lifering. Or even Refuge Recovery. Where there is a will there is a way. Don’t give up.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:12 AM
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I can totally relate to everything you said about not wanting to quit. I'm 16 days sober and I'm still not sure I want to quit forever. The key for me is to quit TODAY. Everyday you wake up quit that day. Thinking about tomorrow, next week, next month, forever, is too much for us. Just get through today and in no time you'll have a year under your belt and feel like a Million bucks.

You want this or you wouldn't be here.

Stay away from situations and people who tempt you, at least until you're strong enough in your recovery. I'm literally isolating myself right now because that's the only way I don't drink. It's only temporary.
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:52 AM
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The addiction is what changes your brain to think that achieving sobriety would bring "hopelessness." I'll second what Dee74 said; that kind of thought is to be challenged. Is it a feeling, or a fact? When do think you would really have more hope that things would go well for you, in intoxication or in sobriety?

One practical suggestion might be to join a class somewhere, as a way of being entertained, a way of increasing your social circles, your sense of empowerment and achievement, and your accountability. This can be really inexpensive. You could audit a course at a local community college, or take a class offered at a museum or some kind of civic society. Learn a foreign language. Anything, basically. I know you said you had ADHD, but remember, you'd be taking the class for your mental health, not so much for the grades. ;-)
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