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here somewhere 08-14-2006 12:07 PM

Recovery addict?
 
Hi everyone,

This may seem kind of an odd question, but, is it possible to get hooked on recovery? Maybe I should explain what I mean. You see, several months ago I found this site and was very encouraged by what I read here. The people here helped me string together more sober days, more often, than I've been able to do previously by myself. So I came here more and more often, spending more and more time at the computer. Then I found the Smart site and the same thing happened. I liked the people there, and the things they said, so I went there more and more often spending even more time on the computer. Then I found out about "chatting" (don't laugh. I really had no idea what it was all about!). There, I met some great people and really enjoyed thier company. Of course, this meant spending more and more time on the computer. You see where this is going? Now, my wife can't figure out why I need to spend so much time talking to people on the computer, when I'm not really not very friendly to people I meet in person. She's actually getting jealous and thinks I must be doing some kind of on-line dating thing or something like that. She's heard stories about things like that happening. Anyway, to get back to the topic. Do you think a guy can get hooked on the recovery proccess itself? Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
S

paulmh 08-14-2006 12:11 PM

Great topic. I look forward to the replies!

Ngokpa 08-14-2006 12:41 PM

There are such things as "AA widows" and "AA widowers". Recovery takes over people's lives so they don't have room for anything else, and their families take the backseat. I think this is healthy for the first year or two because of the huge transition we have to make (and the huge risks if we don't). But eventually we have to be responsible to more than ourselves, which is a natural progression of recovery.

Something that also can take place is that folks become addicted to the idea that AA or NA literature is the fount of all wisdom. While such literature is certainly preferable to some of our earlier preferences (books and movies to get stoned by), it was written by human beings in a field that continues to evolve. AA and NA are not cults, but they are sometimes treated as such by people who need heroes and have had something huge missing in their lives. But recovery and spirituality are huge fields that recovery cannot adequately address, and the authors knew this.

Don S 08-14-2006 12:51 PM

Any behavior can become compulsive. The question is whether the behavior is becoming harmful to you, to your family or relationships, to your work performance. Do you harbor unrealistic beliefs about the value of online chatting? Do you feel that you could not sustain your sobriety without it? There are clear ways to assess whether your beliefs are rational, healthy, or help you reach your goals.

More important to me is that your wife is uncomfortable with what you are doing because she doesn't know what you are doing. There is a common perception among folks who don't go online much that these relationships aren't 'real' because they aren't face-to-face. Most of us find real benefits in being able to choose our level of anonymity here. But the things she is describing certainly do happen. How open are you with her about what you're doing? Has she ever visited these forums, or watched you chat online at SMART Recovery? Is it infringing on time you used to spend together? Would you be uncomfortable if she sat down at your computer and logged on to the sites you visit regularly?
That's probably enough questions for now....Take care,

here somewhere 08-14-2006 01:13 PM

Actually, my wife has toyed with the idea of quitting drinking too, and I showed her these sites right from the start. Same thing with the chatting. There are no secrets between us, but I think it upsets her a little because I'm more serious about quitting (even though I'm not very good at it!) than she is and she probably feels somewhat left out.
Oh well, I'm sure things will work out just fine. Maybe I just need to learn to type faster! HA!
Scott

doorknob 08-14-2006 01:35 PM

I'm powerless over this forum, and my life has become unmanageable...
 
For me, participating here is absolutely addictive. But it has helped me to stay sober for longer periods of time (I think) than if I didn't come here. And if I've relapsed, it helps me find the motivation to try again. My gf does get frustrated with me because I spend so much time on the computer. It takes considerable effort on both of our parts to get me to log off sometimes. :09:

PaperDolls 08-14-2006 01:57 PM

I think I'm addicted to it sort of -- but I sometimes wonder if I stay more depressed while visiting here. While I was on vacation last week, obviously I didn't visit this site. I didn't feel near as depressed. I come here and read sad stories and I'm reminded of my depression and get lots of negative thoughts. I don't know.

aloneagainor 08-14-2006 02:14 PM

So long as it's not harmful, and is helpful to sobriety and learning, even perhaps fostering improved communciation skills, I see such benefit in this medium of written exchange.

As for being "addicted" to recovery (I've been accused of being "addicted to writing"), that may be true. But I also regard it as essential to my sanity, and now direction toward recovery. That I've not tripped in four months but had been every month previous for decades I think is testimony to the power of being connected...at least through written word.

As can be said about pretty much everything, examine your motives, and you'll know the answer.

aloneagainor 08-14-2006 04:59 PM

Hey PaperDolls --I noticed you were gone last week. Good to see you came back. Vacation has a way of shedding new light on life, ideally inspiring, or at least stabilizing, renewing. I've observed that when I'm on vacation it seems the whole world is on vacation, everything is peaceful calm easy. But that's vacation, "freedom or release from duty, business, activity." The ideal would be to merge that relaxed mindset with duty, business, activity in your non-vacation life. Convergence of the ideal with reality. Such is why we're here, yes? Peace.

Don S 08-14-2006 05:07 PM

Clearly we need to start a forum for spouses and sigothers of SR members.

Bobbybanned 08-14-2006 09:41 PM

Good Topic
 

Originally Posted by aloneagainor
As can be said about pretty much everything, examine your motives, and you'll know the answer.

Our motivates tell us so much about why we do what we do.

That was a very good question/topic to start with. And it seems everyone replying certainly understands compulsive behavior quite well. Of course if anyone would know, we should.
The cool part about recovery (scarey too) is that it pretty much requires us to move along, to grow, as people. As we mature, it is important to venture off to new things. Of course it would seem quite reasonable to have a support system in place that you find comforting. Just keep in mind how important it is to balance things out for yourself. Moderation is important with anything, even support systems.


Originally Posted by here somewhere
Now, my wife can't figure out why I need to spend so much time talking to people on the computer, when I'm not really not very friendly to people I meet in person.

Try venturing out and meeting some people in real life situations. Do things you may not normally do. You really have nothing to lose. You may find it very gratifying.

here somewhere 08-15-2006 06:41 AM

Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like my situation isn't as unique as I thought it was. Oh well, I guess I'm not that special after all! (kidding, of cousre I am!). It's just that the thing with spending more and more time on the computer is, that I believe now, that I was using it as more of a social function than a recovery tool. Especially the chatting. I never did that before but ended up really liking it! I think it was the instant response thing about it that I liked. That, and the fact that some of the people there are absolutely hilarious. I swear, sometimes I would laugh out loud at some of the funny things that were said. Looking back now, I can see how my wife might have been a little concerned. You see, most women who meet me, inevitably fall for me. It's true. I'm pretty much "God's gift to women". I can't help it, that's just the way it is. It's a curse, really. I just wish there were more of me to go around, but alas, there's only me. Sorry girls, but I'm taken. Be strong. You'll get by some how. I tried to reassure her that she had nothing to worry about, but she knows how the intricate minds of women work. The clever and sometimes devious nature of these glorious creations, all clamoring for a piece of me. I'm a one gal guy (one at a time please, stay in line now!). So, I feel that in the interest of fairness, to both my wife and the clamoring masses, I must conduct myself here on these boards with the uptmost level of professionalism. It seems that humor and socializing don't mix well with recovery. Like prying open a can of paint with a screwdriver; sure you can do it that way, but theres a special tool for that job. I guess I was mis-using these forums. I guess I should "toe the line" a bit more, and not try to turn this into something a little more fun than it usually is. I should remember that this isn't some kind of social forum, but a serious place where people come to seek help for serious problems. I hope I didn't offend anyone.

Good luck to all,
Scott

Five 08-15-2006 06:55 AM

Well, yes, it is compulsive. No more denial for me. A bona fide compulsive element. Mate, I have swarn this site of many times, and come back because of the debates and just being around people who are thoughtful and non judgemental (mostly) - but I will one day leave. Because that is my main goal. To leave this whole addiction thing behind.

Peace to you. And anything (cept murder, rape, etc) is better than drinking.

Five 08-15-2006 06:55 AM


Originally Posted by PaperDolls
I think I'm addicted to it sort of -- but I sometimes wonder if I stay more depressed while visiting here. While I was on vacation last week, obviously I didn't visit this site. I didn't feel near as depressed. I come here and read sad stories and I'm reminded of my depression and get lots of negative thoughts. I don't know.

Yes. I get anger and frustration sometimes.

I know hwat you mean Paper.

Peace, 5

Five 08-15-2006 06:57 AM

alone, you have four months sobriety?

PaperDolls 08-15-2006 07:02 AM


Originally Posted by here somewhere
It seems that humor and socializing don't mix well with recovery. Like prying open a can of paint with a screwdriver; sure you can do it that way, but theres a special tool for that job. I guess I was mis-using these forums. I guess I should "toe the line" a bit more, and not try to turn this into something a little more fun than it usually is. I should remember that this isn't some kind of social forum, but a serious place where people come to seek help for serious problems. I hope I didn't offend anyone.

Good luck to all,
Scott

Scott -- I don't see how you offended anyone. Certainly I wasn't offended. I understand your wife's concerns. My partner is against any sort of online conversation. I'm not proud of it, but she doesn't know I visit SR. I only come on at work and I know it has helped me in my recovery. Both my alcoholism and my depression.

Now, if we aren't allowed to be funny. I'm leaving.

You're right Scott - this forum is a serious place where people come to seek help for serious problems. BUT, there are forums here for the lighter side. We all need that. Laughter is the best medicine, right?

As far as your wife perceiving that you're having "too much fun", I'm not sure what to tell you. I suspect you might be right about her feeling left out. May be try to include her in your recovery. Not just the online stuff, but any meetings or counseling you might attend.

Hugs,:Val004:
doll

doorknob 08-15-2006 07:02 AM


Originally Posted by here somewhere
It seems that humor and socializing don't mix well with recovery. Like prying open a can of paint with a screwdriver; sure you can do it that way, but theres a special tool for that job. I guess I was mis-using these forums. I guess I should "toe the line" a bit more, and not try to turn this into something a little more fun than it usually is. I should remember that this isn't some kind of social forum, but a serious place where people come to seek help for serious problems. I hope I didn't offend anyone.

I have to disagree! Humor and socializing is part of why I come here. If I can't have fun not drinking...

Blake 08-15-2006 07:18 AM

I love the humor that comes with recovery, it tends to be a little on the dark side, but there sre just somethings you have to laugh at to keep from crying about. Socializing and acting a fool with my friends in recovery probably makes up about 60% of my recovery program, without the fun and humor, I wouldn't have stuck around.....I wouldn't have gotten clean if everyday was to be lived in a serious robotesque fashion.

Now on to my addiction....

I am thuroughly addicted to recovery....**** I got an NA logo tattooed on my chest....I am also addicted to breathing.....the way I look at it is that if I recover from my addiction to breathing, I'll die, same with my addiction to recovery, if I stop being in recovery I'll go back to using eventually and I'll end up in jail or dead.

For the entire first year of my recovery, I hit an NA meeting every single night. Now, I still got to about 4 or 5 meetings a week, but I have realized that all this not using dope for a while has given me a life outside of NA to deal with too, which is a good thing. Balance is the key, and as addicts we are not too good with that concept, but just like anything else, it takes trial and error to learn.

An oldtimer said something at a meeting I went to once that I still remember, "If you are sitting around here with 5 years clean or more and are still going to 7 meetings a week or more, you are hiding from life in NA, and that's not what recovery is about" Recovery is about getting better so that we can have a life, if I refuse to live that life, I'm pissing on my recovery...make sense?

windysan 08-15-2006 07:35 AM

I was really into the AA thing for a couple of years. Funny thing is that I ain't an alcoholic...just a dope addict. Anyways, there were mostly dope addicts in them meetings. I chaired some meetings, was a crappy sponsor to a couple of people, then I just grew out of the 12-step program. Meetings started depressing the hell outta me. Now I pop in here now and again. I choose not to do dope any more cuz I know where it will lead. I'm doing okay.

aloneagainor 08-15-2006 08:59 AM

PaperDolls--I've been instructed not to write on-line, or otherwise discuss drugs with anyone either. Which was fine so long as I was ignoring/ avoiding change, I had no reason to talk about use, for to talk would threaten it. Oh does it threaten it.

But it's not just about drugs, it's about connecting with people. About allowing outside perspectives in. And about learning new ways of enjoying one's mind, the minds of others, and life in general. What's to fear in open exchange of thoughts and ideas. So long as your motives are in the right place.


Originally Posted by five
...and come back because of the debates and just being around people who are thoughtful and non judgemental (mostly) - but I will one day leave. Because that is my main goal. To leave this whole addiction thing behind.

That is so on target with my line of thinking, Five. It's what prompted me to attempt to move beyond active use, so to reclaim my mind and get on with life. Three, four months into seriously looking at this addiction, it frustrated me to find this is such a monumental process; I always thought I'd give up the drugs when it was time and naturally move right on to whatever came next. Now 18 months later I'm still consumed in thought about drugs, though not about finding/ acquiring/ using, instead about learning/ improving/ changing. Definitely a more mentally productive direction, and honestly a more rewarding path especially for the long term outlook. I've met some of the most fantastically creative, intelligent, thoughtful, humorous people here. Happily invested. Moving beyond active addiction remains a daily struggle, but it's not nearly so intimidating or frustrating as it was even just a few months ago. Even the "judgmental" sorts contribute to my learning and understanding of myself and human nature overall.

Not four months sober. Four months away from psychedelics/ hallucinogens. I can't claim an official sobriety date because I haven't yet gotten entirely away from pot.


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