Is this normal for 5 months.....

Old 06-01-2009, 11:15 AM
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Question Is this normal for 5 months.....

So....I almost have 5 months...

...I am sober...

I have quite a few mood swings....lately they have been pretty bad..... I wont go into detail about that. The first month or so I was sober I was very motivated...doing things that I knew would improve my life and make me happy. I felt good and was happy over all.

Since then its been a real struggle to keep any sort of motivation and follow through. I keep coming up with these great goals and plans and will work them for a bit only to give up within a two week period.

My moods are all over the place...after what I think was a bad haircut I basically had a breakdown in the car on the way home. I was balling, screaming....and feeling so freakin ugly and disgusting that I didnt want anyone to look at me. It was BAD.

Huzzy and I get into it yesterday...he is frustrated by my list of problems that seem to be constantly coming up all the time. I have had some medical stuff to deal with and I do think that when I am not feeling so hot that I can be quite the hypochondriac.

Anyway.....Huzzy actually said that he thinks maybe I should give anti-depressants a try. He knows that I DO NOT want to take any sort of mind altering meds if I can help it. I am not sure if what I am experiencing is normal getting sober fluctuations of if maybe I should consider meds.

Is all this pretty normal at 5 months? I know it varies from person to person but overall?.....Obviously I would know...this is my first shot at sobriety.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:09 PM
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I KNOW I'm getting weird, but I've been looking into this, E A R T H . C L I N I C - Folk Remedies and Holistic Cures it's home remedies for just about anything. Some are really unique. I'm trying cold showers (difficult) and apple cider vinegar (not too difficult) and I'm looking into oil pulling (weird!)
I feel really great once I get out of the shower, haven't noticed anything changing yet with the vinegar, but it's true I don't feel any arthritis pains either...
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:52 PM
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Hello, vivid. I've never made it to five months sober, but I had depression before I started drinking...a good year or so before I self-medicated.

I'm on anti-depressants now. I'm currently going through the process of shuffling through different combos.

None of what I'm on has ever made me feel drugged or high. When it works, I've had some feel good moments, but not of the mind-alterting kind...know what I mean?

Nothing that I'm on is habit forming. My doctor and therapist know about my drinking...I've been very I won't get anything that I can abuse.

I think you should talk to your doctor or psychiatrist. You can tell them of your concerns about medication and they can help you from there. They may suggest various forms of therapy to help you learn how to cope. Some people with depression or mood swings (I get those often) do not use medications and do fine with only therapy.

Take it easy.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:08 PM
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Vivid, congrats on 5 mths! I fought taking medication for depression for about 20 yrs, I just wouldn't consider it; then I went to see a wonderful psychiatrist who said to me "if you were told you had epilepsy would you take medication for it?" of course I said "yes" and she said "depression is no different it is a medical condition". I've been on anti-depressants for 15 years and like Bam said I've never noticed any mind altering going on, anti-depressants do nothing for those that are not depressed. Stay strong.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:12 PM
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HI VS..Soryy your feelin like that.
I havent had 5 mos clean before either.
I had 4 mos. And I thinkI get like that in cycles. I am not sure how often. But I do get exactly like that for a couple days..sometimes a couple weeks at a time. Then I am just fine for awhile.
I am not sure what its all about.
I dont want to take meds either. I did try a couple years ago and I believe I had a very bad reaction to them. So I refuse to even try now. Which isnt good.

I really have no advice. Just wanted to let you know your not alone and I am thinking of you.
I woul talk to a Dr and see what they say.
I have seen some people react very welkl on meds.
Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:26 PM
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Hi Vivid,

I think it's perfectly normal. I had major mood swings while I was still 'out there' which continued for quite some time into recovery. I feel much more stable mentally, today, but that can change. I've had meltdowns in the car, not unlike the one you described.

I take meds for my depression, but I've gone without (both before and during sobriety) and didn't do well. Everyone is different, though. Just because you are having mood swings, doesn't mean you are depressed. There are many useful tools online to help you diagnose yourself i.e. questionnaires etc.

I am like you in that I can be highly motivated when trying new things, but I can quickly lose interest or the drive to continue if I don't see quick results. I guess that's just the addict in me - I am not used to working hard for results, and that's been a blessing and a curse.

Today I need to be satisfied with being less than perfect. That means I'm no longer a size 6, my house usually needs to be cleaned, and I make a lot of mistakes in life.

The single most thing that has helped me in sobriety is being accepting of myself, just as I am, just where I am at today. It's not easy to do, but it's not the impossible task I thought it once was. Oh, and helping others. Just by giving a friendly smile to a stranger or paying a sincere compliment to a co-worker makes me feel good.

So - this is my long-winded way of saying that yes, what you are experiencing is normal.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:51 PM
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Oh Viv, you have described me perfectly! My emotions are everywhere, I keep having little meltdowns, crying for no reason and then I'll be fine. And weird paranoid thoughts, as well. Not creepy paranoid, just questioning the motives of everyone around me.

It's a constant stream of thoughts: "why won't he text me, does he hate me? Gawd, it's been ten minutes give him a chance. No, he probably never wants to talk to me again." Or another conversation I've had with myself several times per day for about three days now: "Why did my friend invite me out to New Mexico? Why does he think I should come alone? Why am I even going on this trip, what if he hates me? Oh God, I haven't seen him since I was a teenager, what if I get there and he thinks I'm ugly? He said he wanted to see me and hang out, and give me a chance to get away and forget all this crap, a change of scenery. But... what if I get there and it becomes obvious I've been invited out there for one reason. Or worse, what if he pulls out a fat sack of meth or weed or coke? Calm down, if that happens, you get back in the car and drive home... and lose his phone number somewhere in the desert." I can't interact with people on a normal level without having this running commentary in my mind about what they are up to. It's driving me crazy.

But then, in my world while doing drugs, I kind of had to question motives all the time. Mental hangover perhaps? Same thing with the off-the-wall emotionality, alcohol and other substances numbed me for so long... but months later I still am having trouble reigning in my brain.

Not much help, but at least you aren't alone, Viv!
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:27 PM
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I am a little over 5 months. I have some concerns. I have trouble believing in myself. I question my decisions.

I think I am in a more content place than many here though. The one and only guess I have as to why, is my job. I have to wake up every day at 5 am, no sleepless nights. I have to interact with ~30 nice young adults every morning, so I have to put on my nice face from 6:60-7:15. After that I work my azz of physically (no mental at all!) for 6+hours out in the sun. When I get home I have enough umph to eat, hot tub, and read for 15 minutes before I pass out.

I've been wondering how the physical stuff is working for the knobster, he's so quiet these days! Anyway, I don't know what your work situation is, or your exercise routine, but I think either/both work wonders
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:38 PM
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First of all, anti depressants don't cause any type of feelings of being high. I don't want to go as far as to say that they aren't mood altering because when I take mine on a daily basis, my moods aren't always blah. It's anti-anxiety meds that can cause feelings of being high.

I have been on Prozac off and on for many years. Since I have been in Recovery, I haven't missed a day. I'm amazed at how many people who are recovering addicts and alcoholics have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders. I tend to believe that part of the reason we turned to drugs and alcohol in the first place was because of depression and/or anxiety.

Instead of second guessing yourself and since none of us, that I know of, are Dr's, why don't you talk to your family doctor about it? Many family doctors prescribe anti depressants now, if not, they are usually happy to refer you to a psychiatrist. Like jamdls' doctor said, depression is a medical condition just like epilepsy (or cancer, heart disease, asthma,diabetes) and we wouldn't hesitate to take meds for any of these conditions.

Have Faith,
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:23 PM
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I had terrible mood swings all throughout my first year. I still get them occasionally. What I have found is they gradually become less frequent and less severe. I am at 21 months sober right now, and the last one I had was mild and several weeks ago.

I took a nap and read.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:22 AM
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Thanks so much for sharing all of you! :ghug

I am going to talk to my counselor some more about this week. Honestly though I am not sure she has alot of experience with addictions so.....Im not sure she would know whats normal at this point....I guess it will work out one way (the loony bin ) or another (perfect serenity ).
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:55 AM
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I went off anti-depressants at about 5 months sober. I kept an open mind and was willing to re-start them again if needed. But what I found was that with working a real recovery program and experiencing the results of that, my problem was alcoholism, not depression and anxiety.

It's been a few years and I haven't seen any need for anti-depressants as long as I continue treating my alcoholism. YMMV.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:04 AM
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I worked a real program of recovery for many many years and was miserable in sobriety. This time I have followed the recomendation of my doctor and taken perscribed medication.

I finally found out that being sober didn't have to be a horible thing.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:23 PM
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I am at almost 8 months clean and I have mood swings but beginning to believe it has something to do with my hormone levels IN addition to my brain receptors aren't firing in happy mode yet. I love that you called your hubby a huzzy. lol

I have had some ick haircuts and same meltdown with some cabinet slamming. I am beginning to think the Britney look might have some appeal lol. She was onto something, not having to deal with hair.
Plus hats are kinda sexy.

Mood swings are part of PAWS too. I think it takes about 2 years to get back to normal and not suffer from debilitating thoughts/ reactions. I tend to want to go into blame mode to feel better about something that is making me nuts but that does not work, I feel worse and it really is not anybody's responsibility to own these emotions but mine and I really want to hand them over to somebody else. I totally understand what you are saying.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:36 PM
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If you having symptoms like your experiencing why not visit a doctor and get a professional opinion. I have met lots of people going through detox at the local hospital and it is very common for them to be treated for depression or bipolar disorder and given appropriate medications. Many do get off the medication in a period of time. However, there are also many people I know in the program who stay on medications permanently. These are people who appear to be working a strong program who are not unlike the general population in that a certain percentage of people benefit greatly from those medications. A couple of these people who have several years in sobriety have told me that they cannot function without their medications.

The one thing that has really helped me with doctors is being completely honest with them about my alcohol history. Being honest with them has resulted in them being able to do a better job in treating me.

Hope you are feeling better soon Viv!
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:38 PM
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I still feel knee deep in recovery at 8 months. I felt like I was drowning in it until six months. I don't think it is strange to have exaggerated emotions or feel like you are having exaggerated emotions. Five months might seem like a long amount of time but if you compare it to how long you were drinking it is probably minuscule. Things take time. I rarely felt "good" in the first six months of sobriety. I am only beginning to feel comfortable in my sober skin now.

There is one more thing I wanted to say. This struck me in your post:

Since then its been a real struggle to keep any sort of motivation and follow through. I keep coming up with these great goals and plans and will work them for a bit only to give up within a two week period.
This is what I used to do pre-quitting drinking. It was a large source of my unhappiness which is the only reason I am bringing it up. I was always trying to actively fix my life and be someone who I wasn't. However, we might be talking about different things. You might just be talking about lacking general motivation which is more indicative of depression. I am more referring to how I would make myself have plans and goals because I thought that would make me more valid. Then I would try and carry them through but they weren't really me and so I would never finish. I was trying to fix myself outside in; now I am trying inside out. In any case in recovery I have made a major effort to be gentle with myself no matter what. If I feel unmotivated, or tired, or cranky, I let myself be that way and it is okay. I think this is a very important part of recovery— learning to accept myself as I am right now.
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