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Old 07-12-2009, 08:31 PM
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Why bother?

I'm back to one week substance-free. I feel so underwhelmed by this "milestone." I've had a weird sort of apathy regarding my lack of substance abuse lately. I don't want to go get toasted and buy some meth, but at the same time I just don't really care either way. I wouldn't go out in search of it but if someone had some beer or pot or maybe even meth here right now, I'd probably do it.

I feel like it doesn't make any difference. I wanted to stop drinking and using because I thought my life would be better. It's better I guess because I have a normal-ish sleep schedule and I'm not hungover and I'm not worried about the police showing up. In trade I have zero social life, which sometimes really bothers me and sometimes does not.

I admit that it's not *good* to go get drunk and do some of the stupid crap I have done. But it was *fun.* I have very few regrets about it, in fact I had a lot of fun, it was adventurous and exciting. I'm not crippled with guilt about what *could* have happened; I just don't care. All's well that ends well.

I used to care. When I first stopped drinking I felt bad that I put other people in danger by driving drunk, treated myself very poorly, stole for drug money. Now my attitude is sort of like, "**** it, that's life." And when the person I wronged was a drug buddy, I just figure that's the game, that's what happens when you do drugs and if you don't want to get screwed over you probably shouldn't be doing drugs. I don't really feel remorse for it.

What's happening to me? I feel like I've lost any sense of why I stopped using. The reasons to stay sober no longer seem compelling. My life doesn't seem to have much reason behind it, I just sort of exist. I don't want to go back to where I was in terms of drug use, but I wish there was something worth the effort to stay 100% clean and sober.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:09 PM
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I was in a face to face meeting when a guy said that people donít really quit in the absence of huge problems. He argued that it takes a traumatic event to shock a person into quitting.

I hope heís wrong.

I have had some pretty screwed up things happen while I was under the influence, but they all ended okay, I never had a problem behind the wheel, and no one ever got hurt, so I suppose I could go with the no regrets, alls well that ends well kind of attitude also.

I suppose I might even be persuaded to think of being stoned as ďfun,Ē although I think that the ďfunĒ of being intoxicated is pretty overrated. But adventurous and exciting? Give me a break. Scuba diving is adventurous and exiting , sky diving is adventurous and exciting, rock climbing is adventurous and exciting, traveling is adventurous and exciting. Going places, meeting people and doing things is adventurous and exciting. Getting together with a bunch of stupid people who are ruining their lives with drugs and alcohol is not adventurous and exciting.

When you quit, you really only guarantee yourself that you will not do drugs or alcohol. You donít guarantee that life will get better. Life can be pretty random and bad things can happen, whether you are using and drinking or not. You do assure that you will be able to tackle lifeís problems with a clear head and the judgment of a sober person, not the judgment of a person who is all strung out or messed up.

You report that you have zero social life, then you explain that drug buddies wrong one another and thatís life. So if the people in drug circles arenít really friends (and I donít think that they are, Iíve been in those circles, and I know what the priorities are) then wouldnít you rather have some real friends? Making friends and meeting people does not happen over night, but I assure you that good people are out there; good people who donít need to get loaded all the time, and would be happy to have a new friend.

I know two people from a long time ago (can you guess where this is going?).

One is a guy who loves to party. Heís smoked pot and done meth his entire life, heís a guy whoís always liked to party. He got older, and got married. He never really had a solid career, good jobs have been interrupted by periods of health problems or irresponsible and unreliable behavior. His wife has a good career, and they are actually quite affluent. He recently developed a love affair with vodka, and has been essentially unemployable due to his binges, and erratic behavior due to being drunk all the time. He now buys his marijuana from his son, who smokes marijuana all the time and deals it to support his habit. His wife wants to divorce him and find someone who is not so wrapped up in a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol.

One is a guy who quit drugs and alcohol when he was young. He has an impressive career. He has a loving wife and great kids. He is by no means as affluent as the other family, but his children are articulate and talented. He has a nice home and many adventurous and exciting hobbies. He is the nicest guy in the world, and he is a good friend. Not a drug friend, a good friend.

I can see this is a difficult time for you. Your addictive voice is singing you a siren song, and itís stupid. Donít believe it. Good lives take a long time to build, and addictions often deprive people of ever having good lives.

Maybe Iím the pot calling the kettle black. I know that I have a pretty negative outlook sometimes. SMART has a toolbox which provides instructions for disputing irrational beliefs, and I have found this toolbox to be helpful during my recovery.

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I think that some of your ideas here are irrational because you are craving drugs. Do not let your addictions control your life.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I wanted to stop drinking and using because I thought my life would be better.
You can't really do sobriety like this. As in, I am going to be sober as long as my life gets better. Especially when the time limit on that is pretty immediate. It has only been a week. Unfortunately, things don't change in a day or a week. The other thing I learned is I had to go into it with sobriety as my number one priority no matter what. There was no contingency on how I felt. I could feel crappy for a few weeks but I didn't question my sobriety. I accepted the crappy feeling and dealt with it as it came. And the world happens. Any day something crazy could happenó you can't control for the perfect world in which to be sober no more can you control for feeling great all the time while sober. I think if you accept this early it makes it easier. Sobriety for me was about accepting the whole range of emotions not just the good. And what I learned in doing that I now have access to a whole lot of more nuanced "good" feelings. So in essence staying sober over the long run definitely will end up in a better overall feeling but I don't think that can be your motivation. Feelings are much too fleeting. I realize talking about feelings was sort of getting away from what you were talking about but I guess I just associate that with life being better.

Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
What's happening to me? I feel like I've lost any sense of why I stopped using.
Honestly, probably your addict brain/voice is talking/rationalizing to you. I feel like this used to happen to me all the time. If you ignore it and just stay committed to sobriety no matter what, don't get into any sort of pro and con argument in your head about going back to using or controlled using because your addict voice could win, that voice gets weaker over time.

Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I don't want to go back to where I was in terms of drug use, but I wish there was something worth the effort to stay 100% clean and sober.
I can tell you it is worth the effort but I don't know how much that will be worth to you because honestly I don't know how much it was worth to me. I sort of went at it on faith, one day at a time. By faith I mean I went at it not knowing in what I was getting into. I didn't know if it would be better. I tried not to think too far in the future or too much about me feeling better and my life getting better. Everyone said it would be if I kept going sober and worked on recovery. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I waded through a lot of emotional pain in recovery. My personal timeline was I didn't really feel a joy to be sober until six months. And even then it was fleeting. Now it is solid. I am sometimes overwhelmed with gratitude. I am appreciative for the journey of recovery. My life finally is falling into place. But I didn't know that when I was one week sober. I didn't know what was going to happen. I had to take people's word and I have a hard time doing it. All I knew was that my life up until then wasn't working. I hope you do keep at it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:49 PM
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I hope I didn't need something traumatic in order to stop. A traumatic event really touched off my drug use, I'd hate to have to go through something like that again. It's not that I don't want to be done with it, it just doesn't make much difference. And I know that doesn't make sense because look at all the stuff I have going for me that was limited/non-existent/in jeopardy due to my drug use! I went back and read some older posts of mine, and there are great reasons to stop. School, real friends, etc.

I know drug buddies and friends aren't at all the same thing. But I don't like hanging out on my own. I used to not have many friends and that was ok. Then I got some friends who were not homebodies and I was always going somewhere, doing something. I became used to being busy, always having somewhere to be. It's not easy to be at home again. Tomorrow there's a meeting for the local Rock and Gem club. So I'm going to that. At least it's something to fill my time, if nothing else.

I know it's my addiction talking and I know it's stupid. I know in my head I have lots of great reasons to stay clean. I just don't feel it. I don't feel the commitment I first felt.

And I know I drank and did some pot a week ago, but I've never had this reaction after doing drugs. I've always come off a night of drinking or drug use with a sort of renewed feeling that I need to stop, I'm risking too much. Maybe this is just a passing thing I need to let run its course.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:58 PM
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I'm back to one week substance-free. I feel so underwhelmed by this "milestone." I've had a weird sort of apathy regarding my lack of substance abuse lately. I don't want to go get toasted and buy some meth, but at the same time I just don't really care either way. I wouldn't go out in search of it but if someone had some beer or pot or maybe even meth here right now, I'd probably do it.
Then maybe total absence in not for you. I mean I managed to do dope for many years until it came time to seek drug abuse treatment. Sure at that time I was just about past gone...but I made it.

When you quit, you really only guarantee yourself that you will not do drugs or alcohol. You don’t guarantee that life will get better. Life can be pretty random and bad things can happen, whether you are using and drinking or not. You do assure that you will be able to tackle life’s problems with a clear head and the judgment of a sober person, not the judgment of a person who is all strung out or messed up.
My life got progressive disastrous when I finally cleaned up for the first time. However with some clean time and plenty of addiction treatment I managed to make a horrific situation manageable. Sure, not everybody will have the same fortune. I believe that some in addiction treatment will sink even deeper in a disparaging condition even sober. Eventually they return to addiction until their early death. Seen it before and will see it again...life is tough.

I can see this is a difficult time for you. Your addictive voice is singing you a siren song, and it’s stupid. Don’t believe it. Good lives take a long time to build, and addictions often deprive people of ever having good lives.

Maybe I’m the pot calling the kettle black. I know that I have a pretty negative outlook sometimes. SMART has a toolbox which provides instructions for disputing irrational beliefs, and I have found this toolbox to be helpful during my recovery.

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I think that some of your ideas here are irrational because you are craving drugs. Do not let your addictions control your life.
So where is a future? Managing to balance dope use and not sink into a black hole of disparage. Or maybe dopping just enough to feel good...kinda sliding by in life...sure some bad time but nothing getting high wont take away...you know ignoring all the dope related problems wile staying stagnate...stuck...just making ends meet.

Or hey...you get to live a ripe ole age, partying as you please...making plenty of money...doper friends...damm the consequences as long as you get loaded when you want...who's business is it anyways.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sfgirl View Post
So in essence staying sober over the long run definitely will end up in a better overall feeling but I don't think that can be your motivation. Feelings are much too fleeting. I realize talking about feelings was sort of getting away from what you were talking about but I guess I just associate that with life being better.
When I say I thought my life would get better I never thought that meant without problems. It's life, after all. I thought I would feel better overall, not feel like a loser all the time, have a clear head in order to take on those problems. Several times I've made it to 2 months. Even then I still feel like a loser, like no one really wants to be friends with me unless they are high or drunk. And I don't feel qualified to make decisions about life's little problems, stuff I'd never waffle about when high will keep me baffled for ages. I don't feel like my head is clearer, I feel like it's more muddled, more full of all the static from other people.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
Or hey...you get to live a ripe ole age, parting as you please...making plenty of money...doper friends...damm the consequences as long as you get loaded when you want...who's business is it anyways.
That sounds exactly like me when using. "Not their business, not hurting them." I don't even *want* dope. I wouldn't go out and look for it. I've killed myself financially due to drugs, I'll be climbing out of that for years. Somehow I survived the worst of my addiction and still care about my credit score. That makes me weird among dopers, pretty sure. I don't want to just scrape by. I want to have a good life. I just thought not doing drugs would get me on the right path a little faster. Maybe I'm just impatient about it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
When I say I thought my life would get better I never thought that meant without problems. It's life, after all. I thought I would feel better overall, not feel like a loser all the time, have a clear head in order to take on those problems. Several times I've made it to 2 months. Even then I still feel like a loser, like no one really wants to be friends with me unless they are high or drunk. And I don't feel qualified to make decisions about life's little problems, stuff I'd never waffle about when high will keep me baffled for ages. I don't feel like my head is clearer, I feel like it's more muddled, more full of all the static from other people.
Dude, honestly, I felt crappy for 4-5 months. I don't get the people that quit and instantly feel awesome. Part of me hates when people say that because I think it perpetuates this myth that that is what should happen in good recovery. In a way that is sort of like chasing another high. I mean if getting sober gives you a quick fix, a quick good feeling, it is kind of like what the alcohol or drugs was doing all along. When something takes a long time to change, like yourself in recovery, it creates a lasting change, not something fleeting. When I was drinking nothing in my life lasted. Everything was so impermanent. My motivations, everything was sort of based on these impermanent states I experienced and it made me feel so disconnected. Finally that is changing.

In early recovery, I just had a lot of crappy sh*t that I had to deal with— painful feelings about life in general and stuff like grieving alcohol. But even while I felt sad, it wasn't like that was lost time. I was building a lot of skills during that time. Skills I didn't even realize I was building. Skills like learning to deal with crappy feelings sober, self-nurturing skills, dealing with craving skills, etc. I was sort of a hermit for the first six months of sobriety basically because that is what my body and self was telling me I wanted. So now, at 10 months, I have definitely cut down my friend base but a lot of the friends that remain were ones that I drank with. While they aren't necessarily alcoholics, they may have been used to me as a different person or I just didn't know them completely, and I have been really disappointed in them lately, as in they are not showing up. So I am at 10 months feeling similar to you right now in that I feel low in the friend department. I want to go shopping for new ones (like actually I might go to AA meetings and try to find some recovering people). So recovery is one of those things you just got to keep at. But for me it is kind of fun to notice my challenges and work through them now because my progress is so quick in a way. Actually quick is the wrong word but I notice my progress so much and i love it.

Which brings me to one final point. It will blow your mind how much better your mind functions in six months. It is amazing. You don't even realize you are functioning at a deficit now. I certainly didn't. You know I breezed through top-tier schools and stuff so you can't really take that stuff as markers. But it is more like the cognitive and the emotional and interpersonal all sort of come together. It may be the one thing that I am most grateful for. I notice so much more about my own mind and the world around me and it wasn't like I wasn't paying attention to that before that is the crazy thing. It really blows my mind.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
When I say I thought my life would get better I never thought that meant without problems. It's life, after all. I thought I would feel better overall, not feel like a loser all the time, have a clear head in order to take on those problems. Several times I've made it to 2 months. Even then I still feel like a loser, like no one really wants to be friends with me unless they are high or drunk. And I don't feel qualified to make decisions about life's little problems, stuff I'd never waffle about when high will keep me baffled for ages. I don't feel like my head is clearer, I feel like it's more muddled, more full of all the static from other people.
Cant say I don't know whats that about...hell I'm mentally ill. Not to say you are, but a muddled mind is a constant challenge for me. Yet I will persist to strive beyond that. Not because its necessary...Just because I will not accept it as my destiny. I have the dogged determination of a street fighter...well being on the streets in my past and fighting may have something to do with it...not really. Who knows its a survival thing that gets kicked in at the last breath of life...maybe not. Why I have it and others don't...will befuddle me I guess. I however suspect its something one can learn through the experiences of others...otherwise why care.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
That sounds exactly like me when using. "Not their business, not hurting them." I don't even *want* dope. I wouldn't go out and look for it. I've killed myself financially due to drugs, I'll be climbing out of that for years. Somehow I survived the worst of my addiction and still care about my credit score. That makes me weird among dopers, pretty sure. I don't want to just scrape by. I want to have a good life. I just thought not doing drugs would get me on the right path a little faster. Maybe I'm just impatient about it.
I know that. Not doing dope will save one plenty of pain. Oh but...I'll just chip away when times get better...yea. So sure its a tough pull...do dope...don't do dope...why hell I don't know the difference. So your looking its best to abstain and yet there is going to be some hits and missed along the way. Ok, that not out of the norm in recovery. Some people think its all or nothing...well that's not my reality. I've had plenty of 'stop and go' in my addiction treatment. The deal is to me is to practice addiction treatment...whatever...hit or miss...sober or not. Just keep in mind a final goal:

A better life without drugs somewhere down the line. Why? Because you are so worth it...I mean that with love...You are so worth it.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I feel like it doesn't make any difference. I wanted to stop drinking and using because I thought my life would be better. It's better I guess because I have a normal-ish sleep schedule and I'm not hungover and I'm not worried about the police showing up. In trade I have zero social life, which sometimes really bothers me and sometimes does not.

I used to care. When I first stopped drinking I felt bad that I put other people in danger by driving drunk, treated myself very poorly, stole for drug money. Now my attitude is sort of like, "**** it, that's life." And when the person I wronged was a drug buddy, I just figure that's the game, that's what happens when you do drugs and if you don't want to get screwed over you probably shouldn't be doing drugs. I don't really feel remorse for it.

What's happening to me? I feel like I've lost any sense of why I stopped using. The reasons to stay sober no longer seem compelling. My life doesn't seem to have much reason behind it, I just sort of exist. I don't want to go back to where I was in terms of drug use, but I wish there was something worth the effort to stay 100% clean and sober.
It took me at least a year of sobriety before I started to realize the joy and purpose to life, you need to be patient. I think you should feel remorse, you may say the druggies got what they deserved but what about the innocent people who's lives you put at risk, they didn't deserve that and maybe they weren't hurt yet but if there's a next time? There is only 1 good reason to get and stay clean and sober and that reason is for yourself, it doesn't guarantee you a wonderful life with lots of friends and money and whatever. What is does guarantee you is the ability to be able to look yourself in the eye (in a mirror of course) and be at peace and love yourself. If you have no self respect or little then you likely need psychiatric help.
I wish you strength.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
A better life without drugs somewhere down the line. Why? Because you are so worth it...I mean that with love...You are so worth it.
I have trouble with this one. I never used to. I read in various literature, and experience bears out, that meth makes you feel more confident. So I felt sort of shy but of average confidence before I did drugs. Then I spent a while doing meth and feeling confident, a complete awesome badass. So maybe it's just an adjustment back to being normal, but I lack confidence. Am I worth being friends with when I'm not partying? My bf and I broke up when we decided to clean up. Logic tells me there's no way our relationship could survive it, we had to be apart for a while. But a little voice in my head keeps saying he didn't really want to be with me if I wasn't high. I keep looking at the SMART tools mentioned above because I think I'm just a little looney on this stuff. Am I worth it? I hope so.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I hope I didn't need something traumatic in order to stop. A traumatic event really touched off my drug use, I'd hate to have to go through something like that again. It's not that I don't want to be done with it, it just doesn't make much difference. And I know that doesn't make sense because look at all the stuff I have going for me that was limited/non-existent/in jeopardy due to my drug use! I went back and read some older posts of mine, and there are great reasons to stop. School, real friends, etc.

I know drug buddies and friends aren't at all the same thing. But I don't like hanging out on my own. I used to not have many friends and that was ok. Then I got some friends who were not homebodies and I was always going somewhere, doing something. I became used to being busy, always having somewhere to be. It's not easy to be at home again. Tomorrow there's a meeting for the local Rock and Gem club. So I'm going to that. At least it's something to fill my time, if nothing else.

I know it's my addiction talking and I know it's stupid. I know in my head I have lots of great reasons to stay clean. I just don't feel it. I don't feel the commitment I first felt.

And I know I drank and did some pot a week ago, but I've never had this reaction after doing drugs. I've always come off a night of drinking or drug use with a sort of renewed feeling that I need to stop, I'm risking too much. Maybe this is just a passing thing I need to let run its course.

Hi,

I know this is off topic, but I saw the Rock and Gem club thing. I have always been into rocks and gems. I didn't know they had something like that. Very Cool!
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweets79 View Post
Hi,

I know this is off topic, but I saw the Rock and Gem club thing. I have always been into rocks and gems. I didn't know they had something like that. Very Cool!
Ya, it sounds cool. The lady I was going to go with had to work last minute and I ended up not going because I couldn't find the place. Next week. There are lots of little clubs around, google it!

OK. Back to my weird brand of self-loathing.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Ya, it sounds cool. The lady I was going to go with had to work last minute and I ended up not going because I couldn't find the place. Next week. There are lots of little clubs around, google it!

OK. Back to my weird brand of self-loathing.

Oh wow, I just checked. They have something like that by me. I didn't think they would, that's so cool. It says once in awhile they go on diff little field trips to areas of interest.

Might be something else for me to check out!
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Zencat View Post
Why? Because you are so worth it...I mean that with love...You are so worth it.

I can't say it any better honey
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:08 AM
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There is some really excellent input on this thread.





Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I know it's my addiction talking and I know it's stupid. I know in my head I have lots of great reasons to stay clean. I just don't feel it. I don't feel the commitment I first felt.

That's the beauty of recovery...you don't have to "feel it" to do it.

If I only worked on my recovery while I was feeling the commitment I would have relapsed a long time ago. I only recently figured out that I cannot do this based upon how I feel. It's something I have to do no matter how I feel.

The only reason I have almost 3.5 months sober is because I stuck with it even when sticking with it was the last thing I wanted to do.

I thought that if I didn't feel the commitment, I must be doing something wrong. Nope. It happens...the negative feelings come and go.




I wasted six years being wasted. To me, that's a traumatic event...a life gone wrong.

I have no social life now...but I didn't have much of a social life while I was drinking, either.

Freepath said that "good lives take a long time to build." That's right on.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:52 AM
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That's a very insightful post Bam! Good for you girl!
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Bam
That's the beauty of recovery...you don't have to "feel it" to do it.
So true
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
I thought that if I didn't feel the commitment, I must be doing something wrong. Nope. It happens...the negative feelings come and go.
There it is. The most helpful of all the wonderfully helpful comments here. Thanks, Bam!
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