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Hi, I'm new and you could also say struggling...

Old 08-09-2009, 01:07 PM
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Hi, I'm new and you could also say struggling...

Hello, I’m new here and a refugee from SMART recovery, a group where it seemed like all people did was argue and debate so much that it got in the way of making progress in recovery, and I came to the point where I could no longer stand the place and especially the people running it, the direction they were taking it, the cold, aloof, snooty attitudes of Jvb and others there who eventually got tired of me asking too many questions and kicked me off, more or less. Well, no love lost, and it feels good to be gone from that place. Lots of negative energy there, lots of games. Enough.

Kilgore, are you around these parts?

Sorry to rant….I will miss a few friends, but must avoid that God-forsaken site and it’s non-stop insistence on Ellis and REBT as if they were God or something. After 4 years, I found the cognitive/rebt approach had little effect…..it was just too cold, and I don’t think certain things can be addresses just by a rational approach.

About me: I’m 41, a bit of an artist/writer/rebel, I feel like a punk rock teenager inside, and kind of look like one still. I write poetry. I love nature and the wilderness, and animals. I fix up old pinball machines sometimes. I have a BA in English, and work as a library assistant, I have had had a lot of financial problems, old medical, dental and optical bills, wages are being garnished, credit is in the toilet.

I read a lot, mainly serious literature, philosophy, natural history, and an entire oddment of topics, really, from comics to Kafka.

These days I have been struggling, drinking too much. Not every day, but every 2nd or third day for maybe a month now.

For a few years I had it down to where I was going a week or two, even a month or two, and now I feel like I’m back where I was almost when I started. I have never been one for rules, regulations and a lot of structure…..I am not religious in any traditional sense, and AA was not really a good fit. So I have tried to find a kind of approach that uses some of the cognitive ideas, but have found I think I need to add a spiritual dimension as well, Not a magical higher power, but maybe a ‘helpful’ faith in something that can give me strength, something to believe in. And this is the problem, I was brought up with no religion, I was fascinated by science as a kid, never went to church, have always had to ‘see it to believe it’. Faith is very hard for me, yet I long for at, as without faith, there is doubt. It’s hard for me to even have faith in reality, let alone the spiritual world, So I feel this void needs to be addressed somehow, all this doubting of anything and everything, the way I have been all my life.


I tend to drink at night, then stop for a few days, even weeks, then drink too much. I’m what you would call a binge drinker, I never just wake up and rink, or drink around the clock…..ion the morning, I run for carrot juice and health foods, as if they are some kind of savior

But like I say I Am having a hard time finding the motivation to not go out and drink. It's like I know what's missing in my life, but the void get so overwhelming, I can't seem to even begin to fill it, the loneliness, the doubt, the lack of faith. My own crazy moods, insomnia, the heat, the smoggy city air, the man with no legs in the wheel-chair on the bridge asking for help, the kids selling water for a dollar a bottle up and down MLK Blvd., the broken glass, the two Baltimore's, the one for people with money, and the bigger one, the one for everyone else. All the sadness there, the vastness of it. The civil war ended years ago, but Baltimore still shows the scares of many years of segregation, of poverty; there are places that are vast areas that are like a third world country, right here, right now. And it goers on and on and on and politicians babble and nothing happens.............and being a sensitive soul, I cry. I break down, I cry. And on the front page of the Sunday paper, the top ten earning CEOs, all men, all white, looking out from the page as if seeing none of this: after all, this helped them get to where they are now: the CEO of our power company made over $15 million yet says they need to raise the rates again, they raided them 70% last year, but he needs the rest of us to bleed some more, to drive a few more of people over the edge. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t raise up as one great mass, and topple these empires, take action…….and yet such complacency: we seem to small to take on all this, we have other worries, and so it goes, and is sad and the way of the world, of the way power is structured, of who controls things, of who has the money, and calls the shots. And it makes me cry. I understand that5’s how it is, that’s human nature, that’s life in the big city, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, that’s the way the ball bounces…….but it hurts my soul.

So much on my mind, so much to process living in the city with no easy way to just move out, don’t have the money or job, but have been trying, sending out resumes for a long time now, almost had an hoping up in the mountains that might have worked, but I didn’t have the cash to make the move, for the deposits, truck, and all.

One day............I hope they find a cure for pain…………that would impress me more than all these I-phones and stuff………all they do is add more worries, more expense, another thing to break. Such a crazy world. I have never had a cell phone, I'm still holding out, and it hasn't killed me yet!

What a rambly post, but gives you an idea who I am, I guess.......

Husky Pup
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:33 PM
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Hi Huskey. I love libraries, and worked as a library assistant for a while myself.

Welcome to Secular Connections. You mention you had problems with the SMART hierarchy. Did you find any helpful tools you can keep with you to keep in your box? You might want to add them to new tools you find here on the different secular programs at: Secular Web
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:43 PM
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Welcome to our Secular Forum!!

Your drinking sounds similar to mine, I still struggle with it as well. I also like the theories of CBT, but feel the need for something else, but 12-step just doesn't "feel right" to me. I am developing my own personal since of "spirituality", still in it's infancy, but developing none the less.

Poke around, read some posts. We are definately not the most active forum on these boards, but we've carved out our own little nitch here!! Everyone keeps pretty civil here, though some of the other forums here at SR get a bit touchy if you say anything deemed to be anti-12 step.

I personally am happy to use any information gleened from any program, 12 step included, that will help me achieve long term sobriety and in turn peace. Hope you find some help here. Take care.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:45 PM
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Welcome HuskyPup glad to have you here. You will find a lot of support from people that understand & want to hear about your story.

It might be a good idea to copy your post & create a new thread in the "Newcomers to Sobriety" section too (more visitors there).

Take care & keep posting/sharing.

All of the best in your recovery

NB
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:01 PM
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Hello, Husky. Great post! Welcome to SR...and SC. Always like to see more folks come to this little section.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:02 PM
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Welcome, Husky, from a fellow English Maj and writer.

You packed a lot into your post. I try not to make myself miserable about what the world is doing. It seems like a lot of craziness to me and not something I could ever affect to any significant degree. Here's a bit from Pema Chodren that helps me:

". . . the analogy is that you're barefooted, it's like being barefooted and walking across blazing-hot sand or across cut glass. Or in a field with thorns. And your feet are bare, and you say, this is just, you know, it's really hurting, it's terrible, it's too sharp, it's too painful, it's too hot. Do I have a great idea! I am just going to cover the whole Earth, everywhere I go, I'm going to cover it with leather. And then it won't hurt my feet anymore . . . But it doesn't make any sense, really . . . "but if you simply wrap the leather around your feet" -- in other words, shoes -- then you could walk across the boiling sand and the cut glass and the thorns, and it wouldn't bother you. So the analogy is, you work with your mind, instead of trying to change everything on the outside . . .

Regarding a cure for pain . . . if you mean physical pain, cool stuff is happening with the venom of poisonous frogs and such. Non addictive and reported to be more efficient than morphine - with none of the side-effects. If you mean emotional pain - I think that's kind of the human condition and the whole reason why poetry and literature (and English majors) exist.

I hope you stick around. There's lots of good stuff on SR.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:10 PM
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Welcome to Secular Connections HuskyPup.

Although I like REBT and CBT for 'on the surface' of a behavior problem solutions...I'm now digging deeper in my addiction treatment and working on the deep seated psyche stuff.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:16 AM
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Welcome to the forum, you'll find support here.

Paul
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:38 AM
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Hi Husky.

It is interesting that you mentioned wanting a spiritual side to recovery, I feel it is necessary for me too. I do AA sans the "Magical higher power", lol I am also interested in Buddhism, particularly the practice of mindfulness.


@mysticshore, I have heard that quote before in a different form, something like - it is easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:53 AM
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Glad you found us
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:55 AM
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I can vouch for the effectiveness of REBT methods to shake off one's emotions. I've used many of those techniques for years and years, before I had ever heard of REBT or CBT or any of it. It didn't take long for my therapists to figure out that I needed to learn how to feel emotion, not rationalize it away, at which I was already a pro.

For people who cannot reason whilst under the influence of their emotions, I can see how that stuff would be a lifesaver. It definitely rules for dealing with anxiety. I only went to one meeting, but it seemed that SMART is built around REBT, the way AA is built around the 12-steps. That's probably why people weren't too open to criticism.

I drive myself crazy thinking about my role in the economic exploitation that keeps this financial empire afloat. Though, now I can say kept. I wonder that also, if enough people feel the way about it that you and I do that they might stand up and say, "F*ck your tax breaks, assholes! Where's my overtime pay???"

Why do people put this intonation on the word "populism," like it's a bad thing?

Have you read Philip K. Dick? He writes scifi, but it's far more political and leftist than say, Isaac Asimov. I would describe him as Orwellian with a defeatist humor. I'm reading everything I can find at the library systems here, and I'm having the time of my life. I don't know why I waited so long to do this...

I'm volunteering at the library right now, with the hopes of scoring a tech gig. How long have you been doing it, and how would you rate it as a career path per se?
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:26 AM
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Hi HuskyPup,

Sorry to hear SMART left such a bad taste. I am also registered over there but prefer to come here (when my comp will let me log in) because there is more traffic here. And like Tyler said, this section isnt always that active, but someone always seems to be on in one of the other sections.
I have been going to F2F meetings because I am lucky enough to have them where I live. I have never experienced arguing or debating in the F2F meetings. Again, sorry it wasnt working for you, but glad you are here.

I have a BA in Philosophy, am unemployed, quit drinking about 3 months ago.
Dont like religion and never considered really ever contemplating myself as spiritual until about a month ago. Im pretty sure it happened during yoga. I try to be mindful and aware, doing so has helped tremendously.

Hope you find support here.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mistycshore View Post
Here's a bit from Pema Chodren that helps me:

". . . the analogy is that you're barefooted, it's like being barefooted and walking across blazing-hot sand or across cut glass. Or in a field with thorns. And your feet are bare, and you say, this is just, you know, it's really hurting, it's terrible, it's too sharp, it's too painful, it's too hot. Do I have a great idea! I am just going to cover the whole Earth, everywhere I go, I'm going to cover it with leather. And then it won't hurt my feet anymore . . . But it doesn't make any sense, really . . . "but if you simply wrap the leather around your feet" -- in other words, shoes -- then you could walk across the boiling sand and the cut glass and the thorns, and it wouldn't bother you. So the analogy is, you work with your mind, instead of trying to change everything on the outside . . .

Love this from Pema
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:27 PM
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Hey all, lots of good replies here, am on day 2 now, but feeling a bit wiped out from the 99 degree heat.....no AC in the car, and just one little window AC at home.

Spittake, I really love Phillip K. Dick, have read many of his novels. I'm not the biggest Sci-Fi fan, but I really love his works, and those of J.G. Ballard. Oh, and Lem.....his comic 'Futrological Congress' had me rolling in dystopic laughter!

Misty, interesting anology. I may have to use foam rubber as it's more cushiony, and I don't much like leather But I did see the point. You could say I'm a very sensitive sort, very emotional.

Otter, I've been reading a bit of philosophy these days, and oddly enough, Kierkegaard, of all things! And also Emmanual Swedenborg, as even though I am not religious in the sense he was, I find his writing bizarre, fantastic, and somehow uplifting.

No internet at home until the 18th, they need to send a technition, so I have to sneak on at work.....will write more as time/energy allow, thanks to all who replied,

HP
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:49 PM
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Hey man. Glad you made it. We can argue now.

LOL
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:12 AM
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Ug. Can't seem to get my motivation back for going on the wagon, went out last night. The trouble is, it was a lot of fun.....I have a hard time imagining giving this up. I've tried different ways to imagine doing different things for fun, and I in fact do a lot of different things.......and yet, it is still hard after four years. I think one problem is my work schedule. I work 2 to 11 PM, get home at midnight. It takes me about 4 hours to unwind, so I can go to bed, so I sleep from 4AM to noon, get up, and then it’s the one hour commute to work. So when I get home, there are not really any clubs or meetings or anything much to go to, other than out to the places that are still open, the corner Tavern being the case in point. I have tried now for about two years to get another job closer to home and with different hours, but to no avail: have sent out a few dozen resumes, but no luck so far. So this is hard. You get home, it’s dark, you can't really do anything outdoors, the parks are closed......and I love nature, being outside. So I feel like I am always cooped up at home, caged in.

My body clock is all screwed up, I feel detatched from nature, from life.

This has been an ongoing dilemma. And I work from Sun to Thurs, so I have odd days off.......thought of going to the Unitarian Church, but I work. I'm trying to find something to do Fri-Sat to keep me busy, but it's the rest of the week that gets me. It's like I can stand to be hung-over at work, because it's just work, and if anything, it helps me relieve the boredom, at least I can focus on the hangover as opposed to the meaninglessness of what I do most of the time. On my days off, I'm less prone to drink, so I can really enjoy the time I have.

Well, I need to get a grip on things, that's for sure.

SP
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:18 PM
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Is you an akaholic?
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:25 PM
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No, I don't find that term useful, but I do have problems with drinking. Not sure, but some folks seem very bent on using or not using the phrase, to me, it's just too general. I have the same goals, but might speak a different languauge.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:34 PM
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Husky, I speak your language perhaps. I think many of us know what you mean. Tagging myself an alkie doesn't seem to help because the term doesn't hold much meaning. I don't really know what it means. I do know that when I drink, I continue drinking and I do things which are unhealthy and detrimental to me. I might be an alcoholic or a problem drinker or a binge drinker but whatever label I stick on it doesn't make any difference to my habits. There are some old threads about it on SC if you feel like looking through the list.

Welcome to SR and SC and such
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:49 PM
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Gotcha. I drink on occasion. I can take it or leave it really. If it is causing problems(work, family, etc) then I hope you can work those problems out. No use going through life bummed out. I wish you SuperMegaLuckyLuck.
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