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Need to put this out there...

Old 08-22-2011, 02:50 PM
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Need to put this out there...

I do not have urges to drink. I was a morning, noon and night drinker and would go on approximately 5 week binges, then stop for a week and start up again. I drank about 4 bottles of wine a day and suffer pretty bad withdrawl when I stopped each time. However my pattern is, when I "really stop" (usually when something bad has happened as a result of my drinking), I will not want to drink for months (let's say 3-4). Then "bam"...at the end of those 3-4 months this thought to drink crosses my mind, almost as a fact, and then it's done (as in "We're drinking today, go to the liquor store now. There is no reason not to."). There's no debate, nothing.

So my issue is I feel like, having abstained for 3.5 months now, I have not been able to practice AVRT/SMART at all. However, I have noticed recently (and if history rings true, I am reaching a critical time right now), that I have been feeling very negative (which up until a week or so ago, I was not). This negativity has slowly been getting worse and worse I have been focusing on old events and people that make me feel angry and sad, yet they have no real reason to be bothering me right now. I keep telling myself to stop thinking about these things....I almost get the feeling that these thoughts are my very sneaky "addictive voice"...it's like it wants to build me up to a state of hating everyone and being disgusted with life, to the point where I don't care so that by the time the "bam, let's drink now" thought reaches me, I'm like "Yeah, why not".

It's like I am addicted to not being happy. For example, I checked out these books from the library on all this stuff, and keep finding reasons not to read them. It's like I subconsciously do not want to be happy or change things.

I guess I'm rambling - but it's because I feel on shaky ground. If I were feeling like drinking, at least that would seem normal. But I don't, yet I feel like something is brewing and I don't trust myself.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:00 PM
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I so hear ya...I have had the same experience you describe in the "bam...I'm drinking today" thing. No debate. the decision has been made. Often for me w/o any warning whatsoever. After this last time, I haven't had that happen though and it has been some years. I don't know why that is except to say I will never do it again....so that's really no help to you right now. I think the crucial thing here is that you are talking about what is happening to you and you are on guard. Have you done that in the past prior to the "bam" thing? maybe just getting it out there will really help.

I thought this was very interesting....maybe it will help in some way:

If you are not conscious of all of the different parts of yourself, the part of yourself that is the strongest will win out over the other parts. Its intention will be the one that the personality uses to create its reality.
== Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul



It sounds like you are very conscious and that in itself is powerful. Your courage is inspiring. Hang in...
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:23 PM
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Thanks for the response, it really made me think. I have read Seat of the Soul and I liked that quote you provided. I had to read it a few times actually to understand it (which is good!).

I think prior to this, I have started having thoughts around 3-4 months like "Wow, this is the longest I haven't drank, wonder how long I can continue like this" (with the exception of my 2 pregnancies) and have sort of been waiting for the "bam, I'm drinking" moment to happen. In trying to type a coherent reply right now I guess what I want to say is it's my mood and thoughts that have deteriorated every time prior to me drinking again, and I do believe on some level I knew this would lead to another drink. But on a conscious level, all I have ever really been aware of is "Wow, I drank out of nowhere and why was there no 'inner debate' about it. Why does it feel like I drank again in a way that resembled being on autopilot?".

Hmmm, so I guess what I am realizing right now is that my thoughts and mood usually deteriorate so much over the course of several weeks prior to each "relapse" that by the time I have the thought to drink, it's as if my true self is almost on the same level as the addictive voice. It's like they are at one (maybe).
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:21 PM
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I can relate to your concerns Freethinking. Thanks for the post.

I believe I have a pattern of self-sabotage that shows up as being resistant to change or something. I have given myself permission to drink in the past after having some clean time. I usually stop making progress in my wellness journey and fall into complacency with doing less and less of the things that keep me sober.

Currently I'm keeping track of my progress. This can help me notice when I'm being stagnate in life. So far its helping me to keep growing in personal development by trying new things or remind me to recommit to doing what was helping in the past.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:34 PM
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well, I'm not a huge fan of seat of the soul, but I read all kinds of different things and take bits that speak to me. I even like some of the stuff I don't really like because it's thought provoking (I'm pretty sure that makes like zero sense LOL) anyway, it sounds like you have an awareness maybe you didn't have before? and it sounds like you already know which voice you want to win and that this time you will make that happen.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:39 PM
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Hi! I found that unhappiness and drinking went hand in hand. When I got sober I knew I had to put my emotional health as my priority in life. I started working with a life coach (a type of therapist) and have had tremendous success. Not only am I sober with no thoughts of drinking I am truly happy for the first time in my adult life.

Figure out what you need to do to be happy and then do it
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:29 PM
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It's really good that you posted this and recognize what is happening. I wish I had and then maybe I wouldn't have relapsed the last few times. I went on autopilot almost every time. I've had more negative thoughts these past few days and I think it's because I'm dealing with a lot of people and it's creating anxiety for me. I feel like I'm not measuring up and it's making me not like myself, not want to be around myself. Just like you, I've been bringing up old negative memories. The one thing that is helping this time around is knowing that it will pass if I don't fuel it.

This post and the responses have really helped. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:49 AM
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Well, I have been taking Effexor which is the first SNRI I have ever tried and I do feel it is helping a lot with having energy and feeling optimistic about life. But it seems like my old pattern of thinking (playing negative thoughts/memories over and over again in my head) keeps popping up, and I think that has to do with how I've allowed myself to think for the past 20 years or so.

I see an addictions therapist and have started attending SMART meetings, so that helps too.

I'm really going to have to work through this and treat the negative thoughts like the addictive voice, even if the thoughts aren't specifically about drinking - because I think indulging this pattern of thinking is dangerous ground for me.

But yes, I agree very much with the notion that being unhappy and drinking have gone hand in hand. I want to get in front of that this time though.

I really enjoy this forum. I'm a fairly intelligent person but for some reason I had convinced myself there were not many people out there who had found "other" successful ways to give up drinking/drugs. Writing and reading about it here helps so much.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I do not have urges to drink. I was a morning, noon and night drinker and would go on approximately 5 week binges, then stop for a week and start up again. I drank about 4 bottles of wine a day and suffer pretty bad withdrawl when I stopped each time. However my pattern is, when I "really stop" (usually when something bad has happened as a result of my drinking), I will not want to drink for months (let's say 3-4). Then "bam"...at the end of those 3-4 months this thought to drink crosses my mind, almost as a fact, and then it's done (as in "We're drinking today, go to the liquor store now. There is no reason not to."). There's no debate, nothing.

So my issue is I feel like, having abstained for 3.5 months now, I have not been able to practice AVRT/SMART at all. However, I have noticed recently (and if history rings true, I am reaching a critical time right now), that I have been feeling very negative (which up until a week or so ago, I was not). This negativity has slowly been getting worse and worse I have been focusing on old events and people that make me feel angry and sad, yet they have no real reason to be bothering me right now. I keep telling myself to stop thinking about these things....I almost get the feeling that these thoughts are my very sneaky "addictive voice"...it's like it wants to build me up to a state of hating everyone and being disgusted with life, to the point where I don't care so that by the time the "bam, let's drink now" thought reaches me, I'm like "Yeah, why not".

It's like I am addicted to not being happy. For example, I checked out these books from the library on all this stuff, and keep finding reasons not to read them. It's like I subconsciously do not want to be happy or change things.

I guess I'm rambling - but it's because I feel on shaky ground. If I were feeling like drinking, at least that would seem normal. But I don't, yet I feel like something is brewing and I don't trust myself.
Suppose one day your fears are realized, and you go on a day-long drinking binge. Do you think you would continue to drink day after day, as you have in the past? Or would you get back on track the next morning?

See, I don't worry about stuff like that. Sure, I might have some kind of fit of perverseness and go get drunk one day, or high, or whatever, but so what? I mean, sure, it would be a mistake. At the very least, I would waste a day of productivity. And perhaps I would also freak out my friends and family. I certainly want to avoid those things, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time worrying about it. Because if I do have some crazy day of drinking, all I have to do is awake from my stupor and get sober again.

In short, although it's possible I might make some kind of single bad decision, I'm not worried in the least that I will suddenly become a habitual drunk again.

So, I guess the question is, do you think you'll be willing to stop the next day if for some reason you decide to drink again? If so, then I wouldn't worry about individual days of drinking. Just live your life. If not.... well then I'm not sure what to say.

Either way, good luck!
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