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Sober thinking...When will I know.

Old 07-09-2012, 11:29 AM
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KDL
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Sober thinking...When will I know.

The reason I am posting this question in the secular forum is because I don't what responses that suggest I "Let go, let God" or things of that nature. That's not how I operate, and don't anticipate that I ever will.

I'm just wondering if others in recovery struggle with recognizing true thoughts vs. thoughts that come from addiction.

Currently, I feel paralyzed because I am afraid to do things out of fear that the thoughts/ feelings that I am having are coming from my addiction. I told myself 58 days ago that I would get and stay sober and not make any decisions until I was sure I had clear, rational thinking. But, I'm not sure I can tell.

My husband believes I'm not happy. I'm not. But I don't know why. I don't know if it's my marriage, if sober me is just not a happy person, or if my addiction is trying to make me think I need to drink to be happy, or leave so I can drink.

I feel like I'm willing to wait it out, and keep trying to do the right thing. But, am I ruining my marriage in the process? How long is my husband supposed to live with the sober, boring, not fun me?

btw- I say 58 days, but that was because I drank a handful of times in late April/ early May. I started the process to sobriety in IOP in December- so to him it seems like this has been going on for 7 months.

I don't really know what I'm hoping for by posting this. Just wondering if others have experienced similar feelings, and how they handled it. Thanks!
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:52 AM
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Don't know if it helps or not, but the first year for me was a bumpy ride...emotionally especially. The highs & the lows (lows outweighed the highs) were erratic. I see others enjoying such serenity & peace & wonder what is wrong with me. Now at 16 months sober things are finally starting to plain off. Talk to people with time under their belt and I'm sure you'll hear it gets better with time. You're changing your life and it takes acceptance & adjustment. Hang in there....
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:02 PM
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No words of wisdom. I am only 69 days sober. ((hugs))
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:19 PM
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KDL,
I don't work that way either. What you might want to consider is secular counseling. I have two years almost and my whole first year was a roller coaster ride. If we have bad thoughts and are sober then maybe it is depression or just anxiety over all the feelings. In any event it can help to have a counselor as a sounding board.

"I told myself 58 days ago that I would get and stay sober and not make any decisions until I was sure I had clear, rational thinking. But, I'm not sure I can tell."

I don't think any of us are clear and rational 100% of the time even the never addicted ones. You are dealing with a lot of issues and since AA is not an option do some work with a local therapist.

If this was easy everybody would succeed. You are almost there as you aren't relapsing every week. I was lost at that time period of my sobriety the whole first three months were crazy! Psychologically and physiologically I was on a wild roller coaster. It got much better after six months but even now I still have some issues with weight gain for the first time in my life, due to quitting a bad smoking habit of three packs a day at the same time I quit drinking alcohol.

It doesn't ever get better. You get better all the time. Both with the anxiety and the ability to re-learn decision making skills, and for many who missed their formative years in maturing, they have to learn them from scratch. Social and coping skills don't automatically come along with living long and sobriety. Sometimes age just comes alone without maturity. But it can always be learned. Many of us have a lot of catching up to do. That in itself can be quite an adventure.

Good move on holding off, now go get the skills you need and some help in getting them.

Posting and discussing things here has helped me a lot too.

Dr. Wayne Dyer said that "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

Right now you are looking at things from a fearful perspective, and frightening it is to not know where you stand in your own feelings. I have been there and got help and made it through to much more serenity. I am not that perfect though and will make mistakes as I go. I just don't catastrophize them anymore, or at least not so much.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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KDL,

I understand what you're talking about and yes...isn't it the ultimate Catch-22? You've committed to only making clear and rational decisions, but have been living in addiction so long that you have no way of knowing what constitutes a clear and rational decision. And it seems that you're like me in that you want a simple and practical way to figure it out.

I can't tell you a perfect answer to this, but I can tell you what I did. First, I started talking to other people, friends, family, and most importantly a licensed mental health professional, about the decisions I was facing. I quickly learned, from trial and error, whom I could trust to help me make good choices, and I started sticking my toe in the water of life and making some decisions. Small ones at first, like starting to ride a bike with training wheels. After a while, I got comfortable with making bigger and bigger decisions, and finally I got to the point where, most of the time, I am confident that I know how to make good choices. I still ask for help and for the opinions of others when I need them, though. None of us is perfect and has all the answers all the time. It's never a bad thing to get a reality check from a trusted person.

I believe it's important though, when "trying on" new behaviors after quitting an addiction, to be gentle with ourselves. It sounds to me like you have perhaps walled yourself off a little bit from life, in fear of making imperfect decisions. That's being really harsh with yourself, IMHO. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable if you took it slowly and made a few decisions, giving yourself permission to be wrong sometimes.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:11 PM
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How long is my husband supposed to live with the sober, boring, not fun me?
Can you leave the sober bit in but change the "boring" and "not fun me" parts ?

I've had to stand in a room of drunk people and had to listen to them repeating themselves. It was boring and not fun, but it was'nt me that was the problem .

I like to sing , play games , play music , watch comedy , films with popcorn , go for walks and observe wildlife , give massages , paint pictures and lots of other things .

Getting sober , to me , is only one part of recovery . I'm sure with time things will become apparent .

cheers M
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by KDL View Post
...
Currently, I feel paralyzed because I am afraid to do things out of fear that the thoughts/ feelings that I am having are coming from my addiction. I told myself 58 days ago that I would get and stay sober and not make any decisions until I was sure I had clear, rational thinking. But, I'm not sure I can tell.

My husband believes I'm not happy. I'm not. But I don't know why. I don't know if it's my marriage, if sober me is just not a happy person, or if my addiction is trying to make me think I need to drink to be happy, or leave so I can drink.
...
What does it feel like right now to imagine that you will never again, at any time, for the rest of your life, ever experience the sensations of being under the influence of alcohol again?

Now make two lists. One with the positive internal responses, and one with the negative internal responses.

If one of the negatives is that you'll be boring and no fun; bingo, there's your answer.

But the real key to your future is - what's on the positive list?
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:21 PM
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What Itchy said (You're my SR hero right now )

I'm in the same place as you really KDL so have no really useful advice. I have always tended to be a 'yes man', so getting honest is important in trying to figure out what I actually want.

I just kind of think that if we are not happy sober then something is wrong and there must be something practical we can do to help ourselves. Of course there are going to be highs and lows but even without booze people have to work on their happiness/general life coping skills.

That said though... regarding 'sober, boring, not fun me', you're not a performing monkey and it isn't your job to entertain anyone. It's only natural that things will be a bit rocky for a bit and you shouldn't feel guilty for not feeling 100% x

I would definitely look into AVRT too if you haven't yet already.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:20 AM
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Thanks everyone for your insightful replies. I really appreciate having so many wise people to share their experiences.

I do see a psychologist, but due to vacations I am in the middle of a 5 week stretch. Probably this is part of my problem. I have a message in to my addiction therapist for an individual session. I really need a 3rd party interpretation to help me make sense of things.

Tomorrow is my official 60 days. I REALLY want to stay on track, and not allow my fears mess that up. I've reframed my thinking a bit. I need to remember that sobriety has to be my biggest priority. Even if it means not being the person others expect me to be. Hopefully, time will help things even out.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:30 AM
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KDL, I'm 2 years sober today, and I guess I was hoping sobriety would make me happy, but I'm not. I'm "happy" to be sober, but there is more to a happy life than sobriety, and the journey is to figure it out. One thing though is I'm not miserable anymore.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by neferkamichael View Post
KDL, I'm 2 years sober today, and I guess I was hoping sobriety would make me happy, but I'm not. I'm "happy" to be sober, but there is more to a happy life than sobriety, and the journey is to figure it out. One thing though is I'm not miserable anymore.
Congratulations on 2 years.

You are totally right, there is more to a happy life than sobriety. Nor does even the best and most successful recovery mean that we are happy all the time.

In the end, life is life. But abstaining from addictive behaviors means we get to live it. All of it. The good and the bad.
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