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Diary of a day 1 trapdoor

Old 04-22-2013, 08:56 AM
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I'm not by any means desperate - another reason I don't feel I belong right now in Newcomers, where so many are truly suffering. Oddly, I don't seem to suffering as such. It's more that I can strangely objectively watch and see what's happening in this relapse as well as in these attempts to 'stay' with even a full day of sobriety. Kinda creepy? Possibly.

bemyself,
this jumped out at me for two reasons: because that's how i used to see myself, compared to the "real" sufferings of others, and because all your posts so bloody clearly belie this.

this is suffering:
-dysthymia
-without portfolio'. That's pretty much my life now.
-dead spark plug factor within.
-void of frustration....
-I don't belong anywhere, anymore.
-I feel always on the outer.
and there are more.

not copying this to make you feel bad, but with the intent of having you take another look.
to me, all your posts speak of suffering.
and i guess the reason they do is because they all resonate with how it was for me. but i dismissed my own sufferings as somehow not "real suffering", cause mine was nothing significant in light of others' and b0 if i were to ever really see that i was suffering, i might need to DO something about it, make some kind of changes, ...no, far easier to be not suffering. or be detached: see it but don't feel it.

the worst suffering for me at the time was the constant trying to quit and my inability to do so.
tore me up inside.
over and over.
hell. really.

could be i'm projecting my stuff into your posts, bemyself.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:23 AM
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Fini, thank you so much for your response. And no, I don't think at all you're projecting your own stuff. More like a simple reflection of your own experience to mine - or the other way around.

Your comments on 'suffering' as I described it - and which you pinged - give me a bit to think about. Just off the top though, I'm not sure I'm 'detached' from all the things you repeated back to me. No, I think (guess) it's that those ways of describing suffering were - and often ARE - simply how it feels. Deeply.

Yet, not always. For example, today - even though drinking again - I got right into the experience of simply dusting and vacuuming (prior to the rental inspection), sweeping up outside, then messing about with the whipper snipper (mine's a big old bas*&d from my work 20+ years ago in the bush, and still going - mixing its oil / fuel (had to ask the young guy next door how to calibrate the mix ratio - now THAT'S just ageing, I believe :-)), whispering the damn thing to prime and pull, pull, pull to start...etc. Then sweepin' around with it blasting smoke and noise - but blessedly only briefly, given my current 'lawn' is about a few feet square - easy!.

Then ditto with the lawn mower....whispering its fuel priming, blah blah, fiddling with the choke ....then hearing it kick into life. This ridiculously small front lawn takes about 5 minutes to edge and mow, with a good half hour to gentle the machines into action!

Then the sweeping up. I try to do a kind of 'chop wood, carry water' thing when I'm sweeping outside. Some ancient memory from when I was a kid, doing huge amounts of driveway sweeping etc - a blessed relief in myself out in the garden, away from my violent alcoholic father and my terse, fraught, disappointed mother.

Now THEY suffered. Both long dead now. And no, of course, I can't change any of that for them now. I've also forgiven them - so that's some small relief.

Meantime, right now, I have an incredibly clean, tidy home, inside and out. A couple of lamb loin chops to pan fry or grill with some veg. Haven't eaten all day, so am looking forward to a good dinner. And the radio on with ABC Classic FM Drive (music to soothe commuters stuck in traffic all over Australia, mostly). I get to hear all manner of things on this programme. And the presenter, a lovely woman with a mellifluous voice, I'm sure soothes and calms many on their way home from the grind - as well as those of us (retirees, the sick, the disabled, home-workers, etc) who simply need the community of radio music and voice.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:39 AM
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And speaking of ABC Classic FM Drive - a glorious piece on now, called 'Inner Joy'. An elegaic meditation with gentle trumpets and other wind instruments. No doubt in preparation for Anzac Day here on Thursday.

I posted before on Shock's Sec 12 Step thread about a higher power - music, in the initial thread. Music does it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:42 AM
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No, even better - it's called 'O Great Mystery'.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:22 AM
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hm...when i hear you speak about the music...music, higher power...
it reminds me of when i was drinking and so getting INTO the music or the feeling, or being taken OUT of the mundane getting rottenly drunk when i had decided not to...

and how so many people say they drank in order to numb, yet i so often felt i was drinking in order to FEEL, or at the very least that that was a positive i experienced, but what it really reminds me of is how scared i was that i wouldn't be able to feel that way again if i quit. that i wouldn't really feel at all, period. that i would be unable to "access my real inner...".
(truth is, i kept drinking because i'm an alcoholic, but i hadn't really grasped that then)

part of drinking, for me, was that it gave me permission to give myself permission to let go of control and rigidity.
something like that.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:08 AM
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I fear I will never feel confident without alcohol. I do not seem to feel comfortable with anyone without the calming influence of booze. Still early in recovery so maybe I am being too impatient.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:30 AM
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It didn't come to me overnight but as I noticed I was completing things and doing a better job than when drinking that confidence returned Harvey.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:49 PM
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Harvey,

you'll just have to keep going and see
keep going and build it up.

some of these things seem more engrained than others, or even a "i'm just built that way" thing, yet many others are skills we can learn.

kind of tedious....yet possibilities.
so i think in my more mature moments!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Harveysmiles View Post
I fear I will never feel confident without alcohol. I do not seem to feel comfortable with anyone without the calming influence of booze. Still early in recovery so maybe I am being too impatient.
I think you are hitting right on it. Time will clear a lot of things up, including your comfort level. No need to rush it (you can't rush experience anyway). You'll get to where you need to be.

Best to you, Todd
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:11 PM
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I found that the idea of alcohol as a calming restorative was illusion. To the contrary in fact. My anxiety and anger and frustration all but disappeared shortly after I quit drinking, showing that my alcohol consumption was the source of these miseries. And my self respect? That returned in a large measure the instant I quit, knowing that I had quit for good.

I recommend it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:35 PM
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Hi Harvey, you haven't said a great deal but the nub of it, for you, shines through. Do take note of and contemplate what some pretty together people such as Shock, Fresh, and others say. They're the ones who can gently suggest, as they're doing, some simple ways you can think about your addiction.

For myself, I'm not the best person to say anything about the idea of alcohol as a calming restorative (that is, the illusion of that). For me, unfortunately, it does go some way towards restoring me to some calm - even though I've had some brief good glimpses of that same restorative calm, in previous periods of sobriety, from meditation and such like.

It's a bugger, isn't it? The search for the grail, of inner calm. I think that the best we can do is trudge / sprint our individual ways in that general direction...and it truly does tend to help a lot if we hear and know that others have gone before on that similar road, and that some - like me and you and others in SR - are still puzzling over the map.

I use the map metaphor (yes, I'm big on metaphors, they come easily to me with my literary type background) to illustrate my own struggle as much as anyone else's, including yours. For example, I'm an excellent map reader - and I mean real printed maps, not this GPS rubbish :-). BUT over my many years of travelling about, I've long ago learned that the map is not the terrain. The map (in our case, of how to stop drinking and stay stopped) is a representation solely of what is in fact a complex terrain. Anyone who's been lost - in the cities, the countryside etc - despite earnestly consulting the map, knows this to be true.

What do we do, when we've taken a turn or road which seems to have lead us - according to the map OR our slight mis-reading of it - to where we hadn't wanted to go? We re-consult the map, look at the terrain itself, see if they match. If not, either the map is inaccurate (sending us in the wrong direction to where we wanted to go)....or we haven't quite looked at it closely enough, to match it with the surrounding terrain. Or, we were / are too distracted by stuff to pay attention, and so took that turn to place A instead of place B. But even place A has its small and real experiences. They're part of our lives. They may not be what bring us comfort (because we didn't get to where we wanted to be). But they're real.

To slightly torture the metaphor further (I hope you're not getting a headache :-)): one of my vivid memories of my one trip to the UK from Australia, in 2001. I went by myself, at age 45. It was a big deal for me. Due to my life at that time, I drank my way through much of it, mostly in the North of England. Anyway, re the map thing: one time, I managed to meet up with the one English resident I knew for a small trip with him around Yorkshire. My goal was to see Castle Howard (the site of Brideshead Revisited TV series).

Anyway, on one of the days there or on the way back, we were driving about the Yorkshire Dales. He was driving, I was navigating - with the map, and this, in a strange country, so doing my best. He's a slightly control freak person, but a dear old friend. What with miscommunications on the road and such, when someone else is driving, I'd somehow 'sent' us up onto what became a cow-track. High on the hills. He was freaking out...'where have you taken us??' 'Where ARE we?' and such.

But we got to the ridge of the hill. I suggested we just get out of the car, to just peruse the panoroma - the vista, which I'm always fond of wherever I am. And mainly to just get fresh air, out of his rather musty old car, and to re-group before working out how to re-navigate our way back to the main town we were going.

Guess what was there, on that hill top? Not much, given it's the Dales. Fairly basic, few if any trees. Just grass, stones....and more of the same, as far as the eye could see.

BUT. As I suggested to my friend we just 'check it out', rest, look around..........there, at our feet, a few feet away, part hidden in the grass, was what I knew to be a Neolithic tomb. I still have the photo I took with my old Pentax SLR of it: just two or three biggish oblong stones, crossing over each other, rising up from the ground.

What brought us there? The map? My misreading of the map? The tension in the car with my friend? The fact that I was reading the map in a very new place, for me? The fact that I was due to travel back to Aus shortly afterwards, and sooooo didn't want to?

In that moment, though, as I saw the tomb.......all that fell away. Personally, I honestly hope for you and me, Harvey, and so many others here, that those amazing moments can remind us and stay with us.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:06 AM
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Bemyself, you seem lively when you talk about food and cookery.

I did see some of my own stuff in your posts. Wine. Leftovers not disposed of and consumed later.

In my case it goes better when I do something practical, physical. Even just cleaning or walking.

Best Wishes.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:23 PM
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Thank you for your good wishes GettingOn.

Do I sound lively when talking about food / cookery???? That's interesting - I hadn't quite thought of it that way. Y'see, I've been on my own for soooo many years now, and that, after all the years of being the mum / wife and cooking for everyone, that I actually struggle - as many single people report - to get excited about cooking. I think what I was referring to a few posts back was more a way of diarising the actual experience of a particular dish (say, the soup) which has resonances with the turning of the seasons, and probably lots of memories of who I've made it for and eaten it with over decades.

But yes, simple things like cleaning and walking....gardening, etc etc are indeed almost lifesavers, or at least sanity-savers at times. And of course when one has been drinking - depending on how much and how early in the day too - to even attempt those simple tasks or bits of exercise can just seem too physically hard.

The corollary of that is that I'm one of those drunks who got into the habit, over many many years, of doing virtually EVERYTHING at home especially with a glass of wine at hand. Indoors and outdoors. I've certainly, however, become much more aware of the greater physical difficulties in doing that when I drink now; not surprising given my age (late 50s) and other chronic conditions which are exacerbated by both exercise AND drinking.

I haven't given up on quitting again....for those latter reasons, alone. Apart from all the others.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:31 AM
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"I haven't given up on quitting again....for those latter reasons, alone. Apart from all the others."

Yeah I understand that.

I try and string some alcohol free days together every week. I haven't given up on giving up.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:07 AM
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I gave up four weeks ago again and I miss it. Some things are better now but all too often life's little problems seem unsurmountable without the warm comforting grip of the next drink. I am lonely without it and afraid of what each new day will throw at me.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:52 AM
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Harvey, I have come to understand that I am now much more active and as a result, less lonely now that I quit drinking. I was very anxious then too, and I was afraid of any number of things that might happen and my ability to cope with them, and also full of regrets and anger over things that had already passed into history.

I have given the history aspect an Oh Well and closed it. My future now is being faced with my full complement of ability and skill, whatever that may be. I can't expect more than that from this universe, and as it is turning out, what I am receiving now is just fine. I have lots to work on, but that's what life is for.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by freshstart57 View Post
Harvey, I have come to understand that I am now much more active and as a result, less lonely now that I quit drinking. I was very anxious then too, and I was afraid of any number of things that might happen and my ability to cope with them, and also full of regrets and anger over things that had already passed into history.

I have given the history aspect an Oh Well and closed it. My future now is being faced with my full complement of ability and skill, whatever that may be. I can't expect more than that from this universe, and as it is turning out, what I am receiving now is just fine. I have lots to work on, but that's what life is for.
I love it!

I'm also finding a lot more opportunities for friendship and activities now. I think these opportunities were always there, but when I was drunk all the time my attention was just elsewhere. Drinking made my world very small.

Trying to put regrets about the past away is a more difficult task, but I try to keep in mind that the past is very kind, because it's over.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:03 PM
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Red face Diary of beyond that trapdoor...

Well, I haven't been back to this thread for a while. I started one in Newcomers ('Locking down...') but only got two responses and it's now well down the list, lost in the old threads.

It's only about 6.30 a.m. here, and the start of day 8! I'm not keen on days-counting, but need to put it out there to you guys. I decided to quit drinking, detox by myself at home (rehabs all booked up for weeks), as of last Friday 2nd May.

Am I blessed with vast new energy, physically? No, hardly. Been very weak and feeble, and those first 5 or so days were extremely long and arduous. But slowly getting a tad more strength back for longer periods each day now, whilst still having to have several naps late morning and afternoons.

Later this morning, a house guest will be arriving for nearly 3 days until late Sunday. Of all people, it'll be my ex-husband from whom I've been divorced for 23 years. He's my daughters' father, and I get the sense he's coming to 'check up on me' to report back to the girls from whom I'm estranged. He's actually taken a day off work for today Friday, and has flown across the country from Perth.

What I'm doing now is trying to practice letting go anxieties and expectations of how this stay might go or pan out. This will be the first time in these 23 years that we've spent any more time than just an occasional, very rare, drop-in visit when he's been with my girls.

He's a tall, still-beefy guy in his early 60s now, and with a big booming voice.....eek. I'm so used to silence and just doing my own thing quietly here in my home. I'm saying to myself and er, 'Medicine Buddha' or whoever: '...if he doesn't 'get' that I can't just up and go out for a drive or whatever, then I have to shrug to myself and let it be'.

He's not a drunk, though apparently likes a red wine, and is fairly unknowledgeable about addiction let alone addiction recovery etc. Though he's a very experienced worker in social welfare (young people, ex-crims, and in recent years, people with disabilities). I need to make it clear to him that I don't wish to be treated like he's doing a Social Worker case management thing on me!

I'm apprehensive that he may do some of his trademark put-downs poorly disguised as 'jokes'...which, when the recipient gets upset, replies, 'can't you take a joke'. You know the type, I'm sure.... I have to have faith that IF he lets such things drop out of his mouth, out of habit if nothing else, I can be present enough to myself to pause inwardly, breathe...breathe some more...walk away.

I'm telling this story because - for obvious reasons - I do NOT want my damned AV (which ranted at me a bit last night) to make hay with my reactions to these next few days. So early in sobriety - again.
But at least, now I have SR and you good folk, and AVRT plus my mindfulness practice, to help me maintain some equanimity.

I'll try to log back on here and there as I can during this visit by him, and look forward to any encouragement and support from you guys.
Vic x
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:41 PM
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You can do this, bemyself, in fact you already are!
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:00 PM
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thanks Received, very much appreciated...yes, I suppose I AM already doing it.
This time around, I've really seen how much I need to re-visit not only AVRT, but my very eclectic Buddhist-related little practices....moment by moment, for much of the day.

Among many teachings, those of Pema Chodron bear constant repetition in my mind - along the lines of 'when you feel yourself getting hooked [by thoughts and bodily feelings of anxiety / anger / self-pity / irritation etc etc etc], breathe, notice them, and don't keep following the story-line.' That damned story line leads right down the rabbit hole, where our AV is happily waiting to welcome those 'kleshas' [destructive emotions / thoughts] with It's Absolute Solution of a drink....or seven.

Not an easy situation, this next few days of spending time with my very problematic Type A ex.....but, hey, talk about a perfect space in which to practice finding equanimity. For this drunk, that's almost the holy grail :-)
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