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Diary of a day 1 trapdoor

Old 05-09-2013, 05:24 PM
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It sounds like you really have found a great combination. Recognizing and then detaching and moving on from it is pretty cool.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:25 PM
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Well, I'm an atheist and a fan of the AVRT approach. Just over seven months ago I finally decided to acknowledge the fact that I'd known deep down for years: Drinking was going to kill me, after taking away everything I have. Looking back, I was never prepared to make The Big Plan. It could always wait. After all, I was "functioning," right? That is to say, I excel at work, I get good grades in school and I stay out of legal trouble. Again, looking back I can see I set the bar pretty low on what it meant to function! I couldn't sustain a relationship, I couldn't go more than 20 hours without a drink, I couldn't take a camping trip that was longer than I could stretch the amount of booze I could carry with me, I couldn't be relied upon to perform any grown-up function that had to be done more than 2 hours after getting off work...Not really all that functional.

The place to begin is inward. Do you really want to stop? Why or why not? Setting aside the reasons and excuses, what's keeping you alive each day? Do you have any goals or plans? Any dreams?

You can probably go thru the motions for years. I did. Just considering a Big Plan is somewhat scary.

I'm not sure what words of advice to offer. My case was unusual. I don't remember exactly what made me so sick of drinking, but it was getting to the point where death was starting to look like a good alternative. I drank so much for so long that I honestly thought I might have to have medical help to quit (ie withdrawals) and that I might need to try some kind of drug like Antabuse.

By luck I came upon AVRT via Google. It opened my eyes, and crucially it fit my world view. I'm not superstitious, so handing my burden off to an imaginary Sky Daddy didn't seem to offer much chance of success. I was pretty drunk when I found the AVRT sight but I bookmarked it and returned the next night when I was sober. Even as I read it that first night, I made my Big Plan. I decided I would drink every drop I had in the house, and got profoundly smashed. But that was indeed the last time I ever drank. Funny thing is I used to get headaches if I didn't "fix" at my usual time, but once I made the Big Plan that completely stopped. It's as though not even allowing myself to anticipate drinking just headed my AV off at the pass.

I won't say I've never had a bad night or thought about drinking, but I've never came particularly close to giving in. None of my problems would be improved by being drunk, so I don't drink.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:45 AM
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BM, you're an evocative writer. Thanks for describing your story, it's been helpful for me to read. Do you have any other creative projects under way?
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:03 AM
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I hope you're doing okay, bemyself.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:38 PM
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Thanks guys for your thoughtful and heartfelt replies and observations / musings - it really means a lot.

It's barely 5 a.m. Sunday as I start this, still pre-dawn dark outside. I figured as I'd woken up at 4.30 I might as well get up in the silence to download here a bit.

Well, this past two days so far has been a fairly deep lesson in the wackiness - unskillfulness, if you like - of fear and unnecessary apprehension: those generally universal human traits which most alcoholics remark upon as big features of their active drinking selves and in the earlier phases of getting sober.

My ex and I have had, in the end, (almost) non-stop 'raves' - as we used to say in the, er, 60s and 70s :-). More like what the Irish call 'craic': heaps of spontaneous exchanges, very cordial but with the old intellectual to-and-fro energy. About everything under the sun. And quite a few belly-laughs eruptions, the sort where you almost start to cry from laughing. The best sort, very therapeutic as you all know.

He's taken to my dog, as I knew he would; we've taken her out to play and charge about in her favourite parks nearby. Toddled over for dinner last night with an old mutual friend at her house, where all the above dynamics were in play. I remarked as we were leaving that it was the first time in almost 30 years of all three of us hanging out together!

I even managed later last night, after we got home to my place, to practice a little humility / openness, in listening without arcing up when he made some suggestions about a small way in which I might respond to our adult daughters - if / when they wish to try coming back into my life. This was on a particular topic - specifically, meeting them where they are on the more 'girly' things in their lives which they're into, and I'm really not interested (i.e. I'm still an old feminist at heart, and with age too, have no great inclination towards or interest in obsessions with makeup, hairstyles, clothes and fashion, body sculpting, all that stuff). It might seem puerile to me, but I need to take on board the spirit in which he was suggesting that.

He's managed to re-craft a better relationship with them both in the past several years, by having to look at himself in just that way: i.e. 'how much does this issue A or B REALLY matter, if I don't agree with it or how they're dealing with it? And if I wish to disagree whilst also still being true to myself, how might I do that without dishonouring their right to be themselves?' That kind of thing...

I was pretty astounded, given that this was the kind of guy who was controlling, domineering, hypercritical, dismissive of anything he thought crap (still a bit like that re social / political etc wider issues...), extremely angry underneath all the time.....
But age has definitely softened him concerning close relationships, like with our kids - and his own adult child by his current wife.

Lots to think on when he's gone back to the other side of the country....

Genuinely, for me, in this next stage of re-engaging with sober living, a few days of face to face encountering the fallacious nature of my own deep fears, anxieties, apprehensions. The very same things which so often kept me drinking for years, and 'drove me to drink' in the several relapses of this past year and a bit.

Even more weird for me, he's happy to accompany me to one of the few local XX meetings that I actually like (:-)) late this morning. I haven't been back for nearly two months, and don't want to fully get right back into that world ongoing. But I do feel the need to just greet a few people I've got to know, let them know I'm on this path, again. Hear some of that f2f encouragement which most, not all, of us do need from time to time.
This will be too, a very new experience for him, to sit and listen to a wide range of people get up and talk about their lives as active alkies and beyond.

I've had a few random pop-up thoughts about 'geez, I fancy a wine....', but was able to smack 'em down quickly and just re-enter the present moment (albeit with what I detected as a tiny passing trace, if you will, of mild nostalgia / grief? annoyance? (that I simply can't and don't drink). Harrumphh! Bloody AV, persistent little brain-trace it is.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:21 PM
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ooooooooohhhhh! How absolutely wonderful you "sound". I am truly enjoying this you.

I hope that didn't come out the wrong way.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:54 PM
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Thank you

Thank you for your story this month and past. I have chosen to make my first post here as I believe this to be the most detailed and very honest chain of posts I have read yet. Not to say others have not been honest or detailed. I just wanted to say thank you to Beyourself for you wittiness and willingness to tell your story with such rich details it was enjoyable to read. Give your dog a good pat for me.

4 days sober today and its seeping in nicely, wonder what the grind of work will bring next week to my new routine...

-- Awaken O flame that burns ever inward. Flame forth and unveil the darkness of night. --
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:03 PM
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welcome ssf

D
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:18 PM
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Thanks Dee, glad to be here
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:59 PM
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Beyourself: How's the trap door going? How are you doing? Your journey is inspiring to me, just checking in. I myself am now 16 days sober. Have a few headaches each day which I think is just from withdrawal, even though the first week I had few withdrawal symptoms. AVRT and my therapist challenging me to stay clean have been what helped me so far. I am feeling like my "trap-door" is keeping me inside my apartment with my cat, not wanting to interact with the outside world except to go to work. Today I cried uncontrollably after a friend tole me she was disappointed I hadn't been to more of her dance shows this month. I feel like I am just getting by not really living, not supporting my good friends in my life because I have such a strong inclination to stay at home alone. Hope you are well and your dog(s) are well. Thanks for your story.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:26 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Hi SSF, apologies for being missing in action, as it were.... and, many thanks for your appreciation of my stories. It means a lot, believe me. It's often easy to feel that what we write and pour forth on sites like this (though SR is my only such outlet) may not really reach anyone, to their heart and mind. It's good to know when it does.

Well done on your 16 days sober! Strong inclination to stay home alone? I'm probably not the best person to consult about that, given that profound isolation and loneliness (crushing loneliness) is seemingly a constant in my life. It has been so, and getting more profound (partly due to circumstances, other people, stuff I can't change) for about 4 years now.

Indeed, it's one of the things which is so unbearable that I pick up a drink again: which I've done AGAIN just this week. Indeed, I'm drinking already today and it's only just on midday here.

If I may, I'll type out the paper journal entry I made on Friday early evening:

" I just NEED a drink to soften, blur, these sharp edges of pain - an empty life day after day; loneliness which has seemingly NO solution; this deep sense of disconnection between me, as I am now, and the rest of societiy.

I am one of those who belongs neither in city nor country, in entirety. I am someone with the baggage of old lives constantly swirling in my imagination, and much of the same baggage literally filling and weighing down boxes, filing cabinets, hard drives and bookshelves.

It's the start of a long weekend (Queen's Birthday) and sooo many people will be going out, travelling afar, spending fun times with family and friends.

People like me? Nothing changes. So I went to buy wine: barely five days since the last lot on Monday night. And that (Mon) was the first drink in a month....

I feel like a serial drinker. I feel I'll always be a drinker, despite all the terrible things alcohol does to me, my daily life, my kids [who are estranged and waiting - I guess - to reconnect with a long term sober me].

I RESENT - actively feel self-pity, irritation - that others can have their wine, at home , or out and about when enjoying their restaurant meals, movies, group functions, even simple at-home group gatherings. Alcoholics like me have to either Not-Go to anything like that OR solely hang around with AA / non-drinker people, OR endure such drinking situations with soft drinks (which I've NEVER liked) or endless cups of hot beverages."

Most of this of course sounds like the sayings of the average person just coming to grips with never drinking again. But, I'm not at that starting gate; I'm four plus years down the track from when I first seriously tried to stop drinking for good (i.e. went into a residential detox facility). In the meantime, I've been through all the recovery stuff I talked about in earlier parts of this old thread.

Alcoholism is a serious relapsing condition? Too damn right it is.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:43 PM
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PS ssf: I got into a rant - you need not feel somehow responsible! What I've said...I don't wish to freak you out. There are heaps of others around to support you in a more positive way!
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:02 AM
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I told myself for a long time that I was destined to always be a drinker...

I was one of those who was too raw too sensitive for reality

I had a lot of problems that were better treated with alcohol rather than nasty chemical pharmaceuticals

I was following in the footsteps of giants like Dylan Thomas, Brendan Behan, Jack Kerouac and F Scott Fitzgerald....

and after all... we all have to die of something, right?

All that was utter bollocks.

And deep down I knew it, but to play along was easier, or so it seemed.

I had a lot of talents, and a lot to give...but I was giving nothing to anyone in my life as a drinker.

The fact was I was scared Vic - I was scared of not drinking, I was scared of change, and I was scared of not having alcoholism as an excuse anymore.

I think you don't really believe what you typed before either - you wouldn't come back here if you did.

It's obvious to me you have a lot to give too.

Sometimes the measure of our lives comes down to how we're remembered.

how do you want to be remembered Vic?

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Old 06-09-2013, 03:13 AM
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Have Courage, (((Victoria))) Be brave, friend. There is nothing else but to quit the drink. I see you quitting. I believe in you quitting. Never give up on yourself. Never. Ever. Be at your best effort in hope even at your worst moments. This is the time and place hope shines best.

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Old 06-09-2013, 06:47 AM
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on loneliness

No, bemyself - you do not freak me out. I just empathize with your pain.

loneliness which has seemingly NO solution; this deep sense of disconnection between me, as I am now, and the rest of societiy.
This I understand. The loneliness - the feeling of isolation - the feeling like no one cares, like there is no one on this earth that can understand or deal with the amount of pain that you have. You see, I have bipolar disorder, and mostly I am on the down swing - not up. These profound seemingly endless pits of sorrow sweep over me like thick clouds of gray sky and it seems very random and cruel. There seems to be no way to think myself out of this at the time, no hope. And I can't stop to think that others would even care if I didn't live. Because I feel like such a burden. I burrow myself in my apartment smoking drinking because I don't want to feel the pain that has engulfed me. It's like constantly sinking without knowing your surroundings.

About 3 months ago I came to the realization that I no longer was taking care of myself. Off my meds, drinking heavily, forgetting to shower, cloths piling up around my bed. Don't know how I made it to work. It was like pulling teeth getting out of bed. My weekends were mostly dedicated to sleep as I would stay in bed sometimes all day at least 16 hours, watching movies on my computer and only getting up to eat and drink more alcohol.*Only by the words of a therapist I realized this: "I don't know if I can help you." This made me wake up to the fact of how bad it had really gotten. So I took a leave from work and entered into a program for depression and anxiety. Which felt more like a class. I got a kitty and only drank about 1 or two glasses of wine a week. The transformation, including the meds I added to my routine was incredible. But alas, slowly over the course of the next two months the drinking increased and the depression started to creep over, unrelenting, like a monsoon. This is when, 17 days ago now, I stopped drinking for what I hope to be good. Knowing how much it effects the deepness of the despair. I feel annoyed that the depression has not lifted yet like it did last time, but I hope that maybe after 30 or more days I will start to feel a little better.

I can only imagine what you must be going through. Your words speak deeply of dark times I know I have felt, of course no ones night is the same, so I don't mean to project my own experience on yours. I just know how low it can go and I wish you the best in climbing up the hole that you are in. I know and you know that alcohol cannot be aiding to the feeling of loneliness, only helping that monsoon. But it is darn hard to stop the desire for what seems to be a temporary answer to pain, especially when it's so readily available.

Here's to the times ahead when you do conquer this. Here's to sunny skies and laughing. Here's to reconnecting with your kids ( should you want to) . To not feeling trapped inside, to days when you know you are taking care of yourself.

You deserve it and you can do it.

Hope can be flighty so hold on to the kite when you can! (Even if for now it's a fake kite, fake wind, fake sun).

All the best to you, Victoria.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:17 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
PS ssf: I got into a rant - you need not feel somehow responsible! What I've said...I don't wish to freak you out. There are heaps of others around to support you in a more positive way!
Hi Vicky,

Just an idea.
What if you tried to just post here when there was no alcohol in your blood?
I think, then, we would all be discovering much more of what your SR identity is proposing, and you would have another incentive to not drink. SR seems to be a pretty safe place to get into testing out how to relate in a typical non-drinking adult community.

GT
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:27 PM
  # 57 (permalink)  
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Thanks to all - ssf, Dee, Robby.

SSf you touched on a crucial point, in your own story. For me, and I suspect those like yourself too, ongoing depression and loneliness (like for YEARS) can be so crippling. Both things are intertwined, and they afflict vast numbers of people - drinkers and non-drinkers both.

In my experience, I feel these underlying 'afflictions' just as much in the weeks and months when I'm abstinent / sober; the main difference, when I drink, is a matter of degree. As you pointed out - and as many others have done here and elsewhere - drinking of course makes them worse, heightened.

I think what happens in me is that when sober, I try to practice heaps of things which allegedly help to 'heal' - or at least, ameliorate - depressive thinking. Despite this - and the occasional, momentary small slivers of hopefulness, light heartedness, peace, equanimity - the old Black Dog is always lurking. He's not too dissimilar, in the neuroscientific sense, from 'It', the addiction Beast in our brains. (Hence the vast evidence now of the extent to which alcoholics also suffer from mental illnesses, in a diabolical dance of chicken and egg).

Years and years of depression (or anxiety, BPD etc etc) do change our brains, just as years and years of substance addiction does. This is an indisputed fact. It's kinda bald....and a bit scary, when you accept it as a fact.

Many people with mental illness talk about somehow just learning to live with their illness, that lurker in the brain. It disables so many, just as devastatingly as does alcohol.

To be sure, I know from experience of sobriety / abstinence that my depression can be kept a little at bay...or should I say, more accurately: it's still there, affecting me, but in a slightly less crippling degree.

And, in a side note to GT: my name is Victoria or Vic, not Vicky. Also, you may not have noticed that my writing when sober is not too different at all from when I drink. My SR 'identity' is just me, as I am. You might take greater care - especially given you're a dedicated parser of people's language - to read my more recent posts in this thread, in May. I am not really interested Gerard in having my writing and therefore thoughts picked apart as if the writer (me) is a specimen in a language lab. Your human concern, and perhaps your own real life stories, are much more approachable.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:12 PM
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not sure now when it's okay to give some feedback, but since you're posting on a forum, i'll assume you're okay with a response.
what jumped out at me are two things:

the mention you make a couple of times about how drinking exacerbates and worsens the depression and bleak hopelessness, yet you say: I just NEED a drink to soften, blur, these sharp edges of pain, when from the rest it sounds like in fact the pain gets less when you DON'T drink.
how might it be to say "i DON'T NEED to drink; and if i don't, the pain will get a little less"?

Most of this of course sounds like the sayings of the average person just coming to grips with never drinking again. But, I'm not at that starting gate; I'm four plus years down the track from when I first seriously tried to stop drinking for good (i.e. went into a residential detox facility).

don't know about everyone, but for me...well, i had to try and come to grips with that for longer than four years of trying. every time i tried, i was serious. or thought i was. felt i was. (but how can i tell in retrospect???? just "judging" from the result of whether i "made it" or not is too circular to determine seriousness of intention)

what i'm saying is that i was at that starting gate repeatedly and then again. and again. sigh.

from listening to people for a long time now, seems like that is very much the average person just coming to grips with never drinking again.

start gate is really the only place to start from. no matter how many times we've been there before. coming to grips with "never" isn't necessary for everyone in order to start again.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:43 PM
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thanks fini, for your always-considered response.

Yes, you're quite right that I admit knowing drinking worsens my depression (and everyone else's too), YET crave a drink to take the edge off (when it's really bad). Suppose I should've been a bit clearer, in that I crave that first couple of drinks after which I do feel better. It's of course further down the track (hours, days or weeks) when continued drinking exacerbates depression even further.

It's madness, of course, of a kind. I know that, I feel that, but....I can see my recurring chronological pattern: get sober again for a month (sometimes, right on 30 days, it's like an inner clock). Pick up a drink, drink for a day or so....or with a few days break in between, then quickly progress back into daily (all day) drinking for another few weeks.

I actually went along to an XX meeting today, and was asked to speak towards the end of it. I spoke about exactly this stuff, and also about the difficulties (in my experience) of quitting AND STAYING sober / abstinent in your later years, i.e. mid-50s and later. As you know, the brain gets so re-wired, profoundly so, the more the drinking decades pile up.

Add to that life long mental illness or whatever sort....quite a mountain to climb!

It's one of the reasons that I'm quite envious of those who do quit and pretty much stay quit from their early 20s or so. I don't of course wish on them the suffering they went through before quitting - or even after! But, I'm extremely chuffed for them...but to be honest, yes, a bit envious.

Still, I know full well - and I know you know I know it :-) - that i simply must travel this path myself, as each of our lives are different. We have the commonalities of addiction and what it brings in its wake, but our personal histories in all senses are ours to face. I achieve nothing by maintaining sad envy about those with years of a better life. That's a hard lesson to remember!

And, sorry if my postscript might have put you off replying. I'm glad you did. There are, shall we say, ways of um, looking at someone's writing; some are better at really hearing the feelings and thoughts there, than others. :-) I mean, 'honouring' those feelings and thoughts. I always enjoy your thoughtful posts, fini; they strike me as of that honouring kind.

And thank you for reflecting on your own passage through the years of starting again, and again,.....
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:20 PM
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Forgot to mention:

You said: " don't know about everyone, but for me...well, i had to try and come to grips with that for longer than four years of trying. every time i tried, i was serious. or thought i was. felt i was. (but how can i tell in retrospect???? just "judging" from the result of whether i "made it" or not is too circular to determine seriousness of intention)"

OH yes. I remember reading your discussions on Secular Con a few weeks ago, about just that. I tend to agree with you about those last two sentences in parentheses. A bit of a mind F. You could go quite mad, worrying about that stuff. (I don't think you are, mad that is :-)) But I'm a bit the same, and often found myself nodding when you were trying to elucidate your thinking on it before. Not that we want to go back there again - too stressful for you, I reckon!

Some just seem to travel on....and some of us, well, we travel on...then derail....travel on...derail. One thing I am learning, from the newcomers' posts, for instance, is how variable that is for each of us. It Just Is. And as you said above (if I may gloss on it): the starting gate is always there, and we can - and often do - walk through it. Thankfully. That's the hope that Robby mentioned a few posts back in this thread. I take a cautious (depressive's) view of Hope. But it's probably the only reason I'm still alive!
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