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This is hard.

Old 05-02-2013, 05:22 PM
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This is hard.

I am on day 8 and have not touched any alcohol. All in all, it has been pretty easy for me to abstain and stand up to the Addictive Voice - at least in that aspect. It is easy NOT to do something; but getting the hang of other aspects of day-to-day living is challenging.

The last two days have been especially stressful. Nothing major, just lots of annoyances, some in my control, others out of my control. On a day like this, I would have most certainly had more wine or beer than was healthy for me. I am resolute in being sober for the rest of my life and although I don't really feel like getting drunk now, I am just constantly frustrated with everything and having a hard time settling down.

It feels like swimming in deep water, with nowhere to stop. I just have to keep going...

I realize that for me, alcohol addiction/reliance was destructive because instead of developing coping and stress management skills, I used alcohol to subdue uncomfortable feelings. I stunted my emotional growth and emotional intelligence as a result. I have to figure it out now, at the same time I am trying to amend relationships, finances and my health. It is very hard to do this.

Please tell me that this gets easier as I go along... I have been doing my very best to get healthy over the last week; I just feel like I have hit a brick wall.

Frustrated.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:32 PM
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1stthingsfirst, 8 days sober? You are FANTASTIC. Congratulations. Yes the cravings will subside as time goes by.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement. In some ways, I feel like a failure since it has been getting tougher over the last couple of days. I have to remember where I was a little over a week ago and that the more complicated problems will take longer to sort out since they have been lying dormant for many years.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:44 PM
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It won't happen over night.

Look at the math, in my case I drank, when I drank I was out of control while drinking. Sober I was OK, did my job, never had DUI, never done prison, never done rehabs.
It was only when I drank things went crazy or "funny". Living sober gradually became a life of isolation to.
This went on for 35 years.
When I was sober for the first 6 months, I was invited to brother's wedding reception, I was asked to sit in a separate table away from family. So I left in disgust, "don't they know, I'm sober!!" I thought.
No, they don't know, all they know is I was a risk.

I rang someone in support and they asked me these questions.
"how many years did I drink" ?
I said, "35"
Support then asked, "how long have I been sober"?
"6 months" was my reply.
Then my support said, "do you honestly think that being 6 months sober is going to change the image of you after 35 years of your out of control drinking"?
My answer obviously was, "No".
Then hung up the telephone, I went back to the reception after 2 hours, no one missed me except my dad.
Being sober at the reception, I then saw the drunks!
The rest of the family were trying to figure out, "is he or isn't he going to mess up his brother's wedding reception"? type of looks.
If they were betting, they lost! I won on the day, but there was more battles to endure, and the enemy was in me.

You are 8 days sober, the alcohol is leaving the body and the mind, what's happening is the emotions are coming up. This is normal, it happened to me and I suppose it happens to many in those first few days.

The larger than life dreams prop up like monsters and your are trying to figure it all out. They are just that, "dreams", nothing more, nothing less.
It will pass, for some sooner, others not so soon. Just don't pick up the first drink or you will be back to day 1 and have to go through it all over again.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 1stthingsfirst View Post
...because instead of developing coping and stress management skills, I used alcohol to subdue uncomfortable feelings....
Sounds like you have a lot on your plate and you are trying to resolve all your issues (drinking, relationships, finances, health) all at once.

STOP!

Focus on one thing now. Staying sober. Do your day to day stuff and do everything you can to minimize the stress. And work on your coping skills because that will keep you more sober than everything else.

The other stuff will fall in line, in time. You have time. So take it.

Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:00 AM
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Please tell me that this gets easier as I go along...

1st: it gets easier!

but i'll be honest: it got tougher, too. having no "escape-hatch" and not knowing what/how to deal with the day-to-day frustrations....and the letting go of stuff i really can't do anything about...

these are skills we can learn, 1st.
i'm a pretty bright person, but i had to learn, for example, something as simple-sounding as paying attention to when i was actually thirsty. physically thirsty on a hot day. sounds ridiculous, no?

had to learn not to go for the quick fix

which can mean that lots of "unfixed" stuff comes to your attention and then SITS there.

it gets easier, 1st.

you can do this.
just keep going.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:17 PM
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By any absolute measure, my life got better the moment I decided to never drink again. I wasn't spending a fortune on booze, my physical and mental health began to improve immediately, and I started to become more present to my family and to myself.

My self esteem improved when I understood that I no longer was that drunken bum, stumbling around and falling down. I now could return to becoming, to being that person I knew I had always been.

I slowly began to allow myself to be myself, instead of battling and struggling. Things around me moved to accept me too.

Trust in yourself. Be aware of your thoughts and accept their presence. Then allow yourself to be the wonderful amazing person that you are, 1st. That is enough.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:35 AM
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Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice. I feel so much better today (as well as yesterday). I am on day 10 and I think by this time, most/all of the ill effects of alcohol have dissipated. I also quit drinking coffee at the same time, which has compounded my short-term irritability, but will help in the long term. The combination of stimulant and depressant made it harder to understand what was going on.

I am so much happier than I have ever been in my adult life. I am no longer a slave to an expensive, destructive habit and I the cravings really have been minimal. Thanks everyone for expressing thoughtfulness and kindness to me at a difficult time.
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 1stthingsfirst View Post
I am on day 8 and have not touched any alcohol.All in all, it has been pretty easy for me to abstain and stand up to the Addictive Voice - at least in that aspect. It is easy NOT to do something; but getting the hang of other aspects of day-to-day living is challenging.

The last two days have been especially stressful. Nothing major, just lots of annoyances, some in my control, others out of my control. On a day like this, I would have most certainly had more wine or beer than was healthy for me. I am resolute in being sober for the rest of my life and although I don't really feel like getting drunk now, I am just constantly frustrated with everything and having a hard time settling down.

It feels like swimming in deep water, with nowhere to stop. I just have to keep going...

I realize that for me, alcohol addiction/reliance was destructive because instead of developing coping and stress management skills, I used alcohol to subdue uncomfortable feelings. I stunted my emotional growth and emotional intelligence as a result. I have to figure it out now, at the same time I am trying to amend relationships, finances and my health. It is very hard to do this.

Please tell me that this gets easier as I go along... I have been doing my very best to get healthy over the last week; I just feel like I have hit a brick wall.

Frustrated.
I highlighted what looks to me like really great AVRT work.

To my way of thinking, your "...trying to amend relationships, finances, and my health..." is acknowledging you're back to being yourself. (I recently saw "What about Bob" again and this reminds me of Richard Dreyfus in the very last scene when his sister gets married and his son exclaims "Dad's back!!")

The AV enjoys the concept that we are each INDIVIDUAL human beings, and AVRT doesn't really alter that basic concept. AVRT simply introduces a dissociative technique that allows us to THINK DIVIDUALLY about our THINKING. Keeping the DIVIDING restricted to IT's very narrow goal of getting you to drink is what it's all about. All the rest IS YOU.
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