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Forced to Drink - Apparently It's a Thing

Old 06-21-2017, 09:49 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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I have and I will continue not to drink. My point in this thread has not been to question RR, but to say that it's more complex than that.

Let's look at it this way. Imagine a person who has never picked up alcohol or another drug, but suffers from a certain sense that things could be better - that they could improve their overall well-being. That person, just like a person (like myself) who has committed to permanent sobriety after years of substance abuse, might benefit from a variety of approaches (exercise, self-help, mindfulness, social clubs, even therapy) to "recover" from whatever it is that has been dogging them. Maybe it's trauma, grief, disappointments, malaise due to poor nutrition, an abusive boss...you name it.

Certainly, my confidence in continued and permanent sobriety has lifted a great weight off my shoulders, but I have found that it has opened up so much more to explore, and yes, heal. I don't tell people I'm in recovery; I just say I don't drink or get high. Sometimes I joke that I drank my lifetime's ration years ago and stopped for health reasons. True enough.

I also don't tell myself or anyone else that I'm an alcoholic. Having studied the DSM V, I sometimes remind myself that I had met criteria for substance use disorder, and by their definition I am beyond the time limit to be considered in remittance.

It is good to question the permanent recovery mentality that pervades the dominant approach. Community support can certainly help, but at some point people need to move on, and working on myself is very much about moving on.

I've mentioned mindfulness (and that listening to the AV or inner voice or voices is a form of mindfulness) which for me was at first about relapse prevention, then about anxiety and stress reduction, and now simply a practice related to my commitment to Buddhism. Early on, saying I will never drink again and I will never change my mind made me feel a little like Stuart Smiley ("because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me"). That voice would reply, "Yeah, right." I simply wasn't confident even though I could say it, but I kept saying it, and it stuck.

To me the most powerful practice in RR is that commitment. Engaging with the AV is a close second. But even then, I think we eventually need to move beyond a reliance on RR (or SMART or AA or...) and, like GerandTwine said, become a "common teetotaller."

Trimpey likes to diss on the helping professions, and I'm not the only one who bristles at those ads on TV that say, "You can't do it alone." It's predatory advertising. At the same time, I know people who work in those professions, many who have suffered either from their own addictions and/or from that of loved ones, and blanket statements about "the system" are just that, blanket statements; over-generalizations. Many people in that "system" are loving people who just want to help, and the front line workers aren't getting rich off it. So, Trimpey is right on some points, but he's a little over the top in making such sweeping generalizations about everything other than his own approach, and those generalizations have clearly been parroted by some here.

That's all I'm saying. I'm a skeptic. RR is good stuff, but I take everything with a grain of salt, and my critical voice tells me there's quite a bit of hyperbole on his website.

Now, back to the initial question of this thread. I think, regardless of the social or cultural context, if pushed I would simply say, "Please respect the fact that I do not drink - ever." If they can't respect that, well, they can bite my hairy, pimply dumper.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:51 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Yeah RR is only about quitting drinking. The rest is up to the individual as to how they want to improve themselves or their lives or not. That's what makes it so appealing to me, none of the cumbersome requirements of AA. You can quit and consider yourself recovered, how one chooses to deal with the aftermath is up to them. Personally, I've found that quitting has inspired me in many other facets of my life. As far as the past goes, right now I just want to leave it there. I did enough rehashing of my traumas and pity parties when I was drinking, now that I'm sober I'd rather not think about it anymore. To what end?

I am of the opinion that the current model of recovery is a tragedy. So many things about it bother me but I've already been told to knock it off on SR for speaking my mind about it. I'm not a fan though. I agree that most professionals have good intentions, I just think they are misguided and the AA message is to blame for a lot of that.

Thanks Gerrald for pointing that out to me! Can and will are two very different mindsets!
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:28 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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zen, all good points, and I've been told to knock it off, as well.

Regarding the question, to what end? I guess there is no reason as long as one has come to terms with their past and it no longer haunts them or negatively affects them. In my case, I was not aware how much my past had been affecting me until I had been sober a while, and it was during meditation that I started having nagging memories and more. I needed to go there, and I had been avoiding it via alcohol for too long. My mind was telling me, look, this happened, and this happened, and it has been a hidden motor in my subconscious. I would have to quit meditating and return to suppressing in order to pretend the past hasn't shaped me. First, it says "look at me," then I look, reminding myself to suspend judgement and accept the thoughts, the memories, and the reality. The next step has been to dismantle the motor through understanding, and bit by bit the nagging dissipates, and my meditation sessions are more spacious and quiet. It's a process of opening and welcoming whatever comes. It's hard to explain, but I now understand that I was a drunk for clear reasons, and it wasn't just that my mom was a drunk - she experienced her share of trauma, as well. That's where environment and epigenetics mix with those neurons that fire together and wire together.

Unfortunately for her, she tried to get sober and reacted to treatment by deciding there is no point in addressing her trauma - the motor that likely drove her addiction - admitting it was too painful to go there, so she refused. She died in her 50's. Would treatment have helped? Who knows, but she was a sad and sweet lady who simply could not muster the courage to face the present - memories and all - until it was too late.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:50 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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MMM ... interesting and good food for thought.

I do know for me that I have to change my relationship to life or I will probably drink eventually ... I mean for me there is no point in staying sober if life still sucks.

I guess I'm saying is that if I feel I don't have a life worth living than I stop wanting to live, which leads to drinking as a way to not live anymore...a form of suicide without taking responsibility.

Some people may very well find that by not drinking they find a life that can be enjoyable without really making any other changes. I am pretty sure there are those types. I think that is great, but just know that it isn't me.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:21 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Sorry about your mom zero, that's really sad that she never gave herself this gift of sobriety.

When I think about my dad I get really sad. We were estranged for years and although we talk now it's not an easy flowing relationship. I don't know how to fix it without rehashing the past and the truth is that he's a sick old man and I don't want to lay a guilt trip on him. What's done is done. I know he's lonely though and that I hurt him deeply when I cut him out of my life at the same time that I left my husband. I told both of them to take their misogynistic selves elsewhere and gave them my back. I worry though that I'll keep putting off mending those fences until it's too late and I'm left with unsaid words and guilt for the rest of my days.......

You may be done with the past, but the past isn't done with you.

For today I'm just glad that drinking isn't ruling my life and that I can think with a clear mind about how to proceed with my future. I'm not stuck like broken record, playing the same song on a loop.

Ananda, what do you do to improve your life other than not drinking? I know I've quit before and was miserable and ended up going back to it. I think part of my misery was that I hadn't really accepted that the drinking was over so I didn't allow myself to embrace my new life and all the potential I could have in it.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:21 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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I do a lot of things.

I do practice meditation similar to what Zero talked about. I too know that my past is effecting me in sneaky ways.

I was able to "heal" my relationship with my dad about the abuse before his death, and that made the death very hard yet pretty guilt free. My mom ... well I'm like you Zen ... she is really a sort of pathetic old woman now who tries hard ... I don't bring up the old stuff with her and try to keep her from going there as if we go there I probably would say a lot of hurtful things at this point... work to do with meditation and therapy.

I do attend AA a few times a week just to hang with sober people and get out of the house. some times that goes well, sometimes not. I'm pretty reactive lately so I have to watch myself.

I really love the support I am getting through my "monthly support" thread. It has really made a big difference in my sobriety. I need friendship at this point... might join a monastery or just go live in a cave at some point ... but right now people are key.

This sobriety has FINALLY felt different than any attempts in the last 5 years. Ended up in a good treatment program (after a previous horrible one) for 30 days and it was suggested I consider retirement or disability so I retired ... I have time to work through my BS and build a joyful life. As always .. some aspects suck some of the time.. but it doesn't overwhelm the gratitude I feel for being a human being and I actually like the idea of living again

thanks for asking and sorry for going on and on so....
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:50 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by zerothehero View Post
...At the same time, I know people who work in those professions, many who have suffered either from their own addictions and/or from that of loved ones, and blanket statements about "the system" are just that, blanket statements; over-generalizations. Many people in that "system" are loving people who just want to help, and the front line workers aren't getting rich off it.
If there is one human being other than myself who I credit most with pulling me out of my hole, it's a counselor at the outpatient program I went through (the second one, not the first one that I flunked out of ). This lady was an absolute radiant angel for me, and I still make a point to attend her seminars once or twice a year. I'm certain that at that point in time when I was finally ready to stop, I would not have made it without her. She was really that important.

Not all of them are angels, and some I encountered were pretty nasty (perhaps beaten down by all the failures they see, not everyone makes it and they get to see the whole process leading to death, over and over again), but some are literally life savers who sure aren't getting rich, they're in the addiction counseling profession because they care and can really help people.

The people running the flashy rehabs and putting out those dreadful TV ads with the Malibu sunsets and dramatic music, they're a different breed.
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:51 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Love this: You may be done with the past, but the past isn't done with you.

The parent thing is always interesting. I kind of abandoned my mom and then couldn't believe she was suddenly dead. I just couldn't witness it all and moved out of state. Pangs of guilt. Dad did some damage, but in the end I forgave him and we kind of reconciled. It is what it is.

For what it's worth, ananda, I hated life in my early sober months. I felt like I had a dimmer that had been kept on low for decades, and as my body was readjusting it just kept getting brighter - and not in a good way, but in a vibrating, cover my eyes, florescent nausea kind of way. I was jumpy and anxious well into months four and five, but it eventually evened out. Yoga helped. I literally felt like I had to learn to be in my body again, and to make friends with it. I think exercise, especially mindful and gentle exercise, is a really positive thing. The meditation I practice has a large body component - mindful awareness - it's as much about embodied awareness as it is about observing the thought stream. I had to befriend myself after years of abuse (self and from others) and self-loathing, but I did it, and I enjoy life now as much or more than I can ever remember. Hang in there. Keep the commitment.
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Old 06-21-2017, 04:16 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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I'm still in early days at 4 months and I agree that it's hard in the beginning. Everything felt magnified and I was ultrasensitive, sometimes I would have waves of anxiety and a few times I had panic attacks during those first 60 days. It was overwhelming at times. Things have leveled off now though and like I said earlier I feel fantastic, I'd forgotten what healthy felt like. It takes awhile to acclimatize and for the brain to heal. I remember learning that the headaches from a hangover are because your brain is so dehydrated that it shrinks and that's why your head hurts so bad! My God, it makes me shudder to think of how I abused myself. Throwing away my gift of health with both hands.

zero, I couldn't imagine losing a parent like that and at such a young age. That must have blindsided you. No matter what the relationship is like there's no one quite like your mom. Addiction in families is just so awful, it really is a generational legacy. I'm breaking the cycle in mine, I hope my boys don't go down the same path I did. I've got one of my sons in counseling right now so he can sort out some of his experiences and feelings, he's got a lot of sadness, he's been on the receiving end of his dad's temper too and then there's what I've put him through. Dealing with the aftermath.

Jeffrey, that's a really nice story about your angel.
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Old 06-21-2017, 04:55 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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To me the most powerful practice in RR is that commitment. Engaging with the AV is a close second. But even then, I think we eventually need to move beyond a reliance on RR (or SMART or AA or...) and, like GerandTwine said, become a "common teetotaller."
SMART Recovery's final stage of change is actually exiting out. We firmly believe most people do not need a program forever. Once our addictions have stabilized and we've learned how to apply the tools its time to move on.

As to the original post, I actually did have someone fool me into drinking a small cup of an alcoholic beverage a year ago. It was my neighbor, she also went to AA, and I simply went home as soon as she informed me it had alcohol in it. I didn't go into intense cravings, or want to go out and get passed out drunk. What I get was angry.
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:17 PM
  # 51 (permalink)  
 
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Ok I get hypotheticals and all and that's fun stuff and all, but seriously the likelihood of someone putting an actual gun to my actual child's head for the sole purpose of making me drink alcohol is nil. C'mon now.

The woman sticking her champagne soaked finger into someone else's mouth, well apparently that happened, but that's still not "forcing someone to drink". I don't care what's on someone's finger-they're not sticking it in my mouth without serious repercussion.

There is no plausible reason why I would ever drink again.

Originally Posted by zerothehero
Ya, if there were a single guaranteed solution, everyone would use it and there would be no discussion or need for alternatives, just use that solution and off you go.
Well, actually the one solution that everyone has in common, regardless of program/no program/their own program/whatever, is that they actually stopped drinking. How they did that, or what they did after that may vary, but the bottom line is that the common denominator in all these various approaches is that people who have success have somehow stopped putting alcohol or drugs in their bodies.


So it seems to me, there is a single guaranteed solution. Quitting.

Not talking about it without doing it, not trying to heal your past while still drinking, not drinking until you find a higher power, not examining deeper meanings while drinking...actually quitting. People tend to try to do absolutely everything but quit, and then wonder why it just won't end.

Without quitting, what is there?
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:22 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Did I miss something? I don't recall anyone saying to keep drinking while you work it out....
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:24 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by shockozulu
As to the original post, I actually did have someone fool me into drinking a small cup of an alcoholic beverage a year ago. It was my neighbor, she also went to AA, and I simply went home as soon as she informed me it had alcohol in it. I didn't go into intense cravings, or want to go out and get passed out drunk. What I get was angry.
That would seriously **** me off. Like you, it wouldn't trigger anything for me like wanting to drink, etc, but I would be very angry. Who does that?! What kind of person tries to sneak something into someone's body who obviously doesn't want it there? Your neighbor is a serious weirdo. Ew.
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:31 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ananda
Did I miss something? I don't recall anyone saying to keep drinking while you work it out....
I went to therapists for years who said that if I worked on my underlying issues, then I wouldn't want to drink. Apparently, those things "made" me drink and they must be solved so that I could stop drinking. I've heard the same sentiment over and over here on SR as well.

Interestingly, that's all you took from my post. Do you perhaps have an answer to my question?
Originally Posted by soberlicious
Without quitting, what is there?
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:43 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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If I don't deal with other "issues" I am likely to drink again. I'm glad that isn't an issue for you. That is how my mind works if I don't watch it carefully. I realize there are people who just quite don't come to SR or work on the problems they have in themselves. Just say no never worked for me.

I didn't realize you were seeking an answer on "with out quitting what is there?". Well ... lots ... just not anything I'm particularly interested in. Just being sober and not changing my life in any other way ... what would be the point in that?
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:09 PM
  # 56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ananda
Just being sober and not changing my life in any other way ... what would be the point in that?
Without quitting, how can you change your life in any other way?

I have many issues. Pretty significant ones. I work toward addressing them, of course, because I want to be happy and the best version of myself. Who said that's not a good idea? Self-improvement is a great idea, but if I am unable to eradicate the demons born of my childhood once and for all, I'm still never going to use that as an excuse to drink alcohol. To use anything as a reason for drinking is to continue the cycle of misery.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ananda
Just say no never worked for me.
What has worked for you?
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:18 PM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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I posted this earlier in the thread. It is just what works for me, everyone is different.

1. Buddhism
2. Therapy
3. Socializing with other people walking the path of sobriety and supporting each other.

Originally Posted by ananda View Post
I do a lot of things.

I do practice meditation similar to what Zero talked about. I too know that my past is effecting me in sneaky ways.

I was able to "heal" my relationship with my dad about the abuse before his death, and that made the death very hard yet pretty guilt free. My mom ... well I'm like you Zen ... she is really a sort of pathetic old woman now who tries hard ... I don't bring up the old stuff with her and try to keep her from going there as if we go there I probably would say a lot of hurtful things at this point... work to do with meditation and therapy.

I do attend AA a few times a week just to hang with sober people and get out of the house. some times that goes well, sometimes not. I'm pretty reactive lately so I have to watch myself.

I really love the support I am getting through my "monthly support" thread. It has really made a big difference in my sobriety. I need friendship at this point... might join a monastery or just go live in a cave at some point ... but right now people are key.

This sobriety has FINALLY felt different than any attempts in the last 5 years. Ended up in a good treatment program (after a previous horrible one) for 30 days and it was suggested I consider retirement or disability so I retired ... I have time to work through my BS and build a joyful life. As always .. some aspects suck some of the time.. but it doesn't overwhelm the gratitude I feel for being a human being and I actually like the idea of living again

thanks for asking and sorry for going on and on so....
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:42 PM
  # 59 (permalink)  
 
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Well, I practice all 3 of those as well, as I find them important in helping me build the kind of life I want. I guess the difference between you and I is why we do those things. I don't do them to keep me from drinking. I can't tie those conditions to my not drinking. You know why? If I do, then my mind finds all kinds of ways to push those things aside so that I can drink. "Buddhism is just mumbo jumbo. Therapy is too expensive. People suck...blahblahblah" says my AV. That's fine by me because the joke is on IT. Even if I did find any of those things to be true, drinking still wouldn't be an option. That allows me to go about my life peacefully and without fear that I'll someday drink again if the conditions aren't just so.

Different strokes I guess. I can't wrap my head around your way of thinking any more than you can around mine. It's all good though.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:53 PM
  # 60 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
So it seems to me, there is a single guaranteed solution. Quitting.
Sure, that's the solution to a drinking problem, quit drinking. But for most people who have drank to the point of long-term chemical dependency, anyways, it's a lot harder than just saying no, so it's a bit unfulfilling to point to quitting as the solution, because the next question is always "How?" That's where there isn't a single answer that works for everyone.

The other part is, there are often more problems underlying the drinking, like all the socialization and life problem solving skills we never got because we were too busy drinking ourselves into oblivion for years Some folks have trauma to face up to, bad relationships, there's often a lot of wreckage to clean up that can take years. I was lucky in that regard, I didn't have a lot of baggage, but I sure had some. That's the stuff that can sometimes lure us back to drinking, after we've quit. That little addict-voice birdie that tells us we already know the "solution" to whatever we can't deal with, take a drink.
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