General Support and Chat

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
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Mudbucker
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mudbucker »

Holy crap, reading that I struggle to think of a time when I wasn't in both emotional and mental relapse!

Staying off the drink is, unsurprisingly I suppose, just the tip of the iceberg.
The regret after drinking is worse than the desire before.

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Luna_
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Luna_ »

Hi Mudbucker
SB's tips and advice about the stages of relapse are spot on. As you say - Holy Crap!!

I can't scroll back on the device I am on right now, but Trojan often posts about the book Stephen Melemis - I want to change my life. He also has a website - it pops up on google, but Trojan has posted links (you can go to his profile and search his posts and you will find many useful links from him).

But it is very true - relapse starts way before we ever actually pick up a drink/bottle again.

Well done on getting back on track. Keep at it, mate ;)?

Best
L xx
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by sambo »

Ive been reading this forum for a while now, a good few months and tbh it has really helped. My drinking has really cut down just from reading other peoples struggles and thinking im not alone.

We all from what ive read have our storys and reasons, i do wish the forum was more active and involved but i spose its the nature of the beast with a addiction to alcohol, so socially acceptable but so damaging in the next breath that for me it makes me want to hide and be alone in the shame of my addiction? I understand it can and is different for everyone tho.

Anyway take care all, keep ya chin up. Shit or bust in this new year i think for me carnt keep doing this cycle. Forums like this can help so many tho and needs to be more there for people who could really get help from it.

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SoberBoots
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by SoberBoots »

sambo wrote:
27 Nov 2021 02:46
Ive been reading this forum for a while now, a good few months and tbh it has really helped. My drinking has really cut down just from reading other peoples struggles and thinking im not alone.

We all from what ive read have our storys and reasons, i do wish the forum was more active and involved but i spose its the nature of the beast with a addiction to alcohol, so socially acceptable but so damaging in the next breath that for me it makes me want to hide and be alone in the shame of my addiction? I understand it can and is different for everyone tho.

Anyway take care all, keep ya chin up. Shit or bust in this new year i think for me carnt keep doing this cycle. Forums like this can help so many tho and needs to be more there for people who could really get help from it.
Good on yoiu Sambo! If I could talk to my old self, I'd say - just quit. Stop struggling, accept what you have, get free. Honestly, my only regret (a profound and multiheaded one) about getting sober is not doing it sooner.
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Mudbucker
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mudbucker »

I have really had my eyes opened to the anxiety and paranoia aspects of giving up. We're warned about them, but it is hard to conceptualise how it might play out. How could one believe something which wasn't true, and didn't make sense? The allegorical pink elephants certainly don't help, either! But with a paucity of feel-good chemicals and an overabundance of motivational, fear inducing chemicals, it's not just the uncontrollable nerves; it can shape one's perspective of reality in a way which doesn't match the information coming in. I may avoid the use of the word when trying to explain my actions in person as it sounds so dramatic, but it is, by definition, psychosis.

Tearing ourselves away from and continuing to refuse our comforter can become so central to our focus that it is easy to neglect the fact that we are altering a delicate balance within our brains, the tool which interprets our experiences to create a perception.

No matter how all-consumingly frightening things may seem, we'll do well to remember that in alcohol withdrawal the likelihood that we're wrong about events is much higher than usual.
Last edited by Mudbucker on 01 Dec 2021 16:36, edited 1 time in total.
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SoberBoots
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by SoberBoots »

Spot on Mudbucker. Despite working in mental health professionally, I had no idea of how corrosive a substance alchol is - I knew about shortish term associated anxiety and depression, but not about the mind-altering effect you describe so well, nor about the longer term impact. Ironically, you have to get and stay sober for quite a while before yoy can gain perspective on this.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is today.

newdaytoday
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by newdaytoday »

I just popped on as I am being driven mad with the depression and anxiety, so your post was timely @Mudbucker. I'll be 9 weeks sober on Saturday, I quit after waking up at the bottom of the stairs smashed up with a broken collarbone. I could be dead. Add to this the fact that my girlfriend dumped over going missing for 3 months to drink, bar the occasional contact and I am absolute in despair with the depression and anxiety. I won't drink, but I know it will make the feeling go away. I thought that 8 weeks in the anxiety and depression would go, but nope. I'm still shaking with it. This sucks!

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Mark.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mark. »

I'm sorry to hear how you are feeling, newdaytoday <:)>

Sometimes, quitting booze removes a source of depression, but sometimes its removal allows us to see more closely other reasons for our depression.

Either way, drinking only blots out our problems for the short periods in which we are actually drinking. Afterwards, excessive drinking just adds to our problems: hangovers, increased anxiety, guilt, bad physical health and poor finances.

Sobriety doesn't solve all our problems, but it never adds to them.

You have been doing so well not drinking. If you're still feeling really rotten, perhaps now is the time to have a chat with a GP or counsellor, to try and find a way to address the causes? It might not feel like this today, but they will be easier to solve if you stay sober ;)? <:)>
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by newdaytoday »

HI Mark, thanks mate. Trying to see my GP requires some magical formula these days that I am not privvy too, and I contacted a few counsellors who were all busy. I shall keep trying though. I did 20 months sober before I drank again for a few months over the summer but all I did was stop drinking, I never changed anything else and consequently my life has fallen apart.

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Mark.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mark. »

newdaytoday wrote:
01 Dec 2021 21:40
I did 20 months sober before I drank again for a few months over the summer but all I did was stop drinking, I never changed anything else and consequently my life has fallen apart.
That's such a shame, Newdaytoday <:)>

You did really well giving up again. But yes, not drinking leaves a gap we need to fill with other things. Or, sobriety sometimes exposes the things that are making us unhappy.

Trojan put it well somewhere on the forum a while ago. He said that when we drink, boozing fulfils certain functions for us: to relax, to blot out the world, or to appear to give us confidence or whatever. When we stop, we need to identify other ways/activities that will fulfil those same needs.

I totally get that it's difficult to see a GP or counsellor at the moment. Maybe it'll help to hang around here on the forum and try to identify some of the things in your life that could be changed for the better? Identify the troubled areas, then figure out what to do about them?
"There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we'd lived in different rooms."

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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by SoberBoots »

Hey Newdaytoday. I remember being shocked at how long it took for me to feel OK after I stopped drinking - it made me realise just how throughly I'd poisoned myselk, mentally and physically. It helped me to list the improvements I did notice as that gave me a sense of progress (not throwing up in the morning, for instance). Even when it's difficult it's still very much the right thing to do, and please recognise what you have achieved. I don't know anyone who got sober at the first attempt, and I couldn't even begin to count how many times I tried - I even did a whole year once and then picked up again. It took me years to realise that while not-drinking is an essential aspect of sobriety, it's also only half the picture. I was really helped by Allen Carr's self-help books, so I always recommend these - not for everyone, but I and many others have been helped toweards a very useful mindset shift by them. Are you in the UK? Many addiction services allow you to self refer, so that might be worth looking into, and a further source of advive is the NHS drinkline.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by newdaytoday »

Thanks Mark, thanks Soberboots. It's the breakup that is bothering me the most, or at least that is what I am fixating on. I have lost the most perfect woman in the world, or at least that is how it feels, and I shake with fear at the prospect of life without her and the memories of the wreckage I have left in the wake of my drinking. I thought that locking myself away would lead to harming nobody but myself. How wrong I was. In hindsight I can see that my intention was to drink myself to death, to be free of all the pain and I almost, indirectly achieved this when I fell down the stairs. How I survived is beyond me, and the Doctors. I am going to an AA meeting each evening and I have felt the odd moment of peace, but I wish I could shake the anxiety. I wake up shaking and shake throughout the day. After almost 9 weeks I know this isn't the physical withdrawals. I don't want to drink, but I don't particularly enjoy the alternative at the moment. Thank you for your replies. I have never felt so unhappy and scared in my whole life.

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Mark.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mark. »

Heartbreak and regret are so, so very difficult to live with, aren't they, Newdaytoday? <:)>

However, although I know this will sound like a glib cliche, my own experience has taught me that although it may take a good deal of time, there will come a point when the memories don't hurt so much and you realise that, although the pain was real, it really didn't mean that you could never be happy again.

This is a bad analogy but it is the one I've used since I was a teenager: I always think of life as being like a novel (or a long-running tv show). Sometimes I hit a chapter or episode (or a whole season) that feels utterly rubbish and badly-written, and I begin to wonder why I bother with it. But for some reason, I always want to know what happens next (can it get any worse?), and always, always, the story eventually picks up, improves and becomes enjoyable again.

It ain't great in the meantime, of course, but with time and perseverence, it does eventually get better ;)? <:)>
"There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we'd lived in different rooms."

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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by newdaytoday »

Hi Mark, sure are. Had a strange weekend. It's my ex's birthday today and yesterday, one month after seeing her to the day I bumped into the in the supermarket. Today, her birthday, I arranged for flowers to be delivered to her address, there was nobody home so they left them on her doorstep. I drove past there to check, in case they had been pinched, and realised from the cars parked that she's obviously gone away with her previous ex. I thought I had the gift of desperation before - I do now. But I shall not drink.

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Mark.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mark. »

That's a sickener, Newdaytoday <:)>

There again, maybe it's also the moment that brings an end to one chapter and opens another? Time to let go and move on?
newdaytoday wrote:
05 Dec 2021 21:34
But I shall not drink.
And that's really the main thing to maintain ;)?
"There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we'd lived in different rooms."

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newdaytoday
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by newdaytoday »

Mark. wrote:
06 Dec 2021 08:04
There again, maybe it's also the moment that brings an end to one chapter and opens another? Time to let go and move on?
Yup, today has been the worst day I've had in a long long time. I wonder when the pain will end?

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Mark.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mark. »

newdaytoday wrote:
06 Dec 2021 18:06
Yup, today has been the worst day I've had in a long long time. I wonder when the pain will end?
I'm sorry to hear that, Newdaytoday. I hope things begin to look brighter very soon <:)>
"There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we'd lived in different rooms."

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Button36
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Button36 »

I understand the anxiety and depression I used alcohol to manage with all my uncomfortable feelings. I’m at almost 6 months sober now and occasionally find that I have uncomfortable feelings and my brain gets carried away with events of the past. I seem to have the ability to make things that have happened a million times worse than they actually were and I start doubting myself and need reassurance. I think it is because we have always kept our emotions quiet with drink but it doesn’t help in the long run as inevitably it causes lots of other problems. I expected to feel immediately better when I stopped drinking, the guilt was the first thing I noticed to improve but the rest fits into place more slowly. Its a journey worth taking but I think we need to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves time. I really like your example of the novel Mark it is a realistic way of looking at the ups and downs of life. Last Xmas I was in a place where I no longer cared for myself at all and had no hope, this year is so much better so goes to show that there is hope.
I do beat myself up that I haven’t done this sooner, but I have to remind myself that I had tried. Allen Car really worked for me. I. Struggle a lot with forgiveness, I’ve never really done anything terrible but I feel I’ve let myself and my family down. How do you all manage difficult feelings,
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Mark.
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Mark. »

Thanks, Button <:)>
Button36 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 23:58
Its a journey worth taking but I think we need to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves time.
I totally agree.
Button36 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 23:58
Last Xmas I was in a place where I no longer cared for myself at all and had no hope, this year is so much better so goes to show that there is hope.
Definitely! This is such good news, Button, and I really hope you feel proud of the effort you have put into achieving this ;)?
Button36 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 23:58
How do you all manage difficult feelings
I sometimes worry that I'm a tiny bit heartless, but I find it quite easy to put guilt and regret behind me, I have to admit :oops:

I have (deservedly) felt horribly remorseful at the times I've upset others, and I've apologised and attempted to make amends. And if I remember those episodes now, I will still very bad about them.

But, by and large, I just don't linger too much on thoughts of the past. I suppose I try to concentrate more on attempting to create a present and future that are as good as they can be.

Mostly, I don't worry about - or I ignore - all the time and money and opportunities I wasted when drinking. You can't get any of that back. You can only learn from the mistakes, try to avoid making them again, and move on.

Sometimes, you read or hear of celebrity success stories - of people who had really, really bad addiction problems but who then tackled them and went on to lead such long and fulfilling lives afterwards that the bad times just seem like a curious blip in their biographies. Their strength in overcoming those blips becomes admirable and inspirational to others.

I think that, from time to time, it might do us good to remember that we're living exactly the same kind of life as those famous success stories: we've gone through some really terrible times, but we're in the process of sorting ourselves out. There's absolutely no reason why we can't also go on to lead fulfilling, sober lives for as long as we have left. We've battled addiction, but there's no reason why this can't just become a blip in our overall story, a crap chapter before the plot improved!

So, I guess that's how I cope with thoughts of the past. I'm fortunate to be quite optimistic: I just naturally prefer to enjoy the present than worry about the past. But I think I'm lucky in this regard, and I wish I knew how to help others think more kindly of themselves, because when they are doing so well they deserve to let bygones be bygones and feel proud of who they've become (or are becoming).

<:)>
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Re: General Support and Chat

Post by Londoner »

Hi Button36, you are not alone with what you describe. I too have ongoing depression and anxiety. They are very much related to my shy, introverted personality which has always meant I have felt myself struggling to fit in and be accepted amongst my peers. I have always felt like I am a weird outsider and that have driven me to seek solace in the bottle. However, alcohol only brings out the worst of my inner demons. My insecurities turn into anger and aggression and I become mean and nasty to those around me and I totally lose control of my emotions.

Living with the guilt and shame of my past actions is something that I struggle with. I have done terrible things in the past which I'm sure would shock readers of this forum. Alcohol abuse destroyed my marriage (I was divorced three years ago) and has had adverse effects of my interpersonal relations and employment (fired from previous jobs etc.).

I am just trying to focus on today and taking my new path to abstinence one day at a time. I too hate myself for not quitting alcohol for good years ago, but we can't change the past and past mistakes but only learn from them.
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