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Jan
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Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by Jan » 23 Jul 2008 00:08

WE ARE ALL DROWNING OUR SORROWS.

We have all come onto this site with good news and bad.

But it strikes me that most of us are drowning our sorrows. There are examples of a crappy marriage; a childhood abuse; a shitty workplace, nasty contempararies, fuckwit boyfriends; unfulfiled careers, low self-esteem .... and the list goes on.

And these things are for real.

We cannot drink our way out of them.

But the sad/happy thing about them is that while we are drinking we are ignoring them. That is the joy of drinking.

And when we try to stop drinking; these things, these abuses, raise their ugly heads and want confrontation. The simple thing is to dive back into the bottle. I think that is what most of us do.

But at some stage we have to look the demon in the eye. At some stage we have to stand up and fight.
Last edited by Jan on 23 Jul 2008 00:58, edited 2 times in total.

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Leo Lebrun
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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by Leo Lebrun » 23 Jul 2008 00:31

Thanks Jan....

Er, is next week okay? I have a slot in my diary. :?

But, seriously, I have found that it is possible to face up to life's rubbishy bits sober.
And, they wern't as bad as when I was drinking. :shock:

I'm not saying I can face all of them sober yet. One at a time. One at a time...

As drinking postpones our problems... We are wasting valuable time!
It is time to get that new job, time to leave that abusive OH, time to work through those bad memories of the past... What will become of us if we waste all our time drinking?

Thankfully, life is usually long for most... But it does not last forever for anyone - least of all an alcoholic. :shock:

Helen.x
It does not matter who I was.
It's who I am that matters.

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Lesley
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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by Lesley » 25 Jul 2008 13:26

HH says"
"One of the things thats happened to me whilst acknowledging my drink problem is I've learned to let go and move on, stop fighting, stop thinking, stop wallowing, I decided there was no point. "

This is exactly what is happening with me - I've always been such a controlling person (never saw it before) and suddenly I am letting go of things that I just couldn't before. I don't have to be the best at what I do and I don't have to outdo everyone else and I dont have to be a shining example and it's Ok that I think my mother is a drop kick (she is and I accept that now). A calmness has come over me to the point where other people are actually mentioning it...crazy eh?


Lesley XX
"Life is a journey - not a guided tour"

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Mike
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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by Mike » 25 Jul 2008 16:16

Hi Jan

I can relate to shitty workplaces. Like the time when I was employed as the lavatory attendant at Victoria Station. Couldn't get way from the place. When I asked for annual leave they said I could take it at my own convenience.

You have clearly been unlucky with you boyfriends. There aren't many chaps around who could be legitimately be referred to as f*ckwits. Most men are extremely well endowed in the brain department, if not elsewhere.

Anyway, nice to talk to you.

Mike.

changing
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'Reasons' for drinking

Post by changing » 02 Aug 2008 07:17

I don't mean excuses to keep doing it btw! I do think, though, that drinking was actually a very logical thing for me to do at the time. Like probably quite a few of you (if the statistics are to be believed), I had a very painful childhood. I was taught that most of my feelings were wrong. Anger was punished severely, affection was demanded when it wasn't there, spontaneous affection was ridiculed etc. I learnt to be very afraid of my own feelings, to hide them, to see them as a sign of my imperfection and weakness. They were dangerous because they allowed other people to hurt me. At the same time I became hypersensitive to the 'vibes' of my parents to help me avoid pain. I made myself responsible for their feelings.

Although I was intellectually aware of how damaging this was and did my best to make sure my own children were treated differently, I felt the need to 'pretend' that it hadn't damaged me, that I was tough. The gap between what was going on inside me and what I believed should be going on inside me became larger and larger as the years passed but I couldn't ask for help because that meant the whole construction would collapse. The drink (in 'reasonable' quantities)helped me to be invulnerable, in larger quantities it allowed me to express my true feelings. Invariably this was followed by feeling deeply ashamed, which led to more drink etc.

Understanding why I drank and why I took such a long time in reaching out for help has been very important to me for two reasons. One, because I have learnt to recognise the signs (feelings, situations, thoughts) that lead to excess drinking and two, because I can accept that I drank because, at the time, it felt like it was the only option available to me. I feel sad about having been drunk so much of my life, for the effect it has had on myself and others but I can forgive myself for it, too.

I would really like to hear from you about your reasons and how realising what they are is helping you.

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byron
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by byron » 02 Aug 2008 10:08

Hello Changing

My childhood was very similar to your own and I also coped equally - that is to say I used abnormal coping mechanisms such as eating or drinking.

You said something which I relate to - you said "The gap between what was going on inside me and what I believed should be going on inside me became larger and larger as the years passed " - Yes that is nicely described. For me it was a disconnection from myself who I decided iwas just not good enough and I found myself constantly setting unachievable high standards for myself while never expecting the same standards from others - I could accept others but not myself.

Eventually I became so disconnected from my own self that I was totally lost and in a dark and very scary place - Life was terrifying for me - I was always struggling with controlling my eating or controlling my drinking. With trying to be someone I could like.

My triggers for drinking were stress and anxiety - when it all became to much I would drink myself silly to run away and escape. In the years before I drank I would eat - I spent a good few years suffering with eating disorders - binging and starving - in binging I was eating and swallowing my feelings down and in starving I had control over life.

I worked hard at trying to recover from the childhood which always found me lacking and where there was little love to be had. I felt very responsible for my parent’s happiness and my younger siblings who I tried to protect and give love to. In my Childs mind there was clearly something wrong with me - something lacking that made my mother unable to love me. I grew up internalising that belief so that i could not love this awful person that my mother found so lacking.

Only now after all these years have I been able to understand all this and start the tentative journey back to myself - to parent myself and give that love that no one else can. I have stopped the desperate search for approval from others and am trying to give that approval to myself now. I am also going to be starting meditation classes in September which will also help toward re-connecting with the me that I rejected for so long.

I have stopped running away. I don’t run from stress or anxiety anymore - I feel it - uncomfortable and downright nasty at times but I no longer run into a bottle. I see negative thoughts for what they are - just thoughts - You can transcend all negativity when you realize that the only power it has over you is your belief in it. As you experience this truth about yourself you are set free (eileen caddy).
So my journey has been long, painful and enlightening I now know and understand why I drank and why I still use food as an emotional crutch (I still overeat when unhappy) learning all this means I no longer feel the need for alcohol – only the escape it gave but I am learning that feelings are not as scary as i thought. I’m learning to understand they are normal as am I. I know my enemy – most of the time it was my own fear.
Julie
xx
Action is the antidote to despair.

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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by farrel » 02 Aug 2008 11:53

Changing ,Byron and Darcy
I feel so humbled by reading your posts ,right now I am feeling so bad and have little reasons to blame ,I hoped to contribute a bit by posting ,Julie you said some things in your post which I so identify with and if finding the reason behind the initial addiction leads me to managing it a bit better then I will look seriously to this, right now I feel so bad that I cant even bear to look at any reason other than that I have a drink problem and I need to do something about it , not cut down or control or not worry about it I have done that for so many years now that there is no other option that Iwant to choose.

changing
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by changing » 02 Aug 2008 13:16

Julie and Darcy, I can very much relate to what you are writing about.

Julie, you sound so positive, it's an inspiration!

Darcy, I am so very sorry this happened to you. You are incredibly brave writing about it here.
I feel incredibly sad for the girl who had to endure that and had nobody to confide in. If you would like a link to a website for adult survivors of childhood abuse, please pm me, it's helped me an awful lot. (That goes for anyone else interested too, of course).

Farrell, I am so sorry you're feeling so bad. I can't speak for Julie or Darcy, of course, but my post wasn't meant to imply that understanding the reasons for your drinking is always necessary. For me it was, because I felt wrong/bad long before I ever touched alcohol. Taking the alcohol out of the equation wouldn't have changed that. I tried reducing/giving up drinking lots of times before and never got past the 'really struggling' phase. This time I did, one small step at a time. I wish you lots of courage and strength.

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Jan
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by Jan » 05 Aug 2008 10:56

Jaycee,
If only you could see youself as others see you. You are an inspiration and my own personal role model. When I grow up I would love to be as smart, loving, caring, kind, sassy as you are. I've loved you from Day One - from the moment you thanked me for giving you a cyber hug all those months ago - before HUG Smilies were invented. Remember?
Jan

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byron
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by byron » 05 Aug 2008 18:17

Hi all

Darcy - you have just been on holiday :shock: - If anyone is getting into anyones suitecase to go to France - its me. I like snails - and I can say - je voudrais un chambre avec en suite et Le petit déjeuner pour deux person et la femme dans le valise. :lol: I would be invaluable there :roll:

Julie
x
Action is the antidote to despair.

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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by queenie » 08 Aug 2008 07:37

hi everyone

i have found all your posts on here inspiring. also the nature of this thread has made me think hard about stuff. as i have written on the forum before, i spent years making excuses for my drinking. then i decided i had to stop looking for excuses and start learning practical ways to deal with it. part of this is due to a realisation that over time different methods of dealing with things have been, for want of a better word, fashionable. in the 1960s when i was a young child, i was given medication to deal with my distress. in the 1980s, when i was a young adult, i had talking therapy to deal with my distress. in the 2000s, when i am a middle-aged woman, i am learning strategies through CBT to deal with my distress. my son, now 13, has medication for depression. three years ago he was suicidal. because i had been brought up to believe that talking about problems was the way to get them in the open and deal with them, i tried to talk things through with him. but because he is autistic, talking about his problems fed his fixations and was the absolute worst way of dealing with them. luckily i got some advice from someone specialist in autism. it combined strategies of containment with the need to talk to someone professional, alongside medication.

the realisation that talking does not always help coincided with learning that CBT was really useful for a lot of conditions and states of mind. my son had a wasp phobia (and people - an autistic person with a phobia is something to behold! our lives were constrained to a ludicrous degree. we spent 3 summers with all the doors and windows shut. once my son jumped out of the car and ran up the road to get away from a wasp. my husband, who was driving, had to jump out and run after him, with people watching and thinking he was a paedophile). yet one session of CBT had it pretty much under control, to the point that at the follow-up session i told the psychologist that i thought she was a witch (in the nicest possible way of course). so i was moving away from the idea that the only way to deal with stuff was to talk and talk and talk about it. it was obvious that looking at a dead wasp in a jar could achieve better results than my son delving into his subconscious for early memories of wasps. but in doing this i was missing a vital point, which is where this thread has made such an impression on me.

what had not really dawned on me was that reasons are very different to excuses. the fact that there can be a reason why you fall into a particular behaviour pattern is very different from making an excuse as to why you remain stuck in that behaviour pattern. and i think for me at least, to understand the reasons behind my drinking make it possible to understand why certain triggers affect me. focusing on my childhood and early adult life, far from being self-indulgent and fruitless, can help me to analyse why a particular thing sets me off. sometimes it will be obvious, sometimes far less so.

people who have read stuff i have written recently may have seen that i was attacked by my dog and bitten quite badly. this set me back a fair way on the drinking, although i have pulled it round again. it is obviously a shock to get hurt but it had far more impact on me than that. a while ago i wrote a long piece on my blog analysing some links between different events in my life (here is a link to it for anyone who wants to look - http://mafaldas-daughter.blogspot.com/2 ... blood.html - although i warn you it is long and pretty depressing!) the point is that blood has played a part in quite a lot of my tough times in the past, so sitting on my bedroom floor with blood pouring out of my foot onto a very special rug i have by my bed had far more of an effect than it might have had on someone else without all that baggage.

why i am saying that is not so much to make an excuse for having slid; that is really not the point, particularly now i have pulled back again. the point is that as i know blood is a trigger, i should learn to say to myself, while sitting on the floor with blood pouring out of me, "uh oh, here is a blood situation, this will be a trigger, i need to put something in place sharpish to stop me reaching for the bottle as soon as i am bandaged up." the 'something' will be different things according to what the trigger is. if the trigger is rejection (which i also felt a fair bit of over the dog thing) my remedy might be to see good friends who i know will never reject me. if the trigger is blood, i may need to do some sort of body luxury thing like a massage. if the trigger is fear, i may need to crawl under my duvet and eat rice and cheese (my comfort food).

so i suppose what i am saying in a very long-winded way is that we need to look to the past, not to give us an excuse for staying in the bad place that the past led us to, but to give us clues as to how to pull ourselves out of the bad place.

what i've written above is very personal to me and i know not everyone shares this view of what they do to process their past; please don't feel i am saying this is the way for everyone. i just wanted to say how inspirational to me it has been reading what you folks wrote. <:)> <:)>
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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queenie
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by queenie » 08 Aug 2008 08:47

hi hh

thanks for what you wrote. i bet you are a real support to your friend. you are such a wise person.

<:)> <:)> <:)>
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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byron
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by byron » 08 Aug 2008 12:21

Hello Queenie <:)> <:)>

I read your link - I to was drawn in all the way to the end. I am inspired by your stength - an inner strength that you have sadly had to draw so many times but that strenth remains all the way. You have the fighting spirit of 10 people I think. and still you can support others so brilliantly. I have always enjoyed reading your posts - you are on journey and I am proud to know you and be a witness to that journey.

thank you for sharing.

Julie
xxx
Action is the antidote to despair.

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queenie
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by queenie » 08 Aug 2008 12:26

hi julie

thanks so much for what you said. it means a lot to get such positive feedback from someone with your strength. i am a bit nervous about sharing that sort of stuff but in this place it feels safe to do so - i know i am among friends here.
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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queenie
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Re: 'Reasons' for drinking

Post by queenie » 09 Aug 2008 05:18

hi muriel

thank you for reading it. i find having a son like mine has opened up a whole new outlook on the world of human behaviour that would have passed me by, because i have to explain things to him that most kids would absorb by osmosis. for example, try explaining a hen party to someone who doesn't know what one is!
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by dadaben » 14 Aug 2008 00:02

Oh my f..k
Im off to bed, just thought ild have one last browes, I have a lot to understand, this has hit the nail for me..
Thanks all
ben xxx

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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by its_me » 14 Aug 2008 00:06

Although my life is far from perfect, when I drink I do "magnify" my problems to make an excuse to drink more alcohol. I will imagine worst-case-scenarios etc, but when sober things aren't THAT bad.

I think the sorrows are largely the addiction talking, there is nobody with a perfect life with no cross to bare.

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byron
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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by byron » 14 Aug 2008 08:46

Hello Its_me

what a great post. the idea of sorrows being an addictive thing. Yes . Absulutely agree. I think in certain instances I can amplify (my mind does this by over thinking) and become addicted to sorrow - avoiding happiness because I dont think it will last anyway. This is how it has been for me. Im learning to listen to my mind and be aware of the 'noise'. And to focus on the present here and now. It seems to be helping.

Julie
x
Action is the antidote to despair.

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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by Amber » 18 Aug 2008 13:54

Jaycee,I think you have totally hit the nail on the head with this post.Muriel,I havent heard that buddhist saying,but that makes alot of sense too.I am acutely aware of my negativity.I often wonder is it learned responses from my parents,is it an accumulation of life events or is it the depression that has plagued me for so long.Over the past few years,I have slowly begun to realize how much I lack self awareness.I dont really know what I want from life,apart from to do good,love and be loved ,oh and to have a place of my own with some cats and dogs.. :) But the last one is material.Possessions arent the key to happiness.Happiness means different things to different people.For me ,a big move to happiness would be self acceptance and being able to take life for what it is,the ups,the downs,the pain and the joy.I have spent so much of my life wrapped up in my work and drinking,I dont know how to accept myself and life.I ,like a great deal of others of here have to start getting in touch with ourselves again and relearning what happiness is all about.Its almost as if I have hidden behind the drink for so long,it has stunted my growth,spiritually that is,not widthways :D
Absolutely brilliant post,thankyou for sharing xxx <:)>
The strongest among the weak is the one who doesn't forget his weaknesses.
- Danish Proverb

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byron
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Re: Drowning ones Sorrows

Post by byron » 26 Aug 2008 20:12

jaycee wrote:I think for some of us we actually need to learn how to be happy. It can become a way of life to focus our minds continually on the negative stuff. Surely everyone has negative stuff to deal with, so why is it that some people are truly happy and content in their lives? Is it because life is totally hunky dunky for them? Is it that they are just presenting a happy facade? For some I'm sure that is true, but not for all.

I think that there are people who have learnt the secret of focussing on the postives. Yes they have to deal with the negative stuff that crops up in every life, but their default mind set is to dwell on the positive things in their lives .. the things that make them happy. Thus they have a more positive outlook in the midst of adverse events.

It may seem a bit strange to say, but I think some of us have to learn how to feel ... full stop. Some of us have spent so many years escaping from our feelings that we have kind of shut down and lost an awareness of ourselves emotionally altogether.



xx Jos
hello Jos

Yes <:)> Thats what it is.

Hi muriel - I love that quote - so true.



By learning to re-connect with our emotional selves we can learn what makes us happy ... and what it feels like to be happy. Not just in short bursts like when something truly wonderful happens. I mean a more sustained feeling of contentment that doesn't just vanish when negative things happen in our lives.

It can be hard going, trying to re-connect with our feelings if we have spent a lot of time and effort shutting down that aspect of ourselves. It can seem that the inside of our heads is a foreign land at times. But how can we be truly happy if we don't know ourselves well enough to understand what makes us happy?
Action is the antidote to despair.

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