My names is Janusz and I’m in the process of self diagnosis.
I’m also recovering addict and now I’m sober for 7 months. I feel that addiction was my coping mechanism for various issues so now I’m sober I find life very difficult. I’m not saying that I’m not happy with that I’m sober but it all came back at me.
When I share my challenges I’m accused by people close to me that I’m preparing another relaps.
So I don’t like sharing anything
Does anybody here got some experience in relation to my situation?
I genuily feel lonely.
Hi Janusz... and thanks for sharing.
From what you've said here, I'm assuming that you're in an AA/NA-type programme. I spent much time in AA - though I didn't feel I was an alcoholic, and still don't. Like you, my drug was a coping mechanism. I'm afraid I still use it as a coping mechanism, but I'm trying my hardest to stop it. I've had a few months of sobriety over the past few years. I don't drink like many alcoholics I know (I've been told I'm not even scratching the surface of hard addiction), but I still drink more than is healthy for me. My life would be better without it. However bad my life has gotten in the past, it's always been made much worse by drink.
I would say to you - so many congratulations for your 7 months. That's absolutely remarkable. I think 6 months was the very most I managed. Then I started again, thinking I would be able to control it better. Boy, how wrong I was. Once I'd started... well, it was just easier to carry on. And before I knew it, I was drinking even more than I had before. I have an acquaintance who now has 8 years of sobriety. He said the first year was the hardest. So what you're currently feeling is probably quite natural. He now says he never even thinks about a drink. He took other drugs, too, and is now completely clean. He's certainly one of the most centred and calm people I know.
I had to leave AA in the end - because I kept getting told 'You're just white-knuckling it. You're building yourself up for a relapse. You're not doing the programme properly.' And so on. It drove me mad. In fact, it almost made me want to relapse. It works for many, so I won't knock it. But it didn't work for me. I also got turned off by how self-righteous and judgmental some people could be. If the attitude of others is stopping you from sharing, then that's not healthy. Keep sharing here, though. No one's going to judge you here. There are many people here who understand where you're coming from. I often wonder, with things I used to hear in AA meetings, whether a lot of them are actually autistic, too.
You're not at all alone, mate!
Keep going... a day at a time.
Hi Janusz, I can relate to this. I got into serious recovery from using drugs and sometimes alcohol in 2006. I was in AA for 7 years which was the best training I ever had. I was a hopeless case and I fought it all the way, I also knew I had nowhere else to turn so I also never gave in. I knew I wasn’t an ‘addict’ but I fit the profile and it worked. Like you, I was acutely aware that when I put the drugs down, my problems started. However, I eventually gave in and admitted I needed help.
I started off in NA but it didn’t help me, it made me want to use. But AA worked for me. It was to be another addiction though, one that I had never had before (to a person/narcissist) that finally lead me to my diagnosis, 11 years after I got into recovery. The diagnosis provided the answers that were left unanswered by the 12 step programme and my own deep inner self enquiry and a recovery from narcissist abuse program.
As soon as I realised I was autistic, I didn’t hesitate to approach my gp for a referral for assessment. It was plain sailing and less than a year later I had my diagnosis.
Post diagnosis was another journey I wasn’t expecting. Full of ups and downs, loss and grief. But I’m coming through that now. I got my official diagnosis at the end of October last year and I’m coming through it better and brighter and more confident than I’ve been in my life. The diagnosis was the game changer for me. The missing piece.
It’s crucial that you share what you’re going through and you have that opportunity here and not only that, you will learn so much, you’ll get so much support and comfort just by reading about and helping other people with their struggles.
The 12 step program is the best program out there and there isn’t an organisation like it in the world. But it isn’t perfect and although it is full to bursting with undiagnosed autistic people, it doesn’t necessarily provide that additional support we need to move beyond recovery. You’re doing excellent so far. Well done, don’t lose faith in yourself, you’ve got yourself this far and you are now on the brink of something much bigger. Read the threads about diagnosis versus self diagnosis and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Posts sometimes get overlooked, don’t be disheartened. Sometimes the forum is very active but most of the time if you ask for support or advice, somebody will pick it up. We’re all in the same boat here at different stages of awareness and gettimg our s**t together etc, but many of us have lived our lives undiagnosed and the diagnosis, whether self diagnosis or an official one, has provided us with more than answers. Many of us have been given our lives back and despite any challenges to getting the diagnosis, again, self diagnosed or otherwise, they have been worth it. Welcome, well done and it sounds like you’ve come to the right place.
Sobriety is overrated, I drink every day and I'm glad I do, it works for me. If it weren't for my daily dose of alcohol I would have killed myself years ago.
God bless the booze I say.
That very much depends on how much you drink every day, Madworld. There's drinking... and then there's drinking, if you know what I mean.
Someone of my acquaintance has now been sober for many years. He's younger than I am, but looks much older. He's often spoken to me about his drinking days. Years of them, from his late teens. It reached the stage where he couldn't manage at all without drink in his system - and naturally, his system had adapted and adapted to his intake, so that he needed more and more. At the end, he was drinking two bottles of vodka and two 4-packs of strong lager a day. And he had to start first thing in the morning because he was shaking so badly. It had a serious effect on his health, and he came close to liver failure in his 40s. That was when he stopped. He still, after years without a drop, suffers ill-effects of his drinking.
I'm not anywhere close to that level of consumption, but I'm well aware that my drinking has increased very rapidly over the last four or five years. It used to be that I could drink a bottle of wine in an evening and worry that I'd overdone it a bit. Now, I can easily drink three bottles of wine in a day, then go out for more in the evening. At Christmas, I drank three bottles of scotch over a four-day period. I felt fine. But that's quite a serious development, as far as I'm concerned. My test is to go without drink for a few days and see how I feel. Not so many years ago, it wouldn't bother me at all. Now... I find myself, on those sober days, thinking more and more about having a drink.
I say - if you like a drink, and enjoy drinking, go ahead. Why not? Plenty of people drink heavily for years without many ill-effects. But if you know you have a problem with it (as I do), and you know where it's likely to lead... well, it's a different matter. I used to say 'I've never done this on booze, I've never done that on booze', and all my wise-ass recovering alcoholic friends would say to me... 'Ah, well... give it time.' And they were right. In the last dozen years, my drinking has gotten me arrested, cost me a marriage and another relationship, and lost me a home. So - for me, anyway - sobriety isn't over-rated. It's something I aspire to. Something I want. At the same time, though, I'm in denial. And I still want that drink. I know it's only a matter of time for me. Something will have to break in the end.
My dear father was a wonderful man. Warm, bright, witty, generous, kind-hearted. But he had a demon. Alcohol. And it killed him in the end. It's a demon I have, too. I hope I can stop before it kills me. But sure... there's a side of me that says the same as you do. It's my Jekyll and Hyde thing. I prefer being Doctor Jekyll, because it brings out the best in me. But Mr Hyde has that seductive charm. Always. I can be a really nice, funny drunk. But I can also be a very nasty drunk. And I can be a suicidal drunk. It all depends on my mood when I start off. It's a scary thing.
I agree Madworld. God bless the booze indeed. It helped me for many years. I don’t really drink any more, I don’t really like it, I never really did, my sister said I was the worst alcoholic ever cos I hated the taste and it made me so ill. But hey, if it’s you’re thing my friend, go for it. Who’s to say that it is any worse than the pharmaceuticals the government hands out willy nilly all the time. When the doctor wanted to put me on anti depressants, which were terrible, and then anti-psychotics, I said no thank you, I’ll self medicate and I did. Heroin was better for me in so many ways than their drugs were and I’ll always be grateful to it. I still love it but it is too delicious to only have it now and again so I do other things now. But I couldn’t agree with you more, if it helps you then I think it’s far safer and better in so many ways as opposed to being dependent on the government to hand out the pills each month. They even decide to stop certain drugs without a moments notice sometimes. When I worked in the mental health team we had clients going crazy because the doctors, all of a sudden, decided they’re not handing out Valium anymore, they didn’t even tell us before they made their decision. I was the only worker to get my clients back on them, other workers were having real difficulties, their clients were relapsing on other drugs and all sorts of s**t was happening. I told my clients gp’s that I wasn’t making a request, they were putting my clients back on the Valium end of. I never got to the bottom of it, I think it was a move to save money which for me was unacceptable and I wouldn’t allow it. I don’t know what happened after I left, the doctors probably whipped them off the prescription as soon as I left and none of the other workers or psychiatrists would insist the doctors keep them on it, which I refused to accept unless they could provide my clients with a better alternative. So yeah, it’s very very risky business relying on the government for your daily dose, it’s much better to sort that out yourself, if you can, I wholeheartedly agree.
I don’t think it’s the alcohol that’s the demon Tom, like money, it’s neutral, in fact, you could place some money, hundreds of it with several big bottles of whisky or whatever, on the side and none of it would actually even move for a hundred years or more if no one ever touched it or moved it. It’s hardly a demon if it can’t even move? A little spider is more demonic that a bottle of whisky. At least the spider can move.
I agree, and I know what you mean. The demon is in me. The booze brings it out.
That makes the booze a good thing then doesn’t it or do you like the demon to stay inside of you? It was good for me, it brought all sorts of s**t out of me, I’m not sure if they were demons though cos I’m not too sure what demons are but I know the alcohol brought loads of things out of me that never came out when I didn’t drink, so even though I hated the taste of it and hated being drunk, I loved that it brought these things out of me. Maybe the things it brought out of me weren’t demons because I wanted my things out, you seem to want to keep the demon so I guess I misunderstood, a demon is a good thing and alcohol is bad because it gets rid of it.
Martian Tom, BlueRay and (deleted user) thank you for your replies.
Yes I'm in an AA - type program and I'm not going to knock it. It helped me to keep sobriety and sobriety saved my marriage, I became better dad, better boss and many more. I think I wouldn't be able to get to know myself without this 7 months.
But there is more about me that an addict but this is the only thing which is established over last 10 years of counselling. The only diagnosis I've got. I was never diagnosed with depression or anxiety, I have to deal with them every single day specially now when my main coping mechanism is not an option. When I say to people about Aphantasia, Visual Snow, Tinnitus, Sensory overload etc and that I had them since I can remember sometimes I hear "How cute he is, he is making those stories up to keep people care about him"
This is not true! All those findings it is the result of listening to myself, I was escaping from it my whole life trying to be "normal" but trying to be "normal" came at a price, I had to find a way to be able to ignore and avoid what was inside me.
I feel what's inside me is MY NORMAL it is challenging sometimes it is hard work so it hurts when somebody says that it's my excuse or my "get out of jail card"
Thanks for reading and your support. I'm very happy that I found place when I can share thing like this.
What is inside of you is your normal and it’s the only thing that’s real. I understand you. AA was a god send to me, I don’t go to as many meetings although when I lived in Bali they had some great meetings so I did go there some times. It is challenging sometimes but the more you trust what’s inside, the less challenging it gets. And yeah, keep on sharing, if you notice what I share it’s usually totally weird and wrong to everybody else but just sharing it helps me even if nobody else understands it and that’s what we’re all here for.