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.
BlueRay said:That makes the booze a good thing then doesn’t it or do you like the demon to stay inside of you?
As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't make it a good thing - no. Because there are far better ways for me to achieve that catharsis. Writing is one such way. I was entirely sober throughout the time that I wrote my first novel, and it was an amazing feeling to get all of that stuff out of my system and onto paper. Better than any drug.
It's a double-edged thing. Yes, I admit that, when I'm drunk and that demon comes out, it is a wonderful feeling. I'll say what I think, abuse people who I think deserve it, etc. At the same time - I don't like that demon. Yes, it's a part of who I am. But it's a part that's always gotten me into a lot of trouble. I've only smashed things when I've been drunk. I've only been arrested when I've been drunk. I've only made serious suicide attempts when I've been drunk, too. The last one, three years ago, was one of the worst. I drank a couple of bottles of wine in an afternoon. I was feeling okay, watching a film. But then I went into black out. The next thing I know, I was staggering around in the street. An ambulance picked me up and took me to hospital, where I was Sectioned. It turned out I'd overdosed on anti-depressants, too. I don't even remember taking them. I awoke in hospital that night and I couldn't feel my legs. Every time I closed my eyes, I was seeing weird patterns... shapes coalescing from a black fog. It was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. Losing control to such an extent that I could have died. In another blackout, a few years earlier, I went on a rampage and smashed up the boiler room of the block of flats I was living in - because another tenant had died, and it looked like the landlord was to blame for not servicing the boiler properly. So, I was in an emotionally unstable state at the start. And at the finish, I woke up in a police cell... and it cost me my flat. None of it would have happened if I hadn't picked up a drink.
Every time I drink, I feel great at first. I can conquer the world. But I know I'm also playing Russian Roulette with it. Anything can happen.
Jan84 said: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.
Hi again, Janusz,
As I suspected - you are someone who knows the hell of addiction, and what it could easily cost you. Sobriety has saved your marriage, made you a better dad, a better boss, etc. You know these things. It isn't really for anyone else to tell you what you should and shouldn't do (one of the reasons I had to leave AA, because I was getting plenty of that!) - but you know yourself.
Alcohol is great for anxiety and depression. It takes away the bad feelings. It makes you feel happy. It makes you feel confident. But you know too well - as I do - what it can also do. Even people telling me, as is perfectly true, that alcohol is a depressant and will actually only worsen my depressions (which it does) isn't enough to put me off. I've grown heartily sick now, though, of waking up on a Sunday morning, not really being able to remember what I did the night before (did I put something abusive on Facebook?), and feeling so lousy that the rest of the day has been wasted: too hung over to concentrate, to eat, to exercise, to do anything much except sit and vow 'Never again!' The number of times I've said that! And then, a day or two later - when I'm feeling good again - picking up again. Like they say in AA: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. Actually, the result is different each time: it's a little worse.
I truly envy people who can drink - even heavily - and it doesn't mess with them the way it can mess with me. I envy people like Madworld, who's glad to drink every day because it works. I wish I could be like that. I used to be like that. But then something stressful comes along - a relationship, for instance, or a bad time at work - and before I know it, it's becoming more and more necessary, until it's hard to control it. And then I find myself a bit further down the ladder - needing more, spending more, suffering more.
I know I'll never be a normal drinker again. I don't understand normal drinkers at all. Why on earth would someone buy a bottle of wine, or scotch, if they weren't intending to drink it all in one sitting, or one day? How do people 'just have a pint now and then' or 'a small whisky before bedtime'? If it's in the house, it's there to be drunk - not pecked at.
That's how it is...
I'm a very controlled drinker, I only drink in the evenings and I drink a fixed amount and then stop.
I've never been drunk, in the sense that you've lost control, I've never had a hangover. I drink approximately 8 units each evening. I'm sure it is impacting on my physical health, but I find it helps my mental health. Swings and roundabouts.
That, I would say, would be my ideal. I'd give anything to be able to drink that way. I remember Keith Richards being interviewed some time back and being asked the secret of his longevity considering the abuse he'd submitted his body to. Apart from routinely booking into clinics for full blood transfusions, etc., he maintained it was because he knew his limits and would never exceed them; he managed to hold back at a certain point, whereas others went further. I don't know if that's true or not, but it might explain things.
Sure, if you're on 8 units an evening, that's above what they deem to be 'healthy' limits. But I think they keep the bar low on that deliberately. I've known people who've drunk 50-60 units a day for years and carried on functioning. My father drank very heavily from his late teens until his final days, and he reached 77. In his early 60s, he would drink 12 cans of Special Brew a day and still carry on. It's different for different people, though. I think I probably have his tolerances, and years of drinking left in me if I choose to continue. One of my literary heroes, Charles Bukowski, drank so heavily in his youth that he was hospitalised in his early 30s with organ failure. He was told he would die if he ever drank again. He carried on drinking heavily for the rest of his life - two bottles of wine a night in his final years - and made it to 74. Others, though, succumb much sooner, and seemingly with lower consumption.
The bottom line, though, is... if you can control it as you do, and it helps you, keep going! I wish I could do the same. But I know that once I'd reached those 8 units, I'd have enough inside me to think that I didn't have enough inside me! And I'd be off down the road for more...
It’s our thoughts about what we do that has the biggest impact. For example, your man Bukowski, knew that drinking alcohol was good for him, despite what that doctors told him, and it was. Like Keith Richards, he knew he was good for a certain amount and he was. If we know something is good for us, it is, but not if we have doubts, and allow somebody else’s thoughts to crowd ours out, for example, if ya man there decided to listen to the doctors and gave up drinking, he would no doubt have died following even the smallest of relapses because he would have the firm and fixed belief, with no doubts (i.e. he ‘knew’) that he would die if he ever drank again so he would.
I’m very similar to you though. I have the addiction to ‘more’. So whatever I do that I enjoy I want more! So I got more choosy about what I do that I enjoy and I’ve switched to being addicted to having the best life I can possibly have and it’s worked so far. This last 12 months of burnout, even during the ups and downs, the extreme pain and grief etc have been the best days of my life. I’m so excited to be slowly coming out of it but I’ve enjoyed it all the same. I love supreme health now, in its wholeness, I like to be at ease. All these things are now my addictions, if you like, I can’t get enough of them and I just want more, more, more and more but it’s better than all the drugs and alcohol I used to take on a daily basis. I rarely missed a day and on the odd occasions I did, I was either thinking about them or recovering. I used to have extreme come downs from heroin so in between shots I wouldn’t be actively using, but apart from that, I was at it daily from being 14. I just switched my addictions but I did get clean first, AA did that for me and gave me the tools I needed to move beyond recovery, although that took a while lol! I was what they call a hopeless case, I just wouldn’t give up and I was fighting the program, the meetings and everyone in there but for me, I had two things, I had the gift of desperation and I had nowhere else to go, so I kept going back, I had three different sponsors and some temporary ones in between and finally, I made it. I still follow that program in my life today, there’s nothing else out there like it, in terms of it’s simplicity and clearly laid out plans and results but I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it! I had to get out of my own head, stop believing my thoughts and I put my trust in my sponsors and then the program after a while, started to do it’s thing on me and I’m so grateful. I was even in with the extreme and super strict road to recovery gang in the end, they were the ones that helped me to finally break its back and start me getting some recovery.
Maybe your new book will give you more joy than the drink once you get into the full swing of it?