Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselling Thread

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leejosepho
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29 Dec 2016, 6:45 pm

dcj123 wrote:
...define a very clear line between wanting to stop but not being able to.

Someone who is physically ill might want to stop vomiting, for example, but...

"...assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop...depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose... There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible...the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it - this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish." ("A.A.", page 34)

dcj123 wrote:
I can stop with great ease...

For how long, and then what happens?

dcj123 wrote:
...life usually does get worse...so I start thinking maybe I don't need to be high and then I am not high and things are... horrible...

I cry sober and high... Life is empty sober and high...

...nothing to fall back on.

Exactly, and that is why we end up saying we cannot live either with it or without it...and then that is also when permanent recovery through spiritual means can begin looking really good.


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dtoxic2
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10 Feb 2017, 6:44 pm

I'd like to start by congratulating those who have reached a sobriety milestone.
To dcj: I'm familiar with the "cry high or sober, feel empty high or sober" dynamic. What I discovered was that the damage done by drug/alcohol use heals slowly, so a long period of depressed/anxious/empty sobriety must be endured before the brain can get back to a state in which happiness (or even equanimity) is possible. That long period is obviously extremely difficult to endure, as the usual antidote to the depression is to jump off the wagon. It took me four serious tries to get sober. (I hit 20 years last December.)
It took 2 years to feel like a normal human (a level of emotional stability I had not known since before drinking). The first year got me 90% of the way there. The first six months of sobriety sucked - gray, depressing days without motivation or purpose. Of those, the first three months sucked the hardest - instability, depression, rage, etc. And of course the first couple of weeks were a living nightmare.
Obviously this is bad news - things will get worse before they get better. But it's the only chance to reach a better plateau, by first descending into darker places.
I suggest getting help. IT IS POSSIBLE.
I was an atheist when I quit, and had the same difficulty "surrendering" to a "higher power" that AA speaks of. But the truth is that AA/NA is full of good people and can work even if you don't fully buy into a religion. (Full disclosure, I didn't do the 12 steps, I mostly toughed it out on my own and rarely attended meetings. Friends of mine have successfully gotten and stayed sober with the AA program.)



nurseangela
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10 Feb 2017, 7:07 pm

dtoxic2 wrote:
I'd like to start by congratulating those who have reached a sobriety milestone.
To dcj: I'm familiar with the "cry high or sober, feel empty high or sober" dynamic. What I discovered was that the damage done by drug/alcohol use heals slowly, so a long period of depressed/anxious/empty sobriety must be endured before the brain can get back to a state in which happiness (or even equanimity) is possible. That long period is obviously extremely difficult to endure, as the usual antidote to the depression is to jump off the wagon. It took me four serious tries to get sober. (I hit 20 years last December.)
It took 2 years to feel like a normal human (a level of emotional stability I had not known since before drinking). The first year got me 90% of the way there. The first six months of sobriety sucked - gray, depressing days without motivation or purpose. Of those, the first three months sucked the hardest - instability, depression, rage, etc. And of course the first couple of weeks were a living nightmare.
Obviously this is bad news - things will get worse before they get better. But it's the only chance to reach a better plateau, by first descending into darker places.
I suggest getting help. IT IS POSSIBLE.
I was an atheist when I quit, and had the same difficulty "surrendering" to a "higher power" that AA speaks of. But the truth is that AA/NA is full of good people and can work even if you don't fully buy into a religion. (Full disclosure, I didn't do the 12 steps, I mostly toughed it out on my own and rarely attended meetings. Friends of mine have successfully gotten and stayed sober with the AA program.)


Woo Hoo! :mrgreen:

It's actually going to be 10 months for me on Valentine's Day! I just bought some chocolate cookies and frosted sugar cookies for V Day. I've had a couple times when I thought about a drink when I couldn't sleep (which would be more than one) , but I really don't want to go back to the gastric issues I was having. The other day, I dusted off an unopened wine bottle that I still have. That's a good sign. :mrgreen: I have had a problem of spending more since I stopped alcohol, so now I'm trying to get that in control. I watch some shows to keep me on track like "Intervention" and "Dr. Drew Rehab" that I find informative and inspirational. Not to change this thread into political, but being that Trump has never had a drink (his brother died of alcoholism) and seeing how much he has accomplished keeps me on track. I've also taken care of alcoholics through all stages and it isn't a pleasant way to go.

Congrats on your sobriety. :mrgreen:


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C2V
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02 Mar 2017, 6:00 am

This weekend I'm going to an AA group local (ish) to where I am at the moment.
Not because I'm in trouble - but because I want to make sure I stay out of it. Just check in with solidarity.
I don't agree with the transparently Christian attitude of AA nor benefit from close association with drunks, but every so often it's worth just checking that in myself.
One and a half years. Hope everyone else is staying strong.


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leejosepho
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28 Mar 2017, 3:43 pm

dtoxic2 wrote:
...a long period of depressed/anxious/empty sobriety must be endured before the brain can get back to a state in which happiness (or even equanimity) is possible...
It took 2 years to feel like a normal human...
... I didn't do the 12 steps, I mostly toughed it out on my own and rarely attended meetings.

First please know I am not in any way criticizing or finding fault with anything you have shared, and I actually commend your "full disclosure" there...and even A.A. recognizes that particular kind of experience while talking a little about the experience of someone who *has* taken the Twelve Steps:

"...finally realizes he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline." ("A.A.", Appendix II, "Spiritual Experience")

"Seldom", our experience suggests, but we definitely do not say what you have shared *never* works!


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Raleigh
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29 Mar 2017, 1:00 am

Yes.
Sign me up.
Whatever.
Get me out of this hell.


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conanthewarrior
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01 Apr 2017, 5:48 am

I found while I was in senior school that if I had some alcohol, I seemed to be more 'normal', and could actually seem to talk to people!

This led to a lot of problems though, and I was drinking a bottle and a half of vodka a day, and on my 24th Birthday I was hospitalised for a week to detox.

Before Christmas, me and my fiance of 6 years split up as she had fell into using hard drugs. I tried to help her for a long time, but she was using more and more, and becoming a shell of herself. Things were going missing, and we had to break up.
I have seen her in the streets where I live begging for money now, and it breaks my heart.

I have been drinking again, and I am very upset with myself for this. I was sober since April 2014. I am not drinking anywhere near the amount I was before, but I am drinking daily again.
I would of thought by now I would be OK, but it still hurts and I don't know how long it will for.



leejosepho
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01 Apr 2017, 9:42 am

conanthewarrior wrote:
I have been drinking again, and I am very upset with myself for this...

Being able to face life on life's terms does not come naturally for some of us, so it is completely understandable that alcohol is where we go for relief if alcohol is all we know.

conanthewarrior wrote:
I would of thought by now I would be OK, but it still hurts and I don't know how long it will...

The hurt or its memory might always be there even if something changes externally to more pleasantly satisfy the natural ambitions, instincts or desires, so the challenge is to learn how to cope with reality in some way other than turning to the effect of ethyl alcohol.


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conanthewarrior
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06 Apr 2017, 6:16 am

I have reduced the amount slightly I have been drinking, which I guess is a start.

I guess the memory may always be there that is true, and I need to find ways around this. I just find it hard to understand, as they always said to me we would be together forever (well as long as life is). I took this to genuinely mean what it said. Do many people with aspergers take things as literally as this?

As when I replied with the same thing, I genuinely meant what I said, I would not of said something like that if I that was not my real intention or I thought I may change what I felt. It may sound stupid that someone can mean that but I am certain I did mean it.



leejosepho
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06 Apr 2017, 7:38 am

conanthewarrior wrote:
I have reduced the amount slightly I have been drinking, which I guess is a start.

How much to drink whenever we drink and whether to even drink at all are for each of us to decide, but then the problem for some of us is that we cannot adhere to our own decisions related to alcohol.

conanthewarrior wrote:
I guess the memory may always be there that is true, and I need to find ways around this. I just find it hard to understand, as they always said to me we would be together forever (well as long as life is). I took this to genuinely mean what it said. Do many people with aspergers take things as literally as this?

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I did, and more because that is what my parents had taught me.


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10 Apr 2017, 7:40 am

So that was a bad idea - went to the local queer AA here, and one thing I forgot about since I haven't been for a while is the "fair weather" crap. It's so fake. All these people in there going on and on about how wonderful their lives are now because they have "the program" and how nothing can ever go wrong because of it. And they ignore the fact that there will always be suffering in life, it's natural. They deny it, are blind to it, repress it, and to even talk about anything negative becomes a kind of taboo there. If you're not doing well, you can't talk about it, even in AA. You're pressured to claim only that your life is wonderful now you're in AA, even if it's not. One woman was saying her children won't speak to her anymore, and in her words "are living in some hellhole with a bunch of psychopaths," but then automatically said but that was fine, because she was in the program now.
I'm not saying things are not much better sober. But to pretend everything is automatically peaches just because of a lack of alcohol - it makes everything they say lies, and is just another form of denial, which is much of the reason some drank to begin with.


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leejosepho
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10 Apr 2017, 7:57 am

C2V wrote:
...to pretend everything is automatically peaches just because of a lack of alcohol - it makes everything they say lies, and is just another form of denial, which is much of the reason some drank to begin with.

Exactly, and that is why so many of them end up drinking again...and then they come back to the same delusion for a while...then rinse-and-repeat until dead. The original A.A. was much different, and I would never recommend much of today's AA to anyone.


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12 Apr 2017, 7:14 pm

I just got over the worst of the klonopin and ambien withdrawal. I felt like I was going crazy and was worried I was going to die. When I read about the withdrawal symptoms, I didn't take it seriously and didn't think it would be a big deal. It's still extremely difficult to sleep. I went three whole days without sleep, and finally fell asleep for a few hours during the day time.

No one knows I abuse drugs, not even my therapist. I lie to everyone, even myself, I'm in denial. No one knows I'm secretly a drug addicted piece of s**t. I don't use to get high, I just want to feel normal and happy.



PhoenixJPax
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15 Apr 2017, 12:57 pm

I'm stuck in a place I don't want to be for another few weeks. It literally makes my skin crawl to be here. That's kinda been my mood ever since UCSF ER department missed my broken jaw three weeks in a row. It was so swollen one could barely see my ear lobe. I broke due to a "tic" I was doing with my jaw. It wasn't force blunt trauma. I broke it myself. So, three times, within three weeks, I go to the ER and ask for an Xray of my jaw. Didn't happen. Well, once I went to a doctor in Modesto, CA he immediately knew it was broken before he even did the xray/ctscan. As a result my face is still swollen (not as bad as last year in April when it happened) slightly and I've gone through a major autistic burnout.

Why I'm posting here about it is that I'm having trouble with alcohol at times. I'd rather have cannabis (it heals me like nothing else can). But at times I feel so lonely here in Missouri and so uncomfortable I feel I have to drink. I feel I've lost all my coping skills, or that they're not sufficient at this stage.

Any advice? Thanks...



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16 Apr 2017, 8:00 pm