Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Phrygian77, Sep 11, 2019.
Keep coming back. Sometimes it takes multiple tries. I'm back 11 years today. It gets better!
Well damn that sucks!
But it's not a sign of anything besides the fact that you're facing a really hard challenge.
I forget the details, not sure if you included 12 step peer support in your method, but in general after a relapse the best approach is to upgrade the method, add something you formerly thought you didn't need.
My process took a year of trying and failing to quit (dope not booze), and then after successfully not picking up a drink or drug, I accepted my difficulty doing something as simple as not drinking and drugging, as a sign that my life might be worth trying harder than I had tried while I was stuck on the idea that like many things in life I could pull myself up by my bootstraps.
Turns out, my idea that "I don't need help" and my inclination to admonish myself for my substance dependency urges; those were kind of key causes of returning to doing the thing I knew damn well was a bad idea yet kept going back to.
Right now is a tough time for all who deal with this stuff.
Giving yourself a break and accepting help might be a good idea!
I lost a few friends in the last few months, and a lot of acquaintances, due to I suppose depression and anxiety boosted by current events, and the diminished peer support due to meetings being on zoom.
Some were solidly in recovery for years.
The fact that in most cases the drinking problem stays for life, or at least for many years or decades after we stop turning to a substance to cope, cannot be over stressed.
Some of course are just young and having fun, then it's over and done.
But if this experience suggests that you are not among those kind of hard drinkers?
Get some help man!
Sadly the medical treatments for substance abuse disorder (their latest name for it, based on the idea that they can treat substance dependency with more substances), the best med tech is well proven to be at best helpful in the transition, but only a cure in cases where the patient really wasn't the kind with the deeper life long problem.
At my home group on zoom we have a TC program that comes every week, and we know some of the guys over many years.
They get better in treatment and after a year go back to living on their own. Then far too many show up again more beat down, because they one day had just one drink, and were right back to the bottom in a day or two.
You're a good guy and will find other good guys and gals in 12 step meetings!
It's a nice community, and the drooling drunkards who show up are the reason there's a place to go. (Also the pompous asses often make a showing, prancing in their awesome ability to not get falling down drunk.)
No way a community would even exist if not for the fact that vast numbers make half hearted attempts and die tragically for all to see.
Hop in the life boat man!
No need to swim it on your own!
Consider AA this time. You're no different.
moderation is key ............... YMMV ..........
You'd think being sober for 6 months that you can just have a beer. It only took a couple of days of drinking to trigger withdrawal symptoms. And, to not be able to eat and feel sick as a dog. It happened FAST.
Bandmates were still trying to get me to play tonight.
"Hey Junior wanted me to call you and tell you if you can make it tonight is it $200 tip for you I don't mean nothing by it I'm just passing along the message"
Man, I can't even eat food. He just doesn't understand.
This testimony should serve, as it seemingly has for Phrygian77, as a warning to all. With deep alcoholism, one cannot simply have just one. Moderation is not a consideration at that point.
Sorry, not funny from your perspective but ever so common in the minds of us who eventually either join a 12 step program or die trying it "MY way".
Those who drink in moderation and state that everyone can do the same, are just clueless.
You'll find many many folks who tell you to just drink in moderation, or that they "tried AA and IT didn't work", or that all you have to do is stop drinking (the one true claim).
Staying stopped is only hard for those it's hard for.
You done did the research and seem to have discovered that you're one of "us"?
There's a funny AA oldtimer who speaks at conventions, here's a little youtube you may or may not get anything out of.
I do not represent AA and note that there are like 200 12 step programs.
Two points he makes are worth thinking about:
1) He says there are two critical points in sobriety; one is the very beginning, and the other is the whole time after that.
2) (giving away the punch line here) He compares AA to an invisible boat that you can only see after you start rowing. Consider that idea if you try some meetings and they seem to do nothing for you.
Is that from just having one beer?
Or was there a binge in there somewhere?
Just in case you maybe have another health issue going on and we're stuck on the quit drinking facet.
As far as friends "being supportive", and particularly good times barroom bandmate friends, well sometimes you gotta leave them behind for a while!
IDK, YMMV, TMI, IME...
I come from a family of alcoholics....mother, both brothers and my father was probably as well by some description. I even gave it my best shot as well for a few years but just didn't have the commitment to get fully into the 'family business' so to speak.
What you're describing is an amazing thing, isn't it! One beer and your entire being revolted!! I see that as good news. The part of you that felt the need to have a beer is vastly outnumbered by all the rest of you that wants something different...to the point that it's willing to make you feel like hell after only one beer....that's how committed it is to a new way of being. Those hideous and unbearable withdrawal symptoms are your allies my friend, not your enemies. They are making you feel like **** because they want the best for you and they're willing to go to extremes to make that happen. That's how I read it. Some small part of you wanted that beer but the majority of you took a vote and said 'NO!'.
Listen to your 'inner allies'.
Uh...no one thought that.
Just as a heads up.
So you had your run at being a dry drunk - now start going to meetings.
Trial and error might eventually work, though it sounds like you’re expending a lot of energy struggling.
Maybe expending that same amount of energy doing AA AA’s way? Might even work.
Only one way to find out . . .
Working for me, one day at a time.
It started with one beer.
Not being able to eat was alcoholic gastritis. I had those issues before, when I relapsed the prior times.
My bandmates don't like playing gigs without a lead guitarist, but they know my history. I haven't drank at a gig in a long time. They wouldn't even let me if I tried. Also, playing music or even being around people drinking hasn't been a problem for me. It wasn't the reason I relapsed now or before. Everyone is different obviously.
It's a tough, tough road. I'm coming up on 5 years in a few months. I'm very lucky not to have been pulled down as far as others, but I appreciate the struggle. The withdrawals finally ended a year or so ago for me, though I often feel like I'm just on the edge of sweats or nightmares. Work has kept me overwhelmed for most of this year, keeping my attention away from just sitting around in the house, thinking about just having one quick drink.
You can do this. The people here believe you can do this. Let that help to boost and carry you. Do you have a plan for what to do when the temptation is strong? A few folks to call? An activity to immediately engage in as a distraction (if the urge strikes, you will immediately hit YouTube, grab your favorite guitar, and begin to learn the Hotel California solo (both parts))?
I do hope you can find peace.
Yeah I figured your one beer comment was that you had planned to only have one but the usual thing happened that happens to our kind who really can't have "just one". No judgement, but you seem to be "our kind"?
Good that playing bars with drunks is not a trigger, I played out pretty early in my first year and it was nice to have that positive thing, but also booze was not my substance.
Also good your bandmates are supportive, and I guess family still is too.
Would you now determine that your support system that worked for six months, was not really enough, given your current condition?
Or are you maybe comfortable with living like this? Staying sober for months and only being this sick a couple of times a year?
Some of us here have been where you are now and totally beat the demon we battle by going to a 12 step program.
Virtually every one of us in 12 step programs have (or had) friends we watched blunder through years of doing it this way and that way to stubbornly avoid 12 step, as they gradually destroyed their bodies, broke the hearts of loved ones until the terrified heartbroken loved ones couldn't take it any more and left, then finally we maybe visited them on their death bed and went to their funerals.
All while staunchly insisting that AA or NA "wasn't for them". Of course if we made these friends in meetings, they did "try" a 12 step program, but what most of us see is those who were unable to find recovery did the equivalent of buying a guitar, never taking lessons or practicing, then declaring guitars don't work for them.
What I did to convince myself that it was worth trying a 12 step program; was burn all my bridges, break all my loved ones hearts enough that they turned their backs, and turn into pretty much the walking dead.
Even then I was stubborn and hated meetings. Really really hated them and everyone in them.
But I went because there was no place left to go.
You can choose to do it that way!
Once you have no friends or family, AA or NA meetings are easier to sit through, and hell, some of those horses asses who ask you how you're doing will actually listen and you might even start to enjoy their company. Having no other friends left.
Since eventually nobody else will talk to us because we've broken their hearts and their trust too many times.
Plus, we can keep doing this for decades.
So by the time an AA meeting falls within our range of tolerable activity, we're too damned tired to do much else.
But, you could also decide that right now is a good time to take a crack at meetings, and give it a real shot.
It's really not that hard and there are interesting characters in those halls and rooms.
AA calls them halls, because AA got big when families and Churches discovered that the family drunkard often stopped drinking and turned back into good folks when they went to meetings and did some step work.
It's been well known for 100 years that there is no medical cure or solid treatment for this disease.
Doctors were amazed and baffled when AA worked.
Treatment is still big business though!
At some point NA started with the help of AA, partly because alcoholics might be law abiding but addicts were all criminals, plus a few other things. So down in the basement or in the back room behind those AA meetings, there might be an NA meeting, but NA only got a small room while AA had the halls. Eventually NA went out on its own.
Still a smaller program with fewer meetings but the same function.
Notably plenty of alcoholics prefer NA, for the scenery I guess.
AA is a little bit more Country and NA is a little bit more more Rock & Roll.
Pick your poison!
A few relapses a year, AA, or NA.
Up to you man!
How much effort is your life and your family's heart worth to you?
How much more can they take at this point?
All fair questions!
Again, the answers are totally up top you.
The choice seems hard but that is a core part of "our problem".
In practice it's actually much easier than the solo, my way alternative.
Imagine really really wanting to be a guitar player, but insisting that lessons, books, and practicing; "just isn't for you"?
That sums up the addict or alcoholic who refuses to really try AA or NA.
Much like the first guitar lessons, meetings might suck at first, and it might take a while to find ones you like better or hate less.
IF, you choose to try that, allow for a learning curve.
as a recovering addict/alcoholic I understand. Addiction is a disease not a moral issue, it's not about about people being bad, it's about people being ill with a terrible disease. Initially stopping was very very hard. Then there was how to stay stopped.
The merry go round of relapsing after a while is spirit crushing , destroying the belief in the possibility of ever being clean and sober. Leading to a life without hope.
I did not stay clean and sober the first second third, fourth, fifth, sixth etc. etc. etc.
time that I attempted to end the addiction that was resulting in a life of self hatred and hopelessness. What worked for me what drove me to sobriety was I could no bear any longer the pain in all it's form of addiction. I am more afraid of booze and pills and powders, than anything in my life. That fear and the understanding that addiction was smarter than I am drove me , to stopping my low down self destructive ways.
I was whupped up, beaten knocked down and afraid to get up. That was 37 years ago, things have gotten better over time I am healing a little bit each day Each day has it's own nuances, rather than the meaningless blurr of nihilism, hanging out waiting for it to end.
It is possible to recover I have seen thousands of people recover, I know that it is possible.