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LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.

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Going Forward (with clarity)   Sobriety/Recovery Journals

Started 2/16/14 by Elsie (Elsiek); 49108 views.
Brian (BrianB125)
Staff

From: Brian (BrianB125)

2/18/14

Skiing is something like learning to stop drinking - its not continuous, it comes in lumps.  You go for periods of time when you never seem to get any better, and then all of a sudden you are doing things you couldn't do before.  Main thing I think is just to remember its fun - as you ski better, it becomes more fun, but its still always fun.

I learned to ski in the sixties when we still used leather boots, tied as tight as you could with the laces wrapped several times around the top.  One of the greatest pleasures then was taking your boots off at the end of the day and waiting for the feeling to come back in your feet.

Brian

annie1790

From: annie1790

2/18/14

Hi Brian

I understand what you meant,  sometimes it seems like things aren't changing too much,  then all of a sudden "we are doing things we couldn't do before".  I find being sober,  I am much more even tempered and able to understand people,  where I used to be so jumpy before (when hungover and/or drinking).

 

 

Annie

In reply toRe: msg 10
Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

2/26/14

Hi everyone.

i have a lot of fearful emotions this morning. I have a massive list of administrative tasks to complete. All of them are doable, but I worry that I just won't do them.

i am also worried about the forum and about AA meetings. I am very affected by what people say sometimes and I am very worried about saying stuff that might affect someone. I feel I need to think very very hard before I comment on anything that is not strictly about me.

 

I am even worried about the bin. We put the bin out last night. Oh, it's ok, they just emptied it. It was full of plaster and dust from a building job done last week while we were away.

 

i am worried about my performance review. My boss rang me yesterday to make sure I was going - 'just asking because you are notoriously bad at getting back to my letters and emails.' Shit, I didn't think I was that bad. Looked at the letter sent, and it said 'please contact me to arrange a different time if not convenient.' I thought I had said it was ok, but hadn't sent an email (checked my sent mail.) I'm just going to have to take any criticism about my organisational skills on the chin and try to improve. But criticism makes me feel sick.

a couple of things at AA yesterday made me feel that ultimately the AA philosophy is rather unsympathetic to these kind of anxieties. It is perceived as self pity, and something we just have to get over. Ok, my problems might be pathetic, but there are people whose psychological issues are very serious and debilitating. And not everything is solved by not drinking. I have a friend who was abused as a child. She never drinks- bad associations with alcohol, but that does not mean she doesn't have major issues in her adult relationships. I know I said the other day about looking forward, but there are things that drag me back, and repressing those feelings is not easy.

anyway, I feel better just to have expressed that. The jobs are pressing, the review is this afternoon, deep breath, do my best to get on now.

Brian (BrianB125)
Staff

From: Brian (BrianB125)

2/26/14

And not everything is solved by not drinking.  Unfortunately, that is exactly true - all of life's problems remain - is just is easier to face them.  Some people just worry about things more than others.  My wife is one, she worries about things I never think of.  This is just the way I think different people are.  She would probably say I'm just oblivious. Looking at what you wrote, all of those are things you could well be worried about, nothing wrong with that, though you want to be careful you don't become obsessive.  Having a performance review is always something to be worried about, and bosses are always a source of worry.  Deep breath, do your best - sounds like just the right plan.

Good luck

Brian

mkh106

From: mkh106

2/26/14

 

 I know I said the other day about looking forward, but there are things that drag me back, and repressing those feelings is not easy.

 

Elsie,

there's a balance there somewhere, or maybe not a balance exactly but finding a different way other than repressing.

i'm reminded of the little conversation Rex and i had a few weeks ago, and the difference between being aware of the past, the feelings and the history of how we got to this here moment, and not living in that past.

i'm expressing this badly, i know.

i'm not sure why you'd try to repress? it's different from letting go...but of course i'm partly talking to myself.

 

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

2/26/14

Yes, it isn't healthy to repress, but I sometimes do live in the past, which isn't healthy either. Today is just one day though, and it doesn't mean tomorrow will feel the same. Had my work review, and it was all good. Just shows I need to try not to anticipate or project.

E x

Rex (rcclark99)

From: Rex (rcclark99)

2/26/14

Yes margit, I remember that well.

I believe basically that you were referring to "learning from the past" and I was thinking about "dwelling in the past". Maybe I'm wrong in this interpretation. If I am please tell me.

I have some of this going on right now. My divorce is now final. I have hurt my former wife terribly with the divorce and I am really having trouble dealing with the guilt. I did not leave her for another woman; there was no other woman at the time. I left her because there were problems in the marriage from my point of view that she didn't want to address. Maybe I should have been more communicative about my disillusion and disappointments but I wasn't. I did let her know about my feelings but perhaps I should have been more adamant about them, at least that's how she feels.

Anyway, in my new relationship, I have conveyed this to J and we have both agreed to always be open to letting our feelings be known. She is very good at it and I am getting better. I attend a men's group twice a month dealing with exactly this; learning to recognize how we feel and to be able to express our feelings properly in a relationship. Most men are terrible at that.

We weren't supposed to have feelings as we were brought up. Just rub some dirt on the cut or scrape and go on playing and for God's sake, don't cry.

So, as you said I am trying to learn from my mistakes in the past as well as the things I did right because as we know, we are all a product of our decisions. That his how we got where we are today.

But I am trying not to dwell on the past and the hurt that those mistakes and decisions might have caused others. If I did it would eat me up.

I don't know if any of this makes any sense or not but was just some of the thoughts I had.

mkh106

From: mkh106

2/26/14

that's great news about the review; i imagine you're much relieved.

i know what you're saying, Elsie, about projecting ahead; and i do it, too. mostly, or almost exclusively, in a negative vein.

was thinking later today about 'repressing', and i don't know enough about this stuff, but think we can't deliberately repress, anyway. maybe supress? (why is spell-check underlining this??)

mkh106

From: mkh106

2/26/14

yeah, this is tough stuff, Rex.i try to really remember that guilt is about having done wrong and quite different from regret or sorrow about someone else being hurt. but these are fine lines, and i don't always know where they are. and then there is the impulse to want to fix, but not everything can be fixed, either.

and the feelings-thing....as you point out, some of that is a learnable skill, and i find it's not "just" men who are "terrible" at it; the other side of that coin (though it's not just two-sided, of course) are the people who think all feelings need to be expressed just the way they are at the moment...yikes! not "properly", as you put it.

the men's group sounds like a really positive place for you, Rex

 

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

2/27/14

I had a boyfriend for a while who used to express every feeling as he felt it. Some of his feelings were very hurtful and made me cry. He would then get angry and say that I was trying to stop him expressing his feelings. I had to point out that if he was allowed to express his feelings, then so was I. Needless to say we didn't stay together.  Constantly getting everything out on the table is like living with tyranny. And kindness is crucial, to my way of thinking. Not that I always manage it.

i have woken up this morning with anxiety about the remaining tasks on my list, even though I actually had a good day yesterday and completed a few tasks. Plus my review was a relief. What I sometimes forget is that other people also have their issues, and my boss isn't perhaps as discreet about them as she could be. Note to self- only tell her about the drink thing if you have decided you don't mind everyone knowing!! Anyway, a couple of my colleagues are leaving because of other life issues, and relatively speaking, I'm looking like a very safe pair of hands. This is life. Like it or not, we are creatures who gravitate towards having a pecking order.  Being someone with a known drink problem is probably not great for ones position in a given pecking order. But anyway, I'm doing something about it, so I don't need to tell everyone. 

The friends issue may relate to this. I suppose that I do want to express where I'm at with people I know well. Yesterday I made a couple of references to having stopped drinking again on Facebook- one was a conversation with someone I know vaguely who is a friend of a friend, a nice woman, very grounded. We were discussing women and body image, and I said that I feel it is a shame that women (me, and I don't think I'm alone) waste time and talent worrying about body image. I said that having stopped drinking, I am thinking far more about losing weight than I am about the state of my liver. (Fact!) This is pretty bonkers really. She then said that she doesn't let herself get too concerned about body image, and actually finds her relationship with food and alcohol is much more healthy for it. She said she has had a strict abstinence rule from Monday -Thursday inclusive for 13 years, but can drink what she likes at the weekend, and very often she doesn't want another drink by Sunday. I then explained why that doesn't work for me (and my god I've tried numerous times to achieve that kind of control!) She and another person 'liked' my comment, but not a murmur from the friend whose thread it is.  She is a big drinker, she was supportive if me when I last managed my three months abstinence, but I would say that our friendship has always involved copious amounts of wine. I do feel there are a number of friendships that become awkward when I'm not drinking.  The other reference I made was regarding one of those stupid quizzes- what famous person would you get drunk with. I did it, using my drinking persona's normal tipples as my answers (there were no non-alcoholic choices) and git Emma Watson. (Is she really as famous as I get the impression she is? It somehow doesn't make sense, but such is the ubiquity of the Harry Potter brand) Anyway, I said, 'I got Emma Watson, so it's a good job I'm on the wagon again.' Not a like, not a response, not a word of support. Not that I expected anything really, but I'm imagining both if these friends yawning in despair at the thought of trying to cope with me without a drink in my hand.  I know there is a lot if talk at AA about people giving up on the alcoholic who keeps relapsing. To me it feels like the opposite- that people will give up on this formerly fun drinker who keeps getting awkward and trying to stop drinking, and keeps bloody well going on about it,and it's boring, and can't she just decide to either drink or not drink and then shut up about it. I can shut up about it when I'm drinking. When I'm not it is really hard to not refer to it, a bit like when someone us going through a really bad relationship break up and has to talk about it endlessly with friends. All my friends seem to know someone who is REALLY an alcoholic, who by comparison shows me up as just being awkward, a drama queen, someone who is ridiculously hard on myself and has it all desperately out of proportion.

But these are the facts. When I'm drinking, at about three in the afternoon I start looking forward to my wine. If the evening does not involve wine I start to feel a bit sad and disappointed. For instance, rehearsal night, Thursday, and I don't want to go to the pub with everyone because I'm driving and can't have a proper drink. I would rather have wine at home so I haven't got to drive. And it is hard to not have my normal 6 o click tipple before I go to the rehearsal. On a fair number of social occasions (some of them with the FB friends in question) I have drunk so much white wine that I have spent 12 or more hours the next day vomiting. I have on many occasions drunk a whole bottle of wine on my own in the evening. Sometimes I get this drinking head on and my appetite for wine is apparently insatiable. Strangely, on some of these occasions, I don't get sick. Yes, that is very strange and not quite right.

i was talking to my husband last night, and said about having itched like crazy for the first two weeks if abstinence, and that I'd looked it up and it is actually a common withdrawal symptom, anecdotally. My husband said, I don't think you have been particularly physically addicted it is more you r mental health that's the issue.  I'm not sure why I so need people to accept what I say. I said to Mary that I was relieved that she also itched, because it proved to me that there really was a physical dependence and I wasn't just imagining it.

Friends. I just feel so nervous about trying to conduct myself without a drink. I can do all the little things that help- taking a nice non alcoholic alternative, making sure I keep my glass filled with it, but it just don't feel that I'll have any conversation other than about not drinking. Yet talking about it can be very counterproductive. 

I have to try to stay centred. And I need to find the confidence to simply not go to events that will challenge me too much. 

Enough. Time to do some jobs. I'm doing ok.

E x

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