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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); 59525 views.
Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

May-27

Not doing so well 'in myself' as the saying goes.  Our house build is now happening and the new garage for the old house is looking good. 

My weight was creeping up steadily- lockdown? Liking food? Well I got my answer when I started the Noom program. I had no idea how reliant I had become on sweet and starchy foods to boost my mood. Even though Noom does not promote a starvation or fasting type diet, it shocked me how very hard I found it at the start, because essentially it triggered a sudden descent into acute depression.  I have been trying for near on two years to come off my antidepressants, but have never managed to get below 10mg.  Anyway, i made the decision to take a full therapeutic dose again (20mg) because I would rather be reliant on that than excessive eating, which brings its own issues with negative self esteem. 

Cross addiction. Is this what AA mean when they talk about 'dry drunks?' I have another problem- the compulsion to use social media and specifically to be unnecessarily provocative on social media, which occasionally gets me into pointless arguments about things I don't actually care about, with people I don't know being rude to me (just responding to my narky tone, it's fair enough) and then I get upset. Not outwardly, it's too shameful, but it really does slam my self-esteem, confronting the fact that I am pissing people off intentionally. it's another kind of addiction, a sort of thrill seeking although thrilling is not the word for the emotional residue it leaves me with. 

The world is making me very angry at the moment. I mean, there's a lot to be angry about, but when i feel powerless to change anything it's not healthy. 

On the plus side, weddings have started up again.  Of the four ceremonies I conducted last week I did one exceptionally well, two well, and one was very difficult but I think it was okay.  It was a young muslim couple, the bride was very very nervous, the groom seemed like a nice young man, thankfully, because the overwhelming feeling of the patriarchy in the ceremony room would otherwise have made me feel rather concerned for her. It was clearly arranged. 

When I was attending therapy an observation that emerged was that I don't retain affirmative experiences. I feel boosted for a very short time, it doesn't last. And look there, I just described the ceremony I feel I did least well, not the one after which I was thanked and complimented by several guests for how nice the ceremony was- and that wasn't easy either, another nervous bride, but a very different and more comfortable atmosphere apart from that. And mitigating circumstances- no one would have found that tricky ceremony easy, so I need to cut myself some slack. 

This afternoon I am ushering three weddings, so it's all meeting, greeting, small talk, being a friendly welcoming face. I'm generally very good at it, a bit of a chameleon and I sense where people are coming from, metaphorically speaking, on most occasions. I just hate sensing that I'm just not some people's cup of tea. But again, it is not easy to be all things to all people! Give yourself a break Lou!

I hope this finds everyone well and happy. As ever, I feel better for getting all that out. I've logged out of social media for the day, I'm going to try only to post on our house build page for a while, and certainly stop commenting on articles. 

LC x

Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)

May-28

Elsie,

I imagine there are lots of weddings now that covid restrictions are ending.  We're waiting on several invitations that were cancelled last year.

I sympathize with the desire not to take medications, but I don't agree with it.  I've been taking blood pressure medications for almost 40 years.  They brought my blood pressure down from the 140s to the 100s.  I just have the wrong genes  My mother took blood pressure medications and my uncle died of a stroke in his early 60s.  On the other hand, I have great cholesterol genes.  I eat a fairly high fat diet - always eat the fat on meat, but it doesn't have any effect on me.  My doctor once wrote "excellent" on my cholesterol readings, which drove my wife to distraction because she eats a very low fat diet and still has to take medications for cholesterol.  Life isn't fair, there's nothing wrong with taking medications if they don't cause more problems than they solve.

It's too bad you can't do on social media what you can do with email - wait a day before sending it.  Someone told me to do this when I was working and it has saved me a lot of grief.

Brian 

cookly

From: cookly

May-28

Hi Elsie, lovely to hear your voice again. Sorry you're struggling. I can relate to those online arguments. I too have fallen prey to that from time to time. I found my resentment was usually misdirected, lashing out in a semi safe venue with no consequences. Boredom is what finally saved me.. seeing the same opinions and hearing the same ol' arguments, and never seeing anyone change their mind about anything. Ever. 

About antidepressants.. they sure are powerful. I eased off paroxetine ) way back in Oct and was fine until about a week after I'd taken my last dose. I plunged into a depression that lasted until I called Dr and resumed a very small dose of it, about two-three weeks. Then all was fine with the universe again. I don't seem to suffer any adverse affects either that I can see. So, I say let your body be the guide; it usually knows  best. 

Sending you love, Rae 

joey0000

From: joey0000

Jun-1

Hello! 

I'm sorry to hear you're struggling a bit recently, and I know it's easy to say, hard to do, but try to go easy on yourself. Essentially being a welcome face and small talking with people is one of the trickiest things ever and it IS draining, and you absolutely cannot please everyone all the time. Physical impossibility. I remember that I always used to be very hard on myself, and realised that the person i spoke to the most was me, and it was always making me feel bad, so I tried to become my own best friend. Sounds like such a load of old rubbish, and I am not very good at it... But I am mindful of it a bit more. 

Also, I love food and cakes too! But I recently read a book saying that it's just another thing to channel your problems into. So, i'm going to stop reading!!! smile

Take care of yourself. xxx

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

Jun-1

Sorry to hear you've been going through a tough time. I find the comment you made about not retaining positive memories so interesting: a friend of mine who struggled with bipolar swings, would write small notes to herself and fill a drawer with mementos and snapshots of really happy times, birthday celebrations, awards, compliments from friends, pics of herself laughing etc. She said to me that she was unable to recall those when she was depressed, quite unable to get the balance of 'Yes, today was tough and full of conflict but on Saturday my daughter thanked me for helping her move house and last week I learned to play a new piece of music'.

Would it help if you kept small lists or reminders of achievements or happy moments to serve as prompts during low times? I don't mean a gratitude journals, that is something different, but I know I find it helpful to tell myself that today was a crap day and tomorrow will be better because I'm going back to the lovely walk through the vineyards I so enjoyed last week, getting a sense of balance back. It doesn't always work but you know what I mean!

xxMaryL

I

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

Jun-1

Thank you so so much for all your words of understanding and hope. You are absolutely right Rae, no one ever changes their mind, ever. Certainly not in response to a discussion on social media anyway. I've changed my mind or refined my ideas about stuff, but on my own, mulling things over away from the reactive atmosphere of online discussion. 

That's a nice suggestions Mary, I think intentionally recalling good experiences in whatever way I can is a great help. And Brian you are spot on, at least I need to engage brain more if I ever make a comment. I know how to state a point respectfully but there's something about social media that brings out my flippant side.  As for the food thing Joey, we have to deal with the need for sustenance so in some ways food addiction is harder to tame than booze addiction. You can't just stop eating! However I think I'm really hard on myself over the weight thing too, I weighed 133lbs before the diet, now i've reduced to 122 I'm within a healthy weight range for my height and I wasn't in medical terms obese before, just overweight and decidedly panda bear shaped. But it is nice that all my clothes suddenly feel much more comfortable, and that's something of a motivation to try to keep it off. I definitely feel better overall when I don't eat rubbish, but I'm never going to be able to give up the sweet stuff completely...luckily we don't seem to have diabetes in my birth family. The diet app would have me lose another four pounds but I want to stop at a weight I can realistically maintain without having to starve myself. Or indeed needing to buy an entire new wardrobe. 

I am feeling better and brighter after a lovely bank holiday weekend in sunshine, just pootling round the garden and spending time with my husband. And all of your messages are the icing on the cake (metaphor intentional)

My sister once suggested I might be a bit cyclothymic, but I do think it's unlikely because SSRIs do help me. Which I believe they don't for any condition on the manic depressive spectrum. I'm just very up and down i suppose. Looking at my history, maybe quite a bit more down than the average person, and addictions are a somewhat counterproductive way of trying to deal with that. 

Louise (LC) xxx

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

Jun-2

Sunshine and a long weekend in the garden sounds perfect, L! I've never thought of you as in any way on a  bipolar spectrum but I know I had to 'retrain' my mind to be more positive in early sobriety, not dwell on hideous past lapses or lost relationships, and little by little I retrieved some good brighter memories from even my childhood.

Now I make notes in journals of things that amuse or delight me, very small noticings and pleasures so that I don't have a groaning diary  filled with anxieties and complaints. Living in a smallish village, I find that many older people here (late 70s and 80s) often tend to get stuck in fears about minor illnesses and sound like gloomy hypochondriacs  when they stop to chat in the street or over the fence. If they get distracted or I change the topic, they suddenly 'remember' funny anecdotes or show some of the sharp witty  observations I know are there too. Sometimes we need to vent or complain to get it out or find reassurance, sometimes complaining gets to be a mental habit that needs to be challenged. Who knows which is best when?

xxMary

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