Justifying, Romanticizing and Pissed Off


#1

So literally for the past 5 and half months until Tuesday, I was feeling great, on top of the world, felt wonderful about my sobriety, everything was aces. Since Tuesday, I have really been struggling with my sobriety - it’s like it hit me in the fucking head like a ton of bricks. I haven’t had a drink - I’m not going to throw away 165 days. I’m frustrated. I’ve talked with my mom, my boyfriend, a friend in recovery who have recently slipped, and a professor that I trust. My boyfriend said that it sounds like I’m trying to talk myself into drinking.

In each conversation, I hear myself say two things:
:black_small_square:︎ I’m in an amazing head space now. I have done so much self discovery through school and personal work, I am a different person than I ever have been. So, if I were to drink, I wouldn’t be sad, depressed, upset etc. (which I know is true because there was one other time in my life where I felt a similar way as I do now (but not even this good) and I was a happy, fun, silly drinker.) I did still drink in excess, but I was happy and fun.
:black_small_square:︎ I want to prove to myself and to others that I can be responsible and drink socially.

The tone in both my mom and my boyfriend’s voice was what I percieved as disappointment/let down if my decision were to drink again. My mom thinks I’ve been doing so well, why do I even need alcohol anymore. My boyfriend doesn’t want to deal with the uncertainty of emotional ups and downs that used to be my MO.

I’m pissed off that I’m not drinking because I can’t rather than I just stopped of my own free will because it’s a healthier, better lifestyle choice. Like no, I stopped because at the time I was a complete mess.

I’m pissed that there is a negative association between me and drinking in the eyes of my boyfriend and mom. I don’t want that - I think that’s where the feeling of needing to prove I can be ok is coming from.

Now here I am thinking…could I have just one or two drinks and stop and be happy with that? Can I just drink socially? Why would I want to drink socially? What are the benefits of that? Is the problem that I’m getting bored with sobriety? Am I bored? Do I actually have a problem or was I just abusing alcohol? Why do I think about alcohol every day? Why is it so important for me to want to prove myself?

I’ve made a list of pros and cons. I’ve gone to meetings. I’ve reached out for feedback. Why am I feeling this way. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


#2

This sounds like where I was before relapsing the last time. Spoiler alert: didn’t go well for me. Ended up worse off, getting blackout drunk every night for years.

This time around… I dunno. I’ve done the experiment and know that, for me, there’s just nothing in it for me anymore.

And it is a healthier lifestyle choice. Everything is better, if different. Even barring that I know for myself it simply isn’t an option, why the heck would I want any of that back now?

For you, Brooke, I dunno. It sounds as though you see clearly the good sobriety’s done for you. Enough that others see it as well. So… Why even entertain or romanticize this?

This too will pass. Maybe sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning?


#4

I’ve been where you are at before and it’s was a shitty place to be. My ego got in the way of my sobriety (didn’t realize it at the time), so I said fuk-it-all and everyone else, I’m a grown ass woman and I can say when. It didn’t work out for me, and my addiction became way worse over time. It took many more relapses to finally make a true resolve that I don’t need alcohol in my life. This is just my story, and I don’t know your history with alcohol. There are 0 benefits to booze, and that is true for everyone, not just those of us who are addicted to it. But, no one can decide for you. You have to decide if you really want to stay sober, and you obviously have attained some skills to do that with 5 months under your belt. Hopefully you’ll use all you’ve learned up to today while making that decision.


#5

“I’m pissed off that I’m not drinking because I can’t rather than I just stopped of my own free will because it’s a healthier, better lifestyle choice. Like no, I stopped because at the time I was a complete mess.”
The first time I quit (with sincerity that is) wasnt for me, didnt want to stop drinking but I did for others who thought I was getting out of control (I was). It lasted 6 months, after that 6 month hiatus I went back to drinking, at first, casually. Slowly at first I thought, or as others liked to say, quickly. In no time at all I was drinking like a maniac again, every day for 8 more years. (A break here and there that count for nada). Over those 8 years i eould have thoughts like; i had it beat, shoulda stayed quit, how, why, whats wrong with me and I gotta stop. 8 years later (give or take) im here, with the will to stay stopped. My point is, dont kid yourself, dont worry about who, why, what, where or when. Its for you, yourself. Whether that was the initiative at the start or not, now it is all about you and your well being. Hang on tightly when it gets difficult and remember the promise of a better and less complex life. Be strong.


#6

I have also had bouts this last year where I have also considered if I “could” drink like a “normal” person. Ultimately, I have let the idea go completely as I asked myself what good would a drink do-there was not ONE honest answer. It was a bunch of bs excuses…it truly wouldn’t make me less stressed (prolongs dealing with the issue instead), happy (no happiness can ever be found in a bottle, that comes from me) or carefree (I can do this sober, being drunk is NOT carefree), etc. I also know I would NOT have just one and even if I did, why bother? I will just want more. I drank to get a buzz. I instead came up with a million reasons not to. Why do I even want alcohol to have a place in my life? There is room for SO much more without it! Alcoholism is also progressive and it WILL kill me and impact my life negatively on the way there. It’s not worth even trying to moderate. I’ve watched many many others try and fail, I’m learning from their experiences. I just got done writing to a friend who is in jail from his relapse. Today is day 371, my days of drinking are behind me now and I’ve found peace and freedom in that. Hope you find what you need girl, glad to see you back! :heart:


#7

You probably feel this way because you don’t work on your recovery (your own words) it’s great your doing well, but having all that isn’t recovery. It’s what a happy sober life can provide. You need help learning how to live sober. We all do.


#8

Those thoughts of moderation can be such a slippery fish.

You’re doing great and based on what you wrote, have been feeling great up until recently. We all hit those rough patches sometimes. It’s going to be about keeping your focus, fighting through, and using your mind to squash those thoughts of moderate/social drinking with a big hefty dose of honesty: you know how the story ends when we play with trying moderate drinking. That test has been done before.

You’ve done a lot over the last 165 days, from what I’m reading. Is it worth potentially trading all that for a few drinks? I’ll tell you this: every time I made that trade, the drinks/drinking experience was NEVER what I built it up in my head to be. Seriously underwhelming, every time. And the regret afterwards…holy moly. It ain’t worth the trade-off.

Hang in there, push through, emerge stronger


#9

Because you are human. I go thru those conversations in my head. As the 24 hours add up, those conversations become fewer.


#10

I’ve made up a new word, and on the suggestion from a popular and valuable sister whose support helped me recently, I thought I’d share it worth you.
Prelapse
This part of the recovery process is particularly prevalent during those early days/weeks/months and as many of us new recruits are vulnerable around now it’s worth looking at. And it’s that space between debatable negotiation of having a drink and the action of carrying it out. That narrow margin of choice.

After the early euphoria (pink cloud) that some of us enjoy initially, possibly because of sudden self-belief and feeling rather better, we enter what I call Phase Two. This, to me, feels like that continued resignation or acceptance of abstinence, a sort of long term view of sobriety - but also a time for reflection. As with all gains, there’s inevitably some loss, even if that loss is a hangover! However, there’s no denying the first glass of cold white wine or whatever’s your poison, goes down a treat, and we no longer have that. At first the benefits outweigh the negatives, but like all bad relationships we may start foolishly to remember some of the good times. Or maybe stress lures us into wanting immediate relief and we remember that sudden calming effect from alcohol.

And once we’ve allowed any thoughts of a drink into our minds, we’ve given ourselves permission to negotiate and subliminally we enter a stage of. This is a very sensitive crucial period where newbies or repeated relapsers are very vulnerable to a slip. HOWEVER, KNOWING THIS, IT CAN BE AVERTED.

First of a all, the symptoms of a pre-lapse are deceiving in themselves. They don’t say simply am an alcoholic and I’m getting the urge for a drink so I must control it. Nope. It says things like: You drama queen alcoholic? I think not! Well, you’ve proved you can stop, so enjoy a tipple and stop again. Just for tonight, it won. You deserve it. Quit again next week. A holiday without wine Get real! Honestly, you don’t have a serious problem just cut back. Drink a little less, that’s all. It’s a well known saying that alcoholism is a disease that tells you you haven’t got it, and never more loudly does it make these claims than in a prelapse. And yet whilst a prelapse tells you your addiction doesn’t exists, bizarrely it’s the very confirmation that it does! It’s part of the withdrawal process, a secondary phase of recovery.

So now we know the symptoms, a disguised emotion that initially mimics a mild, rewarding, desire for moderate relaxation. It’s not (yet) a screaming demand or a manic craving for booze, just a polite request balanced with so-called intelligent argument for normal satisfaction. Don’t listen to a word of it!! It’s the scheming manipulative addictive brain teasing you into the first drink. And we know the rest.

So understanding a prelapse is one thing. But what to do about it.? Well as this is the space between thought and action there is happily time for it to be averted. There are no end of suggestions to treat this condition from H.A.L.T. (hungry, angry, lonely, tired – do something about them) to Think the Drink Through, repeating The Statements, reaching out to WFS… I’m sure readers will be able to add dozens of their own. I have a glass of anything non-alcoholic, and strangely I find standing outside and looking at the sky helps (?!). There’s deep breathing, shouting & NO! at your inner demon, surfing the urge, fake it till you make it all wonderful tools for averting those lethal warning signs.

One thing though, I had a prelapse last week. I tried all and more of the above and the polite request/demanding craving persisted. I read once that an urge lasts seven ninutes. Phooey. Mine lasted TWO DAYS. Somehow, as much to do with circumstance as will power, I didn’t drink. Then on Saturday, the third day of my prelapse (Day 18 of sobriety) the craving had somehow gone! I know it’s not forever, but my inner demon was exhausted and silent. For a while, he’s given up.

So, inadvertently I discovered that whatever means you employ during a pre-lapse, whether it’s sensible decision making, inaccessibility of booze or just closing your eyes and wading through in agony, whatever do it!!! Once out of it; albeit 3 days later. you will see it clearly for what it is. Pure alcoholism. Feeding those demands of course, will merely perpetuate the addiction, and like sliding down the snake in a game of snakes and ladders, you will have to start once more at the beginning.

So lets enjoy carrying on with our sobriety until the next, weaker prelapse strikes us, knowing full well they’ll become less and less frequent , weaker and weaker if ignored, and are simply an inevitable part of our recovery.

Day 42

Hugs, Carol


#11

This sounds like a “nobody puts baby in the corner” type of thought.

They’ve seen you play Russian roulette and win, they’ve seen you play and lose. They want the best for you, don’t rail against their advice/admonishments/well wishes whatever you wanna call it.

Someone put it perfectly a few days ago. Most of us have 3 distinct drinking phases.
Fun.
Fun+problems.
Problems.
Once you get into the problems phase it’s very rare that you can drink “normally”(if there is such a thing).

Glad you’re back before you pulled the trigger on yourself, I assumed you’d be back after you fell off and I’m 10000% glad to be wrong.


#12

I tried that route for all of my life. Sure I could start out just drinking socially for awhile, but sooner or later we always end up back in the mess that is us as a drunk. It is what it is. You can try to pretend “this time” will be different …but it won’t…eventually we end up back in the anxiety depression why am I drinking how can I stop place.

I hope @BrookieB that you come to find your center and peaceful sober place within you. That you don’t have to spend another bunch of days, weeks, months, years trying to figure out how to ‘drink socially’. I hope you find the happiness that resides within each of us when we let go of that dream of who we want to be as a drinker.

Dig deep into your why. There is wisdom there.

Much strength and peace to you.


#13

Thank you to everyone who has commented. I needed to reach out for support, and it helps. @CaptAZ, especially, your response hit home. There is an aspect of Russian Roulette when I drink, sometimes I win, and sometimes I lose. Even if I win every time, it’s still not physically healthy. Instead of proving to myself and others that prove I can drink socially, I continue to prove to myself that I can live a life that is healthy, inspirational, and strong.


#14

I’ve been where you are. It was an everyday thing for me. I’d always tell myself “ one drink at the end of the day” but one turned to 8. The alcohol fucks with your decision making. What’s helped me a lot recently is a weird little mantra. “ I’m an addict why would I listen to myself when I say it’s ok to drink? I will not feel better if I drink. I will hate myself in the morning.” I let experience be my guide. I know those things to be true and I trust that they’re true. Usually sees me through. And sure enough, the next day when I wake up and I’m not hung over and I didn’t give in I’m so thankful.


#15

This is an absolute winning mindset and it will get you where you want to be. Literally gave me the warm and fuzzies.


#16

Fantastic. Thank you for articulating so well this issue that keeps cropping up.


#17

“It’s a really special occasion… surely I can have just one. People will be disappointed if I don’t.”
“I did it! I just had one! I was totally in control. I mean, I’m not going to be silly about this. I’ll only drink very occasionally.”
“Since today is another special occasion, and it went fine a couple of weeks ago, I’ll try moderating again and have just one.”
“Okay, so I had two, which is one more than I planned, but even though I really wanted the third, I stopped! I’ve got this!”
“Last week it was pretty easy to just have two and today is so nice and a cold drink in the sun would be sooo nice.”
“I really really wish I could have a third glass but I’m going to be good.”
“It sucks so much that I can’t have a third glass.”
“I’ll drive so that I really can’t have that third glass.”
“Fuck it, I’ll come back and get the car in the morning.”
“Oh man, I really overdid it. This is why I’ve gotta stick to two glasses. I definitely will in future.”
“Those two glasses were really small so this third glass is just like having two large glasses.”
“Man, I’ve had such a shit day, I really need a drink.”
“Oh god, I drank the whole bottle. I’ll just fill it 3/4 back up with water so it looks like I had three glasses and then I’ll pour it back out tomorrow so it looks like I drank the rest, and after that, I’ll really truly go back to just one or two glasses…”


#18

So easy to talk myself into 1 drink, not so easy listening to the wee voice saying stop.


#19

Bookmarking this thread. Thank you all for the fantastic :two_hearts: advice and guidance.


#20

Disclaimer:. I GET it. We can relate.

If you are an alcoholic then it is NORMAL to want to drink like a normal person.

If you are an alcoholic part of the disease is the delusion that you can one day drunk like a normal person.

If you are an alcoholic you can NEVER AGAIN drink like a normal person.

That is why working a program of recovery is vital.

Self knowledge will avail you nothing
Will power will avail you nothing
Isolation forever from alcohol will avail you nothing

If you solely rely in any of those you WILL drink again.

Sucks, yes… But true.


#21

I finally decided that only an alcoholic would be obsessing and angsting so much about cutting one minimally nutritional food item out of their diet as I was regarding alcohol. Plenty of folks with a single food allergy move on and just advocate for themselves as needed, they dont suffer like an addict. My partner is allegic to milk proteins and he dont fantasize all day about how great milk tastes and hate how deprived he is like we both did with alcohol, and its harder to deliberately avoid milk than booze!