I’m definitely one of them.
It’s like the allergy is not just the craving for more but also damage to my nervous system that I don’t see occurring to my friends who drink like a normal person.
It gives me really heightened anxiety until I have the first drink each day. Terror really.
As one of the detox workers at the detox said about the anxiety the last time I was there:
“Anxiety is free.”
So why spend money to get it, he meant.
Anyway I’m sober about 30 hours.
The last nine days kilt me. Spended so much dough and tore up my nervous system pretty bad. Constantly perseverating/ruminating on everything I done wrong in my life and how I’m surely doomed.
Finally starting to calm down past few hours.
And never mind just those last 9 days - the past 8 years were disastrous overall.
I am quite seriously and honestly really sick to death of it.
Something wiser has triggered in me - the executive functions located in the frontal lobes are now prioritizing well-being. Anything else is hopelessness. Anything else is just being stuck in the mud.
People will start telling me that I’m smarter than I look … or at least wiser than I look.
I’m definitely one of them.
Congrats on those first 30 hours.
This is a great place for support. Have a good read around. Join in when your comfortable. I find gratitude to be my best tool in my sobriety tool box.
I never miss starting out my day on the gratitude thread.
Hope to see you around.
Thanks so much for your reply,
I have lately felt gratitude for small things and was surprised that I was feeling grateful.
I will definitely spend more time being grateful for, for example, some of the things you mentioned.
I think the fact that you do a prayer of gratefulness every night is really admirable and I will do the same.
Good morning @JackP.Shaark
Here’s my copy n paste (regular readers…yep, Peter’s posting his list again ) list I send to people in their 1st few days. Take anything from it that helps.
Welcome Well done for choosing sobriety.
Here’s a list of tips I’ve put together with the help of other friends on this path. Take from it anything that helps. Above all, stay here…we will help you. You’re in our boat now…the same boat we’re all in. Hope this helps:
1 Read Alcohol Explained by William Porter (you can get audio version from audible)
2 Go to as many aa meetings as you can. Listen, share if you feel OK to, engage, get phone numbers
3 Get busy. Housework, exercise, new hobby, gardening, baking, YouTube rapping, movies…anything. Don’t leave yourself any free time.
4 Be honest with yourself. Why are you stopping, how do you feel…
5 Read Alcohol Explained 2
6 stick to your decision to quit and never doubt or question it. You got it right.
7 If you do ever wobble or get tempted, ask yourself one simple question… What will it add? Will it make a good situation better? Will it make a bad situation better. My years of frequent horrid experiences have shown for me, the answer is it adds nothing and makes nothing better.
8 Stay here, keep reaching out, use your peers’ support and experience
9 help others as soon as you feel you can, even in the very early days. I’m only 13 days and honestly it’s helping me to help you. I can reread my advice to you and then reapply it to my own situation
10 Pray. Doesn’t matter if your not religious or don’t know who or what you’re praying to - I don’t, I could be praying to myself. But I’ve found over the past fortnight that getting on my knees, asking (out loud) for strength, asking for a sober day and then giving thanks for that strength and sobriety has felt extremely empowering.
EDIT: 11-14 thank you to Facebook friends:
11 Look for the fun in the journey!
12 Every day pay attention to what is improving. Even the little things, like being able to remember someone’s name after being introduced.
13. Make self care a priority; find the things that you can do to make yourself feel pampered and that will destress you in a healthy way.
14. Learn to identify and change your negative self talk.
Good luck @JackP.Shaark
Stay strong and stay here - we can and will help. So much experience here from so many people at all stages of sobriety…and the empathy really is genuine.
Hi Jack and welcome mate.
I can relate to your story a lot I think.
Looking back at years of the vicious cycle of alcohol abuse and the madness and destruction it causes.
A few years ago I came to the realisation that it was only a matter of time before I lost my wife, living with my kids full time, perhaps my liberty, my career and basically everything I’d worked to build up from when I got rock bottom (rock bottom being punching a person and going to prison for it for 9 months).
Like you described some changed in me and I became sober. I have always been a binge alcoholic and the cycle I broke was that.
In that time I became more settled, more able to deal with the normal bullshit that comes with day to day life. I have worked on getting new hobbies and interests, my career has boomed and my family don’t live in fear that one day I’ll be locked up in a police station or worse.
BUT! On Friday I slipped for the first time in years. I say it’s a complete surprise but lately I’ve been angry, materialistic, pent up, short fused.
I stopped going to church regularly, stopped practicing mindfulness and meditation. I stopped using this app, I stopped using the CBT tools that I utilised from SMART RECOVERY. I started drinking weak shandys telling myself it’s just “nicer” not having a coca cola or a juice all the time.
So in reality it was coming and I could have seen it if I’d have looked hard enough.
I’m glad you are here and I’m glad that voice is telling you it’s time. My advice is find what works for you and NEVER stop working those tools because the latest lesson I’ve learned is eventually if given the chance your mind will convince you to drink again.
Thanks a lot for the hello, the encouragement, and the nice welcome blurb.
I will look for said book.
Thanks for describing the prayer stuff. It has often escaped me as to what I would being saying or thinking… or I guess I should praying… while, in fact, praying. Somebody on this platform already sent me advice and info on the extreme import of gratitude and how the person give thanks … or should I say gratitude… for things in their life while praying before falling asleep every night.
Thanks for the welcome and the advice.
That is quite an extensive toolbox you were and are again using. As for church, I see now - after attending some 12 step zoom meetings and some AA in person meetings - that as a kid going to church, my parents were very familiar with how attending church, and even being of service to others while at church, really made them glow and took them out of their own selves - out of whatever problems or self-concern might be swirling around in their own heads.
I see a some of the same spirit at AA meetings as I did at church as a kid.
I too like SMART but haven’t attended recently.
I made the same rookie mistake - I call it a rookie mistake because I had been sober, more or less for the first time in 8 years, for three months after a stay at a recovery type residential place (also called treatment centre around here) - and when I left I thought “I wonder what the attraction for me to this stuff was?” And I ended up having a smidge of light drink. And it progressed from there over, well, a relatively short amount of time. I really can’t have any! It’s kind of a shocking truth. I’m not normal, it feels like. And I guess that’s for sure true. I have the allergy that they talk about in AA. The allergy being a craving for more, and apparently an immediate craving for more.
As for meditation and mindfulness, I really do think… “think” is perhaps the wrong word … I really do feel that meditation is an important tool to take me out of my own head - out of the mental anxiety that can push me to a drink. Even a few “conscious breaths” as Eckhart Tolle says. I just feel the breath going though my nose, lungs, and deep down into my abdomen, or I even just feel it go deep into the abdomen. They say deep breathing like that massages the vagus nerve, thereby triggering the parasympathetic nervous system. But whatever the case, it takes the perpetual attention from up in my head back down to my body. Can be just a couple of breaths to do that, but ideally it’s for 24 minutes or more and the brain waves really change, so I’ve heard.
Alternately I hike up a hill or walk to the shoreline or anywhere (but not in the same direction as liquor store) to change my energy.
Well anyway, thanks again.
For me when I attended AA it made me think about wanting a drink more then ever. I prefer the theory of SMART that it’s a mental illness that can be corrected so you get to the point that you don’t crave a drink by using CBT to understand how we got to this point.
Although I definitely believe that part of being an alcoholic is that the chemical makeup of the brain when introduced to alcohol is just different.
In terms of mindfullness and meditation Gabor Mate’s theory around childhood trauma and addiction being linked is true imoand I think mindfulness allows you to not live in the past and by doing so fuck up the future. Meditation I believe is a great way to manage the monkey mind and all the stuff deep rooted in their.
I wish you well mate. Let’s keep in touch.
It is an odd coincidence that you mention Gabor Maté because I was just watching The Wisdom of Trauma movie via SAND (Science and Nonduality)
and I may watch the recorded Live Talks.
Not sure that I have much trauma in my past but am interested to learn anyway.
This is a great thing to be keenly aware of.
I really didn’t realize the hell it was wreaking on my nerves until I’d gotten quite a bit of sobriety. The contrast is stark.
Now I have friends that ask how I’m so calm all the damn time.
For sure life can still stress me out. It do be a lot easier to stay cool sober though.
Yes it is a sobering realization lol.
I’ve heard that alcohol causes a depletion of vitamin B1, also called thiamine, and this is one reason for the nerves and shakes etc. So I am taking B1 pills and also a B Complex vitamin pill to recover from the damage done. Also need magnesium apparently. And long term alcoholics can get Korsakoff’s syndrome, also called wet brain disease in the past, from the severe Vitamin B1 depletion. It’s a version of dementia. I don’t think I’m there yet though. Although keep getting what day of the week it is mixed up and other things.
But the main cure, of course, will be my lasting sobriety.
I’m past two days now. And the overwhelming anxiety is much improved. I’m even relaxed at times! Lol!
I can certainly point to mine very easily but Mate describes the trauma differently to how one would expect.
This illustrated video from after skool is really good
That’s a great summary. The video I mean. Thanks for that.