Sobriety / Recovery / Making Life Manageable

he/him/basic cishomo
@Runawaywithme I would come sit down with you in that pub and just let you vent. You are dealing with the kinds of heavy shit that most people don't experience until later in life, and some never do. In addition to everything else going on in your entire world, the relationship dynamics, all of it.

Guilt fed the monster more than anything else when I was in it deep, and if you can circumvent that, you need to. You are here right now. That's what's happening. You have to meet yourself here. Which is HARD but if you can understand that in the grand scheme of things, this is simply where your story is, and it's not good or bad, it's just the inevitable truth.

And secondly: your health is paramount here. You can drive yourself mad feeling some level of culpability for the other people and how they act around you but they honestly need to go to the back burner.

I'd take @Stopremix's suggestion. And I'm not sure what your level of consumption is currently, but I strongly urge you to tread lightly if you are heavy drinking daily at this point. You'll need a taper if that's the case: do not just stop drinking. Ideally, this would be under the guidance of your GP who will make it SO. MUCH. More bearable, with various drugs to help with the full range of withdrawal symptoms so you can get back to baseline safely and relatively comfortably.

If you're not sure about your risk level of going into withdrawal, this site has a self-assessment tool and resources for the UK.

You are a really eloquent person and I enjoy having you around, so please prioritize your well-being and keep us posted. Sending love.
 
he/him/basic cishomo
I'm getting the impression it's a bit of a faux pas to talk about this in earnest anywhere, but I'm just properly scared about what's coming in the short-to-medium term. Like...... I'm scared because this is exactly the kind of shit that derails me every time, and this time it actually is that bad. But then I listen to "Today the Sun's On Us" and... God damn is that a relevant ass song. The temperature stats, Antarctic ice extent shriveling, coral dying en masse in Florida with ocean surface temperatures that are now 7 std above the mean from ~30 years ago. The GOP and its mouthpieces are rapidly changing their tune to retcon the narrative into another scam.

But! I have to just... look around and understand that it's not all going to hell quite just yet. The whole thing is forcing me to start using mindfulness, honestly. I miss when self-soothing didn't feel like work.

I've spent so much of my life in a cycle of soothing myself or hiding from my life with booze and friends, it's very clearly ingrained in my brain now, and I have to take it seriously because the regret I will feel if I'm in this exact same situation when normal evaporates... I don't want that ending, yanno?

How is everyone holding up? And you don't have to engage on the climate talk, I promise. It's just a permanent part of my mental background noise now.
 
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I feel like the research coming out in the next 10 to 20 years will be devastating for anyone drinking alcohol, to show how bad it is and everything. So now is a good time to drink less if you know you know

I feel like climate is a constant stress factor for our generation who still has to deal with it, instead of the older ones that just don't give shits and won't be around to see harsher impact. It all adds up, when you also have inflation, housing crisis, political mess and all. Maybe we can't just help ourselves and will die out.
 
I can't comment much on the climate conversation, but it is something that needs to be addressed. But in general, I feel like in the past few years every issue has kindve hit us at once. Like we had COVID, food shortages, the UK started to feel the full effects of Brexit, numerous other political issues, the cost of living crisis (and many other crisises stemming from this) AND the war in Ukraine.

As uneducated as it's going to make me sound, I've had to stop watching the news because it was making me so depressed. I can see why people do turn to alcohol with everything currently going on, I hit rock bottom two years ago and now I won't drink if I'm feeling low. I realise a walk with a good album to take my mind off things will benefit me more than a two day bender then the hangxiety afterwards. I just hope more people can find better coping mechanisms that work for them instead of hitting the bottle. It's rough at the moment out there!
 
As uneducated as it's going to make me sound, I've had to stop watching the news because it was making me so depressed. I can see why people do turn to alcohol with everything currently going on, I hit rock bottom two years ago and now I won't drink if I'm feeling low. I realise a walk with a good album to take my mind off things will benefit me more than a two day bender then the hangxiety afterwards. I just hope more people can find better coping mechanisms that work for them instead of hitting the bottle. It's rough at the moment out there!
There are examples of research studies done where people limit their amount of news, and they do report higher happiness and all. You should check into that. When you say you don't watch the news people assume you're a lunatic, while hearing daily about people dying, accidents, disaster and crisis here or there, is only going to impact your mood in a bad way. I try to limit my news intake, stop Twitter (horrible platform). We know the drivers of news organizations is to make money and they do so by clickbait, things that deliver revenue and online that's just hard. 'The news' is always there, always *on*, tries to make you consume more and puts your brain into 'thinking' about it which is just not good!

We have a government owned news agency, and it does the basics if I want to find something quickly. I listen to podcasts that explain items in 5 or 20 min about issues I think are interesting. I read a newspaper every weekend to stay a bit out of my own bubble and have some in-depth things I would find in there (but of course, *that newspaper* is it's own bubble).

And what can you do hearing all the tragedies in the world? Not much. Research has shown that donating to local causes puts more of the donated value to the cause, so it's better to support small things you can. Donations to big charities who function abroad – where most money is just funnelled out as overhead.
 
he/him/basic cishomo
I can't comment much on the climate conversation, but it is something that needs to be addressed. But in general, I feel like in the past few years every issue has kindve hit us at once. Like we had COVID, food shortages, the UK started to feel the full effects of Brexit, numerous other political issues, the cost of living crisis (and many other crisises stemming from this) AND the war in Ukraine.

As uneducated as it's going to make me sound, I've had to stop watching the news because it was making me so depressed. I can see why people do turn to alcohol with everything currently going on, I hit rock bottom two years ago and now I won't drink if I'm feeling low. I realise a walk with a good album to take my mind off things will benefit me more than a two day bender then the hangxiety afterwards. I just hope more people can find better coping mechanisms that work for them instead of hitting the bottle. It's rough at the moment out there!
I totally agree, and I don't think you're uneducated at all. There's not much education happening in modern news media, it's fine. I get way more out of the times I spend finding information as I want to, avoiding anything with infinite scroll or reactionaries as much as possible.

On the climate side, the raw numbers coming out of these various indicators are just scary. The exponential feedback cycle is very plainly speeding up, and several standard deviations ahead of what was "expected" by 2023. I'm extremely grateful that life is basically still continuing as normal. And I hope it does for at least another 10 years. I'll let myself have the hope.

It's the fact that climate change isn't happening in a vacuum that gets me too. AS IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH. Things just feel precarious and it's anyone's guess what the next catalyzing event will be. Will one of the world's many flop far-right parties gain international traction and bring back eugenics in the social media age? Will we discover that current levels of microplastics cause a new array of devastating health consequences after decades of prolonged exposure? Will Tinashe finally actually kill us all with her next album? She's come close before.

I'll just share one thing that helps me is, when I feel like I can, I try to make an effort to do nice things for the people I love. And thankfully mental health might be on the upswing, so I need to get some plans made before summer ends or worse.

[QUOTE="Laurence]I feel like the research coming out in the next 10 to 20 years will be devastating for anyone drinking alcohol, to show how bad it is and everything. So now is a good time to drink less if you know you know[/QUOTE]
Heh! It's honestly crazy to me that this isn't patently obvious, but then I remember very strongly believing that alcohol was an endless fount of self-worth and joy back in the day. It has a great sales pitch.
 

Sam

he/they
Well girls, it’s been a time. I’ve drank every weekend since the 14th (now just realising this was like 2 weeks ago but it feels longer) with a 2 week break before that. I was keeping on top of the gym, great vibes all round, felt like I had a handle on the balance, until this past week.

My dog passing away on Monday just fucked it all up, diet and motivation-wise. I’ve really gone through it; bursting into tears every half an hour for the first couple of days, feeling silly for being so upset over a dog even though I know our animals are part of our families. Feeling guilty for being more upset over this than I was when my grandad died a few years ago, all while feeling a big fat “fuck it” to eating well, exercising, or even leaving the house most days.

I know I need to be kinder to myself for letting things slip considering I’ve been grieving (even though I still feel ridiculous typing that word out even now). I still went to work through it, albeit from home, and my manager was understanding thankfully. It was a welcome distraction, to be honest.

So now - time for another alcohol-free stint. In the back of my head, I was giving myself all of last week to eat the bad food, be lazy etc, so I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine tomorrow. I need to feel good about myself again, and I was really getting there before all of this. I’ve got some plans next weekend (a couple of gigs I’m playing), but going to do them sober which is kind of terrifying but also exciting. Then nothing in the diary until my housemate’s 30th in September. Very much looking forward to the reset and finishing summer on a high.
 
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Well girls, it’s been a time. I’ve drank every weekend since the 14th (now just realising this was like 2 weeks ago but it feels longer) with a 2 week break before that. I was keeping on top of the gym, great vibes all round, felt like I had a handle on the balance, until this past week.

My dog passing away on Monday just fucked it all up, diet and motivation-wise. I’ve really gone through it; bursting into tears every half an hour for the first couple of days, feeling silly for being so upset over a dog even though I know our animals are part of our families. Feeling guilty for being more upset over this than I was when my grandad died a few years ago, all while feeling a big fat “fuck it” to eating well, exercising, or even leaving the house most days.

I know I need to be kinder to myself for letting things slip considering I’ve been grieving (even though I still feel ridiculous typing that word out even now). I still went to work through it, albeit from home, and my manager was understanding thankfully. It was a welcome distraction, to be honest.

So now - time for another alcohol-free stint. In the back of my head, I was giving myself all of last week to eat the bad food, be lazy etc, so I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine tomorrow. I need to feel good about myself again, and I was really getting there before all of this. I’ve got some plans next weekend (a couple of gigs I’m playing), but going to do them sober which is kind of terrifying but also exciting. Then nothing in the diary until my housemate’s 30th in September. Very much looking forward to the reset and finishing summer on a high.

Aww, I'm so sorry about your dog. Definitely cut yourself a bit of slack, it's 1000% valid to be grieving over a pet. When my first dog passed away I was absolutely heartbroken, and if the dog I have now (or even my brothers dog who I grew up with who's getting old *sigh*) did I would be inconsolable. My pets have always been my world and I find they're here to comfort you at times when you feel completely alone. I've never understood the "It's just a dog" outlook - no ma'am, this dog is my best friend.

Dust yourself off and start again - don't feel guilty about letting a few things slide whilst you come to terms with your loss!
 
Well girls, it’s been a time. I’ve drank every weekend since the 14th (now just realising this was like 2 weeks ago but it feels longer) with a 2 week break before that. I was keeping on top of the gym, great vibes all round, felt like I had a handle on the balance, until this past week.

My dog passing away on Monday just fucked it all up, diet and motivation-wise. I’ve really gone through it; bursting into tears every half an hour for the first couple of days, feeling silly for being so upset over a dog even though I know our animals are part of our families. Feeling guilty for being more upset over this than I was when my grandad died a few years ago, all while feeling a big fat “fuck it” to eating well, exercising, or even leaving the house most days.

I know I need to be kinder to myself for letting things slip considering I’ve been grieving (even though I still feel ridiculous typing that word out even now). I still went to work through it, albeit from home, and my manager was understanding thankfully. It was a welcome distraction, to be honest.

So now - time for another alcohol-free stint. In the back of my head, I was giving myself all of last week to eat the bad food, be lazy etc, so I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine tomorrow. I need to feel good about myself again, and I was really getting there before all of this. I’ve got some plans next weekend (a couple of gigs I’m playing), but going to do them sober which is kind of terrifying but also exciting. Then nothing in the diary until my housemate’s 30th in September. Very much looking forward to the reset and finishing summer on a high.
Sorry to hear about your dog, the loss of a pet is always devestating and such a loss can always trigger people to fall back into old habits or patterns, so please don't be too hard on yourself - you're only human!

It sounds like you already know/want to get back on track which is normally the biggest challenge and above all else you want to feel better which is fab. I hope your upcoming plans offer a welcome distraction and ending summer on a high sounds like a solid plan!
 
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Hopefully this is an open space, but I've come to realize that I have a really toxic relationship with marijuana. I've always enjoyed drinking but I could always take it or leave it; or moderate my usage. But something about marijuana just hits different in my brain. It's tough though because I feel like people have a frame of use for alcohol abuse (E.g. AA) but it feels isolating to struggle with something that people view as relatively harmless.

I've abused it in the past when I've gone through the worst periods of anxiety and depression in my life as a way of completely dissociating and checking out from my responsibilities. I've spent entire weekends high from the moment I woke up to the second I passed out.

I just can't figure out how or even if I'm capable of moderating my usage. Every time I go on a break I tell myself that I'll just keep it to weekend nights, and over time it slowly creeps up to daily use. Even though, I'm no longer feeling depressed or anxious right now - quite the opposite, I'm happier in my marriage and job, and I've been in the best shape I've been in years - I still struggle with moderating my use.

Going through withdrawal at the beginning of the week was absolute hell. I was an anxiety-riddled, mood-unstable/swinging mess for most of it. My appetite was completely shot. My stomach was going crazy. And I couldn't sleep for shit. The slightest things were setting me off. Working out was helping mitigate some of those symptoms but everyone around me could tell something was off (my husband thought I'd gone off my SSRI that's how unstable and irritable and irrational I was acting). I'm working on this my therapist but he hasn't been especially helpful in this area of my life.

It just frustrating because I wish I could just enjoy it in moderation but I'm feeling like that's not a possibility. Especially in a city like DC where there's head shops and dispensaries everywhere.

I don't know girls. Excuse my written stream of thoughts, I just need somewhere to get this out.
 
I'm sure my situation is not the same as those of you who are battling alcohol and drugs addiction, but I need somewhere to talk about my feelings so here we go.

I've come to the realizatoin that I have always had a severe addictive relationship with romance and finding love. When I say always, I mean since I was a kid. I've known being in love as my only source of happiness literally all my life. It made my high school years like hell when someone I liked didn't like me back. I went through a few years of depression and one year of OCD, and most importantly ignored the important aspects of my life such as studying and my future career. I even turned to religion so that God would give me the relationship I wanted. It was bleak as hell.

Then in university, I fell in love with my best friend. It ruined our relationship and got me into cyber sex. I had sexual conversations with so many people (mostly straight ones), so they would confirm that I'm lovable and sexy etc. I'm living in a small town in a conservative country, so I'm really lucky it didn't get me into trouble. But I'm still anxious about it all these years.


After that, I searched desperately for a relationship. Even with people I didn't like that much. Again my studies were side things for me and finding love seemed like the most important part of my life. I constantly tried to improve myself so that I become confident and people fall in love with me naturally.


Then it was the military last year. I promised myself that I won't get into relationships since I'd heard awful things about the military environment. But then so many people came forward to me there. It really felt like I'd become complete and my problems had been solved. So I got into all types of relationships there. A serious one that I betrayed. Unserious ones that lead to me being the word on everyone's mouth. People whispered about me being the F word and tried to get close with me. Again I was very lucky to avoid trouble such as getting publicly outed or serious harassment.


And now that it ended several months ago, I'm still waiting for my relationships to be good again. Hoping that my partners would change and see me as the main person in their lives.


And it sucks because despite all of these troubles, I've always succeeded in other aspects of life. This year, I got the best grades possible in a national competition to get the job that I've studied for. Everyone around me is proud of me for this accomplishment and I have a final interview next month to get the job, but still my mind is occupied with these silly things. I have very supportive friends and family members but I still feel incomplete and unwanted all the time. Many people message me on social media (for hookups mostly) but I'm not going out with any of them since I want that "real connection".


Sorry it became too long but I needed to go off. Writing this stuff that I don't talk about with anyone makes the problems more visible.
 

Mvnl

Staff member
I think deep down all kinds of addictions are quite similar.
In the end it’s almost always about filling a void or avoiding (certain) feelings.
I personally kinda have been avoiding dating because I know how hard I fall and how my whole world revolves around one person in a heartbeat which I think is just yet another side of my addictive personality.
It’s just more confusing than with substances because ‘well I’ll never do love again’ does not feel like a viable option.

And with alcohol I now would know when I’d be using it to (for example) not feel my loneliness as much. With dating.. errr yeah not being alone is kinda the point? So a lot fuzzier.
 
Yesterday was another day at the local tennis club, there is an tournament and so many people. I got offered so many drinks and beers because why not, or 1 can't do harm, et all but I kept my cool and said I'm saving drinking till the real weekend. This tournament is only once a year, just drink! No. I'm glad I didn't as I feel good today even tough I went to bed after 1.

It's the small victories!
 
he/him/basic cishomo
Hopefully this is an open space, but I've come to realize that I have a really toxic relationship with marijuana. I've always enjoyed drinking but I could always take it or leave it; or moderate my usage. But something about marijuana just hits different in my brain. It's tough though because I feel like people have a frame of use for alcohol abuse (E.g. AA) but it feels isolating to struggle with something that people view as relatively harmless.

I've abused it in the past when I've gone through the worst periods of anxiety and depression in my life as a way of completely dissociating and checking out from my responsibilities. I've spent entire weekends high from the moment I woke up to the second I passed out.

I just can't figure out how or even if I'm capable of moderating my usage. Every time I go on a break I tell myself that I'll just keep it to weekend nights, and over time it slowly creeps up to daily use. Even though, I'm no longer feeling depressed or anxious right now - quite the opposite, I'm happier in my marriage and job, and I've been in the best shape I've been in years - I still struggle with moderating my use.

Going through withdrawal at the beginning of the week was absolute hell. I was an anxiety-riddled, mood-unstable/swinging mess for most of it. My appetite was completely shot. My stomach was going crazy. And I couldn't sleep for shit. The slightest things were setting me off. Working out was helping mitigate some of those symptoms but everyone around me could tell something was off (my husband thought I'd gone off my SSRI that's how unstable and irritable and irrational I was acting). I'm working on this my therapist but he hasn't been especially helpful in this area of my life.

It just frustrating because I wish I could just enjoy it in moderation but I'm feeling like that's not a possibility. Especially in a city like DC where there's head shops and dispensaries everywhere.

I don't know girls. Excuse my written stream of thoughts, I just need somewhere to get this out.
I haven't shared anything about my weed usage here, but it's another complex, unbalanced relationship of mine. I think I've got booze figured out, but weed is still surprising me sometimes.

I feel you a LOT, Ms. Tunt, on using it during periods of high anxiety. It makes it impossible for me to feel bored, and in fact seems to provide a kind of contentedness about whatever my current surroundings and energy level is.

The two big things about weed that indicate to me there's a lot we are not educating the public on: first, the phenomenon where chronic heavy users suddenly experience panic attack symptoms for no apparent reason. And I mean a real "oh fuck I'm having a heart attack" panic attack. It happened to me after about 2 years of heavy use, and it's happened to several friends both IRL and online too.

Second, the crazy. Weed was so, so intensely psychedelic when I first started on Spokane Valley dispensary stuff in 2016. Shit whisked me away to an alternate universe, dependably, where my life had all the radiance and curiosity I associate with my sunny pre-K childhood. Over time that psychedelic edge has been replaced by an anxious edge. I can't seem to get it back to how it used to be even after months of no consumption.

I have more to ask you specifically because this is a topic I'm very interested in. I think these odd, poorly understood elements of weed use will start to become visible in public consciousness, because right now it's still in its "natural cure for everything" phase, which cigarettes enjoyed in the 70s.
 
I’ve struggled hugely with weed consumption in the past. I spent more than a decade getting high from morning til night - and it got to the point when I was getting high before rehearsals and concerts which I’d promised myself I’d never do. I’d used it to calm down and switch off but over time it was making me hugely anxious, as well as overwhelming feelings of bleak hopelessness about life. All I wanted to do was stay at home and get high.

People can be dismissive of it because they say it’s harmless and not addictive, but I think you can get addicted to anything. It depends why you’re using it.

I tried to quit so many times and would cave when I’d get tired or sad about something. I’d try to only smoke at weekends, then it became only evenings and before I knew it, I’d be back to all day stuff.

Last year I really confronted myself and realised I was ruining my life and making myself miserable. I quit, joined the Reddit discord ‘leaves’ which has twice daily meetings for people quitting and have managed to stay off it. It’ll be almost a year soon. Since then, I’ve realised how much I was relying on it to numb myself and have had to learn how to emotionally regulate myself and stay with discomfort and ‘negative’ emotions - knowing that they will pass with time. Reading and listening to a lot of Gabor Maté also helped - he’s done some great work on addiction.

It’s been hard and I’ve been very tempted at certain moments but I can say after many months that I’ve grown in confidence from learning to go without it and being able to better rely on myself rather than hiding in weed has been a big mental boost.
 
he/him/basic cishomo
Sorry I've let this thread kinda die, I feel a bit of a moral imperative on this one.

I'm firmly back in my alcoholic carrot. As in, "Drink most of a bottle of wine before 10am to alleviate the full-body restlessness and anxious paranoia" carrot. All because I gambled my paycheck away and can't afford weed or kratom. My dad dying and leaving two cases of Splash wine and two handles of very bottom-shelf vodka ( :'( )isn't exactly helpful, either.

Like, I know this board is full of a wide range of demographics but if I can take this moment to say one warning, it's that alcohol demands more from you than any other substance I've ever tried. And physically, I've learned, that's because it's not a drug. It doesn't target particular brain receptors. It's just a solvent that our bodies have evolved to metabolize in a limited scope, and by virtue of that it just so happens to excite pleasure centers while also triggering several negative responses, too.

So....... be careful. Thanks.
 

Sam

he/they
Sorry I've let this thread kinda die, I feel a bit of a moral imperative on this one.

I'm firmly back in my alcoholic carrot. As in, "Drink most of a bottle of wine before 10am to alleviate the full-body restlessness and anxious paranoia" carrot. All because I gambled my paycheck away and can't afford weed or kratom. My dad dying and leaving two cases of Splash wine and two handles of very bottom-shelf vodka ( :'( )isn't exactly helpful, either.

Like, I know this board is full of a wide range of demographics but if I can take this moment to say one warning, it's that alcohol demands more from you than any other substance I've ever tried. And physically, I've learned, that's because it's not a drug. It doesn't target particular brain receptors. It's just a solvent that our bodies have evolved to metabolize in a limited scope, and by virtue of that it just so happens to excite pleasure centers while also triggering several negative responses, too.

So....... be careful. Thanks.

Sorry to hear that, I hope you’re okay <3

I’ve fallen back into a cycle too. Had a lot of birthday events and stuff but looking forward to a good few sober weeks now.
 
Sorry I've let this thread kinda die, I feel a bit of a moral imperative on this one.

I'm firmly back in my alcoholic carrot. As in, "Drink most of a bottle of wine before 10am to alleviate the full-body restlessness and anxious paranoia" carrot. All because I gambled my paycheck away and can't afford weed or kratom. My dad dying and leaving two cases of Splash wine and two handles of very bottom-shelf vodka ( :'( )isn't exactly helpful, either.

Like, I know this board is full of a wide range of demographics but if I can take this moment to say one warning, it's that alcohol demands more from you than any other substance I've ever tried. And physically, I've learned, that's because it's not a drug. It doesn't target particular brain receptors. It's just a solvent that our bodies have evolved to metabolize in a limited scope, and by virtue of that it just so happens to excite pleasure centers while also triggering several negative responses, too.

So....... be careful. Thanks.
I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time.

The full body restlessness you're describing when not drinking alcohol could indicate you're at a higher risk of DTs/ alcohol withdrawal symptoms including seizures. This would depend on how much you've been drinking over the last few months. The reason I mention this is so you're cautious about coming off alcohol cold turkey as that can be dangerous. A medical detox with long acting benzodiazepines may be necessary if you decide to stop completely.

(As an aside.. as someone who's struggled with addiction issues I will say that Ayahuasca completely changed my life and would highly recommend it if someone has the means and finds the right environment)
 

Mvnl

Staff member
I'm back to... well not necessarily craving it, but wondering if I'll ever find a balance I'm happy with without alcohol?
Like I see myself getting way too carried away by certain things (crushes, hobbies, worries) and bouncing from little dopamine highs to major crashes afterwards and when I start thinking 'how did I ever have a happy balance?' the answer up till now pretty much was 'stressing/being my adhd self all day, till I crash. Then feeling good/giving my head a break with beers at night'. I know overall I'm a lot more stable than I was when I drank, it's just quite confronting that the way I (dis)function without it, and might always do, is... this.
Which definitely leads to moments of 'here I am, trying to me mindfull, allow every emotion, have healthy responses to everything, never give into any bad coping mechanisms any more, and it leaves me.. without coping, while everyone else seems to live their best life numbing themselves half the time?'. /end of rant
 
I was on holiday and there was the perfect time to enjoy a large beer for every dinner, so I did that and kind of felt bad about it. But now I'm back I, of course am not just only drinking weekends but also week days now that I had a training and wanted to stay around to chat, but will try to go back to no drinking during the week.
 

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