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nobody said it would be easy


Ralph

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...but nobody said it would be this hard

-Coldplay

I'm happy that I have been able to overcome the urge to drink for half a month now. Today is day 16. I guess I'm counting days because I want to see how long I can go without a drink. Since I decided to quit on a weekend, as the first few days tend to be the easiest and weekends were when I failed before, I have almost made it through my third whole weekend without drinking. I'm worried about the fact that I'm thinking about it as "making it through" a certain amount of time, as if it were a jail sentence or some sort of catastrophe where bare survival is the best that could be hoped for.

I'm surprised that my depression has gotten significantly worse. It feels like the whole world is ending, or has ended and I'm childishly hanging on to an imaginary yesterday. I hate myself for feeling so down when I really have so much to be thankful for. I read some quote that happiness is appreciating what you have, instead of what you don't. That hit me hard because of the fact that I'm aware most of my unhappiness is related to bitterness about being abandoned. That is, I'm focused what I don't have and didn't have, a healthy relationship with my father, nor safety growing up as the person who my mom allowed to move in after the divorce was by far more violent than my dad was.

Yet I'm safe now. I made it out okay. I just can't seem to get that through to my emotional side.

I know that the standard advice is to forgive and move on, and I've really tried to do that, but I haven't figured out how to move on yet. It's not as simple as wanting to. It's not as easy as weighing pros and cons to make a decision, as if it were as straightforward as buying a certain brand of coffee maker or laundry detergent.

Given the choice, I cannot see how I would have opted to have ever been born. I suppose this is why I'm in such a hurry to die. Drinking and drug use has always been a form of slow suicide for me anyway. One that wouldn't even be detected as suicide.

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That's good you managed those three weeks. I hope your depression will ease off soon. I think the not drinking is your main focus at the moment, so if you feel you can't handle the past well at the moment, maybe you can allow yourself not to think about it now. Take care.

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Hello, Ralph,

I'm happy to hear you're able to avoid this 'slow suicide' as you clearly named it!! It's logical that now you're seeking some other form :), as your PTSD (-probably) and depression are still here as when you were drinking. You say that "the standard advice is to forgive and move on", but I add that that's not a useful advise for anybody with depression :P. I don't want to say one has to be 'passive' and not forgiving or 'anchored'/linked too much to the past! I just say that... one needs more... There are many books and 'self-help' books that can accompany trough different forms of depression, but I don't know how helpful they can be in which case. Maybe they can be at least a good companion, if not really an efficient 'manual' or 'stimulus' for a change... (I've read some and appreciate them, but only thanks to the fact that I'm also in therapy; without it, the books wouldn't help, I suppose...) The only means that helps I know from my experience is therapy, as it's a place where you can obtain mainly the 'unconditional loving regard' that you've missed... But I don't say that it's impossible to 'move on' or heal without therapy. It's just... probably harder...

You often say "I really have so much to be thankful for". Would you share it with us? What's good in your life and how could you take advantage of it?

Yet I'm safe now. I made it out okay. I just can't seem to get that through to my emotional side.

Yes. The problem with traumatic childhood experiences is that you can 'overcome' it rationally, but the emotional side is still suffering and confused. That's why healing is based mainly on emotional experiences...

My last question(s) for toady: Wouldn't you find it helpful to read more about others, how they struggle and which advises and insights they receive from friends here? Wouldn't it help you to try to share more your experiences on others' blogs/threads? ;-) (Sorry, maybe your participation here, on this forums, has just the appropriate extent, I don't say it's "too little"! I just ask if it helps you and if yes, then if it could help you even more... :P)

Take care! :o

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"I guess I'm counting days because I want to see how long I can go without a drink."

You said it: so far, you're still looking at relapse as inevitable, just a matter of time. But the reality is that most people can go indefinitely without a drink, so it's pretty likely that you can, too.

It's huge that you've made it this far, though. Every day takes you farther ... and just because you can't see the end of the road yet doesn't mean you won't get there. And no, it's not straightforward. But the thought does occur to me: maybe your reason-to-live, whatever that might be, is still waiting for you in the future, down the road. It would be kind of sad to "opt out" early, before you get there.

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I want to believe there must be some magical timeframe where if you made it 30, 72, or 90 or however many days it starts to get easier. More on that in the next blog post.

I don't think a therapist can help me. I've been in years of therapy and it seems like peeling a never ending onion. No matter how much work I do, there is just another layer behind it, waiting to make me cry again. I read others' blogs too, but I think I don't have much to offer as far as help. I cannot even deal with my own issues, so what wisdom could I possibly have to help others with? Also others make better suggestions than I could so I try to learn from them.

What I have to be thankful for is I've found the love of my life, I have a job and a master's degree which adds up to a good chance for the future, I'm relatively smart (95th percentile on GMAT which qualifies me for Mensa membership if I wanted to join), and in nearly perfect health, including eyesight and hearing still fine, plus extra powerful sense of smell which allows me to enjoy food and fragrance more than the average person. Despite what my parents did to damage me, they at least instilled a love of education, which is probably the reason I decided to go to college when my other friends were making more money slinging coke & partying with strippers. Two went to jail and one on a felony so I think I dodged a bullet there.

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I can't speak for alcohol addiction as I've never suffered through it. Is it physiological or not? Obviously, my addiction is very different than yours, but if it offers any relief, I felt very much the same way as you about wanting it to suddenly become easy. What I noticed over time is that it gradually did. I still combat my urges, but it's not nearly as difficult as it once was. It may take a while, but it will eventually get easier.

And you can't peel an onion forever. You eventually reach the center :cool:

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I want to believe there must be some magical timeframe where if you made it 30, 72, or 90 or however many days it starts to get easier.

There surely is, I believe it :). The nubmer is not very important. Just that it exists and is waiting for you :-). Unfortunately, as far as I know, many (all?) abstinents have some bad days when they struggle with urges... :-(. But... kowing it can come is good, not a reason for giving up.

I've been in years of therapy and it seems like peeling a never ending onion. No matter how much work I do, there is just another layer behind it, waiting to make me cry again.

In contrast to MM, I think that this is right: the peeling of the onion is neverending` in every case. I also discussed this few times with my therapist. He told me that the goal is not to peel the whole onion. And I feel it too. You/we just cannot do it. We are all so very complex! Just imagine: To 're-live' and even 'think over' your whole life could take you more time than the life you've lived so far! (Yeah, I'm exaggerating a bit, but... you surely grasped the principle.) So... what's the goal? I feel strangely when facing this question :o... Several answers 'fly' in my head, but... I don't know if it's good to write them. I'm going to try to formulate some that could possibly 'make sense'... The goal is to learn to work effectively on your present and future life without being overly inflenced by your past. To find a way how to cope. To be allowed to say everything that comes to your mind without being judged and see how it feels. That's mostly for the 'rational part'. But there is also the emotional one - to feel the benefits of an ideal relationship that the therapist 'simulates' for you. To get to know better what makes you feel good in a relationship and what you can offer. What are your bad habbits, distored thoughts, prejudices. And so on. And much more.

So 'it seems' that your therapies were not effective :-( ... I'm sorry... :-( But I hope this community can be helpful to you; your progress visible here on your blog is suggests that it is ;-)!

I read others' blogs too, but I think I don't have much to offer as far as help. I cannot even deal with my own issues, so what wisdom could I possibly have to help others with? Also others make better suggestions than I could so I try to learn from them.

I feel exactly the same. And I even wanted to post here on your blog, after seeing Mark's post, something like: "When I read Mark's text [not only Mark's, there are also several other members 'of this kind' ;-)!], I often feel like absolutely useless here and I suppose that if he had more time, he could be the only one here, as he's offering every time the best reaction and mine often starts to seem simplistic, naive, 'out of topic', ..." But... then I say to myself that... I can never know if in my text there wouldn't be something, just a little idea, that could be somehow helpful. Moreover, I want to show you, my Friends here, that I care and often also understand. Why to care and understand if not showing I do? What we all need so much? - To feel we matter. I want to show you you matter to me. And... replying to others also make me think in new, different ways that can be helpful also to myself.

What I have to be thankful for is I've found the love of my life, I have a job and a master's degree which adds up to a good chance for the future, I'm relatively smart (95th percentile on GMAT which qualifies me for Mensa membership if I wanted to join), and in nearly perfect health, including eyesight and hearing still fine, plus extra powerful sense of smell which allows me to enjoy food and fragrance more than the average person. Despite what my parents did to damage me, they at least instilled a love of education, which is probably the reason I decided to go to college when my other friends were making more money slinging coke & partying with strippers. Two went to jail and one on a felony so I think I dodged a bullet there.

:-)

This evokes a question, maybe quite odd, you can ignore it: For every (postitive) 'item' on this 'list', could you write a reason why it seems to you that you can't 'take advantage of it', enjoy what it could bring to you?

I know it seems obvious that the big answer is 'depression' and 'the shadows of the past', but... I think that... by ending here while answering would lead to nowhere. (I don't say my question is the right one, it's just the only one I have now :)...)

I've found the love of my life

Would you write more about this love sometimes? I remember only a bit :o that you mentioned somewhere something, but... as love is so crutial, I think it would need more words ;-)...

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For every (postitive) 'item' on this 'list', could you write a reason why it seems to you that you can't 'take advantage of it', enjoy what it could bring to you?

Of course I could. I'm an expert in finding the most negative way to frame a state of affairs, but I'm trying to move away from that habit.

Would you write more about this love sometimes?

No. It makes me cry TBH. I'm in a long distance relationship for reasons that are too complex to go into here... long story short we both love each other so much that we are "the one" to the other, but I cannot be there and he cannot be here without breaking some laws or coming into a large sum (US$0.5Million) of money.

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