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so what


Ralph

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I've been sober for a little over 5 weeks now. It's getting harder though, and the group I had been depending on for support is not being there for me right now. I just want to give up. It would be so much easier. Nothing seems to matter. Not sure how much longer I can keep this up. Have local meeting tomorrow and hanging on to my last straw. If that meeting goes poorly I will likely go straight to the liquor store afterward. I know it's bad for me, but what does that matter.

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Yeah, we may not be the same as an in-person group, but we'd help if we could.

"It's bad for you" matters because you matter. You don't just matter in one support group (that would make your existence depend on a bunch of separate people); you matter wherever you go.

Here's where depression lies to you: if "nothing" truly mattered, you wouldn't be bothered enough by all that "nothing" to drink. Something does matter, and you're drinking to get rid of it. Maybe that something matters, but then you'd have to allow that everything else matters too.

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I just want to give up. It would be so much easier.

Easier? Do you really belive it? :( In the few following hours, yes, probably. But then? To cope with the fact that you gave up after so many successful weeks? To cope with stronger cravings agian? ... That seems harder to me...

And why would a shitty (-sorry :o...) meeting matter more than your long-term goal to stay sober? I know even little things can sometimes evoke strog emotions and a wish to get rid of them by a "simple" "chemical" way... :( But as others mentioned on many places already; why not to sit with your emotions instead, feel them no matter how negative they are, and then watch them slowly attenuate - they can do it even without alcohol, although it's an unpleasant process. They might also make you contemplate the causes which triggered them - maybe feeling the pain would convince you that those triggers are really not worth such suffering.

I know that the problem of these states of mind, no matter how "little" the actual triggers are, is that we generalize and think about everything negatively and it's dangerous because then also our real, relatively big, problems seem even bigger to us and cause "bigger despair than necessary"... But when we are aware of it, we can be, at the same time, our observers, following these psychological mechanisms but not allowing them to... "destroy us". And, as you probably know, it's helpful to add at least one of few "external observers" to obtain other perspectives - it means to write about how you feel and what you think.

I belive you'll manage to overcome this crisis, even without drinking...

Good luck!!!

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I talked to someone at the meeting tonight about what I was going through, and got quite a lot of food for thought. The main takeaway is that the desire to drink, firstly is deceptive. It promises good feelings but the bad feelings outweigh the good. Secondly it is not solid. It comes from nowhere and goes to nowhere. Then how can it make me do anything? I only fall to it when I get wrapped up in my own story.

What a story it is, too. I think I'm so much better now but I'm still a victim in my self talk. The things adults did to me when I was little, I either deserved it then or I deserve it now. So I am either horrible or damaged. Take your pick, what do you expect from someone like that? That is the story, but I don't have to believe it. The relapse happens when I do start taking it seriously.

Alternatively I can believe that my basic nature is good. In that state how would I dare trash my consciousness with a drug? This is hard to do, though, because of Christian upbringing. I can't think of myself as good or God will smite me. But God doesn't want me to drink. It's a double bind. I've got to figure this out.

Something does matter, and you're drinking to get rid of it.

I'm drinking to shut myself up. This fight in my mind between wanting to drink and not wanting to drink, it feels like I am being strongly pulled in both directions. If I drink the part that wants to be sober is shut away for a while and there is peace. There is no way for me to forget about the part that wants to drink, except by losing myself entirely (e.g., in a book or playing music).

watch them slowly attenuate - they can do it even without alcohol, although it's an unpleasant process.

unpleasant is an understatement. It hurts so much. Can I stand it without alcohol? Yes. Am I used to reaching for a drink (or some other self destructive action) to feel comfortable right away? Also yes.

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The interesting part I find about the story is, on one hand you say you're "a victim in [your] self talk", but then, it appears that you feel like you're a victim who deserved it, and that seems contradictory. Is it worth expanding on that? Is it in fact contradictory (if double-think weren't common, Orwell would have had to invent it) or is there some level on which the contradiction (seems?) to disappear?

Don't explore it, though, if that makes it worse.

And my experience is that it's never a good thing to try to guess what God would do. If we knew, we'd be him. I find it easier to keep it on a more personal plane: "I can't think of myself as good or _I_ will smite me" but "_I_ don't want me to drink." For one thing, that way you keep the power. Harder to be a victim. And I know that twelve step programs say to give up power, but I have to believe that they mean only a certain kind of self-destructive power, otherwise you'd be left lying limp on your bed with no power at all.

Most of all: take care of yourself, Ralph.

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More later, but just FWIW, I am in a recovery program but it is not 12 step. I believe I have the power of choice. I am powerless against the forces of nature, definitely, but it's always a decision within my control to take or not take a substance.

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I have gotten better, the meeting on Tuesday was very helpful and I saw psychologist today & sort of talked about self labeling and inertia and social skills. So, not contemplating relapse anymore at this time.

I don't see how being a victim who deserved it is contradictory. Is a victim necessarily undeserving? What does it mean to be undeserving? I mean, in my mind no child deserves to be abused, but it happens all the time doesn't it. So how do I reconcile the fact that all these things that "shouldn't" happen continue to happen? Not being contrary, just thinking out loud. I really struggle with this and will come down on different sides of this question on different days.

I guess what God would do based on the Bible. The Bible says only the Father is good. I can't help that I was raised with the Bible; it colors my viewpoint even if I have come to intellectually recognize it as not for me. So I'm not a holy roller but in the back of my mind there is always the worry about what if this is true.

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I'm glad your program grants you power, Ralph.

Yes, I believe that the word "victim" implies that they didn't deserve whatever they're a victim of. Otherwise, they would just be the recipient of some deserved punishment instead of a victim. So I agree with you that no child deserves to be abused. I also agree that it happens far too often. And that the important moral question _is_ how to reconcile "should" with what actually happens. The debate on that has raged for millennia.

I don't think it has to be a barrier to have been raised with the Bible. The Bible has many good things to say, such as "Do unto others" and "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and so on. No one said that you had to take all or none (or if they did, I wasn't listening). Take wisdom where you find it; it's rare enough.

Here's a good one: "God helps those who help themselves." Could be a cop-out; could be quite deep. Who chooses? Each one of us.

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