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What do you do...


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...when alcohol is your ONLY real friend? And makes you ease up and have a laugh(even alone). And you know deep down it is harmful but if you give it up you're left with the very obvious and not very nice reality of your life?

How do you do that? I know this may sound stupid but I think it is a bit like an abusive partner. Deep down you know it is harmful and potentially deadly but it is the only one there all the time. A kind of "stockholm syndrome" I wonder?

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Well I hope I am not going to get this wrong....but I believe it's based on a case in Stockholm, Sweden, where people were taken hostage. After a period of time in captivity they began to have strong empathy for their captors. When they were released they seemed to have a good relationship with them. I think it is based in the human instinct to survive anything. And if that means becoming "friends" with your enemy thats what you do. Does that make sense? Apologies if I have that wrong. I might have to check on the internet now. My meaning of it was alcohol seems to have me trapped but rather than hate it, it has become my friend and companion even though I know it means me harm :(

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I can understand that. I have a relationship with food and with pot that way. I used to have it with cigarettes, and frankly lately you would think I just quit smoking I'm so craby! It's been 9 months. I'm also going to a weight management program, but basically between meetings I don't follow much of a plan... I know what I have to do, I want to do it, but when it comes to follow through I have issues :( They really are the only close friends (familiar companions) I have lately, maybe that's the draw ...

For me, and I do say for me, I think there is bottom line of hurting myself in it, like that is what I deserve. With cigarettes I was very aware that I was doing it as a means of slow suicide, one way of ensuring I would not live a long life. Perhaps I still have some of that in the mix...

Is it a something that really bothers you Calla, something you feel you need to address?

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All that you say sounds familar to me. But well done on the 9months not smoking. Thats shouldn't be underestimated, it's good going, I smoked for 15yrs so I know how hard it is.

But if you're like me you need something else instead....so food for example becomes the friend. Even if I stop drinking I have to drink lots of tea! So even though it's not as harmful I have to replace it with something else. I can't have "nothing"

And I agree with the slow suicide thing. The actual thing that made me give up smoking was my paranoia about my face! But alcohol feels like if I drink myself to death it's just a form of suicide.

I never ever drink during the day and not even every day so I think it's not a problem....in that if I set my mind to it I needed drink. But my problem is I don't want to stop because I have nothing to be "well" for. And I am SOOOOO lonely. Alcohol numbs that.

I used to smoke pot but bizarrely that just made me feel so bad I stopped...blessing in disguise I guess!!

Do you find your weight management so restrictive though? I found that with one I tried. It's not easy.

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Hi,

Symora and Calla.

Am fascinated by what both of you are saying.

Follow through,and relationships with crutches.

Yes, yes, and yes.

Sooo coool you two! 9/NINE months no smoking, and you quitting Calla! What did you do the first days you quit? Did quitting raise your self esteems? Did you join a program?

Calla "My meaning of it was alcohol seems to have me trapped but rather than hate it, it has become my friend and companion even though I know it means me harm ''

Symora 'With cigarettes I was very aware that I was doing it as a means of slow suicide, one way of ensuring I would not live a long life. Perhaps I still have some of that in the mix...'

My mantra is "...just one more."

Am with both of you in this stuff? Why? Do you have theories why this might be?

love and hugs

katleen

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When I look inside myself I see a child suckling on a soother when I reach for my addictions. It may sound ridiculous, but it is that same type of soothing sensation that comes to mind, mixed with the underlying anxiety that makes me want the soother. It comes from a childish place, and there is this kind of frenzied feeling as well - anxiety perhaps. I know I use both my addictions for comfort, emotional comfort that is, while knowing that from a logical and physical perspective it does no good at all. I am and always have been very swayed by my emotions. They have been so strong and overpowering, in both the high and low spectrums, that they have been the motivating factor for most of my actions. I continue to try to address that, as I have most of my life actually, but I still struggle with toning down my emotions so that I can actually hear what is going on in my brain and my body.

It also think it is out of habit, brain connections that have been well worn with time and that my thoughts patterns travel automatically now. It takes effort and perseverance to stick with something, and when my moods swing towards the negative my resolve usually goes out the window, and so do the effort and perseverance. My mood disorder is definitively a big contributing factor in not being able to overcome my addictions....

Edited by Symora
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I could have just written that myself. I have just written in another thread how my emotions are so powerful whether good or bad.

And with me that means I can have a drink because I need to drown my sorrows....or I am celebrating. So drink is a fairly big part of everything.

With the smoking it was weird. I read a very famous book and stopped before I had even finished the book. And stopped without thinking about it...which the book promises. So didn't really think about it to feel achievement..does that make sense? I have a book about controlling alcohol in the hope it will do the same but I'm too scared to read it. I take comfort in that it is apparently a fairly common reaction to start with. Which should come first the alcohol book or the feeling good book? chicken or egg?

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Alcohol book first, then feeling good book to help ride the wave. I too have been thinking that eventually I will have stop toking and it scares because it does level me off emotionally for a while. I have been strait for long periods of time, but then I would never get away from my moodiness...it was harsh :rolleyes:

I take solace in the fact that everyone seems to have something. Some are workaholics, shopaholics, sport nuts, power fiends, money addicts. Admitedly some are healthier than others, but I never seem to pick the healthy ones :( Lately I think that I am just human, but I continue to strive.... The spiritual writings in my faith tell me that it's all about the striving. We all wish to be perfect, would like to have it all together, be evolved and accomplished human beings, but we are in fact imperfect beings and the key lies in continuing to strive to overcome our failings. It's in the striving that learning happens, that we grow spiritually, work on our virtues. So now I try not to beat myself up so much, it does't do any good anyway, and I focus on continuing to strive....

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Yeah most people do have to have something. If I am not drinking I have to run. Which sounds more healthy but actually it can become a from of abuse. I recognise that. And then to stop drinking I have to replace it with something else. It is more healthy physically but mentally it is just the same problem really. So I agree it is important not to beat yourself up.

And I hate to have a "why me" attitude but I see people with such great lifes and can't quite understand how mine became such &%*" and then I jump in the bottle again. Good things DO NOT happen to good people. And I feel that's sometimes why I let my anger go even when I know I shouldn't. Because maybe if I am a nasty person some good things will happen. Life is officially &*>$*

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LOL :rolleyes: I was writing on your other tread about Faith, then read this and thought the two merged well. I guess it depends on what you consider is the purpose of your life.

I too have become disillusioned about this <goodness> thing, but my Faith continues to tell me it is a valid option, in fact the only valid option in building an ever advancing civilization, so I persist ... I know that virtuous behaviour is not something that seems very popular at the moment in popular culture ... I think the trick is to be good but also use judgement and not be a fool in the process. One needs to be aware that not everyone has good intentions - this is something I was never really very good at.... I was too naive with all this goodness thing :(

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Wow! Just Wow.

This life, I want it to count for something. To contribute, Abraham Maslow, maybe. Have COPD, and spinal degeneration, in my neck, the hump and the lower back.

Boy do I hurt, and am struggling for breath. May finally be going to get consistent care. We;ll see. I've these hopes before, recently. But I certainly know my clock is winding down, and I'm only 53. Years of self abuse, not eating, smoking, emotion dysregulation , it's exhausting. Different drugs for bipolar and early labor impacted me seriously, and on artificial estrogen since early twenties takes a toll. I so want young people coming here to get competent help early, and work hard at reintegrating trauma. Bipolar brain, I was told once, can mirror itself between halves, and the brain actually increases the cycles, like in epilepsy. I need to research, but this is my experience, after being warned ten years ago. But had so much trauma all the way through, that I can't be sure between bipolar, and PTSD. It's important to take mood stabilizers. Also to recognize if ADD is a factor.

Anyway, your description Symora, I think it;s real close to what I would write. I start to get bummed, and wonder where life would be if President Lincoln had to take a mood stabilizer. I am trying to identify something I do well and can contributes to others. I think the only thing that really lasts, is the love we give. It's love that transforms us. I hadn't a clue what nonjudgemental and supportive was, until I met my present partner, Have been here ten years, and he's gotten the brunt of my illness, and still says stay. Go figure. Within our storms and depression , we are gifted people. I see ideas that are transforming, but if not written down immediately, they are gone. What I really have is a look at how important it is to nurture children, and adults each other when grown, I don't understand the violence and creatures eating each other, including us eating cows and such. It makes me ill to think how one person could kill another, I guess it might be about emotional evolution, and people living as we have, in a constant emotional state. My life, I haven't had to fight for food, and life itself. Like some others. I did get nurturing when young from my mother, She had a reverence for life. Some people don't have that, they only have survival, Anger is the out come of fear. Lately, I've had to look back at my life and realize, I have been a very angry person, but it was fear, But what went out was anger. My children, grown boys, doing well, I have to talk to them. One very angry,

the other pushes real hard to succeed. He wants to make money to give away.

Enough said.

love you and many hugs

katleen

PS just for the record, pot helps me, too.

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Guest ASchwartz

Katleen and Everyone,

Katleen:

This life, I want it to count for something. To contribute, Abraham Maslow, maybe.

That is well said and it also encapsulates one of the reasons we human beings get depressed. You see, we tend to think that we do not count for anything!!

I agree with you that giving love is important. It is also important to love and accept ourselves as the people we Are and not what we Wish we could be.

What do you all think?

Allan:)

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