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This is weird and I do not know how long this will feel like this... however.. ever since I decided to quit fighting drinking... I have no desire to drink. I told myself that if I want to drink, I can and I will.... For years it has been AA , RR, SMART, WFS, and anything else that came to mind... Praying every morning to not have the desire to drink. Constanly talking about it and worrying about it.... then drinking and getting all depressed and feeling like I am a BAD person..... Well as long as I stay off the road... I am not hurting anyone but me... so .. so be it...

I have accepted my drinking ( I even refuse to say alcohoism, any more) as part of who I am .. just like bipolar , and brown hair...... NO this does not mean I plan to go back to drinking everyday etc... and I still have my life plans... but to just give myself permission to be who I am .. and to not feel bad about being me... just feels sooooo dang freeing... I have enough people saying "BAD" I do not need to tell myself I am bad....

Does this make sense or am I delusional....

Sorta like in someone elses post where they were talking about fighting the river... I have decided to float with the current.

JT

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I guess basically that is it... harm reduction.... I have in the past allowed the drinking to get out of hand... but my thinking right now thinks that SOME of it was the "teenage" type behavior of rebellion.... " I AM not suppose to do this but I am" Type of thinking.

I had 2 beers last Tuesday and none since...

My therapist ( BTW he is not mad at me... my imagination I guess) said that I am way too hard on myself. That I feel bad about myself and that I do not accept myself ( not to mention others don't seem to either). And that he knows me ( 15 yrs) and he thinks I am a great person and a good person. ( needed to hear that)

I do not plan to go back to drinking "full" time... but I have decided to not dwell on it anymore. I informed my Sober site of my plans and I haven't been back since... I know what they are going to say... go back out and experiment.. when you fail we will be here for you.... MAN I get sooo tired of that kind of talk.....

However I am over 21... If I decide to have a few drinks... or more.. that is my right.. so long as like you say it is safe... No driving etc...

I wonder how I will handle this.... will I be able to have a few.. now that I have given myself permission??? Or will I end up drinking too much too often??? If that is the case, then I will give abstinance another try.

I have looked into Revia ... and there is a site that has a list of suppliments to take along with the Revia... that help with the cravings and effects of alcohol. The Campril.. has a side effect of depression and suicide.. I do not need that. If Self - control fails.. I will get a script for Revia....

I am coming out of the closet per say.... I am so sick of trying to be someone I am not to make other people happy or for them to leave me alone. I am not going to hide my Bipolar anymore... my hopefully occasional drinking... or any of my "weird" habits....

Like I said I haven't been back to the Sober site.. but I can just see what the AA'ers posted... really I have nothing against AA.. but some of them .. MAN can they throw out the quotes!!!

This may turn out to be the wrong decesion for me .... but for once in my life, I am going to be me...I had a lot of friends years ago when I was me. And perhaps being "allowed" to drink... it may take the fun out of it... Yep I am a lot like a kid.

Heck the way things are going, I have lost contact with most of the family ( more from the bipolar than the drinking) My husband and I are thinking of a seperation -- that is from the cutting and the drinking and well let's face it we have been married 20 yrs... life...

Who knows.. maybe he misses the old me as much as I miss the old him... not the falling over alcoholic that I have been at times... but the confidant.. secure person I use to be. When I didn't NEED to drink to feel better... of course we know that is not how it turns out.

I do not know for sure... but I do know this is what I am trying right now... to find myself.. the true self.... find out who I am.... I am more than a Mother and a wife... more than a cook and a housekeeper....

I start that work program Monday... was suppose to start last Tuesday but missed the bus... I think it will do me good to ge out of the house.. My therapist thinks it is great....

But anyway!!! didn't mean to write a book!!!:D

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!!

JT

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John... sorta my point.... Now I am not anti -AA .. for the people that find what they need there .. GREAT! But for me it has not worked.

THAT constant... dwelling on it... man that gets old... there are some that will not even eat baked goods if it has vanilla in it because even though they have been "sober" for 15+ yrs.. they are afraid it will trigger them... they actually ask in restaurants about this!!!!!

My "guys" in my Home group F2F AA... say whatever gets you sober .. go for it... they do not care if I do not work the steps etc... I do not know now if I qualify for "membership" because I do not have a desire to quit drinking... I have a desire to live a happy and healthy... well balanced life.. and that may or may not include drinking.

My Therapist said If I want to get out of the house and goto a meeting to socialize... go for it... He is not big into AA.. He thinks they do not teach self - reliance and self esteem.. that they want you to think bad of yourself.. THAT I do not need!!! But we could discuss AA and RR and all the other for days....

By giving myself permission to be me.. I mean the REAL me.. ME is not a falling down drunk... ME is a good person. ME is a person that lives life... not just lives to drink.. and yes at one time I did do that... BUT that does not mean that I have to be that person again.. I was not happy living that way.

As this medication takes effect and I have gotten back into my therapy... I have joined the work program.. I believe my life will level out.

It is so nice to sit here and to NOT be planning my next drunk... Ya know.. when can I fit it in? etc....

I do not know what the future holds.. but unless I make it that way alcohol does not have to be an issue... will I drink?? I do not know... but if I want to I can. ( SO DAMN FREEING!!!)

If I find that I do drink and it gets out of hand... I will do something about it.... Like the Revia...

MY total future is so up in the air right now... will the job thing work out? What is happening with my marriage? Will I ever talk to the kids again? Do I want to ?

But right now In my my mind, I have the confidence and freedom to make out of my future what I will....

I have stopped a lot of this .. but for about a year I got 100's of emails everyday from stop drinking groups.. constantly reading about not drinking ( usually with a beer beside me) The hopeless sad cases that failed time and time again.. the ones that manage to not drink... but are such mean and miserable people.. do I want to be like that??? NOT!!! On line AA meetings.. sober chats.... etc....

Now I focus more on the bipolar.. I believe the drinking was a symptom of the Mental Illnesses I have.

I also the believe the mind is a powerful thing... why else would talk therapy work? If it did not effect your mind???

Winter is normally very hard on me and the Holidays??? WOW! But I made it through Thanksgiving... only took one Visteral ( prescribed for anxiety) .. I actually feel good ( at least today) for the first time in a long time.

I know another book!:)

When I get started!!! LOL!! Maybe I am a little Manic.. but it feels good... not out of control!

Thank you

JT

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On the subject of Harm Reduction, we just did a a wise counsel podcast interview with Patt Denning, Ph.D. who is one of the leaders of the Harm Reduction movement. Worth a listen. In very short order, we're going to post an interview with Annie Fahy, MSW who will talk about Motivational Interviewing, which is one of the techniques in the Harm Reduction psychotherapy toolkit.

The basic idea of Harm Reduction is that the goal of help for drinking (or drugging or whatever) doesn't have to be an either/or, black and white, sobriety or not, sober or "going to die" event. It can instead be thought of in shades of gray. In the harm reduction view, if someone becomes motivated to drink less than they used to drink, but still drink, that is a positive outcome. Maybe not as good an outcome as if they did not drink problematically at all, but still a good outcome. in the AA/Hazelden mindset, someone who is still drinking is not a positive outcome. The idea in harm reduction is to help people motivate themselves to harm themselves less. So, JT what you are doing here I suppose is perhaps a variety of harm reduction, since you are reporting that by not struggling you are finding that your desire to drink is lessened. The name of the game is to harm yourself less.

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Hi JT, I used to have a drinking problem when I was young. It was obvious to everyone around me that I had a problem. But I never considered myself an alcoholic. I also was addicted to illicit drugs in my teens but that is another story; I'm just coming from an addictive personality. But I freed myself from drugs cold turkey (not recommended) and over time I cut back on drinking. Today I don't drink at all, or at least hardly at all. If I order a glass of wine at a restaurant, I can only drink part of it and someone else has to drink the rest.

Also, I used to smoke. That is also an addiction like all the others I had had. How did I quit? I took up long distance running and voice lessons. So because of these reasons, I could no longer smoke. Ah, I am no longer doing these things *sigh*, but at the very least I am not smoking anymore :) )

What I am getting at here is you can do this! And you are doing this! If I can, so can you. And I had never heard of the concept of Harm Reduction until after reading your thread here. But I do understand it.

I wish the best for you, JT.

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Harm reduction. Ultimately, to do no harm to yourself or others at all.

I practice rationing. I do have a predisposition to indulge. Nowadays, it is no longer 'medicinal'; it is now, to use an old term, gluttony. So, I am careful. I did use alcohol as 'medicine'; it proved a poisoned chalice.

As a realist, I have to say: be careful.

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I have heard of the Harm reduction before and the Motivational Interveiwing... but by then I had already tried "Moderation Management" That was a total failure... I cannot see the point in drinking 3 beers... that seems like a waste of alcohol! So of course I tried to modify it to my terms.. and well just say I finally gave that up... the more I tended to limit myself , the more I wanted to drink.

I am going to see if I can do that POD Mark put up.. I have dial up and I do not know if it will work.. but I did see links on that page....

I can and have gone months at a time without a drink... but it was always that "forbidden fruit" a "Naughty" a " NO NO" .... I just have always gone back to it.

At one time,not too long ago I was alcohol dependant... drinking everyday and getting sick if I did not drink...you hear stories about not being able to drink coffee because you can't get the cup up to your mouth... been there... do not want to do that again.. it was the most terrifying several days when I quit again... I woke up in the middle of the night with the shakes and all I could do was cry... I did not have any alcohol.. or I would have drank it... I had been told to keep some in case this happened.. but i drank it all....

Since that time I have cut way back.... sometimes 1 day a week... sometimes 2..... Normally 6- 18 beers... ( I know not good) ... but I do not get sick and I can function the next day... can't do shit drunk.. but I don't plan to do anything when drunk....

But there has always still been that feeling of I am doing something BAD... I am Naughty... and that sometimes leads to depression or cutting. Depression because I feel BAD and worthless and weak.... Cutting to feel or punish myself for being BAD....

That BAD feeling is what I am trying to get rid of ... not just with the drinking, but with many things. I am not BAD if i do not keep my house spottless... I am not BAD if I do not take the trash cans out this week. If I do not rake the leaves.. I am not BAD.. If I do not answer the phone, I am not BAD... All those things are my rights... are they not?

I do not know if it is the meds .. or just my attitude changing... but Last Monday night I told my husband to come and get this stuff and I did not want to see him again... I didn't go back to the beer store and stay drunk.. I actually thought well OK... time to take care of life.. Things are changing... We didn't talk all week.... but he is home right now.. things are ok.. pretty relaxed. But we have not discussed anything.. so .. this will probably come back up.. but for now I am going with the flow.

This makes week 6 on the Lithium.. I did have 2 beers Tuesday... but none since..so that is 5 days sober and I feel good. Other than that Visteral... no nothing.... Of course it has been almost 28 days again... PMS coming on.. so that may have led to that stress.. I just woke up feeling mean and suffered with it most of the day .. then finally took a Visteral.

My drinking career has taken alot of turns. Started at 12... fell in LOVE with it right away... drank whenever I could get any... but usually only 1 or 2. By 16 I was drinking everyday but not having any ill effects.. ( Heck I married a Biker at 15... so you can imagine) By 17 I was with someone else and we drank everyday, still no major problems. By 18-19 met Current Husband and married him. We drank only one weekends.Him never more than 1 0r 2... That was when I first heard the word alcoholic.. I wanted one more drink,he didn't understand, he said he didn't want to be with another alcoholic... So I cut way back.... ( NO big deal) He went to jail.. I went to work. Drank sometimes, not often.. maybe a quart of beer now and then. THEN I went to work at a Bar.Drank 24/7.. but that to me at the time was normal .. that is what all the people I hung around with did... Hubs came home from jail... 5 yrs later... In the time he was gone I developed a drinking problem... I do not know if I was Dependant on it or not because I didn't try to stop. Well yes I did.. about 3 or 4 months before he came home.. I had pulled a gun on this guy that was hitting me. I could not pull the trigger because his 5 kids were in the next room. The next day I sold the gun... ( yep got the hell beat out of me that night) and I sought help.

That was my first encounter with a Therapist as an adult. I still hung in the bars... actually still worked in one.. but I did not drink... I did drink NON alcoholic beer... it did not give me cravings etc.. I just knew that I had to keep my wits about me or I was going to get hurt... Went to a few AA meetings. Didn't have a clue what they were all about.

Then Hubs gets out,he tracks me down,we get back together... I drink some during the day.. usually only 3... We moved up here... I was away from all I had known and I sought refuge in the bottle.. Drank almost everyday. I was misreable... I once again had no life... No job.. no friends.. Nothing... hubs and I fought all the time... then we move BACK.I am happier. I drink less. Back to 3 now and then. THEN we got the kids. Moved again, and I am too busy to drink all the time.. Got a job. 3 kids... friends..

That is when I became what I call a BINGE drinker.I would drink maybe 1 time a month or every 2 months and when I drank I got drunk.

Kids get older,don't need me so much. I start hanging with "friends" Hubs works out of town.. go back to drinking pretty regular...

Hubs cheats... last kid leaves... I say MY TIME .. and really get carried away for awhile... then comes the guilt... The BAD GIRL.... The sneaking and hiding my drinking... the lying about it.... Hiding beer in the woods.. hauling the "evidence" away so no one will know.SOOO go back to AA... hang around.. not working for me.. so I get on the internet.. find all the other things... Read and Read and Read.. study.. analyse....

Am I an alcoholic? Am I Not?? Am I an alcohol abuser.. or alcohol Dependant??? Am I DOOMED??? Am I weak? Am I a failure??? So much information on the internet.. read the orange pages... take test after test to see If I qualify as an alcoholic...

I am going to guess that for about the past year at least.. maybe 2 I do not remember. Most of my time was spent looking for a "cure" for me... what ever I was. My husband had told me I was not Bipolar and that the depression was all in my mind. so I did not stay on meds long or goto therapy much... He said it was all because of my drinking... that if I would just not be so weak and stupid, I would be ok ( of course my Therapist had been telling me for 15 yrs .. If I would leave hubs I would be much better off!)

Within this time period I gave up.. I quit all meds.. I would not talk to my therapist and I drank almost everyday.I think I was trying to drink myself to death... why not? I was DOOMED.. I was helpless, weak, powerless.... Diseased.... There were several suicide attempts... a trip to the Hospital... A rolled Mini Van... Days and days of being so sick from trying to overdose on whatever kind of pills I may find ( thank goodness I never found one that worked) I am not up on drugs much... The cutting started...... That is addictive( Haven't done that for a while)

Guess I will say around 6 months ago.. I decided I wanted to live. First was to try to quit drinking, would do good for a while... then get drunk... and then feel weak, useless and doomed.Got back on meds.. but we know drinking heavy and meds do not work. Tried the AA on line.. cause I had a DUI.. I take that back this was last November.. a year ago....anyway could not drive.. got me an on line sponsor and was abused and told goto a F2F meeting... drive anyway. I would drive if I wanted beer would I not? Well needless to say she pissed me off. I won't go into detail about that...

Went back to drinking alot.. All I had to do was make a phone call.. instant beer delivery

My Birth Mom died August 29 2008. I decided to quit drinking for her.. here she died and she wanted to live.... I was alive and trying to kill myself...Did good on and off... and I guess that is about where I have been at.... since then. Drinking some.... but not all the time... It has gotten less and less...

Yeah I know I got way.... off the topic.. told ya I think I am a little manic...

BUT I guess the point is that I have tried this and that and the other thing... Those things just do not click for me

I do not want to be a drunk... and I am hoping that I can rely on my common sense ( That I KNOW is in there somewhere) I do not expect life to be perfect.. you know take a few pills... don't drink... and BAM! Life is GREAT!! i know better than that.. But it is time for me to face life.. to quit hiding... whether it be in a brown bottle or under the covers in bed... I need to quit hiding from life and just exsisting....

I really do not know what happened to that little girl that was so strong and stubborn. The one that ran the show... worked 2 jobs to support kids that were not hers.. took care of MOM and other people... The one that on my jobs .. could never believe I had ever let a man hit me and live.. Who knows.. maybe I was faking then.. I put on the BITCH attitude and people thought I was sooo strong.. ( they did not know I was in a mentally and sometimes physically abusive marriage) I hid it sooo well....

So who is the REAL me? I do not want to be the mean Bitch... .. But I do not want to be the shriveling, scared person I have been lately either.... I do not want to sit in the house in the dark anymore.. I want to get a life...

This is both scary and a relief.... Perhaps it is the meds working I do not know.

But Dang it!!! I am gonna go check out that POD!!! So sorry for the ramble.. I started to not post it.. but I said why not???

It felt good to type it though.

JT

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WOW! I do not mean to keep going on... but I just got back from reading that POD about Harm Reduction... and of course following links etc...

THAT is basically what I have been rambling about! And I thought I came up with that idea all on my own.. well I did. but I didn't know that there were other people that agreed.

One part Demonizing things make them more alluring.... ( paraphrasing here) .. That is what I meant by it being considered BAD that I wanted to do it more.....

I am going to try to order the book. And I am going to talk to Paul ( my T) and see if he knows anything about this. Any help I can get to be well balanced in my life I will take.

I want to go tell some of my online "friends" about this .. but I know what they would say... or they would shake their heads and say "there she goes again! why won't she just work this simple program?"

In all honesty I will probiably drink again. But we will see how it works out. Everything I have read says that alot of people do end up abstinant. And I may be one for which that is the best. I hope to have enough self respect to realize that if I find I cannot control the harm caused that I need to quit in order to live a life. Because I do truely want to live a good a life as I possibly can ( GEE.. that MUST be the meds talking!)

But anyway... I will shut up....

Thank you all for listening and not comdeming me for thinking for myself.... This site is so refreshing to me... I feel I can say what I really feel or think and will not be "bashed " for it....

JT

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