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Recovery and Rehabilitation

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Alcohol

I have been considering giving up booze for a while now because although I like the occasional beer or wine, it is never just A beer or A wine. It's usually drink until I fall down.

So I use alcohol too numb the anxiety and feel more confident around people. Does anyone else do the same? I'm sure the answer is yes but I wanted too start this subject. If I want to be free from fear in situations, it must be best too go into them without medicating with drugs and alcohol...but this is never easy, and takes a lot of courage, especially in a drinking atmosphere.

Does anyone want to share there experience with drinking and the looking? What works?

Good conversation topic, Jim. More and more I use less and less alcohol. It just doesn't seem compatible with a life free of fear. My larger issue is over eating and when I have a couple of beers, I tend to lose control on food...so I have really cut back on my alcohol consumption. I also find that I don't like the dullness and sedated feeling that ensues from drinking, in the moment, and into the next day.

I also find that over time I am intelligently guided to try different patterns, or I come across helpful information and I can see the benefit for my life. There is a lot of information out there about alcohol consumption, positive and negative, reading up on the effects, physically and emotionally, etc. may help figure out how to go about it. I applaud your courage and think you're on the right track in facing your issues soberly.

Like when John gave up smoking, the thought to quit comes around when you're ready to quit so if you're thinking about it, you're probably ready.

Thank you for your responses...

Hey Jim, surely a good topic! My relationship to drugs has never been this difficult. After looking it has become easier to recognize when I'm doing something out of fear rather than the reason my mind believes about it. Turns out my drug use often ends up in that category. I get caught up in many, often contradictory, ideas simultaneously so I have a hard time making any sense out anything really. It is very frustrating and I feel helpless and fearful when trying to decide how to go on. On one hand they can obviously help out in the short term, but in the long run they take their toll one way or another.

For example: Smoking cannabis usually makes me feel more comfortable about the current state of things, however, abstaining makes me feel more alive, alert and I have a much easier time (and interest in) controlling attention. Regular use adversely effects my productive output quite a bit as well, which can carry its own emotional consequences at times, but at other times the mental hell is just more than I want to deal with. Alcohol works great for social anxiety at the right amount, but that's normally difficult to achieve. And I have noticed that if i know that I'm drinking to get more confident, I usually don't get that effect at all. I also see that this drunk-confident me, even if I'm "doing great" socially, is actually prick way more often than sober me. On the other hand everybody drinks and it's what's considered the normal way of hanging out and it really gets me out of the house to meet people.

John says no matter what you do during recovery it will all come to and end just the same. So should I take drugs to instantly make me more content with the current state of things, or should I abstain to be in more control over my attention and actions (maybe even hastening recovery, who knows), or should I just not care anymore at all, stop worrying about it altogether and just roll with the punches and see what happens. No question mark here, just thinking aloud - maybe someone can relate to these thought forms. So this is kind of what I mean with contradictory ideas, doesn't seem so serious when typed out like this, but this is one of the things I still believe that I need to fix before I can be at home in my life.

George Carlin described how drugs are mind-opening and constructive, and that an intellectual mind would recognize when the benefits of a drug had run their course and therefore save itself from destruction.

Hi roed! I can relate too all you say about this, apart from weed as I don't like smoking.

I am still not sure when or if I will be able too quit alcohol so soon, but I do know that if I start to go without it, I am trusting my 'self' rather than the chemicals.

Just had another look at this and realise I have been thinking exactly the same thoughts you mention, especially in the last paragraph; whether to keep doing what I want when I want or to abstain from these activities and try to become more self reliant instead of drug dependent. I also see that these obsessive thoughts are actually neurotic and therefore come from the fear. I know a lot of people who use drugs and like to drink on occasion and they seem perfectly angstless (new word) and would never trouble themselves with this kind of thinking.

Right!?

When it comes to others I think the fear keeps them in denial. It's a shame cause it would be a lot easier if we were all talking about it rather than ignoring it to be fair.

I feel gratitude reading your response, quite wonderful actually! Groovy communication right here.

What a gift! We're just bitching and moaning about how difficult and miserable everything is... but we get to see each other in it, because of it. So let's get to it and bitch some more :D

I have more fear than I can endure at this point. I refocus my attention whenever I think of it, flex the muscle. But I can't be in control all the time, it's just impossible, it'd be weird as heck too. And the time in between is mostly spent looking at my thoughts, which I still sort of automatically believe to be true. LOL. Even this automatically appears to me as a problem! See? This is the dissonance, it's stressful.

Hi Jim. I used to drink quite a bit of alcohol and smoke cigarettes. One day I just quit smoking. I had tried to quit in the past with lots of angst surrounding the process, but it never seemed to stick. But post looking it just happened with very little drama or thought. I also drank heavily for years. Same reason as yours-- it helped numb social anxiety and boosted my confidence. Now too much alcohol makes me feel crappy and dull like Jack said. I like a nice buzz but not full on inebriation. I also dislike hangovers more than the 'fun' of the night before. I heard a quote where someone said drinking too much the night before is 'stealing tomorrow's fun' ;) I like feeling clear and grounded which often brings sharp edges because I'm not numbing but i like those too. I also don't experience intense social anxiety anymore.

Last night I enjoyed a glass of sake and smoked a rolled cigarette (a very occasional thing). I realize I enjoy substances much more when I'm using them for occasional enjoyment and not abusing them. I know my cut off limit and I tend to respect it, but sometimes I still go a little overboard. Even then since I don't experience much guilt anymore it's not a big deal.

I'm developing healthier habits like training for a half marathon and practicing guitar and taiji which is infinitely more nourishing and interesting than drinking and smoking.

So what works? It's a good questions because I often see patients as an acupuncturist who want help quitting smoking or overeating. I have a certain acupuncture protocol I use, but recently I have been giving them the directions to look at themselves and attention exercises. I think the acupuncture can calm stress and help break habits, but unless the groundwork of fear is removed by the looking I don't think it will stick. So maybe it's just time. As the fear evaporates and sanity takes over things just leave on their own. As my attention grows stronger I can make a choice about drinking or not drinking or drinking and not beating myself up about it.

I quit drinking and toking many years ago after having it be a major part of my life. This decision woke me up in a way and I spent the next period of my life trying to catch up with all the lost productivity which created a new type of unbalancing. You can quit whatever you want but if you don't have sanity you'l just find something else to get addicted to.

Now I have thought about it, I think a balance of socialising with alcohol and then socialising without it is a good place too start. Because at the moment I don't socialise at all :D therefore it's hard

Thank you all for responding.

By quiting, I learned that I don't need alcohol to be an asshole; I was able to remember each time I was a jerk quite clearly. But that didn't stop me. Post looking, one of the first things I noticed was I stopped freaking out when I said something off color. Further into recovery, I became a lot more sensitive to what I was saying and that is something that's working very nicely.

 

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