- Guilt from a relapse

Guilt from a relapse




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Guilt from a relapse

Postby Joseph » Fri May 23, 2008 12:28 pm

Hi i'm Joe an alcoholic addict. Over the past week i have let normal ways of daily life interfere with my meetings and program. I have become excessive in doing daily tasks such as cleaning out the garage, and cleaning out a room from a tenant we had staying in a room in our basement. I felt as if my relationship with god wasn't right even though i was praying and meditating i wasn't keeping his will for me first hand the last few days.

While cleaning out this guys room i had found a half joint amongst his belongings and instead of tossing it out i hid it for some reason. I have a feeling it is still my obsession taking a reservation in my mind that i haven't fully handed over to my higher power. Anyhow last night my obsession was driving me mad as i knew i had this thing hidden so rather than going to toss it i ended up smoking it. I was very promply consumed with guilt, ashamed, feelings of failure and very lonely feeling as i felt i let down myself, my higher power as well as my fellowship.

Today i am starting to process where my mind took back some of my will that i had supposedly turned over to god and how i can turn my will fully over to him.
I had to send this as i need to stay honest and share whether i stumble or not. I feel that it is crucial for me to get back up and do it again as these feelings are very hard to deal with. I was supposed to get my 60 days next thursday and am quite upset with myself.

My question here is that seeing how this time i am giving all my will to my higher power should i not quit smoking at this time as well?
If i were to keep smoking i think that may be a part of me controlling an addiction still not my higher power as my real problem seems to be addictive behavior no matter what the substance. I feel maybe i should be letting go of that reservation in my mind along with everything else as it too is an addiction that can kill me?

Thanks for letting me share today, have a healthy 24.
Joseph
 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Postby garden variety » Fri May 23, 2008 3:36 pm

Hi Joseph,

Do the words "cunning, baffling, and powerful" ring a bell?

Here in this neck of the woods, using other substances for recreational purposes is sometimes said to be "switching seats on the Titanic". There are others around here that try what's called the "Marijuana Maintenence Program." With either of these, whether or not you're addicted to the substance doesn't matter much. What I've learned is that any substance that I would use for what I would call "recreational" purposes is something that I should avoid.

I was never addicted to weed. My experiences with that substance didn't bring about the destruction and devastation that alcohol brought about. I was driving around one day not too long ago, and someone was firing up some of that "hippie cabbage" and it had such a strong smell, it brought back some memories of my younger years in high school. None of those memories were bad memories. I smiled and shook my head - I didn't feel guilt or shame - I just remembered good times that went along with experiemtning with that substance long ago. It just reached a point in my life where I no longer enjoyed using it, and it played out. No compulsions and no obsessions. I never really wanted to use it anymore.

But not so with alcohol. Alcohol is the thing that I have an allergic reaction to. I can't safely use alcohol in any form. If I take one drink, the phenomenon of craving will kick in, and I'll be "off and running". Weed would not have that effect on me. But there is a bigger problem with any other substance that I would use for recreation.

Using a "psychoactive" substance such as weed would be an act of my will, like you said. What that would do is stand between the relationship I have with my Higher Power. My will and my life is supposed to be under His care and direction. "Getting High" in any way "cuts the wires" bewteen God and me. My connection is severed so to speak. What do you think happens next?

The alcoholic has no defense against the first drink. His defense must come from a Higher Power. It says that in the book. Well if I've cut off my connection to the Thing that is my only defense against the first drink, I think you can figure out the math from here. I will drink again - that's because "once an alcoholic - always an alcoholic". Alcohol was my "poison" of choice. So if I use any other "poison", although I'm not an addict and it won't cause in me the phenomenon of craving for that substance, that substance will eventually dissolve my connection with my only defense against the first drink which is a God of my understanding. Without a Higher Power, I will drink again.

So for this alcoholic, being sober means no mind-altering substances for recreational purposes. I may have to take a prescription to avoid death or serious illness that might have a mind-altering side effect, but that is not the same as recreational substance or chemical abuse. But buddy let me tell you what, I insist that my doctors avoid putting my sobriety in harms way at all, and I ask them to prescribe medications that aren't addictive or dangerous whenever and wherever possible - there are safer alternatives in most if not all circumstances.

Anyway, welcome back Joe, and don't get caught up in "overanalyzing" what happened. Get back to working on your recovery and taking actions that will enlarge and perfect your spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others. This will take you farther away from your addictions. I have never seen a person relapse who was active in helping another alcoholic achieve sobriety.
garden variety
 
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Postby Joseph » Fri May 23, 2008 4:30 pm

Thanks for the input, by smoking i am talking about cigarettes though i know i shouldn't be using marajuana.
Joseph
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Postby Dallas » Fri May 23, 2008 6:01 pm

Hello Joseph,

Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best.

Feelings. :wink:

You mentioned feelings about your relationship with your HP.

And, I assume you mean feelings in regards to giving up tobacco.

If I read and correctly understood what you wrote (meaning I could have not understood it correctly)... you felt that your feelings had something to do with relapse.

If that's true... you're probably right about it.

If I'm doing something that causes me to feel guilt and remorse... I can do something about it... I can stop doing it. Make amends. And, that settles and solves the problem.

If I keep doing something that causes me to feel guilt and remorse... and do nothing about it... pretty soon I'll begin to seek relief to resolve the conflicting feelings inside of me. It could be turning to a substance to find relief... or a behavior to find relief... until I am in denial strong enough that I no longer feel guilt and remorse about what I'm doing.

The choice of what to do is mine... in the beginning. Later, after the denial sets in... I lose the option of choice and the substance and denial are making the choices for me. And, what I could have changed becomes something that I can no longer easily change.... and it gets worse.... never better.

For me, the easier softer way is to deal with a problem when it comes up rather than wait to deal with it later... if it's a type of problem that will get worse by not dealing with it.

Also, for me... my head can spin real easily when I start thinking about God-stuff and HP-stuff. I can go through mental-masturbation, and end up screwing myself... if I don't keep my head in the "here and now" and keep my feet solidly planted on the ground.

Since, while my feet are on the ground -- I'm convinced that I'll never really understand the God-stuff. So, I need to focus my attention on my actions rather than my thinking, in regards to God. If I take the right actions -- eventually my thinking will change. If I take the right actions -- it doesn't matter if I understand the God-stuff, because... in essense, by taking the right actions I'll be doing God's will regardless if I understand it or not. I personally believe that God, as I understand Him, is more concerned about my actions -- rather than my thinking. That's what I believe the term "faith without works is dead" means. God as I understand Him doesn't care if I have faith or not, as long as I'm doing the works. It's the works that produces the results... not the faith.

Since I can't really tell you what to do... I can only tell you what I do. If you can make any sense of it and it helps you... that's good. And, if not... that's good, too. :wink:

I hope that helps.

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Fri May 23, 2008 11:55 pm

Well Hello again Joseph,

I do apologize because I did not correctly understand that you were talking about smoking cigarettes. It wouldn't be the first time I got something wrong.

I don't know what to say about smoking cigarettes? A lot of folks do. I wouldn't want to have that habit, but I know from what I've seen it's hard for folks to stop smoking. And when they try to stop they start being pretty mean and irritable, so I don't know when a good time is for someone to stop - or if it's a good thing to stop smoking while you're beginning in recovery. I had a half a cigarette a couple days ago. Shoot my dog saw me smoking and she got mad at me and started barking.

I smoke one maybe every year or so. But I ususally don't have more than a couple puffs. If I smoke more than that, my taste buds start to get dull and food starts to taste like a cigarette. But folks that know me are surprised to see me smoke. So I can't say that I'm a non-smoker. I don't even know if that makes me a smoker? I just know that I don't have the addiction to cigarettes if that makes any kind of sense.

Some folks use tobacco in (spiritual) ceremonies - and I don't mean "whacky tobacco" either. That's pretty much where I got exposure to smoking. It doesn't bother me that others smoke. A couple folks in the house smoke, but I got a few of those powerful HEPA filters blowing all the time because there's kids that live here too, and over time it seems that smokers do get more colds and respiratory problems. It also seems to make the kids sick too, so I don't suppose it's a good thing to have a smoking addiction.

But I wish you the best in recovery, and pray that you overcome those addictions that take the good in life away from you. We are always here to help and to listen and to share, so thanks for being a part of us and helping us with your words.
garden variety
 
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Postby Joseph » Sat May 24, 2008 2:40 pm

Thanks alot for all your guys help. It turned out to be a pretty good day yesterday after all. I think i will give it a shot to quit smoking cigarettes this time. I feel it is kinda a hiderance as it rents alot of space in my head, always have to fit in that cigarette when your out in public as we have smoking by-laws everywhere here. Before i eat, after i eat, when i get up, with coffee(which i drink quite a bit of. If i am going to change my life 180` then i believe tobacco substance for me should go with the rest as they all take up space in my mind and i use my own will to keep my tobacco addiction rather than putting it as well in my higher power's hands. As Dallas said , i will take the action for his will for me, and he'll take care of the rest in time, hopefully taking away some of the irritableness, and being negative. Thanks again all.

Have a good 24.
Joe
Joseph
 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Postby Dallas » Sat May 24, 2008 10:01 pm

There are some 12 Step Organizations, such as Nicotine Anonymous and Smokers Anonymous that use our same 12 Steps. Often, you'll find A.A. members that also go to those organizations for help and support. You may want to check them out. They may have meetings right there in Calgary. And, perhaps you already know some of their Anonymous members. You might even find some online help with one smoker talking to and trying to be helpful to another smoker.... that wants to quit. :wink:

Best wishes for whatever you decide is right for you and for however you do whatever you do. :wink:

Thanks for sharing on the topic. I think it's a good subject for all of us to at least think about and consider, one way or another.

Dallas
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Postby Susan » Sun May 25, 2008 9:21 am

Hi Joseph, thanks for sharing. Remember not to get to Lonely,Hungry, Angry, Tired. When I am ticked off about anything my risk of relapse is doubled. Just get back to taking good care of your self. I was not able to quit smoking until I was sober about seven years. It is a wonderful freedom too. :)
Susan
 
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