- Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?

Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby Bensober » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:07 am

Welcome Patty,
In your case literally welcome to the best meeting in town. I know you say you weren’t sincere about actually doing it but it’s amazing how many of us from our drunken stupor’s have ended up at St. Peter’s Gate or other places wandering how they died and/or telling their semi-conscious selves…â€
Bensober
 
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Postby patty brown » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:49 am

thank you all for the support and understanding. it seems to me that depression and alcoholism are like my 2 dysfunctional friends. my depression i believe will always be wth me; but not drinking today will not make my depression worse. it may be there still, but it certainly will not get better if i pick up a drink. i know that for some antidepressant meds are seen as 'bad' but right now and under the guidance of an excellent neurologist, i am trying (again) using medication.
i don't want my constant companion depression to hang out anymore with my alcoholic-we all can get in big trouble together. having you all to talk to helps me a lot. being in mexico, not so fluent in spanish, and in a small town is obviously isolating.
i have done some stupid things while drunk (surprised?) and seeing the 'note' i wrote about my suicide wishes scared the **** out of me. i would never do that to my friends and family...but never quite sure what i might do while drinking.
thank you again
patty
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Postby Larry H. » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:47 am

patty brown wrote:it certainly will not get better if i pick up a drink. i know that for some antidepressant meds are seen as 'bad' but right now and under the guidance of an excellent neurologist, i am trying (again) using medication.
patty


Patty,

Medications are not inherently bad or good. It is how and why they are used that makes the difference.

Proper use is:

1. Prescribed by a doctor who knows about your alcoholism. It is vitally important to be totally open and honest with your doctor about your alcoholism.

2. You use the medication only as directed by your doctor. No extra doses or taking it when not required.

In AA you will hear or read about a few individuals that think all meds are bad. That was not the case with our founding fathers and it is not the case today. Using medications differently than described above is when they can be very detrimental to your sobriety.

I asked before but I will ask again. Do you have an AA Big Book? Or do you have online acess to it? The Big Book is our instruction manual for sobriety. For me and many others it was an absolute must for us to gain and maintain sobriety.

Keep posting, We will help guide you in your path.

If you have a belief in God, then now would be a good time to ask him to help you. You need to ask even if you think he won't. If you do not believe it is OK because all you need is a Higher Power of your understanding that has a reasonable chance of helping you stay sober. One example could be all of the Alcoholics together as a group on this board. It usually is not wise to use an individual human as your HP because he or she may fail you. Humans do fail us sometimes. The group however will not fail you they will succeed.

Larry,
----------------
Pray daily, God is easier to talk to than most people
Larry H.
 
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Postby Dallas » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:04 pm

I remember a time, back when I was fairly new at sobriety, and I dated a nice non-alcoholic lady psychologist. We had talked on the phone previously and decided to have a date by going out to lunch with each other. Everything was going rather nicely until she mentioned something about alcoholics. She said "alcoholism is often the result of alcoholics that hate themselves." Wooh nellie! I had learned in AA (miss-guided learning) that our problem was "we loved ourselves too much". And that "non-alcoholics do not understand alcoholics". :lol:

So, naturally, I informed her of my brilliant intelligence, and how wrong she was! :lol:

That was our first and last date and I never talked to her again. I lost complete interest in her.

The funny thing is: years later in sobriety -- I came to believe that this lady was totally spot on! At least, in regards to my case, she was totally 100% right! I had a self-hatred thing going on for many years all throughout my drinking. Some of the things that I had said to myself, names that I called myself during "self-talk" and the destructive behaviors had originated mostly out of self-hate. And, the self-hate carried on into my sobriety -- but, I was totally unaware of it!

I also discovered that much of the problems that I had with God in the beginning, was over my self-hate and the fact that I did not like myself -- even though on the "outside" I was convinced that I did like myself and even loved myself too much!

I had spent most all of my time trying to rub out the records of my own transgressions against others by making amends in full, of course, I never did forgive myself or let myself off the hook -- even after I would make amends. I deserved the punishment, right? I was the bad guy! :lol:

And, in other situations that I attempted to amend, where I obviously wasn't the bad guy -- I'd convince myself that "well, I wasn't the bad guy in those situations -- but I was the bad guy in so many other situations, I deserve to be punished!"

It wasn't until more than a few years later in sobriety -- that it really began to sink in. I hated myself. I still, sometimes conscious, but most often unconsciously -- I was punishing myself, even in sobriety. Even after having taken the Steps, a few times, even after sponsoring others and spending all that time that I could arrange in dedicated "being of service" activities.

As I look back on it today -- I can see that probably what was going on is, all the "good" that I was attempting to do -- was "lifting me up emotionally"... yet, at the same time, the deep self-hatred and not accepting myself nor forgiving myself was "bringing me down."

So, most often I would be "mid range" in my emotions, until I let up on extensive efforts to "be of service" to others.

In a way, it was like putting bandages on bleeding wounds. The bleeding wounds were infected and releasing all kinds of "emotional goo" and my efforts to do right, to do good and be of service -- was simply covering the infected wounds.

I had already begun using the 12 Steps on particular problems -- like, when I got so angry at someone I could have ripped their head off -- sober! :lol: I'd re-take the Steps on the anger. Example: "I am powerless over being angry -- (because of my anger) -- my life had become unmanageable. Then, I do specifically Steps 2-12 on my anger in that situation. I would get relief, it would be removed, I would get better.

Then, one day, I got the idea -- how about trying to use the 12 Steps on myself -- "my self hatred and anger at myself"? Well. It worked. The Steps ALWAYS work when I use them!

My sober-suicidal type depressions went away and they haven't returned.

Periodically, I can still fall into depressions -- but I can see them coming on and I know what they are about. It's most often because I've formed a dependency (or resorted back into one) for particular emotional, or "esteemable" type interests. And, my spot-check 10th Steps immediately clear them up.

Thanks for letting me share.

Dallas
Dallas
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The Dark Night Of Recovery

Postby Jim W » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:55 am

I have been through this and out the other side. This book, along with Bill Wilson's writings on emotional sobriety and a 1996 talk by Tom Brady Jr., helped me.

The Dark Night of Recovery
Gerald May brings to light a phenomenon unknown to many in recovery. The Dark Night of the
Soul. It is a stage through which many pass, if they are truly on a path of spiritual unfoldment. It
is a necessary, yet misunderstood stage of the journey.
“No one understands the dark night of the soul better than people recovering from lifethreatening
addictions. Some AA members call themselves ‘grateful alcoholics’ because
alcoholism finally brought them to their knees. It was only because of alcoholism that they
discovered the true depths and longings of their souls.
Such spiritual awakenings can sometimes lead to another kind of dark night, what I’ve called a
‘dark night of recovery.’ To understand it, we need to realize that twelve-step programs work
best people have come to know without doubt that recovery is a life-or-death matter, that
dependence upon the higher power is the only way to life. This is a special kind of beginning for
a spiritual journey. There are no delicate mysterious inner longings here, only the simple,
desperate need to stay alive. As long as this sense of absolute necessity continues, a person can
work the steps with complete dedication to recovery. Whatever images of God the person may
have earlier held, God is now the higher power, the source of the grace one needs to recover, the
only hope for survival.
Many people continue in recovery this way for years-perhaps for their whole lives. Others,
however, experience something different at a certain point along the way. After having worked
the program for a while, a person may begin to notice that what began as a desperate need for
God is changing into a loving desire for God. It is as if God were saying ‘Of course I want to be
saving higher power. But I Am also so much more than that. I want to be your deepest love.â€
Jim W
 
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Postby Dallas » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:05 am

Thanks for sharing that Jim! I love listening to Tom Brady, Jr. talks, they've been a lot of help for me, too. I'll have to check around and find that book! Sounds good!
Dallas
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Postby Jim W » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:49 pm

Dallas wrote:Thanks for sharing that Jim! I love listening to Tom Brady, Jr. talks, they've been a lot of help for me, too. I'll have to check around and find that book! Sounds good!



Dallas, You should have no problem finding the book on Amazon.com. It is called "The Dark Night Of The Soul" and the author is Dr. Gerald May
Jim W
 
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Postby Bensober » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:59 pm

Yes Jim, Great stuff. This post has really helped me too! From our sister in Jalisco, whom I hope stays on the thread with us, to this recent reading you sent us. What gold mines of people who have cleared away the "fog" & wreckage and have gone before us to clear us a path! After I read this, thought of the last Batman movie (hum similar titles) where at the end he chose to stay “the anonymous bad guyâ€
Bensober
 
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my evil stepsisters...

Postby patty brown » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:29 am

...are alcoholism and depression.
i presume, at my age, they will now be with me the rest of my life. i can't ignore them, because they live with me. and so i must live with them as best i can. i can fight them or realize i must draw a truce, ignore them when they try to be the boss of me, and be vigilant in directing my energy toward a stronger healthier path.
so, my convoluted way to say 'un mil gracias' many thanks to you folks here.
all give me strength and hope, and light!
i humbly take my first step on this path. i follow those who have gone before me.
patty
patty brown
 
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Re: my evil stepsisters...

Postby Jim W » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:39 am

patty brown wrote:...are alcoholism and depression.
i presume, at my age, they will now be with me the rest of my life. i can't ignore them, because they live with me. and so i must live with them as best i can. i can fight them or realize i must draw a truce, ignore them when they try to be the boss of me, and be vigilant in directing my energy toward a stronger healthier path.
so, my convoluted way to say 'un mil gracias' many thanks to you folks here.
all give me strength and hope, and light!
i humbly take my first step on this path. i follow those who have gone before me.
patty



Although I haven't suffered from clinical depression or bi-polar disorder, or anything of that magnitude, I have at times over the course of my recovery sank into a pool of despair that seemed endless. I also suffer from SADDS during the winter.

What you say Patty is absolutely true. I've found that resistance means suffering, so I surrender to my condition. Then I can get better. While I haven't had the need for any kind of anti-depressant, the things that help me are meditation, exercise, diet, vitamins, and in the winter light and being with people.
Jim W
 
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