- Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?

Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?




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Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?

Postby Dallas » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:26 pm

Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?

Are you sober and suffer a depression that 'keeps coming back'? What if the depression is a symptom of Emotional Inebriety? Is it possible that Emotional Inebriety -- is more often mis-diagnosed as depression, than it is common for alcoholism to be mis-diagnosed -- as some other disorder?

If our "liquor was only a symptom" of something else -- is it possible that our "depression is only a symptom" of something else?

We learned in the Big Book, that alcohol-ism is a two-fold condition that affects the physical body (allergy = "not a normal reaction") and mental aspects "center's in the mind", a recurring insane idea that "this time our drinking will be different! An insane obsession and an emotional compulsion to drink.

When we abstain from the next first drink, we don't set in motion the physical cravings to drink. When we take the 12 Steps, most of us experience a quick release and removal of the obsession to drink, and we begin to straighten out mentally and emotionally.

However, after sobriety has been achieved and maintained through the recovery process of the 12 Steps -- we still have other areas of our life that needs an over-hauling. And, many members in the Fellowship seem to experience recurring depressions. Sometimes they are mild. And, sometimes they can be severe and chronic. I'm familiar with some stories that seem to indicate a possible severe bout of depression occuring at around 9 1/2 yrs sober and 20 and 25 yrs sober. And, in these cases -- these are alkies who have often been active in the recovery process.

The longer-time members, I find, are less likely to discuss the condition with another AA -- because of fear that they will be judged as "not working the Steps" or "not working the program." So, they often remained tight-lipped about it and try to endure and bear the suffering and torment. Sometimes, they wait way too long in trying to find some help for it, until they are on the brink of a drink, that they do not realize is so near. Once in a while we're hear of members that were silently sufferent, that took their own lives because they just couldn't bear the torment of the depression -- and refused to drink no matter what.

Newer members, that do discuss it and mention their problems with depressions are often simply told "well, just don't drink, keep coming back, keep practicing the Steps and it will get better!" The facts seem to be, yes, sometimes it gets better -- but also sometimes -- it gets worse.

The Alcoholic Ego will go to any lengths to keep the alcoholic from admitting that they need help. It tells the alkie "if they find out you need help -- they'll think your weak, whiney, and different!" So they tell themselves to "Buck up!" as they literally throw themselves under the bus!

On page 52, of the Big Book, there is a list of "experiences" that some refer to as "the bedevilments".

'We were having trouble with personal relationships,
we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were
a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a
living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of
fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real
help to other people — was not a basic solution of these
bedevilments more important than whether we should
see newsreels of lunar flight?"

Then, it goes on to discuss applying the same spiritual solution to these problems -- that we applied to our problem with drinking.

Some members, go on to exclaim that they are "recovered alcoholics" and that those things are no longer a problem for them. However, even in the community of the self-pronouced "recovered alcoholics" I've observed many of them still suffering from the recurring depressions.

Care to share your experience with it?

Dallas
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Depression

Postby JIntl » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:51 am

Good Day!

This is the first time writing to your forum. I hesitated to join at first because like you said somewhere else in your site, I am used to running my own show. When I write something on the internet it is usually a blog update or an email.

When I seek help, I don't have a problem showing up or making a call. But I wonder how honest I really am with both them and myself. This leads me to ask what kind of emotional problems do I have that complicate my life since i am also an alcoholic? I have often asked myself if I am in depression? But I have never admitted telling anyone this.

So here I am. Your topic on emotional ebebriety and depression caught my attention. I am in my first year of society and have been doing whatever I can to move forward in this new life. (Meetings, a couple of small conferences, reading the literature, etc..).

Over the past several months I have had lots of highs and lows. My sobriety began shortly after New Years. Some months were great!! Others terrible. The worst was over the summer. I had severe physical discomfort from the changes in my body due to years of heavy consumption of alcohol. (Other substances were very minor and never became a problem like alcohol). Then other times I felt better. It makes no sense. Even after full medical exams, nothing serious was discovered.

But some days, I can simply not produce. Sometimes, I have no interest in doing anything, except perhaps do a little reading or eating. It's strange, because I do have many interests.

So I wonder if I am fighting some kind of depression. Something is wrong sometimes. It's like I get off and on triggers. Sometimes I am raring to go. Then nothing. Flat.

So that's it for my first post.
JIntl
 
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Postby Dallas » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:49 am

Thanks for sharing! And, welcome to the site! I hope you'll be able to help me! -- and, that I'll be able to do something good for you, too!

I'm especially glad you decided to share on this topic. It's one that's close to me! I'm the kind of guy that even when I'm having the normal ups and downs of life that all people will seem to experience -- I'm telling myself that "I've got to be better than normal people!" :lol: And, stuff like "What will others think of me -- if they know I had a bad day!"

I doubt, with myself, that it's so much of a tendency to want to please people as it is a desire to be living some kind of "good life" impression that might impress somebody! Kind of like a demand on myself which becomes a dependency. Then, when I feel like I let my guard down, or I failed to have the perfect day -- and somebody could have noticed -- the depression might set in. It's not always like that -- just sometimes.

What really get's my attention though is: when I go through a spell of having more than a few average ups and downs. Some back-to-back down days -- where I'm feeling like crap on the inside -- but, I'm running around with huge smiles on my face telling people "how good it is!" Not willing to open up and admit to the way I really feel inside -- and it builds up into one of those sinking stinking depressions.

I'm hoping that a few of us that have experienced the same problem will be able to share with each other, in the spirit of "one person talking with another" that maybe we'll be able to come up with solutions to help ourselves -- that we can begin to pass on to others, so they can use our experience and solutions that we discover -- to help themselves.

Thanks again!
Dallas
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Postby Bensober » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:51 pm

Great miserable stuff! I mean it! I agree Dallas that sometimes in AA a “fix it/ deficiency motivation AA clauseâ€
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Postby Larry H. » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:25 pm

Dallas,

Interesting Post

My last days of drinking were characterized by fear, hate and deep depression. Alcohol gave me the desire to commit suicide but did not give me the courage to do it. Most of my awake hours were consumed with planning a method of suicide that I could not back out of once placed in motion. As I was stationed in Hawaii I decided that swimming to sea beyond the point of being able to return would be my answer. I got to AA via an ultimatim from my wife and there I found out much to my surprise that I was an alcoholic. I latched onto the AA program like a drowning man grabs a life preserver. I started working the steps with a sponsor and my life got better.

Fast forward two years and I found myself still active in AA but in a deep depression with suicidal thoughts again. The big differance this time was that I had enough experience with AA to realize that I should not be thinking that way. I sought out professional help from a psychiatrist. A major contributing factor for my depression looking back with 20/20 hindsight was the fact that I had not done all of the steps as of yet. I was stalled in the program.

The phychiatrist declared I was bi-polar. As it turned out I was mis-diagnosed. I found out I was an Alcoholic and that I did not like myself because I had not taken the necessary steps to change my opinion of me. My alcoholism gave me all the symptoms of being bi-polar so much so that it even fooled the doctor. Through working the AA 12 step program (this time all of the steps) I slowly recovered. That was 34 years ago and today the depression and thoughts of suicide have long ago gone away. Now I am happy, joyous and free as described in the big book.

AA worked for me and it will work for anyone if they want it badly enough and if they put in the effort to follow the suggested program (all of the program).

We really care about each other. We are no longer alone!

Larry,
---------------
I never drank to get drunk. I never got up in the morning and said: 'God, it's gorgeous outside. I think I'll just get drunk and pee all over myself, maybe I'll just shame my family - Y'know what? It's so pretty, I'll just pass some bad cheques too.' - Charlie C.
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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:53 am

Thanks Larry and Ben, my words cannot express even a fraction of the value that I got out of your sharing! One of the most wonderful things that I've discovered in the AA experience is: learning about myself, through others. That seems like such a paradox to me. So different than simply looking inside myself alone -- to learn about me. As I look inside of me and share it -- and then listen to you share what your experience is, suddenly it's like a light bulb moment when I feel like "they're telling my story!" And, I learn something about me that I would have never learned -- if I hadn't had the opportunity of hearing you.

There are a few things that I got out of both of your sharing above. But, rather than write about it now -- I'm going to try and be quiet with it -- and let it sit. I guess kind of like a cake in an oven -- I can take it out early, and it will be cake -- but not like the cake would have been, had I let it continue to bake.

Thank you, both! I appreciate you.

Dallas
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Postby Bensober » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:46 pm

Got it Dallas!
To this day from Bill Wilson’s “Emotional Sobrietyâ€
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depression and drinking

Postby patty brown » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:18 pm

hello
my name is patty and i am an alcoholic. i woke up this morning with a hangover and came downstairs to find a suicide note i'd written last night. i had no intention of killing myself; i was so depressed and so sick of being depressed that i thought: ok, what would this look like, how would i say goodbye and what reasons would i give to those who care about me?
it was a very lame and whiny note.
i can dismiss it and even laugh a bit, but i am depressed, for many years and in many circumstances, beginning in my childhood. ironically, i am petrified to stop drinking because of my depression. it does cause a temporary 'lift' of this black thing sitting on my shoulder.
but today i read the promises.
my mind knows alcohol is only making it worse.
hope this is in the right place. i have never posted before on-line. i live in a small town in mexico and getting to a meeting is virtually impossible.
thank you for listening.
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Depression after the event

Postby Toast » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:51 pm

Good topic, Emotional Inebriety. For me depression seems to come after an important event, not before. On the lead up to anything new,exciting or challenging i'm as high as a kite with adrenalin making sure everything's going to go well and the event will be just pefect. Then when its all over i hit the skids for a while and go down the tubes.

First noticed it at exam time when i went back to college sober. Had a bundle of tests to sit every 3 months which i studied hard for and passed but after that i was flat on my back. Went to my doc and told him i didnt even have the energy to push a pen round the page and he told me that was a classic sign of depression. It still comes today if i train too hard at the gym, make target weight on some fad diet or after some big construction project i'm working on finishes. Maybe i'm just an adrenalin junkie who's still looking for a high? I've been on and off anti-depressants throughout my 16.5 years of soberiety and i must say i much prefer me when i'm on them.

Guess i was born with too many emotions, my kind just have to be feeling something, even pain will do just as long as i dont have to come face to face with me. Always had emotionalism mixed up with spirituality, thats why when drinking i was a rescuer. When drinking most guys chased blondes or brunettes, not me, if a woman didn't have a black eye andher shoes in her hand i wasn't interested. I needed to have my emotional hit first, which usually came in the form of someone elses baggage that needed tidying up, by yours truely of course. If you didnt want to join me in the gutter on an emotional binge you were no use to me whatsoever.

What a waste of my youth? Anywaze, we dont live like that today thats the main thing.

Keep moving forward!
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Re: depression and drinking

Postby Larry H. » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:34 pm

patty brown wrote:hello
my name is patty and i am an alcoholic. i woke up this morning with a hangover and came downstairs to find a suicide note i'd written last night. i had no intention of killing myself; i was so depressed and so sick of being depressed that i thought: ok, what would this look like, how would i say goodbye and what reasons would i give to those who care about me?
it was a very lame and whiny note.
i can dismiss it and even laugh a bit, but i am depressed, for many years and in many circumstances, beginning in my childhood. ironically, i am petrified to stop drinking because of my depression. it does cause a temporary 'lift' of this black thing sitting on my shoulder.
but today i read the promises.
my mind knows alcohol is only making it worse.
hope this is in the right place. i have never posted before on-line. i live in a small town in mexico and getting to a meeting is virtually impossible.
thank you for listening.


Patti,

I understand you. I have been there. Alcohol drove me to the point that I could not live without it and I could not live with it. I did not want to live anymore. AA Changed all of that.

If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and want more than anything else in the world to feel better then I have good news for you.

AA works for those that really want it. It worked for me and it will work for you.

You said you read the promises. Do you have an AA Big Book? or did you read them online? Not being able to get to a meeting means you will have to work harder but it can be done. With online sites like this one you never have to be alone again.

If you want what we have you will have to quit drinking, that is the only way it works. With that in mind most of us in our old ways were always quitting forever and we always failed. Its simply too big an order. AA suggested to me that instead of forever, why dont I simply quit just for today. Twenty four hours only. And if that works renew the commitment each day. I thought I could do that. It was very difficult at first but sober members told me that if twenty four hours is too long I could break it down into smaller periods, one hour or mabe even five minutes at a time. It worked and slowly things got better.

Once the alcohol was out of the system I was able to learn about the 12 steps of AA.

AA step 1 "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable" Try to see if you can identify with this statement. Don't worry about the rest of the steps yet until you have stopped drinking.

My advice to you is try to stop drinking for 24 hours and give it a couple of days. What do you have to lose?

Stay in touch here. Post here everyday and let us know how you are doing. We (I) really do care about you, you do not have to do this alone.

Larry,
--------------
Give us 90 days and if your life doesn't get better, we will gladly refund your misery
Larry H.
 
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