I understand how tough it is to be newly sober. It was so hard that I know I'd never be able to survive it again. All of a sudden -- everything is a huge problem because often for years we were letting the problems build up on us and we didn't even have a clue that there was a problem. Then, suddenly, we not only have to face all the problems at once -- we have to do it sober! There is a lot of truth in the saying "If you had my problems you'd drink too!"
When we'd have problems before sobriety -- we'd have a couple of drinks -- relax, and navigate through the problem. Now, the trick is to find a way to relax that doesn't involve drinking -- and navigate through the problems. We're always going to have problems. That's just part of being alive and survival. But, the longer we stay sober and grab on to a different lifestyle change -- we'll end up having & creating less and less problems -- and when the big problems come -- we will have gained the experience needed to get us through the problem sober.
It's kind of like a baby being born inside a full grown man's body. The old guy has to move out of our body because the old guy can't stay sober. The baby inside us -- has never had a problem. So, it doesn't know what to do -- other than panic! Suddenly, we've got a little kid living inside us that's saying "WTF! Where did all this stuff come from? How am I going to handle this?"
So, it becomes a process of learning all over again. For me, I often felt like I was a foreigner in a foreign land. Like living on a different planet. I had to learn how to think sober, live sober, act sober, speak sober, hear sober -- and, work a full time day job, too -- with all the requirements that a normal grown up person would have! And, to make it through that period -- you'll be experiencing it too!
We become like little babys sitting in a high chair. The baby has a problem and the only thing the baby knows what to do is to beat on the high chair and yell and scream to try and get some attention to get help to solve a problem. And, that's normal for us! It isnt that we're bad people or that we're dumb or anything like that at all -- we're simply going through a phase and a process that's called "growing up as a sober person".
And, we might as well accept it and get used to it! Heck, at 24 yrs sober -- sometimes... I'll be in my high chair banging & yelling & screaming "I want my Maypo!"
Then, I'll head out to a meeting or call some sober friends to tell them how the world is mistreating me! Sometimes, if they validate my thinking -- and start "poor -ing me" it makes it worse and lead me to "pour-ing me" another drink! For me -- I have a sponsor that I can call that can act like the grown up that I need. The parent that I need to help me learn how to get through it.
I wish when I was newly sober that I would have had a resoucre like Hazelden to call! They've helped thousands of thousands of people like us and they have the experience that we need to gain for ourselves. Not having that resource -- I had AA, and I had to learn to let AA be enough for me. But, it would have been great to have both!
The RIGHT thing that you're doing right now is: you're talking about it. You're being HONEST with what you are thinking and feeling and telling what's going on "as it is to you" Then, you're REACHING OUT and you're ASKING FOR HELP! Those things there are a huge deal for us to acuire the ability to do that! And, people can help us when we achieve that level of recovery!
So, you've got a head-start on me and many others of us that came in new and still tried to MANAGE everything on our own!
We tried it that way -- and we failed. We can tell you how to fail!
However, if we stay sober like you're doing and learn this stuff -- we can then reach out to the other new people and share w/ them how we succeeded, and how they can succeed too!
Stay w/ us Jeff. If you're lacking enough reason to stay sober -- think of all the thousands upon thousands of other guys/girls that are suffering just like you are! Many of them are not as well off as you now -- because they're still drinking or drunk. Make up your mind that you're not going to let this deal beat you -- that you'll grab on to this thing called sobriety -- and you'll get down w/ it -- and then be able to make a dent in being able to help those thousands of others that are out there! Someone has to be around for them when they reach out for help. And, if it isn't you -- that helps them, who will it be?
It may be no one is there for them and they just die drinking themselves to death. Think of their kids. You may be able to do something that will help their kids. You see, we "get back" what we "give away." And, Life will start looking out for you -- and for your kid, too!
So, hang out w/ us. Stick w/ us. And, become part of the solution that can make a difference for others. That's the kind of thinking that can get you through this!