- Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?

Emotional Inebriety -- masquerading as depression?




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby kidlizard » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:56 pm

Honestly Im not sure. I guess he probably feels maybe thats just how I am and cant force me into anything.
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Postby john boy » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:35 am

kidlizard wrote:Honestly Im not sure. I guess he probably feels maybe thats just how I am and cant force me into anything.


For me to offer you any advice other than to go sit and discuss all of this with your sponsor including the relationship (or lack of) you and he have would be inappropriate.

I suggest you contact him soon....
Last edited by john boy on Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:21 pm

I second John Boy's suggestion.
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Excited Misery and Emotional Inebriety

Postby johnp62 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:31 am

A great topic and a huge one that obviously has had books written about it. Anyhow, I'll put in my two pennies worth (now that I look at it, $200 worth?) about something called "excited misery".

Basically, it means that the recovering alcoholic/addict, usually in the early stages, say the all-important first year, needs some kind of "emergency" now and then going on in their life to make it feel "exciting" or "worth-while". The person is so used to the bombardment of "bad" happenings in their life up until the moment, that any "good" tidings leaves them feeling rather awkward, or that something must be amidst. They are left feeling kind of threatened or perplexed by the sudden changes. :?

While developing their dependence on their substance(s) of choice, and then on to full-blown addiction, the alcoholic/addict had suffered intolerably, and dealt with it by abusing their substance of choice more and more. But wait! Now that they have some sobriety... they feel... good! What is this? How could I feel good? :shock:

The alcoholic/addict in early recovery generally isn't used to these new feelings and emotions of serenity. They're usually much more used to the feelings and emotions of melancholy and/or anxiety. That's the mind-set (what bad things, and/or emergencies, can I look forward to happening today?) they had become accustomed to during the later stages of their addictive using, and perhaps even way before.

Let's take for example finding a $20 bill, or even a quarter for that matter, on the ground. For most of us, that usually generates some excitement in the moment. Now, take that excitement to a larger extent and expand it as the chunk of life naturally experienced some of the time by a "normie", for instance. The normie is used to living with the "good". Yes, the normie has his/her ups and downs too. But, the alcoholic/addict in early recovery sometimes isn't used to this kind of good-excited feeling. He or she is comfortable instead with the kind of excitement that says in effect: "If there isn't something bad happening in my life now and then, then something must be wrong!" This is a kind of excited misery.

I believe that's one reason that some who attend AA will recommend 90 meetings in 90 days. It takes at least that long for the recovering alcoholic/addict's physical and mental processes to heal somewhat--- for the fog to lift, so to speak. And that's also, I believe, part of "The Promises" and "A Vision for You" as he or she continues the journey of change to a better life.

Let me make a quick note that it's essential that the recovering alcoholic/addict get a doctor's evaluation for any mental illnesses, besides the compulsive disorder to use. AA in no way says this is "wrong". As it is said : "More will be revealed". And medical research and practice has done some remarkable work developing and producing prescriptions to help relieve some of the suffering.

Now, where was I? Oh! Then there's the alcoholic/addict who is rather indifferent and perhaps just throws their hands up and exclaims, "That's life! Don't try to see too much in to it. It doesn't really matter in the end, does it? You're feelings and emotions aren't really that important anyway--- especially to people living in the other hemisphere of the earth. When it's day here, it's night there, and when it's night here, it's..." and on and on. :lol:

Just thinking out, and about, these ideas could be a trigger for a relapse because the alcoholic/addict might not be used to living in the present moment. And that's where stinkin' thinkin' becomes dangerous. Whoops!

Anyhow, I'll end with this: Sometimes to be happy now we have to give up all hope for a better past. No more excited misery... Please!
Last edited by johnp62 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:29 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:53 am

AA doesn't say 90 meetings in 90 days. AA does say "these are the Steps we took."

People often say that "AA's effectiveness today -- isn't as good as it was when AA first started." AA didn't change. The Fellowship (the people in AA) changed.

Here's something I find interesting... when AA was very small -- there was no way a newcomer could go to 90 meetings in 90 days. They were lucky to have one meeting in 7 days. So, perhaps... a conclusion could be drawn that: One of the problems is -- too many meetings.

:wink:

In early AA -- the focus was on "the solution" to the problem. In today's era, the focus is on "the meetings." Clearly, the meetings can be helpful, or they could be harmful -- but the Solution (which is in the Big Book) has always been the same.

Another "perhaps".... Perhaps, alcoholics begin to believe the myth that "meeting makers make it"... and they focus on meetings, and they don't recover -- they don't get better -- they don't have the sufficient psychic change (personality transformation) which will allow them to recover from alcoholism.

The more meetings that the alcoholic attends -- the "less time" they have in Life -- to be "applying the 12 Steps" or even to be "taking the Steps" -- so instead of recovering -- and learning to use the solution to apply to ALL of their problems -- they stay ill. As a result "the thing" or "things" (their feelings & perceptions) that drove them to drink in the first place -- have not changed. So, they are actually just on "hiatus from drinking" while attending meetings. They begin to "replace the program of recovery" with a program of "self-help therapy -- meeting attendance."

It becomes kind of like (for illustration) a bunch of really sick people -- that all decide to go to the Emergency Room, at the same time. However, instead of "getting their condition treated" -- they sit in the "waiting room" talking with each other about their "opinions" -- about "what they think their problem is."

Their symptoms subside for a little bit -- so they all leave the Emergency Room after "talking about what they think" because they perceive that they "feel" a little bit better.

The next day -- they all converge to the Emergency Room again -- still refusing to get treated -- because they're too busy talking about their opinions about what their problems are.

This happens over and over and over and over again -- until, one day they stop showing up at the E.R. and they're either locked up or covered up. (The gates of insanity or death).
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Emotional Inebriety

Postby johnp62 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:39 pm

Hi Dallas, thanks for your reply. I agree with you about the 90 meetings in 90 days that I mentioned about in my post. I never heeded that advice myself. I usually attend 3 to 4 meetings a week. Quality not quantity!

I suppose I only wanted to make it clear that it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months or so until the body and mind have kind of stabilized from habitually having the toxin of alcohol put into it. Anyway, some people might really need or benefit from as many meetings as possible that they can attend within that time frame.

So, the emotional inebriety part, and excited misery is but one example, does take a lot of time to come to grips with--- as well as the physical recovery, which is why I feel it's very important for the recovering alcoholic to make daily exercise a part of their program (exercise that produces sweat!) to get those natural endorphins flowing to help overall feelings of well-being. Eating well and taking vitamins is also important.

Yeah, most definitely alcoholism is a part and partial a result of underlying symptoms of mental conflict(s), i.e. going against, or dishonest about one's moral values. And there might also be, in some cases, an organic brain disorder that can be addressed with the proper medications. We know prolonged alcohol abuse itself too, can cause mental illness, and will definitely exacerbate any underlying symptoms.

By the way, I edited my first response a little. As you can tell, I enjoy writing. I have a B.A. in journalism. I got a chuckle from your reply with all the words you put in quote brackets! :lol: I know, it was a bit annoying to read with all that! :oops: so I tried to polish it up a bit by rearranging some sentences and adding and subtracting some things here and there.

Anyway, I try to follow writing rules, as I've learned them, to keep me on my toes. The quote brackets, from what I was taught, are used at times for subjective feelings like "good" or "bad", etc., because what might be good or bad for one person is not the same for another. And terms like "normie" are usually put in quotes at first because of the ambiguousness the word might have to some readers, and then subsequent use of it needs no quote brackets.

Thanks again! :D
Last edited by johnp62 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Quick note on Emotional Inebriety posting

Postby johnp62 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:48 pm

Needed to make clear that--- by addict in the original posting, I mean alcoholic. But it includes those who are addicted to other substances. So, I went back and edited it again! adding, alcoholic/addict. Also, I changed the sentence stating that AA says 90 meetings in 90 days, which is not true. It's just a kind of recommendation that some members point out. I, personally, never followed that advice. Too much for me. But others might benefit from it.

Thanks. :D

John
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:53 pm

I'm on your side! :lol: My writing skills suck... and too often it shows. :cry: But, I am working on it!

I didn't mean to sound like I was opposed to anything -- especially to meetings. I suggest newcomers and oldtimers to attend as many as they can -- as long as they don't end up "hiding out" in meetings or using it as a sort of "replacement therapy." Meetings are A GOOD THING! :wink:

I'm actually pro treatment center and professional help, too... but now that I've wrote that -- I'll probably get clobbered for it. :lol:

Thanks for posting John! Your participation and your sharing is most welcomed, and appreciated!!!
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Further comments on reply to Emotional Inebriety

Postby johnp62 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:55 pm

Hi Dallas,

I wanted to mention that I liked the comments you made about "meeting makers make it". And the ER example. By and large, it's so true that just showing up to meetings doesn't shake it. The program must be worked, applying the Steps to all areas of life. However, going to meetings does, as we know, provide a safe haven for some in the thralls of their addiction.

I read also that in the early days of AA the Steps were often all taken within six or so hours. Some alcoholics finished sooner. It was the first three in a matter of minutes, with the majority of time spent on the 4th and 5th, and then on to helping others.

John
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Postby johnp62 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:09 pm

Thanks for your reply Dallas.

Yes! I'm pro treatment, in-patient and out-patient, too. All the best help one can get, and on to meetings and not forgetting about being in recovery. When people in recovery forget about their past hellish times in their addiction, they set themselves up for relapse. They need to be aware of it each day and be grateful, with acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion.

I look foward to checking out the other forum topics. 8)

John :D
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