Is anger or depression a problem for you?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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Is anger or depression a problem for you?

Postby Dallas » Wed May 11, 2011 10:36 am

It's hard to believe the number of times that newer people in sobriety will smirk with something like "Watch out! It's a long fall when you fall off that pink cloud!" My reply? "I wouldn't worry about it, if I were you -- I've been on my pink cloud longer than you've been sober!"

It's amazing -- the high number of people in recovery -- that still don't know, realize or understand that "happy, comfortable and sober -- is what really does happen when we do the work!"

Have you noticed how difficult it is to be depressed or angry or unhappy -- while your laughing?

By using the tools available in recovery (the 12 Steps WHEN used PROPERLY) we can learn to control our emotions -- rather than having our emotions control us.

Anger, fear, resentments, unhappiness, boredom, lonliness, depression -- can become options -- rather than requirements -- by learning a different way of living.


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Postby tim-one » Wed May 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Great topic, Dallas.

I'm guesing that (might be exagerating) EVERYONE who comes to an AA meeting for the first time is greatly depressed and/or likely really miffed that he or she has the need to be there.

The other day in a meeting, someone rattles off some list of 20 questions to determine if you're an alcoholic. It was tongue-in-cheek, of course, but all very very true indicators.

One questions was, "Have you ever been treated by your doctor for alcohol abuse or alcoholism". I laughed because that was the only one I honestly said no to.

He'd treated me for clinical depression, bi-polar, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, incontinence, and high cholesterol. But not for alcohol. Of course I always lied to him about my drinking.

Now I could have added obsessive compulsive disorder to it. I was obsessive about drinking and was compelled to do it.

AfterI stopped drinking, I kept had these frequent bouts of totally fogged and confused head. Extremely debilitating. Mydctor, now an adictionologist, decided to start weening me off of all of those psych meds one at a time. The symptom would go away for a few weeks and then return after each med was stopped.

Finally, after stopping the last medication, the problem was gone and has not returned. Coincidentally, I had also completedd step 12 about the same time. I had also been growing spiritually, healing physically andmentally, and had begun making consistent progress examining and controlling my behavior and emotional state as my "walking" step 10, 11, and 12.

I am not depressed. not exuberant, but dogone reasonable nearly all the time. I don't have outrageous mood swings and the next person I meet doesn't pay the consequences of the last person I was with. I overheard my boss tell another employee to "ask Tim how he does it ... he's the most organized person here'. :shock: (NEVER heard THAT before) Where's the "humble" icon?

I don't even take the ADHD med anymore. I'd needed that all my life. And again, I'm just so reasonable these days.

The best thing...I'm sleeping like a baby with no pharmiceutical aid.

All of those problems except ADHD and high cholesterol were due to drinking as well as constant barage of problems to deal with because of my drinking. The ADHD I'd dealt with since I was a kid. And even that is perfectly under control through this program and God's care. They all try to poke through under circumtances, but all take only a moment to squelch. Talk about happy, joyous and free. I truly am today.

But I can give it up at a moments notice. I could decide stop working the program daily, stop going to meetings, stop paying attention to my HP and take a drink. No idea why I would do that. I didn't today.

I love sobriety. I think I'll keep coming back. No it's not all roses. I don't know any normies who get that from life. But things that used to scramble me don't. I can be ... well ... shaken, but not stirred.

Love y'all.

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Postby Dallas » Wed May 11, 2011 8:56 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience Tim! I love it!


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Postby djserenity » Thu May 19, 2011 7:33 pm

Great topic, I love it. I found that once I started Working the steps instead of reading the steps, the anger and depression disappered. I smile alot now, people ask why so happy, I just smile. :D

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Postby grizzlyd » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:46 pm

I read a post early in the day about addicts being at A.A. meetings and a persons displeasure with people introducing themselves as an addict alcoholic well I am one, a person with two problems that have the same end. I am lucky that in my addiction I have maintained my marriage of thirty years and have the full support of my family I have attended N.A. meetings with my wife and at times this can be a rough crowd and my wife doesn't feel comfortable in this setting, not to take away from what is being accomplished in these rooms.We have found that A.A. is a better fit for us. If this were the normal attitude against addicts at A.A. meetings my recovery would not be where it is today.I will do what ever it takes to keep my wife involved in my recovery so that we can both continue the healing process.

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Postby Pebbles » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:02 pm

Thank you for bringing this up Dallas. I've felt the same way for awhile now-that God does want us to be happy joyous and free-it's all a part of the promises!! A person at the meetings that I go to keeps saying "Watch out, that pink cloud will go away". The thing is, it's a person with 15 years saying it, not a newcomer. When I got here, I was willing to go to any length.....and by being willing, I can be happy joyous and free. It's much better than the alternative.....

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Postby Dallas » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:33 pm

Some people, would rather make excuses why their not happy and why they have no pink cloud going on -- so, they'll try to subtract from the experience of those who do have it going on. :wink:

God gave us tools we can use -- to insure, that we're happy and comfortable -- while sober. I believe He also gave us tools so that we could make our own Pink Clouds naturally, while sober -- rather than turning to whiskey.

Didn't Bill write about feeling as though he was "walking hand in hand with his Creator?" Notice, he referenced "felt as though" = "feeling."

Also, he wrote of "feeling like" he had been "rocketed into the fourth dimension."

If you take a substance and place it in front of an alcoholic, and say "here, use this, or drink this, and you'll feel heavenly!" What do they do? They drink it or use it.

Or, send them to a doctor and the doc says "here, take this and you'll feel good!" They take it.

Now, tell the same alcoholic, "here, do this, take these actions -- and you'll feel heavenly!" they squawk about doing it and make excuses "why they can't and why you shouldn't." :lol:

The reason is not doubt. The reason is not a lack of understanding. Alcoholics don't understand why they get high when they drink.

The reason is: Sloth. Lack of discipline. Lack of effort. An unwillingness to "try it." Or... if they have "tried it" and they say "it didn't work for me" they won't discuss what "it was" or "how" they tried it. They want to avoid it.

I don't know why others drank -- I drank to feel good! In Chapter 11, of the Big Book, Bill writes a dialogue of asking "have you a sufficient substitute?" (Referring to alcohol). And, he goes on to write "Yes!"

Today, I have a "sufficient substitute." It's both -- the Fellowship and the Tools of Alcoholics Anonymous. When I'm with the Fellowship I can produce the "feel good" effect... and when I'm away from the Fellowship, I can produce the "feel good" effect.

The next time a grumpy old-timer warns you of Pink Clouds, just sing that old Rolling Stone's song to them "Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!" :lol: And, enjoy those Pink Clouds! Better yet, learn how to create them while SOBER! That's what the tools are for!

Everything I was looking for in the bottle, and in other stuff, I've found in SOBRIETY. So, why would I want to go back to the bottle or other stuff? :lol:

Thank you for sharing! I love this topic! And, I love to feel good and feel happy -- while sober!


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Postby ginagc55 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:47 pm

Greetings Team Recovery,

This question about depression and anger are very common in addicts, not all, but the majority. Usually the root cause of addiction is the addicts emotional state before self medicating. I was watching Dr Phil the other day and a member from Guns and Roses , Steve Adler, was sharing his experience, strength, and hope. He said his addiction began when he was about 10 or 11, he had his first panic attack. His mom took him to the ER and of course what better drug to give an attack, valuim. He said it started when he had walked in on his dad having sex with another woman. He carried this tramatic event for years because he did not want his mom to find out. So he thought he was protecting her. Its was not until the event came to surface that his recovery was right on track. A lot of people hold on to old events because they do not know how to work on them and feel they are better off dealing with the pain than a recovery program. So as we all know it will surface anyway disguised as other emotions. It's whats called beating around the bush. Repression of tramatic events take a lot of hard work. To separate our feelings from what we can control and what we can not; i.e. the sernity prayer.
Some people in recovery need to be medicated as firstl They have repressed their own happiness and end up not being able to experience pleasure and reward from the limbic system. This is why recovery for me is one day at a time, working on my emotions and feelings as well as the joy, love, hope, faith and other virtues. The meds are just bandaids and AA is so important if we want to learn how to deal with life on lifes terms. For it is easier to work out my issues and not medicate because of them. Life can be so easy, we make it hard. So this year I wish all of you the best to come in 2012!!!

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Postby sparklek » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:42 am

Thanks for this topic. I don't feel like smiling all the time but have learned that for me, that is not a determiner of my general happiness or if I am applying the Steps to my life.

When I got here, I was desperate. Period. I did was I was told to do and I got results-the desire for alcohol was lifted and I began to feel a part of life in a way I never had before.

I the past year I have experienced many emotional events including the death of my father. I had to learn that "feeling good" was not the point of my existence.

I learned to feel my feelings and sometimes that means feeling angry or sad. It does not mean I am doing something wrong or that anything IS in fact wrong. Feelings are normal and my problem was I kept running from them.

Today, I have emotions. They come and go. I trust God, clean house and help others. I do this no matter how I feel and I get to stay sober and relatively happy.

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Why wait?

Postby BrianN » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:41 pm

Dallas hit it right on the nail!
I truly am thankful and grateful that my sponsor got me started right away on the steps and with making a commitment as a "chip man" at one of my regular meetings.
It was about creating "new" habits to take the place of the "old" habits.
I also believe that if I had to "wait to get started"...PROCRASTINATION would have reared its head like it had so so many times in my years of alcoholism and despair. WHY would I want to take the chance of that
I show my sponsees the way my sponsor showed me which was the way his sponsor showed him. Also, if I have a question...we take it back to the beginnings of AA and see how THEY would have handled it. Too many people in AA today want to change or ad lib the AA program...or they don't take it back to the BB for their answers. I pray for them.
Peace and One Love.
Brian N. :)

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