- Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery

Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Postby garden variety » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:52 pm

How about "wisdom is known by her fruits"? :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:31 pm

Okay Paul... now you did it!

My head wanted me to write this last night... but I just didn't have the courage to write it!!!!

I better take that out... I'm supposed to be acting like I'm an adult :oops:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby garden variety » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:23 am

I'm glad we got that all straightened out. :D
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Postby garden variety » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:46 am

Well I'm still not the biology major, but all this talk about biochemicals, combined with certain "actions", got me a bit more curious. We talked about that "euphoria" thing going on in early recovery and in early relationships. But since I'm still the alcoholic, and I guess I tend to think it's still "all about me", I noticed another kind of "euphoria" that happens when two people are real close to each other - well you know when it happens. :oops:

Now I'll try to keep this clean and sane. I don't know what happened, but there seems to be some "extra euphoria" that followed me into the next day from last night. I mean I woke up, and its like my batteries are still charged, and I'm literally feeling "high". When I woke up, I literally felt different - in my head - I felt "giddy" and "silly". I got to thinking what in thee heck is going on today? So I did a little nosing around on the internet and I found out what condition my condition was really in. Which also led me to a few other interesting things I found out about.

Ok now how to talk about this - sanely. I found out that when I take certain "actions" with my lady friend, there is this cycle that goes into motion - it's automatic and, well hell it brings about a "state of euphoria" when it reaches the last stage of the cycle. Now I've done this before in my life - and in my last relationship, but dang, I don't think I remember that feeling of "euphoria" ever being quite as intense and going into the next day like it has today.

So now I find out there is this "euphoria" that takes place "in the moment" so to speak. And there are a bunch of chemical reactions going on upstairs in the brain in response to what's going on downstairs in the plumbing area. What I read said the chemical process is the same for men and women. I'm sure I been feeling this all along - but it seems like I noticed it for the first time. Maybe it's because the "volume was cranked up" a few notches higher than normal last night. It is a funny thing to me, but I don't think anything else can describe the way I feel other than an "altered state" - as if it was like drinking or getting high, but there's no ringing in my ears or dizzzyness like what comes from a man-made substance or chemical. And there is the normal level of alertness I still have.

I been finding a lot of things in sobriety that are proabably "old news" but they seem like new surprises to me. So today I'm thinking what the heck is wrong with me that I'm feeling like I'm on "cloud 9", and I'm trying not to obsess about last night, and I can't wipe this silly grin off my face. Well now I come to find this is actually a "biochemical" process that is actually going on in my brain. I mean I didn't set out last night and plan to jump into some 4th dimension - it's just how it turned out. But it also carried over into today. I called the lady early this morning , too early - I couldn't help myself - she was feeling this way too.

So more of my reading told me some other things related to health again. This British Medical Journal said that men who get to this "last stage" of that "action" cycle at least two times a week were half as likely to die of any cause than men who didn't reach that "last stage" twice a week. Now you have to use your imagination here - that "last stage" is what comes after a "plateau" stage. The study didn't say how it affects a woman's health. Another study said that there was a 50% reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke for men that reach this last stage of the action 3 or more times a week. Now that is of particular interest to this alcoholic who had a stroke before.

But what is really an eye-opener to me is that enjoying sex a number of times a week makes you a physically healthier person. Shoot - sign me up! :P :P :P But I do have to make it clear that the health improvement comes with enjoyment and fun, not dreary or forced or even "faked" pleasure.

How come I never heard about all this before? I mean, heck, I'm 50 years old - the "actions" ain't no new discovery!

But now for you sponsors - be careful what you're telling your proteges'. :twisted: By saying things like "you're not ready" for a realtionship, or setting up some set of rules or hoops a protege' has to climb through before they can get "involved", that might be cutting short a physical and health improvement, and also learning how to find "euphoria" without needing to use drugs or alcohol.

I never knew it before, but what I'm learning is a good realtionship is some mighty powerful medicine.

We have it made living a sober life, friends. We truly have it made.

May God bless all of you
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Postby Kelly » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:35 pm

Great News Paul! I am going to save this info and when I get a sponsor, I'm going to show it to her! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:44 pm

Thanks, Paul.

I personally believe that there is a "euphoria" that we get from working the Steps and taking recovery actions. I believe it's mentioned in our book, as being referred to as a feeling of "walking hand-in-hand with our Creator" and "rocketed into the 4th diminsion."

I also believe that it is the result of tapping into psychic or "Spiritual Energy."

I've read some writings of a few Spiritual Explorers of old -- who cautioned that their disciples, followers or intiates... (depending on their chosen paths and disciplines) ... should be aware that sexual energy is often mistaken for spiritual energy and spiritual energy is often mistaken as sexual arousal.

For me, this is one of the things that I was concerned with in the early years of recovery. I was taking a whole bunch of actions that was tapping me into psychic and spiritual energy... and in this state... the euphoric state... it's easy to make a lot of serious physical mistakes that can require a painful and rigerous house-cleaning... down the road.

Perhaps, this is why further on in our book, we're cautioned about things like excitement, worry, fear, resentment, anxiety, the grouch and "the brainstorms."

Actions produce emotions.
Emotions produce euphoria -- or -- depression.
While under the influence of intoxicating emotions...
As alcoholics... we really got to be sure to keep our feet on the ground
When our head gets too far up in the air... (or ether?) :wink:

Psychic, Spiritual and Sexual Energy... are probably the most powerful of the powers that are inside us. And, they can be dangerous... as well as pleasant.

One thing that I've noticed among some people in the recovery community, is that they can often relate and understand how certain actions (sex or exercise for example) can produce such high states of euphoria and "feeling good." (The result of bio-chemical reactions in the brain)... but they have a difficulty in understanding that certain actions with the Steps can produce similar feelings... or, to the extreme... when they do see that the Steps can produce "euphoria and feeling good"... they get convinced that it requires medications to change the way they feel if they are depressed. (I hate to open a can of worms here with that statement, but it sure seems to be true).

Back to the topic of sex and relationships and newcomers? :lol: :lol:

Ahhhh. We've already beat that horse. :lol: :lol:

How about the Old-timers... who, it seems, are afraid... to feel good? It's too bad that we can't find a way to get through to them... that if they've been sober for a hundred years... and they are restless, irritable and discontented... that "we have a solution"? :wink:

Is it because they are so set in their ways of understanding... that they parrot to the newcomers "you've got to keep an open mind, kid!" ... when they closed up their own minds many years ago?

BTW: Please don't anyone think I'm referring to anyone in particular... well, I could be thinking about a few particular ones... but, they are not members here in the forum. It's people I know in local meetings. Sometimes, I look at them and think... "Geesssuss! If I was that miserable sober... and didn't change it... I'd rather go back to drinking and die drunk and oblivious of my misery!"


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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:49 pm

Hey Kelly!!!!

Look at all this wonderful stuff!!! Plenty of excitement and potential experimental adventures to look forward to in sobriety? :lol: :lol:

Nice to see you Kelly!

One thing I left out in regards to the topic above... was sex was so good sober... I felt like I had never really experienced sex before sobriety! And, it was so good... that it make me desire to never drink again in fear of all that good stuff that I would miss!!! :oops:

Is this an adult topic? Maybe I'm too young to be here discussing this and talking about these things! :wink:

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Postby garden variety » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:54 pm

Heya Bro

Yup you're right. I have to agree 100% with what you said about experiencing sex sober. It's like I never experienced it before - and you betcha it is so good. You know I catch glimpses of those AA couples enjoying relationships for the first time like at the New Years Eve dance. Sometimes it feels good to me just to watch them and see how good love looks and feels on them. I guess you could say I sometimes "live vicariously" through the blessings I see happen to others, and I get a "euphoric" good feeling about it - sometimes it makes me cry.

But now I'm catching myself in those moments, and I have to admit this is such a blast. It's like experiencing life for the first time. I mean I'm singing these old corny songs from the 60's, like "You're the One" or "Double Shot of my Baby's Love." But it's my life today. It's such a cool thing. I used to hear some of those songs and pout because "I knew it could never happen to me that way". Those old love songs used to stir up some of the most painful memories that I stopped listening to them. What kind of a blessing is this today that I can sing those same songs, and it's me they are happening to? All of the sudden, life started to happen all around me, and before you know it, it sucked me right in.

But I can't stress that if it wasn't for the 12 steps, a God of my understanding, the Big Book, and this fellowship, I would be the same miserable guy I always was, maybe drunk - maybe dry - but not happy, joyous and free. Just like those "old timers" you talk about who think living sober means just "not drinking for a day".

I hear a lot of new folks talk about experiencing "feelings" for the first time, and they get blown away at how intense those feelings they kept sedated under alcohol are without the booze. That's how it was with me too. Today, I enjoy the feelings - I get to enjoy the feelings because they are a part of who I really am and who God designed me to be. Over time and most importantly, like you said, taking those actions that insure sobriety, "feelings" go into their "right-sized" places. The difference today is that life is in "living color" and in "real time." The way life happens to me these days, I'm glad I can live only one day at a time.

But you are also right about those strong emotions related to sex and companionship. I've seen many a good man and woman come to pieces because the "feelings" were so intense and they didn't know how to handle them. But honest bro, here is what I'm learning, the more I practice "living" which means allowing myself to be "vulnerable", the LESS vulnerable I become.

I used to hate hearing things like "Live today as though you'll die tomorrow." Here I am doing exactly that. Dallas, I used to be scared sh_itless to be vulnerable - to open my "heart" to someone who I knew could "break" it. So what happened to me was that I never took the chances. And it never failed - I never experienced love. And I was always wishing I could, making excuses why it never happened, and rationalizing "my time for this has come and gone." You want to know what all that tripe was about?

I was just being lazy. It takes work to practice doing anything -especially taking actions. I never enjoyed love and romance not because I was "cursed" by fate or the "gods of love" frowned on me. I never enjoyed love and romance because I was lazy. I was too lazy to practice putting my heart out there on the front line. I was so afraid of being hurt, I didn't even want to practice - I didn't even want to try being a little bit vulnerable. It's all BS bro - I nearly bullsh_itted myself into a lonely miserable life. I thought it was easier to lie to myself than to practice something that would prepare me for life on life's terms.

Why the hell would I want to do that? I want to experience life - all of it which includes the thrill of that first kiss with someone who has the same feelings - wild and vulnerable. Yes it is risky, but if I never practice, how am I going to react when the "ideal" circumstance presents itself to me? The opportunity will come and go, and I won't even see it. Like that passage I read, "Inspiration doesn't go for long-term engagements". It has to be married quickly to action.

You know the sayings about Babe Ruth - he got many more strikeouts than he got home runs. But if he never struck out once, he would never have experienced the thrill of that first home run, and the thrill of those 700 or so more to come. He made a game of his fears - boy he put them in the right place. And he won that game against his fear over 700 times.

When I look at it, I've already had a lot of practice with hearing and experiencing things that were hard to bear - just like you and all of us. We survived, didn't we? Some of our stories are so hard and harrowing, yet we walk upright and tell others about them. That means we can survive as many "No I can't go to the dance, but thank you's" or "I don't love you anymore's" until we find that other kindred spirit who looks into our eyes and says "You're the one I'm dreaming of". What kind of thrill would I be missing out on if I never heard "Oh baby" in a voice that says I am the center of her universe. Sorry friends, it is worth my heart broken a hundred times - because I know there will be one (or more) that isn't afraid to take the same chance with me. And you know they are taking chances with us every time, too.

My brother, we've been given a second chance in life. Not only will it bring us joy to experience life to it's fullest sober. We are giving our greatest gift to God when we abandon ourselves to Him and let this wild ride on earth become a prayer of thanks.

Sorry - I'm just really "pumped" today.

God bless!
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Good stuff, Paul! :wink:

Here's a little action tool I use when I feel like my tank is dragging because I've got too much lead in my gas....

I get a pen and pad of paper.
I lay down and kind of meditate... on the thought that I've already died.
Like as in dead.
I get serious about it for a little while.

And, then I ask myself "What do I wish that I had achieved, had, did, or be... before I died?"

Then, I take the pen and paper and start writing....

Then... as I'm laying there dead... I decide to give myself a second chance to come back alive... and the stuff on my list works like a "To Do List".

I've often wondered what it would be like if I was in a relationship and I did that little exercise with my partner.... except, change it a little to be "what do I wish I would have done with her? For her? For us? With us?"

I've never done it like that ... but, I've wondered about it.

Someday, our One-Days-At-A-Time opportunites will be history. We don't have to die for the opportunity to be gone.

Kind of like now... I've been going through some health stuff... expecially with a back problem that's really been doing a number on me. I've been thinking about the things that I could have done -- and if I would have done them -- how the chances are... my back problem might not be a problem. Also, about some of the other things that I used to like to do... that required a back with no problems... and how I let other things get too busy to be doing some of the things that I could have been doing.

I've been writing about it, too. Making a list and visualizing and tapping into Creative Intelligence... and also asking God to help me come up with a game plan so that I can fix my back problems. And, I believe that the job is going to get done -- because I have faith, that I've been given the tools, the power and the ability to do it.

I know it's off topic, but the Carpenter said something like... "Whatever someone else has done... you can do it too... if you believe that you can, and if you believe in the Higher Power that resides inside you, and allow that Power and Energy to flow through you, it will guide you, to get the job done."

I realize He said it different than that... but, to me... that's the same as what He meant by it.

And, I think about our book, too... where it says "we have recovered and been given the power to help others."

Sometimes... we can get so busy or caught up and forget that He has given us that same power to live and guide our lives... and to help us do the things that we've been unable to come to believe that we can do.

There's another version of that tool above that I use sometimes... and with the pen and paper I go ahead and write my obituary the way I would want it to read... and, then I look at that and realize I better get busy!!! :lol:

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Postby Kelly » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:06 am

Are you guys trying to torment me or what? :wink: You say sex is so much better when sober? Well, I’m not saying that I haven’t had sex when I haven’t been drinking (or drunk) at the time, but I now know that I was an alcoholic then (and now). I also know that my mind wasn’t clear even if I wasn’t drinking at the time and I didn’t recognize that I even had a drinking problem then. My mind is much clearer now and I know for certain that I am an alcoholic. I would absolutely love to experience sex now :oops: ...now that I am sober and working towards a different life....living a sober life. I truly feel that I am a different person now and I will continue to grow in my sobriety. I realize that it’s only been a very short time that I have learned anything about sobriety and that after my first 2 weeks, I failed and drank again, but I am on the right track again and have been doing well. I honestly don’t think I should have to wait a year to experience any intimacy. I really don’t.

At first, when I heard the “don’t have any relationships for your first year of sobrietyâ€
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