- Why did I drink?

Why did I drink?




Sobriety quotes and sayings heard in Meetings

Why did I drink?

Postby tim-one » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:32 am

At a BB study group Sunday, we were discussing why we drank. Most of us answered "Why not?" We didn't need a reason. There's no telling if I had a reason before I got started or if the reason was a result of continuing. It's just what we do. We just made up reasons as we went along so we didn't have to stop.

The discussion turned to trying to answer "normies" who asked, "Why didn't you stop?" or "Why can't you drink like everybody else?"

How do you explain addiction craving to a normie?

One guy offered this:

I watch CSI and they can tell if someone was dead before they were in the water or if they drowned. In order to drown, one has to take a breath under water. No water in the lungs, dead before.

It's a statistic that scuba divers never die from lack of air, never suffocated. They drown from breathing water.

You can only hold your breath by conscious effort. Eventually, the conscious brain passes out from lack of air and the unconscious takes a breath all by itself because that's what it does.

An alcoholic or addict can only not use until the conscious brain checks out or aches too much from the effort. A few times of this, the conscious brain learns that "resistance is futile" and just stops arguing with the instinct to drink.

Whatcha think? I liked it. That's pretty much the way I was.

Love y'all,
Tim1
tim-one
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:54 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Anja » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:44 am

I'm gonna remember that one, Tim and pass you one back.

When I first sobered up, I was on my own for two weeks before I started to go nutz and seek out some help. In those two weeks I searched for all the info I could find. In the library I found a book by a psychiatrist that said that if you don't figure out why you drink, you'll never be able to quit.

So, even after beginning AA, I had about a year-long search to try to figure out exactly why it was that I drank. Well, duh. The answer was, in this order:

1. I liked it
2. Then I needed it.
3. Then I couldn't stop it.

I even begged a therapist to hypnotize me to try to find the "secret" reason why I drank.

Finally I heard someone say in a meeting, in response to someone wondering why they drank, "When the barn's on fire you don't go looking for the arsonist. You put it out."

Odd how many "helpers" don't know the simple answer to the question. I remember when I was in Hazelden answering the group leader's question with, "Because I'm an alcoholic." And did she ever read me the riot act.

But that's the closest explanation I've ever been able to get to. I suppose it could be interpretted by some to mean, "I can't help it." But that's not the point. :wink:
Anja
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:42 pm
Location: Minnesota

Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:35 am

Tim-One wrote:An alcoholic or addict can only not use until the conscious brain checks out or aches too much from the effort. A few times of this, the conscious brain learns that "resistance is futile" and just stops arguing with the instinct to drink.


Great insight and a great way to explain it!

Before my first drink... I was curious. I'm an explorer. And, I wondered if there really was some magic in it. What would it do? What could it do? I think I'll try it!

After my first drink -- I didn't like it! It made me feel dizzy. Sick. Goofy. Out of control. It sucked!

"How was I ever going to be able to drink this stuff -- so that I can grow up and be a real man? Dont ya know that you can't be a real man if you can't hold your booze?"

And, I was in a life session -- where I needed to grow up and be a real man really fast! There was no time to be a kid. There was no time to be a child. I didn't have the luxury of waiting to grow up. My life was on the line. I didn't know it then -- but, I was looking for a way to survive until I could be in a safe place where I could fix the stuff that was wrong.

Then, after I practiced a lot... and went to any lengths to learn to be able "to drink alcohol"... I discovered that there really was some magic in it. It could do all kinds of great and mysterious and magical things! And, it could help me grow up really fast! And, it would help me survive and win the fight to life! It could help me succeed!

I could do things with it -- that I could have never done without it! And, I succeeded! And, I did the magical and the un-do-able. And, I not only started to like it... I fell in love with it! And, I loved every single thing there was about it! I loved it so much that I married it! It became a part of me. We bonded. I left home and we became one with each other -- with a loyal commitment til death do us part! In good times and in bad times. For sickness and for health. A vital part of me that I could not and would not live without -- even if and when it killed me. Life was not worth living without it.

So, for me... it was progressive. I was curious. I hated it when I first met it. Then, I learned to deal with it. Learned to like it. And, fell in love and we became one. Life was not worth living without it. Life was not live-able without it. It became... "to drink is to die" and "to not drink is to die" ... and I can't handle living without it.

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby Anja » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:26 am

I thought about this a little more over night and had something to add.

Whatever underlying inadequacies one has which led to the attraction to alcohol, they will, and do, become apparent fairly soon after beginning recovery. We're probably the last ones to notice.

When I said I want "nutz" after two weeks of self-enforced abstinence, that was true. I was nearly hysterical, sobbing and angry. A serious lack of ability to deal with the mood swings and all the emotion that had been stuffed while I drank. Clue one. Feelings recognition and management.

And as the 12 Step program indicates, it becomes a lifetime process of reworking the steps and discovering new facets of ourselves and what we would like to change.

People say, "Like peeling an onion."
Anja
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:42 pm
Location: Minnesota

Postby tim-one » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:14 pm

Yep. That boils it down for me ... Like it, need it, am it.< (note the period)

Keep it stoopid, simple. It's pretty much that simple.

But, it's interesting to study it like Bill did at first. "The idea that we are alergic to alcohol was intersting to us." or sumthin like that.

I looked up alergy and it's the bodies over-reaction to a foreign body. It's like sending the 101st Airborne to stop a bar fight.

As I read the BB, it was said that our insanity is perversion of our natural instincts for food, shelter, safety, procreation, and social acceptance. Those are the things our "reptilian brain" (hipocampus) automatically does to keep us alive. Fight or flight. Sexual desire. Hunger (craving). Etc.

Alcohol makes our base mind over-react when any instinct is threatened just like a poison ivy rash or what CATS do to me.

When I was in rehab, they tought us a whole bunch of current scientfic and medical stuff about what starts alcoholism and how it works phisically and mentally. Extremely interesting. I was very interested. I don't know how common the knowledge is. I'll post some of it for you if you like.

But I recognized early on that knowing all that won't keep me sober. Finding out WHY I drank won't either. Changing my thinking will.

Nevertheless, I'm an information nut. It's a hobby for me. But useless.

The knowledge doesn't give me any excuses. It WAS very helpful enabling me to forgive myself. Important to believing that God would forgive me.

For keeping sober.... it's reeeeeeely simple.

Love,
Tim1
tim-one
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:54 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:15 pm

Tim1 wrote:But I recognized early on that knowing all that won't keep me sober. Finding out WHY I drank won't either. Changing my thinking will.


I second that emotion! :lol:

Nothing so hopeless as an alcoholic that is well educated about himself and his condition and the cure for his condition -- and he can't stay sober.

If I could think myself into healthy thoughts that would change my thinking I wouldn't need to take actions that change my thinking.

That, to me, is the miracle that AA discovered. A formula of actions that would produce a transformation in the mind. A personality change -- that would allow me to recover and treat my alcoholism. A personality change that would allow me to change my life and keep it changed for the better.... as long as I'm continuing to take the actions -- that changed my mind. :wink:

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA


Return to Quotes and sayings - heard in meetings

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Why did I drink?



cron