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    3 years sober yet miserable
    danni2009 posted:
    ive been sober for around three years and ive had no real issues. but lately ive been a whirlwind of emotions and i cant seem to control them its brought me to tears the past couple nights what is happening to me??
    dgcowell responded:
    I first want to say, congratulations for being sober for 3 years!! Good for you! Hang in there. Of course I don't "know" what is causing your "whirlwind" of emotions, causing you to be tearful. But my guess is, that your chemicals are out of balance for whatever reason and you might need to see a doctor about taking a RX antidepressant or anti-anxiety medicine. I hope you get to feeling better and what ever you do, don't go back to alcohol, it's a depressant for sure! dgcowell
    Taximan283 responded:
    Hi Danni,

    You didn't give enough info for anyone to say what's wrong. But I think you're kinda proving my point about this illness known as addiction. Which is a terrible word for an illness. And alcoholism isn't much better. That word also carries negative stigmas, just slightly different ones. Nevertheless, I still maintain that an alcoholic is an addict who's drug of choice is alcohol. I also maintain that those of us who really have this illness, which is a brain illness, have a problem in our brains that make us feel like crap most of the time. It is possible to get clean and sober, and to stay that way, with extreme will power, but very often the person has little to no quality of life. That seems to be what you're saying. And this is probably the main reason for relapse.

    An opiate addict can use Mdone or Sub to keep those bad feelings to a minimum but there isn't anything made specifically for alcohol addicts. Therefore, the only other thing I can suggest is to 1st understand the illness. You have some kind of problem is your brain which causes you to feel bad. We don't understand what's going on, but it's a good bet that our brains are lacking in the Feel Good Chemicals (FGC). These would be the endorphins, and several others. These FGC are what keeps a normal person feelings normal. Now don't misunderstand me, if terrible things happen in any persons life, then that person will feel bad. But it happens to us even when things are fine. And if bad things do happen, then our bad feelings go off the charts in intensity. Is this your situation? Has something gone wrong, or are you just losing your will to battle the bad feelings without alcohol? Either way, what can you do without going back to drinking?

    You have to learn which behaviors cause your brain to produce the FGC and you need to identify the people, places and things that make you feel worse. Once you do, you have to avoid those people, places and things like the plague, or at least as much as you can. Don't willingly put yourself in a situation that you know will cause bad feelings. You also need to learn safety zones. That would be, places, things, and maybe people, where you feel comfortable and safe. One of my safety zones is the music of the Grateful Dead. Another is the ocean, and walking along the seashore; alone.

    Here are few behaviors that will cause the production of FGC. Maybe the best is exercise. A good work out usually helps. Of course if you have lung or heart problems you probably can't do much of that. Another thing is the emotion of Love. This need not be love of another person. It can be any love. Some men love their car. For such a man spending hours beatifying his car can help to produce FGC. Other people love their pet, cat, dog, horse, etc. Spending time with your pet can produce the FGC. Sex can also produce FGC but I must give some cautions here. I'm not advocating that anyone go rushing out to have meaningless sex with any ole person who's willing. This is especially true for females. I know you girls can get sex very easy, and while the physical activity will cause the production of FGC, the emotions that get involved may cause more bad feelings. Especially if you find a man who's just using you. And while this is more of a problem for a woman, things like this can happen to men too. So let me point out that the physical act of masturbation will also cause the production of the FGC and may be much safer than sex with a stranger.

    There are many other things that an cause FGC, and these things will vary from person to person. Each person needs to discover them for yourself. You probably already know many of them. But what you may not have known is that it's a lack of these FGC that's at the root cause of your disease with alcohol. So by consciously trying to make yourself feel good, you may overcome the desire to drink and have a relapse. remember, if you relapse, that's another reason you will then feel bad.
    jbell3001 responded:
    I have some other suggestions that you probably know about. My sponsor insisted that I make a gratitude list in the morning and again at night. Also, one of the best ways for me to help myself is to help others. These are simple but effective ways that have made me feel better for 29 years of sobriety and can be done with or without prescriptions with no side effects at all. Hang in there!
    lenb1 responded:
    Sounds like u are dry(same behavior but not drinking) I have been sober and recovering for 7rs,could not have done it without my higher power and working the 12 steps AA.Hang in there dont go back to that misery.Len B
    doggielover216 responded:
    You are a strong person, congrats to you for the three years. I am really struggling myself I am an alcoholic and just got out of detox Monday. I recommend that you follow if you are soon going to have your period, if change of weather affect your mood, ( emotions), if none apply the you should go and see your doctor. Please do no take a chance with your sobriety.


    ThereIsASolution responded:
    Oh my, welcome to the quest for emotional sobriety. I drank to change my feelings. When I started going to meetings I was able to make it through - but I also got distracted by a relationship with a bipolar guy, who kept me from looking at myself too closely until we divorced when I was 7 years sober. All of a sudden there was no one in the mirror but me. So I started "family of origin" group therapy, with individual sessions as well, did that for several years. Once in a while I get in a pit, and I go back to therapy for a while. Also began antidepressants in 1995, which were a lifesaver. Turns out I've been clinically depressed since childhood, so my brain chemistry needed a lot of help - and still does. I have chronic anxiety that comes back and is paralyzing if I don't have the right meds to subdue it. It's taken a lot of searching for me to find emotional balance.

    So don't be afraid of doing a 4th step to clear out the junk, or getting into therapy. The percentage of people who have stayed sober as long as I have is pretty small - and it has a lot to do with ego (too much of) and perseverance (not enough of).

    I've been sober 25 years, I live the 12 steps in my life, and I'm still "trudging the road of happy destiny". Emotional sobriety separates the "plug in the juggers" from those who truly want to become "happily and usefully whole."
    delumiere responded:
    Congratulations on three years. The following is in response to your Post. I, too, am in recovery. This October I will have 40 years clean and sober, one day at a time. Here are my recollections and suggestions regarding the first three years.

    The first year we spend most of our time learning how to live without alcohol or drugs. We exchange self-destructful behaviors with life-enhancing behaviors. Instead of going to a bar, we attend a 12 Step meeting; when stressed, instead of picking up a drink or a drug, we call our sponsor. It seemed that all I did that first year was to get through the pain of detox, and trade drinking-drugging behaviors and thoughts for sober living and sober thinking. Took a lot of concentration.

    The second year when our thinking is improving and the neurons have begun firing in our brain once again, we begin to understand and absorb the Twelve Steps by attending Big Book studies; and, Twelve Steps and Twelve Tradition meetings. We go to speaker meetings so we don't feel alone in the struggle. We write a thorough 4th Step and process it with our sponsor. Getting through the Twelve Steps takes commitment, courage and dedication to the task of uncovering the problems in one's life that triggered the using and drinking.

    By the Third year, we are now faced with an explosion from within, of every emotion we managed to bury deep inside when we were drinking and using. Originally, we started to drink over our feelings, because we were lacking the advanced coping skills that are necessary to protect our boundaries. If those coping skills are still missing, than every time someone or something threatens us, we either become anxious or sad and then angry.

    We must learn from a trained professional therapist what our rights are, what boundaries are, what rules we wish to live by ... (our personally selected morality); we learn clear and direct communication skills; and, healthy roles rather than the dysfunctional, maladaptive roles we learned growing up. All these points help to create a new space of safety for an individual in the world. That's when it becomes a protected area of "me and God" and never feeling totally alone again in the world.

    Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds are great but they only temporarily mask the cause of our sadness, fear and anger. Some recovering persons need therapy and a 12 Step Program, others need Rx meds and a 12 Step Program. Others need all three. Only the individual personally knows after a rigorously honest appraisal of the self.

    You have my prayers for your success! I hope you do not give up after all you have invested in saving your life. God bless.
    bbranger2000 responded:
    Well, I'm not sure what you are doing to be a sober person, and it is really not my place to check your inventory. Since you are asking though, here it goes. I will ask, are you a sober recovering alcoholic, or are you a dry drunk? I go to 4 to 6 A. A. meetings a week. I have an excellent sponsor whom I can talk to anytime, as well as other wonderful A. A. friends. I do my daily readings, and meditation. I hit my knees in the morning and at night. The serenity prayer has gotten me through many of ruff days too. Nothing changes if nothing changes. If all you did was put down the drink, I must tell you, you are doomed. I must say without all of my friends at A. A., I would be dead right now! I had to get INVOLVED with A. A. Sitting in the corner doesn't cut it. Try some service work, such as making coffee at a particular meeting. Show up early, and leave late too Getting myself a home group really helped as well, as I felt I was a part of something. It is said "You need to hang around the winners". This is true in my experience. Pick a sponsor with at least 5 years of sobriety, that has exactly what you want. I was terrified of doing the 12 steps, but it has to be done to live a sober life. Happy, joyous, and free is yours if you work for it. It works if you work it, this issue of yours is a PERFECT topic to bring up at a meeting. The booze is just a symptom of a much deeper problem, not knowing how to live a sober life. Alcoholism is a scientifically proven disease, we have a DNA genetic defect that "normal" people do not have. Hope you take my suggestions and do the right thing. Brendon
    danni2009 responded:
    thanks everyone for your responses the only thing is that im sober .... well clean i guess is a better word ..... from meth. some of the suggestions were great. and i thank you i guess right now im going through a happier phase. my love of my life is standing by me and has been through the thick and the thin, so god blessed me there. but for years i have been going through this hell now though he lives with me which means my emotions run stronger i guess... and i dont want to put him through hell... any more suggestions? by the way the doc has me on a prn dose of lorazepam (ativan) and on top of that i have mirgraines to treat as well.

    thanks again its nice to hear the support and good luck to all of u 2
    lghk50 responded:
    You've gotten LOTS of advice. Be kind to yourself, learn to love the real you. I tried all my life but the hurt deep down would not go away. I had to admit I needed help. I checked out AA and was amazed how many women were telling my "story." I had the feeling I fit in for the first time in my life. The solution to my misery was in the meetings, the people, and surrendering my ineffective way of living to the spiritual power I most connected with. I know of many women whose addictions include drugs. In the city where I live, the CA/NA programs are not very good. Not much long-term sobriety to guide the newcomers. So, people turn to AA for support. It's all the same 12 Steps to take to recovery. There are others who find other ways to achieve and maintain sobriety. I was not there when God handed out the rule book of life. In AA (74 yrs strong), I am finally getting it and I don't have to do it alone. Get support of other women who have been there and want to help you find serenity again. Peace and Blessings.
    lghk50 responded:
    Pretty dictatorial and self-righteous. Not everyone responds well to that kind of "help." Got a grudge against AA? Perhaps a 4th step on that anger would help you drop that rock you carry. Praying for the still sick and suffering alcoholics, addicts and emotionally unbalanced. Peace and blessings
    rrwing98 responded:
    Congratulations, now comes the more difficult part of recovery and I believe you are ready for it. Find a local CoDA Group in your area. One that is open to both sexes and newcomers. Codependency is usually what gets most of us into substance abuse and abusive behaviors. The CoDA 12 Step's are completely different than other 12 Step groups as each group deals with seperate issues that sometimes take on other forms. I refer to CoDA as Emotional Recovery. I have found that by addressing these new found issues there is a solution and it takes commitment and a lot of work that can be difficult and sometimes painful. There is a pay-off though as each day I stay sober and true to my self, my True Self, I have gotten many rewards that recovery, abstinence alone was not able to provide me. I actually came to find a new self, a precious person I liked and others came to see in a new light. Only one thing in life is constant and that is change.
    cris1771 responded:
    hello, I can definitely relate, I am 4 years and 3 months sober and still trying to find meaning and purpose in my sobriety. I have a hard working husband, my children are back in my life, I have returned to College and I still find myself angry and resentful to the point that my husband keeps threatening that if I don't get some help, "us" will seize to exist. At the beginning of my journey to sobriety, someone warned me of the great sense of loss I would feel and the strong emotions I would have to go through and not around but I had no idea it would be such an impactful and lasting experience. I go through such extremes that my husband is convinced I'm bipolar or in serious need of some kind of therapy. Something to think about.....

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