Six months sober and never felt worse...

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Fignolia
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Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by Fignolia » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:32 pm

I'm just over six months sober and I feel like S***. I am suffering from severe anxiety and depression - no cravings. I'm doing all the right things, meetings, sponsor, step work, psychiatrist, psychologist, exercise, good diet, etc. I just feel like I'd want to be ANYTHING but an alcoholic. Any advice?

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ezdzit247
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:07 pm

Fignolia wrote:I'm just over six months sober and I feel like S***. I am suffering from severe anxiety and depression - no cravings. I'm doing all the right things, meetings, sponsor, step work, psychiatrist, psychologist, exercise, good diet, etc. I just feel like I'd want to be ANYTHING but an alcoholic. Any advice?
Hi Fig

Congratulations on six months sober!

Sorry to hear you feel like S***. Are you taking any prescription medications for the anxiety and depression? If so, has your doctor been monitoring the effects and adjusting the meds accordingy?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Brock
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by Brock » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:10 pm

Hi Fignolia, sorry to hear this news, especially when it does appear you are doing the right things. I know the question on most of our minds here would be how far in the steps you have reached, in particular if you have completed step five. This is the stage at which most of us report a change in our feelings, particularly as it applies to the spiritual side of the program.

It is very good that you don’t have cravings, because as I expect you know drinking only makes things worse. Sorry I can’t offer something to cheer you up, just wanted to reply so you know we are here and care, I expect others will be along and possibly have something to offer in encouraging you.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Fignolia
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by Fignolia » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:13 pm

Thanks for the feedback. One more amend to make and it's onto step 10. And yes, my doctors are monitoring me (and my meds) very closely. Guess I'll just have to ride this out.

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ezdzit247
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:23 pm

Fignolia wrote:Thanks for the feedback. One more amend to make and it's onto step 10. And yes, my doctors are monitoring me (and my meds) very closely. Guess I'll just have to ride this out.
Sounds good.

There are some things you can do, actions you can take, that will make this phase an easier ride.

One is a simple, directed meditation exercise which involves making a list of things you are grateful for today. Can you name three things you're grateful for?
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lali
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by Lali » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:52 pm

You don't need to "finish" 9 to move on to 10, 11 and 12. You will, after all, probably be making amends for the rest of your life - hopefully not as many then as now, of course.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

D'oh
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by D'oh » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:20 pm

Fignolia wrote: I just feel like I'd want to be ANYTHING but an alcoholic. Any advice?
Congrats on the 6 month mark!

First off I never woke up wanting to be an alcoholic, but it happened. Even before I drank. (5% alcohol, 95% isms) And every day since accepting that fact, I see a reason to be grateful that there is a program for people like us.

Weather it is the Newcomer, grasping for any bit of sanity for their life, or a Nondrinking Co Worker stumbling to hold onto their marriage. There is a program that I can and do belong to that will get me through all of life's turmoil's.

I can belong to this program because I have a desire to stop drinking, and I am willing to give it away to the next sufferer.

I hope you find the serenity Fig, I found it when I wasn't looking so hard for it.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:25 am

When the book says "Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer." I took that very seriously and started meditating using all the techniques out there in the world but I skipped some clear cut directions the book has to offer:

On awkaning......we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought- life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.

Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.

And sometimes, when the sh* hits the roof, it suggests:

We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done." We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.

My new sponsor suggested that I follow these instructions for next 30 days without fail, if I miss it, I have to start all over again.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Niagara
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by Niagara » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:12 am

Hi Fignolia

I can identify. I too am doing everything this program asks of me except one thing I discovered lately...keeping my thought - life clean. I slip very easily sometimes into negative thought patterns, and I don't think well. That one negative thought can turn very quickly into a snowball going downhill, and before I know it I'm full of fear, anxiety, resentments etc. This is self will run riot, every bit as much as actions in self will are.

It's useless asking that God direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives, if I'm going to self will my way back into a fearful state by hooking into these shreds of fear and turning them into full blown mountains. I have self will, God will allow me to use it, when I insist. Today, I've been much more aware, and have used 'thy will be done' often. Feels like every five minutes. It's almost like being under attack and having to raise a shield - But it's better than feeding that thought process and ending up burned out and upset by the end of the day.

These anxieties and fears, and the self pity I have serve no purpose. They are valueless. The best thing i can do is hand them over to God, as and when they crop up. Every time they crop up, which as I said earlier is sometimes every few seconds, feels like...and sometimes it takes me a while to notice I'm at it again :shock:

Once i too hated my alcoholism...but it served a purpose. I needed to be broken and it took something as severe as that to get through to me. I needed to be broken so I could find my real purpose in life, through Gods grace. Left to my own devices, I just run around crashing into walls every five seconds........this is the easier, softer way :)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
Theodore Roosevelt

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ezdzit247
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by ezdzit247 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:07 pm

Hi Fig

Below is a link to an article entitled "The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety" by AA co-founder Bill W.

http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php ... ty#p120222

In the article, Bill shares his experience, strength and hope on his battle with depression during his sobriety journey and attempts to answer the question: "Why can't the Twelve Steps work to release depression?" Bill did all the things he advised other alcoholics to do in the BB and 12&12--meetings, step work, service, exercise, good diet, etc.-- yet none of all those "right actions" and "good works" relieved the crippling depression he suffered. The article is an excellent read and may provide some helpful insights.

When I finally got sober, I listened to how other AA members in the rooms share how they worked the Steps, particularly their 4th Steps, and why it was important to list both assets and liabilities on personal inventories. I liked the business metaphor the BB used and what I heard other AA members share in meetings made a lot of sense to me since no business can survive by just focusing on chucking out its liabilities. Every business also has to know what assets it owns and what assets it needs to acquire in order to stay healthy and thrive. The business of living requires the same. If you've completed an inventory of your liabilities with your AA sponsor, that's good. If you haven't already done so, ask your sponsor to help you complete an inventory of your assets as well. Your posts in this forum demonstrate at least three very valuable assets for any newly recovering alcoholic: honesty, willingness, and tenacity. I'm sure you have many more assets to add to your personal inventory.

There's an excellent study entitled "Is Gratitude A Moral Effect?" published by the American Psychological Association. e-AA forum rules prohibit posting non-AA links, but if you google the title of the paper, the link will pop up in the search results. Very good read.

There's another article written by a blogger named Chris Winfield (who sounds like he's in recovery) which is entitled "13 Things I’ve Learned Writing 1,024 Gratitude Lists". Can't post the link, but you can google it. It's a very good read too.

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

newlife
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by newlife » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:05 am

We all have our own path to walk, with the support of the fellowship, if we are blessed. Myself, I had crushing depressions up to my first year sobriety birthday. I actually cried at my first year b-day. I debated internally about getting meds, and asked members about it. The best advice I got from a member was that he wasn't a doctor, so he didn't want to comment on a possible biological medical issue. Anyway................ I hung in there without meds, rawhide, and went to tons of meetings. I took, for me, about 1.5 to 2 years before I really started to mentally stabilize and feel really good. But everyone is different and comes in at different levels of mental health. Some folk have medical issues that they were covering up by self medicating when out there. For myself the depressions became less frequent and less intense over time without medication. These days I try to use A.A. (and positive affirmation books etc) tools and sober friends to keep my mental/emotional balance.

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Brock
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Re: Six months sober and never felt worse...

Post by Brock » Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:34 am

Lovely post there newlife, welcome to e-AA, please stick around and continue posting. We have a good crowd with good sobriety here and you are a very welcome addition. The ‘action’ on these forums goes up and down, little quiet right now, but often we have some very interesting topics being discussed.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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