10 months in and life's a mess

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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby danderisup » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:29 am

I agree with others, get a sponsor and work the steps as directed in the Big Book, there is no substitute.

But I would like to add that for people who also have an unrelated mental illness, a flare up of that (perhaps your depression) can cause a real upset in an otherwise solid program.

I have over one year sober and have been doing my step work, spiritual practice and was absolutely feeling relief and even moments of serenity in my life. It was SO encouraging, but my mental illness reared up and I feel so deflated. I am not drinking but racing thoughts, hallucinations, paranoia etc have certainly stolen serenity and made me feel like I have recovery at all. I cannot figure out if mental illness is a character defect? or how to handle things with step 10. I do try to practice these principles in all my affairs but there is this other factor involved and I have trouble finding balance.

I hope that the meds address the depression and they help you get your step work powered up again. best to you.
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby ann2 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:31 am

Hi danderisup, glad to have you here, and thank you for sharing your experience. You helped me today.

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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby wiggo » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:12 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys and girls

Well, a few weeks on, the depression meds have REALLY helped me, I'm very happy to say. Finally going and talking to a doctor after nearly 20 years of gutsing out these depressions has really helped me get a handle on what goes on inside my brain during one of these episodes, and how taking SSRI's can help create a window of relief for therapy to help. So I'm in therapy as well now, which was also really helpful, and helped get me back to AA meetings.

IT was quite funny really. The therapist was the first person I told other than my wife outside the fellowship that I suffered from alcoholism. And she said, are you going to meetings? and I said no, not at the moment. Which I instantly saw as being very stupid, and I suggested that I get myself back to meetings as part of my therapy progress. And guess what, it really helped.

I was amazed that people at the meeting remembered me after nearly 10 months, people smiled at me across the room in recognition. And I really listened to people talking, and found that I identified with what people were going through much more this time.

I felt like I needed to be in a room with these people, people who are going through what I'm going through, and who I don't have to explain what I'm going through - people who share stuff, and I instantly think - 'I feel like that too!' - it was pretty amazing.

I had plucked up the courage to ask a particular guy to be my sponsor, someone who had been really helpful last time round, but he wasn't there.

Still, I'm off to another meeting tomorrow lunchtime in my new home town so hopefully that'll be a good meeting.

Incidentally - are there any other non-smokers here ? It seems like the whole of the meeting goes out for a smoke half way through and that's where everyone gets to know each other, which left me feeing a bit 'outside' - but I'm damned if I'm taking up smoking again after 10 years just to trade one horrible addiction for another!
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby strider » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:37 pm

Wonderful post, wiggo. Lifts my spirits!!
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby Hanna » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:47 pm

Thank you Wiggo for sharing the stuggle and the HOPE. I know you helped me today and many more who will come to read this thread someday.
:)
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby wiggo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:53 am

Thanks for the replies everyone, very helpful and filling me with hope

Hadn't considered that the depression would play havoc with my recovery but that's obvious now I think about it. It clouds my brain and seems to shut me off from everything enjoyable, so it's no surprise that it's shuts off the sunlight of the spirit too... although I need to be careful about whether it's cause or effect - did I get a depression episode because I stopped working my programme fully? It's certainly possible.

I've jumped back into meetings with 2 in 3 days and they've really helped, and made the bravest phonecall of my life to a guy who seems to have a really good programme working for him, I'm going to meet him this Saturday to read him my 4th step. So I'm ploughing on with getting that done as well.

THe biggest thing that being back in the fellowship has given me is a renewed sense of hope. THat things can and will be better, but also a sense of purpose that my being there can also help other people, as well as helping myself.

Thanks everyone, have a beautiful day :)
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby kenyal » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:00 pm

Outstanding to see this, thanks for sharing it.
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby Marblemount » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:14 am

Don't forget withdrawal symptoms can come and go for awhile. That's one reason "one day at a time" means so much - sometimes we just don't drink for today and trust the discomfort will pass. It always does sooner or later. Glad you're feeling better.
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby wiggo » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:20 pm

So I've got myself a sponsor at long last!!

Ironically the guy who I really related to at my first meeting. I guess I wasn't ready to ask for a sponsor a year ago, and now I am

There's a big sliding scale, between thinking you might be an alcoholic, to admitting to someone you are, to saying you are - but I am still gradually ACCEPTING it more and more. I'm in denial less and less.

Having a commitment to meet him in a weeks time with notes on two chapters of the book and a diary kept every day - quite a powerful thing. A commitment to someone else helps me keep one to myself, it turns out

Good night, and best wishes everyone :)
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Re: 10 months in and life's a mess

Postby JohnZ » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:27 pm

Sounds like you're doing really well wiggo. Good work!
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