May 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm #56650tulips8Participant
Early sobriety has been very hard for me. All the emotions that I used to repress are coming out, and sometimes it feels like I will never stop crying. I have a sponsor and I’m working the steps. Sometimes I miss meetings because I feel okay, and then after 3 days or so, will have a total meltdown. (Not drinking, just emotional.) I don’t feel comfortable telling many people in my life what I’m going through. The people who do know, like the man in my life, seem startled and scared at times by my intensity. I also have just gone through a series of changes – finished school, looking for a new job maybe in a different location and went through a break up and sort of getting back together with the relationship.
I also think that my addictive tendencies come out in relationships. I joined a support group for this, and I’m trying to learn different habits. The thing is, whenever I do something unhealthy, now I see it and know I’m doing it. It is very uncomfortable for me that I feel I can’t control some actions. Now I also feel guilty or undeserving of love, and that I’m not making progress because I haven’t “gotten it right” yet. In the mix is not knowing my boundaries very well.
Any advice from people with similar struggles would be great. It’s always good to hear what others have done to get through similar tough times. Thank you.May 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm #56661GavinParticipant
Well I have to admit from the outset I can’t really say that I’ve experienced the same things directly (can anyone truly say that of any experience?) but you seem to be suffering somewhat under a similar weight to a lot of people. It sounds as though you’re doing tremendously well – to be mindful enough to see when you trip up is not just a very good sign in itself, but also goes to show what great strength you actually have, even though I suspect you repeatedly feel quite the opposite. Probably the first thing I would suggest is the art of letting go of the stress around the element of control which you mention. Even when life may be considered “perfect” by every reasonable definition, life is never all that controllable.. not really, but you know what?! That’s okay. For my money I’d say that handling any situation with humility and lack of expectation not only makes the momentary experience more authentic, but it also in itself helps to reinforce the real lack of importance to control. Life can carry a beautiful randomness to it, and I’d probably say roll with life moment by moment, and don’t be hard on yourself.. not for a moment in return. The fact that your circumstances are compounded by AA recovery means that it will be hard I’m sure, though it definitely sounds like you have a positive outlook on this aspect, and that’s a better, longer lasting position than one of looking for and struggling over control. Make no mistake either – we’re all deserving of love. That love has to first come to ourselves from within, which sounds like a scary thing, but in truth it sounds as though you have a good measure of that already too, since you’re in here and out there dealing with your feelings and talking, and that’s a very encouraging thing. Rome wasn’t built in a day! As with everything about helping to make life beautiful, you have to find what really makes you tick and play to that strength. The more you can focus on the things you like, and the more you can notice around you that’s beautiful, the better you will feel. It will take time and it sounds like you are handling some pretty big feelings at the moment, feelings which are overwhelming you but that’s okay too. The one thing I think I can relate to if nothing else is a sense of emotional chaos. I’ve found that the only thing to do with that is let go, again as with the issue of control. Allow for what is, allow it to be and allow it to pass. The passage of time is a great healer on the weary mind. I sense anxiety in you, but I’d say just lean into what you’re feeling and know that you’re handling it as best as you can – I think your mind knows what it’s doing, just help it a little by being kind to yourself. With time and a little wind in your sails, who knows where your little trail of connected dots may lead? All the best for now!May 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm #56664Bill LeeParticipant
It’s important for you to know that early sobriety is hell for all recovering addicts, so you’re not alone. When we stop using, we have taken away our maladaptive coping mechanism but the underlying problems are still there. You may have been told by your sponsor or others in the fellowship that when you are in recovery, major life changes relating to career, housing, large purchases, intimate relationships, etc. should be avoided for a period of time (2 years is typical) because they can add stress and became sources of triggers. Obviously, some of the changes you’re undergoing cannot be avoided, so you will just have to be mindful of the added pressure and work your recovery accordingly.
Feeling like our family and loved ones don’t understand what we’re struggling with is also common. It would be helpful for them to attend Al-anon or other support groups, but we can’t force them nor is it a guarantee that they would become empathetic. Understanding my addiction or yours is not their responsibility. That’s why the fellowship is so important.
You mentioned that problems surface when you miss meetings, so it’s obvious that you need to be proactive and not just attend meetings when you feel bad or think you need them.
I encourage you to consider having more than one sponsor, perform service in or outside of the program, and regard your attendance at meetings the same as taking life-saving medication. You wouldn’t skip the latter, so the same should hold true for the former. Another suggestion is to work with a psychotherapist who specializes in treating addiction. Exploring residential treatment programs would be advised as well. You need to firmly believe that you deserve recovery. I hope you have hit your bottom and wish you peace and serenity.
BillMay 26, 2014 at 11:37 am #57380tulips8Participant
Thank you both. I really appreciate it.May 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm #57387Bill LeeParticipant
You’re welcome, tulips8. _/\_May 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm #57442GavinParticipant
Not a problem tulips.. I hope you’re doing alright 🙂 best of luck!May 31, 2014 at 3:57 pm #57787BenzRabbitParticipant
You going through normal processes of the early stages of recovery.
All the emotions repressed in the past come out and sometimes uncontrollably – it is your mind ‘giving up ghosts of the past’ so to speak !
Please continue being strong – it gets much better !!
Listen to this one song by Josh Groban – it gave me strength. Here is the youtube link:
GOD Bless !August 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm #63780genParticipant
It sounds as though recovery is unfolding in front of you. At first it may be frightening as you sort through the feelings that no longer are hazy from self medication.
Is there a chance you are ACOA as well?