Being afraid of the evenings

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Being afraid of the evenings

Postby Soka » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:28 pm

Hi everyone,
I am an alcoholic who just recently discovered the problem. I started going to a counselor who - besides CBT therapy - suggested me to join AA. I only attended one meeting so far; I already talked to a person from the group via phone several times; however, she is not my sponsor yet. I love the Big Book. I truly believe that the 12 steps work. On the other hand, I am struggling with a particular problem. I decided many times in the last week that I would not drink. I only drink at the evenings at my home (which does not make me different from others who drink with friends or during the day). Tonight I decided that with the loving help of God, I will not drink. I usually start drinking my first wine at 7pm after dinner. Today I switched on a healthy beverage (V8). I could stay away from the wine until 10:30 pm. Then my husband went to sleep. This is the time when I spend about 2 more hours before I go to sleep. And this was the time when I "failed". I am basically afraid of the late evenings and nights. I used alcohol for several years as a relaxing/sleeping aid. Do you have any suggestion how to fight this? Am I rushing myself after only one week? Should I change my evening settings, such as watching a movie (because it is connected to my drinking habit?)? Is delaying drinking and drinking less still a tiny bit of progress? I ask this particularly because in many success stories I have read that the person just quit instead of reducing the amount? (I know that reducing the amount is not the solution for the long run)

Thank you in advance
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby positrac » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:03 am

Mind has a way of playing games and we can fall victim to these pesky taunts. I would recommend changing the things in the people, places and things. Go walk around the block, read a book, or clean, shine silver, iron clothes. Sorry to sound so domestic but you are the key to the change and you know your life best. Going to meetings in this period of time is in place for a reason. A desire is all that is required for AA, and you have to dig deeper in order to capitalize on the promises.

H- Hungry
A- Angry
L- Lonely
T- Tired
Those will make you fail and you've got to learn to manage the free time and also the space between your ears. Look it totally sucks in early sobriety and yet the rewards are great in time and these are merely suggestions and the best part is you have nothing to lose by trying, heaps to gain because it could change your outlook and life for the better.

Be well
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:23 am

Do you have any suggestion how to fight this?

If you dig deep, its the internal un-manageability (being restless,irritable, discontented, bored, anxious, you can add more), which is all non-acceptance of the current moment and we get obsessed, we hit the blind spot. The mind tricks us into taking that drink. Lets start tomorrow, a clean day.. or two days later, it probably would comeback and say, since you have not drank for 2 days, you deserve a drink. And then the physical craving takes over. You end up drinking the whole bottle.

I would only say try and sincerely pray that you want out of this hole. Since you like the big book, you can try some of the free resources online. There are some great workshops you can listen to. It brings the book alive. Search "Joe and Charle Big Book Study". Start working the steps right away, find a sponsor who can help you highlight the "selfishness and self-centeredness" around each short-coming and help you have a different attitude toward life. Before when you said life sucks and reached a bottle, you will reach to do something else. Thats spiritual awakening, a psychic change Dr. Silkworth calls it.

Edit: Just want to add. If you listen to Bills Story segmetns of the workshop, they will highlight the fact that Knowledge didn't fix Bill, and then Fear coulndn't fix Bill and finally Bill W comes back for the 3rd time and grabs hold of some ideas offered by Ebby and then has a spiritual experience.
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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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby Robert R » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:27 am

Hi there, Nothing changes if nothing changes. From my experience going to regular meetings and listening to others shares gave me many tips on coping with the cravings in the early days. For instance put of the first drink till after you have phoned another group member. Changing routines, keeping occupied and rekindling old hobbies all helped. As to sleeping 'normal' hours, like many I had to have a doctors help with that one in the short term.
I found that with the help of regular meetings, support of other alcoholics, a willingness to change and acceptance of my condition it at first got easier! Then it got better in ways I could never have imagined.

Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby C.O » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:58 am

Hello Soka. IME, alcohol is a very unreliable sleeping aid. Yes, it can make you sleepy, but it can also make you wake up at 2AM. Don't be afraid of a couple of sleepless nights when you go sober. It happens.

I've read a fair amount of self-help stuff about insomina, and they usually say that strict routines help. No TV an hour before bed; read something instead (helps to slow down). Go to bed the same time every night and set the alarm clock to the same time every morning. No naps during the day. No coffe later than lunchtime. Don't read in bed, use the bed for sleeping only. Just a few pieces of advice that I've found useful.

But maybe insomnia isn't your worry? In that case, please ignore me;-)
Soka wrote:Is delaying drinking and drinking less still a tiny bit of progress? I ask this particularly because in many success stories I have read that the person just quit instead of reducing the amount?

Have you ever tried to quit smoking? Trying to gradually cut down just prolongs the agony. How to stay sober for more than a few weeks, I don't know - I've never been able to. But, as you say, there are inspiring success stories.
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby Brock » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:15 am

Welcome to e-AA Soka. Most new folks coming here do complain about the sleep problem, and along with some of the recommendations given, I agree with Robert concerning professional help for the insomnia. We don't give medical advise, but many including myself have found relief with OTC sleep aids, you may consider trying one of these before laying out money on a doctor. I wish you all the best with this.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby C.O » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:18 am

Sorry if it sounded like I was giving medical advice. That wasn't the intention.
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby BPG » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:32 am

Hi Soka

When I was new to the program I recall thinking that I needed a drink. I knew that I WANTED a drink, and I definitely felt like I deserved a drink.

Very soon, I no longer needed that drink, and it wasn't too long before I found that I didn't WANT it, either. And through the AA program, I eventually came to see that I deserved much better.

That's the neat thing about AA; millions of people deserving better, getting better.

Good luck!
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Re: Being afraid of the evenings

Postby Soka » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:43 pm

Thank you so much for the advice :) All of them make a lot of sense.

I did read about insomnia. It is one of the most common symptoms that comes with sobriety. Years ago once I quit for a week. I did not sleep for a week. I worked full-time and was not even tired. I did not stress about it. The bigger problem is the time between late evening and sleep time. I agree that changing routines can be very useful. I will also look up the resources you suggested. Truth is, I only joined the program few days ago as I wrote earlier. Alcoholism killed the desire of socializing; therefore, it is hard for me to join meetings. I will try my best to achieve change because my desire to change is getting bigger :)
Thank you again!
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