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Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:32 am
by LyndsyLoo
Hi, I've been reading the posts and it seemed a really supportive site and I thought I would join and get some advice. I joined my first AA group meeting 2 Wednesdays ago and it's been an amazing help. This is the longest I've managed without a drink for about a decade. What I would really like to ask about are some of the things that are bothering me that don't seem to come up in sharing. They are probably not that important but are causing me some issues.
The first is food, Since I stopped drinking I can't stop eating, mostly sweet stuff which has never been an issue for me before. It's important as I have a problem that makes me overreact to sugar and I have actually had two "dumping" sessions in the last 2 weeks (bit like a hypo but not life threatening) - has anyone else noticed a sugar addiction rearing it's head?
The second is sleep. I was used to using wine to more or less pass out when I went to bed - these days I am struggling to sleep the night through and I'm permanently exhausted which makes it feel harder to stay sober.
Lastly, my muscles and joints ache terribly, Things I have never noticed before are making moving around difficult and also making the sleep problem even worse.
Any ideas? I'm taking a good spectrum of vitamins and minerals and normally my diet is ok - no meat but lot's of fish and veggies. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Thank you

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:00 am
by becksdad
Hiya lyn! Glad to see you here! My name is Ed, and I am an alcoholic. As for the sleep problem.... it is very common in early sobriety. Our central nervous systems take time to settle back into some resemblance of normalcy. I felt I couldn't sleep at all for a while, and then it seemed as if all I could do was sleep. Both extremes even out after a little while.

With the metabolic issue (hypo- or- hyper glycemia), a doctor would be one to consult. Along with the pain issue, too. Very often, our drinking masks other medical issues, which can come to the forefront once we have stopped anesthetizing ourselves. Remember it is important to be honest with our providers when seeking medical direction.... an upfront discussion of our true history will be very helpful to the doctor in reaching an accurate conclusion and any effective treatment, if warranted.

Congratulations on 11 days! That is awesome! I hope you continue with meetings, can find a sponsor, and get into the steps for recovery. Hope to see and read more of you here on the forums, too! Keep coming back.... together we get better!

Thanks, Ed

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:27 am
by mike2681950
Hi! Lyndsyloo,
Welcome, Well done on 11 days! You are, believe it not, doing great..i know maybe you do not feel that right now. Oh! yes the sleep one I can relate too, in the last days of my drinking I used to get unconscious on wine at night..When I stopped, settling down at night was a tough one, but I got to a point, surprisingly shortly, that I was able to sleep for a few hours after tossing and turning. I would eventually drift off.
Do keep coming back and share when you need and remember we need each others experience.
Jump in, take a regular look around. There are a lot of practical things around here.
In the beginning for me it was Meetings, listening at first, then I let rip at a meeting one night and I was on my way.
Mike :)

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:36 am
by LyndsyLoo
Thanks for the information Ed and Mike, I understand where you are coming from when you say talk to my GP but I am really not comfortable with taking that route. Nothing in past consults has ever given me any confidence that she will either listen or help. The sugar problem is an example as it's a direct result of bariatric surgery some years ago but she has no knowledge of the procedure side effects and no interest in finding out - I even went to the lengths of copying my information sheets from the surgeon but she ignored them. I've always been surprised that alcohol didn't trigger the reaction but for whatever reason it didn't - I might have stopped a lot earlier if it had :D .
I'll stick with it and hope it all settles down as my body gets used to sobriety.

I'm not sure about the sponsor thing - is it a formal agreement? One of the ladies at my first meeting took my number and has contacted me or vice versa every day since then and she has been a great help but she is about 30 years younger than me and doesn't have the same aches and pains that old age brings lol.
Thanks again

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:22 am
by Duke
Hi Lyn. Congratulations on your commitment. I'm always reluctant to give advice. We're all different, and what worked for me may not be what you need at all with respect to eating, sleeping, etc. Obviously, the exception to this is working the steps of the program to learn how to live sober. I think it's fair to say that we all agree on that point.

On the other issues, all I can do is share my experience. Aside from the medical aspect, my experience with eating was similar to yours. How I loved those outings after the meeting to get a slice of pie or piece of cake. It seemed my sweet tooth got a new lease on life with my sobriety. It was suggested to me that I not sweat this to much. Most people I talked to found that this leveled out over time and that certainly proved true for me. My diet's not great today, but neither is it characterized by harmful compulsive behaviors.

I also identify with your sleeping issue. It had been a long time since I had slept without a healthy dose of alcohol in my system when I came in, and I had to re-learn how to go to sleep. Once again, the people I shared with suggested I not get too agitated about it, that it would probably level out over time. I did some things in the interim that really seemed to help me. When I really couldn't sleep at all, I wouldn't lay there tossing and turning, instead I would get up and read. Usually, I found myself becoming drowsy in fairly short order. Another thing I did was make meditation tapes for myself, and I would listen to them at a very low volume when I went to bed. I did this for several years, and it seemed to help as well. Finally, I learned to embrace the nap and, to this day, I try to take advantage of every opportunity of drowsiness I experience by catching twenty minutes or so of sleep.

My last thought is that you remember that alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. I know for me, I had to constantly remind myself that sobriety had to come first and I couldn't ever entertain the idea that I had to resolve any issue with sleeping, eating, relationships, work, money, etc as a condition to my sobriety. I've seen excuses for drinking again creep back in that way with other folks far too many times to ever take it lightly.

Best to you, and keep coming back.

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:03 am
by ann2
Hi, welcome, congratulations, great to read you! I'm 52 now myself and starting to feel those aches and pains. Still prefer them to drinking. Actually when I got sober I had a lot of muscle and joint pain even though I was 26. It's amazing how much damage one does to the body drinking, falling, shutting doors on one's feet, banging my head, etc. In fact I started years of chiropractry, acupuncture, massage, exercise by biking, stretching to repair the damage. Truth to tell it has taken a while! It was actually a good experience starting to treat my body instead of trying to numb it.

Eating is always developing with me :) the thing is not to pass judgement on yourself, let a doctor do it! Good lord, this is your health, isn't it worth going to someone who has 1. Gone through specialized training 2. Had years of professional experience 3. Been certified and not to mention 4. Spent their youth preparing for medical school? I am not sure what it is about alcoholics but we tend to think our opinion weighs as heavily as a career physician, when even a doctor knows enough not to prescribe for him/herself.

Congratulations again, and keep posting :)


Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:59 pm
by Hanna
Congratulations on 11 days! You have decided to take your life back and we are here to help you, "one day at a time" it works. I can relate to not being able to fall asleep naturally, my body was used to "being put to sleep" with alcohol. When I couldn't sleep I came here and read the posts or shared my concerns and thoughts, it helped keep me focused on my recovery. And that's what I'm doing, recovering. I took my last drink June 16, 2012. I also have felt pains I never remember feeling when I was drinking, but alcohol is a depressant, so it was surpresssing the pain. Now I take better care of myself and the pains are subsiding, otc pain relivers help too.
As for the sugar, I was shocked to at the way I craved cookies and ice cream-together, I would separate the oreos and put choc. almond ice cream between! After eating it(them, who's counting) I would not feel well, turns out I was diagonosed bordeline diabetic so I had to be careful, I switched to herbal tea with splenda, one day at a time!
Sending prayers your way, keep coming back, it works when you work it! I am so glad I stopped before I did permenent damage to myself or anyone else.
Keep posting,

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:14 pm
by Lali
Sponsorship is not a written agreement!! Sponsorship is someone in the program that needs help to stop and stay stopped drinking and they do that with the assistance of a same sex sponsor. You want to ask someone who has quality time sober. Doesn't have to be a whole lot of years, that's why I said quality rather than quantity. There are few who try to work this program without a sponsor and don't fare so well and I highly suggest that you find a woman to work with to take you through the steps. I have found that many people have to be reminded that this is a 12 step program, not a "just go to meetings" program. Just going to meetings is just not enough. Keep posting, we want to know how you are doing.

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:27 am
by CGPoolman
Hi Lyndsy,

I had trouble falling asleep in the beginning as well, the thing that worked for me was exercise. It was a great way to clear my head and burn off the nervous energy. I used to exercise every day after work to take the place of my usual drinking time. After a few weeks I moved my exercise time to first thing in the morning. I would advise to anyone just starting their journey to find some form of physical activity - walking, running, lifting weights - find something physical to do to channel that energy. It will make both your body and mind stronger.


Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:07 am
by LyndsyLoo
Hi All
Thank you for all your responses, I have read them all and I will try to implement those suggestions that I can. The sleep thing is beginning to settle, Last night I managed a full night minus 2 hours from 2am to 4am - for some reason that seems to be the time to wake up. I have rearranged my clients (I'm self employed) to start a bit later and I'm banishing the alarm clock so that if I am asleep at 7am I don't need to get up.
I'm not going to worry about the sugar thing apart from trying to moderate it to avoid dumping as I can't afford not to be able to drive as and when. I heard the lady that said about finding a specialist doctor but in the UK that isn't so easy unless you have private health insurance and I don't and I can't afford to pay direct. The aches and pains I can live with like I lived with the awful hangovers -I managed with them I''m sure I can cope with the aches - I'm going to take up Pilates and Yoga again to help with muscles and maybe help keep my mind quiet.
I may ask the lady hat has been helping me to be my sponsor - is it acceptable to ask someone? She has been a great help so far and I trust her judgement.
Thank you all for responding - it really helps

Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:23 am
by ann2
Lyn, so good to see you again and congrats on your sobriety! Outstanding!

You may absolutely ask someone to sponsor you, great idea!

And awesome on the Pilates, I use that too, keeps my joints greased and has repaired multitude tendon/muscle injuries over the years. And as long as you are planning on Yoga think about sticking 5-10 minutes of meditation in there as well :)

Also wanted to remark on the 2-4 am thing. that was with me a long time. I read a lot of books in the middle of the night over the years, and I was late to work quite a few times because of it. Then I had children and discovered 2 am feedings (one of my daughters wore a sleeper that said, "Party! Where: My crib When: 2 am every night" :roll: ). It is just natural.

In fact, when I was dealing with the night wakings those first years, I read a sleep advisor who said in effect, why get all worked up about the baby sleeping through the night? Most people wake up for various reasons throughout the designated sleep period. And there is a wonderful study regarding the influence of electricity and how in fact before artificial lighting, most people would go to sleep soon after sunset, then get up at midnight and roam around for a couple of hours before going back to bed :-)

So to my way of thinking, the whole sleep issue is just another excuse our alcoholism dreams up to get us anxious and drinking again. And honestly, I wasted too much time unconscious when I was drinking anyway -- might as well take advantage of getting to know myself again. I actually did a lot of journaling myself in those wee hours at the start of my sobriety.

anyway so glad to read you!!


Re: Saying Hello on day 11 of being sober

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:37 am
by Lali
LyndsyLoo wrote:I may ask the lady hat has been helping me to be my sponsor - is it acceptable to ask someone?

Yes!!! And if she can't do it, she may recommend someone else.