Fear of unhappiness

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Fear of unhappiness

Postby Star001 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:55 am

The thought of staying sober excites me. I don't want to go back to the bottle. The thing I seem to be struggling with is the things that made me unhappy/hurt/upset before I even started drinking. While I've always known that I am to blame for drinking as a way out, I don't know what to do with all the feelings I had before when things got bad. Some issues have been around for years In my marriage and my family life, and when I felt that I couldn't do anything about them or I didn't like the choice I had (leave if you don't like it for example) that is when I really started to drink more and more. I wanted to get to the point where I didn't care so I drank until I didnt. The trouble is after a few years I could drink the whole liquor store and I still cared. But living completely sober and having to face existing problems that I can't fix scares the hell out of me. I know with timetable I can give it up to my HP, but in these early stages I fear eventually it is what might lead me back to the bottle. Sorry, maybe im rambling and this doesn't make sense.. But I was just wondering if anyone else felt like this ever and what they did with that fear.
Thanks.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby PuppyEars » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:03 am

Once you get going on step work something beautiful will happen to you. What is it?

"We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us".
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:25 am

Working the steps is the answer.

In the mean time, talk to people in the program; like a sponsor. You might not have a sponsor yet so approach one of the ladies with longer sobriety.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Star001 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks. I am only on step two right now. I know with more work on them I will get to that point. I have a temporary sponsor helping me. I'm trusting that the right sponsor will come in to my life soon at one of my meetings.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Mike O » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:01 am

Star001 wrote:The thought of staying sober excites me. I don't want to go back to the bottle. The thing I seem to be struggling with is the things that made me unhappy/hurt/upset before I even started drinking. While I've always known that I am to blame for drinking as a way out, I don't know what to do with all the feelings I had before when things got bad. Some issues have been around for years In my marriage and my family life, and when I felt that I couldn't do anything about them or I didn't like the choice I had (leave if you don't like it for example) that is when I really started to drink more and more. I wanted to get to the point where I didn't care so I drank until I didnt. The trouble is after a few years I could drink the whole liquor store and I still cared. But living completely sober and having to face existing problems that I can't fix scares the hell out of me. I know with timetable I can give it up to my HP, but in these early stages I fear eventually it is what might lead me back to the bottle. Sorry, maybe im rambling and this doesn't make sense.. But I was just wondering if anyone else felt like this ever and what they did with that fear.
Thanks.


Thanks so much for sharing. I do know the feeling.
Many of the things that used to worry, scare, upset me... still do.

I deal with them using the steps. Sometimes, I've found that a particular issue needs a specific application of the steps.

I pray on the issues.

I have found the story on P 407 of the BB - Acceptance was the Answer- to be of enormous help to me in managing my expectations and thus some of my fears, anxieties, worries. It's sometimes about accepting and managing these feelings, not eliminating them.

You do have the tools...you don't need to drink over whatever these issues may be.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby kdub720 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:57 pm

Great post. I have been there and battle this every day. Many people here love the steps. Get on the steps, start climbing. The steps are a method and not the answer, I have done the steps and still felt empty and wanting to fill a void. I find that it is creating worth and value in conquering every day with positive choices. Making a victory out of not choosing to drink keeps me motivated. It is not making amends, doing a personal inventory, or providing service, its about not reaching for the bottle and affirming and rewarding yourself for not grabbing it. Not to put down the steps, they work, just not a miracle cure. I have to concentrate on the little victories to get that full feeling in my emptiness. Great post.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby whipping post » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:23 pm

That is a great post Star. I was thinking about early sobriety the other day and boy it is rough. I will echo what others have said about using the steps. I would not have stayed sober without them. For me, with the resentments I worked through, amends made, and higher power I never had before they were a miracle.

I was scared of not being happy as well which is ironic considering how utterly miserable I was. I honestly couldn't imagine what being happy truly was or living without alcohol when I quit drinking and started AA. I had huge resentments, my brain was foggy, my emotions were on a roller coaster, and I had lost my best friend alcohol. That's where seeing happy people in the rooms gave me hope and faith that it could work for me as well.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:55 pm

kdub720 wrote:Great post. I have been there and battle this every day. Many people here love the steps. Get on the steps, start climbing. The steps are a method and not the answer, I have done the steps and still felt empty and wanting to fill a void. I find that it is creating worth and value in conquering every day with positive choices. Making a victory out of not choosing to drink keeps me motivated. It is not making amends, doing a personal inventory, or providing service, its about not reaching for the bottle and affirming and rewarding yourself for not grabbing it. Not to put down the steps, they work, just not a miracle cure. I have to concentrate on the little victories to get that full feeling in my emptiness. Great post.


I totally agree on every point. Thanks for sharing!

I struggled with trying to keep the plug in the jug for almost two years after my first AA meeting. I was near death from drinking when I had my spiritual awakening and my obsession to drink was miraculously removed. I went back to AA meetings after this experience, dove into the AA program and service work, learned how to work the Steps and completed all 12 Steps within my first 6 months of sobriety. I trusted God, cleaned house, helped others, and really got a sense of relief from guilt, fear, anger, etc. from working the Steps but it took getting drunk again just before what would have been my 2nd AA birthday and getting sober again from that last relapse for me to finally understand that recovery from alcoholism doesn't come from just working the Steps. It comes from me not taking that next drink, no matter what, and APPLYING the principles of this program to all my affairs, one day at a time. Big difference! So far, so good....
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Brock » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:27 pm

Two of our members want to show that it's not just about the steps, and say things like this -
The steps are a method and not the answer...Making a victory out of not choosing to drink keeps me motivated...its about not reaching for the bottle and affirming and rewarding yourself for not grabbing it.

...finally understand that recovery from alcoholism doesn't come from just working the Steps. It comes from me not taking that next drink, no matter what, and APPLYING the principles of this program to all my affairs, one day at a time. Big difference!

So it doesn’t come from just working the steps, I don't know what every person might mean by 'working the steps,' but to me it means living each day by the principles and lessons we learn from them. It is quite clearly laid out by living under the guidance of 10, 11 & 12. We see in 10 where we continue to watch for selfishness etc, every step covered, in 11 looking to maintain and improve conscious contact, and 12 “practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Yet we are seeing statements like “I have done the steps and still felt empty and wanting to fill a void.” Well that is filled by doing the work, most particularly step 11, improve your conscious contact, build up that spirituality, the void is filled, more than full, filled until my cup is overflowing.

Both of these sound like people who think about drinking and have to resist it, that is what any reader would take from this, and these sort of posts would have me fearful of unhappiness as well. The book clearly states - “That is the miracle of it...We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.” And since it does not exist, I am not going to start congratulating myself for staying away from it, if the promises have not come true for individual members work on it and they will, but please don't speak about it as if it's normal after we do the steps, because it is not, and can reduce the hope every newcomer here should rightly gain from the posts of recovered alcoholics.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Star001 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:31 pm

Thank you everyone! It is so great to not feel alone in this journey. For so long I was so busy trying to hide or defend my obsession that I guess I was truly miserable and lonely. It is so nice to surround mysef with people who understand those feelings and keep conquering them every day. May all your 24 hours be good ones.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby PuppyEars » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:03 pm

kdub720 wrote:Making a victory out of not choosing to drink keeps me motivated. It is not making amends, doing a personal inventory, or providing service, its about not reaching for the bottle and affirming and rewarding yourself for not grabbing it

Isn't the obsession removed very early on?
I can't help but to picture a beer on a table and someone on the other end having a stare down with clenched fists.
This is not sobriety. Please seek out a sponsor and try this again. You could kill someone with this rubbish.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Mike O » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:19 am

Yes, I agree with Brock. The principles embodied in the steps are what help me daily.

When I mentioned above that some problems, I've found, need a specific application of the steps, I was in particular implying that a Step 4 applied to certain situations has worked well for me.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:42 am

ezdzit247 wrote:
kdub720 wrote:Great post. I have been there and battle this every day. Many people here love the steps. Get on the steps, start climbing. The steps are a method and not the answer, I have done the steps and still felt empty and wanting to fill a void. I find that it is creating worth and value in conquering every day with positive choices. Making a victory out of not choosing to drink keeps me motivated. It is not making amends, doing a personal inventory, or providing service, its about not reaching for the bottle and affirming and rewarding yourself for not grabbing it. Not to put down the steps, they work, just not a miracle cure. I have to concentrate on the little victories to get that full feeling in my emptiness. Great post.


I totally agree on every point. Thanks for sharing!

I struggled with trying to keep the plug in the jug for almost two years after my first AA meeting. I was near death from drinking when I had my spiritual awakening and my obsession to drink was miraculously removed. I went back to AA meetings after this experience, dove into the AA program and service work, learned how to work the Steps and completed all 12 Steps within my first 6 months of sobriety. I trusted God, cleaned house, helped others, and really got a sense of relief from guilt, fear, anger, etc. from working the Steps but it took getting drunk again just before what would have been my 2nd AA birthday and getting sober again from that last relapse for me to finally understand that recovery from alcoholism doesn't come from just working the Steps. It comes from me not taking that next drink, no matter what, and APPLYING the principles of this program to all my affairs, one day at a time. Big difference! So far, so good....


I think if it was a matter of choice....Then this fact from our literature would be untrue.

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
pg 24

Maybe there are few that can do this.....I can only say that I wasn't one of them.
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby Reborn » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:52 am

The steps are the ANSWER...the answer for me was finding and tapping into a Power Greater Than myself that solves all my problems if I am willing to seek. If you have completed the steps and are struggling you probably missed something or you are not applying steps 10,11 and 12. The Big Book promises me that the problem will be removed...page 84-85

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality - safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

The reward for not drinking is a life of sane and happy usefulness...happy, joyous and free...if you are not experiencing that YOU HAVE MISSED SOMETHING!!! Star001 read the above passage...this is what we are promised if we fearlessly and thoroughly follow this path!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Fear of unhappiness

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:24 pm

"Isn't the obsession removed very early on?"


The obsession to drink wasn't removed for me early on. I struggled with it for almost two years. I heard many other AA members share this as well. I've heard some members share that after they attended their first AA meeting, the obsession to drink left them and they never took another drink. I've heard still other members share that they struggled with cravings for alcohol for years even with regular meeting attendance, having a sponsor, working through all the Steps, service work, etc. One AA friend of mine is an atheist, didn't get a sponsor, didn't work the Steps except for 1 and 12, and reports that he has never experienced a craving for alcohol. He's maintained continuous sobriety for over 29 years now. It seems to be different for different AA members.
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