Feeling Trapped in Recovery

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Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Timothy3012 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:19 am

There really are some moments where I feel trapped between my illness and recovery. Right now; I don't want to pray, I don't want to go to meetings, I don't want to practice the program...but I know that I have to if I want to stay alive. These moments of extreme dis-contentedness are by no means the norm for me these days, but when they do come they are pretty overwhelming.

I've been sober over 13 months, been through the main work of the steps, and am heavily involved in service within AA. I can absolutely see that I've had a powerful spiritual experience as the obsession to drink really has been taken from me. I used to think about drinking every single minute of every waking moment before coming to AA. But there still seem to be days where I'm just pissed off that I can't run my own life! I'm almost resentful about realizing just how unwell I truly am.

The second part of Step One seems to be running through my mind today, 'We admitted - that our lives had become unmanageable.' Since getting sober, I can see how I just can't manage my emotions. I can't seem to manage the relationships around me either. I struggle with finances. I seem to struggle with life in general...

The moments of peace of mind and serenity I have experienced within recovery have been bliss - in these moments I seem to be able to accept just how bad I am at running my life and can actually laugh at myself about it. But when a day of discontent like today comes along, it really pisses me off.

I heard an old-timer describe this as 'the re-emergence of self.' If I brutally honest with myself, I just want there to be an easier, softer option to stay away from alcohol -
but I know there isn't one.

On days like today, I need to remember where my life run on self-will ended up; uncontrollable drinking, near to the brink of insanity, and more lonely than I thought it possible for a human being to be.

Despite all feelings to the contrary; I will pray today, I will go to my meeting tonight, I will try to remember Step One. I have to, or I will drink again...

I heard someone say this last night and it's really stuck in my head this morning,

''It will be OK in the end, and if it's not OK, then it is not the end.''

I know these intense feelings always pass eventually and I'll probably feel on top of the world tomorrow - It's happened to me hundreds of times in recovery. I stand a chance as long as I stay away from that first drink, and the only way I've ever found to do that is to practice the 12 steps...
Last edited by Timothy3012 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby clouds » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:02 am

Thanks for sharing so honestly its been helpful to many I'm sure. Good topic!

When I feel like that, as you described at the beginning there, the most help I get is to call a newcomer. That contact brings me back to what it was truly like to be in my cups, hungover, blithering idiot, lost in a daze of drunkeness, knocking over furniture, passing out, blacking out, not knowing most of the time what I was saying, nor even who I was talking to or where I was etc. etc.

Usually a dose of ' what it was like' in total honesty, what it was really like back in the day, makes me feel so super great to be sober with no hangover, knowing what I did last night and how I got home, that the blues are chased away.
When I relate to another drunk, sober or drunk, I remember and rejoice, gratitude returns and wih it the humility to realize the happiness of living a sober life.

So imo, call a newcomer and see how they are doing, talk about your own drinking and listen to what they have to say about theirs.

I see you are actively involved in AA so you probably know body you could call!
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:38 am

The second part of Step One seems to be running through my mind today, 'We admitted - that our lives had become unmanageable.' Since getting sober, I can see how I just can't manage my emotions. I can't seem to manage the relationships around me either. I struggle with finances. I seem to struggle with life in general...


Timothy, I am glad you bring this up. Many just look at un-manageability as external ones. Job, relationships and other material stuff. As Dr. Silkworth points out, we get restless irritable and discontented. Those are internal discomfort. It could be some little stuff. I remember at the correction facility one of the inmates got so upset he couldn't find his plastic spoon. All he got to do is go to the cafeteria and get another. Its subtle, unless we become conscious and watch for these self-centeredness, we could easily get shut of from the sunlight of the spirit and we get thirsty.
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: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:04 am

Got gratitude?
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Layne » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am

there still seem to be days where I'm just pissed off that I can't run my own life!

I know this one well, but when I think that way, what I am actually pissed off about is that I can't run the universe! Serenity for me, comes in knowing that things will be okay...even when they are not okay!
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:34 am

Timothy3012 wrote:I've been sober over 13 months


How long did you drink? If it was more than around 26 months, IMO no matter what Steps or service you've done there's more sober experience to be had before life is no longer unmanageable.

Once we get past the white-knuckle stage, it can be relatively straightforward to do the Steps. Then it can be quite natural to assume we should be "well". However, we can get better yet still not be well. We're not just doing a bunch of Steps parrot-fashion, we're learning how to live. That takes time. Sometimes, a lot of time, because we're also unlearning a lot of bad habits from before.

For me, it goes back to the Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book. There's a little-mentioned piece there, which reads:

...once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.


That astonishing difficulty doesn't magically disappear just because we put the plug in the jug.

So it's true to say that managing emotions, relationships, finances, and life in general, are very common difficulties among the more-newly sober. We get physically sober, then must learn how to get emotionally intelligent. It took me years to get finances in order. At one point, in sobriety, my credit was worse than that of a bankrupt. There's no 12 Steps for getting finances or relationships fixed. It's just a slow grind, day by day, bill by bill.

I had to stop comparing myself with where I thought I should be, but with where I once was. The only way to get 10 years of sobriety is to not drink for 10 years, one day at a time.
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby PaigeB » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:17 pm

''It will be OK in the end, and if it's not OK, then it is not the end.''

I LOVE THAT!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Noels » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Good morning Timothy, a beautiful pure and honest share as always.
I've had many of those days you are sharing about and used to question myself where I went 'wrong ' or what I was discontented about since the saying is that usually when we are discontent or unhappy it's because we have unreasonable expectations again.
Since then iv learned that it's possible that 'expectations ' have nothing to do with it. It's possible that we are just having a 'not so good day ' just like all 'normal ' people outside of AA.
So when 'pissed off' strikes me now I don't ponder or delve anymore.
I simply accept that I'm having a 'not so good ' 'normal ' day and I try to do something uplifting for myself or something that's right in front of me. ...... the next 'loving ', acceptable or reasonable action.
I am human.
Humans have bad days. Nothing special or not special about that.
Lotsa love and light.
Noels xxx
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby positrac » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:22 am

Timothy I want to add that if we/I didn't have intense moments in this journey then why even try and just get pissed! No and why? Because we have been given an opportunity to live a new life and God as I understand gave me a chance to do it differently this time. Is it perfect? Is it without issues of life on life's terms? No! In fact it is harder to deal with life head on because I am a rabbit and I like to run away. See God put the screws to me and like Paul with his thorn in his side it is a reminder of where I've been and for that like you said staying alive.

It'll get better as this too shall pass and it is easier said than done some days and just seems natural other days. if you surround yourself with winners then in time your mindset will change and that reflection will be evident of the work you have accomplished through him and not you.

Grace is one your side and we just have to accept it and time provides light when you need it.

Press on Tim and have a better tomorrow as I can relate to this post and it stirred many past memories. Tomorrow I can reveal more about recovery.

Cheers.
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Timothy3012 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:02 am

Noels wrote:
I simply accept that I'm having a 'not so good ' 'normal ' day and I try to do something uplifting for myself or something that's right in front of me. ...... the next 'loving ', acceptable or reasonable action.
I am human.
Humans have bad days. Nothing special or not special about that.
Lotsa love and light.
Noels xxx


Hey Noels,

This really resonated with me, I am beginning to think this is the right direction to go with it.

I'm realizing that I never allowed myself to experience the normal, crappy days when I was drinking - the second I felt them coming on I would simply get drunk to try and fix it/pretend it wasn't happening. I just could't do that anymore because alcohol ended up causing me intense pain and added to the crappy feelings rather than doing anything to 'fix' them.

I feel like a little kid being taught how to live for the first time! Being taught that sometimes days are crap because sometimes days ARE just crap...it sounds so simple but I've honestly never really considered that this might be the case until I got into recovery.

Someone else in this comment thread asked me if i've got gratitude...I'm incredibly grateful to be given sobriety and rescued from the living hell I was stuck in for years. That gratitude is not some magical permanent state for me, however. Sometimes I do get genuinely overwhelmed by restlessness, irritability, and discontentment - for no reason other than the fact i am a human being who also happens to have a spiritual sickness which needs the daily treatment of the 12 steps.

Working the program, for me, includes working it on the days everything inside me doesn't want to. I continue to do the next right thing even when I'm not grateful to be doing it. And when I am wallowing in a state of ingratitude, I share that and don't try to pretend that it's not happening. I spent years trying to 'look OK' to the world when inside I was anything but OK.

Anyway, thanks for the replies on this thread! It's great to be able to connect with other AA's in this way :)
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:11 am

Mark Houstons talk on 10 and 11 is a great one. He talks about this disease is so horrendous, we need to have a direct relationship with God, no rabbi, no priest, no counselor in between. Looking closely at step 10, its about watching for these discontentedness throughout the day.

Watch, turn, ask....all these are clear cut directions.

Then we get to experience the promises. If not again clear warning what happens when we are not spiritually fit.
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: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby Spirit Flower » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:06 am

That gratitude is not some magical permanent state for me, however. Sometimes I do get genuinely overwhelmed by restlessness, irritability, and discontentment
Ha! Thats why sponsors tell people to make gratitude lists. Yes, think of gratitude as a skill in your mind which you can employ to feel better at any time.

Some of us have more emotions than others, or are more aware of emotions, less able to stuff them or ignore them. This is not a defect or a bad thing. Just the way it is.
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Re: Feeling Trapped in Recovery

Postby desypete » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:29 am

Spirit Flower wrote:
That gratitude is not some magical permanent state for me, however. Sometimes I do get genuinely overwhelmed by restlessness, irritability, and discontentment
Ha! Thats why sponsors tell people to make gratitude lists. Yes, think of gratitude as a skill in your mind which you can employ to feel better at any time.

Some of us have more emotions than others, or are more aware of emotions, less able to stuff them or ignore them. This is not a defect or a bad thing. Just the way it is.


anyone suffering with the lows i tell them to go and find a tramp and see how low they feel after being with one

instant gratitude guaranteed =biggrin
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