Unmanageable?

For recovery discussion

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Veronique1 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:34 am

Hi,

Oh my life was truely unmanageable, even when I was the one who drank less than my partner, even when all the household, paperwork etc.. depended on me.. and I still did it... Even when I didn't loose my job, I never was drunk on the workfloor, I very rarely was ill because of my alcohol consumption..

Even with all if this : I wasn't really living... I was running away from everything.. didn't know how to deal with emotions, kept on fleeing from every situation, had a tremendously low self-esteem, and kept on blaming the whole world for what I felt. I had now idea who I was and what I wanted... I wasn't me... If that isn't unmanageability, I don't know what is...

Veronique
Progress, not perfection
User avatar
Veronique1
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:51 am

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Mike O » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:07 pm

Hmmm.....I guess in my initial post, and in the context of the wording of Step 1, I was equating "manageability" with "ability to function in the everyday".

Was this an incorrect assumption do you think?
Mike O
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby kim » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:29 pm

Wow I am really enjoying this topic. It was the very line...."and that our lives had become unmanageable" that kept me from admitting I was powerless over alcohol and from taking step one seriously. Why on earth would I hang in the rooms with these people who were obviously worse off than me, and claim to be an alcoholic when my life seemed perfectly manageable to me! I like what Sammie said about changing his/her definition of unmanageability. When I considered the amount of effort, energy and time I put into trying to drink, trying to get away with it, where to buy it, where to hide it, the wasted dollars....yeah...thats not normal and certainly unmanageable. If I were really managing it - it wouldnt take a thought, or an effort, or wasted time and money....normal people dont even consider it. My brain seriously revolved around HOW to make it manageable.

It didnt work. Im here!! Im an alcoholic.
kim
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:37 am
Location: CA

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby happycamper » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:37 pm

I like Johnboys response on page 1 . That is exactly how I was.
Completely unmanageable.
Faith without works is dead
happycamper
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 944
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby martin08 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:59 pm

Mike O'R wrote:Hmmm.....I guess in my initial post, and in the context of the wording of Step 1, I was equating "manageability" with "ability to function in the everyday".

Was this an incorrect assumption do you think?


If meeting the minimal requirements to 'get by' could have been equated with 'functioning', then many alcoholics would fit that category. Myself included

But when something difficult, or out of the ordinary, or emotionally draining, or necessary to meet a deadline renedered me paralyzed to even make a move....

.... then unmanageability was the norm and not the exception.
User avatar
martin08
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 606
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:37 am
Location: Western Maine

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Joe H » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:30 pm

I had a hard time for a long time both before and after I got sober because I could not identify with so many in my area who had not "lost" anything, or been arrested. I had very little left when I got sober and lost that in my first year of sobriety.

I was a street drunk. To me I was functioning because I was able to aquire my alcohol for my daily, sometimes twice a day drunk. I had no problem with manageability because I had nothing to manage.

My sponsor told me it didn't matter when I said I wasn't like these middle class, working, married, home owners that said they were funtioning alcoholics. He went on to tell me to just listen to what they say about their drinking. When I did this I could identify with them, I was no longer unique.

Chapter 2 tells me about the powerlessness. I could agree with others when they shared that could not pick up a drink and stop. I had no power to stop till I was drunk.

Chapter 3 tells me about the unmanagability. PP36-37..."He had much knowledge about himself as an alcoholic. Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea..."

Unmanagability to me is that knowledge that informs me of the past results of my drinking and yet I do it anyways. When I was not drinking I was restless, irratable and discontented. This just fueled my resentments, anger, anxyity, and paranoia. I was just as bad to be around when not drinking as when I was drinking. Yes at one time I owned a home, functional by some standards, but I would get a case of instantanious rage and put my fist through a wall. That I cannot determine to be functional.

When I put the plug in the jug I had power over alcohol, but my life was still not manageable. My life started to become manageable when I started to work the 12 Steps. I was sober a year without the steps and my life was a mess. I was sober but still dangerous.

My 4th and 5th Steps showed me why my life was unmanageability, and for me it had nothing to do with what I had or did not have.
Joe H
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Chris S. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:05 pm

I read this in an issue of the Grapevine some years ago. Oddly enough it was in the humor section, and it did make me laugh, but mostly because it is so true,

"The definition of the alcoholic bottom...when life gets worse faster than you can lower your standards."

When I had reached this point, I was freshly released from a six month house arrest stint. I was sleeping on a spare couch in the dining room of my mother's house. My uncle had taken over my room while I had my own apartment until the house arrest came along. But i had a decent job, was making decent money, etc. It was when I had ordered what would turn out to be my last drink I asked the bartender to call a taxi for me. She rolled her eyes, and said, "you're not going to get a taxi out here at 2:30 in the morning." That is when I realized just how unmanageable my life was and had been for a great many years. 30 seconds before that, I thought I could manage just fine. But at that moment, the circumstances of my life for the past ten years came into my mind. That very instant, I came to the full understanding of what the book means when it says "...it gets worse and never better"

The homeless drunk, who can get his one square from the shelter and panhandle enough for a bottle, in his mind, is managing well. So manageability is an illusion, a tool of denial for the practicing alcoholic. There is a huge difference between managing, and keeping up appearances.

So the question is, how far is one willing to lower their standard of "living" in order to keep drinking. As Mike said, he had a job, a house, a good relationship with his wife. But the question was, for how long? Me, I was always somewhere between attempting to control my drinking and manage better, or drinking as I pleased and losing control of everything.
Chris S.
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:12 am

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby mebill » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:17 am

Only now, am I starting to be able to look back on the wreckage of my life and admit that my life was unmanageable. I'm unearthing feelings and things from my past that I guess I thought I could surpress forever. I'm dealing with those shortcomings and character flaws to the best of my ability. That's just part of the journey. I'm so very glad to be on the road to recovery! :)
User avatar
mebill
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 815
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:01 am
Location: nc

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Mike O » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:58 am

Chris S. wrote: As Mike said, he had a job, a house, a good relationship with his wife. But the question was, for how long?


Absolutely. The answer is, not for too long more. I could see it up ahead - the point at which "manageability" by any definition would become "unmanageability" by any definition.
Mike O
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby John Boy » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:08 pm

The unmanageably they were talking about in the first step is internal, not external. Hence the reason you can be not drinking and still be very unmanageable internally. Hence the difference between dry drunk and sober. personally if my mind stays unmanageable longer enough I will drink again. GUARANTEED!
John Boy
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Mike O » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:54 pm

John Boy wrote:The unmanageably they were talking about in the first step is internal, not external. Hence the reason you can be not drinking and still be very unmanageable internally. Hence the difference between dry drunk and sober. personally if my mind stays unmanageable longer enough I will drink again. GUARANTEED!


Well, my feeling is that they were talking very simply about everyday life being unmanageable due to excessive alcohol use - nothing deeper or more complicated than that.
Perhaps we can agree to disagree on the point?
Mike O
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Joe H » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:27 pm

Well, my feeling is that they were talking very simply about everyday life being unmanageable due to excessive alcohol use - nothing deeper or more complicated than that.


What is everyday life? I had nothing and my life was perfectly manageable, I mangaed to get drunk everyday.

I do not believe we are here to talk about everyday life.

If that were the case we would hear the following suggestions;

Trouble with the spouse...go to a marriage counselor.

Trouble with the family...go to a conflict mediator.

Trouble with the job...go to a buisness course.

Trouble with money...go to a financial expert.

Trouble with the law...go to a lawyer.

Trouble with bills...go to the post office and mail them a check.

Trouble with the car...go to a mechanic.

Trouble with the plumbing...go to a plumber.

I am here because I have a problem with alcohol. Whether I have a wife, a family, a law charge, a home or anything else, or I do have all the above, I know I got sober and remain sober.

I come here to remain sober. I am lucky in this regard because we have a single purpose here.
Joe H
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Chris S. » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:03 pm

In context of the first step, I believe they were speaking about alcoholism. My alcoholism was unmanageable. I had, time after time, traded good things in life for "another drink". I walked away from relationships because she complained about my drinking. I quit jobs because they got in the way of my drinking; what I mean by that was that I knew if I continued to live and drink as I was I would get fired, but I could not moderate or stop no matter how hard I tried. I threw away meaningful friendships, mostly they walked away from me because of my drinking. They grew up and I didn't. The material world fell apart as the result of the alcoholic lifestyle, which is unmanageable by definition.

The baseline unmanageability for me was this, I drank because couldn't stand the way I felt when I wasn't drinking. I wanted to stop drinking because I couldn't stand myself when I was drinking. But I couldn't stop drinking because I couldn't stand the way I felt when I wasn't drinking. My external manageability was collateral damage of this battle.

So all parts are correct here. It's not really that Bill and Dr. Bob were talking about internal or external manageability, they were talking about both. It's not an either or question, it's a chicken vs egg question. One is the product of the other in a revolving cycle. Or should I say, evolving cycle. I can attest that my alcoholism was progressive, as is my recovery. The "dry drunk" analogy to me is just a statement as to where one might be on this journey. What is acceptable spiritually to me today, may not be sufficient to me tomorrow. As I grow and learn more about me and the world around me, my standard changes. My end goal today is not about getting what I want, it is about wanting what I have. The more I delve into seeking growth, the more I learn that Gratitude, Faith, Humility, Love are not nouns, or feelings, they are verbs or actions. The goal for me is not to "work" the program, but to "live" the program.
Chris S.
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:12 am

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby tasman » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:50 am

My end goal today is not about getting what I want, it is about wanting what I have.


Excellent, thanks. That was exactly what I needed to hear this evening.
User avatar
tasman
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:12 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Unmanageable?

Postby Mike O » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:04 pm

Joe H wrote:
Well, my feeling is that they were talking very simply about everyday life being unmanageable due to excessive alcohol use - nothing deeper or more complicated than that.


What is everyday life? I had nothing and my life was perfectly manageable, I mangaed to get drunk everyday.

I do not believe we are here to talk about everyday life.

If that were the case we would hear the following suggestions;

Trouble with the spouse...go to a marriage counselor.

Trouble with the family...go to a conflict mediator.

Trouble with the job...go to a buisness course.

Trouble with money...go to a financial expert.

Trouble with the law...go to a lawyer.

Trouble with bills...go to the post office and mail them a check.

Trouble with the car...go to a mechanic.

Trouble with the plumbing...go to a plumber.

I am here because I have a problem with alcohol. Whether I have a wife, a family, a law charge, a home or anything else, or I do have all the above, I know I got sober and remain sober.

I come here to remain sober. I am lucky in this regard because we have a single purpose here.


I just wanted to open a topic for discussion is all, Joe. You seem to have taken offence - I certainly meant none. Sorry, if I have.

Anyway, hopefully some of you got something from the pool of ideas generated. I did. Thanks folks.
Mike O
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

PreviousNext

Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests