The Ms. Hyde in me

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The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby ann2 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:02 pm

But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink.

Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you, especially in his lack of control. He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is seldom mildly intoxicated. He is always more or less insanely drunk. His disposition while drinking resembles his normal nature but little. He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees.


I read a courtroom thriller this weekend which included the story of a wife whose husband became abusive while drunk. She explained it as his alcoholism attacking her. She believed her husband was in there somewhere but didn't have the strength to overcome his alcoholism, which took over and hurt her.

I have at times pictured my alcoholism as an entity, and this evening as my children swam I tied the idea into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Does my drinking release another personality, or have I changed that personality through the steps? i actually picture it always waiting to reassert itself, so I don't really imagine the person I would be if I drank as changed -- perhaps my method of dealing with alcoholism has (program vs. madly following it) but alcoholism is still there, and still very ugly and powerful and it would make me a very unpleasant person.

Am I still unpleasant sober? Yes, at times -- I think the beauty of the program is that I no longer obsess about these unpleasantnesses, instead I try to use them for education and for realizing that I need a power greater than myself. This to me helps me accept that I'm not perfect, something I couldn't do drinking, and yet I would have to say quantitatively I was much less perfect in those days. Perhaps the degree of improvement is slight, if viewed from a larger perspective (and in some ways I have to admit there has been loss of ability as I abandoned certain interests in order to get sober) but the change has been enough for me to stay away from the drink and live usefully and peacefully now for going on a quarter century.

And that's the selfishness to me. I am here because I want to stay sober. I don't care about Ms. Hyde except that she is a good reminder of why I am here. I am still that self-involved person, just directed by the program into a more positive method of living. I don't have any excuses, I'm okay with the fact that I try to help and to give away a little of what I have been so freely given, but I'm not convinced I'm totally safe. Or even very nice.

I think a lot of people detect this streak of inner guarding in me and they think I'm not really okay with my sobriety. Oh boy am I ever. It is soooo good that I don't care that I used to write poems or experience amazing thoughts or etc etc fantasies and perception, you know. I went so far in that direction that I was unable to do the basics, just live, just talk to people, just appreciate food, just enjoy work.

But there is a sense of a lost identity, no matter how willing and eager I was to give it up. Nobody wants her back, but some people miss her, I have to say. Probably like you miss the kicks once they stop.

Ann
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Lali » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:36 pm

Ann stated: Does my drinking release another personality, or have I changed that personality through the steps?

I personally believe pretty strongly that when the alcohol goes in, the alcoholic thinking starts almost immediately and then we act out on it no matter how long we have been sober or how well we worked the program of AA. And I don't mourn for the lost alcoholic that was me and I'm quite certain no one else does either. These are just my thoughts as relates to me really. It could be different for someone else.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Toad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:46 am

Hi,
My "Mr. Hyde" get's out somewhat regularly. I can't say for sure if I let him out or him getting out is just the natural flow of my recovery. What I do know is I do not like him if he gets fed booze or dope. He is a dangerous nasty.
So Like Ann, I have real motivation to do the do in order to stay clean and sober. At least clean and sober I can access Grace and use the steps to do damage control. Live a reasonable life with others. Experience honest serenity.
Actually, My Mr. Hyde helps me keep a valid need to continue the work on Wayne. Strange balance.
Thank You Ann for the thoughts. ( Don't think our Hyde's should hook up) :)
Wayne
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Marc L » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:50 pm

Hi;
Interesting topic. Thanks;
One of the bewildering things I felt early in recovery was the need to understand.
It's 'Behavioral Sciences' stuff and fascinating to me. Why in the world did I do that stupid S***. :lol:
What I do know, though, is that if I don't drink the Insanity stays in check.

Marc
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Hguols » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:50 am

I find that my own Mr. Hyde can rear his ugly head from time to time. I can still be "plagued by waves of self pity and resentment", sometimes for unidentifiable reasons, and just because I'm sober doesn't mean that I'm immune from these and other "bedevilments".

Granted, my attitude and outlook has changed DRAMATICALLY by utilizing the principles of this program, and my relationship with my God and other people in the program. In the past where I'd get drunk, cuss at and probably end up hitting someone, Mr. Hyde manifests itself between my ears.

Letting go, surrendering is a process for me. *shrugs*

Maybe God allows these little moments to happen as a reminder that I'm not cured for good. Regardless, I'm glad that "This Too Shall Pass" has been a very true statement for me and all my bouts of stinking-thinking.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Karl R » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:36 pm

Strange balance


and

Mr. Hyde manifests itself between my ears.


I actually think the Hyde plays a useful part in my recovery and my life. I recently carried a great sadness around with me for a couple of days in the space between my ears. The particulars of that experience are not as important as the experience itself.

There was a certain "Hydeish" thing going on up there which bothered me at first. One of the first miracles is that the Hyde stayed there....firmly between my ears---processing. Instead of acting out externally in all sorts of selfish, self-centered, fearful, ego-centric ways I was able to process and learn from that emotion. I found that I was tapped into a Power which allowed me to continue my normal walk among my fellows in a pretty normal fashion. The second miracle was that I found Power to process the emotion, and become willing to surrender it (good or bad as it were). aka...6 and 7.

Quite a learning experience for me. One I'm grateful for.

cheers,
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Hguols » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:41 am

I definitely agree with that Karl.

Even though the relapses I had in the past weren't required, in a round-about way they formed my program what it is today. Same with resentments and feelings I get, sans taking a drink.

Rather than being defeated by that and other pains, and thinking I'm doing something wrong, I decided to grow from those "waves", do what I can.

I remember calling my sponsor up with a HUGE case of complacency. "Chief, it just feels like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day."
He told me that people doing the best they can do, can still get complacent. Just because I'm sober doesn't mean I'm immune to complacency. Everyone gets "squirrely" - it's normal in everyone's recovery and I'm not an exception.

So.... I end up doing what I can to learn from it, and it usually ends up with me following Rule #62.
( ^ - ^)
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby rational Parent » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:20 am

The Jekyll and Hyde Drinker effect is not the expected effect of alcohol, it is a very dangerous side-effect of the drug, alcohol. It can occur with people who have not been using alcohol for any length of time, even first time users, and that people who experience this dangerous side-effect of alcohol should stop using alcohol immediately the same as with any dangerous side-effect of any drug, but that due to the lack of memory they may not realize they have experienced this side-effect because in some sense to them, it never happened, and will continue using alcohol.

Additionally this side effect can create in the user a more intense drug experience that can actually lead to wanting to drink again leading to alcohol addiction.

My son from his first alcohol experience experienced this side-effect and had no memory of his personality changes. It took recording him with a video camera and playing it back for him (after he had no more alcohol in his system) for him to see that he did not have a normal reaction to alcohol and to stop using it. No further treatment or intervention was necessary.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Brock » Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:00 am

Thanks for your interest in this site, and telling of your son's experience. My own step son doesn’t drink because he says it makes him talk too much, and he says things he wouldn't normally say.

Unfortunately for the alcoholic we could say and do things of the most embarrassing kind, and most of us have, but it makes no difference because we have lost the power to choose. Our literature backed by medical research, clearly shows that certain people, even very heavy drinkers, can moderate or quit given a good reason, doctors warning and so forth, but the alcoholic can not, these are the people who need and use our fellowship. In short your son is not an alcoholic, and I am pleased for him, but the members here have not only lost the desire to drink, we also found a new and really nice way to live, so even alcoholics have happy endings.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby rational Parent » Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:54 am

The point I was trying to make is that by thinking of what are really an adverse reaction to a drug, as a symptom of a disease, how everyone deals with will be all wrong. My father was declared an alcoholic in the 60s (he died in 1970) and I was told that blackouts are a symptom of alcoholism, so when my son had a personality change and no memory of it during an early alcohol experience, I did not realize that he had a blackout. So I wasted time, money, and my sanity trying to figure out what had happened.
Had blackouts been studied in a scientific way, the way Ambian blackouts were I would have known what I was dealing with and so would have my son. He was never addicted to alcohol, and did not think he needed to avoid it, and thought he could drink with his friends, just like anyone else.
What made it worse was not having even medical professionals acknowledge that alcohol has any side-effects at all and that they that can effect anyone who drinks at any time. So with no memory of what happened, unable to picture himself doing what he was told he did, and no reason to blame alcohol, he had no fear of drinking again.
Showing him recorded reality finally solved the problem.
I strongly suggest that anyone who deals with a Mr. Hyde pull out their smartphone and record them but I also strongly suggest you not make Mr. Hyde aware of being recorded, and wait until they are sober to play it back.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Brock » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:02 pm

Showing him recorded reality finally solved the problem.

I certainly hope this is true, but I might say he did not have a problem, at any rate not the problem we here had. Here is a small part of our main text under 'The Doctor's Opinion' -
Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

You see if he were an alcoholic of the type described here, the type which our membership comprises, as it says we are ill at ease without drink, many of us admit after we recover that we had a 'living' problem. The only time we felt really comfortable was after a few drinks, but none of us could stop at a few, and this apart from blackouts or what have you, is the sure sign of the alcoholic, we can not stop drinking once we start, we can't have a few like other folks.

So yes in this case it may have solved the problem, but if he is indeed an alcoholic be careful that it's not a temporary cure. We give here our stories of what the past was like, and many report stopping for long periods, but generally not being content with life when we do so. And the recording you did of your son sometimes plays out in real life for us, wife and kids gone, job gone, license gone, we see these things happening in real life but we can not stop.
The point I was trying to make is that by thinking of what are really an adverse reaction to a drug, as a symptom of a disease, how everyone deals with will be all wrong.

I hope the highlighted parts of the doctors note might indicate that we know there is an adverse reaction, this won't stop us.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby rational Parent » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:46 pm

I have had enough alcoholics in my life to know what you are saying is true, and I was not suggesting that alcohol addiction is cured by knowing what has been called a symptom of that addiction is a side-effect of the drug. I was talking about when someone is starting to drink, that if they understood that certain effects were not experienced by everyone, and that their experiences were more dangerous than for other people, they may avoid alcohol, instead of being drawn to it.

I can't imagine anything more seductive than having consciousness switched off. By having no awareness that this is a serious warning sign, and having no memory, and therefore not having experienced whatever happened to cause any feeling of responsibility, there would be no emotional barriers from using the drug again and again.

The thing I found most frustrating was my son did not have any awareness that the effect of alcohol on him were different than anyone else and it took showing him a recording for him to understand that.

The case studies of Ambian blackouts show people who both ignored the warnings and stopped immediately, but at least they had been warned.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:22 pm

Hi rational Parent and thank you for sharing your experience, hope, and strength.

So glad you followed your instincts and carried out such a creative intervention on behalf of your son. Reaffirms that old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Ya done good! This country and our youngsters could benefit from about 50 million more parents just like you.

There's a really good article on Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) at the Wikipedia website which includes the most recent peer-reviewed research findings on drinking problems. I think you will find the article very informative.

BTW Save that recording in case your son happens to forget why he decided to stop drinking. Thanks again for sharing....
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:33 pm

I was talking about when someone is starting to drink, that if they understood that certain effects were not experienced by everyone, and that their experiences were more dangerous than for other people, they may avoid alcohol, instead of being drawn to it.
If the person is an alcoholic, they will try drinking again. Swearing off doesn't work. We eventually try again. The same "certain effects" happen only worse as time goes on. Then, they may swear off again, try again, swear off again, try again.... eventually we die.

Our program states that none but a High Power can stop this. Just showing a video won't be enough.

Just say'en.
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Re: The Ms. Hyde in me

Postby D'oh » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:13 pm

My first last drunk. I suddenly realized that I was in my "Mr Hyde" state. For a brief moment I saw that it was me and my drinking that was causing all of my troubles. The vision quickly left and insanity returned. But I awoke the next morning knowing that I couldn't drink anymore. That was when the Fear started, because I couldn't imagine Life without drinking. That lasted 4 days before I found my first meeting, and a glimpse of hope that there was a way to live without drinking.

I like the thought that my Mr Hyde now (usually) stays between my ears long enough for my HP or Sponsor to help me sort it out.
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