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Guest jennifer-at-home

Post Addiction, Addictions

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Guest jennifer-at-home

Hey everyone

I was just wondering if other people have experienced through their becoming clean, having addictions or compulsions to other less dangerous thing but not always less dangerous things?

because no matter what I do, I do it in excess, some of the things i've gone through in trying to get sober are: alcohol (I was just kidding myself I wasn't ready to reach completely sobriety), but that didn't work out coffee, cigarettes, World of Warcraft, fishing, tv- ill just abuse anything I can get my hands on drugs or no drugs. I just hope to one day use this monomania for good

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Guest Elizabeth K

"Addictive behavior," as opposed to 'addiction," says my therapist.

We get caught in this circular pathway: we get bored, we look for something to interest us, or to change how we feel. The more we get into a different behavior (more exciting) or a different way of feeling (intoxication or a rush), the more we get 'addicted' - but unless we get a 'dependency' (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, drugs) its not actually an addiction, but rather an addictive behavior.

The sad part is the new behavior or different way of feeling soon starts to deaden, with repetition. So we increase our involvement or intake of stimulants hoping to recoup the original thrill. Therefore, we become bored again, even in our excesses. And we then INCREASE it again - until it is really an out-of-control excessive behavior!

............

To keep from feeling 'bored' in the first place we need to reevaluate our life and values. What are the triggers that make us feel 'bored?' THAT is the solution - discover how can you change the 'mundane' in your life? I mean without overdoing it. Variety helps. Timing special events farther apart so the thrill increases. Christmas comes once a year, not once a week. When we get bored with Christmas holidays, we usually restructure and do it a different way, like including children and ignoring ourselves - that sort of thing.

I took up cooking. There are a thousand good ways to prepare and present food. I hardly ever repeat unless there is something that REALLY is popular. Cooking is FAR from mundane.

Grin! And I always felt being transsexual (even when I wasn't sure) was enough to keep me from being bored... wow, how many people have to stay in that mundane world of just being one gender... their ENTIRE life

Lizzy

[Addictive Behavior? Posting on Laura's Playground]

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Guest jennifer-at-home

I find it shocking sometimes how willing I can become to throw everything away simply through boredom, perhaps it is in these moments of bordom that I run away when I see this big sober future looming in front of me, it's not so much that the boredom is so terrible, but it is made unbearable by what 'bordom' symbolises: real life, responsibility and decision.

I must force myself to keep life interesting, at the home moment a trip to town seems new and exciting but that will soon fade, I am afraid of facing real life sometimes leaving the house makes me anxious but ultimately this fear will lead me back to my addictions.

So tomorrow I am going to go to town bring a book and sit in the coffee shop I know it sound remarkably bland, but to me it could be Zanzibar :P.

Jennifer

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Guest Elizabeth K

........... :Crylol: .............

GOOD THINKING!

Lizzy

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Guest

Hi Jennifer,

Your decision is really commendable. By looking at the source of the addictive behavior you can find solutions - choices that will lead to better things.

Good on you!

Never been to Zanzibar. But a good book has taken me to many places! Enjoy!

Love, Kat

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Michelle 2010

Jennifer, do you have sober fun loving friends? Maybe not... Most of us tended to hang out with others who used the way we did or hung with nobody. Quit using, the old friends drop away and how do you start over...? Can get lonely and boring.

Beating addictions by yourself is vary difficult for most people, though not all. Many of us didn'tt know how to live a quality life without using substances and have to relearn how to do so. I have a nephew your age who is clean and enjoying life after addiction to pills. He needed help to learn positive fun nonboring stuff. I joined him at an AA meeting where there was a once a week young persons meeting that supplemented other meetings. There were probably 250 young folks having a great time. Some had relapsed and were back, some never used again, but they were united in a common purpose of helping each other and providing support. One of the advantages of having friends in sobriety is that you can call them up when isolating and feeling down or a little crazy. They have been there and you don't have to explain to them. They don't think you're nuts, or if you are, they understand, having been there toofriends.gif

This morning I led a beach bike ride of 15 sober people who had 3 months to 20 years of sobriety. All the laughter and all the smiles and hugs were drug and alcohol free. Life can change. If you feel like you are traveling a new road without the benefit of a map or clear road signs, consider getting involved in a 12 step program. It doesn't have to be done alone and you never have to use again.

Best wishes

Michelle

Btw, the chatroom has a Sunday nite get-to-gether. 9pm EST.

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Guest jennifer-at-home

i have been in an out of recovery since I was seventeen, admittedly I was gutted by the concept of giving up all these vice before I was legally old enough to drink or technically attend a meeting.

I have gone through a lot of stages with friends, for a longtime I was desperate to prove I was ok, so we could be friends again, I thought I loved them all they felt closer than family.

It's sad question do I have any fun loving sober friends no, not particularly, the closest I have to sober friends are people who think It's just a phase in a couple of weeks or months I will be able to have a beer with them, even my brother refuses to accept my life choice to be clean and remove myself from those who tempt me, doesn't believe in the problem, and sometimes he convinces me, I don't always need that much help like my 20th birthday was meant to be my first drug and alcohol free birthday in along time and it ended in despair. so much for a fresh new start...

they don't understand when I drink or take drugs I will always be the person they kicked to the ground, it's definitely an issue I am bitter about it's not so much that I wanted expected them to put up with me, just helped, told anyone, not just abandon me, because I was ruining there fun. I am not necessary in the healthiest psychological position, I am full of resentment for them, and I can feel myself as I type this placing the blame on everybody else, feeling hard done by, I know it all boils down to my choices, it doesn't meen I always accept that.

the short answer is no, sorry that bought up some bitterness.

the first drug I took to was Xanax and other Benzo's, and my word they rob your soul, they not so slowly took everything that made me, me. I still have to take anti-epileptic drugs to this day, because of the damage I did to my brain, to stop me from seizing. they just took me to a place where I would do anything to stop from remembering, when I couldn't get them it was heroin and crack. then I woke up one day and one of my friends wasn't breathing, remember shaking them desperately and cold and blue they where, it scares me now more than it ever did then. It's something I forgot relatively quickly then, but today it's been haunting me.

what has really got me through recently is the NA hand book and the simple promise 'just for today...'

However what you have said had made me realise that, I miss group it felt like a drag sometimes, but afterwards a feeling of being 'accepted' would last for a while, what is the NA/AA saying don't focus on what divides us but what makes us the same. I did once get invited to an NA party but I chickened out, because to these people who I didn't have a mask for was terrifying, instead I relapsed and haven't been back since, I think I am scared of going and failing again, I am just sick of failure. so this time I have been doing it alone

sorry for the fragmented essay rant, my mind feels cleaner now that i've communicated it in someway

jennifer

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Michelle 2010

i have been in an out of recovery since I was seventeen, admittedly I was gutted by the concept of giving up all these vice before I was legally old enough to drink or technically attend a meeting.

I have gone through a lot of stages with friends, for a longtime I was desperate to prove I was ok, so we could be friends again, I thought I loved them all they felt closer than family.

It's sad question do I have any fun loving sober friends no, not particularly, the closest I have to sober friends are people who think It's just a phase in a couple of weeks or months I will be able to have a beer with them, even my brother refuses to accept my life choice to be clean and remove myself from those who tempt me, doesn't believe in the problem, and sometimes he convinces me, I don't always need that much help like my 20th birthday was meant to be my first drug and alcohol free birthday in along time and it ended in despair. so much for a fresh new start...

they don't understand when I drink or take drugs I will always be the person they kicked to the ground, it's definitely an issue I am bitter about it's not so much that I wanted expected them to put up with me, just helped, told anyone, not just abandon me, because I was ruining there fun. I am not necessary in the healthiest psychological position, I am full of resentment for them, and I can feel myself as I type this placing the blame on everybody else, feeling hard done by, I know it all boils down to my choices, it doesn't meen I always accept that.

the short answer is no, sorry that bought up some bitterness.

the first drug I took to was Xanax and other Benzo's, and my word they rob your soul, they not so slowly took everything that made me, me. I still have to take anti-epileptic drugs to this day, because of the damage I did to my brain, to stop me from seizing. they just took me to a place where I would do anything to stop from remembering, when I couldn't get them it was heroin and crack. then I woke up one day and one of my friends wasn't breathing, remember shaking them desperately and cold and blue they where, it scares me now more than it ever did then. It's something I forgot relatively quickly then, but today it's been haunting me.

what has really got me through recently is the NA hand book and the simple promise 'just for today...'

However what you have said had made me realise that, I miss group it felt like a drag sometimes, but afterwards a feeling of being 'accepted' would last for a while, what is the NA/AA saying don't focus on what divides us but what makes us the same. I did once get invited to an NA party but I chickened out, because to these people who I didn't have a mask for was terrifying, instead I relapsed and haven't been back since, I think I am scared of going and failing again, I am just sick of failure. so this time I have been doing it alone

sorry for the fragmented essay rant, my mind feels cleaner now that i've communicated it in someway

jennifer

Yeah, terrifying is a good word for it. Getting real around real people when you're not used to being that way is hard. But what newcomers don't realize is that the others have all been EXACTLY where you have and had others help them along. Our Ego is not our friend at this point. We believe we have to protect ourselves from looking foolish and being perceived as "less than" other people. Healthy people don't play that game. Our Ego and addictive sickness will isolate us, convincing us "alone" hurts less than taking risks. Isolation is deadly to the true addict.

I suggest you try another young persons group. Look for the people with the light in their eyes and an open hand. If you reach out they will help. Some say AA is better grounded inthe 12 step principles than NA. I don't know.

Remember... Hurt people hurt people, whether in NA or elsewhere. Also sick people judging sick people is sick. Don't let those games suck you in. Head for where the light is shining and avoid the dark corners and people who hang there. There is safety in the middle of the group. Do what they do and you will get what they have....

Best wishes

Michelle

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Guest kezzigirl

I consider myself be an "addictive person". It doesn't matter what it is, I will always have some kind of addiction on the go at any time. I have come to accept this although occasionally I look up the words "self discipline" and "temperance" to try and remind myself maybe I could do better. I used to do Tarot cards when I was younger and I would just stare and stare at the Temperance" card and its meanings wondering what the heck that feels like.

I was born this way, like I was born trans. Both my parents were alcoholics. Probably 80% of my relatives are alcoholics of some sort. My father died at 47 of chirrosis of the liver (yay! I hated him and he made my life hell) and my mother still drinks steady at 82. My oldest brother was doing hard drugs by Grade 8 and eventually killed himself at 50 when it all crashed around him. I have been a binge drinker since my late teens and a pothead from about that time too. My partner is an alcoholic. Like me, she had lots of it in her family too.

I never thought I would quit, not entirely. I used to go long periods without and when I was younger I felt I didn't have a problem... just liked to parteee and feel a nice buzz. Marijuana made me feel 'more creative' and opened my mind, or so I thought.

I knew I was an addict for sure by my 30's. My partner and I built a lot of our relationship on mutual addiction. She is older than me and was worse than me from the time I met her, at least with alcohol. But comparing is one of denial's tools right? Of course, it gets worse as you age, you need more and more, and eventually my partner had hit the wall and got herself help. She detoxed and joined AA and I did my best to support her while drinking more discreetly. I found out later I never was half as clever as I thought I was. I suppose slurring your words and responding to "have you been drinking?" with "Nah! Jusss tired is all!" wasn't clever enough.

I was worried about how much I used. I was retreating from life, because I practice addiction in solitude. I tried quitting, I didn't like AA.. groups didn't work for me.. I was much too shelled and would refuse to come out. I had no idea it was mainly because I was misgendered. I just hated being around people.

Then an amazing thing happened. I started HRT and was determined not to let my addictions interfere. I stopped using. HRT made me feel alive, free, joyful and the thought of burying that in the numbness of booze and pot just sickened me. I have been clean since and I have no desire to use either. The smell of alcohol makes me want to throw up. Same with pot. Weird eh? I suppose I was in a lot more pain than I ever thought.

But I realize I replace those addictions with others. The internet is a bad one... oh my, this thing is a black hole for addicts! Sugar, salt, vinegar, shopping, romance.. those are others. In some ways my own transition and sense of new self is addicting. I find I want to be more social now because I want to take this lovely person out into the world. I can't get enough of myself and the way the world sees me now.

I have changed a LOT about my life, but my brain is wired this way and changing that has been much harder and slower. It's always a work in progress and I assume always will be. I will always have an addictive way of doing things in some aspect. Probably. You never know. Maybe I will one day learn what Temperance really means and know how to live it.

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Guest Julie T

Kezzi

I was fascinated with your story and your insights. It seems you will one of those who will make it. And the last part of your topic?

I talked with my therapist about being addicted to the internet. Se explained it was not an addiction, it was addictive behavior, which is different. I didn't understand that? But she worked with me, saying my work on Laura's Playground is partly a pay-it-forward thing, partly because of loneliness and the need for support, but, surprisingly, also a way to avoid responsibility by staying on the computer for way to much of my time. So I needed to reduce the hours, and do something more constructive with my surplus time. Does that make sense?

Julie

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Guest kezzigirl

Thank you Julie. I have had a couple of slips at my mom's... two Christmases in a row where I drank (gee it's easy to get drunk now lol) and had HUGE emotional meltdowns in front of everyone! (fortunately I have a very small, close family). I think next Christmas I will do something different. My mom's is a minefield because there is always lots of alcohol, it is the house I grew up in (with oh so many ghosts and memories!) and it's an otherwise safe and comfortable environment to drink in. But I think I got the lesson last time. I just felt so awful, embarrassed and mad at myself. I had been so looking forward to Christmas, both years. Geez.

My partner and I both describe our alcoholic self as our "monkeys" and that monkey rattles the bars and screams for a drink, just ONE drink, and if you feed it it gets bigger and turns into an out of control monster. What has amazed me is that my monkey doesn't ask anymore. Once in awhile when I am severely stressed or scared or something, but it's easy to ignore and for decades that was not the case - even if I quit for a month each day that monkey would be pleading, cajoling for just ONE. Just ONE little harmless drink.

Yes, that makes a lot of sense, Julie. I think I do the same. The internet IS important to me... it saved me actually. And my support online has held me up and pulled me through so much. But it really is endless and I could spend the rest of my life helping others as they have helped me. If it was supporting me, my livelihood, yeah, I could justify that, but it's not and it keeps me from things I need to be doing, so I understand that, while not ALL of what I do online is addictive behaviour, it feeds that part of my personality. I'm also ADD so it sure feeds that!

A friend sent me this that I need to look at right now actually:

Oh No You Don't! :P

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Guest Isabella_Anne

When I was younger and battling with my transsexualism, I lost myself in drugs for 5 years. Luckly I have very loving parents and they offered me drug rehab. I spent 2 month searching my feeling and gaining sobriety. I was 19 at the time. I'm 47 today and I am still clean. I stopped drinking 3 years ago all most 4 now and don't miss it. I still to this day wake every morning and tell myself "today I will be drug free" and start my day. I do it one day at a time. One would think that after all these years why would I still be doing such things. Addiction is very powerful. As you have stated your addicted to everything. Try waking up each day and tell yourself you WILL be drug and addiction free. Its very hard to do at first and maybe hourly would be better to begin. An addictive personality is hard to live with some times. But if I can do it so can you! Give it a try and let me know how you do. I have other suggestion if that does not help.

Kisses,

Isabella

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