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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Tigereyes Offline
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I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - May 27th 2018, 06:30 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Mostly a rant.

I don't want to be clean and sober anymore. All the addictive behaviors and substances were always a way to feel better for me, and now without them, I'm left with nothing but pain. I have over a year but life just keeps getting worse, and I can't deal with the pain anymore. Worse, I feel like everyone looks to me for advice now that I have some clean time, but I hate life because now there's no relief from the pain. I like some of the people I've met in the recovery community, but I'm not sure I want to stay in recovery if I never get any relief. I'm attending a variety of meetings, working steps, seeing an addiction counselor, but maybe I just can't get better.


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Re: I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - May 28th 2018, 02:51 AM

Sometimes, when we are so used to doing something and then no longer do that, it can be hard to go without it. Does it feel like that is what you are experiencing?
I am wondering, have you talked about grieving that loss of addiction to anyone? I am wondering because you are used to doing something and it's no longer there. It can be relatable to losing a pet or family member.

I know you want to give up and go back to your addiction, have you thought about doing a pros and cons list of being sober and going back to your addiction? It might be helpful to write it down.

If writing is something that is helpful, you could write about what you miss and what you now enjoy being sober. It's a long road and it takes time to be okay with being sober, or if you decide to go back to your addictions.

Are you finding the groups, meetings, and your addictions counselor to be helpful? If you are unsure, what about doing a pros and cons list? Are you surrounding yourself with positive people, people who you can be yourself around and addiction conversations don't always come up? It might be helpful to keep your mind off being sober, but focus on other aspects in your daily life.

It may seem you will never get better, right now you are sober and that is a huge step. It may not seem like that now, but you have come so far to be where you are at.

You can allow yourself to let others who look for advice from you, that you are unable to help them but remind them you care about them, and offer them a phone number to call a crisis line or a website to visit. You are allowed to say no to helping someone when you need to focus on yourself.

You are strong and this is a challenging time for you, you have come so far, you can take more steps forward.

Take care.


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Re: I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - May 28th 2018, 11:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigereyes View Post
I don't want to be clean and sober anymore.
Judging by the rest of your post, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with this. I don't think it's that you want to give up on recovery - I think it's that you feel like recovery isn't the path you need to take in order to feel better. You're in pain, and it's entirely understandable that your mind would return to something that gave you relief in the past. But the thing to remember is that the relief you gain from this kind of behaviour is only ever going to be temporary. It might numb the pain, it might distract you from it, but it won't help you heal. The pain will still be there, even if you can't feel it in the moment, and until you work through it and accept it then you're never going to be free from it.

As difficult and terrifying as it can be, recovery absolutely is worth it. You've come a long way already, and it's okay to feel like it's an uphill battle or that it's never going to end. That's a natural part of any journey of recovery, and, as strange as it sounds, feeling this way can actually be a good sign. Sometimes unresolved or unacknowledged emotions can manifest in urges or thoughts of relapse, and those thoughts can prompt you to take action before things get worse. The fact that you're thinking of giving up on recovery might indicate that there's something else going on, either in your life or within yourself, that you need to address. Has something happened recently to make you feel worse? Even if your first reaction is to say no, it can be helpful to consider whether there's something under the surface. Maybe something is bothering you more than you thought, and by taking the time to do some self-reflection you might actually be able to find out what the deeper problem is. From there you can begin to deal with it in a safe and healthy manner.

I know what it's like to feel like life is nothing but pain, and to believe that you're never going to get better, but I've also found that there's always something good to be found, no matter where - or who - you are. Sometimes it can be something really small; for me, that can be something as seemingly insignificant as patting a cat or having a bubble bath. Those things won't change my life or make me a better person, but they provide momentary relief and distraction from whatever else is going on. Maybe you could do something similar - instead of being overwhelmed by all of the big picture, recovery-or-relapse, life-is-nothing-but-pain stuff, try to focus on the small things, the ones you can control. Treat yourself to a chocolate bar, sing along as loud as you can to your favourite song, whatever makes you feel better. It doesn't have to be huge, it just has to be something safe and positive.

Remember, too, that you should never feel obligated to help others. If offering advice hinders your own recovery, then you have every right to refrain from doing so. Your own wellbeing comes first, and there's nothing wrong with setting limits and stepping back when you need to. If you feel up to offering advice then by all means go for it, but don't push yourself to help others when doing so could make you feel worse. Also, one final thought: you definitely can recover. It can be deceptively easy to get lost in a spiral of thoughts along the lines of "I'm still not recovered so therefore I'm probably never going to get better", but that's just not true. Recovery is different for everyone, but one of the constants is that it's not always smooth sailing. There's ups and downs, sometimes predictable and sometimes unexpected, and it's all about learning to navigate them through a combination of managing your feelings and urges in the moment and keeping your eye on your ultimate goal. Recovery is possible, but only if you keep working towards it.


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Re: I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - May 28th 2018, 07:43 PM

I only miss having relief to the constant pain. I wouldn't care as much, at this point, about not having the addictions if life wasn't so horribly messed up in sobriety. I don't want to be high or drunk--it was never fun for me--I just can't keep dealing with this pain without any relief. It's been 13.5 months clean, and I feel worse than I ever have. The only thing I like about sobriety is having some support rather than none. Sobriety hasn't brought me anything else good. Meetings and my counselor are helpful, but nothing helps enough. I don't really have many friends anymore because everyone left me years ago.

I know relapsing would only bring temporary relief, but it's been so bad for so long that temporary relief sounds a LOT better than no relief at all--which is what I have sober. There is a lot that is going on in my life--so much and it keeps piling up and piling up, and it's too much to deal with any of it separately, let alone all of it at once. So because there's so much that's so wrong, relapse seems like the only option to deal with it. And my cat helped a lot, but I just lost him so that's not an option anymore.. And that alone is too much to handle, plus there's a dozen other major things.


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Re: I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - May 31st 2018, 05:54 AM

That makes a lot of sense, and it sounds like you're going through a lot at the moment. It might be helpful to keep reminding yourself that turning to substances will, in the end, just result in having one more thing to deal with. Yes, you'll get that temporary relief, but eventually you're going to have to make this call again: to recover, or to stop caring about the consequences. Being over a year clean is an amazing accomplishment, but I get that it may not feel like that. Maybe it feels like it's always going to feel this bad, or that you're never going to find anything else that makes you feel better, but that's not true. It hurts now, and it has for a while, but this isn't forever. You still have choices now as to how you handle this pain you're living with, regardless of whether it's the kind of pain you can actively work towards healing from or whether it's the kind that you just have to feel for a while.

Have you talked about any of this in your meetings or with your counsellor? Feeling tempted to go back to old ways is a very common part of recovery, so the people in your meetings may well be able to relate and offer some firsthand advice, and your counsellor will be better able to tailor your treatment to your needs if you're as open as possible. Are there any other resources or activities you could look into doing? They don't necessarily have to be addiction-related; maybe you could join a group for a hobby you have or would like to start up, so that you have something else to occupy your thoughts and time. A good - albeit not foolproof - way to deal with feeling like recovery isn't worth it is to start purposefully filling your life with more things that make you actually feel alive. Sometimes you can make progress by simply trying to prove to yourself that there's more to life than pain, and that there's always an option other than addiction. Doing things separate from active addiction recovery can also help take some of the stress off, so you're not constantly thinking about the whole recovery process all the time.


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Re: I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - June 1st 2018, 03:06 AM

I'm not really sure how to handle it though; it's just all piled up and too much to handle. I can put a ton of effort in and take one step forward, but I'm pushed back 100 steps in the process, so I just end up further back than I started and out of energy and motivation to keep trying. Everything just hurts, and I'm tired of the pain.

I haven't talked about it at meetings because I get too anxious to share at meetings at all. I literally cannot force myself to, and trying to force myself to do so anyway makes me desperate for a way to calm myself down from the panic attack, meaning alcohol or benzos (anxiety is still relatively new to me, and something I'm working on with a ton of other shit with my counselor). I have talked to my counselor about most of it, but it's hard to get to everything in just an hour because there's so much that goes wrong in such a short amount of time. I tend to only get to the most critical things that are most likely to cause relapse and I try to think of specific questions and concerns I have before my appointments. I don't know what else to do other than that. I often don't have time or energy for anything besides school and recovery (and work instead of school now that it's summer). I already try to play guitar for fun and as a way to cope, but it's very difficult to find the time and energy for that, let alone anything else.


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Re: I don't want to be clean/sober anymore - June 11th 2018, 03:10 AM

Sorry for the slow reply, the last week or so has been quite busy for me.

Do you think you could talk to your counsellor about being unsure of how to handle everything? They could potentially help you make some goals and plans so at least you have a starting point and a way to prioritise things, rather than leaving you feeling overwhelmed by everything going on.

With the meetings, it might be helpful to talk to whoever runs them and explain that you want to contribute but doing so makes you anxious. They might be able to offer you some advice or at the very least encouragement, and it might be comforting in itself to have someone know how you're feeling.

As far as having energy goes, first make sure you're covering the bases: eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly. I know those can all seem like daunting tasks when you're already feeling low, but they can all really help. I'd also encourage you to look into activities that help you recharge; these could be simple, like listening to a particular song or playlist, or more complex, like a certain routine or hobby. Maybe you could try setting aside a certain amount of time each day to practicing guitar so that you get into a rhythm with it. You could also try thinking about things you would like to do if you had more time and energy, and then looking at what steps you can take to get started.

Once again, sorry for the delay and I'm sorry if this isn't the kind of advice you were looking for. I hope it was somewhat helpful, at least.


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