Agitated and failed to pause

I’m not sure why it happens, but I relapsed again. I’m truly disappointed in myself. But, I failed to do one of the things that The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) recommends – “pause when agitated”. I felt a complete breakdown this past Saturday night. I’d like to blame my wife, but my actions and decisions are my sole responsibility. I try and look at my emotional state too, so I can try and understand what’s going on with me when I can get so weak. But, honestly, does it really matter? The bottom line is that drinking is my go-to response to the emotional crack I feel when things go to shit.

And I have felt like my life is shit for a long time.

And I woke up Sunday morning feeling like shit and having a shit hangover and realizing I acted like a shit. But, I can’t seem to get this “miracle” that is supposed to happen. I don’t know how to accept spiritual help. I don’t get the mental switch from making a gratitude list (okay, maybe there are SOME things I’m grateful for…). I’m not able to relate to a lot of the people who are at AA meetings. I can’t find the answer to my problems by praying to a Higher Power.

I feel, genuinely, fucked right now.  I don’t see answers to some major problems I am having.

I just am terrified, and I know that fear is a big major trigger and I can’t seem to work hard enough, do enough changes, grasp onto anything positive that keeps me focused. My mind drifts so much lately, that I have even forgotten to take my insulin several times in the past few weeks. I feel utterly incapable of managing my life and I hate that. I’m happy to follow advice, but I feel like any of the direction people give me in AA or from my sponsor amounts to jack shit, since they do not address my problems. All of the focus is on finding a Higher Power.

And it’s not me, I’m worried about – it’s my concern and obligation to others that I feel will impact in a bad way, if I fail in life.

And not only that, but who, actually, wants to fail at anything…?

Today is only day 2 after starting over.

21 thoughts on “Agitated and failed to pause

  1. I’m just throwing this out there… is there any other guidance you can get other than AA? Any psychological therapy? Isn’t addiction considered a mental health issue? Sorry if this isn’t helpful but it’s not something I know much about.
    As ever, I wish you luck with keeping going x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I really am wondering if AA isn’t the right thing for you. I know a lot of people talk about it and how it has helped them but it’s not my cup of tea. I did enjoy reading Rational Recovery and also Allan Carr Stop Drinking Now along with the hypnotherapy CD (which I think you can also download for free on his website but it really should be used after the book). But these are what has helped me and they might not be for you either. Keep trying, keep going until you find what does work for you. I to wish I could get the help of a therapist but finances are a big problem. Sending you a big hug buddy, KEEP TRYING XOX

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am no expert but I don’t know if AA is the right program for you. Are there other successful was to quit drinking without having to embrace a higher power. That seems like an obstacle for you and I think it would be for me too. Wishing you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear you’re feeling a bit crap right now. I’m going to chime in with previous speakers as I also wonder if AA is right for you? I don’t have a bad word to say about it and it does help countless people find and stay with sobriety, but it’s not the right path for everyone. I know as many people who are sober with AA as I do without AA. I, for one, didn’t quite take to AA and its approach but unlike what my sponsor would have me believe (i.e. that I’d fail if I didn’t work the program) I am very sober and very happy…! (My ex-sponsor would probably have you believe I’m a whole host of negative things and that I will fail sooner or later though). Luckily, there are as many ways to get sober as there are sober people, so perhaps you just need to find the right way for you? Have you heard of This Naked Mind? I recommend giving it a whirl, it really helped cement how I’d come to view alcohol. Hope you feel better soon – do remember that alcohol is also a powerful depressant and will have dragged you down again, it’s a chemical reaction. Hugs, Anna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate to say this but if a higher power was the solution to a person’s problems, there would be a whole lot of people who would be problem free. AA addresses one specific problem and, clearly, whatever they’re telling you isn’t working well and what they’re telling you about their area of expertise sure as hell ain’t gonna help you with the other problems that are your responsibility to resolve… if it’s within your power and ability to resolve them in the first place. I get it – how are you supposed to not drink when life keeps throwing problem after problem at you and to the point where you get overwhelmed?

    No one likes to fail; yet, if we do not fail, we never learn what it means to succeed. Indeed, many of us spend more time trying not to fail than we do trying to succeed and whether we fail or succeed depends on our ability to manage problems and sometimes one must make some very hard choices to make some problems not be a problem; maybe it goes away, maybe it gets minimized… and sometimes something we think is a problem really isn’t a problem if you can take a step back and look at it with as much clinical detachment as possible.

    But our problems become all-encompassing – we get surrounded and engulfed by them and find ourselves not being able to see the forest for the trees so, sure, being able to get someone who isn’t in this “fog” with us could be of help… but you’re still putting a lot of reliance on what someone else thinks you should do about this, that, or the other – and their proposed solution just might not be what’s needed to resolve the issue or make the management of things any easier.

    I read somewhere a long time ago that if you have problems, write them down then look at each one – and not all of them as we tend to do – and ask yourself, “What do I have to do to make this not be a problem?” And then you do not move on to the next problem on the list until you come up with an answer for the problem under review. And here’s the kicker:

    If you look at a given problem and determine that there ain’t shit you or anyone else can do about it, stop making it a problem… because it’s probably not really a problem but you’ve somehow managed to make it one. The key to problem management isn’t just identifying the problem – that’s easy enough, right? The key to this is effecting change when and where change is determined to be mandated and understanding that if you do not effect change, the problem will continue to be a problem until you do.

    Here’s the thing, though. So many people read your blog and comment on it and many give you what I think is damned good advice that can make a lot of your perceived problems go away… and you keep proving that this adage is 100% correct: You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. What good does it do for you to get advice when you’re not gonna take it and use it to effect the changes that need to be made in order for your problems not be so… problematic?

    When life starts shitting on you – and as it’s always gonna do and when you don’t need it to – the answer isn’t to grab an umbrella and wait for it to pass – the answer is to get the hell out of the way before it lands on you. In the movie, “The Karate Kid,” Mr. Myagi gave Daniel a piece of wisdom that’s just precious: “The best way to avoid punch is no be there.” You were once a very good martial artist and I’m surprised that you’ve seem to have forgotten this – it’s one of things we first learn, isn’t it? You learn how to fight so you don’t have to? The life lessons learned while I studied judo and karate (and other forms) have continued to stick with me even after I got my black belts. If you don’t wanna get hit, don’t stand there so you can be hit; you learn how to fight so you don’t have to fight… but if you do, you kick ass and take names and to the best of your ability to do so. And if the odds are stacked against you – run.

    And the most important lesson I learned that’s relevant is that there is always someone out there better than you are… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the best you can be and even more, you can’t – and won’t – win every “fight” that comes your way. At some point, you will fail… now it’s a matter of what you’re gonna do when you can’t win: You can either wallow in pool of self-pity and continually mourning your loss or you find a way to get off your ass, shake it off, figure out how and why you lost, then make sure that you don’t make that mistake again.

    And how you, a fellow black belt, don’t remember all of this just amazes me.

    Finally, the mistake you keep making is trying to make everyone around you happy when you can’t seem to make yourself happy and it stands to reason that if you cannot make yourself happy, you sure as hell ain’t gonna be able to make anyone else happy because you don’t know what it means to be happy. You keep reneging on Rule Number One: Look after your own ass first because if you don’t, you won’t be able take care of anyone else.

    Consider yourself spanked – again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate so much to this post. My first year of sobriety has been dotted by episodes very similar to this, every few months or so I would guess. I have not succumbed to drinking, but I have been very very close multiple times. So I get it.

    It looks to me like you are learning from this and breaking free of an addiction is not a perfect science- so learning is progress and progress is what we are looking for.

    I have found that my feelings of failure tend to drive me into states like this. Where it feels like I can do nothing right and I can try really hard and still fail, so what’s the freaking point, right?

    I am sort of a victim of what I like to call the “atta boy” syndrome. I need someone to tell me that I am doing a good job in order to feel accomplished. I try to remind myself that everyday I dont drink, I am accomplishing something worthwhile and difficult. But without the positive support, it quickly just becomes something that I take forgranted and I soon lose sight of how powerful that accomplishment is.

    I just want to tell you that I think you are doing a good job. It was a mistake, dont let that take away from all the good you have accomplished so far.

    When I struggle, I get back to basics that have helped me. Place a high emphasis on self care- eat right, sleep well, stay hydrated. One day at a time, when the going gets tough.

    Hang in there. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Daniel, you’ve just put word to something I can totally relate to as well: “atta girl syndrome”! Only yesterday, I turned to my husband after we’d been for a run and asked him to reassure me I did good. I needed to hear I’m doing well and asked straight up for him to tell me so, probably because I’m insecure and need the reassurance. I 100% need praise – to be honest, having someone tell me I’ve done well or been clever or hand me a lollipop for being brave at the dentist’s sometimes makes a HUGE difference. Perhaps we’re all a little bit like that. Anyway! Just wanted to say thanks for putting this into words, it was a lightbulb moment for me!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this. It does feel overwhelming and at times all you want to do is give in to that voice. It’s the hardest thing to do to avoid that stubborn voice that tells us to drink and it will make everything better or screw the pople who continue to hurt us. Maybe you should write down all the things wrong in your life and slowly try to disect each one and find a solution to making it better. Start small and work towards your bigger goals. You are not alone in this life and if you would like to talk private I’m here to lend and ear or some advice.

    Stay strong and things will get better, you just have to keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

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