Feels like I’m going through a test at the moment and the examiner isn’t finished with me yet. As if my success so far in sobriety needs to be questioned and challenged. Not by anybody else, just within. I’m also the examiner.
I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been having thoughts around alcohol and batting them away. I’m doing all the right things to distract and push those thoughts away with my exercise, breathing, dipping into my mental toolbox and finding things I enjoy doing, etc. but I’d probably say this has been the most prolonged period in about a year where I’m consciously fighting myself.
I don’t follow a ‘programme’ as such in my recovery but I have started reading about Rational Recovery (and AVRT – Addictive Voice Recognition Techniques) so I can relate to this idea of a ‘beast’ in our mind trying to trip us up and send us back to our old ways. I’ve always referred to my voices as a beast or monster in the past and try not to associate my being with the beast. It isn’t part of me, it’s a foreigner living in my head. I used to have anger issues and I managed over time to get those under control and I’m determined to do the same with my alcohol issues.
My mental health is so much better these days and my anxiety is under good control so when I find myself a bit restless and fidgety I know these are the early signs. As I mentioned in my last post I’ve been grinding my teeth a lot over the last week despite no change to medication and no life events occurring that have unsettled me. I can only put it down to the beast trying to rock the boat and disrupt my calm existence I’m generally enjoying at the moment.
I’m dreaming about being tempted back into drinking alcohol although in my dreams over the last few nights I do resist succumbing to it and my abstinence remains in tact. It does linger the next morning though, I retrace my journey through the dream and naturally, despite there being a good outcome in the dreams it puts me back into the cycle of thinking about alcohol, why I gave it up, the progress made and the things I miss about it. Because, let’s not kid anybody… I loved drinking and a lot of the time I was responsible with my drinking and liked the way it made me feel.
The thing is, I know that glamourising of alcohol is what the beast wants. It wants me to remember my holidays abroad having a beer round the pool. It wants me to remember those date nights in town with my wife sharing wine. It wants me to remember that bottle of champagne when o got a promotion at work. It wasn’t all gutters, police cells and hospitals.
The risk of returning to the depths I was at is not worth the short term enjoyment of something I have lived without for over a year now. It takes a lot longer to get your head back above water than it does to fall to the depths below. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.
2 thoughts on “Beastly Thinking”
I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?
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Hiii ❤️great article! For me the only thing that tames the beast…is connecting with another that is in recovery. I know you stated you don’t have a program…and you don’t need one. I’m just recommending maybe you hop on a recovery zoom meeting and just listen – when my mind won’t shut up or if I am entertaining thoughts of using…listening to others always helps me💜good luck
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