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  • Frustration.

    This is a space visited by peer workers who have a lived experience of addiction and recovery and is an opportunity to relate to and draw hope from those who have been through similar things as you.
    User avatar
    WildeReformed
    Junior Member
    Posts: 28
    Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:46 pm

    Frustration.

    Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:47 am

    Today I feel frustrated.
    frustrated that this country is so reliant on alcohol and drugs.
    frustrated that it's normalised.
    frustrated at the lack of understanding about addiction.
    frustrated that I went out last night to a bar and couldn't drink.
    frustrated that I am considered weird for not partaking.
    frustrated that I need to use so much restraint.
    frustrated that I couldn't relax.
    frustrated that I felt awkward.
    but mostly I am frustrated that I don't have anything to use to escape myself.
    because deep down this frustration is hiding sadness.
    I'm sorrowful that I am so uncomfortable in social situations, so uncomfortable in myself that I need something to feel more me.
    4 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 359
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Frustration.

    Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:54 pm

    @WildeReformed thank you for having the strength to share how you're feeling right now. They're all incredibly valid and fair reasons to feel frustrated right now. It is incredibly difficult seeing how normalised drinking culture is here in Aus, especially going through your own recovery journey.

    You've hit on such an important point there, the discomfort in social situations with alcohol. Is there anything that you have thought of that may help to make these situations easier? Are there people around you who you feel more comfortable with?

    I wonder if any other forum members or the peer workers have anything they'd like to add?

    @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW @Katiee @Jack1947 @BonsaiBeginner @Ready2102
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 268
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Frustration.

    Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:32 pm

    Wow @WildeReformed ...............thanks for your honesty.........this is totally the stuff people need to hear and I can really identify with you. There's a bottleshop everywhere I look and another one across the road. Every event is associated with alcohol and seems to be sponsored so it's completely rammed down your throat. I can't even watch sport without being smashed by booze advertising. Even the commentators add to the stereotype.........."I bet you there'll be a few drinks flowing after this win!!"

    "It's Friday night, let's have a drink"........"it's my birthday, let's have a drink"........."i've finished exams, let's have a drink"............"I got a new job, let's have a drink"..........."I got - insert generic good or bad news here - , let's have a drink"

    I felt sooooooooooo uncomfortable early days and I'll never forget being at a wedding where I kept going and sitting in my car to listen to some music, make a phone call to friends and calm down enough to go back inside. I just felt completely out of place. My confidence was low, I wasn't a loud as I would normally have been, there was no way I was getting on the dancefloor without a drink in my system, I thought everyone was judging me, I was judging myself...........I just didn't feel like I fitted in anymore........and that was something I'd always struggled with even when I was drinking.

    All I can tell you is that over time it's gotten easier and now I don't need a drink to feel comfortable. I've done a lot of work on myself uncovering all those things I used to feel uncomfortable about and the reasoning behind it. I've uncovered my resentments and worked through them. I've worked out where the sadness came from and what was driving it.............I was able to stop worrying about what other people thought because I'd started to believe that the only thing that matters is what I think.

    You can make up all sorts of reasons for not drinking and no one needs to know the truth. Being designated driver is a great reason not to drink, maybe you've got a blood test tomorrow morning, maybe you've got to be up early for work, doing a health detox, an early morning PT session booked, on medication that can't be mixed, any number of reasons.

    You talk about escaping yourself...........I think what happened for me was that I found myself and accepted who I am. That was a big part of the turn around and Mindfulness has played a big part in that turnaround. I accepted my anxiety. I accepted my depression. I accepted my strengths and I accepted my weaknesses. I learnt to stop pretending and started to implement solutions. I had plan A, B, C, D and E for when I was at the parties and sometimes I left early, sometimes I stayed longer and occasionally I stayed till the end..............but this took time to do. In the early days I mostly left the party early to go home and sit on the couch where I was out of danger and just proud of myself for actually going and spending at least a little bit of time at the party.

    I did a lot of work on my conversation skills but more importantly my listening skills. I found that if I could get people talking about themselves..........and let's face it...........themselves is most people's favourite subject..........then they would forget about me and then I could move on to the next person.

    Overall, using mindfulness to recentre myself when things felt like they were spiralling out of control, giving myself space to walk outside and refocus, getting people to talk about themselves and giving myself permission to find social situations difficult were what helped me turn things around. Take it easy on yourself and give yourself time to adjust to a new way of life. Eventually people stop asking why you're not drinking and accept that you don't. Eventually you stop caring what they think too...........well that's been my experience anyway.

    Please keep sharing this stuff on the forums because it's important.............not just for you but for everyone else. I hope some of what I've written has been helpful and hopefully the message of addiction gets more understanding because people need to know that "just one" can hurt.

    Keep up the good work @WildeReformed
    1 x
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 55
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: Frustration.

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:33 am

    WildeReformed wrote:
    Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:47 am
    Today I feel frustrated.
    frustrated that this country is so reliant on alcohol and drugs.
    frustrated that it's normalised.
    frustrated at the lack of understanding about addiction.
    frustrated that I went out last night to a bar and couldn't drink.
    frustrated that I am considered weird for not partaking.
    frustrated that I need to use so much restraint.
    frustrated that I couldn't relax.
    frustrated that I felt awkward.
    but mostly I am frustrated that I don't have anything to use to escape myself.
    because deep down this frustration is hiding sadness.
    I'm sorrowful that I am so uncomfortable in social situations, so uncomfortable in myself that I need something to feel more me.
    This spoke to me so much. Thank you for sharing
    0 x
    User avatar
    WildeReformed
    Junior Member
    Posts: 28
    Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:46 pm

    Re: Frustration.

    Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:40 pm

    @initae89 you're welcome. I'm glad that it resonated with you. :)

    @Lhiver thank you for your comment and for tagging. There are definitely people I feel more comfortable around but if there is alcohol I feel less comfortable in general. I get in my head and shame spiral, and it causes me to question myself. I think that with practice, it will get easier. It' just tough not feeling frustrated, at others but mostly at myself... because even though there is such a pro-alcohol culture in Australia... it's not the problem... I am... my inability to control my addiction is the issue...

    @PnorkelPW Thank you for sharing with me. It's so difficult coming to acceptance with myself, it's been a real life-long journey. For the past 12 months, I've been really trying to understand the roots of my addiction and it always comes back to two things; trauma and self-worth. I've been getting better at managing the trauma but finding my value has been a lot harder. I can get so lost in my own mind that it can be hard to be okay with just being... me.

    I feel like I've got the tools I need to escape the awkwardness of not drinking. I'm using alc-free drinks, I always volunteer to be a DD, and I just tell people I don't drink anymore. It's just that I can't escape me and that initial reaction, to seek an escape, is what's exhausting. Like you, I've been using mindfulness but it's hard to do in social settings, I need to remove myself from them. I know this is a process and I can see small changes, like the moments when I get relief from the constant mental load... and I'm really appreciative of it... and it's huge that I'm taking these steps. It's just... hard and I'm hopeful that like you, I'll get to a place were I can just accept...me.
    3 x
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 55
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: Frustration.

    Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:11 pm

    Such powerful and honest words @WildeReformed.

    Kudos to you!!

    I feel that way so often. It is true. It is hard to be "you".
    2 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 268
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Frustration.

    Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:38 pm

    @WildeReformed ......................time.................give yourself time

    You're already starting to find yourself

    Every night you put your head on the pillow without a drink is another day in recovery and another day you've found a way to live without alcohol

    One day you'll wake up and you'll discover the scales have begun to tip back the other way. Your confidence to be "you" will just be there and it won't feel like such an effort to draw on it. It sounds soooooo cliche.............but it will happen. You'll realise what you've achieved.

    Just give yourself time................you've come a bloody long way
    1 x

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