Alcoholism
#1
Alright first off a warning, I'm only 18 and have had a large glass of 18% sherry as well as two 5.5% beers (pale ale), so sorry if this post is . . . discombobulated, though I'm 6'2" and weigh 235 lbs so I'm not drunk, just fairly buzzed.

I went through a period of seriously heavy marijuana smoking.  I'd buy weed, divide it up meticulously so that I'd be able to be stoned throughout the day, with periods of near-sobriety lasting between 1 and 3 hours, which were nearly unbearable and spent thinking about getting high again.  I know that's unusual, but that's the way it was with me.  Marijuana was like heroin (a lot like heroin actually, like literally, not only was it addictive like heroin but felt like it too) . . . I just felt so damn GOOD and I could function at a passable level at the same time (just like heroin haha, only it was more "psychedelic" for lack of a better word, which only added to the appeal).  I'd just be sitting on the front porch with a big grin on my face reading a book, it was incredible.  I don't even want to talk about it any more, I live in a bad neighborhood and it's easy as hell for me to get more.  I sold it, I wandered around town all day smoking it or acquiring it, me and a friend would get a half-ounce and smoke it all in a day or two, and I wasn't like getting money from mommy and daddy either, I worked on a farm for 7$/hr, it was *HARD WORK* to get weed but I did, that's how much I loved the damned stuff.

The problem is . . . well I quit it, through the grace of God.  I can't believe I quit it, considering how good it felt, and how often I used it, but I managed to quit.  Problem is I don't feel good, even now, three months after quitting.  I feel like I'm never, not in a million years, going to feel as good as I did when I was smoking pot.  I'm either working, and thus stressed and anxious, or . . . bored.  My life is a cycle of bored and stressed, with few periods of pleasure, and the pleasure is fleeting.  Not just boredom, it's ennui.  It's staring into space for hours until the next time I need to work.  I feel distant from family and friends . . . it's very disturbing, I feel like I'm living in a coffin, I love my mom and dad a lot but I don't feel any love, I'm like emotionless, and I act like I have emotions but then there's not much feeling a lot of the time, and I'll be "acting" in the "right way" (hugging mom or whatever) but feel no real connection, and my mind is split and part of the mind is saying "this is what a son should do, do this", but no actual feeling.  It's extremely distressing to feel that detached from other people.

Is it selfish and un-Christian for me to care so much about pleasure and to hate this suffering so much?  Hell yes, I don't deny that.

After I quit pot I went on with cigs for a while.  These gave a brief amount of pleasure, I mean it was something to look forward to and structure my day around.  Now I've quit them too, for the sake of the conversion of my father (and my own health!)  Problem is I'm REALLY in a bad state now, and the feeling that I'm never going to feel "good" again is overwhelming.  To be honest, and yeah this is melodramatic, I'll find myself involuntarily fantasizing about mutilating myself (and I did before I quit cigs too) - chopping off limbs, or making deep cuts in my mid-section etc. - because I detest myself that much (how the hell can I not detest myself, compared to Christ?), and often involuntarily think about suicide, including "acting it out" (i.e. holding a knife to the stomach and thinking how much it would hurt, or what it might feel like, to plunge it in).  I hate this depression but it's there, and it's worse than ever now that I don't have pot (which made me feel virtually perfect and "normal") and even cigarettes (which at least gave me some sort of "buzz" and motivation).

Now I'm getting into alcohol.  I'm Irish, Hiberno-Norman to be specific, and I come from a long, noble (literally :D) line of functioning alcoholics.  My dad drinks 3-6 beers a night and always has, is buzzed or tipsy by 10:00 PM as often as not, so I've grown up around it.  His dad was the same way, and his dad's dad, etc. etc., and on my mom's side as well, pretty much the same pattern.  I've started drinking more and really really appreciating alcohol more and more.  When I smoked weed I thought of alcohol as an inferior form of weed (which it basically is); when I smoked cigarettes I saw alcohol as a treat; now that I've quit both, alcohol seems amazing to me, like weed did back when I smoked it.  It just . . . I'm so friggin' anxious and depressed normally, I can't even describe it (and won't, because it'll reveal me for the whiny little b***h I am).  My mind moves a thousand miles a minute, or not always, but sometimes it does I guess, and I get very distressed over things I shouldn't be distressed about (ex: watching corny commercials, mocking actors in my head, feeling awful about mocking actors because I imagine how much more I deserve to be mocked, and feeling very empathetic to actors and coming close to weeping thinking 'how'd i like to feel if i worked so hard to be in a commercial and then some stupid fat f**k mocked me, and thousands did every day', just thought patterns like that on and on and on for hours and hours throughout the day, it's torture).

Then I have a few beers . . . like 3-4 (or equivalent in wine/spirits) . . . and . . . ahhhh

It's like I'm normally in a wheel-chair and now I can walk.  I can't describe it.  Now that I'm forgetting what weed feels like THIS feeling is becoming just about the best feeling I can imagine lasting longer than 10 minutes.  I LOVE this feeling.  I LOVE being buzzed.  I feel NORMAL.  I feel HAPPY.  I feel RELAXED.  I feel like a HEALTHY HUMAN BEING for once.  I dont' feel like breaking down sobbing in the bathroom, begging Mary to help me feel more connected with my family . . . I don't feel like saying a rosary while smacking myself in the face as hard as I can . . . I just feel GOOD.  What the f**k is wrong with me?  No clue.  Is my religious behavior normal?  I dunno.  But I know that I like this.

Is it a sin to get buzzed every day?  Is it a sin to drink 3 or 4 beers every evening?  Is it a mortal sin?  Venial?  Also I'm not in a state of grace right now, haven't been in two weeks, but hell maybe I'm not, I mean I'm very scrupulous, no actually I'm definitely not now that I remember some things, so maybe the fact that I've destroyed my relationship with God and crucified Christ all over again has something to do with my attraction to alcohol.  f**k.  I should really just fucking shoot myself shouldn't I.

Honestly right now I feel like sobbing with joy, I pretty much never feel this normal and good while sober.  I dont' feel intoxicated, or not much anyway.  I mean my vision is a tiny bit "delayed" when I move my head, time is a bit slowed down, and my movements are slightly uncoordinated (I don't think noticeably to other people), but in terms of my head . . . It's like somebody turned down the speed a bit.  So I'm not constantly analyzing every little detail of my existence and driving myself insane.  My mental processes are noticeably slowed down but that's exactly what I feel like I need.  I don't feel dumber, exactly, though I'm sure my ability to think is slightly impaired, it's just that the thoughts move at a tolerable place.  Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, please advise.  Is this normal?
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#2
Whether it's a sin to drink every night.... I don't have an answer for you.

But it sounds like "sin/not sin" isn't the real issue here. The real issue is that you only feel happy/normal when you're buzzed and that you have a hard time when you're sober. So, in answer to that, i think it would be good to see a spiritual director or Catholic counselor/psychiatrist--someone who has the training and experience to help you figure out WHY you feel so awful when you're sober, and who can help you to find some real solutions to the problems you're facing.

Substances make a nice escape, but they don't really solve anything. Whatever problems are really getting at you may only get worse the longer you avoid them. Plus, developing an addiction is just going to create another set of problems (guilt, fear, feeling out of control, anxiety about work, etc.). (You probably know this already...)

It sounds like you've got a hell of a lot on your plate. It can be extremely difficult to sort things out on your own. Please find someone to help.

:pray2:
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#3
(12-02-2009, 09:09 AM)Tinuviel Wrote: Whether it's a sin to drink every night.... I don't have an answer for you.

But it sounds like "sin/not sin" isn't the real issue here. The real issue is that you only feel happy/normal when you're buzzed and that you have a hard time when you're sober. So, in answer to that, i think it would be good to see a spiritual director or Catholic counselor/psychiatrist--someone who has the training and experience to help you figure out WHY you feel so awful when you're sober, and who can help you to find some real solutions to the problems you're facing.

Substances make a nice escape, but they don't really solve anything. Whatever problems are really getting at you may only get worse the longer you avoid them. Plus, developing an addiction is just going to create another set of problems (guilt, fear, feeling out of control, anxiety about work, etc.). (You probably know this already...)

It sounds like you've got a hell of a lot on your plate. It can be extremely difficult to sort things out on your own. Please find someone to help.

:pray2:
I agree. You will be in my prayers :pray:
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#4
(12-02-2009, 01:59 AM)John92 Wrote: After I quit pot I went on with cigs for a while.  These gave a brief amount of pleasure, I mean it was something to look forward to and structure my day around.  Now I've quit them too, for the sake of the conversion of my father (and my own health!)  Problem is I'm REALLY in a bad state now, and the feeling that I'm never going to feel "good" again is overwhelming. 
For some people, addiction comes very easily. You should not use substances which have the risk. I recommend you seek out a qualified professional to help you and talk with your priest about this. This is very serious.

Quote:Now I'm getting into alcohol.  I'm Irish, Hiberno-Norman to be specific, and I come from a long, noble (literally :D) line of functioning alcoholics. 
People with alcoholism in the family shouldn't drink at all. They could become one with very little effort.

Quote:(and won't, because it'll reveal me for the whiny little b***h I am).
When you need help, don't be afraid to seek it.

Quote:Is it a sin to get buzzed every day?  Is it a sin to drink 3 or 4 beers every evening?  Is it a mortal sin?  Venial?  Also I'm not in a state of grace right now,

A sin? Maybe. It can be a mortal sin or a venial sin or no sin at all depending on consent and your will. Based on what you said, the single acts of drinking are a compulsion so probably aren't in themselves a mortal sin, but you should address the problem as best you can and as quickly as you can.

This isn't normal, and you should get help.
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#5
Dear Brother John92,

When I was 18 I had similar problems.  I smoked weed all the time (was closet pot-head), was in a fraternity, and did alcohol frequently.  I definitely used pot to give me peace.  The pot stopped working and my parents being good parents didn't stand for me doing it.  When I quit pot at 21 and stopped drinking it seemed like my social life was over.  It seemed like my life was very much in turmoil and I was bored often.  Then my spiritual director told me the reason why I was bored was because I was boring, LOL!  So, I realized there was some truth in that.  I turned desperately to God with all my heart.  Prayed constantly and worked on my spiritual life.  I found comfort in fulfilling God's will and ridding my life of pride and self-love.  It took a long time to get peace, God really had to humble me a lot.  I commend you in your efforts to give up pot and cigarettes, our sanctification in all areas is so important. 

Make sure you get a good spiritual director.  Since you frequent a Traditional Catholic forum, I would suppose you either go to SSPX, the FSSP, or the Institute of Christ the King.  At either one of these places I am sure you will be able to find a good priest to give you spiritual direction, just ask them to help you.  They will guide you well.  If they think it would be good to talk to a Catholic psychologist, take their advice; they will be able to recommend a good one.  So many psychologists are trash, but these 3 (SSPX, FSSP, or the Institute) would know of good one's.  Or PM me and I will recommend one to you.  Whatever you choose to do make sure you are praying to seek God's will in your life.  If you do that, all will be well.  Everybody from time to time has some stress and down-times, just make sure you follow God wherever he leads you.  That is the goal!

Fr. Ripperger (FSSP) says that usually when God 'really' loves a person, he first sends them a lot of pain so they will rid themselves all their attachments.  This might be where you are at, pain at times can be a blessing- so thank God for it.  But wanting to hurt yourself with knives is definitely not a good thing.  So, go immediately to talk to a good traditional priest.

I will pray a decade for you.

Take care,
Your brother, In Christ through Mary,
Michael.
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#6
John,
I'm 18 as well mate. I've never done pot or cigs, I stick to cigars and only have them occasionally so I can't really help on that front. I can help on the drink front though. I too come from a long line of Irish and Scottish drinkers. It's mostly moonshine and whiskey around here in Tennessee. My mother got very ill about a decade ago and she had to give up drinking. My father gave it up with her. She is better now and they can drink once more. My father comes home from work and does the same thing as yours. I don't see a problem with it, he can work fine in the morning. My parents taught me how to drink and how to hold my liquor. I thought I was starting to get a drinking problem a few months back when I realize I was still drunk when I was driving to school and at school. One morning I stumbled in the school door and I reeked of the stuff. My mates dragged me to the john and threw water on ma head and gave me mouth wash until I sobered up. I was thinking of cutting back after that because I could have been expelled for coming to school in that state if a teacher had noticed. But then I got mono and I have not been able to have a drop in over two months and I will not be able to drink so much as a shot for a few more months because my liver is swollen and it just might rupture if I got drunk. I'm not going to risk death for a Guinness. Although I am really looking forward to having a drop again but now I know I actually am capable of going a time without it. That honestly is the only reason I cut it back and finally stopped drinking so I'm not certain how to tell you to stop short of it threatening your life. Perhaps if you just have one pint or shot or whatever and tell yourself "I can still drink but this is it". I know how hard that is but that's all I got. I wish you luck my friend and offer my prayers.
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#7
Dear John92,

Also, not to state the obvious, but I know you just recently quit cigarettes; most people tend to have some bizarre emotional changes after quitting cigarettes.  One guy I know literally pulled out some of his hair after quitting cigarettes, literally- his wife told me.  So he must have had some strong frustration, maybe this is what is going on with you.

Michael.

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#8
Does this make sense to you?
Quote: They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity.  After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again.

If it strikes a chord, you're probably an alcoholic. That's the classic term for it anyway; now it's some PC crap like "addictive personality"...

At any rate, it can be beaten. Life can be good without drugs or booze. It takes a while, though. Like, years. Sorry.

AA helped me, but I can't stand it now. It's over-run with Wiccans and crystal-gazers and any other sort of nonsense you can imagine. Anything goes in AA, as long as it's not Catholic.  So I can't really suggest you go there. You could go check out the book Alcoholics Anonymous from the library and read it. When it was written, AA was Christian. You might also ask your pastor or confessor about it. There may be other members of your church who attend some closed meeting where Catholic-bashing isn't acceptable.
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#9
(12-02-2009, 10:13 PM)SoCalLocal Wrote: Does this make sense to you?
Quote: They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity.  After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again.

If it strikes a chord, you're probably an alcoholic. That's the classic term for it anyway; now it's some PC crap like "addictive personality"...

At any rate, it can be beaten. Life can be good without drugs or booze. It takes a while, though. Like, years. Sorry.

AA helped me, but I can't stand it now. It's over-run with Wiccans and crystal-gazers and any other sort of nonsense you can imagine. Anything goes in AA, as long as it's not Catholic.  So I can't really suggest you go there. You could go check out the book Alcoholics Anonymous from the library and read it. When it was written, AA was Christian. You might also ask your pastor or confessor about it. There may be other members of your church who attend some closed meeting where Catholic-bashing isn't acceptable.

Yes, and Bill and Bob wrote the AA book along with a Jesuit priest, apparently most of the book was written by the Jesuit priest and Bill and Bob took the credit.  So in that AA Big Book you find quotes from St. Theresa Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and St. Gregory the Great  (all anonymously of course).  It seems to me like the entire book is a plagiarism of the writings of Catholic saints, I guess they didn't want to offend anyone; (PC) it is a great spiritual direction manual.

Also, the AA 12 Steps are based off of the Oxford Movement.  The Oxford Movement was what Cardinal John Henry Newman was a major part of in the Anglican Church- it was an intense study of the Church Fathers that led many Anglicans into the Catholic Church.  So John92, I suggest you do those steps with a Catholic priest who is a recovered alcoholic.  Or find a good sponsor in a meeting who is a strong Catholic, the 12 Steps will help your humility to be perfected.

Michael.
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#10
Hi John-
when I was 18 through my 20's I was heavily addicted to pot, just like you described.  It took me YEARS after I quit (only through Gods grace) to feel happy all the time without drugs.  That crap messes with your natural happy.  I was always thinking about how nice it would  be to just have a puff...just one...the devls voice for sure.  And I smoked GOOD weed, none of that ghetto crap.  This was homegrown, so it wasnt laced with PCP or anything.  I also came from a family of functioning drinkers and smokers.  I grew up around it.  When I had my own family and was in hell becase of my addiction, that is when I realized it was going to stop with me.  There was going to be no more "we smoke pot/ get a wee bit tipsy every night after the kids go to bed" family tradition.  Thats crap, and it does NOT give glory to God.

Anyway..you are young.  You sound young in your post.  The b est thing you can do for yourself and your soul is to lay off the substances.  Become a man without them.  Find peace in Christ and evelate your mood through the sacraments.  If you can t feel happy without being high or buzzed, you need to get with a good spiritual director, and find Christ for REAL.  Being buzzed and high to be happy will only lead down the path to destruction.  You cannot be a good parent, priest or single man living for Christ and His Church if you need substances as a crutch.

It sounds to me like you have an addictive persionality.   Thats what I would call it, (not trying to be PC liekt he poster above said...its just you dont hear the word potaholic anywhere) I know I am,,,was,,,, and that is why I do  not even drink now.  I could see myself depending on that buzz to keep the happy going with drink, just like with smoke.   That  may seem hardcore to some, but I have been to the pit of hell with being addicted to pot.  And I think it is funny that some pro pot people will scoff at the idea that it is addictive.  That is certianly a lie from the devil. 

Stay away man!  you are young, turn to the right path now...do not wait till you are older and it has become a long lasting habit.  I found a priest who I bared my soul to in confession...(the only time I have done it face to face, but with this I HAD to)  and he really set me straight.  I never went to any AA or any rehab program, just God's rehab program.  But I dont see as how one would hurt, as long as it wasnt full of new age crap.

:pray2: you sound like you REALLY need some good spiritual direction.  It sounds way to heavy for any of us internet folks to help you with.  I dont think its normal to want to kill yourself or hurt yourself because you want to get buzzed...I also dont think it is very good to talk about yourself the way you have in your post.  You are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and are made in the image and likeness of God.  Rosaries and drugs/drink DO NOT go together.  Get to a priest ASAP.  Satan is messing with your head man, and substances make it easier for him to attack you. :pray2:
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