8 weeks sober and having a hard time with the emotions.

Hello all,

I recently became sober 8 weeks ago after 12 years of alcohol abuse. This is the first time reaching out as I have not been attending any groups or sought out any kind of support. Up until this point I've been pretty good and just have been focusing on staying sober and enjoying myself. I feel like I have control of my life once again. Craving aren't a concern at this point but lately my emotions have been all over the place and are pretty intense. Sometimes I feel like I've never been happier and the next I'm feel hallow, alone, and depressed. My biggest issue right now is that recently I've developed a crush on someone I've recently became friends with and the emotions seem a little overwhelming at times. I'm 31, dated plenty in the past, but this feels totally different. I feel like a bloody teenager but at time even worse then that. I'm still acting normal and it's not really effecting my actions but it feels like I'm going crazy at times. I'm not sure how to proceed really. It's like I'm discovering my feelings all over again. Is this normal?
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  • @rojoking,
    First I'd like to congratulate you on your 8 weeks of sobriety,it's something you should be proud of and keep going!
    I have no experience with alcohol addiction but I have read some stuff on relationships, co-dependency issues and inner healing so what I can tell you is that after going through some kind of addiction ( doesn't matter if it is addiction to substances or people) we need to take some time to adjust to the new situation,find the causes of some problems so that we are not tempted to turn to "old habits" ,generally slow down a bit and try not to make any major decisions about our life because right after a certain challenging time,we need to make sure we have taken our power back ,re-gained control of our life over the addiction. I've heard that it's advisable to wait for,say,at least several months or even a year before taking any important steps about you life but, of course,this is your life and you know your situation best.Plus,you maybe haven't experienced emotions with a clear head for some time and now it seems to you they are overwhelming and you don't know what to make of it.
    Hope everything turns out OK for you and you find your inner peace!
  • @rojoking ;Hello there and welcome to the Forum. I think it's wonderful that you've been sober for eight weeks! Congrats to you for that!

    I agree with @changeyourself that regardless of what the addiction is, when you give it up,  there will be plenty of emotions that come to the surface . for me, it was feelings that I had been stuffing ever since I was a child. It seems as if I did not know what I was feeling or how to express my feelings for most of my life until a crisis came in my mid 30's. then all of those feelings flooded me and I had no idea how to contend with them. I thought I was going crazy too and actually had an emotional breakdown. So it's pretty normal that you're dealing with these feelings and maybe not even knowing how to contend with them.

    I sought support groups and a counselor and I read a lot of books and watched videos on the topic at the time. I once read a statistic that said something like the pain that you were experiencing now is only 10% to do with what's going on now and 90% of old, unhealed Wounds from the past. I found that very interesting .

    When you uncloud your mind from substances, it's like you're emotional being gives you the opportunity to deal with emotions that you've never dealt with. It's like trapped energy , and when you can begin to recognize those feelings and process them, you're able to let them go and let that energy disintegrate. Kind of like think of a balloon that is getting full full full and then it can either pop or you can let the air out slowly. I used to think of meditation as like letting the air out slowly. Getting quiet with myself and focusing on my breath helped me a lot.

    If you find yourself struggling,  perhaps looking to counseling or pick up a good book on the topic . maybe something on emotional healing . There's some great stuff out there. Hope this helps!
  • @rojoking... Welcome to the community. I'm glad you found us and shared your story with us. Congratulations on your 8 weeks of sobriety. What a wonderful achievement!

    I think what you're going through is probably pretty normal. The 12 years of alcohol abuse more than likely numbed your feelings and emotions. Now that you're sober, you're experiencing those feelings and emotions like you haven't in a long, long time. As your sober time increases, I think you'll become much more comfortable with yourself. Remember: Your body and brain are adapting to a brand-new lifestyle that they're not very used to.

    Keep doing the next right thing. And know that we're here for you anytime you need support, help, or just someone to talk to. You are not alone. 

    I'm really proud of your sobriety, my friend. Just keep going.
  • Thanks for the comments everyone. I found them very useful and thank you for the congrats. The first 2 weeks were a little rough so I got into the habit of exercising again, eating right, focusing more on work, and spending more time with friends and family. After that everything seemed great and almost a little easy. I felt genuinely happy, accomplished, and got some of my confidence back. I have not felt like that for a very long time. Then the feelings hit and now I guess the real challenge begins. I'm comforted to know that  feeling this way is normal. I'm a bit timid at how long it might take feel normal again but I guess that's part of the journey and I'm ready for it! Considering I've forgotten what "normal" feels like. I guess I'll just have to focus on not putting a date on anything and ride the roller coaster of emotions for as long as I have to. I'll enjoy the highs when they happen and maybe in time I'll find some comfort in the fact that i can properly experience and learn to deal with some of the lows with a clear mind. It'll suck but I know it's better then the alternative which is self medicating. I've taken your advice as well and started reading more into the subject. I feel the more I learn the more I can handle it. Again thanks for the support guys and the advice 
  • @rojoking hey there! thanks for getting back to us and glad we have encouraged you! you're right, it may take time and yes, ride that roller coaster ride of emotions!  i think life in general can be a roller coaster... it's just learning how to cope with the low times WITHOUT abusing substances!!  

    after all, that never really helps anyway.... might numb you, but then it makes matters worse...

    anyway, glad you are here. jump on board our FREEDOM TRAIN and ride with us!!! glad to be sharing this journey with you!
  • Happy to hear you're getting more comfortable with things, @rojoking. Life is definitely full of ups and downs and, like @dominica said, learning how to cope with the tough times without using substances can be a challenge. But it can be done. And there's a lot to be said for experiencing life on life's terms. 

    I'm glad you're part of our community. Remember to reach out and lean on us for support whenever you feel the need.
  • @rojoking,
    Glad I could share some thoughts with you and if it helps even better!It's pretty normal to have highs and lows in your everyday life,we all do but the important thing is to learn to deal with both in a healthy way, with a clear head  and an open mind because when there is an addiction it controls us.It is our life and we should be in control,not medicate our issues away.Not easy but doable!They say knowledge is power and self-educating on the topic is a good way to start and an invaluable tool in the fight against the addiction.The more we learn,the greater power we have.Use this power to heal and help.others,that's what I think and is worth to me!
    Take care and keep going! 
  • How are you doing, @rojoking? I hope things are still going well, my friend. And I hope you have a great week, too!
  • Hey Dean. Things are going pretty good today. Last week was challenging but I think I have a pretty good hold on things for now.The intensity of it all finally settled down a little during the weekend and I was able to clear my head and enjoy a nice relaxing day off on the couch.I probably will take some time off from relationships as last week taught me that I'm clearly not ready yet. Even dealing with a crush seems unbelievable. I just couldn't get over how strong the feelings were and how it effected my behavior. I didn't have alcohol to numb the sensation or offer and escape which has been the habit for years and years. I just had to deal with it and holy crap was it unpleasant. At the same time though I was proud to be dealing with it the "normal" way. I'm really beginning to realize that this is going to be a very long and treacherous battle. But for now I'm still looking forward to the journey and wondering what challenges I'll face next. I'm really glad I came across this group because just talking about my issue made a world of difference. Especially since I'm the type who doesn't confide in others when dealing with issues of my own. The responses have been great and I really do appreciate the feedback and help from you guys. I haven't been to any groups yet but I know when and where they are and when that rough patch finally hits it's hardest, I know where to go. Also knowing that I can come here to find advice and help makes the journey a lot less lonely. 2 more days and i'll be at week 10. can't wait to stop counting by the weeks and start counting by the months. More determined then ever. I hope you have a great week as well Dean.
  • @rojoking ;Hey there. Thank you for the update. While it does stink to go through challenging times, the fact that you're proud of yourself for tackling them sober is wonderful. It's great that you're getting some insight and making some solid decisions that will assist you in your recovery.

    Congrats on almost 10 weeks! That's pretty amazing! So glad that you enjoy coming to The Forum and we love having you here, sharing this journey with you. 

    Wise Choice about relationships for now. You'll be better prepared one day, but for now focus on yourself and your recovery. 

    Again, congrats and I hope you have a wonderful day!
  • @rojoking,
    Glad for you doing better!Congrats on your 10 weeks sober!Believe in yourself and you can turn every day into a victory over the addiction!Before everything turns out better,there can be challenging moments but that's what it is all about,going along the path of recovery and feel stronger by the day.We are stronger than we think and it's up to you to do the work and take control of your life with courage and determination!So,keep going,this is the righg thing to do and you CAN do it for sure!
    As for the sharing part,I think I know what you mean because I am also someone who likes my privacy and am not comfortable sharing personal stuff all over the place.I have a hard time opening up to people in face-to-face communication,so this way of opening up in a support group is healing and feels comfortable enough.I found in this community people who are kind,patient,supportive,not judgemental and have been through quite a lot themselves.I appreciate the help,advice and support and from what I have read in your post,you find it sharing your thoughts and feelings here theraupetic,too.
    I also believe that your intuition tells you the right thing to do at the moment; it's advisable to learn how to manage our own self first and work on self-awareness and overcoming issues bothering us first,learn how to be healthy individuals before we build a relationship with another person.Besides,the healthier we become within us,the better partners we will attract because then we will know who we really are and who we need as a partner.Take your time,no hurry and the right people will turn up in your life!You deserve a better life and you are one step closer to it because you have made the right for you choice in seeking help!Which is a wise thing to do!
    Learn how to take care of you first,know your feelings,needs and wants,what YOU like or dislike,not what you have come be believe because of other people's opinions.You'd be surprised how little we actually know about our self and how little we act the way we really want to act but instead conform to beliefs or behaviours that aren't even our own but have been imposed on us for whatever reason...
    It's a long journey with setbacks sometimes but it is surely worth it,to grow and become more of the people who we really are....
    Take care!
  • @rojoking... Thanks for letting us know how you're doing. It sounds like you're learning a lot about yourself and recovery. And I'm proud of you for making good decisions. Yes, recovery is a journey. But you can find your way. I know you can. Look at you: Almost 10 weeks of sobriety! That's soooo badass!

    We are here for you, my friend. We will accompany you on your journey and help you however we can. Don't forget to reach out whenever you need to. :)
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