Finding Comfort in Chaos

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finding comfort

Living with an alcohol use disorder is living in a near constant state of turmoil. After struggling with alcoholism for several years, I eventually stopped caring whether I lived or died. I had to stop caring. The future was perpetually uncertain. As a blackout drinker I had no idea where I was going to wake up the next morning; no idea whether or not I was going to get behind the wheel of a car. I knew that I was constantly putting myself and others in danger, and guess what? I really didn’t care. The self-loathing that compulsive drinking bred had taken on a life of its own, and I had truly come to hate myself to the core of my being. I was useless, worthless, a burden, a hopeless case. I was powerless over alcohol. I had forgone my autonomy for the bottle, my control for another party; just one more, just one more.

When I was active in my alcoholism every aspect of my life devolved into complete and utter chaos. I grew so accustomed to the whirlwind of emotions; to screaming matches with my loved ones, to hopping from job to job, to being at constant risk of complete financial collapse. When I got sober, the chaos calmed — and it was uncomfortable. I did not know how to stand still. I did not know how to be at peace, how to accept serenity into my life at any level.

For many of us, there is comfort in the chaos. It is what we know. It is probably all we know, or at least all we really remember. I started subconsciously creating issues in my now idyllic life, simply so I would have something to be upset about. I knew constant drama, it was familiar and it was safe. If you are new to sobriety and you are having a hard time settling into serenity, know that you are not alone, and this is a pretty standard part of the process. To learn more about maintaining sobriety through 12 Step program involvement, contact us today.

Why Do We Crave Chaos?

Why do alcoholics crave chaos? Interestingly enough, people can actually develop an addiction to chaos itself. If you think you might be addicted to chaos, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I feel uncomfortable in healthy, stable, functional romantic relationships?
  • Do I often pick fights with the people I love over seemingly minor details?
  • Do I tend to seek out drama in the workplace?
  • Do I often gossip about others or encourage others to share gossip with me?
  • Do I tend to make mountains out of molehills on a regular basis?
  • When things feel peaceful, do I go out of my way to stir them up?

Many individuals who struggle with addiction come from dysfunctional households and grow accustomed to chaos from a very early age. This might be why substance use appeals to them in the first place — they might use drinking as a method of escapism. Being at peace with others and with self can be extremely uncomfortable for those who have lived amidst chaos for the majority of their lives.

How to Get Used to Peace

What can you do to get used to being at peace, and to stop sabotaging your own serenity? The first step is recognizing your behavioral patterns and taking steps to change them. We recommend finding activities that bring you peace (maybe drawing, walking on the beach, or listening to your favorite music), and practice doing one or all of these things for at least 30 minutes every day. We also recommend joining a 12 Step program, where you will learn more about how to welcome peace and serenity into your new life in recovery.

How Do I Know If I Have a Serious Problem?

There is a significant distinction to be made between problem drinking and a diagnosable alcohol use disorder. If a person has been engaging in problem drinking, their relationship with alcohol has taken a turn. They are starting to experience consequences as a direct result of their drinking. Maybe they have experienced some legal issues, or they find themselves without a job because they have shown up hungover one too many times. Maybe their interpersonal relationships have experienced some strain, or they have developed a physical problem directly linked to their heavy drinking. When a good enough reason presents itself, problem drinkers can step away from alcohol with little to no issue.

Those suffering from diagnosable alcohol use disorders, on the other, cannot successfully quit drinking on their own, regardless of how severe associated problems have become. If you are attempting to determine whether or not your drinking requires a greater degree of intervention, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do I often look for excuses to drink?
  • Do I drink in celebration and when I’m upset?
  • Have my loved ones expressed concern about my drinking patterns?
  • Have I started to neglect my personal responsibilities because of my drinking?
  • Have my friends changed?
  • Do I spend time in places I didn’t used to spend time in, and have the activities I enjoy changed or been neglected entirely?
  • Have I attempted to control my drinking with limited or short-term success?
  • Do I sometimes switch from liquor to beer, try to limit my drinking to weekends, or make other rules for myself in an attempt to control my drinking?
  • Do I often wake up feeling hungover (headachy, dehydrated, nauseous)?
  • Have I gained or lost a noticeable amount of weight?
  • Do I pay less attention to my personal hygiene and my overall appearance?
  • Do I start to feel anxious when I go without a drink for an extended time period?

If you answered “yes” to several of the questions listed above, entering into a 12 Step program might be a good idea. Contact us today for more information on meetings in your area, or to learn more about additional treatment options available to you.

Contact Us Today to Learn More

At 12 Step East Coast we understand just how difficult it can be to reach out for help and actively pursue a life in recovery. Change of any kind can be scary, and making the transition from active alcoholism to total abstinence is likely the most significant change you will ever make. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate the process on your own. At 12 Step East Coast we are available to help guide you along every step of the way. The initial stage of the recovery process involves determining which treatment option is the most appropriate for your unique case. If you have been struggling with a mild or moderate alcohol use disorder and no underlying issues, engagement in a 12 Step program might be an effective treatment option. However, if you have been struggling with a mild, moderate, or severe alcohol use disorder and any co-occurring issues, entering into a more intensive, multi-staged treatment program might be an ideal option. Regardless of the care you need, we will help connect you with a treatment program on the East Coast that caters to all of your personal clinical requirements. Contact us today to learn more and to begin your personal journey of alcohol addiction recovery.

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