Loopiness and other observations

by Guest Post on March 5, 2009

Promoted to the front page from the user blogs. I want to thank my friend Jasmine for her contributions. You can find her previous postings here at Jasmine’s blog. I chose the mountain view from my previous hotel in Sapporo as the accompanying picture because of daunting challenge it must be to cross such terrain in winter. Early recovery is much the same way; the path can be tortuous mentally and emotionally. Jasmine mentions that maybe it’s time to break out into the great outdoors, but I have always found that my greatest challenges are internal- when content, I can handle any environment or conditions.

TDA in Sapporo at The Discovering Alcoholic

For many years I have been studying and practicing different forms of alternative therapies. I have examined and continue to use/apply aromatherapy, herbal therapy, naturopathy, Jungian psychotherapy, hydrotherapy, art therapy and the like for many years. Despite my struggle with addiction I am a firm believer that there are not many things that a quart of lemon water, a dip in the ocean or some good writing/painting will not fix.

I especially like herbs and use them wisely when I feel the need. Since I stopped drinking alcohol 30 days ago I have been mostly drinking Ayurvedic ‘Yogi’ tea blends (which I highly recommend to anyone looking for healthy and yummy beverage alternatives)–they contain many herbs that stimulate, tone and nourish the body. I also drink herbs on their own by making infusions (nettle is my favorite).

In the past six months I have been having problems with my menstrual cycle and believe (though I will go to see a doctor soon) that there is a direct connection with the stress of alcohol and substance abuse causing things to go off. My last period, 2 1/2 weeks into my sobriety, was already a LOT better, though still not normal. So last night I made a huge jar of rasperry leaf infusion (a woman’s herb) to drink in the morning and decided to take some of the motherwort tincture a friend gave me when I complained of my female woes several months ago. For those of you who don’t know a tincture is an herbal medecine made by extraction–the herb is soaked in alcohol (pure, usually vodka with a high proof) for many weeks, drained, and bottled.

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So I took my dropper of motherwort vodka and then went on with my day, but to my great surprise I felt a burning sensation and mild nausea that lasted for at least an hour. I was walking for most of that time and really tried to examine the sensation. It was so bizarre: from tongue to stomache I could feel the exact path of the tinture and really felt a bit, well, sick. I wondered if I was going to vomit. I then wondered if perhaps I was alergic to alcohol. Why would I feel such an aversion? And did I feel this way every time I took that first sip all these years but simply treated it by drinking more?

Well that’s it. I was planning on keeping this very short, but there you go. I’m trying to be patient but there is a part of me that always needs information, always longs for logic. I’d be curious to know if there are other recovering alcoholics out there who have had such an experience when taking alcohol-based medecines?

In other news I am feeling incredibly stressed out. The initial joy of not being a slave to the beer store has waned. I am still firm in my decision not to drink but I am having a hard time answering the question “why bother?” in the midst of a life that is a constant struggle. (I say this knowing that I am one of the lucky ones, a minority in a world of famine and abject poverty of the likes I cannot even imagine). But really, why go to work at a job you hate all day simply to be disrespected by the general public for not having a glamorous profession nor enough money to live comfortably just in order to maintain the bare necessities (shelter and food) so you are fit to go back again tomorrow? No wonder so many people drink…that “why bother?” question is nasty.

One last thing: Is it normal to feel a bit loopy in early recovery? Yesterday I read an entire book about living off the land and am starting to contemplate a plan: first I pay off all my debts and then I go somewhere and learn how to live self-sufficiently. I do not think people who do this are loopy but to me it seems a bit strange. I’m a city girl. I don’t know how to build a house or install my own plumbing etc but I am seriously considering leaving the city for the great outdoors.

So yeah. I’m feeling great about my choice to stop drinking but otherwise I feel completely out of control…TDA says its because I have yet to learn other tools to deal with life. He’s right. But could someone please tell me if feeling a bit crazy (or drunk from half a dropper of vodka-based herbal tincture) is, well, normal?

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