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cmmann036

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Hello! My name is Candi and I am the typical 34 year old woman. On the outside, things are the best they have ever been. I’m happily married to the best husband, my career is taking off, our kids are safe and healthy, we have a great group of amazing friends, and our home is full of laughter and memories. Life seems perfect!
Until the lights go out and my anxiety monster shows up. 15 years ago, I was a completely different person. I was addicted to Jack Daniels and there are times in my past that I can’t remember. It’s a flash memory, and I never like what I see.
I’m a huge music buff. I listen to music all day- everyday. I’ll lay in bed thinking of the great music I listened to, and sing in my head. Then I start to associate music to memories. That turns into when I heard that song for the first time. Then I start to remember the friends in my circle at the time. Then I start analyzing every social event I can remember in my head. What did I say? What did I do? Omg! Why did I do that?
I’ll start putting myself down and think I don’t deserve this life that I have because I’m an embarrassment. I’ll lay awake and harp on every social event for the past 15 years and think of every mistake I ever made. It’s now 5:00 am, my alarm goes off at 7:00 am. I have to wake up and act like my life is perfect again, and all I want to do is get rid of this anxiety demon. I don’t know how to forgive myself.
 

Cuchculan

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Welcome to the forum. Can I ask do you see a therapist? What you describe is not uncommon. Have read loads of posts on here from people who live each day and then go back over the full day in their heads. Pick it apart bit by bit. Wonder if they done things the right way. Said the right things. You just seem to be looking back even further. Feel some sort of guilt for having the good life you have. I could assure you there is no reason to have this guilt. But I am sure that is what you want to hear. That is what a therapist would work on. Trying to find out why you feel this guilt? Honestly there is never any logical reason for it. You forget some things from when you drank. Now you are trying to remember what happened when you drank. If it was bad I am sure somebody would have said something to you by now.As you don't remember it, there is that part of you that will always question it. Hypnosis maybe. Would you be willing to go back and remember? If you got that chance to do so?
 

cmmann036

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Hello,
Thank you so much for responding. I have seen a therapist years ago as a favor to my family after a traumatic childhood event. This is what triggered my drinking in the first place. I’ve been sober for a long time now, but I feel like I can never escape it. It’s like suppressed memories of that time period pop in my head and then I get this sudden sense of guilt and embarrassment. It was never anything too bad, just when you make an ass out if yourself to other people with no real recollection of what really happened, it messes with the mind. I wish I was like done of my friends now who can laugh at their past selfs and be like “yep, my 20’s were wild” and move on. I just need to learn to live in the present and forget the past. I just don’t know where to start. A mindset change sounds easy, but temporary. How can I make it stick? I never really thought about hypnosis, does that really help? Or is it a sham? I’ve heard both sides of that argument. What do you think?
 

imsotired

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hey how you going, I actually have written some advice for people that are struggling. I suggest you check it out it may help
 

Cuchculan

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All about accepting what happened during those drinking years. It was the drink. Like I said earlier, if anything really bad had of happened I am sure people would be still going on about it. Heck we all done dumb things in life at certain ages. They happen. Life would not be life without those dumb years. Just accept they happened. No need to keep on living them. Not like you harmed anybody. Maybe there is a link to your childhood and the drunk years. Meaning you were harmed as a child. You look back on the drunk years and wonder if you harmed anybody else. Not in the same way as your childhood. Just harmed them by saying bad things. Harm can be harm in the minds of some people. Might be totally wrong here. They might not be connected at all. But the past is hard to forget. Try as we might. I am sure you done no harm to anybody. Just a few stupid drunken moments. Us Irish know all about them.
 

Matticus1983

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Guilt. I'm 37 I binged drank for 6 years straight everyday. 8-12 beers a night. Crazy parties, screwing around. Now I'm paying for it. There is not a day that goes by that I don't refer to myself in the past tense (when I was actively an alcoholic). I do this unconsciously in my mind. At the route of most problems their is guilt for wrongs unaccounted for. Which leads to self hatred/anxiety/depression etc. I've been sober for well over a year now, but the guilt still resides! I look at my children and wonder If I had been different, would they be happier and not so anxious themselves. Or my wife who has seen it all, would she smiles more. The answer is "probably so".... This is the guilt factor. You become self obsessed with how you look to other people. Even when other people have forgotten or moved on and forgiven you, you can't. The same goes with my Christian beliefs, I ask for forgiveness, but have to compulsively ask over and over. Guilt and resentment for your own identity will absolutely ruin you. CBT therapy or just a councilor in general would probably help you. I joined AA for a bit. I learned a ton. One of the things I learned was to live in the present! This moment, right now. How to open my eyes and see, hear, feel, the present moment. The main objective was forgiving myself and asking God for forgiveness, the right way, knowing he's faithful to forgive and your not destined to failure anymore. This brought me out of my past very much so.! But the only thing residing now are my mental difficulties ocd, panic disorder, hypochondria, that was being treated with alcohol in the first place. Now I have to learn to live again. Medicine, therapy, spirituality. Whatever it takes you'll be led somewhere. Make the best of it. Prayers.
 

cmmann036

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Guilt. I'm 37 I binged drank for 6 years straight everyday. 8-12 beers a night. Crazy parties, screwing around. Now I'm paying for it. There is not a day that goes by that I don't refer to myself in the past tense (when I was actively an alcoholic). I do this unconsciously in my mind. At the route of most problems their is guilt for wrongs unaccounted for. Which leads to self hatred/anxiety/depression etc. I've been sober for well over a year now, but the guilt still resides! I look at my children and wonder If I had been different, would they be happier and not so anxious themselves. Or my wife who has seen it all, would she smiles more. The answer is "probably so".... This is the guilt factor. You become self obsessed with how you look to other people. Even when other people have forgotten or moved on and forgiven you, you can't. The same goes with my Christian beliefs, I ask for forgiveness, but have to compulsively ask over and over. Guilt and resentment for your own identity will absolutely ruin you. CBT therapy or just a councilor in general would probably help you. I joined AA for a bit. I learned a ton. One of the things I learned was to live in the present! This moment, right now. How to open my eyes and see, hear, feel, the present moment. The main objective was forgiving myself and asking God for forgiveness, the right way, knowing he's faithful to forgive and your not destined to failure anymore. This brought me out of my past very much so.! But the only thing residing now are my mental difficulties ocd, panic disorder, hypochondria, that was being treated with alcohol in the first place. Now I have to learn to live again. Medicine, therapy, spirituality. Whatever it takes you'll be led somewhere. Make the best of it. Prayers.
Thank you for responding.
I understand 100%. I think it's the fear of not knowing exactly what happened. I wouldn't be doing anything wrong, but my mind would immediately go to that dark space because I couldn't remember every detail. Then I would start making things up in my head that never happened and believe them. Example: I went to a party and I was whiskey drunk. My friends said that I was a lot of fun and I danced all night long. In my head, I would turn that into I was dancing too much, everyone was making fun of the way I dance, everyone is talking about me, they all hate me now, why did I even go in the first place! Or, on the other side, I DID do something wrong and I don't remember it. I have one memory that I wish I didn't have. I was drunk and I had just smoked a bowl with some friends. I was so messed up, I couldn't even speak. I had no recollection of any of the events that night. I woke up sore from head to toe with blood running down my leg. ( I know this is personal, but it's really helping me right now to get it out.) No one would tell me what happened. I went to the hospital and they had told me that I was raped and wanted to know if I wanted to press charges. Press charges? I can't remember anything! I couldn't even say where I was that night. I had such tunnel vision leaving that house, that I can't even remember what part of town I was in. This is my worst flash memory. I quit everything after that night. I went to therapy, but all we did was talk and they tried to throw pills down my throat. I don't want to be medicated, I just wanted to get it all out. I went back to college, graduated top of my class and landed my dream job 2 years later, but I am still haunted by that memory. I am anxious all the time. If I see a person that was in that circle of friends now, I want to run and hide. I haven't spoken to any of them in years. I don't know how to forgive myself and move on. I don't want to be on medicine, I want to change my mindset to start living in the present and forgive myself.
All about accepting what happened during those drinking years. It was the drink. Like I said earlier, if anything really bad had of happened I am sure people would be still going on about it. Heck we all done dumb things in life at certain ages. They happen. Life would not be life without those dumb years. Just accept they happened. No need to keep on living them. Not like you harmed anybody. Maybe there is a link to your childhood and the drunk years. Meaning you were harmed as a child. You look back on the drunk years and wonder if you harmed anybody else. Not in the same way as your childhood. Just harmed them by saying bad things. Harm can be harm in the minds of some people. Might be totally wrong here. They might not be connected at all. But the past is hard to forget. Try as we might. I am sure you done no harm to anybody. Just a few stupid drunken moments. Us Irish know all about them.
Yea, in my head, I make situations out to be worse than they actually are since I don't know the full story. I just need to start living in the present. I quit drinking Whiskey, but I have rum every once in a while. It has taken me 10 years, but I now know moderation. I wish I knew that in my 20's. I read about self forgiveness, and it said to make amends. The one person I would want to make amends to would be my ex. That man had the worst version of me. I was angry, drank, never came home, fought all the time. I look back now and I can see how far I have grown and matured over the years, but that took my husband's support and love to get me to where I am now. Out of respect for my husband, I will not contact my ex. Even if I know that it's strictly for a healing process. I need to find another outlet. I thought about writing it all down, reading it out loud and then burning it. Do you think that will help?
hey how you going, I actually have written some advice for people that are struggling. I suggest you check it out it may help
Perfect! Where can I find your advice?
 
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Cuchculan

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They say writing letters to people from your past can help. But then you try and answer the letters as if you were these other people. What you think they would say to you if they could. Never easy. Lot of emotions involved.
 

cmmann036

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That's a good idea. Ugh, the last time I saw him was at my step mother's funeral. We talked for a few. but I didn't want to make my husband uncomfortable, so I made the convo short. I think that I need to do this. Next time I have some alone time, I will try this and let you know how I feel. Thank you for the advice.
 

Cuchculan

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An ex is an ex for a reason. Can be awkward to see them again many years later. I have one who always just ignores me. No idea why. But I am OK with that. Means not having to have those ' what do I say ' conversations.

Answering the letters is the hard part. As if you were them. What you think they would say to you.

Did once joke about this on facebook. Saying somebody told me to write letters to people and then burn them. Said I have written the letters and burned the people. How do I get rid of the bodies now. :p
 

cmmann036

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bahahah Nice! We were together for 5 years and we have now been apart for 5 years. We live in a very small area, so I know with the upcoming holiday season I will most likely see him or his fiance around town shopping. Just makes it so awkward.
Our relationship was already toxic because we were just so different back then. Both of us needed to fix ourselves before we could move in with our individual lives. I heard he is doing well, I just wish I could take back some of the negative situations that we put each other in. I did learn so much from that time period, so I guess not all was bad.
Sad thing is that it's been 5 years, but I still know exactly what he would say to me in those letters. I'm not going to be easy on myself because I know he wouldn't hold anything back. It's going to be an emotional experience for sure.
 

Cuchculan

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Now is the time to let it all out. On paper. Then you can burn them. Better in than out. I was wondering if maybe there was some PTSD there too? From your past. Maybe this what turned you to drink during those years. Instead of dealing with the past trauma, you self medicated with alcohol? With PTSD we can live normal lives. Then one day we start to fall. Fall very hard. EDMR is a type of therapy people suggest for such past events like you went through. Is actually used on people who come back from war zones. Members of the army and the likes. They would have seen a lot of horrible things. Been through a lot of horrible things. Just like a victim of abuse would have been. Hence they do use it as another form of therapy these days. On regular people. Who might be dealing with past trauma.
 

smilingsoul

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Hi cm,
Sometimes when people survive a car accident in which others were killed, they are wracked by guilt even if it wasn't their fault. Emotions, and emotional reactions are irrational and we as a society focus a lot on explaining why things happened the way they did. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Your normal experience of remembering things from when you were younger has gotten tied to the emotions you feel about having a good life despite the mistakes you made as a kid - you expect that misbehavior should have been punished, and instead things have gone well. Undoubtedly though, you have paid the price over the years. Maybe you lost your license for a bit. Maybe you didn't get the job you were qualified for but interviewed badly due to a hangover. All those get swept aside by the rest of your life unfolding though, so looking back you perceive "getting away with it", and maybe feeling unworthy (Good things happened to a "bad" person). In reality those good things happened by surrounding yourself with good people, working hard, making good choices about who you married, etc etc. Plus, undeniably, some good luck broke your way from time to time :). Same as the rest of us. You don't need to punish yourself now for misdeeds back then. You might need help in getting your emotions untangled from your memories of the events though, and fortunately for us there are whole groups of people trained in doing just that.
Be well :)
 
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