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Suicidal Ideation When I Stop Drinking

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When I stop drinking completely, I find myself emotionless, dreaming up various plans for how to end my life. I don't mean in the immediate aftermath of sobriety; I don't think it's a withdrawal symptom. I was sober for nearly six months before and the entire period was characterized by such planning. Not the kind of suicidal thoughts brought on by panic or despair; I didn't sit around sobbing and wanting to die. It was much more calculating and emotionless, dominated entirely by logic rather than emotion. I thought about all the things I'd have to get done before I could do it, the trips I'd take, the people I'd say bye to, how I'd save up money to leave for my family. The idea of ending it didn't make me sad, and it still doesn't. It seems more like an inevitable conclusion. I'm quitting drinking again and am already finding myself back in this mindset. I don't really know what this is. I don't feel the need to call a suicide hotline or anything, because it's nothing I'm planning on doing right away. It's just always there in the back of my mind, that i've set a deadline for myself and it must be done by then. Will this thinking fade? Has anyone gone through this in early recovery?
I would go to a therapist for help. You may not feel that you have a plan but it seems you do. Even with no emotion. You don't need emotion to be suicidal. I urge you to go to the emergency room RIGHT NOW. Just say someone suggested you go and then tell them what you have written. Please go.
Hard to say, honestly. Alcohol is not a drug which only affects the mind for a few hours after consumption. It alters chemistry in the brain for at a minimum, days after your last drink.

You also have to factor in the fact that it is not something you do in a 30 second shot in the arm. Drinking is an activity, it Is done over a period of hours. With lots of different activities done whilst under the influence. One of the things that makes it so hard to quit, is that it's a big part of your day.

I can't say whether or not what your experiencing is normal, but I wouldn't suggest you ignore it. It can be hard to remember as it is so common for people with ptsd and depression. Feeling suicidal is not something everybody lives with, might be advisable to make sure you have a safety net under you. Just in case.
Hi, Casey-

The primary reason I use alcohol & the other shit is to keep from feeling.

It's an inaccurate weapon, destroying everything around as my self prescribed medication goes about doing its duty. :confused:


Deleted member 29899

I cried and wanted to die the first year. For the ENTIRE year. Then I had many awesome years afterwards. To get off that alcohol on-and-off-again roller coaster HELL was wonderful. Sanity came. Simple pleasures and joy came. A shrink told me that that alcohol emotional/mental/physical and spiritual roller coaster was like being bipolar. It was a nightmare. To have that monkey off my back years ago was a ticket to a new life. A life where I felt good about myself for the first time in my life. No remorse, no shame. Good. Whole. Clean. Pure. Worthy. For the first time.
I am a recovering alcoholic. It took many starts and stops before I finally went to AA. Alcohol was self medication to keep me in a less anxious place because I have PTSD. I was addicted to it. So many times I didn't drink for months, but always picked up again to quiet my triggered mind. I had zero coping strategies for life. I also had suicidal ideation which got worse every time I picked up again. I wanted to be sober but had no clue how to live without it.

AA saved my life. I know many people that quit with the help of therapists but that wasn't for me. Like this forum AA is a group of people with the same problem helping one another. Truthfully, I don't think you can put down the drink without side effects. It causes chemical changes in the brain and it is a monkey on your shoulder-always trying to suck you back in. You can PM me for support anytime.

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I drank because of severe anxiety and PTSD as well. Also no coping skills. I was a young woman drinking every single day to cope with anxiety attacks and fear and suffering from coming from a sick home... Etc., etc.

I thought I'd always be afraid of 'falling off the wagon' but it's not like that. It was in the first few years but alcohol will never be my 'go to' for stress again, it's even more stressful when your 'stress-reliever' causes its own stress! Nope, I never get the urge to drink. No appeal whatsoever.

You can reach this point too Casey. You just have to work your butt off for it like we did. But it is truly worth it.

And learn how to be around guys without needing a drink is a skill you will learn as well if you want to.

Shooting to be a 'sociable drinker' however, is not an option for you I don't think.
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Thanks guys. I did get to that point before, when I didn't even crave a drink. I felt generally better but couldn't find a way to relax. I just started drinking again when I started a new relationship. It wasn't every day and it wasn't as bad as it was before, but it was definitely a crutch and I've stopped since I wound up drinking to excess. So now it's been about a week since my last drink. I think I need to start doing sports again; that always helped me before. (But then suffered a nasty knee injury). I suppose I should also avoid new relationships until I've gotten better at coping skills.
You always have my support. No matter what. Drinking does not solve anything. Ultimately you will have to learn rational coping skills. I have friends that are social drinkers and at first I needed them not to drink around me, but when I finally lost my craving for it, I can handle being around it. I see my children drinking to excess and worry they inherited alcoholism from me. I have to go to Jamaica for my sons wedding and it's open bar. I am NOT looking forward to that. Fortunately, his finances Mom doesn't drink either so we are staying in a different hotel and will hang out together. She and I will be enjoying the beautiful beach the next day and all the young ones will be nursing their hangovers. Nope, I am so over drinking. I've been sober 24 years. It took me ten years of trying to "control" it until I finally was able to put it down.

You know, I think I needed all that sobriety before I could deal with my PTSD. My flashbacks and intrusive memories came flooding 15 years ago and I finally got therapy for it.
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