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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I see a counselor and the issue today was wanting to stay

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I see a counselor and the issue today was wanting to stay busy. It is his belief that this is due to being uncomfortable being silent. To me it feels like I am trying to reach a point where my energy is tapped. I like how I feel then. There was and still probably is a truth to what he says but that is not what my instinct is telling me. Truth be told, I like to be real active or drink (usually no more than 4 drinks). I have been diagnosed with ADD and are taking Adderol. It makes me feel mentally lazy and really has cured some mild depression/anxiety (undiagnosed). I can finally read a book. When I work out I don't have an urge to drink and might have 2 or less. If I am busy and work real hard, I have little anxiety and feel of calm mind. When I work out real hard, work real hard, I sleep good and feel best at about 5 hours. Recently, 14 months after separation (have full custody if 4 young boys) I am finally sleeping at night, not waking at 2am with 120 heat beats per minute and are starting to relax even though I am in foreclosure, taking care f 4 kids and approaching the end of a brutal divorce with a mental ill woman and an attorney whom is already sanction and going to get disbarred. Massive amounts of stress and all that I can think of is designing a life around hard work and fun rather than chaos. My thought is I simply have a need for feeling and recognizing that will allow me to focus on more productive channels to that. I used to think "dont drink" but really what feels best is "Do something other than drink that stimulates you". Heck I went to Chuckie Cheese with 4 kids and that reduced my drinking that day. My Counselor's worry is that i am avoiding something and frankly I just want to stop wanting to drink to feel good. I have an urge to "feel" and it almost doesn't matter if it is stress or fun. So I want to retrain my brain, personal habits and change my bandwidth. Frankly I don't feel I am hiding from anything as much as i am running towards a better life by accepting the fact I am just a hyper minded person. Sure, slowing down, meditating etc will allow for personal quiet time. That said, I feel that way when I exhaust myself first. I sit in the steam room and meditate after hard workouts. What would be your input? Am I mental :), do i just dance to a different beat, is this ADD, what?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are doing fine. I can understand your counselor's concern. It makes sense and maybe they are seeing something I am not, but what you described sounds reasonable to me.

Keep in mind that I say this given that your actions have no harmful consequences on anyone, including yourself. As long as you are functional and you can care for yourself and your family, there is no harm in running towards a better life.

You are right, everyone has their own pace and own wants and needs. If a hard workout gets you to the point of being able to relax, then that is no different than someone who works out to get rid of depression or to feel more socially acceptable in appearance.

It sounds like to me that you understand yourself well and are functioning in such a way that you are dealing with your own needs. You can explain why you do what you do and the consequences of your actions. That says to me that you have insight and understanding, which is a positive sign.

Your alcohol use is the only concern I had in reading your question. It sounds like you are using alcohol to medicate yourself and calm yourself. Given your situation, it makes sense. However, I like your solutions to reducing or eliminating your alcohol use. If you can, increase your fun time or other activities to eliminate your need to drink. Your choices are healthy ones and I am sure your children appreciate your solutions as well!

Be careful to monitor your stress levels and keep an eye on your activities so you don't overdo anything. You are under enormous stress right now and you do not want to overdo it and find you are unable to stop and calm yourself. If you find you are struggling, be sure to let your counselor know. A medication adjustment may be needed for a short time until you feel better.

I hope this has helped you,


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you again. I wrote a good endorsement and would like to continue talking to you. I have written cards to myself reminding me why not to drink. Also reminding me of the positives when I don't. I put an alarm in my smart phone so that when alcohol fools my mind into forgetting i am reminded. I tried Kudzu once to relieve urges and I think it helped at first. I tried Effexor an it made me want to drink and I could without getting drunk. It is a more uncommon side effect but it is one. It was so weird. I cant take that stuff and Welbutrin, Paxil and one other made it worse. Adderal is the only one that really works and I think alcohol was a way to feel good and focus. My hyper mind calms down with Adderal which i guess is the for sure way to know ADD is a likely diagnosis. Anyways, I would really like to dominate the alcohol urge and going to fun things will help. I even thought about aversion therapy but if my future ex wife knew then she would make that an issue in custody. Plus it takes 10 days. I am a 3 drink a day guy unless I get anxious or overwhelmed. Then 4. It is when I socialize and have fun that it goes over. I charted myself and it came out to 3.4 a day per week over 3 months. Some weeks 4.5 and some 2.5 but overall pretty consistent. I dont want to stop at 2 and do'nt want to go past 4. When medicating for anxiety or stress I don't want more than 4 and force myself to stay at 3. True drinks. I take the alcohol percentage by the ounces and if they equal 60 it is one drink. 1.5 oz and 40 proof = 60. 12% wine and 5 oz equals 60 etc. When I stop drinking I sleep well. When I drink for anxiety I wake up at 2 and go back to bed at 4am. When for fun I sleep. I read once that when one drinks for anxiety it forms a pathway to this area of the brain thus triggering wakefulness and stress to induce drinking again. Once reason I think fun and working out will help. I like to barf up all the details and let the knowledgeable person ask away. Any more good suggestions?
PS: my Counselor mentioned to me yesterday he has a group of clients with Asbergers that he treats via email. They tend to open up and do well in that format. Could be a niche?

Well, it sounds like you have a very good understanding of your alcohol use and what your limits are.

You could also try AA if you feel you would fit in and benefit from a group setting. For some, the support helps. For others, it makes them feel like drinking more. It all depends on how you feel you'd respond.

You could also make a list of all the fun things you feel help you not drink. Go a little nuts here and get your kids to help (just don't tell them why you are making the list unless they are already aware of your alcohol use). Keep the list on hand and anytime you feel you need to drink, pick an activity. You could also plan on doing something at the times you usually drink during the day.

Alcohol use does affect the brain and can cause you to crave more. At the rate you are drinking that type of effect would be slower for you than say someone who drinks all day everyday. You may want to check with your doctor about that and see what he/she says.

It sounds like you are doing well overall and I would recommend you continue working as you are. Again, you are aware of your issues, are actively seeking answers and are working towards better options for yourself. That is all good.


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