This was a question I received about the article I wrote called, “How to Handle Your First Week in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Addiction”. Any response I give is what has helped me. It consists of actions we can take ourselves like diet, exercise, and meditation. When I was recovering from alcoholism, I learned that the body wants to do the right thing when we take some time to feed it the right information. When we don’t feel right we tend to search out easy, magic pill type solutions instead of taking a little bit of time each day to focus on ourselves and give our brains and bodies the attention they deserve. I thought this was a good example of someone repeating behaviors that may lead to relapse. Here’s my answer.
I read the whole post but what would you recommend I do at this point. It’s weird I felt actually pretty decent for a while it’s only the past 6 months I’ve slowly introverted and gotten more depressed and social anxiety prone. It’s hard to just fake it til you make it when you are around people that notice when your character changes and naturally try to get to know you more and you turn down offers because of anxiety and and up looking and feeling like shit.
ME: What does your diet consist of and what does your normal day consist of?
I wakeup with 30 mins to get ready for work around 6 am, drink 1.2 ml of methadone (tapering .1 every 2 weeks) walk to the skytrain and grab a large double double coffee. Usually work all day on just water then come home and have a meal around 5- 7 (depending when I get off) consisting of either pork, chicken or beef as protein and rice or potatoes to go with it with some kind of vegetable. I take Seroquel for sleep around 10, fall asleep at 11 and repeat it everyday during the week. Weekends I relax a lot to recuperate for the next week and chill with the people I live with. Weekends I eat a decent breakfast like eggs bacon and pancakes. Then same deal for dinners as normal . I’m 27 about 200 lbs., 5′ 10″ probably 10- 15 lbs. overweight . I’ve hit a plateau with that because of the water retention from my meds.
Also ME: Do you see how you repeat the same thing every day? How is your body supposed to change when you’re training it to NEED the things you put in it? I was given Xanax, Prozac, Celexa, and Lexapro the first time I tried to get clean and it helped for over 3 years, but I never felt like I kicked the cravings and that empty feeling. So, when I finally relapsed I decided that the pharmaceuticals were bullshit too and got off cold turkey. It was scary! I had DT’s, seizures, and suicidal thoughts, but looking back it was worth it because I made it. I’m not telling you to get off what your doctor gives you because from what I know now, I would have done it differently. I would’ve gotten healthy first and then let my body tell me that I don’t need them anymore. Otherwise, you’re nearly a carbon copy of what I was when I started getting healthy. I’m around 5’10 and was 225 lbs. I thought that I’d be good at 185, and I was, but as I started doing things right and learning about my body, I realized that there were another 20 lbs. or so of visceral fat surrounding my organs making it harder for them to do their job. Even though you look pretty good on the outside, that fat is lingering where you can only feel it, not really see it. You feel tired and lethargic because your organs are working harder than they have to just to keep you healthy even when you’re doing nothing. You believe you’re relaxing, but your body is working way harder than you know. That’s what keeps you in this state of pain and feeling empty. It’s a physical distraction that doesn’t allow to focus on anything but the pain and feeling of being tired, or anxious. All the stuff you put in your head (even the nonsense) over the past 27 years, gets stored in the body, so you have to change your body along with your mind. It’s a million times harder to do this with your brain alone. Start feeling the way you think by feeding your body correctly.
I’m sure you’ve read about ketosis but here’s why it works for alcoholics and addicts. Alcohol is converted into sugar as the body processes it, so is pasta, breads, grains, and all carbs. So as of right now you’re tricking your body into thinking there is alcohol whenever you put sugar or anything that converts to sugar in your body. Biologically that must change if you want your feelings to change because if your body is working properly then you will feel better and therefore think better and lose the empty feeling. We become dummies when we are running on glucose all the time. It’s been proven that cancer feeds on sugar, just like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, inflammation, Alzheimer’s, etc. Diseases all get stronger when there is sugar available to them, so right now, you have a sugar problem not an alcohol problem. The proteins you’re eating are fine but add more fat and cut out all the carbs for the time being. You don’t have to do this forever but in order for your body to change, you need to swing the pendulum the other way for a while, and you’ll balance out soon enough. Burn off all that alcoholic stress, fat, and sugar, and you will notice in maybe a week or so that you don’t feel the NEED to take those meds or feel that you need to take less than normal until the need dies off. I capitalized need because I want to emphasize that right now you and your body feel that you need the prescriptions to get by, but when your body starts changing, the feeling of need goes away and so does want. An unhealthy body will tell you that you need thing that you don’t. You’ll understand when it happens. Just make sure that you let your doctor know (the one who prescribed the meds) when you don’t feel like they’re benefiting you anymore.
When you take sugar out of the equation, something amazing happens. Your body will start to burn fat instead of glucose and your cells (all 37.2 trillion), start to produce ketone bodies that are used as energy and repair damage done to your cells. Our cells get damaged by everything in our environment, including alcohol and sugar, and need to be repaired so your body can start feeling like itself again. Do this for a long enough period and you will not only feel better as a whole but you will soon burn away the desire to drink alcohol and feeling of addiction. It’s just the way your biological body works. Change the way your cells function, and you will change the way you think and feel. Stick to animal proteins and fat, colorful veggies, and a small amount of berries or nuts for right now. Also… water, water, water. I don’t know what you load your coffee with but make it black for a while and keep it at a reasonable amount. Think whole foods when you’re eating. You’ll save money from not having to buy all the excess garbage like chips, soda, bread, pasta, and sugary snacks. Stay away from juices too because they have more sugar than pop or soda. All your doing with juice is extracting the sugar and drinking that. It’s gross when you think about it. Your current diet is not too far off already, so you have a head start. Meditating is just as important for your overall health. Sit there and just be with yourself for as long as you can, while focusing on your breath. Don’t worry if you fail at first because everyone’s head is so filled with shit, that everyone has a hard time in the beginning. It may take a few days or longer to be comfortable enough to sit with yourself, but you’ll get there. I have 14 years on you so imagine how hard it was for me to get rid of 14 more years of shit… you’ll do fine. I promise. Let me know how it goes but don’t do it half assed and think it doesn’t work. It’s your mind and body so it’s up to you to do this easy work to it. Thanks for reading! Have a Powerful Day!