Friday, December 14, 2007

More on Urges

I wrote on urges a few days ago.

Maybe because I haven't had them in a very long time...I kind of made light of them...of how strong they can be...the overwhelming INTENSITY of them.

I think that 'urges' is too soft a word for what they feel like.

urges-defined: an involuntary, natural, or instinctive impulse

I have had 'urges' before. was a SCHOOL mass...about 300 kids all under 10 years old...a very old priest is saying mass...and...for the homily he starts telling a story...says... "there was a couple that was married for thirty years...and then the husband had an affair..."


Everything in me said to stand up and shout "what the hell are you thinking?"

and then...there was that time I had an urge at the casino...I was in line....maybe to cash in coins, maybe to get a cash advance...who knows...but the line was long...the guy at the front of the line was having problems...they wouldn't cash his check, then he couldn't get an advance on his credit could see the desperation (geez...I know that feeling...the NEEDING...)...I felt kinda bad for the guy.
He was black.
The lady in line in front of me turns to me...rolls her eyes and makes a really mean racist comment...linking his race to his financial dilemma....I had the overwhelming urge to look her straight in the eye and reply "Excuse me, but I'm married to an african american." (even though I am not)
I was irritated at myself for days that I didn't act on that urge....I will always be glad that I kept my seat that day in church though.

But in MY mind...THOSE are 'urges'.....that feeling that I get...when I am consumed with thoughts of gambling...that is quite different.

How about...cravings? nahhhhhh...that's not it either.

Being me...I googled...found a few words that..well..maybe there really isn't a good word...but...I found fixated...still doesn't do it justice..but it better describes what's going on with me than does the word 'urge'..when I am having one...or....

tormented...uh uh...that's not it either...


that sort of describes the word I've found so far...

so....instead of "I'm having really bad urges right now." something like
"I am anguished." as in "Thoughts of gambling have me anguished."

it's almost unbearable when they occur. They are so EXTREME.

I was thinking this morning...about...powerlessness and 'moment's of clarity' and it occurred to me that .... in the same way that we have 'moments of clarity' when we are in the cycle......we also tend to have occurances of insanity when we are in recovery....when....everything that we 'know'..all of the hard work that we've done (in abstinence and recovery).... doesn't matter...or at least, doesn't seem to matter as much....when...all of our strength seems to dissipate and our thinking goes sour...a 'muddled moment'.

Funny that....when we are in the cycle...and we have a 'moment of clarity'...when our brain says 'what the hell are you doing?' 'you have to stop this!' 'get help!' we can easily turn that 'voice' off...disregard it and get back to what is our 'normal' state of mind (for one that is in the cycle)...the clarity is fleeting......however

when we are (mentally) healthy....and we have one of those 'muddled moments' we fixate on it....we allow those initial consume anguish us.

I don't have 'urges' any more...but I *DO* sometimes have what I call 'fleeting thoughts'. Ya know...where the voice will say ' could go in there and' and I shut it right down.

is that it?

is that the beginning of an urge? am I just interceding it before it grows to the point of anguish?

I don't know.
For today, though, I will just be grateful....that anguish is not something I have to contend with.

and I'll keep working on me.


Anonymous said...

Having been free of gambling for only nine weeks I still face urges and the only word that comes to mind to describe them is "excruciating."

In my mind, there is simply no way to describe how conniving gambling really is in trying to get you to go back. I came up with a phrase to describe it - "you give it an inch and it takes a mile". Every time you have a "fleeting moment" if you don't shut it down immediately it will seep in like a disease and start to setup shop again.

You're right it is a terrible brain disease and is very closely tied to "cycles" and "mood swings". Part of the way I am defeating my addiction is trying to understand the cycles and predict which phases are more prone to urges, so that I am ready to diffuse them down to a fundamental level when the time comes. I even have maps and charts of the cycles and the different moods and phases (kind of crazy I know!)

Needless to say, I've never found anything in life so hard. Truly a humbling experience.

I appreciate your blog and I hope it helps a lot of people.

Peg said...

Nine weeks :) good for you. 'excruciating' is an excellent word for it..thank you for that.

I agree...this has been a humbling experience. I would never have thought this could've happened to me.

It does not doesn't care how strong or smart or rich we are.

I don't think your cycle research is crazy at all...we must find the tools that we need..whatever works for us...whatever empowers us to take back our lives..we must do...we must pursue these things as diligently as we did gambling.

I wish you well.

9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 - celebrate!

you deserve your life.