Greetings - And Thank You!

Old 12-24-2012, 09:12 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 86
Greetings - And Thank You!

Hello all, I just wanted to introduce myself. For some reason I have been a lurker on this site for over a year, and have just never created an account. Reading everyones experiences over the past year has been a great help in my recovery, so I say thank you!

Like many of you, my drinking was a progressive experience. I feel very fortunate that I really didn't start drinking until well after college when I was 24 or 25. Had this disease had gotten its grips on me during school time I'm not sure I would have been able to complete an engineering degree and get my career started on the right path.

After I graduated (and moved out on my own), I was struggling with coming out as a gay man. I had felt so alone living a lie, and when I actually started to hit the bars and clubs and meet new friends, I really felt like I didn't fit in with "gay culture" either. But the alcohol helped...

Eventually I moved into the city, and things were going really well. The drinking was mostly weekends, but progressed to the nightly cocktails with little negative consequences. I was a daily drinker for about 5-6 years, and again, there were very few consequences.

I then went through a period with a couple of friends where we started using some recreational drugs a few times a month. The introduction of stimulants definitely triggered a huge increase in the quantity of alcohol I was consuming.

After about a year, I realized this was a very wrong path and cut myself off from those so called friends, and the drugs... but the drinking continued, and progressed.

I was going through a bit of a difficult time, I had decided to purchase a home, and it was very stressful and didn't go well because of the crazy real estate collapse. I look back on it now and I think how silly it was to have gotten so upset, but realize that the alcohols depressive effects had taken hold.

I was drinking more then ever, and one Sunday evening when I stopped drinking to try to sober up for work the next day, I experienced my first panic attack. Never had I felt a sensation so horrible, I thought that I was going to die. I frantically called a friend of mine, who rushed me to the ER. They checked me out, and said I had had a panic attack.

I went to my primary care doctor and explained what had happened. Of course I had lied about how much alcohol I actually was consuming, and she prescribed some pretty strong anti-anxiety medications and an SSRI.

The panic attacks continued, I could almost not get through a day of work without having one. It was absolute hell, and the only thing that would stop it would be to go home and drink. I had started to do the research, and at that point I knew that the real problem was the alcohol.

I finally went back to my doctor, and was honest about my alcohol consumption. She contacted the hospitals social worker, who referred me to a program for finding a local detox center.

I was terrified and ashamed. I knew that I needed help and could not detox alone, but had no idea what a detox center was like. Was it like a house somewhere you just rest at while they monitor you? I had no idea. I told only a couple very close friends what I was going to do, and they were concerned but glad I was getting help.

I waited almost 7 hours for them to find me a bed in the city. I was told it was a "hospital", I went home, packed a small bag, and my friend drove me to the location. It wasn't until I had really signed all the documentation did I realized what kind of environment I was in for. This wasn't a detox center, it was a full on psychiatric hospital. The next 5 days would be the worst experience of my entire life.

I was strip searched, placed into a mental health wing with very sick people. I wanted to leave, but I was now under their care. I witnessed some horrible acts of humanity against mentally ill people. I have no idea how this facility has not been shut down.

What is the worse part was that I was given a librium detox regime, but nothing else. It was a long weekend, and all of the doctors were on vacation. The following Tuesday I was released, with a follow up appointment that I didn't want to go to after the experience I had just had.

So I went home, swearing things would be different. They weren't. I began drinking that very night. By day 2, I tried to make some changes. I said I'll just drink beer, I can't get so drunk I'll need detox again, right?

Beer turned into 8-9 beers a night, then 2 bottles of wine, and right back to vodka. I knew I was in some serious trouble. I had blacked out, fallen and had a very bad bruise on my head that I didn't know how it got there. Another trip to the ER vomiting blood. One night I had drunk dialed 911 thinking I had alcohol poisoning, I had passed out and my neighbor was pounding on my door with the EMT's. It was so embarrassing and awful.

By Thanksgiving I was drinking so much that I had stashed a thermos of vodka cranberry into my luggage while visting my family. Just talking about this makes my skin crawl, how did this happen to me? I'm too smart for this?

By that Monday, I was too sick to go to work. I was crying, a total mess. I needed help that very day. I finally admitting to my parents the situation I was in, which was huge but very painful to do. This time, I would take the care into my own hands... I started doing some heavy research, and found a wonderful rehab facility that was outside of the city.

The second experience was complete opposite of the first. I was in an environment with recovering alcoholics and addicts, and was receiving proper care. After the detox, I was placed into an outpatient program near home.

I was very fortunate in that my work had allowed me to take a medical leave of absence for treatment. I know this is pretty rare, I was so sick that I had resolved to the point that if they fire me, they fire me, if I don't take this time I will die. It was a certainty.

During my leave I threw myself into recovery. I was in a group therapy session, receiving individual therapy, doing withdrawal acupuncture, and going to AA meetings. I was also eating as healthy as I could and started to go back to the gym every day. Exercise was so helpful with my mood.

And so here I am today, 37 years old, sober for over one year. The year went by so quickly, and yet so slowly. I'm still going to AA, and really do enjoy it. I have to admit I've been slow in throwing myself into getting a sponsor and really working the steps, but I feel ready now. For the most part, I sit and listen.

The gifts that sobriety has brought are amazing. I'm rediscovering things about myself. Most are good! There are of course dark days, and a lot of loneliness. But I'm able to work through it.

It's amazing that as sick as I was, I need to remind myself daily of how bad it was and how I never want to return to that. It really shows how strong this disease is!

Well, that's all I have for now. Again, thank you all for your wonderful insight, and I hope everyone has a great holiday!
dotboston is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:17 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Kevah's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: 4th Dimension of existance
Posts: 175
Welcome to SR and thank you for sharing your story. Your experience in the hospital sounds horrible Congrats on your year + of sobriety! I like what you said about rediscovering things about yourself and finding that most things are good! So often it seems we are so guilt ridden that we forget there are actually good things about us. Hope you stick around and continue to share your journey with us.
Kevah is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:52 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada. About as far south as you can get
Posts: 4,768
Welcome dotboston:

I don't miss the psych wards and suicide attempts at all.

All the best.

Bob R
2granddaughters is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:41 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
CharlieNoogan's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 414
dotboston -

Thank you for sharing your story. It certainly shows the natural progression of alcoholism and I am sure most of us can relate. You have helped many already by simply gathering the courage to post here.

Stick around and keep posting. Welcome to SR!

CharlieNoogan is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:46 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Caledonia1's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,068
Welcome dotboston and thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Congratualtions on your soberiety.

This site, as you already know has some lovely supportive peole around. Look forward to reading more of your posts.
Caledonia1 is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:57 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
WithoutFear's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Upstate, NY
Posts: 28
Hello and thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. I am new here as well and have yet to tell my story - I am terrified of even writing the words as it will remind me of my shame and horror. In reading your words, I feel strength to make it through the day. Congratulations on your year.
Best to you
WithoutFear is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 02:10 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Dee74's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 209,185
Hi and welcome Dotboston
That's quite a journey - thank you for sharing it

congrats on your year

Dee74 is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 02:23 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
instant's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,711
Brilliant, you are courageous. Have a good xmas
instant is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 03:49 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 86
Thank you for all the kind words. I'm quite certain I left out a good third of the story, but you can all fill in the blanks pretty easily
dotboston is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 03:53 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Trudger of Happy Destiny
Fernaceman's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 1,918
Wow. Great story as journey full of overcoming obstacles and adversities. Very inspiring for sure. I went thru a stint of hospitalization and treatments, too. More than I care to admit to, but they are nonetheless part of my journey. I saw some pretty crazy things and had some first hand crazy experiences in psychiatric units. Pretty scary and intense stuff, but like you, it made me stronger, more aware, spiritual, and compassionate.

Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey.
Fernaceman is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 04:24 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
TrixMixer's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: highland beach, florida
Posts: 649
hi Dotboston,,

Excellent first post DB! Your honesty has already made a difference with one poster on here "Without Fear". That is a wonderful start.

Congratulations on 1 year, may you continue in the peace and happiness you have found in sobriety.

By the way they have a Secular group section on this forum, read through it they may have a thread for our Gay group members. If not maybe it is about time they do!

Stay strong with continued sobriety in the New Year!

TrixMixer is offline  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:19 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
DOS: 11/6/10
sunrise1's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Florida Panhandle, USA
Posts: 736
Thank you for posting your story! I'm glad you came out of "lurk mode"... I really identified with a lot of your experiences.

Glad you're here-
Welcome and Merry Everything!
sunrise1 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:49 AM.