My Last Drink

Old 10-13-2016, 06:52 AM
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My Last Drink

Hello all you wonderful, fabulous SRers!

Something I've been thinking about, perhaps even brooding about lately, is the concept of rock bottom.

I know a popular saying around these parts is, you hit it when you stop digging. I ascribed to that for quite a while. But the more I reflect on my last days of drinking, I think my opinion is starting to shift somewhat.

In the end, I think drinking, or addiction in general is a form of self-medication. Now we alcoholics aren't stupid people, we can usually see full well the negative, disastrous, consequences booze can have on lives. But we persist in drinking all the same. Why?

For me, it was cause drinking worked. It made me feel better, provided temporary relief from the pain and stress that I thought made everyday life unbearable. Key word there is temporary. And, I should add masking as well.

I remember my last drink perfectly. A beer and two glasses of cheap box wine. And I thought very vividly, this **** isn't even working anymore. I don't feel better.

And poof, I was done. After 18 years of drinking, constantly trying to quit, moderate, slow down, or whatever. But that was it. The self-medication had stopped working and now I was left with only the overwhelmingly negative consequences of drinking.

Then and there, suddenly drinking wasn't an option an anymore. The other options were jumping in front of a train or living a life of sobriety. I honestly didn't know which was worse, but decided I wasn't ready to give up on myself.

So....that's my rock bottom story, in brief. I'm sure members have some interesting ones as well, others, not. But I would be interested in everyone's idea of what constitutes rock bottom.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by nomis View Post
But I would be interested in everyone's idea of what constitutes rock bottom.
I agree with the thought that one's bottom is the point you are at when you stop digging. But what got the shovel out my hands?

After a night of uncontrolled drinking, waking with the most monstrous hangover, the veil of denial was lifted and I had a moment of utter clarity. For a brief instant I saw my drinking as it really was. More importantly I saw exactly where it was headed if I didn't stop.

So I stopped.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:37 AM
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As I have written on here before and also shared with my loved ones, my rock bottom took awhile to happen. My last drink was a bottle of cheap vodka which I swilled down while driving. Cops found me passed out, by the side of the road. I asked one of them to shot me in the head. They decided not to do that and instead took me to the hospital. I needed to lose my job, my dignity, almost my family and my health. I am 60 years old. I am ever grateful that I did not maim or kill anyone during my drinking/pill days. Stop now and join us on the sober path.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by nomis View Post
I would be interested in everyone's idea of what constitutes rock bottom.
Death. Despite the stories about moments of clarity brought on by allegedly necessary bottoms, people actually die like flies from alcohol addiction. There is no built-in rock bottom per se.

From anyone still actively drinking, stop waiting for your rock bottom to 'save' you. It might kill you instead.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:29 AM
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I also used alcohol to self medicate, looking back mostly for my anxiety. Towards the end of my drinking though even that didn't work. I was mainly drinking to simply avoid a racing pulse and heart palpitations, the anxiety never left at all no matter how much I drank. That was when I decided to quit as well. I don't really consider it a "rock bottom" because no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse - until you die of course. But it was the moment I finally realized I was slowly killing myself with alcohol.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:38 AM
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Like Carl, I had a moment of clarity. A few of them really. The last one I acted on immediately without delay, without overthinking or intellectualizing. For me, it was the moment I realized I was like Sisyphus in Camus' essay, living in futility. I was drinking to avoid the real act of living. I think there's a choice to keep on living. We don't have to, we can remove ourselves from this world if we want. Drinking was not much different from just blowing my brains out. So I made the choice to live and to not drink again.

Then I made a phone call to another human being in a cry for help. It wasn't necessary. I was somewhat functional, but for me, it was huge ... because I don't trust easily. So for me to reach out to another human being was my commitment to join the land of the living.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:41 PM
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To me rock bottom need not be an event - for me it was more a decision, or an acceptance.

I was really done with drinking - and I didn't want to die.

Anything else seemed preferable
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:44 PM
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For me it wasn't a rock bottom as much as a perfect storm:my #1 drinking buddy quit drinking, my kids were getting to the age so they would know that I was drinking, and my marriage was reaching a new level of unsatisfactory.

There were other reasons and many "moments of clarity" along the way. Decades before I quit drinking I knew that I had to quit, I even took a month off here and there. I was wasting precious time. The hangovers were brutal. I liked the drinking but not being drunk. I felt powerless. I had friends who loved sobriety. I felt like I was on borrowed time before I got the DUI that I so richly deserved. My health was beginning to suffer--I was testing the limits of the awesome constitution that I am blessed with.

My last drink was strong microbrew. It was the night before Halloween, 2011. I was drinking off a hangover. They used to last all day, making everything seem like a torturous chore. The beer was good but it tasted like old grain in dishwater and I drank it anyways. I had another. There were still a couple left, not enough to get drunk. I left them in the fridge and went to bed.

In a couple of weeks it will be five years since I quit. I have no regrets. I don't miss drinking. I had been living alcoholic for so long that it was a huge change to straighten up. I was physically and mentally addicted so quitting was certainly no picnic, especially in the first month or so, but I was done. It no longer did anything good for me and it was good to let it go.
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:16 PM
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My bottom=

When I realized that I had wasted 30 precious years drinking, losing so much along the way. I decided I wasn't going to lose the last 30 years of my life to the poison in a pretty bottle. Tomorrow will be 30 days, and I'm never going back, not ever.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:07 PM
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I drank to numb out, to escape feelings of anxiety, depression, boredom. My bottom was the realisation that I was killing myself slowly and denying myself a good, peaceful and present life. My bottom was also the realisation that the drinking was causing the anxiety, depression and boredom and in the end, even while I was drinking, I was aware of that.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:54 AM
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good on ya,nomis! this part confused me a bit

"I know a popular saying around these parts is, you hit it when you stop digging. I ascribed to that for quite a while. But the more I reflect on my last days of drinking, I think my opinion is starting to shift somewhat."

how has your opinion shifted? what ya typed reads to me like ya stopped

imo rock bottom is death.
getting to the point of giving myself the choice of AA or suicide, i think i was pretty close.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:23 AM
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No, I guess what I meant, was I didn't think when I first got sober that I had hit rock bottom, but I retrospect, I don't really think that was the case as I get more honest with myself.

My last drink was almost four years ago now.
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