The different faces of my drinking

Old 10-16-2016, 05:41 PM
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The different faces of my drinking

During the course of my active drinking, I recognized different forms it took throughout the 17 or so years of my so called "drinking career". At one time, I was primarily a weekend drinker only. I recall driving by the local pub and seeing my brother-in-law's truck parked outside knowing he was inside with his wife sharing a few pitchers of beer. My wife and I could not comprehend how people could imbibe during the work week.
Several years later, I would allow myself to have a midweek night of controlled drinking. Fast forward five years and I found myself being that drinker who consumed on a daily basis.6 to 8 drinks a night and a case of beer during the weekend; I was a highly functioning alcoholic. And yet I always made it to work and performed my job well.
It took about 3 years of before I transitioned from functional drunk to dsysfuction. I was up to10 to 12 drinks a night. Absenteeism and late arrivals at work, increased blackouts and more days to recover from the constant drinking had become the norm rather than the exception. I had lost control.
I knew something had to be done so I began several efforts of quitting. I compiled several stints of 30 to 120 days without a drink to save my health. The sad thing is that I relapsed after every stint and thus my drinking took a different form.
With sobriety and all the good that followed it, I quickly forgot all the pain and suffering that the drink brought upon me. In all honesty, I can say that the first day or two of drinking again seemed quite enjoyable. However, I could no longer cut myself off and would end up bingeing hard for 4 to 5 days. That later progressed to 7 to 12 day binges, something I was totally unfamiliar with. 18 to 20 plus drinks for a person of my size was too much for me to deal with.
The danger the form my drinking took(bingeing), brought a new level of danger to my health. I was drinking harder than ever before.
Fast forward to today. I am now 19 days sober and have been doing a lot of AA. I need to get it into my head that I cannot safely drink again nor can I predict the outcome. If I can take anything away from the meetings its that one concept.
Because I always believed in God, every time I quit my life always got better. He would always bless me and help me to do those things that were benenficial and productive for me and those around me. Its too bad that I would always forget the misery and drink again when life would start to get good and the darkness of addiction seemed to be a foregone conclusion.
Not this time. Smart resonates more with me and I have a Smart Recovery handbook but there are no meetings in my area. Therefore I will do AA and take what I can from it.
My brother and another person both drank alcoholically and yet managed to quit on their own with 12 and 18 years respectively. I wish I was like them but at this point, I think I need more help to finally "get it".
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:51 AM
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Congrats on 19 days, and getting back to sobriety. I can relate to the progression you mentioned above. After each period of abstinence, the volume of alcohol increased for me. That's the progression- it only moves forward as time goes on, never back.
Don't compare yourself to others or their recovery, it will only set you back. You have to run your own race, stay in your lane and make this the most important priority in your life. I'm in the same boat, only on day 2. But if I keep failing, I may not be graced with another day 2.
Stay strong and keep doing what your doing.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:24 AM
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Welcome back to SR and thanks for sharing your story Stellar. I was a lot like you where I drank for many years without it affecting my livelihood, but eventually it started taking a major toll on me and my family. I'm glad you've made the decision to quit and it's great that you are actively seeking outside help to do so. You will find a lot of support here on SR as well to complement your meetings and other local work, glad to have you back!
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Old 10-17-2016, 03:14 PM
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Good to see you Stellar

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Old 10-17-2016, 06:20 PM
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Thank you for sharing stellar. This is progressive disease for sure. It will stop at nothing to kill you. It will attack every organ in you're body. You're liver will eventually shut down then you die. Here's my point. You're able to see the progression of this disease and by doing so you can use simple logic to stop it. We as alcoholics have to recognize the pattern associated with the disease. It gives us a crystal ball so to speak to see what will become if we continue consuming alcohol. I personally think this is a valuable tool in beating this terrible disease known as alcoholism.
Just don't drink. It does get easier as time goes on. Then it becomes a wonderful gift. Sobriety will treat you like a king. You just have to choose it. It's that simple.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:05 PM
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Thanks for your replies and encouragement. I am determined to make it. I really believe that binge drinking at the point I reached is way more dangerous than daily functional drinking.
Too all those who are coming back or just coming in, don't ever quit or give up! Keep plugging away and you will get there eventually. Hope to get to know as many of you as I can shortly.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:21 AM
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Glad to hear you are still working on it Stellar, you are exactly right that hard work will pay off. Hope you can stay around and join us for more conversations.
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Old 10-19-2016, 09:03 AM
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Stellar, your drinking chronology (including amounts and consequences) tracks mine almost step-by-step.

I have been sober in AA now for many years, and it has certainly worked for me.

Glad to see IHaveFaith here also.
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:06 PM
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I can relate.
If I drink any amount, I end up on a binge. And when I can't continue the binge, I end up in the hospital with horrible withdrawal symptoms. I also had elevated ALT, AST, and bilirubin levels after my last binge. This is a sign of liver damage (dead or dying liver cells release liver enzymes into your bloodstream).

I've been sober since September 14th for that reason. I don't care for AA for a plethora of personal reasons, but that's not important anymore. What's keeping me sober this time is twofold:

1. The stomach pain associated with alcohol withdrawal is too much for me. It is exaggerated due to an effect known as sedative-hypnotic kindling. My ENS (enteric nervous system... nervous system associated with GI tract) goes crazy due to ethanol toxicity and when ethanol is removed, it rebounds violently. The result is extreme GI pain without associated physical cause (nothing shows up on CT scan).

2. I know what liver cirrhosis looks like. The cost of drinking is too high for the reward I get.

I'll be honest. If I could drink and get away with it, I would. I miss it. But I don't miss making a jerk out of myself, and I certainly don't miss the withdrawal.

I haven't done anything incredibly stupid during my current sober stint. That's probably because it's been a sober stint.
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