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Scared by my drinking

Old 12-14-2016, 02:48 AM
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Scared by my drinking

Hi, I'm new here. I've deliberated about posting somewhere like this for a while but been in denial, I guess.

I'm increasingly scared by the way my life, relationships, work, finances, and mood are being defined by alcohol.

I don't drink every day, but most days. In fact now, in the run up to a Christmas, it may be every day.

I work in a profession where alcohol (long lunches, after work drinks etc) is common place. I act like a confident person but socially I feel like I increasingly need alcohol to enjoy social interactions. Otherwise I feel awkward and out of place. The vast majority of my social life centres around alcohol.

Some days I don't 'want' to drink but then I'll have lunch with friends or co workers and not be able to stop. Then drinking may continue into the evening with a different set of friends. I'll often show up drunk already but try and hide it.

I am sick of waking up, feeling dreadful, embarrassed about what I may have done or said. I have started to have mental black outs where I can't remember things. At the moment I'm 'high functioning' but I feel like soon I may not be.

I'm scared and I don't know what to do. I don't want alcohol to run my life and I feel like it is doing so. But without it I don't understand how I can maintain friendships. I wish I could drink in moderation, but I seem to have no self restraint. I act light hearted about it, but I'm worried about the harm I am doing to myself.

Sorry that this post hasn't been the most coherent. I am so plagued by self doubt I will no doubt resent posting it the moment I press submit. I'm not sure what response I'm expecting, but I just don't want to feel alone and had to put my feelings in writing.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:56 AM
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Welcome Blankspace, reading your post you already know what is going on. There is a solution but it takes change. If you're not willing to change then change wont happen. Lots of prayers and keep coming back. You will get tremendous support and solutions here.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:58 AM
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Hello Blankspace, welcome. I find SR a safe and supportive community. I hear your pain. All I can do is share with you my little piece of experience. I thought I was high functioning, was encouraged to drink in moderation and feared for what I had done after a blackout. The only final solution under the most extreme, the most final and severe of circumstances was never to drink again. I have no control with alcohol. I would suggest going to an AA or a SMART meeting and perhaps talking to your doctor or a therapist about options. It is good you have an awareness of your situation. The thing to do now is to use that knowledge for a positive outcome. Keep posting and again you are welcome. Prayers to you, PJ.
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Old 12-14-2016, 03:58 AM
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Hi Blankspace, you're not alone, in fact many of the people on these pages developed drinking problems in the same gradual social context as you. Some people never think about it, but others like you understand that you're living an unhealthy lifestyle and it's getting worse.

I gradually built up to a bottle of wine a day, had a few periods of successful moderation, but always increased until I was worse than when I started. I had to give up drinking altogether because I knew it was the only way; moderation was too hard. I drank moderately for many years, but once you've crossed the line into problem drinking it's very hard to go back. Too hard.

I've found many positives in being sober (4+ years) and one of the greatest one is that I can now relax about the harm and shame of drinking too much. When I'm dining out I'm not secretly following the bottle around the table hoping it gets to me soon, or dying for work to end so I can go home and drink. Well I do have a cup of tea.

I suggest you read up as much as you can on alcoholism and it's effects on health. That's pretty scary. Maybe have a chat to your doctor. Have a think about where you want to be in 5 years. If you're not ready to stop this moment, at least entertain the idea, get used to it.

I also found SR to be a huge support in staying sober. There are many stories of the misery caused by alcoholism, and also lives turned around and relationships healed.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:45 AM
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Thank you all. Lots to think about. I'll post again when I've had chance to reflect.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:16 AM
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Welcome, Blankspace!
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Blankspace87 View Post
I don't want alcohol to run my life and I feel like it is doing so. But without it I don't understand how I can maintain friendships.
Friendships? Or the camaraderie of drinking buddies/work mates? There is a difference.

You can maintain friendships while shy, or socially awkward, or with social anxiety...whatever you want to call it. It's a lot easier to deal with than chronic alcoholism. If you drinking progresses, that's one outcome, and you probably won't have any friends at that point.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:39 AM
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I think a lot of us felt the way you do, and thought there was no way we could quit drinking without all these negative consequences - I won't have friends, I won't have a social life, I'll be awkward, etc. Understand, it's the addict voice doing all the talking, and it's all wrong. But if quitting forever seems like too big a step, how about quitting for 30 or 90 days? Most people can stomach that idea, and if you give that a serious go you'll either (1) discover that you can't even manage that, and need more help perhaps from an outpatient program, or (2) discover that you can, in fact, live life without alcohol, and start to appreciate how dependent you were on alcohol once the fog lifts.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:44 AM
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I always wished I could drink like other people. But I never could. I thought it was the third drink that got me into trouble. If I only had two, then Iíd be fine. Thing is, once I put that first drink to my lips, I could no longer accurately predict what would happen next. I might go home, but I might not.

Youíd think if I made it home, then my drinking was a success. Wrong. If I made it home after two drinks, there was an insatiable need raging within me and I was gonna take it out on vodka.

That was on a good night.

Then there were the bad ones.

Looking back, it was never intentional. I didnít leave the house with the intention to get drunk faced. Seriously, I was only going out for a few.

It really didnít matter where I went to. It wasnít the company I was after. It was my friend alcohol who I was after. We were best of buds. The drinks would flow. It was all soooo grand. Everything was shinier. To tell the truth, I liked you better, with a couple of drinks in me. I donít recall how many drinks it took me to completely forget my problems. Maybe it was a combination of too many drinks and the atmosphere when my mind started to relax.

I canít put my finger on the precise moment, but at some point in the evening Iíd go from, I better get home, to screw it.

Screw it is never a good place to be, when youíre an alcoholic. It gives you permission to do things you would never do, when sober.

The night would fly. No thought of tomorrow. Tomorrow didnít exist.

There was this magic window of time when everything was perfect. It was like the ultimate buzz. Tomorrowís regrets hadnít kicked in, the party was still on, we were all having fun, and thenÖ it was over.

Iíll never forget the shame I felt the next day. Demoralizing, incomprehensible, and agonizing, comes to mind.

When youíre down, thereís only one way to go. Up.

If youíre thinking I haven't hit my bottom, I still have my job. I havenít lost my family or love ones just add Ďyet.í Because you will, youíll do things that blow your mind.

In early recovery you learn, your mind is like a dangerous neighbourhood. Never go there alone. The most difficult thing any addict or alcoholic will ever do is coming to the realization that their best thinking is killing them. By the time you realize this, your life is a serious mess.

Iíve heard it said one is to many and a thousand not enough. I guess itís like being a pregnant. (I'm a man by the way LOL) Youíre either sober, or youíre not. Personally, Iím not going to test the waters. Iíve seen others do it, and it never ends well.

We all have another relapse in us. I was lucky I didnít die. If I picked up again, I donít think Iíd make it back.

The thought of getting sh*t-faced drunk, falling down, overspending and breaking hearts, just doesnít hold the same appeal it once did.

Just for today, I think Iíll pass.

I hope you join me.

TB
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:11 AM
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Welcome! I'm new here also, been on about a month. I felt exactly the same as you about making a post, I knew I'd regret it the very moment I pressed send. I then learned how many loving and knowledgeable people are here and how willing they are to help.

Reading the stories of success, stories of struggle, and learning so many new things about addiction gave me the strength and courage to quit. I'm an alcoholic, but after being sober for two years my most recent addiction is to opiates. I found opiates and headed into the downward spiral even faster than before.

Your desire to quit has to be more than your desire to drink. There is nothing that alcohol won't make worse. You don't have to believe the lies that your addiction is telling you any longer. If you truly want to stay sober, you can. Ask for help and find a recovery program. I quit drinking on my own but never did any recovery, which is why my addiction resurfaced with a vengence with another drug. I never delt with the cause of wanting to numb my feelings and my mind.

Read as much as you can on SR and you will learn so much. Stay strong!
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Blankspace87 View Post
I'm increasingly scared by the way my life, relationships, work, finances, and mood are being defined by alcohol.
Welcome to SR Blankspace. I think your statement quoted above pretty clearly summarizes things. The fact that alcohol is "defining" anything in your life is quite a scary premise indeed. I was in exactly that place not all that long ago in my life too and it was terrifying to be honest - especially towards the end.

What you need to know is that you don't have to let alcohol define anything for you, and you'll meet lots of people here that can show you exactly how we did the same. As scary as it seems, it is quite possible to remove alcohol from your life and life a full, healthy, enjoyable one.
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:27 AM
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Hi BlankSpace87 welcome to Sober Recovery

I think your post was honest truthful & heartfelt I think now is the best time to address it but don't be scared of doing so as I was just as scared and reading others posts you can see they were too it's hard to admit at first but I honestly think you hit the nail on the head with your post let's break it down in to bitesize chunks so it's not overwhelming & not too scary

First off let's not think ahead or about too much we will work on what we know

We only have today not yesterday it's gone & tomorrow hasn't happened so what can we do to help you with the initial 24h ? SR always has people online 24h a day 7days a week so if you need to talk like your doing with us now ... know you have that support at your fingertips there's a app for your phone tablet etc or you can log in on your browser anytime

24h no Alcohol this is doable & it's what you should focus on most if you dedicate to 30 60 90 days you might feel overwhelmed and not try again & we don't want that were here to help you there are links & techniques to deal with cravings there's so many forum sections on a wide range of stuff which I implore you to spend maybe 15-30 minutes checking out and getting to know your way round the site everyone is really helpful don't feel shy to ask questions

Longer term hasn't happened yet but there is help in figuring out a plan to stay sober but if you stay focused on today and stay committed to not drinking for the first 24h we will be here every step of the way to help

I'm 34 & havnt touched alcohol in 3 years 5 months (today) back then I never thought it was possible but it really is if you want it & it sounds like you do

Nice to meet you

SW
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:51 AM
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We're very happy you are here, Blank.

You cannot imagine how familiar your story-line is to many of us in this community.

You have an opportunity to transform your existing alcohol-dependent life into a new dimension of thought, living and spirit.

My phraseology may sound a little unreal, but it is absolutely accurate.

I found help for my alcoholism by going into residential treatment for 35 days and then matriculating into AA, where I have remained sober now for a good while.

Please keep us posted with your decision.

We all hope that you do the right thing for yourself and seek help.
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:51 AM
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Thanks again for all your incredibly supportive replies.

I've been giving some consideration to my next steps and I really don't think I can quit drinking until January. I can understand how this might make some folk on here feel angry. I have too many social commitments but what I will do is REDUCE what I am drinking and try and be MINDFUL about it. There is an article in this months 'Red' magazine (UK) about mindful drinking. I am sceptical (ok, downright cynical) that this strategy could work for me long term. But I hope it can bridge me to January where my goal is 31 days alcohol free.

Today was a day where I have failed to attend work (i can work from home but it still doesn't look great) after a heavy session last night. I at least feel i have done something positive with the day by doing something I have never done before - putting my thoughts on paper, admitting I have a problem with my relationship with alcohol, asking for help. Thank you
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Blankspace87 View Post
I've been giving some consideration to my next steps and I really don't think I can quit drinking until January. I can understand how this might make some folk on here feel angry. I have too many social commitments but what I will do is REDUCE what I am drinking and try and be MINDFUL about it. There is an article in this months 'Red' magazine (UK) about mindful drinking. I am sceptical (ok, downright cynical) that this strategy could work for me long term. But I hope it can bridge me to January where my goal is 31 days alcohol free.
You mentioned that you were getting scared about how alcohol was defining many different areas of your life. Keeping that in mind re-read the paragraph you have just written above. And then consider what advice you might give someone else who had written the same thing.

The thing is there is no such thing as "cutting back" for an alcoholic. By definition we are alcoholics because we cannot control our drinking, and cutting back is a form of attempting to control our drinking. And you've already rationalized it before you have even started...you have "too many social committments" and you "just don't think you can quit until January". Those are 2 clear examples of your addiction defining your life and justifying your continued drinking.

No one is going to be angered by your statement because most of us have made similar ones in the past. What we do know though is that it's a statement of folly to assume that we can control our drinking, and no one is going to sugar coat that...because it's pure addiction talking.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:20 AM
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Scott, I know how pathetic my statement sounds. But tomorrow night, for example, I am due to meet a family member who is a mom and doesn't get out much for Christmas cocktails. If I don't drink, I feel I have disappointed her. The work lunches are easier to opt out of drinking at (in theory...practice is harder due to aforementioned anxiety and self doubt. I feel like I'm only the 'me' people know when I'm warmed up with alcohol). If I at least manage that I will be reducing my intake this side of Christmas. It's not a solution but it's a compromise of sorts and mentally I need that.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:24 AM
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How does it disappoint someone else if you don't put alcohol in your body?

I go lots of places where other people drink and I don't. I don't care what they do, and I certainly am not going to drink because of someone else's drinking.

Do you see how distorted that looks?
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Blankspace87 View Post
Scott, I know how pathetic my statement sounds. But tomorrow night, for example, I am due to meet a family member who is a mom and doesn't get out much for Christmas cocktails. If I don't drink, I feel I have disappointed her. The work lunches are easier to opt out of drinking at (in theory...practice is harder due to aforementioned anxiety and self doubt. I feel like I'm only the 'me' people know when I'm warmed up with alcohol). If I at least manage that I will be reducing my intake this side of Christmas. It's not a solution but it's a compromise of sorts and mentally I need that.
It doesn't sound pathetic at all, it simply sounds like addiction. The more time you spend here or in the recovery community you'll learn to recognize the red flags that you have written above.

What exactly about the compromise do you "mentally need"? What do you think continuing to drink will help with for you? Nearly every justification you give above to keep drinking is to appease your notion that you are pleasing someone else by doing so. In reality, most people really don't even notice or care if we drink or not to be blunt.

But really ask yourself - what exactly will you gain by "cutting back"?
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:55 AM
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Hi BlankSpace, welcome! Others have said beautifully, and perhaps much better than I, what I would also say to you.

SR has been a great help for me, and I'm sure you will find it a great part of your support system as well. Keep reading and posting! Take it day by day. Hour by hour or minute by minute if you have to. Finding things to distract you may help. I am 26 days in and I still celebrate that it is 11am my time and I have not had a drink [I used to start drinking as soon as I got up until I went to bed].

For now, what helps me is just that. That TODAY I will not drink, not even one drink because one WILL lead to 10 glasses of wine and certain regret. Will I regret things done sober, I can't guarantee that but, I can guarantee that I will absolutely regret drinking. For me, I can only focus on today, 30 days out is too scary for me right now to say I won't drink for 30 days.

Be gentle on yourself and take the effort to understand what causes you to drink and what resources will help you continue on your recovery. We're here for you!
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Blankspace87 View Post
...what I will do is REDUCE what I am drinking and try and be MINDFUL about it.
How has moderation worked for you before? I can answer that because you answered it in your initial post, where you wrote:

Originally Posted by Blankspace87 View Post
Some days I don't 'want' to drink but then I'll have lunch with friends or co workers and not be able to stop.
Not being able to stop drinking sort of flies in the face of moderation. Hope you are able to make it back here after the holidays.
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