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First Symptoms?

Old 12-28-2016, 01:16 PM
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First Symptoms?

Hey all,

New to the forum. And slightly concerned.

I wouldn't consider myself an alcoholic but then I suppose not many would initially. A functioning alcoholic maybe. I don't need a drink, I just like one. Or five. I'm probably a heavy drinker. The frequency has been increasing over the years, and the festive period never helps. I'm not the stumbling, out of control kind. I'm very sensible for the most part.

I know I need to cut down, or at least give my liver time to recover - unfortunately I suddenly discovered that dreaded full body itch asssociated with bile obstruction last week, and it deosn't seem to have any intentions to taper off. My skin does look like it is rather glowing also but I could just be imagining this. I don't seem to have any other symptoms but I'm aware you don't until the whole thing has progressed extensively.

What were your initial symptoms if anything? Should I consult a professional? I'm not really a fan of doctors and the like. Or troubling them. I feel like my insomia is getting worse but it's hard to tell as my body clock is always skewed over the holiday zone.

For the record, my dad was an alcoholic so therefore I could be more pre-dispositioned and inclined to be so also. He died from alcoholic liver disease.

Would appreciate any feedback and suggestions - thank you in advance.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:35 PM
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Yes, you should consult a physician. We cannot diagnose any of your symptoms here and some of them sound like things I'd definitely want to get checked out.

Regarding your drinking, that's something you'll need to decide if it it's a problem for you or not. Sounds to me like you've got a lot of bad things happening and a history of alcoholism, so if looks like a duck sometimes it is a duck, right?
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:36 PM
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Welcome Bleugh
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:46 PM
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Thank you for the warm welcome Soberwolf, and for the response Scott - your time is deeply appreciated. Wasn't expecting any diagnosis, just perhaps a few words from anybody that has been in the same boat. Or what symptoms people may have initially experienced. I understand consulting an itch that persists for longer than a fortnight.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:48 PM
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Welcome, Bleurgh, to SR.

It sounds as though a visit to your doctor would be a good idea both to check out your symptoms and to discuss your drinking. Your doctor is your 'partner-in-health' so please don't be afraid to be honest about your drinking habits/alcohol consumption.

Whether you are an alcoholic or not is up to you to determine but, if alcohol is causing your liver or general health to decline, this sounds like a very good time to seriously examine your drinking.

SR is here for you 24/7/365; there is always someone here who cares and truly wants to see you succeed; lean on us.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:52 PM
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I was scared to death of going to a doctor for a long time. A combination of heavy drinking, tobacco use, and being overweight made me errie of going to a physician for awhile.

When I finally had enough, I did a lot of research and found a doc that I felt would be a good fit for me. I opted for a local family doc who was a DO rather than a MD; DO's are more holistic and whole body instead of pill pushers.

Of course at that time, I was still drinking HEAVY and like every other alcoholic I lied to him about how much I drank. I ended up getting on a SSRI to help with some PTSD and those DO NOT mix well with booze. I ended up coming clean to him when I could no longer take what that combination was doing to my body. He helped me through the inital stages of sobriety, and guided me to some professional assistance to help me realize how my lifestyle was not good for my body/mind/soul.

It has now been three years since I went to him, and I am glad that I did. He has helped me through a lot, both physically and mentally. After I got over the inital "white coat" nervousness, it was not that bad. Plus, now that I am older, I have gotten to the point that I would rather know if something is wrong so I can address it, rather than ignore it and let it get worse.

Hope this helps, but at a minimum I would suggest swinging by your local clinic and having a discussion with the doc there. But, coming from a guy who didn't like docs either, getting a primary care physician is a pretty good thing too.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Bleurgh View Post
Wasn't expecting any diagnosis, just perhaps a few words from anybody that has been in the same boat. Or what symptoms people may have initially experienced. I understand consulting an itch that persists for longer than a fortnight.
There are really no "normal" symptoms when it comes to alcholism/withdrawal/recovery. We all have been in the same boat as you as far as our drinking goes though, and we can definitely share that it's a difficult decision to make - whether or not you are an alcoholic.

You may want to consider why you decided to join a sobriety forum too - if you feel that your drinking is "under control" then it shouldn't be necessary to investigate, no? More of a rhetorical question than anything.

But regarding all your physical symptoms, even anecdotal knowledge is not going to be helpful as yours could be caused by a whole host of things, some alcohol related and many not.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:23 PM
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When I first came to this forum (and AA for a second opinion, because I didn't like the opinion I got here) I thought I just needed to learn how to moderate properly. After doing lots of those 'stupid' questionnaires (which kept telling me I was alcoholic - ME!?!?) and reading the big book of AA and finding that lots of other people think like me, and have bizarre ways of dealing with life and people, and have the same secret double personality aa just was hiding so well... I finally realised that I am an alcoholic. I also now know that it's not just the drinking that makes the alcoholic alcoholic, but the thinking as well. That's why, after we stop drinking, we work programs of recovery. So we can adjust our perspective and make ourselves comfortable in our lives without needing to escape periodically or to jolly ourselves up so we can be the person we want to be.

You say that you're not alcoholic. And that you don't need to drink. But that your health is suffering because of alcohol, and despite the fact that you're not alcoholic and don't need to drink, you're still drinking. Urrrm?

I started my journey, here on this site, with a very skewed preconception of what an alcoholic looks like. Finally I looked in the mirror and sussed it.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:53 PM
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Thank you SoberLeigh and Nuke for your warm replies. Yes, it is quite daunting admitting to the doc just how much you drink. Just because it doesn't interfere with my life, doesn't mean it doesn't interfere with my health. I know this! I quit smoking about a year and half ago - after eighteen years - I applaud anybody that can address an 'addiction' and overcome it. I don't know your personal feats or stories but it sounds like you are both doing really well. Congrats.

I was hoping this place would be less points scoring and more supportive. There are people on here that are not alcoholics. Fact. There is a whole section on 'Friends and Family', I'm pretty darn sure they aren't addicts. Like I said, I was concerned and this was the first thing that popped up when I did a quick search - I was hoping to find like-minded people, not to be condemned! I also never confirmed health problems. I thought this may be the perfect medium to express my true feelings, I guess I was wrong.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:03 PM
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? Perhaps judging and being defensive may indicate a fear some of the comments hit a raw nerve. No one judges here. We are on a terrible started out journey trying to help all along the way. Please keep reading and posting if you choose. Either way I wish you sobriety, good health and peace in your life. PJ
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:05 PM
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I am so sorry that you are feeling condemned, Bleurgh. I landed here on a Google search, too, and found a second 'home'.

Choosing a sober life was one of the best things I ever did; my life now is exponentially better - no more awful hangovers, no more wondering what happened to the last part of the previous night, no more gastrointestinal issues - more meaningful relationships with family and friends, more self-respect - most importantly, regaining a 'soulful' existence.

If you do come to the conclusion that drinking should not be a part of your life, please know that many here have found that sobriety truly rocks.

We are here for you.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:07 PM
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Hi Bleurgh,

Welcome! This is definitely a place where you will find lots of support.

Most of us found this site because we were googling something related to drinking too much, or a concern about our health. Based on your post, I would definitely recommend seeing your doctor, they can run some tests and then you will know what is going on health wise.

As for drinking, if you would like to stop, this is a great place to find support. Hope to see you here.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:21 PM
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Who's condemning you? Not me. Sorry if something I said made you feel that way. Maybe I misinterpreted your original post.

Why not just lay off the booze for a couple of months and see if you feel better? No one can give medical advice on here. It's one of the rules of the site. Perhaps bite the bullet and go get honest with the doctor?

And if it transpires that you can't bring yourself to do either of those things, perhaps it could be worth more reflection then.

Apologies for any misunderstanding.

Hope you feel better soon. BB
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:35 PM
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Thank you SoberLeigh and Delilah, I just didn't appreciate being questioned and misquoted - why am I here if my drinking is "under control"? - I imagine people are here for a whole host of reasons, to gain knowledge, seek support and so forth. Not only for themselves but for others. The list is endless. My intial comment, for the record, was that I don't act "out of control".

I also expressed concern at a full body itch that I have discovered literally last week, from that I was lectured "your health is suffering because of alcohol, and despite the fact that you're not alcoholic and don't need to drink, you're still drinking".

I would rather somebody said "it sounds like you drink shitloads, I recommend you get it checked out" than misquote me to try and sound smart. Just saying. I'm here to listen to your experiences and gain insight, whether it resonates with me and whether I can learn from it. Many of you are miles ahead, have fought many demons, and have plenty of wisdom to bestow upon the rest of us. This is why I am here, should I need to explain myself. And also because of any first symptoms you may have had!
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:39 PM
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Thank you to the people that have taken the trouble to private message me - it is really sweet and kind - I apparently cannot respond until I have made a certain amount of posts so please don't feel like I'm ignoring you! Much love!
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:47 PM
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Hi Bleurgh - I'm so glad you are here with us. Like SoberLeigh, I'm sad you feel unfairly questioned or condemned. I hope you'll stay for the wonderful understanding and encouragement that we intend to provide.

I once drank like you are. Over the years I grew increasingly dependent on it. I never questioned my drinking the way you're doing - I just tried to use willpower to control it. As a result, I was drinking every day in the end - I had dui's, a nearly ruined life. It took 30 yrs. of pretending I could be a normal drinker for my world to come crashing down. So - be proud of yourself for taking a hard look at what drinking is doing (or could do) to your life. Please stay.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:37 PM
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No one is condemning you or judging you bleurgh. We are a forum dedicated to sobriety though, and you did indicate that you are not sure if you are an alcoholic or not. And you are posting in the alcoholism forum...which is primarily for alcoholics like me. You are more than welcome to post here and ask questions even if you are not an alcoholic, but that is the focus of our discussions.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:13 PM
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If you're an alcoholic one thing is for sure, it will only get worse if you continue drinking. Considering what happened to your dad, I would just quit now.
Welcome to SR buddy, I'm wayne.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:15 PM
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Googling alcohol withdrawal symptoms will give you some answers, but withdrawal does manifest itself in unique ways as well. I was terrified to see a doctor and I was drinking a fifth a night. That strange place where you think something could be wrong but you also don't want to go to the doctor to find out that something is wrong. My withdrawals didn't involve ichiness that I've heard others get, but I did feel dried out. I had slight tremors, extreme anxiety, rapid changes in perceived temperature... Hot, cold, hot, cold. Also difficulty sleeping at all the first few days and intense nightmares when I did sleep. I got medical advice. Though it's scary, if you are really questioning whether your drinking is a problem, I would get checked out. Doctors have seen the worst of the worst (including my voluminous drinking), and the relationship is confidential.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:54 AM
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It sounds like you drink shitloads, I recommend you get it checked out.

You did say in your OP that you may be a functioning alcoholic. That's how I described myself as well. I also would have said that for the most part I was not stumbling or seemingly out of control as would be discerned by an onlooker.

BUT, I am here, in the alcoholic area of a website dedicated to sobriety because i learned that despite those things, I AM an alcoholic (functioning of otherwise) and as things deteriorated i finally came to the point where I wanted / needed to stop drinking and learn to be comfortable in sobriety, which I was unable to do without help.

My first symptoms? Continuing to drink despite obvious consequences to my health, my work life, and my relationships; and an inability to be honest with others about my drinking (especially medical professionals). There may have been others before I notices those ones, but I was pretty good at denial and would have palmed pretty much anything off as something or someone else's fault.

I'm not 'trying to be smart' or 'misquoting you'. That's how it was for ME. And that is all I can share. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind and our thinking as much as a physical dependence. That much is evident from the fact that once an alcoholic stops drinking, they will still suffer beyond withdrawal without a good program of recovery.

Wishing you luck for your visit to the doctor. I'll be praying that they find your symptoms are something easily remedied, and that you can continue to enjoy alcohol in a way that won't affect you adversely.

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