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Not being able to stop once popped; let's look closer

Old 01-07-2017, 06:32 PM
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Not being able to stop once popped; let's look closer

I'm guessing a lot of you guys might relate to this statement. A lot of people might think that admitting this is true=alcoholic. A couple of things I want you to think about;
  • Not all situations in which this statement applies are to the same degree, some drinking episodes you want to carry on more than others
  • For some of you, this statement may not apply at all for some situations in which you drink
  • At some point, there inevitably comes a time when you want to stop drinking, or the desire to carry-on subsides
I think it's more important to put your finger on the situations in which it is most true, and those in which it is least true or not at all. Can you identify any patterns, what's on your mind, how you're feeling during those where you drink the most, and those times you drink the least?

For me, the best antidote has been the sort of conversation with an attractive woman my age where you lose track of the time, and doing fun things without a sense of expectation and judgement from others. Those are the times when my desire for another gets less. I also think it's important to put your finger on what makes you feel like stopping or what gets rid of an urge to carry on. For me, if I drink in social situations, my desire for another one subsides when I'm at the point where I can talk to people, feel a sense of comfort. Well, at least the thought of slower-down becomes less painful. At other times I've drank and found it difficult to stop, the desire subsides when I'm either feeling too rubbish, or when I realise that I'm not actually getting what I want out of it. It's incredible hard to put your finger on. It's very situation-specific. If I'm feeling very lonely and down, feeling understood and heard can certainly help me feel more willing to stop and wind-up.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:51 PM
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I think I understand... Sometimes you feel like drinking more than others?
Yes. I was that way. Sometimes more than others, and sometimes more than intended, or wise, or, safe, or healthy.

Buzzed people sometimes "throw caution to the wind". When I do that, it usually includes drinking more, to hell with the consequences. -then comes the consequences...
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:57 PM
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When I'm in work situations, I seem to have a slightly better handle on it - like if I'm managing an event, as I'm so busy, and also well aware of how damaging it would be for clients to see me in a state. At home, the only thing that stops me is running out of alcohol. The desire is always there though, even when I'm in work situations where I can stop myself from drinking.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:19 PM
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"Can you identify any patterns, what's on your mind, how you're feeling during those where you drink the most, and those times you drink the least?"

Yep. Easy one for me. I drank the most when I got good news or was optimistically excited with butterflies in my stomach.

I drank the least when the chips were down, if I was sad or worried about something bad happening.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:23 PM
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If I wasn't asleep or at work I drank all day, every day. Certainly there were situations where I drank even more because of a special occasion or a party/event that was very alcohol/binge related.

I don't think it matters so much which situations or "triggers" were stronger than others though, the solution to all of them for me was to not drink anything at all, ever. There will always be issues in our lives that cause excitement. stress or fear or pain that we would have tried to wash away with alcohol.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:51 PM
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Not being able to stop once popped; let's look closer
I'm guessing a lot of you guys might relate to this statement. A lot of people might think that admitting this is true=alcoholic. A couple of things I want you to think about;

Not all situations in which this statement applies are to the same degree, some drinking episodes you want to carry on more than others
For some of you, this statement may not apply at all for some situations in which you drink
At some point, there inevitably comes a time when you want to stop drinking, or the desire to carry-on subsides
I can't identify very much with the power of choice once I started drinking.

If I ever had that it was gone by the time I hit my second decade as an alcoholic.

I learned to my cost that once I had the first drink all bets were off.

If I ended up not blacking out, not making a fool of myself or not being sick on a given night that was more good luck than good management.

D
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
At some point, there inevitably comes a time when you want to stop drinking, or the desire to carry-on subsides.
I don't think that was true for me, not during the last few years of drinking at least. I only stopped when I had to, and increasingly I'd find reasons why I didn't really have to after all - and I'd rack up some more negative consequences like blowing off a friend or leaving a co-worker to pick up the mess I left. I think we have to be careful generalizing.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
....


For me, the best antidote has been the sort of conversation with an attractive woman my age where you lose track of the time, and doing fun things without a sense of expectation and judgement from others. Those are the times when my desire for another gets less.
Yes, this for me, but only because the girl was new and exciting. I seem to crave adventure/thrills. Not because of less expectation or judgement from others. I would drink rarely at first with a new girlfriend.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:34 PM
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Alcoholism has very specific symptoms. If, when you really want to you cannot stop entirely (and stay stopped) or if when you drink you have little control over the amount you take, then you may be suffering from an illness that only a spiritual experience will conquer (chronic alcoholism). Control means controlling the amount every time, not just sometimes.

If you can stop when you want for as long as you want, and always control the amount you drink, then obviously you don't have a problem.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:50 AM
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"Can you identify any patterns, what's on your mind, how you're feeling during those where you drink the most, and those times you drink the least?"

very early on I only drank when low self esteem was high.
as the alcoholism progressed I drank when low self esteem was high and even when I felt good about myself.
as alcoholism progressed I drank when I was happy,sad,fearful,excited,etc and used any occasion/feeling as an excuse to drink.
when I crossed the line into full blown alcoholism, the excuses were gone. I just wanted to drink. even when I didn't want to drink,i drank.

what had me feel like stopping and gave me the urge to stop was the gift of desperation- the pain of getting drunk exceeded the pain of reality.

for those reading this that may be early on or thinking about stopping drinking-
it doesn't have to get that bad
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:38 PM
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If you can stop when you want for as long as you want, and always control the amount you drink, then obviously you don't have a problem.
Agreed on that point.

^The thing I want to bring up in this thread is variance between situations situations. I'm sure that what you've said doesn't apply for all situations in which drinking happens. Even so, not every situation is to the same degree. It's important to recognise degree.

IMPORTANT
Those situatuations that you find impossible in which to cope without drinking are best avoided and substituted with situations you can cope with. I don't recommend social isolation and being shut-in your room in front of the telly or computer.

Sod appeasing the 12-step system, sod what people might think of you, can you identify degree? Can you compare situations to each other when this statement has been most or least true?
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:00 PM
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I'm not sure I get where you are going with this Vulcan. If you are an alcoholic there is no situation where drinking can be controlled. And it's impossible to completely avoid stress and conflict, it's just part of life. Alternate coping strategies were the solution for me personally.

Last edited by ScottFromWI; 01-11-2017 at 04:47 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
Sod appeasing the 12-step system, sod what people might think of you, can you identify degree? Can you compare situations to each other when this statement has been most or least true?
I promise I won't appease the 12-Step system. I don't even care if you are an alcoholic, or identify as such, which you stated elsewhere was one of your main objections to AA. I will, however, give you some advice which you probably will not like if your plan is to keep drinking without getting into trouble.

For starters, despite your objections to 12-Step addict-identity, you are essentially trying to mitigate your triggers (your word, not mine), as if your problem drinking were but a symptom, just like they say in AA. Your plan is to mitigate the cause, in the hope of avoiding the symptom of over-drinking.

You may be able to get away with that strategy for a while, but you run the risk of going through the progression that tomsteve described earlier. In your case, since you are unemployed, this progression could easily accelerate to a very dangerous pace, and you could end up in very dangerous territory, very fast.

You simply cannot afford any drinking at this point in your life, because there isn't much to slow down the descent. I would encourage you to go back and to re-read your introductory post from almost a month ago, where you described what it was that you were afraid of, and what you wanted to do about it.

Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
I don’t want to wait half a year for counselling, I don't want to have to fork out tons of money to pay for private counselling.

I want to stop completely before it spirals into dangerous territory.
The alternative is not between 12-Step and more drinking, so finding loopholes in that approach does not justify more drinking. If you do not find the 12-Step approach appealing or helpful, then it would probably be better to simply find something else that does suit you.

There is an entire forum on Sober Recovery devoted to non 12-Step approaches. It is called Secular Connections.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:04 PM
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This doesn't make a lot of sense. The solution to a significant drinking problem is to stop drinking, however you achieve that. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I've actually never met one. I once thought I was such an exception, but it was just more denial, and that particular denial more than any others led to increasingly severe negative consequences. It nearly always does.


Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
Agreed on that point.

^The thing I want to bring up in this thread is variance between situations situations. I'm sure that what you've said doesn't apply for all situations in which drinking happens. Even so, not every situation is to the same degree. It's important to recognise degree.

IMPORTANT
Those situatuations that you find impossible in which to cope without drinking are best avoided and substituted with situations you can cope with. I don't recommend social isolation and being shut-in your room in front of the telly or computer.

Sod appeasing the 12-step system, sod what people might think of you, can you identify degree? Can you compare situations to each other when this statement has been most or least true?
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:14 PM
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I used to be all over comparative studies - I was not as bad as that guy, maybe a little worse than that guy. but certainly nowhere the disaster of THAT guy....

The point I was missing was the amount I was drinking was (very nearly) enough to kill me.

I believe there's no recovery until the valve is firmly turned to off.

No matter what might good intentions I had, or how much research I did, or how much I hypothesised and postulated, any amount of alcohol, even a trickle, was enough to set me off on the crazy train again....

Every time I thought I held some degree of control of my drinking, my addiction would knock me back down on my butt.

I stopped duping myself I had any kind of control and I stopped drinking, for good.

Best decision I ever made

D
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:17 AM
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Hi Vulcan...just an observation. You seem quite early in your own journey and you seem quite focused on helping other people to see something about their alcoholism...

The desire to be helpful is admirable and I hope it continues. You may want to consider though of its a symptom of "Denial"... whether trying to understand and explain different degrees of alcoholism to other people is a way to avoid looking truthfully at your own drinking problem? You wouldn't be alone, lots of people go through something like this.

Most folks here 12 step or no are of the mind that abstinence is the best route to tackle a serious drinking problem. Main question is...do you think you might be one of them? That would be my suggestion...total honesty with yourself about the extent of your drinking problem so you can identify what kindo of help you need for yourself to address it

P
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