I feel like a hostage to drinking

Old 10-16-2017, 03:06 PM
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I feel like a hostage to drinking

Hello people, I haven't posted in a while, though I should mentioned I've realized that my drinking is making me miserable in one fundamental way, I feel I out of control.

It's the cravings, I live in fear of them, I dread the evenings because I worry I may not be able to resist cravings.

My drinking pattern goes something like this; I binge, have a nasty hangover, then swear I will never drink again. Only a few days later, I'm crawling the walls for booze, like a hungry monitor lizard for food. I drink in a binge again, then the cycle repeats itself. I can resist cravings (well, white-knuckle my way through them), but the thing is, each subsequent one gets stronger. The reason is, the experience of resisting the craving is painful, so the memory of how painful the previous one was is fresh, and so I'm less willing to go through that again. Also, especially if I've been off drinking for a few days, there's also that thought 'I've done well' which too seems to trigger and strengthen cravings. 'I've been a good boy'. The thing is, my memory of the pain of the hangover gets weaker over time. The desire to avoid the pain of the hangover is strongest shortly after. As the days go by, the desire to avoid pain of a hangover wains. I always seem to succumb to the cravings, go on a binge late into the night, then write off the next day and set-back my energy levels for the next few days. It is this circle, this loop that I'm trapped in which is the reason I feel like a hostage and a slave. Is this specific pattern common? Does this pattern have a name?

Also, there are times when my motivation to even fight cravings weakens. One thing that motivated me to not drink was the thought that the cravings will weaken over time and will only get easier to deal with. After the above pattern, I'm feeling a bit de-motivated.

Drinking is no longer fun, the highs are no longer worth it. I feel like a hostage because I'm now faced with a choice or enduring the torture of cravings; that stressful, antsy feeling, or drinking, and more than likely being up most the night, writing off the next day and feeling tired and lethargic for days after. Bother equally unpleasant. It's now a situation where it's bad both ways. It's like the evil monster saying 'drink! do as you're ******* well told or else I'll put you through that! bwa ha haaa!' Alcohol is no longer my friend, it feels like my master.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:44 PM
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Remember: the craving is inside of you and therefore within your control. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can place alcohol in your body except you.

I drank as a daily drinker and a binge drinker at various points in my life. The pattern you describe is self-destructive and you love yourself enough to want to change. You can change but it takes effort and discipline. Reaching out for help will enable you to build a toolbox for dealing with cravings and emotional pain.

I quit drinking by connecting with other people. Do not isolate early on because having other perspectives will help you remain vigilant while your mind clears.

You can quit drinking and change your life. I attended recovery groups, found a counselor, and I also found a doctor. You will find a lot of positive, helpful people on this forum.

It will get better. You will feel better.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:13 AM
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sober style
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Well put. It really turned on me as well, started out as fun but sure didn't end that way! Put it in the past.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:39 AM
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I'm pretty sure all of us felt this way, to one degree or another. The amazing thing about the prison we put ourselves into, is that we have the's called surrender. We have to admit that we can no longer control our drinking and figure a way out. We have to be willing to do what it takes to change and that can be a very difficult thing to's called addiction for a reason. Some never make it out alive. I hope you decide to seek help before it's too late.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:45 AM
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I believe that is how many of us are. Some of us were binge drinkers, problem drinkers, drink for the buzzers, drink to blackout, etc..

There are many types of alcohol abuse and addiction if that makes sense. Some people don't drink enough to actually get a painful hangover or hangover at all. This was me most of the time, I'd drink a 12 pack to myself of Budweiser almost every night and never got a hangover usually. I'd only get a hangover when I'd forget to drink my quart of water after 12 beers or if I drank with friends and ended up probably drinking 20-24 beers.

I would have that itch where I'd be watching the clock for work to get over so I could run to the store and buy beer, or I'd be already drunk and see the clock says 1:30 AM and throw my pants on quick and run out the door to get to the store before 2 AM so I could get more beers... So in a sense I did have the same feeling and I still do. I created a routine that was religiously followed by me quite literally like a slave. If I'd end up falling asleep after work and wakeup at 2:30 AM I'd have a fit and be a dick until the next day. I was pretty well a slave to alcohol and spending boat loads of money on my habit not to mention paying a huge price with my health & physical appearance. Got up to 280 lbs and was severely depressed & anxious all the time.

I'm now 59 days sober, 28 lbs lighter and it only has been getting better, the cravings subside on a daily basis but are more intense the longer I go when they actually do happen. I have a few days a week where I'll get some really heavy cravings and start getting the voice in my head "Go just get yourself a beer Calvin you deserve it. You've worked hard and done so well, just 1 24 oz beer." and I have to remember, that 1 24oz beer will lead to a trip to the store before 2 AM to buy more and restart this horrid expensive, unhealthy and depressing anxiety fueling cycle.

Be strong Vulcan you got this. Alcohol is just a weak little punk that wants to bully us around.

P.S Usually when I get hardcore cravings I've noticed I'm actually just really hungry or thirsty, chugging a quart of water and eating a healthy snack like an apple or protein shake tends to reduce the cravings by 80% for me. Give it a shot and remember being sober is so much better than being intoxicated and poisoned.
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:04 AM
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I think I've spoken about the passive voice with you before Vulcan?

It's not the right way to go IMO.

If you decide not to drink, there's not one damn thing your desire, your AV, your inner addict can do about it.

You're not a hostage to anything - not if you don't want to be - you have the power to change things - if you want.

There are some great strategies for dealing with cravings here.

I also recommend posting here to help yourself through, and I'd even consider face to face support like AA, SMART Recovery Lifering, etc.

It may take a little effort and it may not be comfortable at first but you can beat cravings - fighting them and beating them is certainly preferable to living in fear of them, yeah?

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Old 10-17-2017, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by vulcan30 View Post
Drinking is no longer fun, the highs are no longer worth it.
I got to that stage too Vulcan - where drinking didn't even give me a "good" feeling anymore. What comes next is the stage where you simply need to drink to just keep your heart rate down and stave off withdrawals.

I can still vividly remember those mornings where I would try to chug that first beer to get my BAC back up and would literally vomit the whole thing right back up. Eventually i'd be able to keep one down after a try or two. If I didn't the heart palpitations would start and the panic would set in.

Yep, being a hostage to alcohol is a very good analogy. The difference is that unlike a real hostage situation, you can choose to get up and leave anytime you want to. And thing can be so much better...hope you can join us to find that.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:17 AM
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I feel like a hostage to drinking

personally i said alcohol was my master. alcohol made the calls in my existence.
then i found a new master- one that could help me solve the drink problem.
i had to work hard at doing what my new master wanted me to do, but eventually, alcohol was no longer my master- i was free from the bondage to alcohol.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
I feel like a hostage to drinking

personally i said alcohol was my master. alcohol made the calls in my existence.
then i found a new master- one that could help me solve the drink problem.
i had to work hard at doing what my new master wanted me to do, but eventually, alcohol was no longer my master- i was free from the bondage to alcohol.
Me, too.

Alcohol made all of my decisions, and some pretty poor ones i might add.

I'm glad that it no longer rules my life.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:26 AM
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"No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master" Page 8 big book.

" these men were not drinking to escape, they were drinking to overcome a craving beyond their mental control" Doctors opinion.

I can relate to your story Vulcan. My pattern was very similar. I came to see I had an illness which probably only a spiritual experience would conquer. I used AA and the steps to seek such an experience, it happened, and I never drank again.
I guess I had found myself with a simple choice. Live on a spiritual basis, or face an alcoholic death. That death was close enough for me to see it was a real possibility.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:25 PM
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Hi all, sorry for the late reply,

I appreciate everything that's been said. I think that you're right acheleus
I drank as a daily drinker and a binge drinker at various points in my life. The pattern you describe is self-destructive and you love yourself enough to want to change. You can change but it takes effort and discipline. Reaching out for help will enable you to build a toolbox for dealing with cravings and emotional pain.
I need to build up my toolbox and keep connecting with people. The good news is that I'm not at the stage of denial. I recognize I have a drinking problem. I'm at the stage of contemplation and ambivalence, I want to quit, yet at the same time I'm worried that I'll struggle to cope.

@ Gottalife
I've been skeptical about going to AA mainly due to the fact that I don't see myself as an 'alcoholic' plus the fear of public speaking. I think I will give it a shot, given that I'm at the stage where I feel like a hostage. I see why the first of the twelve steps is to admit that we're powerless, because we might well feel like we are. It's a sign that the addiction has undermined our need for control and autonomy over our lives.

In the meantime, I've been checking out this website
There's tons and tons of articles on here, it's like an encyclopedia. Some of the articles on this site are really opening my eyes to the lies that I've been telling myself about drinking. Check it out.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:14 PM
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I can sure relate to the fear of speaking. For the first few weeks I just said my name is Mike and I am an alcohlic and I would like to just listen please. Actually, it turned out to be a good thing. I learnt quite a lot from listening.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:42 PM
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Vulcan, I also felt hostage to my drinking. I couldn't imagine ever being free. I am now. It is possible.
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:58 AM
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Hey Vulcan - i responded on your other thread but this one has someinteresting points as well.

I agree that you should build up your toolbox and keep connecting with people..(esp thinking of that other thread, and the pattern of your sobriety then relases due to the same issue each time when we look at your threads since you first joined this site - maybe have a look through yourself to see that pattern).

You say that you are not at the stage of denial, but don't see yourself as an alcoholic. Even though you WANT to quit but cannot do so. The idea of sobriety is worrying to you. You believe you will struggle to cope without alcohol. People who are not alcoholic do not usually find themselves feeling like alcohol and drinking is holding them hostage.

I do hope that you will go along to some meetings and find the ones that suit you (some will, and some won't - just like pubs, they all serve the same stuff, but the atmosphere and people who go there can make each meeting feel quite different). You will not have to / be expected to do any public speaking. Most people don't tend to say much at their first meeting, although there are some exceptions. Some people go regularly, sit and listen, chat one to one in breaks, yet never speak publically. Honestly, it won't be an issue.

The first of the twelve steps is not admitting that we're powerless generally. It's conceeding to our inner most selves that we are powerless over alcohol - try as we might we can't make that stuff work out well for us.

I see the other point slightly differently to you, in that I don't think addiction undermined my need for control and autonomy over our lives. I think it was my stinking thinking that made me feel that I could somehow, if I behaved certain ways, or said certain things manipulate events, control events or what others thought or felt. Trying to drink myself into being a different person and to feel different ways was likely part of that. Now I have stopped my daft shimmy with alcohol I have much more autonomy and control over the things in my life that ARE down to me. While I was still active in my alcoholism I was constantly tying myself in knots trying to control the stuff that was outside of me. Nowadays I just focus on the things I can change - the things I have responsibility for. (I can use that word 'responsibility' without shuddering or rolling my eyes as well now.)

Keep reading the articles. I know that I definitely needed to educate myself of what alcoholism really is and is not (away from the staggering around / homeless guy / drinking morning to night kind of ideas, to see the more subtle stages of progression. I am grateful I did now, as things were never going to get any better for me while I persisted in the delusion that I could find a way to drink 'normally', and find a way that it would not affect my 'life' (haha - of course once alcohol was removed I could see that alcohol had become the basis for my whole life and everything I did was sustain my drinking lifestyle).

I too thought I was probably 'just a problem drinker' until I realised that just stopping was only the start of my battle. (I even went to my first AA meeting hoping they'd tell me I wasn't an alcoholic and how someone 'like me' could learn to drink in a way that worked better). But, much as I thought I knew everything - smart cookie that I am in other areas of life - I did not know how to go about living without alcohol. It was my answer to pretty much any feeling or situation that I experienced. That meant even 'feeling' was hard at first. My life seemed empty. A void.

But the void that alcohol and drinking leaves us CAN get filled. But not by someone else. We have to get off our behinds, wield a shovel and do some work if we want to build a new, sober, contented life for ourselves.

And if I could do it and thousands of other like me, then you can as well. If you want to.

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Old 10-21-2017, 01:06 PM
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As an alcoholic I know I'm powerless over alcohol. I can not drink today, but if I pick up a drink I can't stop, have no control over what happens. I also know alcoholism is progressive. It's our choice, do we want to go on or get help to stay sober.
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