Struggling with my beer addiction...

Old 05-12-2018, 12:31 AM
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Struggling with my beer addiction...

Hi everyone!

Ive been lurking this forum for quite a while now but i feel like its time for me to write my story as i have difficulty fighting this addiction. I consider myself a beercoholic (i dont know if thats the correct word, sorry if it isnt). I do not drink anything else but only beer and when i do i kind of drink alot as my resistance is quite high.

Long story short, im a 30 years old male from Canada and ive started drinking at around 17. Ive had my ups and down and theres some year where i could handle my drinking limit and even went weeks without touching any. Back then i was quite active physically also. Since i am an anxious slash hypocondriac person by nature, i used to go to hospital almost every month to get blood tests and all kind of test to make sure that my health was ok. My last test for liver (liver function) was around 8 months ago. All was normal.

Since then though, i have increased dramastically my beer intake and it kind of scared me. I lost a loved one, lost my boyfriend and lost everything i had (someone burned all my stuffs) and ended up with barely nothing. I started to drink quite heavily (around 3-4 L of beers every 2 days so i would say around 12-14 liters per week).

To be honest its been a bit more than a year that my alcohol intake is quite high. I am starting to have a beer belly and it kind of worry me. I am wondering if in 8 months period it would be possible that ive done irreversible damage to my liver or another part of my body.

Overall, i feel fine. I mean, i do feel anxious and i have health anxiety so i tend to think that i have all the disease but when i sit down and rationalize, i feel fine.

I do have few symptoms now though from time to time that are scaring me and i would like to know if anyone else has experienced this before:

- Concentration problems. Sometimes it feel quite hard to concentrate and even the most simple thing seems hard to focus on.

- Tiredness. Feel sleepy quite often.

- Rapid heartbeat when i wake up in the morning (i think its because i do not drink enough water though because once i drink water it slow down)

- Feeling dizzy a bit. Its like i am floating. I dont know how to explain that its a weird feeling but it just seems like im a bit out of touch if that make sense?

I want to stop for the sake of my health, my family, my loved ones and my wallet. To be honest with you, i am not 100% ready now but i acknowledge that i do have a problem that i need to work on. There is alcoholism history in my family (mother, grandfather) to which is the reason why i think my tolerance is so high.

How did you guys started the process of quitting for good? Could 8 months (a year) of 12-14L of beer per week do irreversible damage?

I will go do other blood tests next week. I am just interested in knowing the story of others.

Thanks you all!
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:03 AM
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Welcome to Sober Recovery.

Originally Posted by sweetlover1988 View Post
How did you guys started the process of quitting for good?
Seems like you've started. You are questioning your drinking; you seem to accept you have a problem. But your addiction has its hooks in you deep. You aren't ready to give it up.

You'll quit when you are ready. Not one second earlier.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:19 AM
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Glad you are here, and what Carl said. Glad you are seeking medical help too - I found that critical as I started my journey, and as I've gone along.

One thought to pose is what kind of recovery plan you will work - most of us have found that a plan of action is critical to our success in sobriety. You said you may be almost ready - I hope that actual readiness comes quickly - getting started for me meant flat quitting to drink, and starting AA. At almost 27 mo, I have built a wonderful life in recovery with a lot of help from others, my program and my HP.

And- a thought to tuck away for this minute but "address" quickly - it doesn't matter what our alcohol of choice is, when we drink (ie binges vs daily, etc), whether it's at home or out, whether.....if we are alcoholics, we've lost control over alcohol, any kind, period.

Excessive drinking can cause ALL kinds of damage- and it is a progressive disease so in my case and most cases, it takes time for some things to show up. Quitting for good is the only way to stop the progress - and when we are sober we can deal with whatever underlying medical, mental, emotional issues we do have.

Best to you.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:40 AM
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Matt, I was strictly a beer drinker for nearly 30 years. I was a dedicated "weekend warrior" for about the first 15 of those years, then I gradually started ramping it up. For the last 10 years or so I was drinking 12-18 beers every single night and even more on the weekends. I finally developed all the mental and physical symptoms associated with alcoholism. It took me a trip to the ER before I finally quit for good. My blood work was terrible and I was certain that I had wrecked my internal organs. After a couple years of sobriety, my blood work had returned to normal. After nearly nine years sober, my doctor is STILL amazed at how my body was able to heal itself. He flat out told me that if I would've kept drinking like I was, I'd be most likely be dead by now. The most important thing is to admit to yourself that you can no longer drink, not even one beer. Once you decide that, you can focus on long-term recovery. You CAN do this, I'm living proof!
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:31 AM
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^^My doctor gave me an rx for death, give or take a year, 18 mo, if I didn't quit. I was 39 and suddenly HEARD someone. I am also amazed at how my body has healed in two years and what it can do (5Ks and 15Ks, daily hot yoga, on my feet jobs....), and am inexpressibly grateful for him and that I quit.

The body can be amazingly resilient - but it's not limitless in its ability to heal and recover. Taking a chance while you have it- that your life will be better sober in all ways- is a privilege many people don't choose.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sweetlover1988 View Post
I want to stop for the sake of my health, my family, my loved ones and my wallet. To be honest with you, i am not 100% ready now but i acknowledge that i do have a problem that i need to work on.
I was the same way at about 27, I realized something "wasn't right" with my drinking, that I likely had a problem, that I would quit sometime soon, but not today.
This attitude turned into a decade later to be neck deep in alcoholism with seemingly no way to get out.
Quit now, as alcohol is the ultimate quicksand to destruction.
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:25 AM
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You should be ok health wise, shoot I had been drinking like crazy towards the end shockingly I'm still ok apparently, but we're all different, the important thing is to stop now
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:05 AM
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Your body may recover, but if you continue drinking, will your mind? Your spirit?

I was 37 when I quit, and by that point my life consisted of waking hungover, struggling through the day at the office, drinking at night, passing out...and yet I was most afraid of quitting because "my life will be no fun."

Taking out all the possible health issues, drinking simply doesn't allow you to live. The "living" I was doing was a lie. A terrible, vicious, enveloping lie. Quitting was the real way, the only way, to begin living an actual life. It was hard at first, but it did get better. It's so much better now. You can do this.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:04 AM
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Thanks you all for your wonderful tips!

Ive decided today and i have enough and i want to stop. I am actually 18 hours free of alcohol. I have drank the last 10 days in a row, with amount exceeding 3 Liters but now i stop. I cant do this anymore. Not only it isnt good for my health, but i spent way too much money on that and it make me lazy and i tend to procrastinate on things at my work that i shouldnt.

I am actually on my first day. So far i would describe it like that:

Shaking: 6.5/10
Anxiety: 9/10
Confusion: 8/10
DT: 0/10
Palpitations: 1/10

I feel good overall but i have this feeling of confusion along with anxiety. Did that happened to you guys when you stopped? I also want to point out that i am anxious by nature so i used to have that even before i start to drink 10 years ago. So far i dont think i need to go to hospital as i dont feel as my symptoms are too much serious. I was also wondering, did you guys had memory problems? I feel like i lost some of my memories along with the confusion. I really hope its a temporary thing and it will comeback because it make me afraid. Ill keep this post updated on a daily basis. I think ill need you guys. Even though i do not want to drink now, i know there will be time where it will be there and ill need this forum to help me.

Thanks you guys
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:19 AM
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Hi Sweet, congrats on taking that first step!

I suffered a terrible memory and concentration problem while drinking too. I can say after 18 days sober things are improving greatly. When I go to the shops now I usually come out with all the things I went in for rather than forgetting what I needed and getting a bottle of wine as that was the only thing on the list I could remember. I couldn't focus at work, had to write everything down or I forgot it and got confused very easily which would then trigger my anxiety. I think it's quite a common problem for people like us and I wouldn't worry too much about it just yet. Give your mind and body a break and things should improve. x
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:49 AM
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Glad you've made the decision to stop Sweetlover. Many of the things you mention are common during withdrawals, and I'm glad you are being mindful of getting urgent help if things get too bad. Memory issues are also common not only in acute withdrawal, but also in the weeks/months following. The good news is that for the most part they do clear up over time.

I also had a huge problem with anxiety and while quitting drinking definitely, helped, I had to also seek help/treatment/counseling separately. Anxiety is a separate diagnosable issue, but it's also very common and very treatable. The anxiety you are feeling now on day 1 is almost certainly related to withdrawal though - as alcohol depresses your nervous system and taking it away causes a spike in activity and thus anxiety.

Please be safe and do seek medical help if you thing things are getting too bad - do you have someone close that knows you are quitting who you can call on for help?
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:31 AM
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What Scott said about anxiety has been my situation too.

I did experience occasional confusion, certainly loss of focus on the thing at hand, and such. Like everything else, that finally stopped.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:23 PM
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Maybe really give giving it up a try and see how you feel.
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