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Drinking just to feel normal

Old 07-08-2018, 06:05 AM
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Drinking just to feel normal

Hello everyone,

I don't really have a question. I am, however reaching out to people who may be or have been in a similar situation.
Alcohol has always been my weakness. I've been through hell because of it, been sober for over 100 days, and slowly went crawling back to it. Over the past 4 months or so it's gotten worse. I could go a week or more without a drop just a few short months ago. But now, i need it every day.
It's not fun for me anymore. I don't enjoy it, but if I don't drink for 12-20 hours or so I get shaky hands so bad that I can barely get the shot up to my mouth. I feel very easily angered and scared.
I don't even get very drunk.....I just feel "normal" when I drink. I can do housework, be a great mom and a great cook and a wonderful girlfriend who smiles and laughs.

So my point is, I hate alcohol. i want it out of my life. But as of now, it helps me function and i don't know how to break free. Thanks for reading this, and I hope to hear from some (or better MANY) of you.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:12 AM
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I personally never got shakes, but I went for a long time of drinking 3-4 nights a week. Then I quit a few times. Each time I came back Iíd go more consecutive days. Thatís when I realized I was progressively drinking heavier and more frequently and it was time for me to stop.

From all the reading on this site I can tell you one thing for certain. If problem drinking continues there is only direction and itís down. The question is when, or if, you want to get off the elevator to the basement.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:21 AM
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Welcome to Sober Recovery.

If you are drinking to stave off withdrawals, I would suggest a medically supervised detox.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:41 AM
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iew, thanks for your reply. I very much want to quit. I'm sure you know how confusing and frustrating it is. Registering at this site this morning is my first step.
Carl, thanks for your reply too. I have sought medical treatment for it and it was a nightmare.

I'm no dummy...I know that life without alcohol will be AWESOME...but I'm stuck in a rut of being a full time single parent with a boatload of things to do, and if I need a few shots to get them done, I usually give in. yes I get though the day, but turns into weeks, months.... Guess I need to get my priorities straight
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:07 AM
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Hi Luv,

Can you elaborate on what was a nightmare about medical treatment? That might help us to offer solutions that might work for you. When you detox what kind of symptoms do you have? Have you tried cutting down gradually at any time? How did that go?

I know well the feeling of needing to drink to feel normal, and it sucks. I got practically none of the "benefits" of drinking and have to deal with interrupted sleep, constant worry about being found out, rotating liquor stores, shame over how many empties I was putting out for recycling, etc etc.

The good news is that you are here so you have well-founded hope that it can be done. There is lots of support here - keep on writing.

Welcome to you.

O
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by LuvSidney87 View Post
I'm no dummy...I know that life without alcohol will be AWESOME...but I'm stuck in a rut of being a full time single parent with a boatload of things to do, and if I need a few shots to get them done, I usually give in. yes I get though the day, but turns into weeks, months.... Guess I need to get my priorities straight
Welcome to SR LuvSidney. I was in exactly the same situation as you before I quit for good. I did not get any "buzz" or high from drinking anymore, and I basically needed to drink to stave off withdrawals and function throughout the day. Even though I thought I was "funcional", I was neglecting my health, my job, my family and pretty much everything else around me. Mainly because my #1 priority was alcohol, above and beyond everything else.

Notice I highlighted your comment above regarding priorities. If you want to be sober, you can be - its a simple choice actually. But you have to be willing to make it your absolute top priority for it to happen. As others have mentioned, if you are addicted to the point of physical dependence, it's highly recommended to seek some medical advice before you quit. I made the mistake ( more than once ) of just quitting cold turkey on my own and ended up in the ER. I was fine but if I would have just sought out the help I needed I could have easily have avoided it. It doesn't mean you need to be locked up in a detox tank either - there are lots of ways to do this safely.

Once the detox is done, you will likely want to have a plan or program to follow as removing the alcohol is only the first step. There are recovery groups ( in person and online ), self-paced recovery methods, therapy, meditation, life coaches, forums like SR - literally dozens of options.

Even with a busy life you can make sobriety happen though. Think of all the time and effort you put into drinking right now - all that time can be used for recovery once you quit.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:25 AM
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That's kinda how I was at the end, I didn't really get a pleasurable buzz from alcohol, it was to feel "normal" and stop the shakes and mute the anxiety, which I suppose was pleasurable because it beat the alternative (withdrawal).

There is one and only one way to get off the train and and stop deluding yourself into thinking it's doing anything positive for you (great mom, cook, etc.), and that's to stop drinking. A medically supervised detox will make the initial few days to a week easier, and that can be as simple as stopping drinking (always the first step) and substituting a schedule of benzos to replace it for a while. Might be worth a try?

You haven't mentioned recovery support, there's this site which is great but many people need face-to-face support too. Do you have meetings of any flavor nearby? AA is one option, and they have lots and lots of meetings all over the world, but there are other options too.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by LuvSidney87 View Post
Hello everyone,

I don't really have a question. I am, however reaching out to people who may be or have been in a similar situation.
Alcohol has always been my weakness. I've been through hell because of it, been sober for over 100 days, and slowly went crawling back to it. Over the past 4 months or so it's gotten worse. I could go a week or more without a drop just a few short months ago. But now, i need it every day.
It's not fun for me anymore. I don't enjoy it, but if I don't drink for 12-20 hours or so I get shaky hands so bad that I can barely get the shot up to my mouth. I feel very easily angered and scared.
I don't even get very drunk.....I just feel "normal" when I drink. I can do housework, be a great mom and a great cook and a wonderful girlfriend who smiles and laughs.

So my point is, I hate alcohol. i want it out of my life. But as of now, it helps me function and i don't know how to break free. Thanks for reading this, and I hope to hear from some (or better MANY) of you.
Hello. Thanks for posting your story. I understand what it can be like to need a substance to feel normal.

Toward the end of your post I'm sure you can see the contradiction. How can you want something out of your life that helps you function?

The most prolific reason folks use alcohol or drugs and become conflicted about that use is emotional in nature. Essentially, our minds create inner division in the form of unhealed emotions and then a surface level coping mechanism, and then goes on to imagine the coping mechanism is somehow the source of the problem.

The true source of the 'problem' is the degradation we experience by not dealing with our emotions. Basically, we create a soul tax every time we turn away from our emotional bodies, and to the extent alcohol allows us to do that, it is part of an elaborate mental scheme to create happiness that was doomed from the get go.

At the same time, alcohol can enhance the experience just like any other drug. It can numb the tendency to feel 'self conscious' and help in manifesting identity compensations that help us function in what we deem to be value adding ways. You mention drinking just to feel 'normal', and I wonder if 'normal' for you has not already become something of an entirely different character than your authentic nature. Meaning, in addition to alcohol addiction issues, you likely also have personality addictions running in tandem. If your girlfriends showed up and you weren't under the influence, and told you a story, and rather than react in jovial fashion, you react out of or even just act out what some might call the darker emotions, you may find those same girlfriends no longer want to be around you. That is not a loving thing on their part, because it happens to be a repression mechanism against your authentic self.

That type of personality addiction is typically labeled a co-dependence, and often times we have complimentary injuries to those who we are in such addictive relationships with. Even counselors can find themselves in these types of addictive relationships with their patients. If there is no one to heal, what happens to the identity of being a teacher or healer?

The web of complexes the mind can spin, all while linked into the collective matrix and what Jung termed the collective unconscious, can seem like an overwhelming task to untie. But with consciousness of what's going on, liberation is just a matter of time. There is an expression in zen, you need time to become free until you realize you didn't need any time at all.

On a closing note, I might concur that AA programs and things of the sort may be a part of anyone's healing. But the only true healing comes from an emotional detox, and one needs to do more than simply remove alcohol to perform this task. The reason that is true is because true healing is less about what you do and more about what you stop doing on an unconscious level. Meaning, we can say we hate alcohol, and that may be true, but to the extent it is being used to avoid dealing with emotions that we are yet to deal with, is to the same extent we depend on something external to ourselves to avoid what we have going on internally. In this sense, a co-dependent relationship with another human being can be as toxic as our chemical addictions.

Anyway, I just signed up to the forum. Thank you for the opportunity to interface.
Wishing you the best,
GG
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:30 AM
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Hi LuvSidney,

The last couple years of my drinking I reached that same point where I HAD to drink. I had to drink to feel "normal", and I had to drink to keep the withdrawals at bay. If I slept for more than 6 hours I woke up already in the beginning stages of withdrawals (shaking hands, nauseous, rapid heart rate, etc.).

I had to start my day with a drink and then continue drinking throughout the day to function "normally". Except there is nothing "normal" about having to ingest alcohol throughout the day just to be able to function. I had turned into a slave to alcohol, needing it to stay alive like a fish needs water.

I reached the point where I could not live without alcohol AND no longer wanted to live with alcohol. That scared me and I finally reached out for help, first with my doctor, then with outpatient treatment, and finally with a recovery program for a long-term solution (I use AA and the 12 steps), because alcoholism is a lifelong problem that is progressive in nature.

Welcome to SR! Stick around and do a lot of reading on this forum and see if you identify with what others are sharing here.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by LuvSidney87 View Post
Hello everyone,

I don't really have a question. I am, however reaching out to people who may be or have been in a similar situation.
Alcohol has always been my weakness. I've been through hell because of it, been sober for over 100 days, and slowly went crawling back to it. Over the past 4 months or so it's gotten worse. I could go a week or more without a drop just a few short months ago. But now, i need it every day.
It's not fun for me anymore. I don't enjoy it, but if I don't drink for 12-20 hours or so I get shaky hands so bad that I can barely get the shot up to my mouth. I feel very easily angered and scared.
I don't even get very drunk.....I just feel "normal" when I drink. I can do housework, be a great mom and a great cook and a wonderful girlfriend who smiles and laughs.

So my point is, I hate alcohol. i want it out of my life. But as of now, it helps me function and i don't know how to break free. Thanks for reading this, and I hope to hear from some (or better MANY) of you.
Welcome, Luv! Thank you for posting here and sharing your concerns. I hope youíll consider giving a medically supervised detox another try. And then, once the toxins are out of your body, you can begin your mind and body healing process. I do believe you when you say that you really want it for yourself and I do know that you can do it! Iím doing the exactly same thing (mind and body healing that is) for myself and my family today and have been for the past 11 days now. It does not sound like a long time to many, but it sure feels like a life-time for me. Let me tell you: it feels great to be in charge of my own life! It feels wonderful not to feel shame and guilt anymore when I talk to my family. It feels amazing waking up hangover-free (I used to binge drink and blackouts became my ďnormalĒ at one point). Iím no longer misarable from trying to recall events and conversations from the night before and Iím not getting anxious to the point one would get physically ill. Please give sobriety another chance before itís too late. It took me many failed attempts at sobriety over the years to get to that mind set and determination to free myself from addiction. Even though it feels like you canít function normally without alcohol, with proper professional help and moral support you CAN get better and free of alcohol dependancy for good! You deserve it, Luv! You deserve to be happy and healthy! Wishing you the strength to break free from the vicious cycle of drinking. You are not alone and there is a way out!
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:47 AM
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Welcome Luv, Your story is no different than mine. I needed alcohol just to be "normal" to function throughout the day. I held down a full time job and was married w/ kids. It was crazy the way I kept it all together for years. I could write how many times I was at the brink of destruction, but everyone has the same story so I'll cut this short. The only way I was going to get better was to see a DOCTOR. I went and spilled my story to this DR. and I had immediate relief. He told me that he will prescribe some meds for me which will make the withdrawals go away. I took these pills at home for 3 days and after that I felt good as new.....no more needing that poison to get by. After I had my head on straight, I went about getting serious face to face help. BUT you can't start recovery until yo get through the withdrawal period...…….DO IT soon...I only wish I had done it sooner!! Best Wishes
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:49 PM
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Hi there, Luv. Your drinking sounds quite like mine at the end. I would drink, pass out, come to, drink, pass out --over and over and over. When I quit all at once within 12 hours I had horrifying hallucinations and a couple of seizures--it was life-threatening. I urge you to look into a medical detox. I needed help--a lot of it--to get sober, and a doctor can prescribe meds to make withdrawal much more comfortable. After detox I spent 2 months in inpatient rehab. I read that your medical experience was a nightmare, but I urge you to try again. Getting face to face help with AA is another thing to consider. A solid plan is essential to success.
Wishing you all the best on your sober journey. I am very glad that you are here.
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:07 AM
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I knew I had to get sober when I would deliberately buy extra beer to have in the morning because my hands were shaking so much I couldn't hold onto my phone.

Drinking premixed gin and tonics at work and saying it was soda water. Drinking beer out of a mug when I was working behind the bar. If I had run out of beer I had got from the shop and I was alone in the bar I would quickly steal some from the pump into the mug. I hated myself for that, I am not a thief, but I just didn't care. I would feel 'normal' again, then that buzz would kick in and I would feel right as rain again.

I have no idea how I got away with it, surely they must have smelled the booze on me. So glad that is a thing of the past, the lying and sneaking around is so exhausting.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:33 AM
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Welcome to SR LuvSidney

I drank for 20 years.

Drinking changed me so much that the person I thought was the real normal me wasn't actually that at all.

It took me a few months after I stopped drinking for the 'really real' me to re-emerge.

I'd totally forgotten who the real me was.

Alcoholic normality may not be as normal or as authentic as you think
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:20 PM
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Glad you're here, Sidney.

I don't think you have gotten here to soon based on the fairly dire drinking habits you have described.

I would also add that the people you have relationships (child or children, significant other, etc.) would likely find you to be a much better partner if you were sober.

Being medicated, or partially medicated, while in a relationship puts up a barrier, because the other participant(s) don't get to see who we really are, the pains we are enduring, the good times we are blessed with, etc.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:28 PM
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Hi sydney,

Not much to add to these posts except that I think it's time for you.

My excuse was getting through the day, too. I needed alcohol to get through anything. I used alcohol to get the dishes done, do the laundry, make dinner, you name it.

I'm sorry but it doesn't look to me like you can safely do this on your own. sounds like inpatient would be hard or maybe even not an option if you are single parenting, so I suggest you go straight to the doctor, be upfront about the shakes and your inability to function without alcohol. The doctor should have medications for you to help you safely detox but you will need support.

Call your local AA chapter, tell them you are needing a medical detox but single parenting, and they can assist you with finding meetings your kids can attend with you, if they are small.

You can do this. I know you are already carrying life on your shoulders but if you make this your number one priority you can get the medical help and help from the recovery groups to get sober for good.

It is worth it. I don't know if I'd call it awesome. I call it life. And returning me back to myself. Becoming me again, the me I knew before I lost her along the way.

blessings and stay close to SR. Post daily.
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Stayingsassy View Post
Hi sydney,

It is worth it. I don't know if I'd call it awesome. I call it life. And returning me back to myself. Becoming me again, the me I knew before I lost her along the way.
This made my eyeballs wet. Thank you to everyone who responded. I do miss my true self. I miss her a lot. I really only drink alone, and I always feel content and tell myself that i'm having a nice evening. But then when I'm with other people, dead sober, forcing any kind of enthusiasm is a huge chore.

I need to come back here every day. You all help more than you know.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:17 AM
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Glad to hear from you. I have to say I agree with the others like Scott and I was also in your position of extreme physical dependency by the end of my drinking. Longer, actually, than the last six months I call the "end."

It was terrifying to decide to stop. I did it cold turkey, taking the risks as a better choice than the certain death I was facing in short order. Medical care is always a safe choice. Ultimately, though, we must quit drinking no matter what if we want to get to the sober side then find that good life in recovery.

I hope you join us. Take care.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by LuvSidney87 View Post
iew, thanks for your reply. I very much want to quit. I'm sure you know how confusing and frustrating it is. Registering at this site this morning is my first step.
Carl, thanks for your reply too. I have sought medical treatment for it and it was a nightmare.

I'm no dummy...I know that life without alcohol will be AWESOME...but I'm stuck in a rut of being a full time single parent with a boatload of things to do, and if I need a few shots to get them done, I usually give in. yes I get though the day, but turns into weeks, months.... Guess I need to get my priorities straight
Hi there. Life without alcohol is life. It is not awesome all the time. When you do quit, it especially will not be awesome for a while. It's important to manage your expectations.

You have developed a physical dependency on alcohol which means you are at least a stage 2 alcoholic. This means that just sort of wanting to quit will not cut it. This is a life commitment. I threw everything I had into it. I cut back on work. I cancelled social engagements. I spent 24 hours a day figuring out tools to combat thoughts and cravings for alcohol. Quitting alcohol then becoming sober was my number one job. I still worked and did what I could in my daily life but getting sober took emotional, physical and mental commitment.

Why? Besides otherwise you are too stressed, too hungry, too busy, too upset, too scheduled up, too whatever, to actually quit.

When you quit? Make it your job. And don't let anything take precedence over #1. Sobriety is at the top of your list.

Hope it works for you!
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:59 PM
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^^^^excellent suggestions and experience sharing from Sassy. My recovery is he backdrop if my entire life, my number one priority and the method by which everything good in my life is realized.
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