Notices

Advice needed...very confused.

Old 02-04-2021, 10:38 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Advice needed...very confused.

Hello,

​​​​​​May I first thank anyone who takes the time to reply to this thread, I very much appreciate it.

I'm in my 30s and would say my Alcohol consumption is 30-40 units a week.

I try to have 3 sober days a week and tend to binge on the other days. I wouldn't say I suffer any severe withdrawal but have begun to notice heightened periods of anxiety and depression on the days I don't drink.

I would be lying if I said I don't think about drink on my sober days. My binge drinking comes from days of partying in my 20s so if I can't binge I'd rather not drink at all.

I love alcohol but I am starting to think I'm getting to a point where it could start to get out of control. Beer and whiskey (straight) are my drinks of choice.

I am alcohol dependent and I know it could get worse. My main worry is not that I'm an alcoholic but my health from drinking 40 units a week.

Any advice people could offer? Should I stop? Try to keep to a certain limit?

Many thanks
Tomsmith316 is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:00 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Hevyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 49,095
Welcome to you, Tomsmith. It's so good you found us & wanted to discuss your situatiion. I'm glad you're taking a hard look at what alcohol may be doing to your life, both now & in the future.

When I was your age I never thought about my consumption. I never considered there may come a day when it would become a necessity. All the signs were there, though. I couldn't get enough once I started. There was never a time when I had 'just one', despite my best intentions. You are still managing 3 sober days a week - and I was too in my 30's. Over time, I found myself having zero sober days. Maintaining a certain level of alcohol in my system was imperative, or I'd shake and be sick. I never imagined it would come to that. I didn't know what was meant by the term 'progressive disease' until it had taken over my life.
I'm not saying it would ever come to this for you - but at the end of my drinking days I was drinking 24/7, taking it to work with me, living recklessly. Be careful with your precious life. Keep reading & posting - we care about you.
Hevyn is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:19 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Hey,

That's kinda the point it's at now, I don't quite feel right when not drinking but it's not strong enough for me to reach for the bottle.

Alcohol makes me feel better no question but it's a fine line between "fancy" and "need,"

What is 40 units in relation to alcoholic behaviour? Is it lower end of the scale or is it very high?

I thank you for taking the time to reply, it means alot.
Tomsmith316 is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:23 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
biminiblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 24,191
My vote is to stop. There is no upward trajectory to heavy drinking, it's all downhill. 30 - 40 units a week is heavy drinking. About triple the current health recommendations, as I'm sure you know. I'd guess there are many weeks above that if you're drinking hard spirits. I found it nearly impossible to keep track of my intake after the first two or three.

Why not stop completely - maybe start with a year commitment to see how much improvement you'll see in every area of your life?

First, it's not going to be that easy and you'll quickly see where you stand without it.

Nothing good is in the bottom of a bottle. Not one thing.

As far as the definition of "alcoholic" - it's a lot of things. You will have to make that call, but you're way above casual social drinking.
biminiblue is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:23 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 58,991
Hi Tom and Welcome,

I'm glad you have reached out for information and support.

You recognize that you are alcohol dependent. As Hevyn said, alcoholism is progressive and it will worsen unless you stop drinking. And, the thing with alcoholism is that you can never predict when it will happen, which drink will be the one that puts you over the line from which you can never go back. That's why many of us are here - because we couldn't see it coming until it was too late.

If alcohol is causing concern and problems in your life, stopping drinking is the solution.
Anna is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:28 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: South Coast - UK
Posts: 2,337
Tom, I think you are a brave and sensible Man, also admire courage in human beings.

Being honest, at least, with ourselves is a great gift.

Also I'm glad you care about yourself enough to protect yourself from possible future misery.

Best of luck Mate
JamesW is online now  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:28 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Hevyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 49,095
Tom - I wasn't sure what a Unit was - your NHS suggests 14 units a week spread over several days is the maximum to be safe. As Bimini said, you'd be considered a heavy drinker.
You could be saving your life. Be proud of yourself for recognizing that at a relatively early age. You'll be avoiding so much misery.
Hevyn is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:37 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,602
Hi Tom,

I would say that your concern over whether a certain behaviour is that of an "alcoholic" or more of someone who has a drinking problem or whatever is semantics really. I don't think you would have sought out soberrecovery.com if it wasn't becoming problem for you and what can be done to remove that problem is the only thing that is important right now. You sound like you are roughly at where I was maybe about 6 or 7 years ago - loved a binge just for the buzz and the euphoria, but able to shake it off and function during the working week. What I found is that at some indeterminate point in time, that 30 units crept up to 60 and beyond and where one bottle of wine was enough to get a nice buzz going, now I would need 2 - this then become 2 bottles of red and four large cans of lager to keep the buzz going as I listened to tunes and got obliterated on my sofa, most likely texting horrendously embarrassing things to friends, family and colleagues. The more your tolerance goes up, the more you're drinking and the more you're drinking, the more weird / regrettable / shameful / embarrassing etc things you do - it doesn't sound like you're there yet but texts, emails, drink driving etc etc I think especially if you are binging, you are drinking specifically to get really high and taking that too far brings you into the realm of the above behaviour and all sorts of other stuff that could put you in a real pickle professionally, emotionally, physically and mentally.

For me, I had to wait for things to start getting scary before I looked to stop drinking. And if you keep going, it will definitely feel really really scary the day after drinking. The fear is amplified exponentially as time goes on. On the really bad days it is a bone chilling experience. The problem is, by that point, the psychological and eventually physical addiction has taken hold to the point that quitting is a massive undertaking. It's something I have been wrestling with for a long time but it has been nearly 3 years since I first started properly and in earnest, attempting to finally take my last drink.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that, based on your description of your current drinking that you need to stop drinking immediately. Cutting back may work for a while, but you will always creep back to previous levels of consumption and worse doing it this way. Every single person in here will tell you the same thing.

Reading through all of the threads here will give you a good idea of what you're dealing with and how to go about tackling it. Don't listen to me though, as I am on day 7 - yet another day 7.

Wishing you the best,
Brian.
Briansy is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:47 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Deep down I know you are all right. Continuing drinking only leads one place.

For the last 3 years i have been able to keep my intake under 40 Units by willpower and fear of bad health but I reckon I could easily just keep going. Convincing myself by taking 3 days off a week will keep it in check and in terms of physical addiction I think I have succeeded.

My problem is the mental aspect. The void I feel when not drinking, it may sound silly but it almost feels like boredom or a feeling nothing is as good as drinking. I can watch TV but it doesn't replace drinking and listening to music. I'm waiting for the "Friday night feeling"

The sober me being left with my own thoughts and anxiety which drink suppresses is what scares me the most.

​​​​Any small physical symptoms I have in the first 3-4 days after my last drink I can easily overcome. It's after that time I find hard, when there is nothing left to fight but your own thoughts and mental state. The void and what comes next.

Maybe none of that makes sense but that's kinda how it feels day to day.

Thanks for listening.

​​​​​​



Tomsmith316 is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:56 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
bona fido dog-lover
 
least's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 97,573
You know you have a problem and are worried about your health. Stopping for good is the only way to make sure your health doesn't get any worse. I got sober over 11 yrs ago and don't regret a minute of it. And I've never woken up wishing I had drank the night before. I am much happier sober and there's no drama in my life, just peace and feeling contented.
least is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:59 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
biminiblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 24,191
No, it makes complete sense.

The alcohol is actually causing your anxiety to be higher when you're not drinking.

Alcohol acts to suppress nervous-system activity when you have it in your system. When you stop, the nervous system is ramped up and overly active. Plus the changes in the reward pathways that occur over time with excessive alcohol consumption.

Here, this is good: (Don't miss the info-graphic part way down the page. )

https://www.altamirarecovery.com/blo...promise-for-ad

biminiblue is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 12:00 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,602
I totally understand, Tom, and it will take a while to adjust to a mindset of not drinking. Maybe even a few years. But there is no doubt about it, it's not a case of "if" you have to make that adjustment but "when". And if that "when" is in 5 years, at which point things are exponentially worse, then the adjustment will be all the harder.

The really hard thing is to stop when you know things have the potential to get really bad but when you're not quite there yet. I'm sure I had similar thoughts to you long before I seriously knew I had to stop drinking (because I couldn't recreate that euphoria anymore), but I continued anyway and did a nice little number on my brain in the process. Nowhere near as bad as some on here but bad enough.

Is there anyone in your life you can talk to in confidence about this?
Briansy is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 01:23 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Forum Leader
 
ScottFromWI's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 16,945
Originally Posted by Tomsmith316 View Post
Deep down I know you are all right. Continuing drinking only leads one place.

For the last 3 years i have been able to keep my intake under 40 Units by willpower and fear of bad health but I reckon I could easily just keep going. Convincing myself by taking 3 days off a week will keep it in check and in terms of physical addiction I think I have succeeded.

My problem is the mental aspect. The void I feel when not drinking, it may sound silly but it almost feels like boredom or a feeling nothing is as good as drinking. I can watch TV but it doesn't replace drinking and listening to music. I'm waiting for the "Friday night feeling"

The sober me being left with my own thoughts and anxiety which drink suppresses is what scares me the most.

​​​​Any small physical symptoms I have in the first 3-4 days after my last drink I can easily overcome. It's after that time I find hard, when there is nothing left to fight but your own thoughts and mental state. The void and what comes next.

Maybe none of that makes sense but that's kinda how it feels day to day.

Thanks for listening.

​​​​​​
In one sense, all of it does make sense because we've all been there before and understand how it progresses. And I agree, addiction is far more mental than physical. Look at all the mental gymnastics you are going through right now trying to rationalize your drinking. And that's perfectly normal, we've all done it before. It's really a continuum...addicition that is...and the only real variable as to how bad it will get before you do something about it. I think it's great that you are strongly considering quitting now when things haven't gotten too bad. Having said that, 30-40 units a week while taking 3 days off a week is a very significant amount of alcohol by any measure.

On the other hand, addiction itself doesn't make sense. If it did, none of us would be here as we'd all just innately realize that our drinking was causing problems and we'd stop, right?
ScottFromWI is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 02:47 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
Hevyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 49,095
"The sober me being left with my own thoughts and anxiety which drink suppresses is what scares me the most." - Tom, this is exactly how I felt many years ago. I was terrified to let go of what I thought alcohol gave me - self confidence & calmness - the ability to relax & enjoy myself. But instead of masking my uncomfortable feelings I should have focused on figuring out why I felt the way I did & found a real solution. I never grew or changed when I needed to.
Hevyn is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 04:55 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Eddiebuckle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 1,713
Originally Posted by Tomsmith316 View Post
Deep down I know you are all right. Continuing drinking only leads one place.

For the last 3 years i have been able to keep my intake under 40 Units by willpower and fear of bad health but I reckon I could easily just keep going. Convincing myself by taking 3 days off a week will keep it in check and in terms of physical addiction I think I have succeeded.

My problem is the mental aspect. The void I feel when not drinking, it may sound silly but it almost feels like boredom or a feeling nothing is as good as drinking. I can watch TV but it doesn't replace drinking and listening to music. I'm waiting for the "Friday night feeling"

The sober me being left with my own thoughts and anxiety which drink suppresses is what scares me the most.

​​​​Any small physical symptoms I have in the first 3-4 days after my last drink I can easily overcome. It's after that time I find hard, when there is nothing left to fight but your own thoughts and mental state. The void and what comes next.

Maybe none of that makes sense but that's kinda how it feels day to day.

Thanks for listening.

​​​​​​
Tom,

I remember when I drank like that in my twenties. It was easy enough to justify or ignore the reality of how I drank - I convinced myself it was how I chose to be and since it wasn't hurting anyone else it was nobody's business but my own. But the fact that the "sober" days are spent with some level of anxiety and longing for the escape that alcohol provides, my guess is you are one of us. How much that ultimately affects you depends on whether you continue to drink. Though you may be merely dependent but not alcoholic today, if you continue to drink it will slowly get to the point where you can't not drink. The disease is progressive, and the one thing that allows it to progress is continued drinking.

Over the years of drinking I went through successive "never will I ever" type steps until I was drinking a fifth a day every day. I never ended up in a hospital, never lost a job, but my life became a very small circle comprised of work, buy booze, go home and drink to oblivion. By the time I could no longer tolerate my existence and what I had become, it was a pretty stark choice: quit drinking or check myself out. Sounds stupid - but that's how I saw it. I only chose rehab because I figured the other option would always be there if sobriety was as bad as I feared.

That was Christmas 2009. Today my life is full, joyful, and fulfilling. It's absurd to think how close I came to suicide because I couldn't imagine a life like this... that's what it means to be an active alcoholic. I hope you never get there.
Eddiebuckle is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 07:40 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
fini's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 7,206
The sober me being left with my own thoughts and anxiety which drink suppresses is what scares me the most.
yes.
and when/while you are waiting, during those times, for your drinking to begin on the next drinking day, there is no impetus to make any changes so that your own thoughts, anxieties, being with yourself unsuppressed can be addressed in non-drinking ways.
there is no reason for you to learn how to “be” when still drinking.
all the ways you are attempting/using to control this thing really just speak to the lack of “normalcy” in regards to your relationship with booze.
fini is offline  
Old 02-04-2021, 09:39 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Sweden
Posts: 500
tom, i'm glad that you found this place. I got extreme anxiety after a bender (which, made me miss stuff in my studies, and in life, drinking so much i missed alot in my life). then i found this place and my anxiety lessen. i think the alcohol is having a negative effect on your life and glad that you found us here. Think about it like this, we're all here for you and you will really feel the anxiety go away. i wanted to go mad when detoxing but i found a safe haven here. I hope you will take this olive branch that we're all offering
Vik88 is offline  
Old 02-05-2021, 01:08 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
You all make very good points in terms of how I should see my relationship with alcohol. The rationalisation is definitely not normal and even though I don't always physically crave drink it's definitely having an effect on me in negative way.

​​​​​​I've decided im going to take 2 weeks off drinking to see how it effects me and if it changes my anxiety levels and my overall feelings.

Would you guys mind if I post on this thread my day to day feelings while doing this? It will certainly help understand why I think about alcohol this way and it might help someone in the future.

Cheers
Tomsmith316 is offline  
Old 02-05-2021, 01:29 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,602
Good man, Tom - I would give it more than 2 weeks though to really feel a difference. Also, knowing that you have the comfort of drinking again soon probably will make it a bit of an academic exercise - but any opportunity to drink less should not be discouraged so see how you go.
Briansy is offline  
Old 02-05-2021, 04:29 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
biminiblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 24,191
Absolutely keep posting as much as you can.

Two weeks isn't long enough to get out from under this. The first two weeks are pretty miserable, actually. How about a year to spend learning about alcoholism and to learn about yourself without alcohol? It really affected so much for me and I'm still shaking my head over it all at seven years sober.

I started feeling somewhat normal in about three or four months. It took nearly a year for my anxiety to go back to normal levels. I really didn't know how bad it was until I had time to do some healing. At about nine months I realized I was finally at peace in my head. What a great feeling - one I didn't even remember.

I'm happy for you that you are going to stop drinking.
biminiblue is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:03 AM.