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I hope I won't be linched with this question!!

Old 08-25-2010, 03:17 AM
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Question I hope I won't be linched with this question!!

In discussion with some medical friends the question was asked that if someone has a problem with excessive alchol intake, is it possible for them to regulated their intake, or should they stop completely?

I suppose this has to be a individual thing with many factors coming into play. I know that some folks have an all or nothing approach, there are no grey areas, there is no degree of the disease/addiction. Like you are either pregnant or not...no one can be slightly pregnant!!! However many people say that it is possible to set limits and stick to them.

My little voice is busy! Anyone want to share their thoughts on this?
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:23 AM
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I dont know how many times i have tried to limit my alcohol intake to sensible levels, only to find after the first drink all such thoughts go out of the window, and I ended up blind drunk.

For me it is an all or nothing situation.

I was sober for 3 years and didnt drink at all, then i relapsed and was back as bad as ever. I am just over weeks sober now with a one night relapse and then same thing happend, ended up blind drunk.

I hope I learned from that.

Suzie x
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:30 AM
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Well Charliem in my "OPINION" as a member of AA, I am an alcoholic and I have been from the day i began drinking.... which was around age 7 .... I don't think moderation is possible in the life of an alcoholic. And I don't want anyone to kid themselves of the fact that it takes 'admission' of being and alcoholic to be and alcoholic. It is a disease that has 'symptoms' and these symptoms are often very obvious. I hear stories in AA of people who tried, and I myself have tried, to drink moderately. Often the promises goes something like this. Well I will only drink at social events (parties) and that turns gradually into , well i'll just drink on weekends (party or not) which then turns into, well I'm just gonna drink when ever I want, I can control this thing. I LOL and ROLL, literally ROLL on the floor when I hear this. Because I said those very things, and it was NOT, at all, possible for me. Or anyone else I've talked to that is rigorously honest in their life. But this is only my OPINION. It may be possible, and yet it may lead to a life of binge drinking 'on occasion'.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:37 AM
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Someone on here a while ago said, 'if you could control it, you wouldnt have to try to in the first place'

Made a lot of sense to me!
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:48 AM
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Most of us tried to moderate before we learned time after time that it didn't work. The only way for us to have any sanity at all was to stop completely. For myself, I tried a tapering schedule with my substance, and it never worked for long. But I tried it for months before I came to the conclusion that I went to a 12-step fellowship and learned about abstinence.

Love,
KJ
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:59 AM
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totally agree, very similar the the old story about someone asking if they are an alcoholic... if you are asking then there is a good chance you are, because 'normal' people would never ask that question. Just some food for thought with the stories I've heard and the life I've experienced.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:59 AM
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I am not an alcoholic but married to one and my book of choice this week is the AA Big Blue Book. From what I am reading alcoholism stems from the first drink when a true alcoholic is unable to stop or control himself further. Many alcoholics can control their drinking for periods of time for example when they have made promises not to or tell themselves that they will only drink at the weekends and it takes an extreme amount of effort not to drink, so much effort it seems that they cant keep it up for very long.

I personally gave up smoking about 20 years ago, to begin with I tried a couple of times whereby I would 'give in' to my craving and smoke one this would lead to 2 and before I knew it I would be back on 20 a day. After I gave up the final time, it took about 2 years for the cravings to wear off and then I just used to remind myself that one would lead to two etc, so better not to have the one to start with. I am guessing (not being an alcoholic) that this is similar to the cravings for alcohol only with much more messy head stuff thrown in too.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:03 AM
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I have never known an alcoholic, or even a "heavy drinker", that was able to moderate their drinking in every instance or forever. My ex-husband is a prime example of what ends up happening... eventually even the occasional binges turn into weekly binges and resulting nastiness. He's lost one wife, 2 children, and one nice car to alcohol but still denies he has a drinking problem....after 20 years of "moderation".
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:42 AM
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If someone is able to moderate their drinking would they be an alcoholic?

No. They would be someone who can drink responsibily and in moderation.

I think the two are clearly night and day. No in between.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:08 AM
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My AH was in AA for about 20 years (m)

and started "testing the waters" so to speak. He had several dui's lost his license, earned it back by going through the program and recovering. Three of the guys who stood up in our wedding 13 years ago were AA members, one was his sponsor. Apparently my AH has been testing the waters for a while, stopping for a few, I naively didn't conclude he was drinking at all since hey he's been in AA successfully for so long. I think the Alcoholic who wants to "try" to moderate does not do so successfully. My AH in his testing of just a few turned out to be more and more frequent, didn't come home a few nights (slept in his car), had a one car accident. Then I KNEW, approached him asked him to go back to AA, he went through the motions, I told him if he was an active alcoholic he is at risk of losing his family life, his home, his boat, his truck, his children would have supervised visits. Yep, he's the kindest most big hearted person I've ever met, but soon after the accident despite everything he "said" to me, he stopped for a few 13 days ago, which was even more devastating to me because here I thought he had hit his "new" rock bottom a few months ago while driving his truck into our subdivision, without a tire, after hitting a guard rail, and having four state troopers at our front door. So, I'm sorry to say that moderation for an alcoholic, in my own experience, isn't a success story. No flames at all for asking your question, it is a valid question, and I'm BRAND NEW to this site, so I just wanted to share my story. My very best wishes to you.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Charliem View Post
In discussion with some medical friends the question was asked that if someone has a problem with excessive alchol intake, is it possible for them to regulated their intake, or should they stop completely?

I suppose this has to be a individual thing with many factors coming into play. I know that some folks have an all or nothing approach, there are no grey areas, there is no degree of the disease/addiction. Like you are either pregnant or not...no one can be slightly pregnant!!! However many people say that it is possible to set limits and stick to them.

My little voice is busy! Anyone want to share their thoughts on this?
Hi Charlie, and welcome. The only dumb questions are those not asked.

AA literature describes alcoholism as an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind. The alcoholic process the substance maladptively, and the biochemical reaction is that one drink calls for another....loss of control. The obsession to drink is what, despite our track record, convinces us that THIS time it'll be different.

I was addicted to alcohol. I don't believe I had "the allergy," but I certainly became alcohol dependent...just as addicts become drug dependent. Booze was my solution...my get out of pain free card. When I didn't drink I felt miserable, and I was unable to stop until I felt even more miserable when I did drink. Even then, the obsession drove me to continue to try it over and over again for several years....always unsuccessfully in the long run.

In the short run, the worst thing i was able to do was have one drink successfully, which set off that insane voice in my head that could now claim I wasn't an alcoholic, and could drink in safety. Turned out that the only real difference is it took me longer to completely lose control. Instead of shutting the bar down after my first drink, it took me several weeks of ever escalating drinking to return to that total loss of control.

And alcoholics are notorious for being able to stop completely, often for long periods of time: because the trigger is that first drink. So the solution is IMO total abstinence.

I had to find something else I could use to feel good (we often turn to things like food, work, relationships, sex, pornography, gambling, etc). I finally turned to AA, which provided me with a roadmap to a spiritual awakening and the abililty to feel very good indeed....without depending on outside substances or processes.

I often wonder how I ever had a doubt whether or not I should cease putting toxic substances into my body. Self destruction is IMO a pretty good indication of insanity.

blessings
zenbear
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:26 AM
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Hi There

I know people who can moderate, but IMO I think they still have an issue with alcohol.

A woman I know loves her wine, drinks every night a couple of glass, whatever that equates to idk. Buzzed probably every night. On time for work every morning.

A older gentleman who goes to the bar drink with a group of friends most days, drinks from 2pm - 5 pm, never makes trouble or misses a grandson baseball game.

My mother drank at night, got a buzz i guess, never passed out, respectable corporate job, was quiet and stayed under the wire.

They are not abusive - they function well, but still NEED the alcohol for some reason.

My RAH could not control any aspect of it.

But I think the difference is they have never progressed beyond where they are now. They are able, for whatever reason, to maintain their habit without it negatively affecting their lives or other people's lives (enough so it goes unnotice)

From my mother's point of view - I think it was shame and embarrassment that keep it "under control"

just my opinion
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:09 AM
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I love these discussions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have heard it said this way . . .

"The man (or woman) takes a drink and the drink takes the man (or woman)."

For me - alcohol or drugs holds no attraction but for those who qualified me for this program - the alcohol/drug not only was a physical craving but it also became an obsession of the mind.

They may would abstain for a brief period of time but the thought of it still controlled their every waking moment. I have heard many other AA members share similiar stories.

"One is too many and a thousand is never enough" is another line quoted in many AA meetings ~

So how controlled are you maybe you're not drinking but your life and mind is still unmanagable? Are you Happy, Joyous and Free?

Just sharing what I have heard from fellow trudgers walking their path of recovery -

PINK HUGS,
Rita
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrrisT View Post
They are able, for whatever reason, to maintain their habit without it negatively affecting their lives or other people's lives (enough so it goes unnotice)
That's my father-in-law who we've coined a quiet alcoholic - doesn't affect daily life (per se) but there is always wine or beer with dinner and a hard drink or 2 nightly before bed. I agree, may not be an issue but they seem to still need it.

My AH's problem crept up on us - after university partying died down, his drinking didn't. For a long time I thought he just had trouble adjusting to growing up - pairing off, getting married. He finally went to AA (for a little while) after trying treatment to control his intake and it didn't work. He's been sober just over a year and then started to drink socially at his baseball games this summer. He tried very hard to keep it sociable and unfortunately the slope got more and more slippery. I posted here too at that time - maybe he had just been a problem drinker - he himself told me that back then he was immature, had learned a lot this past year and wouldn't want it to go back to where it was. And, it was a failed experiment. He simply could not control it after he'd had the first taste. Early in the relapse he thought he could handle it said to me that he was ok with stopping when he knew there was more in the cooler. About a week or so later he told me that he actually felt anxiety when he knew the booze was running out. Well that says everything. It downward spiraled very fast despite his best efforts and intentions, and has voluntarily returned to AA after a particularly bad weekend.

I guess there are people out there who use alcohol to soothe or escape more than others but maybe the difference is that they could still control it if they wanted to. In any realm there is a continuum. Some of us eat more than others, some gamble more, some less. So some may drink more than others. The addict is the one who cannot control it and if you fall in that category, abstinence is likely the only solution.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:36 AM
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a good friend was in town last week, he came to see me.
I've not seen him in years because he became out of control. (drugs, drinking and cheating on his wife and kids).
Morally, I was cleaning up my life and he had to go

I thought about him so much in the last few months and 2 months ago, he just showed up at my work. I had to see him because he is now a supplier of my company.
I knew something was different.
We went out to dinner last week and spent 5 yrs talking.
His wife left him 18 months ago, took his kids and he's not seen them since. He tried to OD on rx meds and was in the hosp for 3 weeks close to death.
A nurse told him to find Jesus (I'm not religious by the way), so he went to church and found a shop near his home that sells spiritual things. The women who run the store started to talk/counsel him.
He went to a mass where the priest blessed everyone, one by one and this priest touched my friends hands and my friend fell to the ground and lost awareness for 5 secs. He got up from the floor and he was stunned. (this guy was a wealthy biker type who didn't believe in any God) and said to the priest "What just happened"
The priest replied "You've just been blessed by the holy ghost"
I got chills....

He stopped all drugs and can have wine only once and a while now.
Will this last? Maybe, as long as he continues in church (his AA).

Moral of my story, I'm not sure I believe addictions are a disease per say, but more a breakdown of the ego and soul. Two HUGE factors to balance out.
I think if the soul/spirit is balanced, there is no reason to live in excess.
Of course, this is just a theory but it worked for my friend.

I used to tell my ex he could get to the point of one drink, but he never felt he could. And I believe that, I think had he found his spirit, he could have, But it's rare when people reach zen like this, but possible
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:22 PM
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I've been around people working or "dabbling" in recovery for a long time. In that time, I have encountered only a handful of people (three or four) who were concerned enough about their drinking to have to "do something about it" who were able to achieve successful moderate drinking habits.

Someone who is alcoholic has a physical problem, as well as a mental and spiritual problem. We no longer process alcohol the same way other people do--as soon as we drink, we find it extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to put the brakes on. I was able, with some difficulty, to control my drinking for brief periods of time. But I was always itching for more, and unhappy if I couldn't have it. I didn't feel physically, mentally, or emotionally "OK" unless I was drinking.

Once I was able to stop drinking ENTIRELY, and accepted the fact that I CANNOT drink safely, it no longer troubled me. But if I were to have a drink now, I believe it would "wake up" my now-sleeping addiction, and I would be right back into the vicious cycle of struggling to control it--unhappy whether I was drinking or not.

Most of us, though, have had to struggle with trying to control it before we are ready to give up. And giving up is the only way you "beat" the addiction. It's counterintuitive. But whenever I hear newcomers talk about their "struggles" and their "victories" I kind of inwardly cringe, because I think they still see it as something they need to battle every day. Which is NOT how I want to live.

Charlie, I think you have to be very careful to keep the focus on yourself in this relationship. While it's good to understand all you can about alcoholism, it's very easy to fall into "coaching" the alcoholic about how to deal with her disease. If she wants help and support, the best thing you can do is point her in the direction of AA, and let the folks in that program explain the facts of life to her. Only another alcoholic really understands what she is dealing with.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:44 PM
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Nope. When full blown addiction is in place, there is no such thing as moderate anything.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:13 PM
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Lexiecat, what you have replied is what I know down deep inside. I find it hard to separate wishful thinking from positive thought. and you are so right about the " coaching " story. oh for a magic make it a right wand!
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:38 PM
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Moderation | Define Moderation at Dictionary.com

mod·er·a·tion
–noun
1. the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.
2. the act of moderating.
3. moderations, British . the first public examinations at Oxford University for the B.A. degree in mathematics or in classics.
—Idiom
4. in moderation, without excess; moderately; temperately: to drink in moderation.

Thought I would just throw the definition out there. I beleive any addict/non-addict would create what their level of moderation is. However, if the drinking gets to a level of creating chaos and destruction and damage to health then it's done in excess which is addiction. Also, if you have to rationalize your drinking...then it's addiction.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrrisT View Post
I know people who can moderate, but IMO I think they still have an issue with alcohol.

A woman I know loves her wine, drinks every night a couple of glass, whatever that equates to idk. Buzzed probably every night. On time for work every morning.

A older gentleman who goes to the bar drink with a group of friends most days, drinks from 2pm - 5 pm, never makes trouble or misses a grandson baseball game.

My mother drank at night, got a buzz i guess, never passed out, respectable corporate job, was quiet and stayed under the wire.

They are not abusive - they function well, but still NEED the alcohol for some reason.
This is what I would classify as functional alcoholics. They still "need" the substance to function. If it's only for a block of time, the substance suppresses an emotion, feeling, etc. and helps them to cope. This is also addiction. A person who drinks in moderation will not "need" the substance for anything but just for the pure enjoyment of it. They can go days, weeks or months without having the "need" to drink.
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