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Old 12-29-2010, 07:38 AM
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Benders

I have a question about benders. My ex always did this but I never realized there was a name for it until I found this board. As his alcoholism progressed, he drank to excess everyday. Yet he would still occasionally do these "benders." I guess I'm a little confused. Even though he was drinking a ton, I take it he was still drinking even more on a bender? It seemed like a lot of this was tension to hang out with drinking men more than just getting drunker but I'm not sure.

Anyone else care to share?
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:49 AM
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LOL. when I went to al-anon, I described my then husband as a binge-drinker, by which I meant he drank to excess every day, and 24-7 at weekends, passing out multiple times, but during some cycles he would drink even MORE than that, going completely doo-lally: christmas and the summer where particular danger times, every christmas/NYE he would take 2 weeks off and drink solidly, insane amounts that would fell a bull elephant. most summers he would contrive to be jobless/or off work with depression/stress fro about 6 weeks and the same would occur.

I've no idea why the ramp up, my understanding is that with any drug, with continued use, as tolerance develops, you have to ramp up the amounts to get close to the buzz you once got at much lower levels. I guess that could be why? perhaps chasing that elusive buzz.

How are you golden girl? what plans do you have for the rest of the holiday season?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:00 AM
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I'm good JenT thanks. Working from home today, staying in and staying warm. Am currently fighting the struggle not to order a fattening bready domino's pizza because I don't feel like going out, lol. As for the rest of the holidays...I plan to stay in this year for new years. I'm an alcoholic myself and quit and just want to stay out of trouble. Of course I wish I was spending it "with someone" but I plan to just treat myself and relax and maybe next year will be different. How about yourself? Any new year's plans?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:02 AM
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Hugs to you! This life takes us places we never thought we'd be and teaches us concepts we never thought we'd know. I've found myself saying the craziest things that make complete sense to me but make other people around me look at me like I just spoke Martian or something.

The A I've been involved with would drink daily, but at times he would go on a long, 3-4 day drunk that never ended (a bender). He would get incredibly drunk at some point during the day, wake up drunk and start again. Literally never ended. Then after those 3-4 days he would sleep for hours on end, wake up and feel like a complete loser and "keep things under control" for awhile again.

Those endless days of drunkenness exhaust the body, destroy self-worth, and drive everyone around them to complete craziness.

There is a video I posted below of Jeff VanVonderen where he breifly describes the "bender" cycle for both A's and codies. Pretty interesting.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:25 AM
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Oh, I'm staying in, it's not my favorite night out of the year, it always feels a little forced? plus day after my birthday, babysitters impossible, taxis elusive and both expensive, I have an invite to a party where I can take my kids but I sort of can't be bothered, It's hard work socialising with people I don't know and looking after a 7 and 2 year-old in an unfamiliar house, so I've offered to have the host's daughter here for a sleepover (she is friends with my son) so that host can have a lie-in after the festivities and I'll share a leisurely lunch with her on new year's day. NYE evening: take-away and a film I think and then off to bed before midnight hits so I can start 2011 less exhausted than usual!
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:43 AM
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A bender is usually used to describe an extended period of alcohol abuse. Anything more than a single night up to whatever the alcoholic is capable of. Don Birnam, the character in the movie "The Lost Weekend" goes on a 4-day drinking bout. In other words, a bender.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:48 AM
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Yes but the question is if someone is drinking everyday to extreme anyway...can they still be doing benders where they drink even more for days straight and then back to "normal" is getting drunk everyday like they were. If that makes any sense at all, lol. Hard to say.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:46 PM
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I always thought binge drinkers were those that would drink to oblivion non-stop for weeks or months, then have periods of abstaining. Maybe it is the same as a bender?

Either way, it is a horrible way to live and how the RABF abuses alcohol.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
I always thought binge drinkers were those that would drink to oblivion non-stop for weeks or months, then have periods of abstaining.
I think you're right, although a binge is defined here by the government as more than 6 units in one night for women or 8 for men (there are 40 units in a litre of 40% vodka for example); my sense of perspective was just so skewed at that point, that I was prepared to beleive drinking until you passed out every weekend was in some way part of "normal" drinking. it makes me laugh now, but hey ho.

a bender? I've no idea what the definition is, ex could go back to his very heavy levls of drinking after an insane bout, although it was usually a drastic cut on day one after it "finished", back to normal excess on day 3 or 4 and gradually over the years the level of normal excess has increased.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:15 PM
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Another hallmark of benders is they sort of disappear off the face of the planet and just sit around drinking non-stop. Blackouts etc so when they start to come out of it, lots of gaps in memory as to what they did while on a bender The RABF woke up with a broken pinky and a huge bruise on his side but had no recollection how it happened.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:03 PM
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I told a counsellor that the Govt description of a binge, was my ABF's appetiser.

His benders could last 3 months straight, have a sober time of a week or so and, look out here he goes for another 3 months.

Been on program and sober for 13 months now, and I take it one day at a time.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JenT1968 View Post
I've no idea why the ramp up, my understanding is that with any drug, with continued use, as tolerance develops, you have to ramp up the amounts to get close to the buzz you once got at much lower levels. I guess that could be why? perhaps chasing that elusive buzz.
My first couple of benders were the result of trying to chase the "elusive buzz." I still believed I could control my drinking and I thought longer periods of drinking would produce longer moments of enjoyment.

Eventually my benders came out of boredom or disgust with myself. Sometimes I'd drink into oblivion because I wanted to punish myself for being such a "bad" person. Most people would use vacations or holidays as periods to relax, but I saw them as times to drink myself out of whatever mental state I was currently in. I figured that being an alcoholic was my destiny (just as it was my brother's, father's and grandfather's), so I might as well drink as hard as possible and as long as possible to prove my worth.

See how much alcohol ruins a person's thought process!
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:24 PM
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Just to keep it simple, my definition of an alcoholic (I'm one in recovery for several decades) is someone who can't have one or two drinks. When I pick up a drink I can't stop.

Problem drinker with an obsession = an alcoholic
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