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High Bottom Functional Drunk

Old 05-26-2008, 04:15 PM
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Unhappy High Bottom Functional Drunk

Hi folks, I'm unfortunately a high bottom functional drunk. By definition I mean that I function normally (employment, financial responsibilities, family responsiblities, don't get abusive when drinking, basically from the outside, you would never know I'm the drunk that I really am. I've had many friends fall all around me from drinking with all the usual consequences of loss of jobs, loss of families, jailtime, DUI's, horrendous legal costs, etc. I know my time will eventually come. I'm having a great deal of difficulty convincing myself to do what I know I must do. With smoking it was easier because it actually began to physically hurt my lungs, head, heart, etc. With the alcohol sure I feel bad the next morning, feel guilty that I was so selfish as to get drunk, feel guilty that I've broken my fellowship with God, spent money I really should not have. But by the afternoon, the bad consequences of the night before have all but faded. I KNOW intellectually that this has to stop, however it's not a heartfelt knowledge. How can I get it out of my head and into my heart. I don't want to be just another statistic, but left to my own devices, I will be. Like actors ask "what's my motivation" besides the obvious. HELP!!!
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:29 PM
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I'm in the exact same boat as you. No one has a clue that I'm a drunk. But a couple days ago, I had a profound revelation, while brushing my teeth of all things. For me, I had to realize that even if no one knew about my condition I was still just coasting through life, and I was giving back very little. I have a lot of things I want and need to accomplish, and drinking is only going to hinder it. It's only been a couple days, but I'm meticulous in taking notes, and I'm seeing improvements in all aspects of life allready. Small things, but they're positives I can carry with me. For example, I was alert when I woke up this morning, as I didn't have to hit the snooze button 80 times just to wake up. If you can, try and find a motivation that works for you, it can be anything. Find several if you can. Those motivations and rewards will go a long way to helping you. One last thing, I find a good workout gives me the same buzz that I got from alcohol. Good luck.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:30 PM
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This was very much me... and because it I thought it was such a big secret before I was able to get myself to AA I had to put it out there to someone I cared about. I had to verbally admit it. I had to give myself an expectation to meet. I told a close friend and my father and asked them to call me on it the next day.

I hope you find your way soon.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:33 PM
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While I do not wish ill on myself, I sometimes think it would be easier to quit if things were worse! I am trying to look at "Why" and at long term implications which affect me.
*Recent research showed increased risk of breast cancer from 2 or more drinks a day which both my mother and grandmother had
*I calculated the financial cost...If I don't drink from today, I can buy a kayak at the end of Sept out of my current wine budget. If I donated my wine budget each month, many dogs would be saved from death. Or many guide dog puppies could be trained!
My current level of drinking goes against all my basic beliefs - importance of health, not wasting money, improving the universe (other than just by recycling my wine bottles!), creating stuff.
Current issue I am trying to resolve is my panic at what to do with the extra hours in the day I get it sober.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:19 PM
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Hi jfreak and welcome,

Try going to some AA meetings and stick around long enough to compare in to the people that share and don't compare out. If you stick around long enough you will hear your own story. Have an open mind and heart....you will not regret it!

Former drunk soccer mom!
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JFREAK View Post
I'm having a great deal of difficulty convincing myself to do what I know I must do.
And what would that be? Admitting that your an alcoholic? or have you made that admission to yourself already?

If your not sure .. This is what the Big Book says at the beginning of Chapter 4

"we hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic"

Hope that Helps..

Wish you all the best
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:47 PM
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It took me several months to get the info from my head to my heart. Don't know why or exactly when that occurred, just that I recently knew in my heart that I could not and did not want to drink any more. It was a revelation like a dimmer switch on a light bulb. The light grew brighter and brighter til I could finally see where I was.

Going to AA has helped me keep my new found sobriety. I don't want to go back to my drinking life. I don't like myself very much sometimes but I don't want to kill myself slowly with alcohol. I want to see my daughter graduate college in four years. I want to wake up aware and well, not sick and pathetic.

I didn't have much to lose when I was drinking, or before I started, but found out that the biggest thing I lost was my self respect. Now I'm trying to get it back. Alcohol will destroy that so I cannot drink. I don't want to put myself and my kids thru that hell anymore.

Last edited by least; 05-26-2008 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:56 PM
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I was the same way. Notice I said, "was."
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:18 PM
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Welcome jfreak,

You sound an awful lot like me. I, too, have been able to "function", until recently. My drinking exacerbated some other problems I have had on and off for a while, and even though intellectually I understood that I am an alcoholic, it took my being scared to death to drive (while sober, not drunk) that I finally started asking for help. Stick around. You have found a great group of folks. You might consider checking out an AA meeting, as suggested above. I wish you well.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:52 PM
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I too am a high bottom functional? (depends on your definition of function...I guess I'm not that functional, since I'm failing my classes - if it were a job I'd be fired) drunk. I guess we have a lot of "yets." I can relate to your post because I too have a hard time justifying quitting since things haven't gotten THAT bad...yet. I think what helps in this situation is to focus not on the drunken side of the situation, but the sober side. Have you managed to stay sober for a few days at a time, and if so, what did you discover? I haven't been able to stay sober for a long period of time yet, but I had 10 days...drank, and now I have 6 days. Those days certain had its ups and downs, but I was also able to make a mental note of little things I appreciated...like not having to wake up nauseous! and being able to pay attention to the details of cool conversations...However, it is important to replace bad experiences with good ones. I tried to quit drinking earlier this year and was unsuccessful because I'd just hide out in my apartment and was basically very miserable, so I eventually drank again. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to being sober if you are still bargaining, but give it some time and see if you can look for little things that affirm your sober existence.

Basically, I suggest making a list of reasons to stay sober. It helps if you can find reasons that work in the favor of things you love. For instance, I love learning...and I realized that staying sober would support this because I eventually noticed that I couldn't hold onto concepts very well while drinking and reading, even though I may have thought they were brilliant during that split second I came across them on the page. Also, I would spend a lot of time bargaining with myself/obsessing over my psychological dependence on alcohol when it was available as a crutch...mental energy that could've applied elsewhere. I still obsess over the first drink, whereas before my concern was how I could fit drinking into my schedule, now my attention is on the problems behind my drinking, which is uncomfortable too for the time being - but now there is the possibility of working on permanent solutions, not just temporary ones. Earlier this year I was in a two-week intensive mask/puppetry workshop, something that I really should've enjoyed, but I wasn't able to because I think I was growing more aware of my drinking problem at the time, but hadn't actually decided to abstain completely...so a lot of the time I felt really down (in terms of my mood, but also physically) because I was either a "dry drunk" or was still using alcohol as a crutch - if not actively drinking, alcohol was still on my mind. I would often chug a couple of beers to "fix my mood" before going to the workshop (which I had actually auditioned for while inebriated - and now I was expected to do stuff sober!)...of course, the beers couldn't last for four hours, and the next day I'd have to repeat it...it was a frustrating way to live. What if alcohol was out of the equation and I was fully present to the experience?
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:31 AM
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When I was a drunk...
I left my God for alcohol.

That gave me an empty soul
and was devestating.

With AA I re connected to God
and now llive in the sunlight of the Spirit.

Welcome to SR...
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:32 AM
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Well I was a funtional drunk, I knew I was an alcoholic for probably 10 years before I quit and stayed quit. The last 5 years I drank every day because I had to, some how I kept my job and did not wind up in jail, but then again I spent my last 5 years drinking in my garage alone.

I had a moment of clarity about a week after I surrendered to alcohol....... I just gave up, threw in the towel, I finally admitted that fighting alcohol was a useless battle so I just decided I would drink when ever I wanted where ever I wanted, even at work if I could get away with it.

My moment of clarity I had while drinking in my garage alone, I saw the next year of my life in fast forward, I would lose my family, next my job, then my truck, then my home... leaving me with my bottle and a slow alcoholic death.

If it had not been for that moment of clarity I am sure I would be living on the street today drunk.

Read the books "Under the Influence" & "Beyond the Influence", they both explain in very easy to understand terms that alcoholism is a progressive disease, as long as one drinks, it always gets worse and never better. God was watching out for me (and those around me) for MANY years, I look back on how often I drave drunk and I am truly amazed I did not get a ton of DUI's instead of the one I got years before I quit. I am amazed I did not wind up in jail for vehicular homicide.

Every ones bottom is different, some of us have a bottom 6 foot under, those of us lucky enough to find out bottom before we die have done so because we decided to quit digging the hole we were digging.

We eventually die from drinnking or we get sick and tired of being sick and tired!

No alcoholic should look down on another alcoholic who did not dig their hole as deep as another.

A bottom for an alcoholic is mental and not physical!

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:17 PM
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Sounds similar to me

Sounds similar to me. Very good career in the US in financial services (stressful though), great family but a newborn and another child with kidney problems (more stress), graduate school (seeing a pattern yet?), loving father but estranged husband (writing my own obituary???). I have every reason to be thankful and NOT a raging drunk yet those 3-4 bottles of wine win me over every night.

The pattern is clear, the response is clear and for some stupid reason I continue to fall into (many) bottles. Hell, I'd settle for "mostly sober" these days instead of bone dry for years, like many of the success stories on this site.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:34 PM
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Drinking equals fun?? Maybe in the beginning before we lose all control and seek out advice and help because our lives have become unmanageable.

We have seen lives destroyed from it. We have seen children taken. We have seen jobs disappear. We have seen houses lost.

Is drinking really fun after the escalation of devastation in one's life? Alcoholism is a progressive disease and unless it is halted it will get you.

To the original op - my motivation was the future.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:12 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you. I'm a college student, I get good grades, I have a job, friends, a loving family, etc. Most of the people I know, even close friends, have no idea that I struggle with alcoholism/addiction. It certainly is hard to motivate myself because I haven't really been burned by it yet. The thing is I've seen many friends continue down the road I'm on and I don't want to end up "bottoming out" and losing everything before I decide to quit. At least for the moment, I've decided to "quit while I'm ahead" and try to avoid ever hitting some of the lows I've seen in others. I'm not sure if it will work in the long run but I've got 9 days sober so far and counting!
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:23 PM
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[QUOTE=Chris1971;1783711]I'm in the exact same boat as you. No one has a clue that I'm a drunk.

I have read this or similar statements here before and I always wonder - really? If you are close to anyone, I bet they know.

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Old 12-15-2009, 11:16 PM
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Perhaps the best thing you can do is listen to THIS very, very closely.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:30 AM
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It's dangerous IMO when alcohol itself doesn't keep you from being productive. It can be hard to rationalize why you want to quit. I think in those cases, being hyper rational about it can help.

For instance, there's really no defense for consistent drinking. It's a money sink; and in the same way the down sides are gone by the afternoon, the 'benefits' are gone in a few hours. As an adult, there's no rationalization for spending money on alcohol regularly.

Another thing that I think recreational drunks have a problem with is what I call the 'Soap Opera Effect'. There are a ton of soap operas and reality shows out there that you've never seen, and don't think twice about. BUT if you watch just a little bit of that show, you won't be able to tear yourself away. You'll be hooked, and probably watch a lot more than is healthy. I feel it's similar to alcohol in some ways. When facing the idea of quitting, you think about all that you'll miss by doing that; but once your life re-focuses around more productive things, you can be confident that you won't miss the drinking.

Your story rang a bell with me, so I hope this does the same for you.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:16 AM
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I was pretty much the definition of a high-functioning alcoholic. The only thing I had on my record was a DUI back in 2003 (my BAC was a whopping .25, I shouldn't have even been able to find my keys)! I never missed a day of work or any family functions, etc. When I finally had a breakdown this past June 22, it stunned my family, friends and co-workers. The biggest thing is, it stunned ME into finally admitting to MYSELF what I had suspected for many years, that I AM and WILL ALWAYS BE an alcoholic. One drink is too much and 1000 are never enough. It took me nearly 30 years to come to this realization, I hope it doesn't take ANYONE else that long. Next week will be 6 months of a much better, saner, sober life. The confounding part of all of this is that I had the key to recovery all along, I just needed that wake-up call to finally use it.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:58 AM
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I used to view an alcoholic as a bum lying in the stoop of a door in an alley. AA made me open my eyes to the fact, alcohol goes from park bench to park place.

I didn't view him as such but, the owner of a Holiday Inn I worked for as a kid more then likely was a alcoholic. I was only 17 at the time. Every time the owner was sitting at the bar where I worked if, I went and sat by him all my drinks were free for the night. We'd close the bar down every time. I loved that guy.

One thing I've learned since I've gotten sober, often times we lower our standards. More about alcoholism pretty much covers it. We switch drinks, swear off for ever with and with a solemn oath taking a trip etc. etc.
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