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my journey to being just like my mother with no end in sight

Old 08-17-2008, 04:58 PM
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my journey to being just like my mother with no end in sight

Hello Ya'll!!

I had googled health effects of drinking a six pack a day and found this website..hurrah! I am not sober now...tried to stop drinking a couple of times, (the last one in March after spending a week in the local nut house after trying to kill myself....a mixture of alcohol (to get the nerve up) and depression/hormonal imbalance and what the "shrinks" call BiPolar disorder, (man how I hate labels!), but all to no avail. I managed, through sheer will..to stay sober for almost 3 weeks after the hospitalization in March, but I was done in at a "Favrefest" *(only a Packer football fan would know what I am talking about) that was full of happy, beer guzzling fans. I am currently, as I type, on my 3rd beer of the day...feel like crap..and wish I had ANY kind of willpower...but I will not beat myself up here...I drink alone everyday sitting in front of the TV, drinking 4 to 8 beers before bed...yes...a female professional in the medical field, drinking herself to death.....
The fast and furious version of my story..(are we even interested?) I am 41...have been drinking "heavily" since 1999...It began with my drinking on weekends...binge drinking on weekends to be exact, in 1999 when I left the Middle East and met my current husband. I was never a big drinker before that...but had troubles with pain killer abuse after having chronic health problems beginning in 1995....luckily for me, I was unable to tolerate the painkillers after about 4 years of taking them every day and had no choice but to stop in 1998...I traded them for pot.....ANYTHING to stop the physical pain, the mental spinning, (a lifelong problem) and the pot replaced several "legal" meds I had to take to stop pain, nausea and anxiety. because pot is difficult to get, I turned to drink despite my mother being a hard core alcoholic and my child's promise to "never be like her"...I'll skip the journey from drinking on weekends to my current state: I drink NO LESS than 4 beers a day...and will consume until I get physically ill, (I have MANY bowel/stomach issues) and that number is usually 8..then I either fall asleep or puke.....I can only say THANK the GODDESS that I have that weak stomach or I would drink until I passed out. I thought I had a "handle" on my drinking, i.e. I was down to 4 a day..then my 38 year old brother died on July 12th and I was drinking 8 beers a day to "deal with his death"...that was a month ago and I am having troubles stopping at the "harm reduction" number of 4 beers a day. What makes this worse, and I will highlight this: I TAKE A FEW LIVER HARD MEDICATIONS AND HAVE A MYRIAD OF BOWEL/STOMACH ISSUES that make my drinking all the more dangerous.(I take Hormone replacement from a hyster in 2005 and if I am out of weed, will take ambien..no matter the warning on the bottle NOT to mix it with alcohol). I am afraid I am killing myself and more scary, I sometimes don't care....I am sure my brother accidentally killed himself doing the very thing I am doing now, (he died in his sleep and the autopsy report is not back yet...but for sure it was not a heart attack or anything that could be found easily...he TOO was an alcoholic and BiPolar). I have pain every day and in my alcoholic mind, the beer eases the pain....
I AM SCARED TO DEATH I am killing myself slowly, but am powerless to stop this trend. I have spent the last 2 hours on the thread where nobody can seem to get past the 2 weeks sober. This is only the 3rd time I have tried stopping and I am pretty discouraged to read that some people are on their "hundreth attempt" to stop drinking. When I went into the hospital, they denied my request to go into inpatient saying I was NOT an alcoholic, but was "self-medicating" my bipolar...I had NO problems with "bipolar" until I got a hysterectomy in 2005....then my alcohol use DOUBLED...(the doc said I was doing this because I was under medicated and needed more estrogen)...it's almost as if the medical professional is making my excuses FOR me....anyhow, I know this is WAY too long of an introduction and probably boring as heck...but I WANT to stop, on one hand and on the other I WANT to kill myself with this...have even tried the EXTREME binge to try and accomplish this end, but my stomach revolts, thank Jebus, and I have to stop at the 8 beers a day.....I WILL end this long missive with the statement that I DO NOT buy the higher power thing and the few times I went to AA I DESPISED it...not merely hated...but REALLY hated it...and I live in Chicago...most of the people there were black, homeless MALES and I am a young, professional FEMALE...I could not relate AT ALL.....I have an HMO and the doctors of quackery, I mean psychiatry are second rate and really have too many patients to care about my "little" problem.....I mean, I was DENIED the request to go inpatient.....the only times I stop are when I am hospitalized with diverticulitis, (they give you Flagyl which acts JUSt like anabuse) or when I am in inpatient psychiatric care after a suicide attempt....when I was in Salt Lake City Utah 9 years ago, it was easy NOT to drink because of the Mormon restrictions and having to go to a "state" run liquor store...but I live in the 2nd beer capital of the US, Chicago and there are more liquor stores than churches here......
So..this is my story...I have promised my alcoholic husband, (another reason it is hard to quit) that I will try stopping again when he tries to stop smoking in September, (he has emphysema at age 37)...but I am not 100% sure I can do this....as well, that desire to destroy myself has been with me in some form since age 17...I am scared and VERY VERY isolated, (out of choice) I used to be outgoing, talented and open....now I am exactly the opposite...what else can I say?

D- (-_-)
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:40 PM
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Hi Corn,

I didn't get all the way through your post but I wanted to say welcome to SR. The Chronically Under Two Weeks Sober Thread is a really good place to start.

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Old 08-17-2008, 05:43 PM
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Hi and Welcome,

I also turned to alcohol in desperation to self-medicate after years of depression and chronic pain. I was shocked to see how quickly I became an alcoholic and how much denial I was about the situation.

Your comment about your mother hit home too. My mother was an alcoholic and all my life growing up, my intention was to be 'not like her'. Everything I did was to be not like her. Of course, what happened was that I became exactly like her, which was horrifying to me. In hindsight I realized, that in trying to be not like her, I had no idea what I really wanted in my life!

It is really scary, but you can stop drinking and why wait till September? It's my experience that there is always a reason to put it off. I was great at doing that. I'm not an AA person either. I use books and SR and I have found more peace and joy on the road to recovery than I ever believed possible.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:48 PM
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It is going to take YOU to make up your mind that you need to help YOURSELF. No one can do it for you. You have to want it. There are some very supportive people on this site and we are all trying to get sober or clean. Please free to join on us this journey if you are ready. You have to WANT IT.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:54 PM
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Welcome and I am sorry about your brother. Like Anna said why wait? The first thing you must do is stop believing yourself powerless that is a self fulfilling prophecy. Expectations make all the difference. Take the leap, regain your power and take control of the only life you have. Keep posting!
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:56 PM
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Hello cornczech, welcome to SR

Are you an alcoholic?

I’m an alcoholic! Black homeless people, doctors, an abundance of liquor establishments, other alcoholics, or even where I live, doesn’t make me an alcoholic. I just am! Took thirty years of drinking to come to that conclusion but here I am.

So what now?

I don’t buy into the higher power thing but I’m powerless to change this trend. If I’m powerless then where, who or what has the power. As an alcoholic, while drinking alcohol is my higher power.

I need a new higher power…a new solution.

I can start with …… Admitting I’m powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable.

This is the first step of AA as I’m sure you are aware. If you don’t like meetings, I’ve got a step one worksheet with a set of questions you can answer.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-----that principle is contempt before investigation.” Herbert Spencer

Are you an alcoholic?
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:57 PM
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Welcome Corn.

Being a Packer Fan I can understand the Favrefest comment.

I can only tell you what worked for me.. AA .. I didn't have the power to stay sober alone, AA's 12 steps got me to a power that could. I know a few people that could not buy into the whole AA Higher Power thing, and it took one of them sticking a gun in his mouth to find the strength to have an open mind about the possibility of a higher power, and 29 years later he lives happy joyous and free in AA.

I hope you find something that works for you.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:12 PM
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shop around the aa meetings....it does help if you relate and chicago should have a huge variety of meetings. I do AA and don't believe in god in a biblebelt community that is fairly small...but it is going well for me.

And as has been said, look at other options..SR, liturature that helps you, lifering, check out the secular recovery and secular 12 step threads...post here and pm people if you think they have something you can use.

I was trying to put off treatment till I had a vacation from work....didn't work....ended up inpatient for 4 weeks as there just wasn't another way to do it or any time left to wait....

Lots of people here, lots of ways to do it....Glad you are here and alive!
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:53 PM
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I want to add to my post that I have been doing a LOT of reading...I have a book called the "gentle way through the 12 steps", (or something like that). It is a workbook to complete.....I HAVE gone to an outpatient program and I KNOW medically what is in store for me of I continue to drink like this....am I an alcoholic? (I have to say that for some reason, please don't take this wrong, poster of that message, your post made feel a little angry...I don't know why....) You betcha...but I want to reiterate....every time I try to get help...I am told that I am NOT an alcoholic...that I am a "self medicator" and if I would take meds for my (fill in the blank...bipolar, borderline personality...post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety...i have been pegged as all the beforementioned) I would NOT want to drink anymore and all would be well...yet, I KNOW I am an alcoholic...anyhow....
Why wait? Good question.....I even have 5 valium I have been saving JUST for the occasion to get me through the rough first few days....but the compulsion to drink myself into oblivion is just so dang strong.....I tend, as a sober person even...to need to make some kind of plan...we all have done it, but I did it even in my sober days...I need a start date,,,an anniversary of sorts, (hard to explain)....when I stopped being an anorexic...it took a "special" day for me to say to myself..."TODAY, I am going to stop abusing laxatives....." (though, really, I stopped because my health would no longer allow me to starve AND purge...) The narcotic addiction stopped because my digestive system could no longer take the abuse and I would, (and still do), get DEATHLY ill when I take a pain killer! (try recovering from a hysterectomy on Tylenol!!!) As I mentioned, the only reason I don't drink until I pass out is because of my gut.....and my stopping drinking when my husband stops smoking is just a day that I would be more likely to commit to......and how to get past the shakes, the sweats..the anxiety of stopping a chemical addiction without medical supervision? (I am getting collection calls DAILY from being unable to pay for the $400.00 co-pay from my LAST hospitalization!!!! So I cannot afford to go back into the hospital AGAIN!!!!) And also to get past that dang DESIRE I get once and a while, to destroy myself....as I am too chicken to blow a hole in my head during those dark times....(NONE of the medication I HAVE tried works...Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Cymbalata, Lexapro....they all make my mania worse and the possibility of my aggressively hurting someone else goes WAAAAY up!!!)...I may seem like I am making excuses....but this is like being stuck a slot canyon during a flash flood and both my legs are broken, arms are tied behind my back and I am blindfolded.....) I am on this site to try and gather some kind of support...a hard thing to do when you are the type who tends to isolate in that way that terribly untrusting people do......
Anyhow.....I am on my 4th beer and my stomach, (sick from a minor diverticular attack, too much ambien and phenergan to try and sleep through the pain) is balking at all this abuse.....so I am for sure done drinking for the day...(thank jebus, or whatever)......
I, once again, want to stress that as soon as I start to hear ANYTHING that resembles a "higher power"...especially a christian one, (I was beaten by my first husband who was a "Fundie" and this turned me WAY off of religion!) I tend to shut down and not listen to another word....I was SEVERELY beaten, sexually abused and ridiculed all my childhood...and if that higher power couldn't help me then.....I don't think it can help me now...only I, ME...only I can help myself...and I hope to get a little hand under my foot to allow me to get through this...that's where YA'LL come in......and hopefully, I can help others along the way....as long as I don't isolate, yeah?

Peace, ya'll! (-_-)
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:24 PM
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Check out the secular forum for alternative programs to AA and higher powers.

Further, of course you medications for bipolar (or whatever) didn't work, you were drinking while taking them.

We have a small group in mental health called BP town. I would like for you to meet NandM.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by liveweyerd View Post
Check out the secular forum for alternative programs to AA and higher powers.

Further, of course you medications for bipolar (or whatever) didn't work, you were drinking while taking them.

We have a small group in mental health called BP town. I would like for you to meet NandM.
Actually...I did NOT drink while on these meds as I was either a NON drinker when I took them, or in patient when given them...Cymbalta being the last one tried, (wanna talk about a NASTY drug!!!!!!)......I may drink while taking ambien, estradiol, phenergan and testosterone.....even on antibiotics a few months back, (wanna talk about a sick puppy, i was pretty ill doing THAT stupidity!) I really wasn't a drinker when I took most of those anti-depressants....and I will check out that BP area......

So...I am going to try and stop tomorrow...maybe not cold turkey as I am afraid of my health, ( I HAVE had problems with blood pressure going up and down, especially when i am in severe pain)..though I have been mostly a 4 beer a day drinker until July when my Bro died.....

i appreciate the comments and hope that I can have th4e strength to overcome this...my mother is 60 years old and has drank since her mid to late 30's...and she lives with her 83 year old mother....just cannot seem to get her life together...been in and out of mental hospitals and such...i DO NOT WANT THAT LIFE!!!!! and here I am on the road to that place.......sigh
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:37 PM
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"here I am on the road to that place.......sigh"

Take the next exit and get off!

Given you medical history I would check with a doctor regarding detox.

You can do this, you have the ability...we all do.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:52 PM
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I would LOVE to go into detox.... But I already have creditors calling me from my LAST hospital stay.....my nerves cannot take more debt as well as my empty pocketbook...I have managed, through sheer will, ( and an understanding employer), to keep working 3 days a week...(I was pretty unreliable when I worked full time!)....so, to say the least, I don't have enough dinero$$$ for a formal, medically supervised detox....

Thanks for all ya'lls advice!!

D(-_-)
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:19 AM
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Wow, cornszech: you sure do have a full deck of cards when it comes to problems! The first thing that came to mind when I read your post was: "whoa! Hold up there!" I felt like pulling on some virtual reins somewhere!

I can relate to you: I also have life problems coming out of my ears. I won't go into them, but, a lot of your reasoning was and is similar to mine. First off, I attached my sobriety to my husband's behavior. Well, I can't do that. He still drinks. I wanted him to hide/lock up the booze. He did with some, (the hard liquor), he didn't with beer and wine. So, I locked myself up and took antibuse.

But, it's not about him. His drinking is his business. My drinking is my problem. This is BTW an issue I have noticed with a lot of women on SR, and I think it is because we tend to drink at home, not publicly, and therefore we are more sensitive to the presence and use of alcohol at home by others. But, it is an obstacle we have to get past. If I can walk past an aisle in the grocery store where bottles of wine are less than 6 feet away from me, logic follows that I can walk past a bottle of wine in my house 6 feet away from me. There is really not much difference. I can't let proximity be a reason to get drunk.

I was amazed and pleasantly surprised to find that my husband cut his consumption down by about 80% when I quit! You never know what affect your sobriety can have on your partner, so, it is SO worth it to give it a try, to do it on your own and don't wait for him. This is your journey.

There is something that people told me on SR time and time again: make a plan for sobriety. And that is so important: just quitting impulsively is something I've done several times before. It never lasted because I didn't have a plan. That is probably why you have read so many posts by folks here who started and quit over and over again. I see in their posts they haven't made a plan.

You need to analyze why you believe people are telling you "you are not an alcoholic". First of all, no-one is qualified to make that diagnosis anyway. A doctor can tell you he thinks you drink too much, a psychiatrist can say the same thing. But, it is very difficult for anyone to tell you you are an alcoholic. A nurse is not even qualified to make any kind of diagnosis, nor are any med techs you may encounter in the hospital.

Alcoholism is not something they can write in your chart at the edge of the bed and prescribe treatment for. Maybe you want someone to tell you that you are an alcoholic, but I have bad news. I don't think anyone ever will. And, no one can, really. People call it a disease, but it is also a behavior. There is no virus that takes control of your hand and forces you to pour alcohol down your throat. There is only one person who knows if you are an alcoholic. And that is you. Your mirror is where you are going to get that clear diagnosis.

Reading your post gives me the impression you are trying to untangle a ball of yarn. The tangled strings represent all the problems in your life. Why don't you start by separating the "alcohol" string from the rest, and work on fixing that first.

I still have a tangled ball of life's problems myself. But, I wasn't able to work on any of them as long as my life was totally unmanageable due to alcohol. I still haven't solved some of my problems. And, do you have a chair nearby, you might have to sit down to read this: I am also finding out through recovery that I may never be able to solve some of them. I may have to accept them.

One of the things I was also trying to do with that tangle of problems was connect them. I saw my drinking as a result of marriage problems, teen problems, health problems. But, I had to learn that they are not connected. My drinking was a thing unto itself. I still have marriage problems. I still have a wild teen out of control. And a myriad of other problems.

I am an athiest but I still find AA useful. I have problems with some of the steps. But I take what I can use from AA and skip a lot. And, you don't have to choose AA - you are in a large city and I am sure there are non-religious resources for you.
anyway, welcome to SR, please come back and tell us how you are doing!
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:35 AM
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LittleFish-

You message struck in a more personal way than I think i have been struck by anything anybody has ever said to me over the past few years, (maybe my entire life up to this point, I'll get back to ya on that concept...). My mother once, (well actually, she repeated this many times in my life). stated that I was the master of making excuses...that I had an excuse for everything...and perhaps this is so....
I suppose I am just so shocked that I am standing int he middle of this road so quickly and with those issues I've been drowning with my substance abuse, (because really, I think I just like to be numb no matter HOW I get there), growling at me from the sidelines, just chomping at the bit to come right back at my throat....THIS is scary....I just feel overwhelmed at the prospect and those issues are deeply ingrained and serious, (just like everyone on this forum has good darn reasons to have begun drinking)...I worry about my chronic pain, (I cannot take narcotics and am afraid I am too high strung to ever master some of the "gentler" techniques for dealing with chronic pain...I was never able to before when I was trying to treat my pain......) I worry about a million things, really...and that is my problem.....I have been trying to stop the screaming in my head since I was probably 4 years old and have never really learned any positive ones.....and like you had to learn, I also am beginning to realize that I am just going to have to live with a few things.....
SO, don't be too mistaken about thinking that I am trying to make excuses to NOT stop drinking...I KNOW this has to come about...but you hit that nail in the proverbial head when you said I was untangling a ball of yarn, (GREAT analogy). That is EXACTLY what I am doing and I get pretty frustrated when I am looking at a daunting task...like coming in after a tornado and having to clean up all the damage with your bare hands, (and you've already cuts and scars all over them already)....
So a plan is what I need to make.....

Thanks again for everyone's advice and welcome!

D-
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Cornczech View Post
LittleFish-

(because really, I think I just like to be numb no matter HOW I get there), D-

That's the thing - alcohol is the symptom, not the problem. And, maybe that's why you think you're not an alcoholic. I used alcohol to self-medicate too, but I could have chosen something else.

I wouldn't pay too much attention when people tell you that you're not an alcoholic. You know that you have a problem and you're looking for help, and that's all that matters.

I also felt the same you did about chronic pain. I had constant neck and back pain and headaches for years and felt like I had no way out. But, when I finally stopped drinking I WAS able to deal with the pain issues. Today, because there is less stress in my life, I like myself and I exercise more and it's made a huge impact on my pain level. It's very manageable now, most of the time.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:31 AM
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:ghug3I've been trying to stay sober since last December and after many failed attempts am now sober for five weeks. I never thought I could do it, but with the help of AA meetings and this site I have now achieved the longest sober period since I started drinking March of last year.

As far as AA and the whole "higher power" thing, you choose your own higher power. I know someone whose higher power was the ocean. Some choose the collective consiousness of the AA members. Any power greater than yourself.

Whatever you do, don't stop trying to get sober. You can do this! Have faith in yourself and take it one day at a time! It's worked for me!
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:25 AM
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Here's the thing: doctors can only diagnose based on what WE are telling them. You might be wording things so that they will tell you what you want to hear..that you aren't an alcoholic. Only you can say if you are...but kiddo, doesn't it sound like that's the way the cards are being laid out?

Will you die? Yes.

Should you stop? Hell yes.

Should you wait? Are you kidding me? No.

You are an educated, smart person....get your butt further into these forums and do some research in some way to get help. AA doesn't work? Try something else.

However...I had a mental road-block in AA because of the "higher power" stuff. I've found in these forums MANY different versions/interpretations of the higher power...and a lot of them work for me. One person said that "God" to them meant "Group Of Drunks"....that can work for all of us! I'm sure there isn't just one AA group in your area...shop around and find one you feel comfortable in.

You absolutely CAN do this! The thing is, none of us is so unique that we are unable to stop....you just have to want it.

Keep posting...keep reading...things will clear over the next few days as you gain more sober time. And please know that you will only find love, caring, concern, help in these forums. Thinking of you and hoping to read more from you!!!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:59 PM
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Hi again cornczech,

I didn't ask the question, "are you an alcoholic" to anger you. I ask it because it's the most important question.

There are people living under bridges, gripping brown paper bags, who can't admit they are alcoholic and sadly, despite such seemingly low bottoms nothing can be done to help.

Alcoholism is self diagnosed. I'm the only person that can effectively diagnose my alcoholism. You are the only person that can diagnose your alcoholism....effectively.

By effectively I mean; I could be living a life in total disrepair and be confronted continually with people beseeching me to stop drinking and get help, but their pleas would fall on deaf ears. When I admitted I was alcoholic....that was a start.

If you are an alcoholic and admit it, you know it in your soul. Nothing any doctor says has any bearing on that.

If you are an alcoholic go find help. If these doctors won't help you find one that will. You can stop drinking....you really can. People do it all the time in a variety of ways, find your way!

Hope to see you posting on here more...

Peace
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:26 PM
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Hi Cornczech,

You have received a lot of great advice here. In regards to the meetings that you went to that were filled with homeless people, is there an area of Chicago that is more affluent that you might be able to connect more with the group. That being said, hearing peoples stories of the hell they have been through has also helped me a lot.

Look for the similarities not the differences, they are also alcoholics just like you after all is said & done (scary & sobering isn't it?).

You have been a member here since Aug 2008 with just 8 or so posts, its going to take a lot of work & effort to get through this (if not everything you can give). Stay close to SR & find a program that works for you & take transit to the other side of town if you have to so that you can find a group you can relate to.

This is going to take almost everything you have got, are you ready? Time to forget all of the reasons why you drink & start listing off the reasons why to stop & how you are going to do this.

You can do this but you gotta do it!

All of the best in your recovery

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