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Old 09-23-2009, 12:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Initial First Steps. Where do I start?


Dear All

I dont want to write a sympathy story here so I will keep it short. I have be a silent member of this forum for nearly 2 months now and love to read about the sucess stories I see and learn from some of the "relapses" some people have.

I am 33 years old and have been drinking Beer heavily now for about 13 years. Last year at my worst, I was drinking about 10-12 pints a night. I have been slowly cutting down and apart from teh occasional excessive weekend I am currently averaging 5-6 pints a day.

My issue is I realise how this habit is effecting my work, marriage, health and finances but cant quite get the motivation to stamp it out completly. I dont want to wait until something dramatic happens such as an accident when Drinking and driving but it is such a part of my life that I dont see how I would live without. My pleasure in life is a weeekend down teh beach with my wife and dog and a few afternoon beers watching the people go by.

It is the unbreakable weekday habit that I resent so much. Without trying to cop out before I even start, is it possible to become a social drinker again after being an Alcoholic or is it T-Total all the way for the rest of my life.

If it is the later, I am unsure how to start convincing myself that this is a must and hence start doing something about it. For the past few years I have been suffering from bad stress, anxiety and panic attacks which I know and understand are largly alcohol induced, but as soon as I have a beer, all my problems seem to float away and I can actually relax.

A couple of weeks ago after reading many threads on this site I decided to wean myself off the alcohol by limiting myself to 3 pints. I had terrible insomnia and averaged only about 1 hour sleep aday. After 4 days I could not take it any more and had to revert to my old ways.

Guess what I am selfishly lookign for is teh best of both worlds where I can drink at the weekends and be sober during the week.

Is this possible? Does anyone have any experience in refroming themselves to be a scoial drinker?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Good luck to all you people out there. Wish you well with your own personnal battles.

Take care
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Scotslad

Welcome to SR

Quote:
Is this possible? Does anyone have any experience in refroming themselves to be a scoial drinker?
I think, if it were possible, we'd all have done it.
All I know is I tried and failed.

I do urge you to see a doctor tho as a first step - medical supervision is so important - you may find with medical help that you have a far better and safer run at sobriety.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey scotslad... We have all been there. Wishing we could still have the booze without all the problems. However if it is causing issues such as panic attacks, insomnia etc... I can only speak from my experience but it is to late to moderate. If when you begin you have little control over your drinking, or you find when you honestly want to you can not stop completely--its quiet likely you have a problem. Of course no one can tell you your an alcoholic... its something many of us had to realize for ourselves.
However that being said, many of us do learn to live with this illness by not drinking. I am a member of AA. I see you live in singapore. I've got 4 months clean... are interested in sobriety I would encourage you to check it out. PM me with any questions... weather or not your ready to come to a meeting
Have a good day man...
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR scotslad, I can only speak firmly for me, but I tried to moderat/control my drinking for many years and the only thing it led to was me becoming, physically, mentally, & spiritually addicted to alcohol. Life for me was hell trying to control my drinking, for me life is far easier not drinking at all then trying to control the beast within.

As Dee said:

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I think, if it were possible, we'd all have done it.
All I know is I tried and failed.
If you decide it is time to quit see a doctor first and be HONEST.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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yep i second everyone else ive tried and tried to moderate and that picture you paint about down the beach with beer, sounds great, but personally I know it could never stop like that for me, I would keep going and going and going till i wouldnt remember anything or id be a complete bitch to everyone in my family,, then wake up with the huge anxiety swings and everyone hating me. I had to let go of that dream.................
because thats all was to me was a dream..................
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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tried that... unfortunately, after the first week-end, I drank on Monday, and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday...
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I could not re-become a social drinker.

But I also couldn't grasp the thought of never drinking again.

So... JUST FOR TODAY I am not drinking.

I've been saying that for over 5,475 days now... and it works for me!
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Alcoholics cannot become social drinkers.

Once the invisible line is crossed, there is no going back.

I began to use alcohol to self-medicate anxiety and depression too. I had to get my depression under control with antidepressants before I could begin to recover.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by scotslad View Post
Is this possible? Does anyone have any experience in refroming themselves to be a scoial drinker?
The only experience I have with this is utter failure. I'm an alcoholic like described in AA's Big Book. I've also never really seen other alcoholics of that description pull off normal drinking. The book talks quite a bit about that as 'the great obsession of every abnormal drinker is that one day he will control his drinking,' or something like that.

I have seen people pull off a little drinking here and there for a while. And then I see them get thumped hard after a time, crawling back into the rooms of AA for another round of experimentation.

So the real question is, are you an alcoholic like decribed in that book?
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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to SoberRecovery scotslad.

Once I was addicted to alcohol I remained that way until I started addiction treatment. In active addiction my life fell apart. Everything near and dear to me took a back seat to my addiction. Breaking the compulsion to drink isn't easy by no means. Yet it was possible for me. I had to act my way into recovery. I first started with changing my behavior and then worked a treatment program that encouraged my new behavior. No matter what recovery is possible. Here's hoping that you start your journey into recovery.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Is this possible? Does anyone have any experience in refroming themselves to be a scoial drinker?
Welcome!!!

For me, no, and I don't know anyone on a personal level that has.

At one time, I managed to convince myself that my problem was the fact that I had never learned how to be a social drinker, and I was going to learn how. It ended up like every story about every other alcoholic that decided to give it another try.

Keep coming back, you'll find a lot of support here.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catch-22 View Post
tried that... unfortunately, after the first week-end, I drank on Monday, and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday...
LOL, sorry i know thats not funny but thats exactly how it was for me to,, i just love the way you put it.....
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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LOL, sorry i know thats not funny but thats exactly how it was for me to,, i just love the way you put it.....
that's ok... it was meant to be funny...
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I join my voice to you cannot become again the social drinker you once were. I made rules for my drinking for years, and every single time I broke them. So I made new rules, same thing. You cannot recover from your inability to handle alcohol, but you can recover your life, I believe.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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One would think a daily hangover would be enough to stop. The very fact that most of us wake up that way when drinking should illustrate what we are dealing with here. We drink poison that makes us sick just for the buzz, full and well knowing what is coming the next day. How sick is that?
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Gotta give Dee a gold star for his post.

Recovery programs wouldn't exist if it was that simple.

I became a social drinker again.. for a week. Then I drank myself almost to my death after that.

Welcome!
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Scotslad, welcome. I too tried and failed to moderate. I remember thinking no matter what it took, I couldn't give it up entirely. I bargained with myself - just weekends, just special occasions or holidays, just on vacation. It never, ever worked - not once. As soon as that first drink hits us, all bets are off - our best intentions are out the window. I spent years trying to manage it and almost lost my life in the process. I'm glad you asked the question - I hope it helps. I'm sure it's not what you hoped to hear, though. The good news is - you're only 33 & have already seen what needs to happen - I went on into my 50's still stumbling along trying to figure it out.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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hello scotslad and welcome to sr.same story here,tried and tried for years to drink and behave like normal drinkers,and the harder i tried the harder i fell.i suffered from this mental obsession for 20 odd years.i cannot drink in safety ever.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Great question about returning to social drinking.

Me - I never was a social drinker, I was a drunk, so I have nothing to return to.

If I want to control it, I can't enjoy it. If I want to enjoy it, I can't control it.

Moderation for an alcoholic is pure torture. Why torture yourself? Ask someone with an overeating disorder if they enjoy moderation. I imagine their answer would be, "F**k no! I would rather be eating 6 Quizno's and a carton of ice cream right now."

We all need to eat, drink water, breathe, poop and sleep to stay alive. But even too much of any of those things can be detrimental to your health. You don't need alcohol to stay alive.

Total abstinence from alcohol is the only way I can guarantee that I won't ever have a drinking problem again.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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