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Old 09-25-2009, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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help scare me


Hi all,

A bit uncomfortable sharing for the first time, but think I need some support/input. Although I have suffered no negative repercussions aside from occasional hangover headaches from my alcohol use, I am worried, and have been for some time, about it.

Alcoholism runs in my family. I fear I am in the early stages myself, and feel it would be better to quit now before I find myself in the grip of something far worse and harder to deal with.

My partner is a wonderful man, a recovered alcoholic (many years) who sees no problem with my drinking level (not that I've tried to explain it- I haven't said anything about it to him or anyone.) I function without any problems in my work, at home, with all relationships, etc. I'm quite nice and responsible and all.

Still, for several years now I ALWAYS drink more than I feel is a good amount whenever I do drink. I keep swinging back and forth between overindulging and then quitting. I have no cravings, but perhaps a psychological need to drink every so often. I start thinking, "Oh, wouldn't some wine be nice...haven't had any for 3 days," and then I buy a bottle and drink too much of it in a very civilized way in the evenings. I never have just one glass-- rarely have just two. Mostly I drink the whole bottle, and as a 125 lb. female, I can certainly feel it. I am looking for the buzz, the feeling of obliterating the present, or escaping my mind, without a doubt. If you told me I could just have one glass, I wouldn't bother. Or I'd be afraid I would crave more once I started.

That is really the problem. I don't have the same sort of craving if I don't start, but once I start, I want to keep drinking til I head foggily into bed. Over time, I have repeated and repeated this pattern, and have kept cycling through the too much for 3 days then quit for 3 days then too much then quit for 3 days. When I am out socially, I often don't drink or only have one or two. I can only handle more if I'm at home where I'm just sitting around and not having to do anything.

I need to feel more certain that this is a problem and to be more afraid of what it might progress to. But after a few alcohol-free days, I start to think I was overreacting, and I go get another bottle of wine. So what do you think?
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you sound like me! Drinking two glasses is pointless. I need a bottle plus. I'm worried that I am damaging my body, my liver, my professional and personal abilities. I get hangovers, but I can handle them cause I've had so many. I haven't drank for two days and I feel clear headed and motivated today. I'm sick of constantly worrying that something is wrong with me physically. I convinced myself at one time or another that I have jaundiced eyes, a distended stomach, an aching liver, you name it. I have none of these things, but it is a matter of time that I will. I'm pissed off I have to quit to be blunt. I like my wine at night, pure and simple and I know tonight will be a huge battle to ignore the cravings and abstain. I'll mostly be on this site, reading and posting. I get health insurance on 10/01 and I'll be getting blood work to see if I have any issues. I'm also a gym rat, own a wildly successful company, am a husband, and a wonderful father of two. So its like I"m healthy and successful but obviously something is wrong. Why do I feel the need to numb myself nightly?
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi,

I also drank to numb my feelings, escape from my problems and my life. I had no interest in one glass of wine either. What would be the point? I wanted to tune out. To hide it from my family, I drank at home, alone, never in public. I hid how much I drank from everyone, though as time went on, my husband and kids surely had a good idea what was going on.

My belief is that you know you need/want to stop drinking. The little voice that you hear after a few days of not drinking, is the addict voice. It's manipulating you and wants you to continue to feed it. It doesn't want to lose and as you think about stopping drinking, it will get louder and louder.

Alcoholism is a progessive disease. It will get worse unless you stop.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, here's something scary - I drank just like you once upon a time! That led me to 2 DUI's, lost relationships & humiliation at work, financial ruin, health problems. I tried to moderate many times - always intending to have one or two. It never happened. In the end, I could down a 30 pack of beer or a bottle of 100 proof vodka all by my little self in a day. I was insane and desperate. I came here and found understanding and compassion - and many people with stories just like mine. I wasn't alone anymore.

2many - it's great you had the good sense to come here and discuss your problem.
I wish I had many years ago. Let us know how you're doing.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome!!!

Not gonna try to scare you, IME, I heard all the stories, they didn't scare me, I had scare myself before I stopped. Actually, wasn't scared so much as sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Keep coming back, you'll find a lot of support here.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I dunno if it will scare you but I used to be you

I never ever drank except for the buzz, I regularly drank too much, I worried from time to time but always told myself I was overreacting and continued on

Then I began to lose the functioning part of my 'functional alcoholism' - more embarrassments, more sick days, my reputation shot, relationships damaged....

I began to make friends based on and around drinking and drugs...

I ended up drinking all day everyday because I resolutely refused to believe I had a problem.

2 and a half years ago I stopped the madness...I stopped drinking. SR helped me.

Welcome to ya 2manyBobs
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all. Actually, you DO scare me. I am already afraid. I see I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by avoiding alcohol. Makes me worried just thinking I might be on a slow road downhill and next won't be able to manage my drinking and stay so civilized. I thought alcoholism was quicker to develop, based on other family members' experiences, and the thought of all the physiological changes that might be slowly and silently occurring inside my body and brain over time is pretty terrifying.

I suppose waiting for some really clear sign that there's a problem will only give the disease longer to get worse if I have it. Besides, there won't BE a sign unless I get worse!
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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....Welcome

Here is something I p posted over a year ago
I could update it with 2 more names
However....I hope you will heed the message

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...d-friends.html

Keep posting....many of us are winning over alcohol...
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Unfortunatly, the people who could really scare you are either dead, in an institution, or in jail.

If you want to stop drinking, stop. It's that simple.
If you want to stay stopped, go in a different direction.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi again.....

As you probably know...the type of drinking you are doing
is called ...binge drinking. Many alcoholics begin with
social drinking or binge drinking before drinking causes problems.
I did too.

So...how do we get addicted? This is an interesting read

How We Get Addicted - TIME

Glad you joined us.....
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow an open invitation to tell my story? I can't believe I'm going to pass on this one. You can pm me if you want to hear a ramble. The important thing is to understand alcoholism is progressive. That is to say it is gets progressively worse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyBobs View Post
Besides, there won't BE a sign unless I get worse!
IT WILL, I can promise you that. So think about what that means for a minute. It means an alcoholics best drinking days are ALWAYS behind them. Again this isn't a theory I have, it is a promise from me to you.

I don't know if that is scary or not but it is true.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzSandy View Post
As Dee described, last year I began to lose the 'functional' part of the alcoholism. I'd drink very hard, very fast,

The anxiety attacks and low moods afterward were probably the worst symptoms, and that's what led me to seek help. That and I've also seen how it directly affected others in my life.

As others have said though, it seems to create its own kind of delusion, which I can see now but was very much in the grip of at the time.
what Sandy has said, happens alot to alot of people I to lost the functional part, it got worse and it was getting worse, I also feel before coming here to SR my drinking was hitting the next level on the downward spiral, no i never ended up losing my job, house, family, LIFE, but i was certainly on that track and the next prime candidate to achieve this..... it cant stay functional, it wont stay functional, it WOULDVE only got worse if i kept drinking,,, day 6 so ber and its great............
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Like 2manyBobs I have not suffered any truly serious social repercussions from my alcohol abuse. This is because of pure stupid luck...no DUI's, Wife, Kids, good job. But in the last month I have spoke with two individuals (One Friend, then Someone I met on a plane) and the topic was drinking and things related. Well, come to find out both had lost their Friends to Liver failure...I assume Cirrhosis. That scares me....I am in my mid 40's and have been drinking to some degree or another most of my adult life. I have stopped drinking so many times in the past it is depressing to think about....I usually go for a couple weeks to a few months then start up again. I once again have stopped but this time I decided to seek support.....I have also made a appointment with my Doctor to run Liver Function Test (I am scared what he is going to tell me) and will also tell him of my Alcohol Problem. I am hoping that with Support and Professional Medical guidance
I might have a better chance of long term sucess....I am so happy I have found this Forum.
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi Herman
Welcome to SR - you'll find a lot of support here.

I know it's scary, but you've made a great call going to the Dr - I drank all day every day for over two years and I was lucky enough to have no permanent damage...but I'm glad I stopped when I did and got checked out.

Let us know what happens

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Old 09-26-2009, 01:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 2manyBobs View Post
I suppose waiting for some really clear sign that there's a problem will only give the disease longer to get worse if I have it. Besides, there won't BE a sign unless I get worse!
Hi 2manyBobs,

As drunks we all too often tell ourselves, “I’m not that bad” or “I’ll quit if something terrible ever happens.” Guess what? If you wait for something terrible to happen, it will, and then it may be too late to ever recover from it. You don’t have to wait for a traumatic, life-altering event to take place for you to hit bottom and you don't have to be clinically deemed an alcoholic for it to be a problem.

Anything that gets in the way of you performing your daily responsibilities or creates conditions in your life - that you don't like - is a problem.

Here's a silly example. Let's say I loved playing "Sudoku" and I spent all my time doing it. I am so busy playing sudoku that I don't eat properly, I don't perform my job at work, mow my lawn or show up to non-sudoku events. People would simply say that I am obsessed with sudoku but they wouldn't give me the title “Sudokuholic” or suggest that I go through a 12-step program to stop - but it is still a problem for me.

I could set time limits for myself; "I will only play for two hours tonight," and stop after two hours without it physically affecting my thinking process. Whereas if I said; "I will only drink for two hours tonight..." I wouldn't be able to think as clearly afterwards - providing that I could even stop drinking after two hours.

The difference between alcohol and sudoku, golf, fishing, tennis, etc., is that once alcohol is introduced into the body it physically changes how your brain functions and how your mind interprets signals.

Total abstinence from alcohol is the only way that I can guarantee myself that I will never have problems due to my own drinking. Now sudoku,,, that's another story.

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you probably already do have a problem with alcohol.

Disclaimer: These are my own opinions and I reserve the right to be wrong.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I used to be worried about only the physical effects of drinking. When I finally decided to quit, my physical health was my only concern. But when I did quit, I realized I was causing a lot of damage to myself mentally. I didn't know how to solve problems, I had a short temper, was frequently angry. Or, in the hangover stage, depressed and full of anxiety.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think it all comes down to what you think. Not your partner or anyone else for that matter. Only you know what your reasons are and how you feel about it all.
If you are coming here asking questions. Then you have concerns.
And good ones at that. I am not too sure about the whole alcoholism being hereditary. But I am sure it can influence a person to some degree.
Be glad it is not a physical need yet. My grandfather would be deathly sick without alcohol, even for just one day. White as a ghost, shaking and vomiting until he drank more. I think he got to the point where he really did need it to survive physically.
I think it is great that you want to address this issue before it does get to a point of being more than just a want every now and then.
It is progressive.
You have found a wonderful board here, with lots of info and support.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you again for all you have written. It has been very thought-provoking, and I will continue to read more here. Will also try to keep the issue at the forefront of my mind and not just blow it all off after a few "good" days.

It feels strange: silly and weird to have to "convince" myself that there's a problem when I clearly have been feeling guilty about my drinking patterns. I guess I must keep reminding myself, at this point at least, of how whenever I drink, I ALWAYS drink until fairly highly intoxicated (though I don't show it).My best estimate is that I do this two or three or four times a week. No "that bad", right? Except when I remember how I feel after the first drink or two: bring the stuff on! I really want more and would be disappointed/frustrated if I were out before I got high enough. I don't like feeling that craving.

Right now I don't experience cravings the next day at all-- only when I've actually had drinks. Is that something that changes? Have some of you had the cravings intensify from this point? They just don't seem like a good thing to me. They require effort to control; I feel like I have to fight them. I observe that the more frequently I drink, the more I want to drink and do drink. I haven't kept alcohol in the house because of this: if it's there, I'll drink some every night until it's gone.

Writing all of this stuff down seems therapeutic all by itself. Having to look back at it as I go along will be like being a witness against my own self.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, I can tell you about my abuse, not sure if it is typical. I normally would (I have stopped for now) drink on my days off...if I had four days off in a row it would get progressively worse. By day four I would feel like crap if I did not have a drink in my hand. Then I would stop completely again due to my work....feel horrible for 12-24 hrs..mostly anxiety and guilt. If I refrain from drinking I feel pretty good by day three...however as time goes on I do really start to miss the "High" and the whole thing starts over again. So yes, it may get progressively worst....and I drink to get that "High", I know that about myself. I agree just looking thru the threads at SR and making this post has made me feel a lot better. I really want to get off this "crazy roller-coaster ride".
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