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Old 10-03-2009, 11:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do I have problems? I dont know what to think...


I don't really know if I have a major problem, although I think by coming on this site I have recognized that I have a few issues.

I began drinking at 16 with my friends we would go out on Friday nights, every week and get 'wrecked', we all did it, more often than not to the point where we would be sick, and wake up with a very bad head, it was just what everyone did and to be honest I never really thought anything of it. This weekly binge session continued until I was around 18 when things progressively got worse.

I went to university and gradually I just drank more and more, It got to the point where I was known socially for being 'the guy who was always wasted on nights out' and this was only in first year, it provided me with a social platform, but I would more often than not wake up with severe amnesia, very often not remembering a thing past 9pm the previous night, I would then suffer the anxiety of flashbacks about the things id done. A classic example of how bad I used to get was when I had no recollection of a 'foam party' id attended the previous night, and was convinced I never went to, photos proved me wrong.

This lasted for about 2 years, going out 3 or 4 times a week and drinking till I dropped, think 10 pints plus bottles plus shots plus mixers, I was a mess but at the time I loved every minute. I left university to study from home to get away from these nights, I would still go out getting in the same state but only 1 or 2 times a week. Just for the record I never drink at home at all, only when Im out.

To cut a very long story short I drank like this from 16 - 21 pretty much every week, I got arrested once for being so drunk, got in various fights, broke up with my gf after several drunken arguments between us, I basically decided I was a mess so New years eve 2008 I had one last session and didn't touch a drop of alcohol again ....that was until 3 weeks ago when I just got the urge on a night out, then in 3 hours I drank about 6 pints and got wrecked, 9 months of being off it and I cracked. I've been drunk to the point of forgetting things twice more since that night.

It scares me because unlike my friends, when I start drinking I just CANNOT STOP no matter what, its all or nothing. Im a very depressed person and take medication for it, I have been told by doctors that I have a very addictive personality, problems also with gambling. I went out last night and got drunk once more, Im now sat here feeling ill. Any Advice?

Thanks for taking time to read x
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Allstar,

Welcome!

If you start drinking and you can't stop, then you have a problem. It sounds like alcohol is causing problems in your life. Alcohol is a depressant, and if you are already depressed, the alcohol will make it worse and it can diminish the effectiveness of your medication. When you stopped drinking for 9 months, what other changes did you make in your life? I believe that drinking is a symptom of the problems we have in our lives and it's after stopping drinking that the hard work begins.

I hope you take a look around and read and learn.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome allstar! I was an all-or-nothing drinker too. Like, what would be the point of just having one glass of wine with dinner? That attitude says it all. That says that we drink to get drunk. To be oblivious & numb. I never thought of it that way in the beginning of my drinking career, but it was always true.

I'm sure you've heard, "alcoholism is a progressive disease". Even if you've quit for awhile, the next time you pick up you return to where you left off - you don't have a clean slate to work with. I was once sober for 3 yrs. and when I picked up again I crashed & burned at a terrifying pace. I got DUI's & did terribly destructive things I never did in my younger years. I simply can't handle it or control it, ever again.

I would say based on your description of your drinking pattern that it's very dangerous for you to continue on this path. There's probably no going back to any sort of normal drinking. For me, it was just easier to eliminate it from my life all together, rather than playing with it. In the end, it was no fun anymore - and eventually turned into a living hell. I wouldn't want to see you reach that point, and you never have to. It's great you found your way here - please keep reading & posting.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, Your from England I take it?!!! You sound much like I was, apart from I always drank at home alone as well as when out. I too started getting wrecked weekly from 16 and understand what your talking about. My drinking binges progressed into days where I would drink as soon as I awoke to get rid of the hangover and get back on it. You sound like you havn't been introduced to that "stage" yet.

I am nearly 90 days sober and now and I am 23. I too went to University at 18 and was known for getting wasted whenever I was out and about. I suffered from depression also and I used to self-medicate by getting wrecked.

I am an alcoholic. You need to seriously think about whether you too are an alcoholic. Only then will you be able to make the decision which will 100% determine the future life that you lead. For me I was an all or nothing drinker. There is only one level I want to reach when I take that first drink and that is 'oblivion'. It is true that alcoholism is progressive; it will get worse and take everything that you have. You sound like you are still fairly early in the progression so you can stop it now before it takes everything from you. And it will.

For me total abstinance from alcohol is the only way. Many on SR will also agree with me on this. If you are an alcoholic then you will never be able to drink like everybody else. Your story reminds me alot of my own.


All the best, Peace and Love xx
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey all thanks so much for the fast replies! It always fills me with happiness when people are so eager to offer their help, its much appreciated. Yeah NEOMARXIST I am from England. I sometimes think that our culture is part of the problem, it seems almost compulsory to go out and get smashed to fit in with a young persons society. I am definitely all or nothing, I dont think ive ever had a steady drink in my life. Thinking about it, a few friends and I would often arrange a 'session' where we aim to get wasted, the difference being that for them it was a choice, I would end up wasted regardless. I have often thought I could be a sort of alcoholic. Apart from my obvious heavy drinking, I often get aggressive or offensive towards friends or bar staff when they stop serving or we have to go home, I get all moody and depressed, this doesn't happen to anyone else. It would also not be unusual to see me wandering around with 2 or 3 drinks in my hand or ordering a few at a time. These things make me think that I have a problem. To sum me up I don't ever really 'crave' a drink. Its only a problem once I choose to have drink, then I need more and more. Theres no doubt I enjoy it at the time, im full of confidence to approach anyone, and always have a far better night when I am drunk. Its very confusing knowing what to do as I am normally quiet and fairly shy, so the drink loosens me right up.

Ill be putting a lot of thought into what I need to be doing.
Thanks very much once again X
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I could have written that myself allstar87. Certainly that's how I was a couple of years ago. I too was a binge drinker as are many people in the UK, only I could always drink way more than most others and I too would be seen with many drinks in my hand and that feeling of depression and narkiness when the bar closed and we had to go, I never wanted it to end. I usually had some cans back at home to "look forward to" when walking home and I would usually never remember drinking them but would just see the empty cans next to my bed when I woke up the next morning.

I too used to blame the "binge drinking culture" of the UK but then i stopped blaming anything or anyone else and realised that I was very different to others when it came to drink. I would take drink over anything or anyone. I too never craved a drink untill I took the first one but I would fantasise/look forward to my next "session". I only ever drank to get drunk and I couldn't see the point in merely having a few; whats the point of that?

Like I say drinking will take over your mind. I never became physically dependant on booze but I could see how I would have progressed to that level. I was only drinking alone towards the last few years as it was just easier as I never had to worry about what I may say/do around bouncers/police etc. I would just rather get wasted on my own so I didn't have to worry about anybody else but myself.

I had many stints at sobriety only to not be able to see how I wasn't gonna be able to have my "sessions" to look forward to. I finally hit my rock bottom and hit my "moment of clarity" where I knew I had to finally surrender or face a life of prison, institutions or death. I am glad I don't have to worry about the craziness of what I may do during balckouts anymore and sobriety is hard work but it is undoubtably worth it in the long run. You will never find true happiness in the bottom of a can of lager, I tried it many times and "had it" only for it to fade away to be chased hopelessly and selfishly.

I am gratefull to be sober and as long as it stays that way then i am doing allright.

One piece of advice goes "those that think that they have a problem usually do" Just something to bear in mind. Like I said before if you are alcoholic then it will only get worse and never better.

Maybe try checking out some AA meetings. It was a real sign to me that I was taking my sobriety serious when I put my backside on that chair for the first time and realised I was very similar to many of the people sitting in the AA meetings. You sound similar too from what you've written but like I say only you can decide if you're an alcoholic or not. I used to refer to myself as anything but an alcoholic but it was liberating TBH once I finally and truly admitted what I was...

peace and Love
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi allstar

I think if you can't stop once you start - yes it's a problem.

I had the same problem - I tried every way known to try and drink 'normally' - I never managed it in 20 years.

The only way I successfully dealt with the problem was by not drinking at all.

Thats a big ask - especially looking at it from where you are - but you'll find a lot of support here - you're not alone

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Old 10-03-2009, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi allstar. To me it sounds like you have a problem. If you want expert advice, find a treatment center near you and have an evaluation done...they are usually free. It is my belief that if YOU think that YOU have a problem, then you'll be ready to accept help and not before that. It doesn't matter if it's thru inpatient, outpatient, or thru AA. You have to KNOW you have a problem before you can get better.

One thing I've heard many say, as a test for yourself, go into a bar, have just one drink and see if you can stop and walk out of there. I never tried this, but I've heard many people say that it was their wake up call. I hope you find your answers that you are looking for. I recommend doing lots and lots of reading here on SR and see if you can relate to people...it can be weird reading your life story that someone else has written.

Good luck! :ghug3
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You've come to a great place to start!
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wecome allstar, this is a great place to come for help, or just to try and figure out if you are an alcoholic. Your story sounds very similar to mine (and I'm sure to many, many others), I've binged for 25 + years (I just turned 43), and as ridiculous as it sounds I still wonder if I am an alcoholic...how crazy is that??? All I know right now is I enjoy being sober. I enjoy waking up Saturday morning without a hangover, I enjoy being able to think about other things besides how ****** I feel or how I am going to make it through work on Monday. Read as much as you can and learn all you can about alcoholism...only you can decide what is right for you...but you can learn a lot from those that have gone through it and are living successful sober lives. Good luck!! Oh, and NEOMARXIST great posts...I really resonated with them and found them very beneficial, thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Of course. your drinking did cause you problems.

I know you did not have hangovers or blackouts
when you were sober. Probably not arrested or
getting into fights or being nasty to others.

Is there any reason to think your decision to
drink again will be beneficial rather than destructive?

Welcome to SR.....
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