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well, here I go....

Old 12-16-2009, 06:37 AM
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well, here I go....

well, the day has come.

First off, I'll say "howdy". I'm 34, 2 kiddos, married, and self employed. I suppose I'm the high functioning drunk, as I have a great job, my wife loves me, and I'm active w/ the kids.

but....

I'm powerless to beer. 7 nights a week x 10-15 beers. I play w/ the kids in the backyard while drinking, I cook dinner while drinking, and even have a beer at work.

for the past 6 months it has amplified and continued to get worse, so I said I was going to stop. You can guess how well I did. That scared the hell out of me, and continues to do so. I also had a life insurance blood work done while came back with elevated liver enzymes. I'm not 20 anymore, and I love my family, and want to be around for them.

So TODAY is my day, and hopefully I can lean on you guys for support.
I've tried this 100 times, and always fail after a few days because I feel great and find an excuse.

One thing I'll ask for immediately is some suggestions. Here's my routine, and i'm having a hard time figuring out a way to break the cycle: I leave work around 4, pick up my 3 y old, stop by gas station for beer, and go home. It's part of our trip. There are no alternate routes to my house, but I'm trying to think of a way to make up another destination that will distract us for a little bit and get me past that hurdle. From there, it's the 5-7pm area that is hardest for me. Home from work, kids playing, prime time for a beer. If I can get past this time, normally I'm ok.

anyway, this is a great site, and with prayer and support hopefully I can begin making some changes.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:45 AM
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Maybe make a list of all the benefits of being sober. That might help you in your resolve not to drink. If you have problems going thru any withdrawal symptoms please talk to your doctor. Be safe while detoxing.

As far as support, we're a very supportive group here at SR. THere is also 'real life' support, like AA, LifeRing, SMART recovery, and other groups. In the Alcoholism forum there are 'stickies' at the top of the page about the sobriety resources available.

Welcome to SR! Glad you joined the family!
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:51 AM
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Welcome BigTex!!

Do you have a plan, do you have support, have you spoken to you wife...most of all are you ready to do the work to stay sober?

Don't drink today...do it hour by hour if you have to.

No different routes...hmmm...is there a park you could stop by or an ice cream shop to ruin the little one's dinner???

Its still early, but others will be on as the day goes by....and they are so much better at this than I am.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:30 AM
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Howdy Bigtex.. I was gonna say exaclty what 4ever said , is there some form of park or something along them lines , that you can go to . hows bout it being you and your kido's time .. ask him what it is he would like to do and do that .. lil ones are so easy to please when it comes to doing something w/ there #1 hear in there life , And like dr phil says same sex parent is the one they look up to the most .
I forgot my manners Welcome to the family of SR .. Your gonna find its not easy in the beginning , not to scare you off , thats so not my intention .. But it does and it will get easier with each passing day , thats not to mean you reward your self for passing a day with a drink of booze . thats not the idea way to stay on the path of recovery .
Have you concidered AA or any sort of recovery program ? Those troubled times you speak of would be the ideal time to make ameeting to get you a start on a wonderful path to recovery , I myself am entering my 7th yr of no drink and it is possible to acheive if you want it bad enuff and are willing to go to any length to acheive it . No excuses .
It wouldnt hurt you to seek medical advice on this to help you with the possible with drawl symptoms . and do be very honnest with them , they cant help you if you dont help them to understand whats going on in your body .
We do have a chat room , your feling a bit outta sorts .. come on in grab a chair and say hi . we dont bite ... much huggles Endzy
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:40 AM
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Welcome!

I love the stopping to get ice cream idea. I've been away from Texas, where I'm from, for ages, and would do just about anything for a blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Best of luck in sobriety. This is a great place for getting advice and support.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:43 AM
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First of all Tex, welcome to SR!

First off, I'll say "howdy". I'm 34, 2 kiddos, married, and self employed. I suppose I'm the high functioning drunk, as I have a great job, my wife loves me, and I'm active w/ the kids.

but....

I'm powerless to beer. 7 nights a week x 10-15 beers. I play w/ the kids in the backyard while drinking, I cook dinner while drinking, and even have a beer at work.
Tex that sounds like just where I was at about 42, it got a whole lot worse as I tried to stop drinking my way.

for the past 6 months it has amplified and continued to get worse, so I said I was going to stop. You can guess how well I did. That scared the hell out of me, and continues to do so.
Alcoholism is a progressive disease that ALWAYS gets worse, it never levels off or gets better as long as we drink. I kept getting worse and worse from the age of 42, then some where around the age of 47 I crossed an invisible line where I had to drink, I drank when I did not want to drink, I had to drink in order to function at any level.

Tex, I would strongly suggest that you see a doctor and tell the doctor the whole truth about your drinking and if the Doctor does not know about your elevated liver enzymes let him know. Then I urge you very strongly to follow all of his suggestions.

At 52 I finally just surrendered to the fact that I could not stop drinking, little lone stay stopped, here is what I did:

1. Saw doctor who suggested that I be medically detoxed.
2. Went to medical detox where they told me if I wanted a chance to stay sober to go to at least 90 AA meetings in 90 days and get a sponsor.
3. I went to AA and got a sponsor, my sponsor and others suggested that I take the 12 steps to give me a far better chance at long term sobriety.

Well that is what I did, that was over 3 years ago, what the fellowship and the program of AA has given me and millions of others is a solution to our drinking problems as well as a solution for living life on lifes terms one day at a time.

Today I am free of the bonds of my alcoholism as well as free of my own insanity, I live a life (not materially) that I never dreamed possible.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:46 AM
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Hey BigTex

Good for you!

I see two phases that should be worked at the same time... You need to do the nuts and bolts of just not picking up and then the long term recovery thing.

If your wife is supportive, maybe there are a few things you can do in that 5-7 PM time slot... yea I get it, it was mostly about the beer, although towards the end I was frequently grabbing a half pint on the way home, sometimes a pint... So it is progressive my friend, I'm a little older than you, self employed, great family... Oh, anyway... One thing I did initially was come home and take a snooze... Really didn't start off that way... I'd come home, felt really out of sorts, like WHERE'S MY BEER???... Instead I'd go somewhere quiet and play solitaire on my iTouch... then I'd fade off to a 20-30 minute nap which RESET the ole brain... then I'd go back and join my family. Really did help. That's just my experience... and my wife still doesn't mind when I go chill for 30 min or so when I get home... Because then, my attitude is re-adjusted and I'm 100% there... Might work for you, might not... You can drive by that gas station, just do it... you'll get used to it...

At the same time you need to consider some type of recovery program. There are lots of them... the easiest to find and most well known is AA. This is a way to get F2F support from people who have been there and done that. And, well allow you to get at this alcohol thing from down deep so you don't have to white knuckle it.

Welcome!

Mark
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:50 AM
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Welcome and good luck brother. I'm 39 and I'm on day 3. I feel pretty good, but that is what scares the hell out of me. Today will be the first time for me to pick up my kids and as I have them every weekend and Wednesday night. I'm usually drinking while helping with homework and activities. I have to do this for myself and them. Let's do it together!
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:11 AM
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many thanks to you all.

I have now registered 4 times, and I'm not getting the validation emails. GRR. when I try to change my email from ***** to work, i get locked out of the system.

anyway, the progression of this is the thing that pushed me forward w/ wanting to quit. I can remember a 6 pack of tall boys doing the trick, only to see how that would barely do anything for me. Not good.

the doc knows about the liver enzymes, and just told me to knock off the drinking. He seemed unconcerned. Regardless, my plan was to quit drinking and then return for f/u tests.

Redfish, I, too am a divorced dad. I enjoy 50/50 time w/ my kids, but that entire process of divorce is what sent me off the deep end. I wouldn't wish family court on ANYONE. As for what has continued to hold me down, it's the stress, anguish, and sadness I feel when I'm not w/ my kids.

I'm praying a lot, I have told my wife I'm quitting, and now it's up to me to be the person I know I can be.

thanks again for all of ya'lls support!
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:42 AM
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If you contct one of the moderators they can get the screen name thing fixed for you, or tell you how to fix it. It's likely that they will read your post and contact you. They stay pretty on top of things around here!!

Congrats on your decision to quit. The best advice I can offer is to do it one day at a time. Do whatever you have to do today not to drink, anything, just don't drink. Then do it again tomorrow. It can get exusting after awhile which is why many people find support from loved ones, here at SR or AA to be so helpful in their recovery.

If you are having trouble making this stick, check out an AA meeting or two. Got nothing to lose, they are free, and nobody is gonna put a gun to your head if you decide it is not for you. It can be especially helpful in early recovery. Best of luck on your journey. Take care.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:42 AM
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What town are you in? I'm in Houston.

When I got divorced in 2002 it sucked. I was drinking easily 1/2 bottle of Jim Beam or Jack Daniels an evening. I've actually quit 3 times. The first time was for 12 days, but it wasn't to really get sober. It was to see if I could do it. I had no plans of quitting. I just wanted to make sure I could. Once day 12 hit and it was the weekend I was feeling great and I QUICKLY got back into my old habits. The second time which was on 11/27 was for 6 days and I was a little more serious, but very disappointed I picked up the bottle again. I tried to convince myself I could be a social drinker, but that was a lie.

I've since learned that due to my addictive personality and certain stress/depressions in my life alcohol can not enter my system. I don't know what holds for me, but a theme on this sight since joining is that many people have several rounds at it and once they start feeling better that's when you are vulnerable. I don't have the answers and withdrawals suck. I'm not a doctor so I'm not giving medical advice. I took vitamin b w/ thiamine because I was scared of seizures and I was told by a physician that it really helps.

Best of luck to you and prayers go out. We can do this!
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:48 AM
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I'm in the san antonio area.

thanks again for the words of encouragement. It really does mean a lot to me.

I have done the same thing Redfish. Go 4 days, feel great, hit the sauce. It's weird - feeling GOOD is actually the enemy!

after divorce, I had days that I could put down 20 beers in a day. I was bored, mad, and sad simultaneously. New wife, great life....that didn't fix it. I had already developed my habit.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:59 AM
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Hi Tex,
The only beer you've got to watch out for is the FIRST ONE!!! Sounds obvious...but true.
Also watch out for that little but very powerful voice in your head that will JUSTIFY you having a beer. It could be that you had a hard day...for me that little voice is most powerful on a Friday after work on a sunny day...it will work like this...
*You deserve a beer because you've worked hard
*it's what life is all about
*so what are you saying...? you'll never have a beer with you're mates again....what sort of a man are you? etc etc
The VOICE knows exactly what to say!!!!
IT MUST NOT ONLY BE IGNORED BUT IT MUST BE CHALLENGED!!!!!
I might sound like I should be in the looney bin but it works for me...tell this JUSTIFIER (i think this is actually a term used in rehab) exactly where to get off...tell it what is more important to you...namely your family life and your health...and remember...the only beer you need avoid is the first one. DON"T HAVE IT.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:00 AM
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Welcome to SR, BigTex. I was in that cycle, too, except mine was go 1 or 2 days...feel good and drink. I've on!y been sober for a month, but I see now I had no idea how bad I felt physically. I feel SO much better now. I was a beer drinker at night, too. It's a tough habit to break, but you can do it. The longer you go, the easier it will be. You'll create new, healthier habits. I may have to detox from tea and cookies, but it beats the alternative. Best of luck to you! I look forward to hearing how it's going.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:12 AM
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Hi Tex - Welcome.

I really like what Benjiboy said.

The unfortunate thing about alcoholism is that, in the early stages when we can still stop with fewer negative impacts on our lives, it is the thinking (read: little voices) that get us in trouble.

I created a little tool for myself that I use to counteract my thinking. In one column, I wrote all the things that I say to myself to justify "why I should drink" and in the second column I wrote down things that I could say to myself to counteract this thinking. This is the "challenging" part that Benjiboy spoke of.

Whenever I think that I want to (deserve to) drink, I use these sayings/actions to help me overcome my urges (with some help from my higher power too).

With all that said, I also couldn't do it without a program of recovery. There are lots of different ones out there. AA works for me.

Glad you are here.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:28 AM
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Brilliantly put Benjiboy. Thanks too NewMe11109.

Thanks.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:28 AM
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I like that idea.
Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:46 AM
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well, in what will go down as one of the most pathetic day 1 attempts at sobriety, I drank last night.

I was doing good all day, then got an irritating email from my idiot x-wife, followed by some bad business news. I sat at my computer and let me my mind say "Ya know, today just isn't the day to start."

From there, it was over.

Picked up kiddo, hit gas station, and followed my ridiculous routine.

Today, I feel like crap, I feel like a disappointment to my wife and my kids, and generally just feel like a complete failure.

Not much else to add really. I plan to talk with my wife about it after work, CAUSE I'M NOT DRINKING TONIGHT. I want to continue to include her in my walk.

feel free to beat me over the head. UGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:27 AM
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We aren't going to beat you over the head. I think most of us can relate to really wanting to quit and then messing up. There are a zillion excuses to pick up that first drink. I believe benjiboy said it first...watch out for that first one. How true that is.

No matter what is going on in my life I can't think of good reason to drink (now). I know that I don't want things to go back to the way they were. My happiness and my self worth are more important than that can of beer.

You can do this just remember that today is a new day.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:31 AM
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Where are you in Texas? I have listened to some great AA speakers from Texas. There are tons of groups: hope you try one! And then another one....

No beating over the head: you have taken that first important step, and that is that you recognize you have a problem. I have many family members who are still drinking and are in denial about their problem. The sad fact is that the rooms of AA should have at least 10 times more members than it has: there are so many out there still suffering: by recognizing your problem, you are one of the lucky ones.
Welcome! You can do it!!!
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