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Old 01-05-2010, 10:52 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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wow

hi guys
thanks so much for the time taken to respond I am overwhelmed by your support and good questions posed
I would have said (until my 6 weeks abstaining) that i did not NEED to have a drink I CHOSE to
Those 6 weeks taught me how much alcohol had become part of me. I did go to bars with my friends as usual and stayed sober. I did not enjoy it as everyone else was pissed and I was only sober one.
It just seems to me really hard to imagine "you will never have one more drink ever in your life" what about Xmas, New Years, Birthdays ,Parties etc
So i ditched the sobriety !
If I was honest the main reason I did the 6 weeks off booze ,was to try and buy myself some more time with alcohol - what I mean is I hoped the 6 weeks would result in the liver tests being better , then I could justify drinking again and not have to hear the medics say no more drink ever!

I don't think I have the classic symptoms of an alcoholic - don't stay up drinking all night, know when I have had enough, never pass out, always remember the previous night , would never prioritise alcohol if money was scarce, don't hide drink, never had a drink in morning or during the working day etc .I can keep a ton of alcohol in my house without need to drink more than my share.For example I have a case of wine in my kitchen ,12 bottles, but know I will not drink more than one in an evening.
I have seen others who do all these things. It feels unjust they have no health problems.
I worked in the past with "real" alcoholics so maybe that clouds my vision. They put drink before everything, even to the point of losing their children. I suppose that is who i associate AA with those that put alcohol first.
I have never cancelled or changed plans in my life or for my kids, so i can drink ( just found a way of incorporating into family life in a socially acceptable way I suppose)

On the other hand if i know I am going to a difficult social event (funeral, meetng new people) I will need a large drink in secret before I go. So that is a worry.
One thing that bugs me is it feels like its not MY choice to stop alcohol, but that this choice is being imposed on me due to health problems by others. I hate that, as I am usually the one who decides! (god sound like a spolit brat )
My life has its flaws under the surface. Its a great life NOW as I have worked hard to make it that way, but I have had a LOT of hurt ,loss and pain.
The reason I started drinking so young was because I had such a disruptive and dysfunctional childhood.
Maybe thats the cushion effect of the drink stops you dwellling on past issues?
Thanks again for reading these ramblings. No drink today not one !
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:04 AM
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Hi Daphne
Just wanted to say hi and that you are not alone....your posts could be mine......I too work in the 'field'...in fact I manage a substance misuse service...how damn ironic...it's also why I can't / wont go for help or to AA meetings.

Good luck and hope all these messages help you
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:05 AM
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Keep coming back Daphne, many of us did not hit that "low bottom" where we lost everything. Many of us did not lose all those things, but we did lose our self respect.

Your post brings back memories for me: when I first thought about quitting, I was only concerned about my physical health. I didn't understand that my mental health was in deep trouble.

The classic alcoholic? God knows if there is one. Alcoholics can be daily drinkers, or not. They can be bingers, or not. They can pass out, or not. They can lose their jobs, families houses, or maybe not.
But there is one thing we all have in common: we found our lives were unmanageble due to alcohol, that we were powerless in face of it.
If you have health problems due to alcohol, maybe it is an unmanageable aspect of your life.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:06 AM
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sorry... just my last 2 pence worth

Dont worry about meeting someone you know in an AA room... were all in there for the same reason...!

All those things you describe didnt happen to many of us at first... and we never thought they would... but they did...
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SusanE View Post
I'm probably to new to be giving much feedback, but if -as you said - you're seeking simple motivation, you might try reading the book, Under the Influence. I just got it from the library and - wow!- it's pretty explicit regarding the actual damage alcohol can do to our bodies, and what can happen to us down the road.
Good suggestion. I wanted to add that there is an updated version, "Above The Influence" that I have and is jam-packed with good info. When I read it I realised that I knew so little about this chemical I put in my body and what it does. Seriously, I knew more about trans fats and processed white flour than alcohol. I would consider it a good read even if one was going to continue to drink.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:35 PM
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Just know you're in good company. I did not do aa exclusively or intensely this time, but it can be
great in a boot camp knida way for some people. Alot of people come to love the people they connect withe there and make AA a permanent part of the rest of their lives. AA is the best place IMHO to find sober people to hangout with and befriend. There are other ways to do it, but for many it is the "kinder gentler way".

"If I was honest the main reason I did the 6 weeks off booze ,was to try and buy myself some more time with alcohol - what I mean is I hoped the 6 weeks would result in the liver tests being better..."

All my prior attempts involved AA attendence for about a month. I hit it hard, formed some initial bonds, then decided I wasn't like them. I started feeling better physically and sharper mentally. Going back to drinking after the body partially heals feels really good for a while, but I tend to spiral down with my use. Decided to do it with some smart cbt, this site, and reading aa lit, as well as getting very educated on addiction general. My conclusion was I'm probably genetically predisposed to addiction. I know I was addicted. Said addiction has had a negative impact on my life. It is my responsibility. I have found a way that works. I hope you do the same.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:44 PM
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I can relate so much. Especially the wine rack. I was smart enough to keep it stocked.
Mmmmmh? Never more than one? Glass or bottle? I used to say the same, trying to convince myself it sounded so much better. As for being forced to stop, nobody is forcing you, you are free to carry on drinking; but your liver didn't get bad because it just did. It was your good friend alcohol that did it. If a good friend keeps lying to you and letting you down, do you still maintain the friendship? When you are ready, I hope it will all become clear to you. Welcome. Please keep reading and posting. We are all here to offer support.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:45 PM
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Hi daphne..welcome to SR! This is a great place for advice and support...just reading your thread deeply moved me today, so I thank you and the posters for that. Hope you keep coming back and learning more about the role alcohol plays in your life. For me, once I started to realize how big a part it had become, I couldn't go back to doing what I was doing. I've stumbled while I've tried quitting...I may keep stumbling...but I can't stop quitting. I can't see drinking in the same light as I used to. I know too much now and I know what road I was on, and I'm glad I realized it with the help of this site. Hope you find it useful, too!
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:46 PM
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Whatever Charlie Sheen does.... Do the opposite.
I just noticed that EW. Thanks. lol
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:53 PM
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YET

If you die of liver failure were you really so different to any of those "real" alcoholics you talk of? Denial is one of the most powerfull aspects of alcoholism so I'm told. But I don't believe it myself!!!
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:08 PM
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I don't think I have the classic symptoms of an alcoholic - don't stay up drinking all night, know when I have had enough, never pass out, always remember the previous night , would never prioritise alcohol if money was scarce, don't hide drink, never had a drink in morning or during the working day etc .I can keep a ton of alcohol in my house without need to drink more than my share.For example I have a case of wine in my kitchen ,12 bottles, but know I will not drink more than one in an evening.
I have seen others who do all these things. It feels unjust they have no health problems.
I worked in the past with "real" alcoholics so maybe that clouds my vision. They put drink before everything, even to the point of losing their children. I suppose that is who i associate AA with those that put alcohol first.
I have never cancelled or changed plans in my life or for my kids, so i can drink ( just found a way of incorporating into family life in a socially acceptable way I suppose)
There's a fine line between a problem drinker and an alcoholic and I wonder if there is even a line at all. I've gone 21 days without a drink, craving, or any other issue associated with being an alcoholic according to another poster's test to find out if I am an alcoholic or a heavy drinker.

Whatever I am - alcohol was a problem and not a solution. Try not to get so caught up in the label, but see it for what it is. You've got a health condition that could kill you if you keep drinking and numerous stories waving red flags to you, yet you still want your alcohol without consequences.

It's great that you haven't put alcohol in front of your kids, work, etc. but please don't forget about the person drinking it.

Congrats on your decision to come to SR and on your not drinking today!
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:18 PM
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Daphne- Your bottom can be whenever you decide to stop digging. Simple as that. It sounds like you are trying to convince everyone here that you don't have a problem and that you are fine and that you are not an alcoholic. Which is fine, but then why are you here?

Keep posting and reading
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:43 PM
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Daphne -

I started drinking when I went to college. I drank in a normal even responsible way (e.i. designated driver, watched out for roomies, etc.).

Became a 'yearly' drinker. I drank at least once a year at Christmas, watching the Vikings lose yet another game. I bet I drank less than a sixpack a year from 1985-2004.

My adoptive son began having rages in 2005. Violent, terrible rages. Alcohol helped to numb my own confusion and fear after these rages. Drinking became a way of coping. It seemed to help me with the problems I was having in life.

Summer of 2009 - son physically abusing other children, child protection had to come and investigate. I stopped all self-care. Depressed and preoccupied with what might happen to my beautiful family, because of my mentally ill little boy. I could not sleep. Guess what, drinking eased my racing distressed mind.

I went to see a therapist. She doesn't think I am an alcoholic, just a situational drinker. I really don't care what her label or definition for me is. Here is my bottom line. Alcohol BECAME a problem in my life. I was using it to cope and it began to cause problems, not solve them.

Your liver is damaged. Is alcohol a problem for you or not?

Please read, read, read and read some more here. There are so many wise folks roaming about.

55438
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:33 PM
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thanks

Hey thanks so much for this ongoing support and some thought provoking questions
I do not want to go into my health problems too much as noticed it warned against that on the forum - I have 3 conditions one thyroid related (auto immune) hypertension, familial high cholesterol and an as yet, undiagnosed liver problem. My doctors have never said this is caused by alcohol just that I was recommended to abstain. On lots of meds so they obviously strain the liver too. I am due to have a liver biopsy but keep cancelling appointments to avoid. DENIAL again
This board has helped so much already as my very supportive partner asked what I had been doing on the lap top .I told him and we had the frankest discussion yet about my drinking.
He was shocked I was on this type of site. Why? cos he said he sees me as someone who likes a drink and NOT as an alcoholic. Why?because he says drink never comes between us , family life or effects our relationship. Its a relationship of 4 yr.
He thinks I am being too hard on myself (as always he said) Judging myself and my drinking too harshly. He is keen to help we stop or cut down due to above health issues and is not a big drinker himself so I realise that is a plus.
We then spoke about stuff i used to do before I met him in my past. He suggested I have a "self destruct" thing going on. This is because as well as drink when I was younger I did drugs , had and eating disorder and was very ,very sexually active. He thought maybe I need an element of "danger" or destruction in my life as I do not like the "norm" boring lifestyle so to speak.
Does anyone else relate to this i.e. drinking as a form of self abuse , self destruction? Or am I on the wrong track
Has anyone tried hoodia? not sure spelling as support supplement for abstaining
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:54 PM
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Hi Daphne

Welcome to SR. There's been a lot of good advice here so I won't repeat it all again.

I do think I had a self destructive streak yes - maybe it tied into the way I was bought up and my very low self esteem. I hope it's in remission now anyway

I know I certainly wanted to escape the reality of my life and back then alcohol and drugs seemed the best way to do that. I regret the 20 years I wasted on that mistake.

I really hope you do some thinking - alcohol was fundamental to who I thought I was too, but I found an incredibly better life and a far better man inside me when I stopped.

I found my way - I'm living now...really living, not just partying, not just existing

I hope we can help you find your way too, whatever that is
D
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:57 PM
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Absolutely. I have an inner 'demon' (call it what you will) that if I feed it alcohol and drugs will destroy me. I kind of liked that in a perverse kind of way and I also used to love feeling like I was 'living on the edge' and that I was always sailing close to a potential OD but when I actually thought I may actually risk dying or something when I pushed it too far I sh*t myself. So yes I can relate to the self-destructive personality/addictive personaility thing. I used to use my 'addictive/self-destructive' personality as a rationalisation for my drinking/drug use so be carefull that you don't do that.

I now call myself an alcoholic as that is what I am. I am also a drug addict too once i take that first drink. I don't feel any shame about saying that, in fact quite the opposite actually.

What anyone refers to you as or thinks that you are means nothing. If I listened to others I could justify drinking again as "I weren't that bad just a bit of a lad who can't say no and doesn't know when to stop". But I know the truth. I am an alclholic without a shadow of a doubt and there is nothing more than my alcoholic mind would love than for me to take another drink so that it can 'self-destruct' and destroy everyhting that I have built during my sobriety. There is no way I am going to do this one day at a time and I have built up sufficient defense against the first drink during 6 months of sobriety and working hard on my recovery.

TBH I was done with booze as it had me by the b*llocks and I have never had any self-control and wouldn't want to have any self-control when it comes to booze as that just ain't my personailty. I am an out and out P*ss-head, always was and always will be, but I ain't in that game anymore so the booze don't bother me, sure the socilaisng part is tricky as I am conscious I am only one drink away from being back to square one but I know I am an alclholic so it keeps me fairly grounded. I accept my alclholism and try to view it positiviely rather than negativiely.

It ain't easy but it's wotrh it and at times it feels incredibly easy TBH and life feels pretty good but the great thing is I know it can get a whole lot better as I build my life up to where I know it should be. Booze will destroy me and take everyhting I hold dear with it so it just ain't worth it for me. I too 'LOved' booze and I my best mate was Scottish and I shared some great times just getting absolutley blasted and living on the edge. But all the good-times are over with me and booze and I accept that. I had some good-times though so I never forget those also as they were genuinely 'high-times'.


peace and Love x
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:57 PM
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Hi Daphne,

I'm not an alcoholic but a recovering codeine addict but I also have liver damage.

My liver damage was one of the many reasons I gave up the pills, I didn't want to die horribly of liver failure as has been described very clearly by some wise posters before me.

Do you want that to happen to you and put your family through that, do you want to put yourself through that?

I now take a liver tonic 3 times a day, because I can't give medical advice I can't tell you what it is but you can google natural liver tonics and find one for yourself or speak to a doctor or naturopath.

Honey, you're worth more than the way you are treating yourself right now. I know how hard it is when you rely on a substance, especially if you're not sure if you actually have a problem. [I wasn't sure at first either]

I know what it is like to have a responsible position work wise and be worried about admitting you have a problem, I was a customer service manager at a bank at the height of my addiction so I understand how you feel. I also understand it must be even harder for you because of the field you work in.

NA has helped me so much. Why not go to a AA meeting out of your home town where no-one will know you, just make the commitment to go to 1 first off. Listen to the other people there and see what you think, you may be surprised to find you have things in common with them, many people there will be high functioning like you.

Take it day by day, you said you're not gonna drink today, that's amazing! Tomorrow see if you can do it again. See if you can get to a meeting, just to check it out.

You have received so much great advice from people that know far more than me on this subject. I just jumped in because I care and am worried about the liver issue.

Much Love,

Faerie x
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:11 PM
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One question for you to think about....

If your child had all your health problems
what would you suggest?
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:21 PM
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Question ta

thanks for the advice and support guys
I have been reading other threads and noticed lot of reference to god. I am an out and out athieist. One of the things that stopped me reading the 12 steps and put me off AA was its religious references. Is this wrong?
I see the solution to reducing/stopping drinking soley within me, not some higher being or spirital guide.
I am a great believer that alcoholism/dependency is learned rather than a disease or illness.
I blame myself for drinking too much.Its my fault nobody elses. My fault I have damaged myself.
I made choices and learned to love drink , I was not born that way or made to drink.
One of the thing that bugged me when I worked with alcoholics was their "victim" status. "Sorry its not my fault I cannot help it I am an alcoholic" was churned out time after time. I don't want use any support that support the disease model of alcohol problems . Does that make sense?
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CarolD View Post
One question for you to think about....

If your child had all your health problems
what would you suggest?
Hey Carol never mind my child if ANY person had my health problems i would tell them 2 stop drinking.
I know that is the right and logical thing to do. Doing what is right is a different matter !!
irony is i teach REBT/CBT know all about challenging and disputing irrational behaviours and thoughts ......... can talk the talk but not walk the walk ,so to speak ....what a phoney I am !
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