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Old 01-06-2010, 10:17 AM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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Hi Daphne,

I would go so far as to even forget about whether or not you are an alcoholic and if you should go to AA. Just quit for the sake of your health now and deal with the rest later.

Seriously, your doctor has told you to abstain, you have unknown liver problems and you are putting off a liver biopsy.

If you can't quit and stay quit on your own, go to treatment. Your life depends on it.

I really hope you choose to give up alcohol.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:44 AM
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I can't help but feel that you might have made yourself a case study.
I wish you well.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:47 AM
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case study

made myself a case study ??? sorry hun you lost me totally now!
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:12 AM
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Daphne, you are going to get some tough talk here: hope it doesn't drive you away. I think it is impossible for anyone here to tell you if you are an alcoholic or a heavy drinker. It is a completely personal self-acknowledgement: only you can make it.

There is a difference between a heavy drinker and an alcoholic. A heavy drinker can cut back and even stop by making some changes in their lifestyle. An alcoholic usually does not ever succeed with moderation: an alcoholic will have a powerful mental obsession to drink and physical cravings.

You have made a very good decision to see about your liver problems. I would, again, suggest you talk with your doctor very honestly about your drinking. You may have your doctor tell you again to stop.

If that is the case, you have a lot of support here: we have all taken that journey to quit and stay quit, so, I hope you keep coming back. Good luck with the doc visit!
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:31 AM
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Littlefish
thanks for that - I find the comments and opinions on here very helpful and thought provoking. appreciate the care, time and effort from everyone who has posted. Justgenuinely didn't get the case study comment??
Blood tomorrow results should be back Mon
Over the festive holidays have been drinking more than normal as had lots of parties and socialising on. So interesting to see if any change in liver function.
Oldest son just back from travels round the world so have had 2 wines with him tonight but not feeling guilty as was moderate.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:48 PM
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Hi daphne
I've been following this thread for the last few days. I can relate to how analytical you are.
I hope you take no offence to what I say but I can only share a bit about myself and my story.

I spent the longest time trying to figure out if I'm alcoholic or not. I've been to 4 treatment programs since I was 19......and am 40 now. Over those years I tried to drink normal....at times I could function normal...keep my job, be responsible....etc. Looking back I can see the progression of my drinking getting worse. Finally to the point that I had liver problems, dui...not keeping a job etc.
I remember reading about the 4 dif types of drinkers.....abstainers, moderate, heavy drinker and the true alcholic ( its somewhere in the AA big book). So I analized it for the longest time...rationizing that I was just a heavy drinker...my mind went back and forth.
I've heard alot on the whole disease concept (AA's way of looking at it), heard about it being genetic...something to do with a gene...can't remember details...heard that it was medically proven.....also heard a speaker talking about how a true alcoholic processes alcholol differently then a normal drinker.......how it it broken down into a herion like substance and the normal drinker flushes it out of there system but a true alcholic it stays in there system.
Anyways...there is so many things I here and I don't know what is true or not....I'm not a scientist or doctor .
So for me when I look at my drinking, where it took me.....over time for me I lost the power to control it. My life got so out of control and unmanageable.

For the program being spiritual.......I was told GOD can be just good orderly direction.
I always had a problem with this part of the program. What is spirituality? How we fit into the world.....our place in it....how we feel about ourselves and others..... I was always told it is not religious but spiritual......I need to look the word up in the dictionary....lol
Sorry I've written this long thing......you've given me alot to think about.
Good luck with making your decision and the doctor thing.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by daphne View Post
I think I have more analysis on my liver than most people (bloods monthly for nearly 3 yrs ) and yes I have read up on the whole process of liver disease.
At the moment the fear of illness has been outweighed by desire to hold on to my current lifestyle
Originally Posted by dawningday View Post
Hi daphne
I've been following this thread for the last few days. I can relate to how analytical you are.
I hope you take no offence to what I say but I can only share a bit about myself and my story.

I spent the longest time trying to figure out if I'm alcoholic or not. I've been to 4 treatment programs since I was 19......and am 40 now. Over those years I tried to drink normal....at times I could function normal...keep my job, be responsible....etc. Looking back I can see the progression of my drinking getting worse. Finally to the point that I had liver problems, dui...not keeping a job etc.
I remember reading about the 4 dif types of drinkers.....abstainers, moderate, heavy drinker and the true alcholic ( its somewhere in the AA big book). So I analized it for the longest time...rationizing that I was just a heavy drinker...my mind went back and forth.
I've heard alot on the whole disease concept (AA's way of looking at it), heard about it being genetic...something to do with a gene...can't remember details...heard that it was medically proven.....also heard a speaker talking about how a true alcoholic processes alcholol differently then a normal drinker.......how it it broken down into a herion like substance and the normal drinker flushes it out of there system but a true alcholic it stays in there system.
Anyways...there is so many things I here and I don't know what is true or not....I'm not a scientist or doctor .
So for me when I look at my drinking, where it took me.....over time for me I lost the power to control it. My life got so out of control and unmanageable.

For the program being spiritual.......I was told GOD can be just good orderly direction.
I always had a problem with this part of the program. What is spirituality? How we fit into the world.....our place in it....how we feel about ourselves and others..... I was always told it is not religious but spiritual......I need to look the word up in the dictionary....lol
Sorry I've written this long thing......you've given me alot to think about.
Good luck with making your decision and the doctor thing.
Hey thanks for reading the thread and your post
It sounds like drinking really took over your life in the end.
I don't buy the genetic, disease or the alcoholic brain theories on alcohol. I have not read any evidence strong enough.
There is a theme on a lot of posts of alcohol being like a hidden force that "takes you over" and cunningly works on you until you lose control. Its just a chemical in the end that alters brain function. It is our social and psychological reaction to using it that is surely the difference between a problem drinker and others.
I worked professionally with some serious alcoholics, every single one of them had some socio-emotional reason that had led to their heavy drinking i.e. past trauma , abuse, loss or attachment issues.
Unfortunately once their drinking pattern were beyond a certain point they stopped being able to process information and make decisions.
Had a few Korsokov cases years ago too wow that is scary !
Hope you are still managing to cope without alcohol and enjoying life x
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by daphne View Post
every single one of them had some socio-emotional reason that had led to their heavy drinking i.e. past trauma , abuse, loss or attachment issues.
Every single one? Hmm... What about all those with past trauma and abuse that didn't become alcoholic?

Certain events in my life contributed to create an environment that caused me to seek solace in bottles... but I have always seen alcoholism as a distinct and separate entity... yes, lots of co-morbidity there... but is there always a causal (not casual) relationship?

Mark
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
Every single one? Hmm... What about all those with past trauma and abuse that didn't become alcoholic?

Certain events in my life contributed to create an environment that caused me to seek solace in bottles... but I have always seen alcoholism as a distinct and separate entity... yes, lots of co-morbidity there... but is there always a causal (not casual) relationship?

Mark
Hi
yeh see your point. In my role I only saw those seeking help not the many abused and troubled people who lead a non alcoholic life, but then maybe the non drinkers are addicted to something else or have other dysfuntional behaviour ?
There is a lot of evidence to suggest addiction is strongly linked to social or psychological factors though, and very little to link it to the medical model.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:24 PM
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People without socio-economic reasons, or past trauma/abuse can be alcoholics as well.
Like me.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:26 PM
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I have a nervous system that liked alcohol, a lot, too much and I began to obsess over alcohol. Compulsively drank it... for no good reason.

Myself... even though I am in the health care field... I spend very little time worrying about the etiology, well, maybe in a preventative sense, but in terms of treatment and recovery, unless there is co-morbidity, I don't find it much to gain in worrying about nature, nurture, genetics, whatever... Recovery is the same.

Mark
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:06 PM
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Hi Daphne,

This is a great thread, very thought provoking!

I'm interested to know if before you knew you had a problem with your Liver you were asked the question "would you give up drinking if you told you had a problem with your liver and the doctors advised you to stop", what would you have said?

I went to the Dr's about 6 months ago because I was thought I may have been damaging my liver with the amount I drank. I walked in to that surgery WISHING for bad news! It sounds crazy but I wanted to be told I had damaged my liver, I wanted someone else to make the decision for me to give up drinking because I didn't feel I could make it myself. I got my wish, my tests did show signs of damage. I lasted a few days and started drinking again...

Forgive me if I've got the wrong end of the stick but the theme that seems obvious to me is the way you seem to put alcohol on a pedestal. I know you said you haven't put drinking before family, never had time off work through drinking etc, but have you had to make that choice yet? You sure seem to have high regard for a bottle of liquid, even to the point of choosing it over your health and implying that it's the thread that makes up the fabric of your lifestyle.

Sorry, if you feel I've been a bit harsh, just my opinion.

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Old 01-06-2010, 05:51 PM
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I am struggling with the 'why's and how's' of drinking right now, so I totally understand your examination of the different explanations. It is all over the place, and somehow never completely satisfactory. My resolve to quit drinking remains strong,though. It is not affected by the explanations for why I drank in the first place.

It shouldn't be something you need to sort out before you decide to stop drinking. I think it's a red herring. Ignore that for the time being.

You know yourself whether you should stop. Be really honest with yourself: what is the best decision for you - to keep drinking or to stop at least for a little while?

Decide what is best for you and treat yourself kindly, remembering that you deserve the best.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:30 PM
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Ok, so I am highly analytical as well I am a physicist by training and an engineer by practice. I am also adjunctly familiar with current psychology theory around addictive behavior.

What I have observed is that the disease model of alcoholism does not, as you said, have much support within the psychology community. I have also observed that while many alcoholics are indeed helped by psychologists, most of us are in fact helped much more by fellow alcoholics.

Part of the way alcoholics help each other is by viewing alcohol abuse from the disease model point of view. Many (probably most) of us have found, empirically, that this model fits the reality of what we have been through much better than the behavior model of alcoholism does. AND we have found that the disease model of alcoholism provides a surer path to recovery than the behavior model does.

Now, I as a scientist, have encountered many cases where I have multiple models that I can apply to a dataset.

Perhaps I am a bit of a nonconformist, but I weigh a paradigm-encumbered model only as heavily as it fits the data. In other words, I do not give any extra credence to a model just because all the other guys in my field think it's right. Nor do I give blind trust to a model simply because it's the only one that can make it into a peer-reviewed journal.

Basically, what I am saying is open your mind to the analysis of the disease model of alcoholism. I am not asking you to accept that model as the one truth. I am only asking you to take it seriously and see how it fits the data of your life. Honestly, without bias.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest addiction is strongly linked to social or psychological factors though, and very little to link it to the medical model.
I agree. But, for now, forget the causal relationships and focus only on how well the models fit the data.

-Goat
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by louis View Post
Also i did look up the differnce between alcohol dependence and alcoholism and they generally say... alcoholism is the dependence of alcohol
This is a total fallacy!

Proposition: Alcoholism is alcohol dependence
Postulate: Any human being who consume enough alcohol over a long enough period of time will become alcohol dependent.
Contention: Given the postulate, the proposition leads to the conclusion that every human being is by nature alcoholic.

This contention is absurd.

QED via Reductio ad Absurdum
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:17 PM
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What a thread this is, Daphne hen, ah canny help thinkin yer oan a bus thits gaun tae the terminus, get aff the bus while ye kin.

From Scotland.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:44 PM
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To unravel and relearn non drinking behaviour that has been reinforced over 30 years is a mammoth task. I have already identified the triggers to my less socialable drinking habits- the 2 hours when I get in from work before my partner get homes is when I start to drink.
Sure it's a big task but it's not impossible.If you look around you'll find there's hundreds of us that have done it.

Reading your responses here I can't but help think you have one of the worst symptoms of this disease(that I did too btw) - you think you're special.No one has had it quite as bad or difficult as you.So you have an excuse to keep drinking.No one could possibly understand what it's like to you and you're nothing like those lower socio economic people who drink out of brown paper bags on the street!You're not THAT bad....

I'm not actually criticising you-I'm just saying I used to think exactly like that too.But the fact is-alcohol almost took my entire life.All my joy.All my sanity.All my hope.

There is no 'us and them'.I can be as horribly drunk in a million dollar apartment as I can on the street.My behaviour is still sh*tty regardless.

There's just you and me and countless others here addicted and doing our best to help each other.I hope you decide to jump in too.There's a ton of support here when you let go of all the pre conceived ideas about what this is.We're just people, trying to live whole lives without alcohol.Status, jobs, money....means nothing in the end.It's a great equalizer.

My best to you,
Jules.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
I have a nervous system that liked alcohol, a lot, too much and I began to obsess over alcohol. Compulsively drank it... for no good reason.

Myself... even though I am in the health care field... I spend very little time worrying about the etiology, well, maybe in a preventative sense, but in terms of treatment and recovery, unless there is co-morbidity, I don't find it much to gain in worrying about nature, nurture, genetics, whatever... Recovery is the same.

Mark
sorry Mark i don't think we have "specialised" nervous systems but you right ....eitiology maybe insignificant or it may be the key to a solution , as the majority of current treatment models based on the medicaliation of alcohol simply do not work. Maybe if we worked with the cause rather than effect we would as a society have more success
d x
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
Hi Daphne



Forgive me if I've got the wrong end of the stick but the theme that seems obvious to me is the way you seem to put alcohol on a pedestal. I know you said you haven't put drinking before family, never had time off work through drinking etc, but have you had to make that choice yet? You sure seem to have high regard for a bottle of liquid, even to the point of choosing it over your health and implying that it's the thread that makes up the fabric of your lifestyle.

Sorry, if you feel I've been a bit harsh, just my opinion.

Shifty
hey shifty not harsh in any way
NO i never wished that the doc would tell me to stop. the opposite. My liver results were only detected through ongoing monitoring of my other health problems. If I had not had these I would still be none the wise
Alcohol is one of MANY threads in the fabric of my life, I read, do academic work, have hobbies, friends etc My life is sweet minus the health problems that the sting in the tail!
d x
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by basIam View Post
This is a total fallacy!

Proposition: Alcoholism is alcohol dependence
Postulate: Any human being who consume enough alcohol over a long enough period of time will become alcohol dependent.
Contention: Given the postulate, the proposition leads to the conclusion that every human being is by nature alcoholic.

This contention is absurd.

QED via Reductio ad Absurdum
Hey basIam
what about the contention that
very human by nature has the POTENTIAL to become addicted I agree with that and if you look at all cultures across time mostly they develop some form of mind altering substance.
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