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Two day sober musician...

Old 01-25-2010, 12:44 PM
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Two day sober musician...

Hey, guys.
I don't know where to start with this, so I suppose I will just tell you a bit about myself.

I'm 22 years old and I'm binge drinking alcoholic. Most days, I will sit down with a fifth of vodka(or whiskey) and just drink for 10 hours straight. Two days ago, I drank a whole bottle AND a six pack of beer in one sitting. I don't know about you guys, but that seems really SCARY to me. The usual routine goes like this... go buy the largest amount of hard liquor for the cheapest amount of money possible. Drink it all down, go to sleep, wake up about after 4 hours, spend the rest of that day puking my guts promising never to drink again, as soon as I get feeling well enough... back to the liquor store I go. I don't drink with anyone, mind you. All alone. I don't really have any friends anymore. No family either since my mom was a foster kid and my dad's family really don't want anything to do with me because of the life I lead. (I'm a liberal, alcohol chugging, musician... they're right-wing "christian" republicans.)

I've done this for about 2 months straight, now(and have been a long time drinkiner way before this). But I have managed to go through two days without drinking. I barely sleep, i'm extremely irritable and angry, I keep getting a little sick, my muscles are aching, depressed to no end, and thinking some really really bad things. Now, I'm not doctor or anything, but it seems to me that this might be a mild form of withdrawal?

I keep reading all these things about how withdrawal could be dangerous, which really scares me. I know I should go to a doctor... one problem.... no health insurance. I want to seek professional help so badly, but simply can't. Recently got laid off from my job, like many others these days, I have no money coming in. How is someone suppose to get help when they have no health insurance, has lost their job, and has already spent most of the money they had on alcohol and other thing?
Also, it's really hard for me to get away from alcohol, as I am a musician. It seems to be like, some sort of odd part of our culture. Everyone I know drinks.

So I'm gonna stop here before I write you an autobiograhpy. Anyway, I hope to talk to you all soon and find out what I can do about this.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:53 PM
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Hi,

Welcome and I'm glad you found us!

Yes, detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous. You can always go to an ER if you have concerns.

The Salvation Army offers from rehab to anyone who wants it, so maybe you could check out your local office and get some information.

I think most, if not all of us here, had to make very difficult decisions in order to recover. I couldn't be around people who were drinking alcohol for a very long time.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:56 PM
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Reminds me of my last drink. It was a bottle of bacardi (750). Bought it at the store because it came with a neat mohito making utensil. My design was to eventually make mohitos at some future party. Decided to have a one drink and ended up downing the bottle over the course of an afternoon. Ended up d-dialing in the worst possible way. Decided it was my bottom and have moved on. At
about six months now dry and life has improved exponentially. You're young and shouldn't obsess about withdrawals; you'll likely feel crapy for a couple of days, but that's about it. Make sure you stay hydrated and eat decent food. Most importantly find stuff to do that replaces the time you used for drinking.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:57 PM
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First Thing's First

Try not to let your mind go to the "How can I do X without alcohol for X amount of time"....that will come with time (as I'm told!).

First thing first, you need to get some medical help. I understand about the lack of insurance but you should be able to call a hospital in your area, explain your situation, and they'll either help you there or direct you to a facility that will.

I know it's scary but I promise you that, with each step, it feels like another weight has been lifted.

Good luck, my friend, and know we're with you!

RacerX
six days sober
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:34 PM
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Hey man,
I can totally relate since I am a musician and also an addict.. Sometimes I feel that artistic types are slightly more susceptible to addiction due to the personality type and the lifestyle. Just a theory.
As far as your booze consumption, yes it is bad, but I and others have done worse.. There is always someone who consumes more, but the harm is the same both physically and emotionally. I drank 57 beers in one day once.. How I didn't die amazes me.
As for myself, I've reached a point where I HATE alcohol and drugs and I see now that I have only used them to run from problems and in turn created more.
I haven't had 24 hours of true sobriety in many many years, but I want it more than anything now.
So you are a musician eh? What instrument? I'm a guitar player myself and I speak from experience when I say that booze and/or drugs does not improve your writing or playing.. Many people think it does because so many famous artists either did huge amounts of drugs, or died doing them.. I personally don't think that substances have anything to do with playing/writing/performing.
Keep in mind how much better you can be with a clear mind, both as a person and a musician...
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:58 PM
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Wow... that was fast. I must say, I think this place is great. It's nice to know that there are people that care about you and truly understand where you are coming from. I've been carrying this burden by myself since I was 14 and I'm tired of doing this alone. Thank you guys for responding.

But yeah, Steven, I'm a musician. I sing, play guitar, drums, bass, harmonica, and a little bit of piano. Music is the only thing that gives me a high more than drugs or alcohol. I bet you know that feeling very well. It's the only thing that keeps me going... and I think you may be right on that. Artsy people do seem to be more prone to addiction and self-destructive behavior for some reason.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:14 PM
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Hey SowingSeason,

First, welcome to SR! There is an amazing amount of support to be found here. I just wanted to take 2 seconds of your time and follow up on your post, as we are both musicians (as well as Steve35 - hi Steven!). I have been sober almost 30 days at this point, and can I say that in the last 30 days have I have been more productive than I have been at any point while I was drinking! January 2010 is the start of a new year, and a new decade, so I am giving my all to staying off the bottle... and what a difference it has made!!

For myself, this has been an AMAZING start to the year. I've put down 7 very quality tracks/ideas thus far... which is a great start (for me) for 2010. In addition to this, I have also filled my formerly drinking-time with drawing, which I have neglected over the last few years (was busy drinking, har har). All I can say, from my personal experience, is that the time I used to spend drinking has totally changed into a positive, creative outlet and my productivity has exploded. It's been an amazing year so far, and January isn't even over!

I also hear you on the 'everyone I know drinks' thing. I just want to point out that it certainly isn't just musicians; I work in computers by trade during the day and it's the same story there: most any excuse, most any day, to head down to the pub (before, during after work) and gripe about open-source vs. this'n'that and yadda yadda yadda... In fact, I am starting to bet it's the same story in every professional setting! Heh. I am sure you know all this.

I have had to change up my routine and my working relationship with other musicians to accommodate my new life. The results? I don't miss playing with wasted, half-there musicians one bit. Not my style! Just my 2 cents.

Welcome to SR, I am glad you are here.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:16 PM
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Hi sowing season

Anna had some good advice on getting medical help.

I was a semi professional muso for many years - I too did the party hard thing...
the problem is tho - the drinking came to overshadow my love of music...the party became more important than playing...and then, I was incapable of playing.

There's no worse feeling that being on stage...and being too drunk to play....except maybe looking the audience and the other band members in the face afterwards...

After three years sobriety, I know I play better, I know I sing better...and I know that music, and the rock and roll lifestyle, are two separate things.

Please don't let the latter destroy the former.
D
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the insight D. I found you can party sober and still have fun. I relate to the creative/artistic mindset being more suseptible to addiction. I did the
music backwards... Sobered up, picked up a cheap electric guitar, A,D,E,G,C; and learned a couple of tabs. I've come to love the
calluses on my fingertips as well as the feeling of knowing that the dexterity of my fingers has gotten much better since I first picked up the axe. For me and I think alot of creative people need constructive outlets that
give us a natural high and keep us amused. We like feeling good and booz can be a very bad trap. Best of luck to everyone. Now if I could only quit smoking....
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:38 PM
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You're young and shouldn't obsess about withdrawals; you'll likely feel crapy for a couple of days, but that's about it.
This isn't quite accurate info to be giving a newcomer. The truth is that alcohol withdrawals can be very dangerous and it's best to be medically supervised if any trouble arises.

Please be safe while detoxing.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:39 PM
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Hi and welcome x
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:49 PM
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Thanks Least. I should have expanded on the bit that you quoted. Definitly atleast have someone around while you dry out. There are meds that can ease w/drawal symptoms if you choose to go into an actual detox. Everyone has different genetics, nutritional states, and accordingly the process will differ per the individual. Bottom line; know there is a potential for complications, but don't freak out. Be smart and have
a plan that involves the possibility of getting medical help if necessary.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:11 PM
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Welcome Sowing! I'm a guitarist too Either that or I photoshopped a guitar into my hands for my avatar picture...

-Goat
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:14 PM
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Smile

Originally Posted by SowingSeason View Post
Hey, guys.
I don't know where to start with this, so I suppose I will just tell you a bit about myself.

I'm 22 years old and I'm binge drinking alcoholic. Most days, I will sit down with a fifth of vodka(or whiskey) and just drink for 10 hours straight. Two days ago, I drank a whole bottle AND a six pack of beer in one sitting. I don't know about you guys, but that seems really SCARY to me. The usual routine goes like this... go buy the largest amount of hard liquor for the cheapest amount of money possible. Drink it all down, go to sleep, wake up about after 4 hours, spend the rest of that day puking my guts promising never to drink again, as soon as I get feeling well enough... back to the liquor store I go. I don't drink with anyone, mind you. All alone. I don't really have any friends anymore. No family either since my mom was a foster kid and my dad's family really don't want anything to do with me because of the life I lead. (I'm a liberal, alcohol chugging, musician... they're right-wing "christian" republicans.)

I've done this for about 2 months straight, now(and have been a long time drinkiner way before this). But I have managed to go through two days without drinking. I barely sleep, i'm extremely irritable and angry, I keep getting a little sick, my muscles are aching, depressed to no end, and thinking some really really bad things. Now, I'm not doctor or anything, but it seems to me that this might be a mild form of withdrawal?

I keep reading all these things about how withdrawal could be dangerous, which really scares me. I know I should go to a doctor... one problem.... no health insurance. I want to seek professional help so badly, but simply can't. Recently got laid off from my job, like many others these days, I have no money coming in. How is someone suppose to get help when they have no health insurance, has lost their job, and has already spent most of the money they had on alcohol and other thing?
Also, it's really hard for me to get away from alcohol, as I am a musician. It seems to be like, some sort of odd part of our culture. Everyone I know drinks.

So I'm gonna stop here before I write you an autobiograhpy. Anyway, I hope to talk to you all soon and find out what I can do about this.
Hi SowingSeason.
Your post caught my eye as you said 2 days sober in the title thread. I am new here too, and my own experience of the 48hr point which was only on late Sunday night, into Monday morning, I felt so edgy, irritable and was even getting pains etc.
I am fortunate to live in the UK where there is NHS, and for the first time in my life I think I am going to maybe get my monies worth from the NI contributions I've paid since working almst all my life so far from a teenager, ( I am now almost 43yrs old) I am glad someone gave you advice about where to seek medical help,
Day 2 was horrible. I succomed to a drink at 1am but that was 24hrs ago now and I have no intention of having a drink at all tonight.
It's tough as I would normally be drinking red wine right now.
Instead I have water.
I know this is good but............
It's so good to know that we are not alone in this.
Thanks for your story, part of it anyway. I am also a musician, a flautist!
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:32 PM
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Definitely go to an ER for detox. They basically have to take you regardless of your ability to pay.

I am so impressed that at 22 you recognize that what you are doing is serious and dangerous to you. At that age, I was just becoming the "life of the party". Took me 20 years to get it.

You have your whole wonderful life ahead of you, and you have a gift in music. Please use both wisely...
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:47 PM
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alcohol....

I am 29 yrs old and and alcoholic and well as a cocaine addict. I put myself into detox last June. I didn't have insurance at first either...you can go to an emergency room however most won't take u unless ur drunk... I know it makes no sense... However see If you can get on state funded health ins.... alcohol detox can be fatal if you don't recognize the syptoms.. primarily DT's...hallucinations violent shaking... anything of that nature go directly to an ER... they HAVE to take you if you are having withdrawl symptoms with or without insurance... Good luck and stay strong my first 48 hours i shook so badly i couldn't hold a cigarette or a pen. I was drinking a liter of jose cuervo and a 6pack of heinekin a day... and I"M 4'11... along with at least a half an 8 ball of coke a day... I have to agree that it is great to see someone so young take a hold of an addiction as early on as you are. I wish you health and good fortune...and many blessings

~poisondestroys
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:01 PM
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I definitely agree with wichitalineman. I made the most progress in music when I wasnt loaded. Abusing booze and drugs just make me think that everything I write or play sucks, and usually it does. After all, how good are u gonna be when your brain is half asleep? I'm hoping that once I'm clean for a while my interest in music will return.. I've been playing the guitar for 20+ years and I used to love it.. until booze and drugs ruined that too

The typical lifestyle for even an amateur band is usually rife with alcohol, drugs and women. And usually the booze and drugs were cheaper and easier to get.

Anyway, I feel that the longer you stay clean, the better everything will get, including your playing, writing or whatever creative endeavor you are into.
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