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Old 02-08-2010, 05:58 PM
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Hello.

Hi. I'm 31. I have a wonderful wife, an 8 month-old adorable son, a great career, awesome family... and a horrible drinking problem.

It started in high school. Then college. What a mess. A young, budding alcoholic's dream come true. I knew by then that I was "different" than most of my friends, even if we all got smashed all the time. I truly craved it. I gravitated to other like-minded people, and we fueled our bodies with the good stuff.

I met my wife after college, and we partied together through our twenties. I somehow went to law school, graduated and landed a good job.

I have limped by without too many consequences from my drinking. The last few years I do most of my drinking on the weekends, and dry out during the week. I'm a beer guy these days. I can down 12 buds on a sunday afternoon, no problem.

I have a lot of guilt, anxiety, shame... It's been quite a few years that I've known I have a problem, and I've refused to do anything about it. I've gone 1-2 months without drinking, but that's the most.

I'm worried about my health and long-term consequences. I love my wife and son so incredibly much; I cannot believe I would do anything that might jeopardize my time with them.

I've read that you need to hit a bottom before you'll be ready to quit. Is that true? I don't want to hit a bottom. There's too many good things in life that I'm missing out on, so that I can sit home and get drunk.

I'm also considering some private therapy/counseling. I've read enough about AA to say no thanks. No offense to anyone who's into AA, I know it's an awesome program for some. So, could private therapy help? I've never done anything like that, so have no idea what to expect.

Well, I registered here, so I'll be checking in and reading up. Thanks to anyone who actually made it through my long, rambling post.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:22 PM
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Smile SkiStop

..welcome..

..do what ever it takes to stop drinking..

..shame and guilt are signs of alcoholism..take care,glad you've,


..joined SR..ozy..
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:23 PM
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No, you don't 'need' to hit a bottom before asking for help. My bottom was mental. I knew I was drinking too much and was losing the respect of my kids, not to mention my self respect. As far as recovery goes, many here have recovered just using this site for help and information. Private therapy may be a valuable resource for you. I see an addiction counselor once a week and she's been very helpful to me in staying sober, as well as other parts of my life.

I'd say go for it. Get a counselor and listen to their advice. I hope you can stop drinking before you do hit a bottom and/or do damage you can't undo.

Welcome to SR! We're here to help you in your recovery.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:32 PM
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Welcome... I am a newbie too, just found the site today....been on it all day since i was off work today. I am very thankful for finding it...just stumbling on it. I am also 31 yrs old and only drank on the weekends, then I cut back to about once a month totally letting loose and getting drunk....but I have had enough....
I don't think I had a major rock bottom, maybe more mental too like "least" said.

I am not a fan of AA but know it works. I have lots of friends that have found success with it. I think you have to find what works for you. I had another friend do a private therapy and worked...for me I really think that this site is going to my sole help. well and my boyfriend, we have made this decision together and we are the ones we spend the most time with...
It's nice to have people on here to connect with or see that are going through the same thing as you. I have taken the advice of others on here and read all sorts of posts....it really does help to know you are not alone....
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:39 PM
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Hi Ski,

I've read that you need to hit a bottom before you'll be ready to quit.

Absolutely not. Besides, maybe this is your bottom. A bottom isn't always recognizable at first. Many don't realize that were at bottom until they've had some sober time under their belt to see clearly.

I had anxiety too. In my case and with some others it subsided after a while, mine was strictly brought on by the alcohol. Not saying your is, it's just maybe a possibility.

Your post wasn't rambling at all. :-) Check out all your options and get on your way!!

Glad you found us.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:39 PM
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I agree with the others - absolutely no reason to wait til you 'hit bottom'...you already have the desire to quit, why not run with it?...

I've never done private therapy or AA so I'll let others fill you in with their experiences of both

Welcome to SR, SkiStop - good to have you with us

D
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:50 PM
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Hi SkiStop. The good news is, you're 31, not 51. You can turn this all around and have the life you want to. I know you've heard the phrase, "alcoholism is a progressive disease". Over the years we develop a tolerance. I remember getting high on one beer. In the end, I could drink 30 in a day. (Starting in the morning to stop the shakes.) It took me 25 yrs. to get to that point. What was once fun and exciting became a living hell.

You never have to reach that point. You're doing the right thing by coming here and reaching out for help. Nothing has been lost yet. You can prevent yourself from losing everything like many of us did. Guilt and remorse are useless emotions and will help keep you drinking. Look to a new day - you can do this. We care about you. Welcome to SR.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:10 PM
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Hi and Welcome,

I hope you decide that this is your bottom and that it's time to change.

As far as therapy/counselling, I know some people get lucky and find a good match with a therapist and it can be very beneficial. I tried a psychologist and an addiction counsellor. Neither of them helped me at all because I wasn't ready to make the changes in my life that I needed to make.

I hope you do whatever it takes to get sober!
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:38 PM
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Hi Ski Stop. Welcome. I am also new to sobriety, am also a parent. If you are truly worried about your health and long term consequences then yes you should be here.

I actually got here finally by way of attending al anon meetings (am daughter of an alcoholic dad and have had many alcoholic boyfriends) and what really got to me, was listening to so many people talk about their parents, and watching their parents disintegrate, and all the fighting and tension and on and on...I thought "Holy crap, what if 15 years from now this is MY SON complaining about me?!" See - I love my glass of wine every night...and even though I never got so bad as, like passing out drunk in front of him or awakening naked in the yard or other embarrassing possibilities..there is always that word "yet" - which they say means "you're eligible too!"

So I thought, the heck with it. My son is more important than any glass of anything. And yes, it is hard, especially in the evening or in a social setting, but that's cause I am still newly sober. But all I have to do is look at my darling son and think, I will always be here for him - not passed out or dead or in jail. But right here.

So that helps me.

See ya around here, I hope! And I hope your wife is supportive too :-) that helps.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:50 PM
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Hevyn,
Thank you sooooo much for your post! I am 31 too. Your post was very encouraging. Thanks again....you made some really good points.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:29 AM
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Wow. Thanks, folks. I didn't expect to find so many wonderful replies in such a short amount of time. I'm with the boy right now, so can't spend too much time here, but will check back in soon.

This is encouraging, though. I need to do this. Thanks, and see you all later.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:43 AM
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Welcome to SR Ski.

I also think there is no need to hit any type of bottom.
For me quitting drinking was just a matter of modifying my behavior and getting rid of what had become a bad habit over the years.
If you have other issues, besides enjoying being buzzed, perhaps some therapy may help with those.
Good luck in your mission.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:11 AM
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Hi and welcome.

Therapy may help you.....it does help some.

I know it would not have helped me. I work the 12 Steps of AA. I also know of counsellors/therapists in AA, who still work the 12 Steps to stay sober despite knowing about counselling/having plenty of access to the services. AA is also free

Whatever you choose, you must do something different than you are doing now if you are going to have any chance of staying sober. You need a plan of action.

And no you don't have to reach rock bottom. The elevator stops at all floors - you are allowed to get off whenever you want.
Take care.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:16 AM
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Welcome welcome welcome! I agree that no horrific bottom is necessary. You just honestly need to want to stop more than you want to continue. And the way many of us found that desire was the fact that mentally or physically it became more painful to drink than not to drink.

I am newly sober, only 40 something days in, but my life has opened up like a flower in ways I never thought possible. Ways I could not even imagine, a month and a half ago. I knew I had a problem when I was your age, but continued drinking for 12 more years. Can you imagine? Ugh. My main regret is that I didn't quit while I was ahead.

You're doing the right thing...

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Old 02-09-2010, 07:25 AM
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I'm trying to figure out which route to take whether it be private therapy or some type of support group as well. I've found one alternative's through researching this site to AA that sounds really good to me. It's called SMART Recovery. Just google it for more information. I'm thinking of trying it. Also, I found a link to a resources page on this site that gives many other options for group support besides AA. Just wanted you to know that you have more options at your disposal than private therapy and AA. I'm at the beginning of my journey as well. Good luck to you in finding your path!
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:41 AM
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Welcome Skistop,

I agree with the others hitting bottom isn't necessary but remained an option as long as I continued drinking. My drinking was beginning to cause problems, up too late, tired and hungover, short-tempered with my family. I felt sad, embarassed, ashamed and nervous. It was terrible and getting worse quickly.

Working with a therapist has been very helpful for me. There have not been any huge realizations. Just a slow, step by step change in my behaviors that make it easier to cope with the difficulties in life. I no longer use alcohol to calm myself and check-out when things get a little tough.

Do I miss it...sometimes, am I finding peace...yes. Glad you are here.

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Old 02-09-2010, 09:36 AM
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I've read that you need to hit a bottom before you'll be ready to quit. Is that true? I don't want to hit a bottom.
My experience has been one needs to hit "A" bottom before they quit.

The neat thing is we pick our own bottoms! Mine was pretty low as far as my drinking got, but when I hit my bottom it was more of a mental/spiritual bottom.... I was empty inside, I could not drink enough anymore to fill the hole in me. I was in the process of losing my wife and kids, my job would have come soon after that along with my house and truck if I had kept on drinking.

A bottom is the point where one wants to not drink more then they want to drink.

So, could private therapy help? I've never done anything like that, so have no idea what to expect.
Of course it could, I would reccommend that if you find that therapy alone does not do the job that you be willing to open your mind to all methods of recovery from alcoholism.

I will tell you this, I was like you, I had a preconcieved idea of what AA was like, I had always felt that AA was for losers, those that were weak and of a far lower type of people.

I will just say this, once I threw away all of my preconcieved ideas of what AA was like & actually went to AA meetings I discovered that I was so wrong it was not funny.

Here is a sample of folks I know personally in AA.
Lawyers
Doctors
At least one federal judge I know
At least one minister.
Teachers
College professors
Nurses
Business owners & business people.
House wifes.
Retirees
Constrution workers
Etc.

POLITICIANS!!!

Yes sir, right on Capitol Hill there are elected officials as well as their aides that attend AA.

Names? Sorry, AA is anonymous.

I thought AA was a bunch of sad old broken down men, sitting in church basements drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes & crying because they could not hold thier liquor any longer. Did I mention I thought most of them wore nasty clothes and lived on the street or in homeless shelters?

What I found and continue to find in AA are people from every walk of life, every profession, every religion, aethiest & agnostics, men & women, young & old. Basically the same people you would see in a mall. I found the most honest & friendly group of people I have ever met in my life.

Stay honest, open minded and willing to do what ever it takes to stay sober.

Do not get me wrong, AA is not the only way to get or stay sober, but to my knowledge it is the only place one can go to for help with a drinking problem and meet & learn how to get & stay sober from people with any where from 1 year to 40+ years of sobriety.

BTW there are some real jerks that attend AA, but they are by far in the minority.

Also there are people with Top Secret clearances in AA, SCI, EBI, etc.

Can not hurt to check it out and see for your self then accepting rumors & propoganda about AA.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:38 PM
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Whatever you choose, AA, alternative to AA, or therapy, or a rehab program with the Minnesota method for example, (based on AA twelve steps), the point is that choosing some kind of a program is the way to go.

The alternative is to try and do it alone and very few have success with that.

My own "program" started with a visit with my doctor for liver levels. I then contacted an outpatient rehab program and started seeing a therapist. I also began AA at the same time. I still see the therapist and still am in AA 18 months later.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:48 PM
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Welcome to SR and I needn't chime in re the bottom issue. It has been well addressed. On a side note, Taz, I loved this "A bottom is the point where one wants to not drink more then they want to drink." I have never seen bottom defined so simply yet profoundly. I hit my bottom too and I thank God every day I have my husband, my child, my home, and no jail time because I most certainly could have lost all that had I continued. No question whatsoever.

(Okay, upon re-reading this I guess I "did" chime in regarding the bottom issue. LOL!)
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