Hello and Introduction

Old 02-21-2010, 08:25 AM
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Hello and Introduction

Hello everyone. I am T and an alcoholic.

Now, with that out of the way, it will be tremendously helpful (to me) to tell my story or at least have it written out. You don't have to read this - you can just say hello. Most of the below is for myself...

I didn't touch a drop of alcohol until I started at a big university here in the Midwest. My parents always had booze in the house but they rarely drank it and I never really had the desire to go near it. At least at the University where I studied, it seemed that everyone in the dorms binge drank. I remember my first time drinking beer, I guzzled down a whole six pack of Rolling Rock. Through college, I joined a fraternity, where extreme binge drinking was the norm (see beer olympics). However, I was always really highly functioning, I had excellent grades and worked full time as an IT manager despite getting drunk almost every other night.

After that, I moved to the inner-city to live with the "hipsters", of which I considered myself one. I lived there for a few years, I would alternate between drinking one night and recovering (and not drinking the next). I'd almost always guzzle down at least a 40oz of malt liquor, if not some cheap vodka or whatever. I really was a mess, partying and drinking constantly. I gained weight and fell out of shape.

In an effort to force myself to clean up, I went back and got a Masters degree. I was able to finish the degree while still working full time and getting drunk every pretty often, although I had a few extended periods of sobriety where I tried to "lay off the sauce". When sober, my old college friends always commented on how boring I had become and encouraged me to drink again.

Now, I'm in a very intense PhD program in theoretical math. Things have finally caught up with me. The years of being a functioning alcoholic have taken a severe toll on my memory; I remember almost nothing from my masters program, for example. I was always able to just skate by with good grades while getting drunk all the time. My job was basically a means for buying alcohol, I probably spent more than $10,000 per year on booze alone ($15,000+ if you include the stupid purchases, like drunk visits to strip clubs, music, etc).

With my grades suffering, I've been seeing a therapist. It's become quite obvious most of my problems are strongly correlated with my alcoholism. I'm killing my brain, ruining my relationships, burning money, and destroying myself with this stuff. I had always "sort-of" considered myself an alcoholic but now, for the first time, I think I really do.

I haven't had a drink in a few days, which is particularly hard over the weekend. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had a weekend without a drop of the sauce. It probably dates back at least two or three years. In a sense, this sucks; I have no idea what to do with the amount of time I used to spend drinking. Not to mention, compared to drinking, it all seems so boring. My life is pretty boring - school, sleep, school, sleep - alcohol always provided some escape from that. This is my challenge.

OK. Rant Over. Hello :-)
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:57 AM
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Hello and welcome to SR academia.

Just want to wish you good luck with quitting drinking and with your PHD studies.
You will find other activities to replace the drinking but it will take an effort in that area.
Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:06 AM
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Fighting my Demons
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Can u remember what motivated you, interest you before you went to college, maybe a good place to start search for an alcohol replacement is just before it all started. Maybe it's worth to say to your college friends that you're taking a break (you can always use PhD excuse) from seeing them. Just random thoughts.

Still, I am amazed with how much you achieved while being a binge drunk, imagine what you could if you'll stop!!!

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Old 02-21-2010, 09:12 AM
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Wow, without drinking your life DOES sound boring. I think it might help if you find some other interests like reading, cooking, exercise, hobbies, meeting other people, finding spirituality, helping others etc... get out and make friends and do things.
I hope you stay sober though, because one day when you are healed and your brain is working properly again, you'll have so much to offer the world.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:25 AM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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Millions of alcoholics have quit drinking and found a productive
fantastic new life by living the 12 Steps of AA...

I read every bit of your post...thanks for sharing your story.
Recovery certainly improved my brain functions too.

Glad you are here....Welcome to our recovery community
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:28 AM
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:40 AM
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I'm sure you'll find plenty of help by searching the forums on here. Don't give up.
I understand the initial boredom, but if it's any consolation, that stuff began away once I started exercising, meditating, etc. I mean, surely remembering your actions is better than drowning yourself in some kind of chemical oblivion, right? Not to mention the money you'll save and the problems you'll avoid down the road. Good luck T. You've certainly come to the right place.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:44 AM
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Hello Academia, Welcome to SR. You'll find lots of support and friendship here. If you read enough other peoples stories, you'll find similar ones to yours. Life can be fun and exicting without the booze, in fact even more so. Take care and best of luck.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:03 AM
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Don't resist, allow
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Hi and weclome

Originally Posted by academia View Post
I have no idea what to do with the amount of time I used to spend drinking.
Visit here, post here, go to meetings. Fill your time with active recovery

I used to drink to pass away the hours now I find there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done I need to do and I am a 100 times more productive than when I was drinking. These thoughts you have are an illusion created by alcohol - alcohol is the big liar.

Not to mention, compared to drinking, it all seems so boring.
And of course, drinking is not boring.

Get the urge to drink, fight it, become overwhelmed by urge, buy drink, waste money, get drunk, black out, wake feeling dreadful and remorseful and full of regret. Resolve never to drink again.

Repeat above over and over again for freedom from boredom.

I actually think that is very boring and repetatitve and pointless. As I said alcohol creates an illusion. It the big liar. It will do anything and everything to trick us into believing that we must drink.

Well done on making the decision to get sober. Life can be so much better
Take care.
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Old 02-21-2010, 11:58 AM
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Welcome to SR, T.

In the later days of my drinking career I found drinking to be boring. Especially given that I was either too drunk to do anything or was suffering withdrawals and being too sick to do anything.

My life in the last few years has been dull, but I'd prefer a dull existance to a numb/sick existance.

Here are some suggestions for things to do that don't involve drinking.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:29 PM
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There must be an AA group near you, T. You might be an alcoholic. Go find out. See if you can identify with what you hear there, but remember to look for the similarities, not for the differences. Many are too unique to make the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but none are too common.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:25 PM
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Welcome, Academia! I'm so glad you found us. Being able to tell my story and share my frustrations was a huge help to me when I found SR. These people really understood me, like no one else in my life could.

In the beginning, it does seem boring and pointless without alcohol. I know that's a terrible thing to say - but we need to give our bodies and minds chance to recuperate from all the damage. I learned to live again without it - I had literally anesthetized myself & masked my true feelings for most of my life. I didn't know how to enjoy anything without my constant companion - a nice, stiff drink always by my side.

Your self awareness will serve you well as you heal. I justified my drinking for decades - resulting in chaos and near death. This won't be you. You can do this thing. Let us know how it's going.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:48 PM
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Welcome academia

Like others have said, this board is full of people who's lives are rich and full.

I know the last three years of my life sober have been the best ever - I wish I'd have been smart enough to deal with my alcoholism and the peer group pressure when I was a student.

There's been some great advice here already. I hope you decide to look into a recovery programme.

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Old 02-21-2010, 03:32 PM
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Welcome Academia! One of the things I am planning on doing with my new found free time is going to volunteer for a local animal rescue. I think there are many worthwhile causes out there and it might help you to get involved in your community (assuming you don't already do this).
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:08 PM
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I'm glad you decided to stop drinking and I hope you find this board a support for you.

You'll be surprised how great life can be without alcohol.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:23 PM
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Welcome to SR.
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