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Old 03-19-2010, 05:17 PM
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Question Omg!!

That was really hard!...I've been sober for 4 days. I haven't told my husband and he just pulled a beer from the fridge and set it 2 inches from me while we ate dinner. It would have been so nice to have..goes good with buffalo chicken wraps! But I didn't have one. Had a Diet Coke. Not the same. How do you get use to that?

He doesn't know I quit. I tried a couple weeks ago, lasted about 12 days then blew it when I had a bad day at work and an aniexty attack. I told him then that I was quitting, he doesn't think I need to. The thing is he doesn't know how I feel. I didn't tell him this time because I'm afraid of failing again in front of him. It's not like he isn't going to notice, not too many weekend go by without me having a drink (well no weekends actually..lol). But, I feel like I don't want to announce it. It will be hard enough when I'm around my family and they all ask questions why I'm not having wine.

I don't know for sure if I'm an alcoholic. For the last few years I've been going through a bit of stress, aniexty etc. I was put on anti-depressants and go to therapy. It helps for a bit but then subsides. Since then I drink way more than I use to..and alone..which I know is a bad sign. My uncle, aunt and Grandfather were/are alcoholics (and probably some who aren't diagnosed) so I know I have the capacity to be, but I'm of the mind right now that I'm dependant on it, yes, and I'm using it to cope at this time in my life...and that's bad..So I decided to give it up, which is hard.

I've been lurking here all week. You all seem like a great bunch and I'm hoping to pass the hundreds of questions I have rolling around in my head to you. Like...Could I be fooling myself? Have you ever heard of someone who just needed to quit until they sorted out their life and then went on to have a normal, healthy relationship with alcohol?

It seems like just another thing I've been "diagnosed" with lately. Add it to the list: depression, aniexty, social aniexty, perfectionism, OCD..I mean really? What happened to just being normal?

Sorry so long
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:30 PM
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Hey Charlotte! Good for you on staying strong! A wise person once told me...people who are not alcoholic don't ever wonder if they are or not...

Good luck to you!

After re reading, your list of things you've been diagnosed with sounds just like mine. Turns out, I am just an alcoholic! It's not the alcohol that's the problem. People like me don't know how to live sober. Just stopping drinking won't solve the problem. Get into a recovery program...AA, SMART, Celebrate Recovery...SOMTHING....that teaches you how to live soberly.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:32 PM
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Have you ever heard of someone who just needed to quit until they sorted out their life and then went on to have a normal, healthy relationship with alcohol?
Not among the people I know. Have you ever looked at AA or another form of support?
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte2276 View Post
It seems like just another thing I've been "diagnosed" with lately. Add it to the list: depression, aniexty, social aniexty, perfectionism, OCD..I mean really? What happened to just being normal?
Charlotte, welcome to the board. I also have mild depression, anxiety, some OCD, perfectionism, etc.. I am an alcoholic and I don't know if you are. Chances are you think you have some kind of problem with alcohol or you wouldn't be here. Only you can really tell yourself if you are or you aren't.

Have you ever read the Big Book "Alcoholics Anonymous?" I ask because reading that made it very obvious to me that I was an alcoholic as did going to my first AA meeting. I was able to identify with what everyone was saying immediately.

There is a chance that you aren't an alcoholic but if you drink to fix any kind of problem, that's not a sign of being a normal drinker.

Glad you came here and please ask away.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:42 PM
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Hi Charlotte and Welcome!

I'm glad you found us. To me, it's not such a big deal if you label yourself an alcoholic or not. If alcohol is causing problems in any part of your life, then it's a problem. If you're not sure, you could stop drinking for a fixed period of say, 3 months, and see what happens. You'll probably get your answer.

It's understandable that you're reluctant to accept that you will not drink anymore, so try to just focus on the day and get through things. I also didn't announce that I was stopping drinking because I had done so and failed numerous times. So, I just did it and it was the best thing I could have done.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:44 PM
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Welcome Charlotte

.Could I be fooling myself? Have you ever heard of someone who just needed to quit until they sorted out their life and then went on to have a normal, healthy relationship with alcohol?
I see this question often.

Personally I really doubt people 'just going through a phase' take the time to search out, join up, and then post on a recovery board.

I know what it took me to get here.

I started my drinking career self medicating for stress depression and grief.
Even tho I've made great strides now in dealing with those underlying issues, and it's been nearly 3 years without a drink and I'm happier and more emotionally healthy than I've ever been, I know without doubt I'd still drink alcoholically.

I've crossed whatever invisible line there is. I'm an alcoholic.

As an alcoholic, there's a number of red flags in your post for me - not being able to stop for a significant amount of time, obsession, resentment at others drinking, cravings, drinking alone...whether thats dependency or addiction it's not a good road to be going down, and I'm glad you decided to post, Charlotte.

I hope we can help you work out for yourself whether you've crossed that line too
D
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:33 PM
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Thanks everyone! I went for a walk with the dog and feel better. Weekdays are one thing but the weekends are what kills me. Looooonnnnggg days! But, I have two children and instead of being lazy all day and tired from drinking the night before maybe I'll have some energy and/or will to get up and play with them! It's the hours of 5-7 that are hard for me, that's when I drank. After work while I make supper and one with dinner, then if my husband went upstairs with the kids to get them ready for bed..I might sneak another in.

Anyway, thanks for your kind words and advice. I see a running theme of AA and I understand what a great program it is if it helped so many people. I do have a bit of a concern with the whole God influence, mainly because I don't know where I stand right now in my beliefs. Funny, I used to pray every night but I felt like I was always doing it because I felt guilty if I didn't..and then I just stopped. Over the past week I've tried again hoping that maybe something would make me feel different. My uncle, who has about 19 years sober, was a real bad alcoholic..first thing in the morning he opened a beer for almost my whole childhood..He lost everything and then one day he checked into rehab and said he had a religious moment and he never drank again.

I wrote him a letter but I haven't sent it.

Is AA about religion?
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:44 PM
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Hey Charlotte, welcome to SR!

For starters, you never have to apologize for a long post here...type on to your heart's content - it's cleansing, honestly.

I was just like you with the stress, anxiety depression, perfectionism. Also learned that all of these feelings were begging for a drink to calm me down. This was true - for a while. Then it began to happen...

My drinking increased. I don't mean one or two glasses of wine, I'm talking one or two bottles. Not overnight, but alcohol and its effects never remain constant. When my tolerance level built up to the one/two bottles, I switched it up with vodka.

The problem with using alcohol to mask those uncomfortable feelings is that alcohol does a number on our nervous system. When a couple of glasses of wine used to calm my nerves down in the beginning, it took a greater and greater amount to have the same affect as early on. It's a vicious alcohol cycle; and mixing meds, even (or especially anti-depressants) is dangerous.

I don't know if you're alcoholic. If you're white-knuckling the presence of a beer in front of you and really, really need to resist it, there is a problem.

Never met anybody who's stayed happy and sober on willpower alone. I saw a LADAC (licensed alcohol counselor) in early sobriety who saved my life. He taught me the difference between just staying sober (dry) and helped me to build a foundation for living sober - there's a big difference.

We all have different experiences to share - don't let it overwhelm you - it becomes a personal choice. Read other forums, ask questions, continue sharing your fears, doubts, triumphs. That's why we're here ~

As for normal...my drinking life was totally abnormal...the life I have now is the only normal I've ever known.

I originally stopped drinking to make the unbearable, emotional pain go away. In hindsight, I never actually thought about "forever" (still don't). Along the way in learning how to live sober, I liked who I became and decided to keep her...

Glad to have you with us, Charlotte. See? No post is too long. lol.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:04 PM
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Vodka...Yup, I did that too because I thought it would be less calories. Martini's actually so Vodka AND Vermouth.

In a strange way I'm kind of looking forward to being sober because I need to change and work on myself. I need to start liking myself.

I've been keeping a journal and writing down everytime I think of a reason I need to stay away from alcohol and I plan on reading the list everyday and remind myself of what I have to lose. What scares me is I have a history of getting obessed with something and going all out with it only to give it up and crash...then ripping myself apart about it...I'll try not to do that this time.

It helps to know there is some place to spill my guts...

Well, I'm off to bed. I like mornings because there's no pressure. I never drank then or the afternoons. I'm making plans to be busy in the early evenings so I don't think too much.

Thanks everyone. Have a good night.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:06 PM
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Charlotte, I want to chime in and say that I honestly don't know if you are an alcoholic. I am sensitive to the idea of responding to somebody in a way that will not help them, but all I can do is be honest.

What I do see is a concern about your behavior, your routine and you are takinga look at your "relationship with alcohol." Sounds good to me. On the YES side, I can tell you that your post reminded me of my questioning stage more than 10 years ago. And now I DO say I am an alcoholic and have stopped drinking. I am convinced I did the right thing by quitting because the relationship with alcohol was "pervasive." It was a main ingredient to life and it was an obstruction - to the point where OTHER pieces of life were getting in the way of experiencing alcohol. (Even though I was very studious and passionate about work, etc etc, and did not have a lot of catastrophic incidents stemming from using it.) It could very well be that you are at an earlier stage if the alcoholism is true. If it is not true, then I guess you are simply taking a look at it and see stopping as a good move.

You also have an open mind, and I think that is going to be helpful. Unfortunately for people that suffer from addiction, it can take a long time to cooperate with one's best wishes for oneself. (In my case, that meant drinking for another 10 years when I could have come to the realization that I needed to stop.)

My suggestion is to roam through the boards some more and ponder what can be learned and also think about the various methods. Maybe you could go to an AA meeting to give it a try. (Don't worry about any mention about "God" - it's not really religious in nature, in the sense of I'm A Sinner and I Must Worship My Creator, it's more like "spiritual" and believing that a connection in you with some concept that supports you. I have a friend on these boards - Tazman - who said he knows at least one agnostic who later became an atheist yet still uses AA.) I don't go to meetings (I have been to them in the past), but I believe there are elements of it that are actually having an impact on me, and in the ways I need, here. I read a little bit about LifeRing and that sounds interesting in the sense of empowering people. There are people who use a combo of things. I think there are some people who only use this site as far as support groups go. I started coming here after about 6 weeks sobriety because I wanted to investigate for myself what was going on, what I could expect; and then an exchange of support happened right away, and I think I have been here almost every day since.

I think it is a worthwhile idea to continue not drinking and see how it goes and study the situation. Remember the by-products of not drinking ($aving, etc etc) as a way to stay off it if that works. Good for you!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:15 PM
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Hmm, I cut myself short by 6 weeks, since I stopped in Nov and joined here in Feb. I guess I would make somebody a great editor.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:20 PM
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Charlotte, keep writing! I went as far as posting a blog, and I read back over the last week and a half of sober writings several times a day. Just like I know me best, you know you best! Keep in mind, alcohol is not oxygen, you CAN live without it. So when you ask yourself "what's wrong with a drink from time to time?", counter that with the question:"what's wrong with NOT drinking?"

And just keep NOT doing it. You know for sure that it wont hurt you physically or financially to NOT drink. You know that if you don't drink at all, you won't wonder if it's "getting bad' or too much. Sounds to me like you're on the right track. Again, keep writing, notes to yourself or on these messageboards. I found it to help quite a bit.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:35 PM
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okay...so I got caught up reading with the kids and then checked the board again because I just had a thought that I should just give myself 2 drinks tomorrow and that's it for the week..hahaha...Man, how a mind can change in 30 mins!!.....I should go to bed. I don't think like that in the mornings!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:40 PM
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I found that telling people actually helped my sobriety, because I had people holding me accountable. It is easier to pick up again if no one knows. Maybe telling people and getting their support would help you? Because now everyone knows about my addiction, so if I even tried to pick up I would get my A** kicked. haha. Keep going girl!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:47 PM
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Thanks everyone. Everything you have all suggest and all the warm wishes (and welcome) mean a great deal.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:03 PM
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Here is a great link on AA that should answer most of your questions on it.
Your First AA Meeting
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:58 PM
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Welcome to SR. Glad you are here! Keep reading and posting....lots of good people here.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:14 PM
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I used to tell myself that I'd stop drinking and not tell my husband because of that fear of failure you mention. Now that I've had 83 sober days in a row, I believe that was me just trying to figure out how to keep drinking...eventually. Then, I didn't want to tell our friends that we hang out with every weekend...in case I "failed"...meaning really, in case I wanted to drink again without anyone making a big deal about it. Thinking that by going on the wagon for a week or maybe two, that I'd paid my sober dues, and surely earned the right to just have a few. Problem was, it was almost never a few. And when it was only a few, and I didn't get totally obliterated, but was careful with the intake, trying to be 'good', I got really angry at everone else who could just drink drink drink freely. So basically, I was either drinking to blackout, hungover - so hungover for days after drinking, or thinking about when I could do it all over again.

Being OCD myself - like, seriously, a card carrying member, official diagnosis and everything, I'd overanalyze all this over and over. Problem was, I had this huge blind spot. I wanted to eat my cake and have it too. Quit, but still drink maybe someday. Doesn't work. It wasn't until I left that thinking behind, and just drew a line in the sand that said, no more, no matter what, was I free. Does that mean I never think about it, or never get just a teensy bit resentful of others who can drink like normal people? No. I do think about it, and I do get urges...but mostly I'm so happy when I wake up sober and not hungover and wondering what I did or said. It's so liberating to be really in control of yourself.

Keep reading, keep posting. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:33 AM
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Hi Charlotte and welcome

Originally Posted by Charlotte2276 View Post
Is AA about religion?
No.

All that we have to do in AA is believe in a Power greater than ourselves.

Are you the greatest power there is on this planet? If no, then you already believe in at power greater than yourself.

A lot of AAs call their power ...God or Higher Power but you can call it whatever you want.

Most people who walk into AA have a problem with the "God" thing. You are not alone with that.

I hope you do check out a meeting. Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:34 AM
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If I'm being honest with myself, you hit it square on the head..I don't want to tell anyone I'm quitting because I want to leave the door open to drink again..in case I CAN drink normally...Hmmm...a bit enlightening. At least I'm thinking honestly.

Funny, it's Saturday morning and I woke up with a headache!!..At least it wasn't caused by alcohol, but me clenching my jaw and chewing the side of my face (gross I know)...sigh..but, I'm in good spirits and NOT being negative towards myself.

Looking forward to Day 5...right..honesty...Looking forward to Day 5 until about 4pm...lol

Thanks everyone. I will check the info on the boards and think about going to a meeting. I do believe in a higher power. I just don't know what. Tend to believe in the whole power of the universe thing.

Have a good day. Will check in later!
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