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Do I have a problem with drugs and alcohol?

Old 03-21-2010, 12:01 PM
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I'm now 58 yrs old. I started drinking 'a glass' of wine in the afternoon before the kids got home from high school just to 'relax' when I was 56. Within six months I was drinking all day, every day. Women DO progress quicker than men, I'm proof of that. Even when I 'thought' I might have 'a problem' I couldn't quit drinking. It's taken me two years to get this much sober time (100 days). I had six months and blew it. I had several more months and blew it. I've now realized that I DON'T want to find out how low I can go. I might not have any more recovery left in me. Don't wait til you're my age, quit now while it's easier to do and doesn't have such a grip on you.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:12 PM
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Also drawing on my own experience (and I truly don't mean this to be a scare tactic)... When I was drinking heavily, I fell into a relationship with a guy who, in retrospect, was coercing me into sex that I didn't want (read: raping me) on a regular basis. As young women, we are more vulnerable to predators when we're under the influence than a lot of other people.
Yes, Tellus.
Oh my, this can happen too.
Blackouts.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mek0455 View Post
I've been drinking since the summer before freshman year and smoked weed for the first time spring of my freshman year. I am now a junior (in high school) and I've gotten in trouble quite a few times with my parents with both weed and alcohol. It usually results in them making me feel terrible, me being grounded, and promising myself that I will stop. I've tried so hard to change many times, because I know I hurt my parents by doing it, and also it's well known that I do it throughout school.( it's not like I'm the only one but you know what I mean) especially during the summer, I do it more frequently, I'm drunk or high probably 4 times a week. During the school year it's less because I play sports and stuff. Maybe once every two or three weekends sometimes more.

The problem is, whenever I try to change, and stop doing them, I just can't. I love the feeling of being drunk or high way too much to give it up. I've really tried soo hard to. But it gets to a point where at 4 or 5 months, I just can't resist any longer. I get this burning in my belly that's only satisfied when I go out and party.

My question is... Do you think I have a problem? I don't know if this is considered an addicion since I don't do it allll the time, but it's definately not something I can peacefully live with out. How can I change? I would really appreciate any help I can get, this is a problem I have been strugglig with for years and I don't want to mess up my life. :/

p.s. I'm a girl, I don't know if that matters...
This sentence alone says it all. Normal people don't like the feeling of booze or drugs,..........if you nip it in the but now you can probably save yourself a world of hurt and disappointment. Maybe you can get help through your school? Just ask some-one,...and don't feel bad about a problem because it takes a bigger person to face up to something then it does to simple ignore it.

My drinking and what not started in high school and I'll tell you it held me back from reaching my full potential,....it kept up until I was 33 and had nothing for the third time,....trust me when I say it's not worth it! That feeling of being high or drunk isn't real,...it takes so much away from you.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:11 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mek0455
is it worth it to just wait it out and see what happens?
I think everyone here will tell you no, Mek.
D
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I think everyone here will tell you no, Mek.
D
Yeah Mek, definitely no.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Spawn View Post
Normal people don't like the feeling of booze or drugs,
wait so people don't do it for the feeling? Because that's honeslty the main reason why I do. What do normal people do it for then?
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:32 PM
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I am with Mek on this one, we drink because we like the feeling it produces. Here is what the AA Big Book 1st edition says about it:

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol.
Now non-alcoholics also drink for the same reasons, but the big book goes on to describe feelings and actions that are unique to us problem drinkers or alcoholics:

The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.
I know this was true in my case, and I even saw it coming back in my 20s. I unfortunately did nothing about it until I hit 44.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mek0455 View Post
wait so people don't do it for the feeling? Because that's honeslty the main reason why I do. What do normal people do it for then?
I've often wondered that myself. The taste, I suppose, or to relax? Normal adults, anyway -- I think most under-25s drink to get drunk, even normies.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:49 PM
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I don't know anything about normal - I've always been this way.

From what I've observed tho, I think people's reasons for drinking aren't really that different - I dunno where that idea came from.

But normal non-alcoholic folks can stop - I can't.

D
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:14 PM
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I really want to see a therapist so I can have someone to talk to, but I know in order to do that I'll have to tell my parents. But then they'll want to know why, even though the whole reason is because I don't want to talk to them about it. Then they'll be all worried and constantly asking about what I talk about with the therapist, even though I don't want to tell them. Is there any way around this?
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:30 PM
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Perhaps a school counciler?? There may be some kind of teen outreach program you could contact without involving your parents. I'm sure you'll get some other suggestions. Keep reaching out. Take care.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:30 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Hi.

I found this forum about a month ago and have really only posted a few times - most in the last few days. I'm 27 and I am an alcoholic. Only, no one knows it. I went to college. I have a comfortable, corporate career. I wear ties! All my friends know how much I drink. But they don't really "know." I am not drunk during the day. I am not drunk when I shouldn't be. I do not carry around a flask and sneak sips. If you met me at Starbucks you'd think I was an all-around nice, normal person. And I am. But - I know that the way I consume alcohol is different than other people. I actually knew early on. Very early on... that I liked it too much. Heck. I remember the first time I got drunk, sophomore year of HS. The next morning I thought - I literally thought - "This is great! That was fun! Whenever I'm bored I can do that and I will not be bored anymore!" I was excited to have found this magical, fun thing. Odd huh? My childhood was spent in the suburbs. My parents made ok money and life was good. In HS I would not tolerate drugs. I would throw people out of my house if they were going to smoke weed. I wanted nothing to do with it. I first smoked pot freshman year of college. Which led to smoking every, single day. I smoked every day and got a 4.0 my freshman year. Was drinking heavily, too. So that validated my experience as "ok." Blah blah blah. Two years later I experimented with all sorts of other drugs, which I loved but never got "hooked." Mind you - I'm not a delinquent at this point. In fact, I never became a delinquent. I was still in college, still getting fair enough grades, still doing all of the other things like family events that I was expected to with a smile on my face. I never "hit bottom" or anything like that. I realized that drugs were a bad thing. So I tapered off. I was just "in college - having fun!" You know? "Drug addicts" and "alcoholics" were creepy, middle-aged people in ratty, worn flannel who sat in church basements drinking bad coffee and smoking cigarettes down to the filter and then some (I hope that's not offensive?). And hey - that wasn't me, right? That was "them." Let's make a long story short. I don't know you or your situation. And I'm not much of a preacher. Heck, I didn't admit to myself that I was alcoholic until May of 2009 (when I was 26). The word "alcoholic" was so gross to me. In HS I would have NEVER taken it seriously when I was your age. When I was in college, I knew I "partied" too much - but so did everyone around me (not really, but it seemed that way because I mostly only associated with such). I got black-out drunk the first 15 nights of my freshman year of college. Yow. (And got straight As that year, remember, so things were just fine.) I was able to validate my drinking for two reasons: 1. I was a "college kid" and that made it ok, and 2. I was not anywhere even close to being ready to admit that I had a problem. (In the fall of 2005 I stopped for 4 months. 100% sober.) If you are of a mindset that is anywhere near where I was when in HS, you don't take this too seriously. Not because of your age - but because of a lack of life experience. It took me time to develop an understanding of my "relationship" with alcohol. And that is the word you should use when reviewing your own habits. Relationship. Said another way: I have always had a very different relationship with alcohol than those around me. And that is important to note. The sooner you identify the nature of your relationship with substances, the better. It's easy to say, "I'm no different than my peers when consuming." And you may not be. Deep down, myself, I knew that I always drank just a 'little' quicker. I desired shots just a 'little' more, I chugged as others sipped, so to speak. But I was a "heavy drinker" and not an "alcoholic" (yuck, right?) Like I said. I'm 27 and I'm doing ok. College degree. Fair career. Downtown apartment. "Normal" friends. "Normal" everything. But 'what' I drink, how 'often' I drink, how I 'feel' about drinking - all of these variables - are more influential in my life than they are in the lives of people who are not alcoholic. By the way. I'm having a beer as I type this. Well, a few beers (I don't even know if I'm allowed to post something like that here?). The few that I have left after this weekend, anyway. I'm going to give quitting a shot - a real shot, and go to my first ever ... AA meeting ... tomorrow (here's to hope!). (Yuck.) I drank 17 beers yesterday for no real good reason. I even went to the office for a few hours in the morning, first. My work schedule is Mon-Fri, 9-5ish, that sort of thing. So I can say: "I worked on the weekend (not normal) and did my laundry - I'm not an alcoholic! I was more productive than a lot of other people I know, for a Sunday." See what I mean about validating? Functioning alcoholism is as prevalent as the type that leaves people begging for change in front of the Starbucks I referred to earlier. (I am so sorry if anyone reading this has ever begged for change in front of the Brady & Farwell Starbucks that I refer to!) The fact that I am "functioning" makes it that much harder (for me, anyway - we all have our own situations). Functioning. When I was in HS I was "functioning." I went to school. I went to my part-time job. When I was in college I was "functioning," as stated earlier. It took a serious, unsolicited introspection on my part, for me alone, to determine that something was wrong. Because life otherwise was "business as usual." Age doesn't matter; but for me, the younger I was, the less I had to deal with - which made "functioning" that much easier.

My advice is to be careful.

But - when when I wasn't even in HS, but in college, this kind of advice meant very little to me. I was non-receptive. I was king of the world. At your age - alcoholism was miles and miles and miles away from even entering my mind. I feel like I'm still that same person I was 9 years ago in HS - only with a deeper insight into my own outlook on life. And that insight leads me to believe that had I addressed this back then, I wouldn't be sitting here right now.

Be well.

The increasingly protracted,

Eliot
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:31 PM
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Wow. "Wall-of-words." Yikes.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:30 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Thanks for posting EliotRosewater.

You have a lot of really valid points in that post. Remember though that you need to "Live in the solution and not in the problem"

The fact is that I wouldn't have changed anything about my drinking behaviour untill I was ready. When I was the OPs age alcoholism never crossed my mind. I was far too busy just thoroughly enjoying getting wrecked. Though note to the OP that I never even sought out any 'recovery' untill I was about 21. So you're obviously further down the line than I was.

I think you have many valid points about 'life-experience'. You can literally only gain this by living life and getting older.

I also like what you say about alcohol and the 'relationship' with it. This is important to ponder as I know that my relationship with booze was very different to most other binge-drinkers/heavy drinkers. I genuinely 'loved' booze. Now that is some attachment. Much of my early sobriety, upto about 6 months, was characterised by mourning/grieving for my best friend in sporadic periods. That ain't something a non-alcoholic would do I'm sure.

Eliot you have known that you're an alcoholic for some time now, nearly a year, but if you keep drinking and running away from the reality then the YETS' will happen eventually. Drunk during the day, driving drunk, drinking when waking will all come eventually if you're an alcoholic in most probability.

Don't be predjudiced towards truly accepting yourself as an alcoholic. A 'recovering' sober alcoholic ain't nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe things are different in USA but in England there is much respect for a young person who has realised booze will be their downfall and as such have faced their problems head-on and accepted that just for today they won't take that first drink.

Knowing you''re an alcoholic and continuing to drink is a lonely road to go down. I knew i was an alcoholic when I went back drinking again during my 'last farewell' with drink and drugs. You know what? It was all over and very dark and desolate. My behaviour was probably very strange in my blackouts and I knew it was all over and I knew what had to be done... I had already had a stint in AA.

You know what has to be done dude, "just for today don't pick up that first drink." Then you can work on your 'thinking' and recovery.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:44 PM
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im a 21 year old girl, i started drinking/smoking when i was 15, in october that year-i turned 16 in november. i started thinking i had a problem when i was 16, that december. that's 3 months after i started. and by the time i was 18, i had done almost every kind of substance you can think of and was drinking, among other things, basically every night until i blacked out or got too messed up to even be able to move or speak. but of course i thought why would i stop? i love it, im still young & everyone else does it. even though my "friends" saw how messed up i got on a regular basis NOONE was concerned or would support me if i decided to quit. someone was always there trying to talk me into drinking or whatever with them. as things got worse for me i tried quitting over and over, sometimes i made it only for a few days sometimes for months but i always got right back into it just as heavy as before. those couple years of my life are one long, awful testimonial to how alcoholism & addiction can mess with someone's life but-- i've been arrested 3 times all while being drunk, did some jail time and currently have 6 months more over my head. i caused myself & my family a lot of heartache. i lost a ton of self respect & confidence and i know that had i not spent those years doing nothing but getting messed up i would be much farther in my life than i am right now. not quitting for good when i knew i should have is definitely one of my biggest regrets.

im not saying that your experience IS going to be anything like mine, but then again it might. in my opinion, if you think you have a problem, you're probably right. please get some help if you think you need it. it couldnt hurt right?
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:18 PM
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i'd like to add that obviously though you haven't progressed--if that's the right word, seems kind of like an oxymoron?--like i did, the point i wanted to make is that for me it kind of happened JUST LIKE THAT, and if i could go back i would have addressed the problem as soon as i recognized it, before things went from bad to worse.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:41 PM
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You guys are right, i should get help. It can't hurt, if it turns out not to be a problem, then no big deal. But it will hurt if I let myself fall deeper in love with the way drugs and alcohol feel. But it's like when I'm not currently under the influence like right now ( it's a school day, I'm not that bad) I look back on my experiences and truely think I have a problem. But when I'm in the moment, drinking or smoking or partying, I don't think I have a problem. And I find any way to justify that bc I want to do it, and it's like I don't want my self to keep myself from doing it. I don't know if that makes sense but I sit here thinking that if I try stopping all together, the next time someone having a party I'm gonna be like screw this, I wanna get F'd up! But when I'm not all pumped about a party or something I sit here and think about how much I wish I would change. It's so hard, especially with the way that I justify what I do similar to what Eliot said. I get good grades, live a normal life, and all my friends do it just like me. But I have a feeling that I truely like it a 'little' bit more than them, and drink a 'littl'e bit faster and get a 'little' bit more excited when someone hands me that bottle or blunt. Idk.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:53 PM
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But it's like when I'm not currently under the influence like right now ( it's a school day, I'm not that bad) I look back on my experiences and truely think I have a problem. But when I'm in the moment, drinking or smoking or partying, I don't think I have a problem. And I find any way to justify that bc I want to do it, and it's like I don't want my self to keep myself from doing it. I don't know if that makes sense but I sit here thinking that if I try stopping all together, the next time someone having a party I'm gonna be like screw this, I wanna get F'd up! But when I'm not all pumped about a party or something I sit here and think about how much I wish I would change.
I think everybody here felt this way Mek - I know I did.

It's part of the whole thing - when we want to, we can lie to ourselves and say screw it, or I'm not that bad....but if you're anything like me, you are actually that bad - and for your own good, that needs action...now.

D
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mek0455 View Post
I really want to see a therapist so I can have someone to talk to, but I know in order to do that I'll have to tell my parents. But then they'll want to know why, even though the whole reason is because I don't want to talk to them about it. Then they'll be all worried and constantly asking about what I talk about with the therapist, even though I don't want to tell them. Is there any way around this?
If you are known all over school for being a big partier, do you really believe that your parents are totally clueless about your, um, hobbies?
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:44 PM
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Functioning alcoholism is as prevalent as the type that leaves people begging for change in front of the Starbucks I referred to earlier.
Actually, there is a very good chance that the panhandler in front of Starbucks was a functional alcoholic, before he became a dysfunctional one.
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