Do I have a problem with drugs and alcohol?

Old 03-23-2010, 02:48 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Well they have caught me a couple times, so they know generally. I don't think they know how much I do it or for how long I've been doing it. As far as I can tell they don't think I have a problem, or know that I think I have one.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:15 PM
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i dont know your parents, but i think maybe they would appreciate the veracity of you coming clean, admitting that you think you may have a problem and letting them know why and what has been going on, and hopefully they wouldn't reprimand you for seeking help
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:40 PM
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I keep thinking though that once I tell them, then I really do actually have a problem. It won't be an idea in my head anymore now that Ive admitted it. They will constantly be looking out for it, and I really won't be able to do it any more. How can I just give it up cold turkey? I don't want them on my back all the time. I love doing it, its so hard to go against what my body is telling me I want. I know I should stop. I wish I could just do it lightly, not totally giving up. But once i start I will get right back to doing it as hard as I always have ughhh
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:01 PM
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But it's not just an idea in your head is it Mek? It's a real actual problem or else you wouldn't be here.

Noone here can tell you want to do - it's tough to go against peer pressure, media pressure, and the desire to be normal and not have a problem.

I get it. I battled that from about your age until I was 40.

Looking back I would have loved to have been so self aware as you are at your age. I know I could have saved myself, and my friends and family, a heck of a lot of grief and sorrow.

All I or anyone here can do is share our experience.
I really I hope you make the right choices Mek

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:00 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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I probably started drinking at 17 and I still do at nearly 50. So, Ok I thought about some of your questions.
At 17 I drank too going out partying and not even remembering how I got home. (what a thought) Looking back I did it for the same reasons you did. It felt good, made things easier to enjoy. At that age I wasnt the most confident girl around so drinking helped. In australia, drinking is part of our culture, social activity, its advertised heavily, always has been, so it all seemed part of usual life. I didnt see drinking as a problem at all, it was accepted wherever you went. At 33 I was still a 'social' drinker but then split up with my hubby. I then drank to numb the pain every night until I blacked out on the floor.
At 36ish, I realized I had big problems, my father died and this probably knocked the guts out of me. This is when I stopped completely. I dont know why, I guess at that time the pain of flashing back through my life, was enough.
Over the years though, met a new partner and I was drinking again (socially?) most nights - you know a couple of glasses but I was dealing with a relative who was a full blown alcoholic too, so this kind of stopped the drinking again.
Now, though, at my age, I am drinking more than ever as I lost my sister only 4 mths ago. Why I ask, dulling the pain again, my brain has turned off somewhat. Wouldnt you think I would know better by now?

What my point is to you though is this. Life has many ups and downs and at the end of the day, its how we deal with it.
OK you are 21, think you are having a whole lot of fun and actually enjoying it (I did it too & I had no other responsibilites other than that - having fun)
You are young, somehow you are aware that you think you have a problem (I never thought that at 21) This is good.
Ask yourself this - Do you drink to disguise who you really are to your friends, do they like you anymore or less, are you hurting anyone at the time, are you hurting yourself. Do you like who you are when youre doing this.
I guess you have to make choices here - Do you really want to continue, are you brave enough to change your lifestyle, friends and are you ready to grow up yet. You can keep doing what you do but who knows what life will chuck at you, hey? You could get raped or worse.
Alcohol, drugs what ever 'fun' pill you take, ask yourself why you need it or have to do it? If the reason is because all your peers do it, then change your peers. If the reason is because it makes you feel better, buy a block of chocolate.

Also, whats the worst thing that could happen if you tell your parents or whats the worst thing that could happen if you dont?
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mek0455 View Post
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.
wow, mek,
your insight is amazing, it will get you far.

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Old 03-23-2010, 07:53 PM
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You're in a tough boat. When I was in college I got arrested for drunk driving. As a condition of getting my license back I was required to do a standard Alcohol & Other Drugs program with a counseler. That was liberating. I was able to tell him everything that I wasn't able to tell anyone else - because after all - he heard some version or other of my story every, single, day. On the opposite side of that token, I completely agree with you about not wanting to tell your parents. Then you are branded for many years if not for the rest of your life as a substance-abusing, troubled person. To those of you who want to hit me on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and tell me: "That's terrible advice Eliot! Bad Eliot! Bad!" - try to put yourself in her shoes. I would have felt exactly the same way when I was in HS. No one wants to be "that kid." Come to think of it, as an adult now, no one wants to be "that adult." And yes, I know the handful of valid points that I think everyone here knows also about "recovery" and worrying about what people think and "the only way to get better." Truth is, though, even if that wouldn't really happen, I'd be just as hesitant as Mek is being. I understand it. Right, wrong or indifferent. That said. Mek - it's really great to be able to talk to someone. And, the fact that you are the one who brought it up shows fine initiative. I have a small number of people that I can be totally honest with about all the mistakes I've made and the problems I have, have had, or think I'm going to have. You are right to think seeing someone would be a good idea.

I googled.

How do I talk to my parents about getting help? What should I say?
One of the hardest things in this world is to live by fear. And remember our fears are much bigger than what actually happens when we try something new. So challenge yourself think of talking to your parents as an act of courage, of toughness. Some kids are closer with one parent and not the other so there's no rule that you have to talk to both parents together. Start with one if that feels better to you. Also, you might start with your fear and ask your parent to not be angry with you. You might say, "You know, Mom (or Dad), I want to talk to you about something that's hard to talk about but I'm scared you'll just get mad." See how that introduction feels and then, "I'm wondering if I should be thinking about whether I have a problem with drugs."

Is it possible to talk to my parents about getting help -- without admitting anything about my drugs or alcohol use? Sure, it's possible. You may just not be ready to talk to your parents, but you might want to talk to a psychologist about it. You can say to your parents that you need to talk to someone professionally, a therapist, but you are not ready to talk to them about it. You want them to respect that for the moment and that maybe in the future you can talk to them, but you know you need to explore some stuff with a neutral person someone who will be objective. You need that safety for the moment. You might even ask for just one session with the therapist and see how that goes.

Yours on a potentially hot-button issue,

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Old 03-24-2010, 09:33 PM
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[QUOTE=NEOMARXIST;2549155]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" [QUOTE]

NEO, hello! I was an engaged polisci undergrad and involved with the College Democrats so I can appreciate your handle. (Call me Friedrich Engels!) Moving on before this gets political - a political AODA message board - I can't imagine. Sorry for digressing. Regarding the quote (and this is the first time I've used the 'quote' feature which means I'm that much more wrapped up in - good.) I don't know what it means. Or: I don't know what it means? Someone said it to someone else at the meeting (first AA) last night; I only overheard briefly. That was the first time I'd "heard" it; and then read it on here an hour later. In earnestly, when I overheard that last night I did kind of a, "Wait, what?" In earnestness - and here's where we pull over to the side of the road and tell Mek, "Jump in! (Play along, Mek.)" One of the things that turned me off from AA last night was the ritualistic ('ritual' being a neutral word) dialogue that they frequently employed. Um. Rephrasing: I went to my first AA meeting last night and for those of you that have been, you maybe know what I mean. (And to those of you who embrace - I understand what it's all about - it was just a little overwhelming for a newcomer.) Certain phrases and turns of speech repeated pretty consistently. Mek - this involves you; I'm not meaning to encroach on your post. Mek - you're wondering if you have a drug/alcohol problem. I forgot who, but someone in an earlier post nailed it my friend. (Hmm. Maybe I can scroll up from where I am...[scrolling?] Went up, then tried down, no luck.) Someone said that the fact that you made your way onto a drug & alcohol support web-site says something. And it does. It's not terribly uncommon for someone to 'love' getting drunk or to 'love' getting stoned. (Please direct all hate mail to the address listed in my profile.) Because when you say 'love' you're saying (I think), 'really, really, It is awesome!" And a lot of people love it just as much. My college roommate and still best friend, Joey, 'loves' smoking pot. But I don't see the compulsion in him that I find in myself. (I also love smoking pot. I stopped drinking for five weeks just a little while ago and smoked every night for two weeks and had a blast of it. Of course I was just substituting, anyone will tell you.) Joey though? He can be in his home, alone, with plenty of pot - and not smoke. He certainly would never smoke daily. And rarely alone. It's moderation. Not eager Eliot! I am not able to moderate myself. The same switch that is triggered (and it IS a switch; I mean, it is a crystal... doubt about it, "did anyone else hear that click?" It *!SNAPS!* on and then, well, then - dun dun dun, Bad Tom, uh, Bad Eliot appears. For me, that carries over into any other mood-altering substance. All of them. I always want more, more, more. Myself - and I request a pardon if I'm speaking out of line here folks - but, many (read: most) of us with substance problems. It's just our cup of tea! (Got any Amaretto for this tea?) Um. In bad taste?...No. (OH and a quick PS: It's soooooo easy to say (drives Eliot nuts), "I'm not addicted to pot because you can't get addicted to pot." You are right. Not physically addicted. You can stop any time. But that mental addition that craves what pot did in your brain, not the rest of you - that's addiction.) (I'm pretty sure you didn't say anything along those lines in any of your posts Mek, if you did I missed it - I'm not playing the, "Oh really, well what about !...And!.." game here.) I'm going to make some assumptions about you Mek (WHAT!). You know yourself very well; of this I am certain. You might not think you do. Deep down, yes - you do. (If you don't, that's cool too. I know that Eliot can't simply "Will it..." to be true just by verbally insisting ) That's why you came to this site. (But it may not be. Plenty of your friends are doing the exact same thing that you are doing and they seem (and will be) fine. Do you have a problem? I don't know. What is the problem if there even is one? (And no, community, I'm not saying that Mek's friends are fine and won't ever have problems. But Mek knows what I mean I'm mostly certain.) I used to look at it like this: "I drink and smoke pot and do drugs on a semi-regular basis, but, I'm in college, so, it's just that time of my life." Before I was out of college, when I was 20, 21, 22, I would often wonder, "When, though, will this lifestyle just 'stop?'" So I'd tell myself that I could still be living that lifestyle because I didn't have a 'serious job' yet. "That's it." But now I have a career, for three years now out of college and I'm still the exact same Eliot I was back then - ok, so now what? I mean really... Now what? And I tell myself, "Well, when I have a wife and then kids, my life will really settle and things will be good. I mean it has to settle down. Of course. Of course. (Of course? Come on - I'm not going to drink every night when I have children of my own! Ha." And these really weren't excuses to me. I honestly believed them and - anyone may disagree - I think a lot of us do when we're young (yes, and old - but let's be honest - it's so easy when we are young!). Because with so many milestones in front of us and relatively so little behind us - it's so, so, so easy to hang our hats on: "I'm not that guy anymore because I'm...I did...I live...I...." What really happened to Eliot, anyway, was, I trained myself to live this way. From 15 - (now?) I lived with mostly alcohol (and some drugs) and since I was young, and doing exactly the things expected of me at that age (school, work, first apartment, auto insurance, no speeding tickets, right?) successfully - and also because alcoholics were "old," and they were "eccentric," and had problems. Real problems! Ha! Not me! Alcoholics like uncle Mark who showed up to family Christmas (and almost every other gathering) late and usually tipsy - [I]that[I] was an alcoholic. (And that is what present day TOM (Eliot who?) does not want to be known as - I don't want my nephews seeing me as 'uncle Tom') Say what you will, but that stigma terrifies me. (What's worse? The stigma, or the toll the disease is taking on you Eliot?) I know what my brother and I thought of our two alcoholic uncles when we were just little kids. "Uncle Mark" has become a brand name in my family. Mek - you don't want to go to your parents; I don't want to go to AA and [eventually?] let people find out my "secret." Because I feel like once I come into the light - there is no more shadow. (Yes. It's a solid setup for "Living in the shadows..." replies, but I'm ready to figuratively leave it here if you are?)

Mek I'm you, just a few years older. With my own set of hangups. Like all of us.

Hopefully never offensive,

Community: Eliot talks to much sometimes - sorry. (The word-count on this one actually has me a little on edge for real.)
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:35 PM
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I don't think I would take the time to read myself where I not myself.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by EliotRosewater View Post
I don't think I would take the time to read myself where I not myself.
Yeah learn to use paragraphs, that was close to impossible to read.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:21 PM
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Eliot- thanks for all the time you clearly put in your posts. Althought I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about half the time, it is still appreciated. I feel that the fact of my thinking "I might have a problem" really means I might have a problem. These ideas don't just come into peoples head right? I'm willing to bet none of my friends I party with are thinking the same. It might be because I know what i do is wrong. I always have. My parents raised me well enough to know wrong from right and have always told me to "learn from my mistakes." only I never learn from my mistakes. I've messed up a lot over the years but that doesn't seem to change my consistent use and unwavering enjoyment of drinking and getting high. That's what scares me. If it were any other situation, where I mess up and feel like sh**, I will rarely ever do that same thing again(learning from my mistakes) but with drinking I keep coming back becasue for some reason no matter how crappy I feel, my mind is somehow able to erase it, belittle it, and forgive myself to the point where I have no problem doing it again.

This is why I think I have a problem. Because I am actually incapable of stopping. I've tried at least 6 times over the past 3 years. I don't do it every day, I don't miss family events, or show up to school or sports messed up, I don't let everything else in my life go, just to get drunk. But it is an engrained part of the way I live my life. It has been one thing that has always been consistent. I always go back to it, even when i promise myself I won't. It's that, and this lump in my throat and drop in my stomach that I feel whenever someone brings up drinking or smoking in convorsation. I think YES I live talking about this, god I wanna do it right now. There is rarely a day I haven thought about it in some shape or form. Not that I actually end up doing it, but still.

And eliot- I'm not sure if I know myself very well. I'm not really sure of anything right now. I just hope I can make it out at the other end of all this. I don't mind you making assumptions, because most of the time they are completely accurate.

Thanks to everyone, I look forward to reading all of the posts right when I get home from school. They make me feel a lot better knowing that there are otheb people who feel/have felt exactly how I feel right now.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:25 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Simply put Eliot: Stop thinking about the past and what could have been and decisions that could have been made to change the course of your life. Also don't worry about why you drink like you do but instead accept the reality. ie- that you're writing on a recovery forum and have attended an AA meeting. That indicates, in all probability, that you're an alcoholic or if you don't want to use that term, then have a serious problem with alcohol.

Don't let your intellect get in the way of living in the solution. The solution being that you're an alcoholic and that you need to stay away from that first drink on a daily basis if you want to get out of the rut that you're in. From there that gives the ability to address your thinking by working a programme of recovery so that you can live life sober and relatively contented.

I was the same when i first went to AA. I said exactly the same as you about the cliche's. Then I went back drinking again and smashed myself down even lower so I was willing to get over my predjudices and live in the solution and not in the problems. The problems being that all of this intellectualising just keeps you drinking.

You will only be able to recover if you stop drinking though.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:11 PM
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This is why I think I have a problem. Because I am actually incapable of stopping. I've tried at least 6 times over the past 3 years.
Bingo. That's the smoking gun. I couldn't have said it better. You are describing most of us on this site, at one point or another - or every day - in our lives.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:07 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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I guess this thread is over?
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:11 PM
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not at all Mek - don't get discouraged - there's a lot of threads here...but as long as you keep posting on this one, people will reply

Just remember the weekends are pretty quiet

so... how are things?
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:14 PM
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Simply put, I didnt enter the rooms of AA because my life was so wonderful. Just sayin..... Stick around it gets better.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:13 AM
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I'm not improving. I've gotten drunk twice and high once since Saturday
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:59 AM
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You are so wise to be looking for a solution now, as opposed to this slow learner. It is not always easy to face these things or make sense of them, especially when we're young.

You are not too young to check out AA or NA. A lot of them have newcomers or young people's meetings, but if not, you can still go to the regular meetings, share your thoughts, and learn more. Just stick close to the women.

You'll be in my prayers for some enlightenment. The elevator only goes down and you can get off anytime you are willing and minimize the wreckage. Living sober is a wonderful way to live.

Edit: My friend's husband got sober when he was 15 and never looked back. He's lived a full and amazing life and he's still young (42)!

Hugs to you,

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Old 04-21-2010, 08:02 AM
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Like many on this thread, I started out in a very similar manner to you. I read your words and think of how I wish I had your insite.

I also justified my use because I felt that I was successful in sports, school, and work.

My use progressed for 20 years. I have hurt myself, my future, my family, my friends, and some quality romantic relationships over those years. I think back at the majority of the experiences I've had and know how much better all of them would have been if I hadn't been drunk, or buzzed, or high, or hungover, etc...

I agree with elliot. If you are uncomfortable and worried about the ramifications of talking to your parents about it right now, then maybe you could tell them that you are having some trouble with growing up and that you would like to talk to a neutral professional. I know it has helped me.

Good luck. I hope you find your way...

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Old 04-21-2010, 09:07 AM
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Mek, there are many things that spring to my mind. I'm a 51 year old woman, who, back in the late 1970's, did just about any drug or drink that came along. I started at about age 15, and it continued until I was 24 or so. By that time, I had 2 kids, was married, and we had gotten involved in a good local church. I was sober for the next 15 years or so. Little by little, we allowed wine back into our lives. The life threw me some real curves, and aside from about 200 days back in 2005-2006, I have drank almost every single day since about 2001.

First of all, you are putting yourself at incredible physical risk by drinking heavily and getting high while out with friends. Do you know everyone who is around you? Are you drinking things that other folks are offering you? Do you know what could be in those drinks?

You say you "can't quit". Yes, you can. But you're going to have to change your circle of friends in order to do that. You have to take yourself away from the scene of the "crime" so to speak.

Just like I can't go sit at the local Pizza/Bar joint right now. It would be tremendous temptation, which I don't need. What I do need to do is to stay sober.

If you are this far down the road at age 21, imagine where you will be in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. Really think about it. Is that where you want to be?

At 21, you don't need to tell your parents if you can't right now. You're an adult. You can find a AA meeting, or talk to your doctor in private. But you must do something to stop what is only going to be a downward spiral. It's only going to get worse.
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