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Why do I keep doing this?

Old 03-22-2010, 03:41 PM
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Why do I keep doing this?

I should say first that I am not a daily drinker. I don't need alcohol to function. For several years I got drunk every day, but now it's not so much a problem of drinking all the time, but when I do drink I DRINK. I drink a lot. I black out. I do stupid things. I do things that are WAY out of character. I basically become a different person. I am what I believe they call a problem drinker.

have been trying without success to quit drinking now for nearly a year now. I can make it a week, a couple weeks, a month, but something always draws be back. Sometimes it's impulse, sometimes it's an occasion of some kind, lately it's been stress, but in the end it is really just me not being able to withstand the urge to drink.

How do you remain sober day in and day out? What do you do when you get a really overwhelming urge?
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:47 PM
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Welcome to SR KS.

My pattern was pretty much the same as yours.
It took an ultimatum from my wife for me to give it up.
I have a list of the bad things that will happen if I drink and if I get it in my head that a couple may be OK I read the list.
Number one on my list is my wife will leave me and that is as far as I have had to read so far.
I know this may not help much but I do want to wish you good luck.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:53 PM
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I never believed I was an alcoholic, but I do understand that you don't have to drink daily to be one. Normal people don't drink like this:

Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
when I do drink I DRINK. I drink a lot. I black out. I do stupid things. I do things that are WAY out of character. I basically become a different person.
and they don't have a problem with stopping. For me, an alcoholic, it's the mental obsession that compels me to drink again and again and again.

Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
How do you remain sober day in and day out? What do you do when you get a really overwhelming urge?
That's where the saying "one day at a time" comes from. I go to bed without taking a drink, I wake up sober, I take the challenge again. I've managed to do that for 5 years now so I'll continue since it works. Urges and cravings pass quickly, I've got AA meetings and a program of spirituality that give me the tools to deal with every situation life throws at me.

Nothing compares to being clean and sober. Now that I've learned to live this way, I know that taking a drink will improve nothing.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:55 PM
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By his own description, Fubarcdn would be classified as a non-alcoholic, hard drinker in AA terminology.

By your description, Killswitch, you would be classified as a real alcoholic in that same jargon.

Please bear in mind that the what works for the hard drinker may well not work for the alcoholic.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
I am what I believe they call a problem drinker.
You sound like what they call an alcoholic.

I'm an alcoholic and I can relate to much of what you wrote. You don't have to be daily drinker on a park bench to admit you're an alcoholic.

What finally kept me sober was realising that I ain't what they call a problem drinker but I am an alcoholic. If I continued then I would end up a homeless tramp. No doubt, either that or dead or in mental institution or prison, Likely dead.

That being said, unless I realised that I had a 'thinking' problem and not so much a 'drinking' problem, then I never stood a chance of staying sober. This is where 'recovery' comes in as staying sober undoubably requires the changing of ones 'thinking' to remain gratefully sober imo. This is a constant daily work in progress. But with time and sobriety you get to understand your 'thinking' more and can identify things and thoughts that crop up.

I wasn't a daily drinker either when I quit but an out and out blackout binger. I used to refer to myself as everything but alcoholic. I couldn't stay sober as why would I? What's stopping me picking up the first drink without knowing that I am an alcoholic. Knowing, accepting and embracing the FACT that I'm an alcoholic fundamentally keeps me sober. This is even more fundamentally important being 24 and living and being brought up in England where binge-drinking is the national pasttime. It's What keeps me aware of that first drink being poison to me, one day at a time.

Only you can decide what you are but deep-down I think I knew the truth for a long-time but chose to run away from it untill I couldn't keep going anymore. The YETS were happening and my life was in the toilet.

All The best
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:22 PM
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That's where the saying "one day at a time" comes from. I go to bed without taking a drink, I wake up sober, I take the challenge again.
That's how I'm staying sober - one day at a time. I stay sober for today and don't worry about tomorrow until it becomes Today, then I do it again.

As to resisting the urge to drink, everyone has different ways of resisting, and I encourage you to try every kind of recovery until you find what works for you.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:23 PM
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I must clarify that when I called myself a problem drinker it is not because I am afraid to admit that I'm an alcoholic. I am most definitely an alcoholic. The term problem drinker is something I picked up in a driving course that I had to take after a DWI. It used the term problem drinker to describe a person who does bad things, or has bad things happen to them as a result of drinking.

Yes I do have a drinking problem, but I am also a problem drinker. I am an alcoholic, and I still don't think I truly have come to accept that. I don't believe that I would continue to drink if I had really accepted what that means. Part of me still tells myself that I can handle it, and I can moderate, and it will be okay, but I end up slowly going back to drinking more and more, and then I have an epic blackout night and I end up in the doghouse for several days, and feeling like a piece of crap for what I did. My fiance forgives me, and I go back to trying to stay sober again. Rinse and repeat.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:25 PM
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My drinking style fit yours exactly & I call myself an alcoholic.

Are you using any kind of program or just relying on willpower, this demon will kill you... It almost did me.

P.S. Your binge drinking style can actually be harder on your body/mind & spirit then day to day drinking. Please be careful.

All of the best in your recovery

NB
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
Rinse and repeat.
We know. Personally, I repeated that pattern for 27 years.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:28 PM
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Hi and Welcome,

I do think that accepting that you cannot drink because you are an alcoholic, is essential for recovery to begin.

And, you need to begin to recover so that the cravings you are talking about will begin to dissapear. As long as you keep feeding the problem, the cravings will continue to haunt you. It's inevitable.

I hope you will take a look around here and please understand that you are not alone.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by NewBeginning010 View Post
My drinking style fit yours exactly & I call myself an alcoholic.

Are you using any kind of program or just relying on willpower, this demon will kill you... It almost did me.

P.S. Your binge drinking style can actually be harder on your body/mind & spirit then day to day drinking. Please be careful.

All of the best in your recovery

NB
I am going to be relying almost soley on will power. I need to come up with some sort of support system I think. I've considered going to see a counseler, but I'm going to see how it goes here. I've also been reading a lot about Buddhism which I think may help.

You aren't kidding about binging being hard on the body and mind. I feel terrible afterwords, and mentally, emotionally and spiritually it's very draining.

Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:36 PM
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Hi killswitch

I didn't start to recover until I let go of thinking along these lines:

Part of me still tells myself that I can handle it, and I can moderate, and it will be okay, but I end up slowly going back to drinking more and more, and then I have an epic blackout night and I end up in the doghouse for several days, and feeling like a piece of crap for what I did. My fiance forgives me, and I go back to trying to stay sober again. Rinse and repeat.
It took me losing my partner (twice), and nearly dying, for me to finally realise - hey, you know what - you can't handle it...

Be smarter than me. At least think about the idea of a recovery programme (AA, SMART, LifeRing etc.)...

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...resources.html

It's so true what they say - nothing changes if nothing changes, killswitch.

D
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:42 PM
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Thank you all for your kind words and advice.

Does anyone know of recovery programs that are not faith based?
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
I am going to be relying almost soley on will power. I need to come up with some sort of support system I think. I've considered going to see a counseler, but I'm going to see how it goes here. I've also been reading a lot about Buddhism which I think may help.

You aren't kidding about binging being hard on the body and mind. I feel terrible afterwords, and mentally, emotionally and spiritually it's very draining.

Thanks for the kind words.
Thanks so much for the quote & reply... I really appreciate it.
I hope its ok to share with you that I recently started to go to AA (3 meetings now) and have found an incredible amount of strength, hope & promise as well as a wonderful group of people who get it & me. Just one of the many options out there. I really believe any of the in person, face to face programs offer something that no other online programs provide.

In regards to Buddhism, I am also into it. Here is one of my favorite sites that offers some very good talks including some on addiction Dharma Seed - Dharma Talks

I really enjoyed listening to this talk yesterday Dharma Seed - Tara Brach's Dharma Talks

All of the best in your recovery
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:44 PM
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I don't believe SMART or Life Ring rely on a 12 step/Higher Power model...I'm sure there are others

D
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
Thank you all for your kind words and advice.

Does anyone know of recovery programs that are not faith based?
I believe the SMART & lifering programs that Dee listed above are.

In regards to faith based... one of the guys in yesterdays AA meeting talked about his higher power (GOD) being a beautiful big tree that was close to his house another his dog and I think for a young woman it was her moms jewelery box or something :wink

Dont get too hung up on that part of it.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NewBeginning010 View Post
Thanks so much for the quote & reply... I really appreciate it.
I hope its ok to share with you that I recently started to go to AA (3 meetings now) and have found an incredible amount of strength, hope & promise as well as a wonderful group of people who get it & me. Just one of the many options out there. I really believe any of the in person, face to face programs offer something that no other online programs provide.

In regards to Buddhism, I am also into it. Here is one of my favorite sites that offers some very good talks including some on addiction Dharma Seed - Dharma Talks

I really enjoyed listening to this talk yesterday Dharma Seed - Tara Brach's Dharma Talks

All of the best in your recovery
Thank you again.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:48 PM
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Yes I do have a drinking problem, but I am also a problem drinker. I am an alcoholic,
Killswitch: it sounds to me like you aren't sure what you are! And, it is not at all strange to be unsure if you are a heavy drinker or an alcoholic. I would suggest you read the stickies here on the site to make a decision about what you are.

You can also take some online tests. You can learn about the stages of alcoholism and see if you can spot yourself in one of the stages. There is actually a lot to learn about the disease and despite being an alcoholic, I can honestly say I knew practically nothing about it when I first began to think about quitting.

Nobody can tell you if you are an alcoholic or not. Lots of people hope they can go to the doctor and get a diagnosis. Most can't, unless they have reached chronic stage and/or their physical health is compromised enough to show clear symptoms. I was a daily drinker plus a binger, (it wasn't pretty), and I did show some elevated liver levels, but nothing alarming. Ultimately, it wasn't my test results or discussions with my doctor, it was my inner decision and acceptance of the fact that I am an alcoholic.

Part of me still tells myself that I can handle it, and I can moderate,
Yup.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
Thank you all for your kind words and advice.

Does anyone know of recovery programs that are not faith based?
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Killswitch View Post
Thank you again.
Your welcome KS. I forgot to mention that I have been trying to control my drinking for many years and then really trying to finally quit drinking for the last year on my own & couldn't do it.

I consider myself a strong person & have overcome some huge obstacles in my life in the past but quitting drinking beat me into the ground actually it got much worse because of the shame/hopelessness of not being able to quit. Its a scary ride, please don't get on it.

I wish you all of the best in whatever path you choose. Any program that involves meeting others face to face that have been through this hell is best.

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