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Is AA for me?

Old 03-22-2010, 11:06 PM
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Is AA for me?

A little background on me. I drink between 8 and 14 beers a day. Most of the time it's 8 but on the weekends it's more. I have a great family life and It does not effect my work. I like drinking after work. But I know it's too much and have failed at limiting it to a 6 pack a day so I must have a problem. Can AA be used to gain control of your drinking or just to quit? The fact that I worry about not being able to drink is probably a sign that my problem is bigger than I think it is. Can I just show up to an AA meeting?? Would feel kinda weired.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:20 PM
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Hi Muddcatt

I'm not an AA member but I wanted to welcome you anyway.

I found my way to success was through abstinence - most people here follow that line, and I think you'll find it universal in AA.

I struggled with the idea for a long time - but ultimately after failure after failure I gave in and realised it makes no sense to consume something that I can't control and that does me harm.

You could do worse than hang around here for a while and read a few threads and post a little - it might help you sort some things out

Hope to see you around
D

Last edited by Dee74; 03-22-2010 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:31 PM
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Thanks Dee74. I will be hangin' around for a bit. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:49 PM
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Here is the AA website with exact info

Alcoholics Anonymous : IS A.A. FOR YOU?

It's certainly been an awesome adventure for me...
I hope you will check out local meetings.

AA is not about controlling your drinking

Welcome to SR....glad you are here...
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:18 AM
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So…I’m not an alcoholic. I promise this isn't denial! I've never used alcohol, but I started coming here for the friends and family stuff. Despite not being an alcoholic, I have been to an AA meeting before. I took a class on addiction in college and one of the requirements was to go to a couple 12 step meetings. The amount of support the people there showed to each other was so amazing it almost made me wish I *were* an alcoholic. I was so impressed with how welcoming it felt there and how everyone accepted everyone else exactly where they were at. There was no judgment. This may not mean much coming from an “outsider,” but if you’re even the least bit considering it, give it a try.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:44 AM
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I think I will go to one. I have a friend who would take me if I asked. Reading up on quiting cold turkey has me a bit scared. I think they mean it is dangerouse for heavier drinkers than me. I hope so.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:56 AM
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You would have to find that out for yourself.
l went there once, wasn't for me.
Wish you well.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:02 AM
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I think it's always best practice to consult a doctor before quitting, Muddcatt - irrespective of how much you drank

D
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:24 AM
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I went alone to my first meeting just last week. It was a very positive experience. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive. It was a closed meeting and they changed the scheduled topic to do a "newcomers" meeting just for me. I walked out with many numbers and invitiations to call anytime. I've been back.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:39 AM
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Thanks for the post Muddcatt. It was 15+ years ago that I walked out of my first AA meeting convinced it wasn't for me.

Since then, my average intake was like yours for the majority of the time. However, people like me (I can only speak for me) find that this drinking thing only gets worse. I ended up crossing that invisible line after 20 years of drinking in the past couple of months.

This time, I went to a couple of meetings while still reducing my intake (should have seen a doctor--everyone should when coming down).

This morning, I have 30 days of sobriety and have been to an AA meeting every one of them. It wasn't for me way back when, but this time I stayed open to the possibility that it was just what I needed.

I've tried controlling and quitting on my own, and both made me miserable. This time I've had the support of a program and those in it, and I have had a far better time and am actually in a better space than I have been in years regardless of booze.

I'd give AA a shot with an open mind and see a doctor.

All the best to you regardless, and I hope to see you back here!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:44 AM
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I too would say "give it a good try". And go to several meetings, they all can be different. Also agree with seeing your doctor about help in getting safely thru detox.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:08 AM
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I think it's a good idea to talk to your dr before you stop drinking.

And, I also think you should do whatever it takes for you to stop drinking.

There is lots of support here.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:19 AM
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Muddcatt, a couple of the stories in response to you are a little similar to mine as far as reaching a point where you are ready to quit and then don't for some years after. I went to some AA meetings about 10 years ago, but didn't stick with it for more than a couple of months. I remember someone from that AA group who tried "Moderation Management" but said there was no way it was working for him. I haven't really met anyone who was able to moderate their drinking if they also didn't like the amount they drank. In my opinion, it isn't possible to moderate, only to stop or to get worse.

I think it's a good idea to see what the AA meeting is like (as you indicated), and at least add it to your options. Use this site too! AA isn't about moderating, it's about quitting. You can listen to others if you don't want to speak. If you do speak, just say why you wanted to come to the meeting. If you don't like it, then come back here and talk about it if you want.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:30 AM
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Welcome to SR Muddcat, go to a meeting, what do you have to lose? A drinking problem? What do you have to gain? A whole new way of life sober, new sober friends?

Go to a meeting & just sit there & have a cup of coffee & listen. I would suggest going to several meetings, every single one is different.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:57 AM
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The only way to find out if it's for you is to try it. And going to one meeting isn't trying AA in my opinion. Try to go to different meetings over a period of time and try following the suggestions given to you in these meetings. It's free. There's nothing to lose except a few hours. This is what i did with NA and am very happy to be a member today. I wasn't sure if it was for me at first but after a little time i learned that it was. And if it's not, that's perfectly ok.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MUDDCATT View Post
I think I will go to one. I have a friend who would take me if I asked. Reading up on quiting cold turkey has me a bit scared. I think they mean it is dangerouse for heavier drinkers than me. I hope so.
Hi MUDDCATT,

First, welcome to SR and thanks so much for posting! I wanted to touch on 2 subjects you've mentioned:

1. Quitting Cold Turkey - As others have mentioned, I highly, highly recommend that you consult your doctor before going cold turkey. When I quit, I saw a psychiatrist that specializes in alcohol abuse recovery and she was a huge blessing. Anyways, it's very important to realize that our bodies all respond differently to detox. My psych told me she has seen heavy drinkers that suffered no withdrawl symptoms and "light" drinkers that suffered from heavy symptoms. In short, the amount a person has consumed does not necessarily determine the severity of withdrawl symptoms. This is NOT meant to scare you but just something to consider.

For me, my psychiatrist put me on some very mild medications for 4 days as a 'just in case' type of thing. One of them also helped me to sleep at night (non-addictive med), which really helped me get back into a normal sleep cycle as well.

One last point on this subject. Please do NOT use this as an excuse to keep drinking. You can set up an appointment immediately with your doc. The important thing is to be honest with him or her about your intake and let them take it from there.

2. AA Meetings - They've saved my life. To me, nothing can take the place of the face-to-face talk therapy and I've met some wonderful people during my time with my home group. I'm obviously biased but, as others have pointed out, it's at least worth a try. The meetings were also very helpful for me during my first couple of weeks as it gave me something to do and a place to go during my normal 'drinking' hours. Anyways, I hope that you'll check it out.

God Bless!

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Old 03-23-2010, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for all of your post, they are helpful. Most of you say to see a Doctor, I am not sure I need to because I "only" drank a 12 pack a day. I know It's too much but I don't think I would have bad withdraw symptoms??? I know I don't want it on my medical record and I know with support from freinds family and maybe AA I can do it. Just random thoughts. Once again thanks.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:08 AM
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I'm going on 3 months sober this weekend and I'm still debating whether or not to go to a meeting (I did attend a meeting in college as a course requirement but didn't think I had a problem at the time which I certainly did). I quit cold turkey and it was very hard and continues to be at times. My best friend happens to have been sober for over 8 years and led meetings in the past and he literally saved my life so is like having built in AA. I'm beyond blessed to have him but if you don't have someone like that available, meetings and/or therapy could be the best way to go.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:12 AM
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allow me to play devil's advocate....Isn't a 12 pack a day equivalent to having 12 drinks a day....?

it sounds different....are you drinking a 12 pack a day of light beer? n/a beer? or full octane....

I *only* drank 8-10 glasses of wine a day and w/d was not a pleasant experience....I had meds. just in case...but did it on my own...i don't know if I would do that again...very rough on my stomach.

be honest with your doctor and get a professional opinion....hope you succeed.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:18 AM
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I know I don't want it on my medical record
Beleive it or not, you DO want it on your medical record, there are many meds that can lead to a relapse, but if the doctor knows one is a recovering alcoholic they will prescribe different things that work just as well.

You do know that it is illegal for your medical records to be released to anyone without your written permision.

If you are averaging a 12 pack a day you need to let your doctor know. They can give you meds to make withdrawals easier & safer.

The one thing that recovery centers around is honesty!!! Without honesty recovery from my experience is impossible.

Part of my recovery has led me to realizing there is NO shame in being a recovering alcoholic, I do not advertise it, but it is not a secret either.

Hey I used to be the neighborhood drunk, now I am a trusted part of my community!

See your doctor & be honest, your Dr. can help & you will not be the first alcoholic pateint they have had and sure will not be the last...... normally though they are telling thier alcoholic patients that if they do not quit drinking they are going to die!
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