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Old 04-02-2010, 09:20 PM
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I'm new-- been reading through some of the posts here.

I wanted to say that I'm inspired by a lot of these stories. The tenacity of many of you and the willingness to be here and help others.

I wasn't going to post here, but I wanted to get some advice here about "scaling back" drinking. A little background. I'm 26. I do my job well, I have good relationships and a lot to be thankful for. I am considered an optimistic/upbeat person by friends and colleagues and I am generally in a very good mood. Since about 19 years old, I've also loved drinking. Certainly I had my share of college experiences abusing alcohol and I was no stranger to the "night cap," but I've always had "control" over it.

Over the past couple years I've found that the line between an enjoyable set of drinks and a "security blanket" of sorts has dramatically thinned. Ever since my fiancee and I separated (cordially for the most part for distance/future issues) I started to fill the unwelcome time between work (which I love) and sleep (which I also love) with drinking. At most, I realized I was cashing a bottle of wine a night and planning to drink more on weekends (with anxious, annoyingly rough hangovers on some days). It's competing with my natural energy, taking more gym nights and encouraging bad eating (where otherwise I love working out and cooking for myself/eating well). Some days I found myself pining for a drink, and others when I swore to stop the cycle I'd feel completely confident in my decision to purchase a handle of rum for the week by the end of the day...

About three weeks ago I decided to "cut back." I started by taking "off days" for the gym, filling my weekends with social activities and refusing to keep more than a bottle of wine in the apartment at any given time. I realized today that I haven't had a single drink in 6 days, and that is the longest I've been without a single drink in as long as I can remember.

I actually feel pretty sharp. Seeing as how I've enjoyed alcohol responsibly a number of times (and did last weekend with a young lady friend I took to dinner) without running home for more... I feel like I can break free from something that's been holding me now for almost 2 years. I'm tired of planning around alcohol or thinking I need a few drinks to enjoy something as simple as a movie or the company of friends. I want to own my days, not by abstaining, but through control. Not giving up a martini with the old man or the family traditions of egg nog, brandy and cigars at Christmas. In the mean time, I'm using the gym, my study of Korean (I've been working the language for 3 years), and my love for music and keyboard to keep me occupied. Tonight, I hung out with friends at an oceanside dock bar on a warm day and enjoyed iced tea (told the friends I was planning on running/lifting later-- which wasn't a lie)-- I dare say a fews Margaritas sounded pretty heavenly, but the thought of getting back from a solid workout was enough to break the temptation.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I signed up or posted here. The reality is that I haven't been completely honest with people about my drinking-- it's been a private thing and something I've found very comfortable. Namely because everybody commented on how "well" I handled a difficult breakup.

I've always been a fan of the saying, "Own the day." That's what I want to do with every single day of my life. If I want a drink, I'll have one-- but I refuse to ever let a substance take hold of me again.

--WaterofLife.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:32 PM
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((Waterorlife)) - Welcome to SR!!! Only you can know if cutting back will work for you. I know for a true alcoholic, it won't work...at least not for long. It's good that you're here and "talking" about it. There are a lot of great people here, and I'm sure others will be along soon.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:57 PM
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Welcome Water of life!

As Impurrrefect says: only you know, and you know! If you can handle it and really cut back, only having a drink now and again, you will be the envy of all the posters on these boards!

For years I was the envy of all my family for how I "handled" my alcohol. Little did everyone know that little ole me "1 glass of wine is fine", could chug down a liter or two when on her own! I believed them and fooled myself for a long time, it's called denial.

Well, here I am waking up to my 6th day of sobriety and can't remember since when I have felt so good!

We are all here for you and wishing you the best of luck!
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:01 PM
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Hi Wateroflife

I was never able to do it either...short periods of a month or two here or there but I always ended up back in the same place...I couldn't control my alcohol intake - but that didn't stop me trying repeatedly for 20 years tho.

I hope yours is a different case and I wish you luck.

D
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:42 AM
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I'm another who tried to control my drinking... and never could. I hope it's different for you.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:16 AM
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I've been trying to control my drinking for a few years with different degrees of success/failure at different times. Working in the bar trade wasn't the most conducive of places to do that. The work hard, play harder attitude that prevails in that industry in my part of the world is legendary and there was never a shortage of after hours parties or lock-ins. Any time of the day or night you're likely to find a buddy because you get to know all the others who are big time drinkers as well.

What I've learned for definite in the last few months is that, even by going out with the best intentions to control my intake, if left to my own devices, the moment that first drink crosses my lips means it's a racing certainty that I will be out for three, four or five days or longer until my body and mind says enough is enough.

The only way, for me, to control intake, and I'm learning the hard way, is to avoid the first drink altogether.

I hope you find a way but the fact that your having to ask the question would suggest to me that it'll be hard in the long run.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by WaterofLife View Post
I wanted to say that I'm inspired by a lot of these stories. The tenacity of many of you and the willingness to be here and help others.

I wasn't going to post here, but I wanted to get some advice here about "scaling back" drinking. A little background. I'm 26. I do my job well, I have good relationships and a lot to be thankful for. I am considered an optimistic/upbeat person by friends and colleagues and I am generally in a very good mood. Since about 19 years old, I've also loved drinking. Certainly I had my share of college experiences abusing alcohol and I was no stranger to the "night cap," but I've always had "control" over it.

Over the past couple years I've found that the line between an enjoyable set of drinks and a "security blanket" of sorts has dramatically thinned. Ever since my fiancee and I separated (cordially for the most part for distance/future issues) I started to fill the unwelcome time between work (which I love) and sleep (which I also love) with drinking. At most, I realized I was cashing a bottle of wine a night and planning to drink more on weekends (with anxious, annoyingly rough hangovers on some days). It's competing with my natural energy, taking more gym nights and encouraging bad eating (where otherwise I love working out and cooking for myself/eating well). Some days I found myself pining for a drink, and others when I swore to stop the cycle I'd feel completely confident in my decision to purchase a handle of rum for the week by the end of the day...

About three weeks ago I decided to "cut back." I started by taking "off days" for the gym, filling my weekends with social activities and refusing to keep more than a bottle of wine in the apartment at any given time. I realized today that I haven't had a single drink in 6 days, and that is the longest I've been without a single drink in as long as I can remember.

I actually feel pretty sharp. Seeing as how I've enjoyed alcohol responsibly a number of times (and did last weekend with a young lady friend I took to dinner) without running home for more... I feel like I can break free from something that's been holding me now for almost 2 years. I'm tired of planning around alcohol or thinking I need a few drinks to enjoy something as simple as a movie or the company of friends. I want to own my days, not by abstaining, but through control. Not giving up a martini with the old man or the family traditions of egg nog, brandy and cigars at Christmas. In the mean time, I'm using the gym, my study of Korean (I've been working the language for 3 years), and my love for music and keyboard to keep me occupied. Tonight, I hung out with friends at an oceanside dock bar on a warm day and enjoyed iced tea (told the friends I was planning on running/lifting later-- which wasn't a lie)-- I dare say a fews Margaritas sounded pretty heavenly, but the thought of getting back from a solid workout was enough to break the temptation.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I signed up or posted here. The reality is that I haven't been completely honest with people about my drinking-- it's been a private thing and something I've found very comfortable. Namely because everybody commented on how "well" I handled a difficult breakup.

I've always been a fan of the saying, "Own the day." That's what I want to do with every single day of my life. If I want a drink, I'll have one-- but I refuse to ever let a substance take hold of me again.

--WaterofLife.
you are obviously a person that knows herself. 2 things- one, you are rocking. Dont ignore that- you have great things in your life, thats pretty cool. 2- dont forget this disease will take you down, it hasnt me, but I have to be aware. and I have been """"really close""" and still resisiting.
you know what to do
dub
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:35 AM
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Cutting back didn't work for me either, at least not for very long.

I wish you well and I hope you keep posting and let us know how you're doing.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:51 AM
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Hi WaterofLife and welcome to SR.

I was a heavy drinker but I found that I had to control my drinking. I was actually very successful at it and spent a lot of time sober, rather than drinking. In fact in the last stages of my controlled drinking I drank much less than I did in my teens and early twenties.

Then one week I went away on holiday. I don't even think I had drunk at all in the weeks leading up to the holiday and, of course, I was looking forward to relaxing and enjoying some drinks. I came back from the holiday an alcoholic. I no longer had any control over alcohol. It took me another two and half years of desperate uncontrolled drinking to realise that I was an alcoholic.

Somewhere during that week away I crossed an invisible line from problem drinker to alcoholic and I could no longer go back. It wasn't the quantity of alcohol that I drank that week that made me cross the line, it was the fact that alcoholism is a progressive disease - it always gets worse, even if you are not drinking.

I hope you are successful with your moderation. Some heavy drinkers do find that they are not alcoholic and can quit or cut down when needed.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:01 AM
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Scaling back to me is a fairytale. I never wished to only drink a few but instead only saw the point in getting totally and utterly wasted untill I couldn't remember my name or what planet I was on.

Once I take a drink I will not stop untill I pass out. Bearing in mind I will likely take drugs to keep me awake and also increase the buzz thus my binge will likely last days. I will also drink as soon as I open my eyes from my passout.

I had to accept that I am without doubt an alcoholic to stand any chance. Moderate drinking is just not an option for this alcoholic. Balls out blackout, messy, carnage drinking or nothing for me.

I choose nothing as I couldn't cope with the other option anymore and it would kill me and destroy everything in my life in the process.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:47 AM
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I hope you can continue to abstain.
All my best.....
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:09 AM
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When my drinking got similarly out of control, negative in it's effects, and to the point where I sought out a recovery forum on the internet for support and information; moderation was not even an option. I wanted an alcohol free life, to "own" my days as you said, and thankfully I do now. Moderation efforts seem like torture to me, I'm typical "all or nothing", either I do not drink, or I drink all the time, whatever I want, and with a high degree of increasing irresponsibility. So the choice was easy, don't drink anymore. Best thing I ever did for myself and I don't miss drinking and I don't romanticize it. Alcohol is addictive poison that I do not need to have a good time, let alone survive. Whatever you end up doing, best of luck to you.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:01 PM
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I knew I had a problem when I even had to THINK about controlling my drinking in any way. Sure I could go weeks, months.. that meant there wasn't a problem to me, in my head, and then I'd reward myself with a bunch of drinks, a string of benders..enough to break me down to 'take a break' again. My success in being able to do so only prolonged the amount of time things would eventually progress. One month before I came here desperate for some support, I wouldn't have imagined I had much of a problem.. just a social drinker, could go tons of time without alcohol, then BAM, the invisible line was crossed and it almost destroyed my life, literally. I tried to control my drinking for years. Non alcoholics never have to think of it.

Welcome!
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:46 PM
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Hi wateroflife. I've just recently giving up the fairytale for me about controlling or moderating my drinking. I can't do it. I understand your thoughts about your family traditions and drinking. I'm still not sure how I will get through family gatherings, etc. Good luck with moderating your drinking and I hope it is successful for you. For me I realize I need to not drink today and let tomorrow take care of itself.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:28 PM
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Greatly appreciate all the replies!

Today is one full week. I can't believe how good I feel and how multiple other healthy decisions (food choices, physical activity, etc) seem to follow naturally as a result. Been drinking a LOT of hot green tea w/ honey-- and been craving dark chocolate (so I eat a little after dinner). Looking forward to making a homemade quiche tonight with baby bellas and spinach!

Thanks again --

--Water
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:32 PM
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Great job WoL! 1 week is a great accomplishment. You should feel very proud of yourself. Have you used any program to stay sober? What has kept you from drinking?
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Snarf View Post
Great job WoL! 1 week is a great accomplishment. You should feel very proud of yourself. Have you used any program to stay sober? What has kept you from drinking?
Nothing organized. Been going to the gym every night (and alcohol is horrible for your body while you're in repair from breaking down muscles) and that, along with cooking, focusing on work/school and sipping on hot tea all day has been enough to get through the week. Plus, I feel great. Normally my sinuses would be on fire this time of year but for some reason it's not as bad (increased hydration??). I was even able to go out with friends who were drinking beers and margaritas on the water front for a couple of hours and had a couple iced teas (just told them I was going to work out later, which wasn't a lie).

A pretty good eye opener the other day is that something upset me a little bit, and my instinct was to grab the keys and head for the liquor store. Instead, I had some green tea and went to the gym.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:55 PM
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Congratulations on your week WoL

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