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Is it the only way?

Old 04-05-2010, 01:18 AM
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Is it the only way?

Hi,
I am new here but want to know if the only way is to stop completely?
I love the taste of alcohol, I nice beer, wine, a refreshing Gin and Tonic on a hot day. I love going to a bar and relaxing, talking with people. I love the way a drink adds to the taste of the food you are eating.
but... My relationship with alcohol is affecting my marriage. My wife is the most important person in my life and I keep disapointing her which is breaking my heart. I try and cut down but it never seems to work I was feeling really good and then I slip into drinking again thinking I can control it. The think is my wife says she doesn't trust me or believe me with regards to drinking. I say I'm going out and will be back soon but I end up coming back late, smelly and really drunk.
I don't even smoke but when I drink heavily (evening) I smoke a pack of ciggerettes. I'm in my early thirties now and have drunk since I was a teenager. I've been done for drunk-driving, fallen down stairs and off my bike when out on a binge. If I drink heavily I have to drink alcohol to smooth the hangover out. I tried not drinking but failed after 3 days as I was so anxious and my body felt bad, as soon as I had a drink I felt normal again.
I know I have a problem but I do get some pleasure from drinking. I know a big part of this is the social side. My wife doesn't really like going out and meeting people but I love going to a bar. I remember I think it was the singer from the band the beautiful south said he spent an awful lot of money and ruined his liver before he found out it was the pub he loved and not the drink.
I do love the taste too.
I suppose as well I get anxious and feel anxity sometimes but with a drink inside me that will never happen.
If anyone has any advice for me I would be gratefull.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:35 AM
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Welcome Wilson,

I loved having wine with my lunch and dinner, couldn't have lived without it. Water? ugh, Sitting out in a cafe watching people go by, with a champagne or G&T, mojito, you name it, paradise. Nothing new here.

I quit because, after retiring (when I didn't have to be sober to do my 8 hours every day), I just drank more and more, isolated myself more and more. You see, hardly anyone knew I was an alkie, well except those closest to me, but I could blow them off, they didn't know what they were talking about.

Well, I was only fooling myself. You say yourself that the drinking is affecting your marriage and I would really like to know what the "pleasure" is your getting from it. Is that falling of your bike, down the stairs, making your wife sad, the DUIs, the hangovers, etc? What could be pleasurable about all that?

I wish I could be that person that could just have "one", enjoy the sunset and go home, but it would never, ever stop there.

The only way for me, was to quit, 8 days sobriety today, and never been happier. Keep with us, post and read, read, read. So many people have so much to share here. Make your decision, only you can do that for yourself.

Wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:36 AM
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Hi Wilson

It was the only way for me, yep...believe me I tried every other other conceivable way to 'control' my drinking over 20 years.

Sounds like you're on the same treadmill I was on?

I try and cut down but it never seems to work I was feeling really good and then I slip into drinking again thinking I can control it.
You'll find a lot of support and encouragement here. Best of luck with whatever you way you decide to go

D
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:37 AM
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The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, first edition, has this to say:

We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing a making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn't done so yet.

Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people!

Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums-we could increase the list ad infinitum.

We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself, Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.
Does that sound like anyone you know?

And to an alcoholic, yes complete abstinence is the only recommended way.

Stick around, SR is a great place for support.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:45 AM
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What is pleasurable? The taste and I suppose when I'm drinking i feel cool and handsome, ha-ha although I probably really look a mess.
I just wish I could cut down and like you said, have one and enjoy the sunset.
I suppose I have always battled with it. Like you said having your job keeps you in check. I work and have a home a beautiful wife and because I am not under a bridge I feel ok I am controling it.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:51 AM
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Thank you for the support. It is hard to admit to yourself, it is like something has beaten you and I feel shame that I can't have self-control like other people. Somedays I don't drink so much, just a 2 or 3 drinks and because of that I feel, will I am not drinking a bottle of vodka before lunch time so I have no problem. Honestly I don't know how much I am drinking I forget. I am not so bed at home with my wife when I drink at home. It is almost normal drinking but when I go out it is a different story.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:59 AM
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I just wish I could cut down and like you said, have one and enjoy the sunset.
We all have..but I don't think I EVER drank like that LOL.

It's not about self control tho, I reckon - it's an addiction (or a disease if you prefer)... we're beaten every single time we take a drink...sure, we've all had 'control' nights (which I found tortuous) but inevitably sooner or later we always revert to our old behaviour...

strength of character and willpower have very little to do with it, in my opinion....accepting that, fair or not, right or wrong, we have a problem - and always will...is fair more important to me.

D
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:09 AM
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I still want to go to my favorite bar and have a coffee. They actually have a coffee machine. Just hope I don't ask for a whiskey in it. That is one way I have cheated slipping a drink in my coffee to hide the fact I'm drinking. When I was younger and living at home I would have a couple of beers with my Dad but then slip in some absinthe when I had a coffee. None the wiser.
Is it a good idea to go to a bar if you are trying to quit?
The thing that gets me down is I want to be the best I can for my wife but I keep letting her down.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:22 AM
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Sounds like you are swaying to decide to quit, asking if you should go to a bar or not... well... I don't think I would just yet. I am on my 8th day and already had a family Easter lunch yesterday with lots of wine flowing... Still, had the luxury of one of my son's next to me who knows I have quit, god forbid I should ever let him down again! So, it all went well. Now today, I have one of my drinking buddies who wants to go out to lunch with me... lunch here ALWAYS includes wine... I said yes a few days ago and now am getting cold feet. Only me and her, she doesn't know I have quit. I have my head going through all kinds of what ifs... what if she says, oh come on, your not an alkie, have just one. I think if she accepts that I am an alkie, she would have to think about herself, too.... not convenient perhaps. I am afraid that I will not be strong enough to fight off temptation. Maybe in a few more days or weeks I shall overcome this fear.

I just don't want to do anything that would/could jeopardize my sobriety at this time. Nothing in this world would be worth that.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:31 AM
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Yes, Your drinking friends are always a concern. I thinking quitting would be for the best when I think what I could acheive if I was sober. It is my birthday in a couple of weeks and I am having a birthday party in my favorite bar and I'm thinking of it being the last time drinking. I worry I might go overboard with that in my mind though. We are starting with 3hrs all you can drink and then who knows. I'm always after one more drink it is like my nickname. One friend said he is always sick ever time he has been drinking with me.
I don't know what is best for you with lunch. I have always thought that facing fears head on is the best way rather than avoidance? For example I used to have real problems public speaking but I found the best way to overcome this was to volunteer and put myself up for those situatiuons. If I avoided it I became worse if that makes any sense? I wonder if by avoiding situations you make a huge think about them and it can be harder?
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:52 AM
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I think your Birthday plans are terrible. I am glad I am not invited!

Facing a fear head on is good, when you are ready to do so... I will face that fear when I feel strong enough to overcome it. At 8 days it might be just a little early, cause ya see, I haven't completely yet embraced the "admitting I am powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable". I mean, I KNOW this to be true, but still once in a while a little voice pops in and says, well, gosh, wonder, I mean I'm not under a bridge, not many people were aware... hell, see I have been X number of days without... oh only 1, what can that do.... I think I am just sitting here sorta waiting for someone to convince me, so I am not going to let myself get into any situation where my biggest fear could come true.

I will call my friend and ask her over here for lunch. I will feel stronger with one of the boys around.

Yea, I may be a wimp, but getting less wimpier every day. Am going to get through this first step, not work it, but live it!
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:56 AM
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When I started looking at this site a year ago and realised that most people on this site (if not all) have been unsuccessful at cutting back their drinking, I was shocked. It will take you a while to imagine a life without drinking in it. When I realised giving up mean't no more beers at the football, no more wine tasting in the wine regions, no more going to parties and staying there half the night, I started to grieve. All I wanted was to take my life back to that period in time twenty years ago when I rarely drank, when I used to drive to parties and bars and have one drink because I was driving home. I have tried this last year to get back there. I can't. I went off alcohol for five weeks Feb/Mar and upon resuming, my drinking seems to have become more "urgent". I can't imagine where I might be in 5 years if I don't take this decision to stop completely.

By the way, during that five weeks off the booze, I actually enjoyed going out to dinner and completely remembering the dinner conversation, remembering that I paid my share of the bill, remembering that I said goodbye to friends at the front of the restaurant, remembering the taxi driver.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:01 AM
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Good luck to you. Hope you succeed.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:03 AM
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In a strange kind of way, I worry if I stop drinking I will inevitable fail one day and be even worse. That worries me.


Originally Posted by EndlessNight View Post
When I started looking at this site a year ago and realised that most people on this site (if not all) have been unsuccessful at cutting back their drinking, I was shocked. It will take you a while to imagine a life without drinking in it. When I realised giving up mean't no more beers at the football, no more wine tasting in the wine regions, no more going to parties and staying there half the night, I started to grieve. All I wanted was to take my life back to that period in time twenty years ago when I rarely drank, when I used to drive to parties and bars and have one drink because I was driving home. I have tried this last year to get back there. I can't. I went off alcohol for five weeks Feb/Mar and upon resuming, my drinking seems to have become more "urgent". I can't imagine where I might be in 5 years if I don't take this decision to stop completely.

By the way, during that five weeks off the booze, I actually enjoyed going out to dinner and completely remembering the dinner conversation, remembering that I paid my share of the bill, remembering that I said goodbye to friends at the front of the restaurant, remembering the taxi driver.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:05 AM
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People talk about bottoms. I love my wife so much and that would be her leaving me. I don't know what I'd be like then. This is way I want to sort this out.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:25 AM
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You are questioning your drinking. That is the most important step. You won't believe how many heavy drinkers are in total denial. I had a friend stay with me over Easter who is one of the biggest drinkers I have ever met (hence why I chose today as my first day of sobriety). I met him 8 years ago which was precisely when my drinking escalated. He is a drinker that can get up in the middle of the night to continue drinking. He has acute anxiety and has depression, something he refuses to connect to his drinking. He drinks every day and he drinks a lot. He pours you a glass of wine when you say you are having an alcohol free day. He continues to top up your drinks. You can never have a quiet night with him. He would be shocked if I told him he had a drinking problem. He would never google this site. You have.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:39 AM
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Welcome WilsonSmith - it's great you found us and are concerned about what the future holds for you. There are many excellent comments already, I agree with each post.

Add me to the list of those who can't stop at one or two. I made so many bargains with myself over the years. I'd only drink on weekends - then only special occasions. I'd stop drinking hard stuff & stick to wine or beer. I'd buy just one bottle of wine & make it last all night. (Yeah, right) Nothing EVER worked. After 25 yrs. of trying to moderate I was drinking all day, drinking 100 proof vodka (nothing else did the job anymore), got 2 DUI's, hurt & confused friends & relatives, had liver & stomach damage. It was never fun anymore, just something I did to keep from shaking. I would fantasize about the euphoria of my early drinking years, always trying to find them again - but they were never coming back. I was an alcoholic, I couldn't drink socially - this disease was going to take my life, but I wasn't ready to go. You haven't reached that stage yet, but alcoholism is a progressive disease. The way you describe your drinking, it's very likely things will not have a happy ending if you continue.

You're not alone with this, and we hope you'll keep posting to let us know how it's going. Be proud of yourself for reaching out for help.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:01 AM
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For me stopping completely is the answer. I've tried moderating for many years and even been sucessful much of the time. However, sooner or later there is always the instance when I drink more that I should or intended and there are negative consequences. Usually after that I am able to put together another good period of time of moderation or not drinking, but then it happens again. The cycle repeats over and over.
I finally reached a bottom and realized I needed help to stop completely. As has been mentioned if you want to stop there are many willing to help and you do not have to do it alone.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:30 AM
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Thank you for all your help.
I haven't got your stage Hevyn but little thinks like craving alcohol are building up. Feeling bad, stomach aches, dirrareha, a little shaking when I want a drink. After a binge it is worst and I learned a while ago just to smooth hangovers out by having another drink. When I was a teenager I suppose after a heavy drinking session the smell of alcohol made me feel sick but I don't feel that way anymore, I get a craving for drink.
My wife and I am going to have an honest talk, I hope she doesn't get angry and I become defensive.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by WilsonSmith View Post
I just wish I could cut down and like you said, have one and enjoy the sunset.
You can still enjoy the sunset.

This is huge. To think that one cannot "enjoy the sunset" without a drink. I worried a lot about that kind of thing. I conditioned myself so thoroughly that I believed that there was no point in doing anything because I would not enjoy doing it without a drink.

I can't tell you that most activities can still be enjoyable without drinking. Can't do it... you have to find out yourself and the only way for you to do that is to quit drinking.

Well, I found out for myself. It does happen. That's part of the "miracle". But it's not so much of a miracle, really, is it?. My wife likes a good sunset, and she doesn't have her one drink until the sun has been down for hours.

Faith that this will happen in your life helps, a lot. Get some.

I don't know, though, if you'll still like the bar with just a cup of coffee. If you want to recover, maybe staying at home with your wife is a better idea. Or take her to dinner or a movie. Talking to people who have had a lot to drink when you are sober.... not so much fun, really. It's best to just enjoy the sunset

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