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Drinking problem-Alcoholism?

Old 06-12-2010, 05:01 AM
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Drinking problem-Alcoholism?

Hello all,
I have been reading for a while and have decided to introduce myself, and probably will start posting gradually.

I started drinking regularly when I was about 22 years old, but thinking of a drinking problem, i.e., drinking not only sociallly but alone at home since I was about 27. I went sober for several months a year later, only to start drinking again. I have had two kids since and have not touch alcohol during pregancies and long breastfeeding periods (8 months for first child and 10 months for second) although me wanting to 'binge' was a big reason to stop breastfeeding in both occassions.

I have never drank during the day. It has always been this wine at night, now mainly when kids are in bed. My husband likes a drink too, but feels able to stop easily, which I cannot. I do not get really wasted, but need to keep going until I am ready to sleep, although I cannot sleep more than two hours when I drink. Living in a couple makes me 'control' my drinking with some dry days in the week. For instance, have not drunk from Mon-Thursday, but more than half a bottle yesterday.

However, if I am alone travelling or any other occassion, I just make sure I get to the hotel early enough with my booze and get really drunk, despite 'networking' and social events being the most important part of any of this trips. I used to to this when I was living alone. Only the shame of behaving like a total drunk keeps me from doing it in public (when my husband is around).

I guess this all means there is no other way for me than no drinking anymore. But it is difficult for me to take that decision 'forever'. I have been reading about this 'kudzu' herb for moderation and similars. It is difficult to write this, and not sure what I am expecting from this, but as I said, I feel like I am 'sying' on you all and wanted to introduce myself first.

Thank you for reading
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:06 AM
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Hey Wilde, welcome. I am 20 years older than you and drank like you did 20 years ago. You don't want to drink like I do now. Coming to terms with it early is something I dearly wish I would have done.

Best of luck on your journey!

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Old 06-12-2010, 05:17 AM
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Hi Wilde wish you well I like you like to drink alone never got drunk in front of my wife and daughter only drank beer but went home to Scotland couple of months ago and actualy wanted to go alone so that I could drink.When alone was drinking scotch and beer so only my family keeps me from going of the deep end.I am seven days sober now and plan to keep it this way.Stop now while your young and enjoy your kids and family.Booze is evil you think you are in control but beleive me it controls us.I wish you all the best here for support as others support me......................jo
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:28 AM
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Hi Wilde just wanted to welcome you, I hope you find the strength and will power to stop. Alcoholism is sad for your family, you may do it whilst the kids arent around, but you know and im sure it affects your moods! It is really toxic for one's system. I hope you find lots of support here on your road to recovery. Just keep posting and reading.
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:46 AM
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Thank you for the nice welcoming responses.
You are right mamm... I know alcohol is toxic. Actually it is so toxic, it causes so many insecurities that if I have drunk too much the night before and have an argument with husband/kids, I always wonder if it was my fault (mood swinging) or if I really had a reason... It is just so hart to acknowledge a problem when everybody around (husband, friends, etc.) enjoy a drink and do not believe you have an alcohol problem. I know everybody says others suspect it, and in the past I am convinced they did, but not right now.
Thank you again.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:46 AM
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Welcome!! Your story sounds exactly like mine.. I have two kids, drinking alone since late 20s, only at night when kids are asleep and not everyday (about 3 or 4 times a week).I am also embarrassed to admit that I stopped breastfeeding partly so that I could drink more (oh that so hard to admit). My hubby drinks a fair amount but doesnt seem to have a real problem with it... and anyway, I have to deal with my problem, not his.

All I can say is only you know whether or not you have a problem and its up to you to take the necessary steps. Just try it for 30 days and see how you feel, you wont regret it, I promise you that

Welcome!
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:34 AM
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I found that people who aren't alcoholics cannot understand alcoholism. Good thing is, for you to recover, they don't need to. Work on you, and the rest will fall in place as it should. Non-alcoholics don't have to think about moderating their drinking.

Welcome, you'll find lots of support here!
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:09 AM
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In general addictions involve such a non-rational behaviour that no-body who is a not addicted to a substance can understand it. I can understand any addiction to drugs, although only tobacco (now nicotine tablets) and alcohol have been a problem for me... I guess it is similar to my lack of understanding about over-eating.

It is also so strange the image of alcoholism I have in my mind... probably from films, books and from my own family (two very alcoholic uncles, one death due to alcohol abuse). I am so pleased to see other women in here. It is one of the big reasons that made me register.
Thank you again.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:16 AM
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I do think that there are so many myths about addiction and alcoholism, especially for women who drink, which is why it's wonderful for me to be here. I know that I am an alcoholic and that people here understand how I feel. It's really hard, if not impossible, for others to understand what we go through.

I'm glad you found us!
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:09 AM
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I also started my "problem" drinking when I got married and had children. It was my reward at the end of a day and my medicine for anxiety, depression and insomnia. It even helped in the intimacy department. The problem is that alcohol doesn't really help at all - it makes everything worse (including the depression,anxiety, etc). It screws with every organ in our bodies, with our thinking and with our emotions.

Joleah is right - alcohol slowly takes control of our lives. All that planning, hiding, counting.......yikes.......I finally decided I'd better stop the progression before it went downhill any further. I'm glad you see your problem now and are choosing to do something about it. Hang in there and take it a day at a time.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:27 AM
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Welcome. I'm glad you've joined us. I'm new to this and have just had a relapse so starting again from today. You will get lots of support and empathy from all the kind people here.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:51 PM
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Hi Wilde,

A lot of your story is just like mine. I stopped for periods of time during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I would control my drinking in front of others. Although family and friends knew that I liked a good drink, they were not aware of the real problem ....because that happened in secret.


Originally Posted by Wilde10 View Post
I do not get really wasted, but need to keep going until I am ready to sleep, although I cannot sleep more than two hours when I drink.
For the last couple of years of my drinking, I would drink myself to sleep and then wake a few hours later and spend the rest of the night wide awake, anxious but extremely tired and still drunk. I never quite understood why ....but it just got worse and worse.

I have since found out the reason and this explains why - taken from the book From Beyond the Influence by Katherine Ketchum

Middle Stage Alcoholism

Most people think that withdrawal occurs when alcohol is completely eliminated from the bloodstream, but the addicted brain begins to call out its misery long before its alcohol bath is completley drained........

Thus you can be in withdrawal while you are still intoxicated.......

Withdrawal is often subtle and the symptoms seem to bear little or no relationship to excess drinking:
Anxiety
Irritability
Tremors
Nervousness
Weakness
Insomnia
Gastrointestinal distress
Loss of appetite
Elevated blood pressure
Elevated temperature
Exaggerated reflexes

The strange truth that alcoholics are often in worse shape when their blood alcohol concentration is descending than when it is as its highest level is an extremely diffiuclt point to grasp........

Logically it would seem the higher your blood alcohol concentration, the worse off you should be. Although this is typically the case for nonalcoholics, in alcoholics different physiological reactions occur. The cells of the central nervous system have adapted to alcohol, leading to the ability to function "normally" even in the presence of large amounts of the drug. With these adaptations the addicted cells literally need alcohol to carry on their normal duties. When alcohol is withdrawn, the cells become fragile and unbalanced.

The withdrawal syndrome represents a state of hyperexcitability, or extreme agitation, in the central nervous system. The brain cells, which have reached a state of equilibrium when alcohol is present in sufficient quantities, cry out for more when alcohol is withdrawn. The withdrawal syndrome is proof positive that you are physically dependent on (addicted to) alcohol.
Alcoholism is a progressive illness meaning it always gets worse. The above describes middle stage alcoholism. Next is late stage alcoholism. By this time the withdrawal a few hours after the last drink is not just subtle like insomnia, anxiety and irritability etc - it gets so bad that it is unbearable and the alcoholic has only one thing left to do and that is take a drink. This is where drinking throughout the night, first thing in the morning, all day happens.

The line you cross from middle stage to late stage alcoholism is invisible. Talk to anyone who has ended up there taking a drink as soon as they wake up just to get back to sleep again and they will tell you they had no idea it was going to happen, but once crossed there was no way back.

I know nothing about the herbs you talk about to moderate your drinking. If they worked, then I would guess millions of recovered alcholics would be using them rather than abstaining.

I think considering your history of alcohol use, your signs of addiction and withdrawal, I think it is time to quit completely, don't you?

I was just like you - and the only way I was able to quit was through working the 12 step program of AA. If you decide to go to AA, you will find plenty of support. As someone else has already said, those around you who are not alcoholic will not understand what your problem is and may still encourage you to keep drinking, without knowing that that advice could well mean that you end up dying.

I wish you all the best in finding your answers - and hope you find your way to being healthy and happy.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:19 PM
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Welcome to SR! Lots of support and good info here. I hope you can find a way to stay sober. It's really worth the effort.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:48 PM
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Hi Wilde
Welcome to SR

The forever decision was difficult for me too, but I need to stop drinking...so I took it a day at a time....todays the only day we can really act on anyway.

You'll find a lot of support here.

And I've never used kudzu but if there was a herb that could make us moderate most of us would have tried it LOL

it's a good idea to speak with your Dr, especially if you're considering taking any supplements.

D
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:25 PM
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Thank yo again. I know I have a drinking problem- I have been in a worse place than now and fooled myself about being able to drink 'normally'. I cannot and I know it. The huge thing for me is the 'coming out' as an alcoholic. Cannot do it. Actually hiding that I am an alcoholic seems to be to me the most important factor keeping some kind of control, dry days, etc. I know it is probably the other way round- hiding just enables me to keep drinking but when I try to visualise myself telling my husband, my mother, my children that I am an alcoholic I feel extreme anxiety.

Thanks a million for the information intention. It is indeed very useful. I will not go to the doctor because I have had several tests done due to a problem with my hip caused by running. Miraculously everything came back normal, except a deficiency on vit. D that everybody thinks is due to the lack of sun in London and but I suspect is a sign of my liver not working probably despite liver function showng normal results. That's also funny though. The problem with my hip comes from a long life of running. It is crazy how I can drink and then go for a run the day after and keep a regular regime of exercise. The level of my hiding the problem is amazing.

The kudzu thing. I am not believing for a moment that this will make me a non-alcoholic although many swear by it (probably those selling it). But I was wondering if it would help with the critical moment in the night when I crave a drink. I also mentioned it to show the extent of my problem: this finding 'remedies' on the Web, the obsession about it.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:33 PM
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I've not tried Kudzu...some here have. I've vaguely heard of some risks, so again see your Dr.

I used a hard sweet myself.

Apart from that, the only things that really worked for me were riding the craving out, 'playing the tape through' and remembering where that mythical one glass really got me, and changing up my routine as much as possible...and posting here.

D
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilde10 View Post
I know it is probably the other way round- hiding just enables me to keep drinking but when I try to visualise myself telling my husband, my mother, my children that I am an alcoholic I feel extreme anxiety.
Hi Wilde,

Of course it does. I don't think you will open up to them until you really want to quit drinking.

You are not going to quit drinking, while you still think that there is an option to moderate your drinking.

So why not explore that option. I just checked and they sell that herb in Holland and Barrett for 5.99. The staff in there are usually very good at giving individual safety advice on their products.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:38 AM
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Hi Wilde

I have just joined the forum and I am EXACTLY in the same position as you. It's not like I have a drink every day before work and hide it all over the house but at night if you put a bottle of wine in front of me and my boyfriend there's no way he'll be having half of it. You put a bottle of wine in front of me alone and it won't last the next couple of hours. I plan every single social event around alcohol and I rope my friends into going out after work for an hour as often as they are willing.

In my case, Friday morning was my make-or-break. I went on the AA site and filled in their checklist (the one that says that you may be an alcoholic if you tick 4 boxes). I ticked 11 out of the 12. Just because I'm not a stereotypical "drunk" I had to face that I am an alcoholic - in the early stages of properly f***ing my life up.

Going to that ONE, first (of many - I now know) meetings has made me so much less ashamed to say I am an alcoholic. In fact, I feel proud that I can admit it and DO something about it. The meeting was full of people from all different walks of life and they were so strong and so open.

Admittedly I have only told my best friend and my boyfriend so far, but if I'm being honest, I haven't told my parents because once I do then they will NEVER have alcohol around me again and I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I can't just cut down, but I may have to quit entirely.

So I wondered - have you been to any meetings? I think they might really help you to feel less ashamed of using the "A" word in time.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilde10 View Post
In general addictions involve such a non-rational behaviour that no-body who is a not addicted to a substance can understand it.
Yes, well said... only other alcoholics understand you.

Welcome Wilde -

I hope you feel at home here. Alcoholism is a disease. It doesn't matter how or why you have it, just that you can't underestimate its power.

I went through a similar progression -- drinking socially (a lot, but probably not alcoholically), drinking alone (beginning of my slide), and finally to really needing it. I did this for 10 years and, while I didn't have all the "TV version" traits of an alcoholic, I am an alcoholic.

You might be interested in a couple of things:

Stefanie Wilder Taylor - A mommy blogger named Stefanie Wilder Taylor who wrote lots of books like "Nap time is the new happy hour" had to come out and admit that she was an alcoholic. She is quite funny and you might enjoy her story.

A book by Caroline Knapp -- "Drinking: A Love Story" -- another great book about a "high-functioning alcoholic" (a term that one I got some sober time I realized was an oxymoron).

Anyhow, you aren't alone, nor are you unique.

But, alcoholism is serious -- baffling, powerful, and very very cunning.

You will hear many people say it but it is important to say again -- just "not drinking" isn't usually enough. For me, I have to actively work on my recovery every day -- a mixture of SR, AA, and helping other alcoholics.

But, I'm really quite happy, productive, and good for my family now. I have fun at parties and don't crave alcohol nearly as much anymore.

This will be one of the hardest things you have every done, but it is worth it.

Keep posting.

Welcome.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by PizzaChef View Post
Just because I'm not a stereotypical "drunk" I had to face that I am an alcoholic - in the early stages of properly f***ing my life up.
.. and welcome PizzaChef as well. Your quote is also well said.

We all like to think that we are unique and that our version of drinking is "not like those other people" but when we are honest with ourselves, it is hard to refute the facts.

For me, I just needed it -- it wasn't how much or how often -- it was how much it consumed my thinking when I needed it. This was my early warning sign and I took it really seriously. I'll always be an alcoholic, but living with this disease is possible. My recovery has taught me the skills for how to live -- and to that, I am grateful for going through this journey.

Welcome!
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