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Cold Turkey v gradual reduction to zero

Old 06-30-2010, 05:18 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by WilsonSmith View Post
Ok, This is day 4 and have failed this time before. My body is feeling better, still jittery but I still have the urges and cravings. Because my body is feeling better and my head clearer it lulls me into just having a drink (and this could be anytime of the day when most sensible people wouldn't) I'm thinking no problem and I am fearing failure because I start to feel good. Is this common?
Hi Wilsonsmith, and welcome.
You sound to me like someone who doesn't want to believe he's a real alcoholic....but suspects the worst. If you are actually an alcoholic, you suffer more than a simple addiction to a substance. Alcoholism is a condition by which we actually process the substance maladaptively, and the biochemical result is that instead of satisfying our craviing, each drink seems to call for another...and another. AA describes it as "an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind." The hallmark of alcoholism is the loss of control: planning to have just one, and realizing as the bar is closing that "I've done it again." And it IS progressive. The loss of control may not be readily apparent in the early daze, but there comes a time when an alcoholic definitely crosses that line, is out of control, and is also subject to the denial of his/her condition. I've heard alcoholism described as "a broken promise." We promise ourselves to stop, and can't.

So tapering down is probably not a viable solution if you really are an alcoholic. And yes, "cold turkey" can be dangerous. Alcohol is one of the few drugs that can cause serious problems, even death, through rapid withdrawal without medical attention.

I wish you well. If you happen to have a copy available of the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous,"...the AA textbook....I'd suggest you read page 25, which details many of the ways we have unsuccessfully tried to cut down rather than quit.

blessings
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:47 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Thanks, I don't have a copy of the book. I have been on her before about a two months ago, I gave up for a few days after a long binge which had caused some problems. I was ok at first when I got back on it again but was starting to behave badly again, real uncontrolable drinking as you said. There seem to be heavy daily drinkers but maybe more controled to fit around work etc. but that constant drinking and binge drinkers who like you say once they start just cannot stop till it is all gone but sometimes go days without. Is there a different problem here (I understand the problem is pretty much the same but..) and a different solution. Anyway I tend to do both those things but battle to keep it all together so might not be as bad as some? Ha ha the denial, a friend called me out on drinking and I was so defensive and angry with him it made me look worse.
Anyway it will be the fifth day tomorrow, just take each day as it comes, have set myself a target as a month (at first anyway) and I am determined to do it.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:12 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I try to remember that alcoholism is a disease, not a character defect.

Stopping drinking and beginning recovery is a very scary time. I had no idea what to expect. For me, it took awhile for hope to reappear in my life, but it did. I think you will be surprised at how fulfilling your life can be, without alcohol.

I am glad you are staying sober today.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:28 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Hi Wilson - I had the same thoughts you do about the "heavy controlled" drinker, "walking the line", etc. and I also understand how it becomes a like a challenge to be able to drink and hold it together at the same time.

If you're like me, it will get increasingly harder. The progression of my alcoholism was very slow (it took 20 years to go from 6 beers/half bottle of wine a night to 10 beers/bottle of wine a night, with 6-8 years of sobriety mixed in). I wasn't drinking everyday either - just went on 2-3 day binges and then took it easy for a couple days. I worked very hard at my drinking because I didn't want to quit. Infact, I wasn't sure I could quit even if I wanted to.

I used to wonder if I was really an alcoholic (yet). Then I looked at the newer models of alcoholism, which show a continuum rather than a distinct category, and found that I was definitely at least a stage 2. The other thing that helped me was when I saw that the acceptable level of alcohol intake is 1-2 drinks per day for women, and 3 for men. I couldn't deny that I'd exceeded that every day I drank. So even if I was holding it together in some ways, I was slowly destroying my body.

I applaud you for your 4 days sober! Once you get a week or two, you may find (like I did) that your life while drinking wasn't quite as functional as you thought.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:28 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Thank you artsoul, I checked out the stages and I understood where it's coming from. Like you definintly at least stage 2 and I really don't want to go any further, If I stop now I think I would be very happy having not done to much damage despite having DUI etc.. Interesting you talk about the units as some days I have in one day/night over what is acceptable for a week and that can't be good. After that I would always have to drink to smooth out the hangover from it. The phase someone here said that resonated the most with me is they were never happy when controlling there drinking and prefered it when it controlled them. I think I am like that in some ways. I am thinking now I would rather have nothing than just one beer or glass of wine, I really hate that!
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:43 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Welcome Wilson and I hope you get to a better place.

Alcoholism is quite progressive as we all pretty much know. I got sober by just stopping. I had made much change in my drinking habits over the past few years but I never stopped until I just stopped. I could moderate the days that I drank but once I had a sip.....there was total loss of control over stopping. I can't stop once I start. This is key in my recovery.

Years ago, I didn't want to admit that I was an alcoholic because I was able to "function" in some flat liner - occasional blip sort of way. I wasn't an alchi.....HAHAHA....yeah...I knew I was because I couldn't control the drinking and it consumed me. I then lived several years hiding my alcoholic self in the house boozing and running to different liquor stores so as not to show up at the same place 2 days in a row. I was a hardcore "functioning" alcoholic.

I got sober in April after a horrific bender and sought the help of counseling, and SR.

You can do this friend and I would seek the guidance of your dr. if you are concerned.

Alcoholics may be weak to the bottle but in fact are far stronger then most because we have risen from the ashes so to speak and I am so proud to be in recovery and to be amongst probably the finest people I have ever gotten to know through sobriety.

Take it one day at a time and keep posting.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:39 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by WilsonSmith View Post
I am thinking now I would rather have nothing than just one beer or glass of wine,
Hi Wilson, that's how I felt. I thought having one drink was a waste of alcohol, since alcohol was for getting drunk, not for tasting good or quenching thirst.

I think all heavy drinkers are wasting potential. Alcohol is such a sneaky poison. We tend to look and find someone who is in worse shape than we are. And then, this proves that we are ok, no matter how bad off we actually are.

Anyway, I wish you the best in your sober journey. There are a lot of good people here with pertinent information. Keep reading and posting.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BobGT View Post
Hi Wilson, that's how I felt. I thought having one drink was a waste of alcohol, since alcohol was for getting drunk, not for tasting good or quenching thirst.

I think all heavy drinkers are wasting potential. Alcohol is such a sneaky poison. We tend to look and find someone who is in worse shape than we are. And then, this proves that we are ok, no matter how bad off we actually are.

Anyway, I wish you the best in your sober journey. There are a lot of good people here with pertinent information. Keep reading and posting.
I love the taste though and that is something I'm going to miss but I can live with out it. I passed up on a drink today which was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I really didn't want to just have the one drink which is what it was, well I did (because then I wouldn't be going sober) but it is incredibly difficult so I am really coming round to it that this is just the easiest option. Besides and a real nice cup of proper coffee and felt good.
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