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First Post - and grateful for reading others

Old 08-24-2010, 11:05 AM
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First Post - and grateful for reading others

This is my fifth consecutive day without drinking alcohol. I was trying to remember the last time I could have said that, and it has been at least 10 years. I think I always drank too much - alcoholic father, joined the army young, etc. Even so, I have never had someone hold me down and pour one in. I have been drinking every day for a long time, usually 4-5 beer plus shots of rum to go along with it every evening so probably 10 drinks a day.

About 9 days ago, I took myself to the ER. I had been having some bloating for a couple of weeks, and I just felt really bad. When I got there, my blood pressure was so high they whisked me into a bed and hooked up the heart monitor, alarms going off everywhere. I was xrayed all over the torso, as well as the ER ultrasound. I admitted th the ER doctor that I drank heavily. Blood tests that night confirmed it. They scheduled me for an ultrasound the following Monday.

I went for the ultrasound, and was diagnosed with "fatty liver". The Doc said that almost everyone gets the fatty liver diagnosis, and I should not be concerned, but made an appointment with my Doc.

I knew I needed to quit drinking, but when I felt better I went and bought a couple of cans of beer and airplane bottles of rum - thinking I was cutting down. When I saw my doc on Friday, he looked at the blood tests and showed me all the stuff that was wrong - he figured I had alcoholic hepatitis. He didn't seem overly interested in the bloating, and told me to get another blood test in a month, sent me on my way with blood pressure prescription.

Since that visit, I decided I will never drink again. I have admitted to my wife and best friend that I am an alcoholic. I have not had a drink and do not want to drink, but have had some withdrawl symptoms. I changed my diet, reduced salt, started taking vitamins and drinking lots of green tea. I am not usually an anxious person, however the prospect of potential damage to my health has scared the crap out of me. I'm 44 and would like to see my daughters become adults.

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you to all of you for sharing your stories. It is nice to see that others have been where I am and have been able to recover and make positive changes in their life. Even the posts about setbacks have made me think more about what I would do to avoid that happening.

Looking forward to day 6.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:16 AM
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Welcome to SR, Abender
Congratulations on your 5 days sober!
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:35 AM
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Welcome, Abender. I'm also 44 years old, and look forward to seeing my 8 year old twin girls grow up.

Each time I quit drinking there was usually an overwhelming fear involved-- fear of medical issues, divorce, job loss, embarassment, etc.

In that early period the fear was so incredibly profound that if you'd asked me if I was ever going to drink again, I would have laughed at you. I would have passed a lie detector test. I was consumed with fear, and it drove my resolutions to never, ever drink again.

But each time I did. Crazy, isn't it? I'm a reasonably smart man, college educated, successful, good upbringing. Most people would tell you that I have tremendously good judgment.

But when it came to alcohol, I was insane. See, I'm an alcoholic, and that means that if left to my own devices, I will drink again, regardless of the consequences.

I don't know if you have had similar experiences, or this is your first attempt at stopping. Either way, my point in raising the issue is this: if you are alcoholic, neither the memory of your doctor visit nor the image of your daughter will be sufficient to keep you from drinking again.

If you don't believe this, please simply remember it.

The only solution for me was ensuring that I wasn't left to my own devices. I discovered how to do that by doing the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. And today, I'm recovered.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:03 PM
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Thanks Robert - I have read through a lot of your posts and found them very useful. This is my first real attempt to quit drinking. I've known I had to for a long time, but had all the usual fears about doing so.

I am currently off work. I told my boss about the ER visit, and that I needed a couple of weeks to get myself healthy, which I got without question. I have an senior level job, and am wondering who to tell at work and how much about my situation. I have had problems with gambling in the past which I managed to beat, but I recognize the signs in myself that work against me in this effort. I think telling people will make it easier for me to stick with it and avoid situations that could make me want to drink again.

It does feel good to be able to be honest here in anonymity.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:21 PM
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to SR. Keep reading and posting. I found it very useful to know that other people were doing exactly what I had done and that I wasn't alone...
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:50 PM
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Hi Abender

Telling people may not work for everyone but it certainly helped me, and being committed to changing my life helped a lot as well - I cut out a lot of old playmates and old hangouts, and I spent a lot of time here in the early days.

Fear doesn't last forever, it's true, but you can start building other reasons now...I still get a great deal of satisfaction from my life now, realising I'm no longer enslaved, knowing that I'm a good deal closer to being that man I always wished I could be, and helping other where I can.

This is a great place to be Abender - welcome aboard

D
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:16 PM
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"I knew I needed to quit drinking, but when I felt better I went and bought a couple of cans of beer and airplane bottles of rum - thinking I was cutting down."

That made me laugh...
SR is a great place to stay inspired. Congrats on day 5!
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:28 PM
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Fear will get you started but soon you will see life as it can be. Sober, Happy and Healthy and you'll never want to go back.
SH
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:42 PM
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welcome Abender. I have gotten tremendous support and insight from this forum. it's helped become much healthier and happier. Just to know that others have almost exactly the same experiences and even thoughts.

I could have written exactly what you did in some of your paragraphs. congrats on your sober beginning. Yes, you can do this and will begin to feel better and healthier.

don't make any decisions about telling and not telling yet, give yourself a chance to get on firmer footing, there's no rush if you are at home regrouping.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:09 PM
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I'll stick to my earlier advice which came from this comment

I think telling people will make it easier for me to stick with it and avoid situations that could make me want to drink again.
For me it did. But Fandys right - you have time to think all that through right now - no reason to rush.

I was self employed - I didn't really have any bosses or workmates to consider, just playmates

D
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:16 PM
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Yes, fear was what made me decide to stop drinking.

And, I am so grateful for that fear that gave me the push.

I have been blessed to see my two children graduate university, get good jobs, marry and have children of their own. It doesn't get any better than that!
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:28 PM
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Welcome Abender! Congratulations for making the decision to get sober. One thing that really helped me was following the advice to take it one day at a time. I knew I had to quit, but was fearful about quitting "forever." So each day I'd wake up and make it my #1 priority to stay sober for that day, and not worry about the next day until it got there.

SR is a great place and I'm so glad you're here! You're so wise to quit now while your liver can fully recover. Hang in there!!:ghug3
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:40 PM
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Abender, I've been trying to reply to your post all day, and I keep getting distracted. Not this time!

Like you, I quit because I knew I was very sick. I didn't tell many people, but I'm fairly introverted. However, you have to do what's best for you on telling people. Sometimes it helps.

Congratulations on the five days. It is a big deal! Keep on keeping on.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:55 PM
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Welcome to SR Abender,

And congratulations on day 5 !!!

This forum has been so informative, and mostly inspirational for me the last 4 1/2 months. Great idea you have, .... changing your diet.

Again, congratulations on your decision.

.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:30 PM
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Welcome Abender. Today is my first day here at SR too. It's Day 1 for me. I look forward to reading your updates.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:58 PM
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Welcome Abender!

It is interesting to read the other posts cuz I'd say about 95% of them have some relationship to my drinking days. We can soooo relate!

Glad you're here and taking the right step forward.

Finding SR was a godsend for me last month and has kept me sober ever since.
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