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Old 11-03-2011, 04:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First attempt..


Good afternoon, everyone

I started drinking at 21 (36 now). I had a few experiences before that, but nothing significant. My progression was pretty typical, starting off on weekends and eventually moving to several nights a week and on to an every night thing. Typically, we would have some wine with dinner and maybe a bit more afterwards. Weekends started to become a bit more on the binge side with us finding just about any excuse to party.

Last year I was laid off from work and have had quite a difficult time finding another job as most of the work I do has been outsourced to other countries. This led to many other stresses and alcohol seemed to do the best job of letting me escape. I have a very high metabolism, so it doesn't take much to get me drunk and as I drink very quickly, it began to become a habit for me to pass out every night with frequent black outs as to what happened. It wasn't long before I began making a drink as soon as I woke up and several more throughout the day before I started my "real drinking" in the evening. It seemed like drinks even began to replace my daytime meals!

I felt pretty functional and confident while I was drinking during the day, so it felt more like a solution than a problem to me. The only time it felt like an issue to me was when I wasn't drinking. I would be very sensitive and snappy. Noises were extra loud and my already short temper was even shorter. No problem, just make a drink and all is well! Of course this started getting pretty expensive and without a job, I couldn't maintain for long. My solution was to buy bigger bottles of cheaper booze.

My wife began to notice how much I was drinking and I made a deal to only have two drinks a day. The problem was that I made those two drinks in the biggest glasses we had and they were about 90% booze. My blackouts were getting worse, but I wasn't thinking about my daily problems so I continued on with my habit.

I knew this couldn't go on forever, but I needed a way to take the edge off. I thought about seeing my doctor, but I didn't want to get put on an anti-anxiety medication that would be even more addictive, more expensive and with far worse side effects.

I finally decided to take a break from drinking this past Saturday. My family and I went to a funeral for an old friend. The reception was nice, but typical with plenty of food and drinks. My wife was driving so I had a few beers and then shared some scotch with some of the family members of the deceased. We then headed over to a mutual friends house and drank quite a bit of wine as well as more beers. I ended up passed out on his lawn and didn't remember how I got there. I've had far worse experiences, but something about the funeral made me decide that this wasn't how I wanted to live my life.

I stopped cold turkey. So far things haven't been so bad. I'm actually sleeping better, and while my dreams have been very vivid, they don't seem bad. Of course I hadn't really had many dreams in a long time, so anything was good. I still feel the urge to make a drink when I wake up. I feel so tired and I know it'd wake me right up and get me going. I've been drinking a lot of coffee and still skip breakfast. I can usually eat lunch if it's light but it has been difficult eating dinner without wine. I've been taking a little hit of pot a friend gave me just before dinner and that seems to help with my appetite, but I still feel like I need that glass in front of me.

I can't tell if things will get better or worse from here. I know I can't stop drinking all together. Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner and those have always been big drinking times for me. It's football season as well, a "guys drinking beers" time. Not sure how I will handle being around a large group and not drinking with them. I'll just have to take it as it comes.

I'm feeling ok for now. Drinking lots of water and going to bed really early. The later I stay up, the more I want to drink myself into the normal blackout. Fortunately, the effort I'm putting into not drinking is taking my mind off of the other stresses that escalated my drinking in the first place! I've read some of the posts here and I know it could be much worse, and it still may get that way. I'm just trying to keep busy and not think about it.

Thanks for reading, I don't really want to talk with my family about this, but need to feel like there is someone else in my boat. I hope we all make it through this and come out on the other side as better people.

Good luck, stay strong.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR BigJim

Personally, as a former 30 year user, I wouldn't recommend pot at all - it's simply too easy to get addicted to something else.

To me it's just a different leaky boat on the same sea.

I think seeing your Dr would be a good first step - you don't have to take any meds he suggests, but I still think a professional opinion is better than self-medication.

D
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, I'm not too worried. Pot makes me think MORE, so it doesn't really help to comfort me, it just helps me eat dinner and it's an incredibly small amount. I don't plan on that being a regular part of my life as I have asthma. I consider it to be considerably safer than any pharmaceutical option. If I'm going to be addicted to anything else, it looks like Caffeine is making it's move
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome BigJim,

I agree about the pot. I am 5 months sober, keeping sober with the help of this forum and AA. I couldn't do it alone, like you I can't talk to my family about it but I need to talk to someone that's where a support group is invaluable for me.

All the best and lets hope the job prospects start to look up.

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to the family. Glad you found us.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Soooo.. you like dogs?
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi BigJim. Yes, there is someone else in your boat for sure. You aren't alone with this, we all understand.

The holidays are difficult, but I found I had to stop all together. I wasn't managing it at all anymore. Once I took that first drink, it led me to a dangerous & unpredictable place. I hope you'll begin to feel really great without it. I know you can make it. Keep talking to us.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry, Least. In addition to being an alcoholic, I'm also a terrible smart ass. Thank you for the welcome, hope all is well!
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't think sarcasm is lost on least, BigJim
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A little voice deep inside me said, "Hello, I am here." It was a small voice, & sounded as if it were buried underneath the cushions of my couch. It was my soul...I had forgotten it.

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I remember thinking alcohol was the solution too. I forgot about that. I felt it was almost medicinal in it's awesomeness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
I know I can't stop drinking all together. Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner and those have always been big drinking times for me. It's football season as well, a "guys drinking beers" time. Not sure how I will handle being around a large group and not drinking with them. I'll just have to take it as it comes.
You'll find that lots of people don't drink/only drink a little. It's a recurring theme here that nobody really gives a **** when we quit drinking. In spite of all of our about it.

Was anyone passed out on the lawn with you? Gotta say I freaking cringe at parties now when I realize that the vast majority of people the vast majority of the time are mostly sober.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Gotta say I freaking cringe at parties now when I realize that the vast majority of people the vast majority of the time are mostly sober.
Don't mean to highjack the thread, but I had this same reaction last Saturday night. Turns out not everybody orders a shot with every beer Nor notices or cares if you're empty handed when they're talking to you (unless they're alcoholics).

Welcome BigJim! Congrats on your desire to be sober.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Nope, nobody on the lawn with me! Honestly, this has happened quite a few times. I drink really fast and with my metabolism, I usually pass out by the time most people are starting to get a buzz. I'd usually wake up about the time everyone else is getting drunk and rejoin the party at which time we'd look at pictures of me passed out with various objects added in. Fortunately nobody ever wrote on me or tied me to a pole or anything, so it could have been worse..
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Last night was pretty rough. My wife worked late and usually that is an easy call for getting extra drunk for me. I managed to avoid the drink and was pretty proud of myself! When she DID come home, she was pretty worn out and wanted some wine. I don't know that I've ever poured her a glass without pouring one for myself, but somehow I did it. It was really hard being so close to it, smelling it, almost like I could taste it. I knew I couldn't take it much longer so I had to go to bed. She asked if something was wrong, I just told her I was really tired (and I was). I always thought of alcohol as a downer, but it feels like it gives me energy, at least compared to how I feel now without it. I fell right asleep, but this time the dreams weren't so good. Not horrible, but certainly no comfort. In the end, I avoided the temptation and woke up to a new day. Yay me!
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR!

So, you've discovered the progressive nature of alcoholism. It get's worse and the negative effects speed up as you get older. Daily drinking and all day long drinking will age you quickly. Picture water circulating around the drain in a bathtub, as it empties out it goes faster and faster. Imagine what you will be like in a year or two or five. Quitting while you are still in your 30's would be great.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Isn't your wife capable of pouring her own drinks? You probably don't need to pouring other peoples' drinks right now (or ever again). You can do other nice things for her like rub her feet after a long day or something.

....I dunno where I got foot rubbing. Nobody around here rubs my feet after a long day of work! My point is, there are other things you can do for her that don't involve being too close to alcohol for your own comfort.

Stay strong.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yeah I wouldn't recommend the pot at all. I was a bit of a late starter to the drinking/drug thing. I jumped from alcohol to pot in my early 20's. Pot didn't give me the hangovers and the vomiting which excessive drinking did. Unfortunately it turned into a daily habit and took over twenty years before I could finally stop. Don't be fooled by what you hear about pot. It is an addictive drug and I found it almost impossible to pry myself away from the bong. I was smoking 100 bongs a day for a decade at least. It also took my best friend away. He was a weekend smoker and died of tongue cancer a few years ago.

Anyway, good luck with the abstinence! Just be cautious with jumping from one thing to another.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Welcome BigJim!

You're making a great move in getting sober. Give yourself the time and space you need - it does take a little while before it feels "right." It gets better the longer you hang in there, though.

Good to have you join us!!
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Jim here too! I would factor into your thinking about what was going on that it is progressive, and becomes more difficult not only to live with. The sense of struggle, torment and despair increased for me over a few years as I could not work my way out of the mess I had become. The solution became the problem, but it is also a very tricky trap to get out of, but people do it. I am sober for nearly six months. I found putting my wife in the picture helped so we were not talking at cross purposes, and she is helping me achieve my goals.

I found reading the Big Book (free online) very helpful.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Welcome BigJim! Congratulations on deciding to be sober....best thing I ever did for myself. Take care.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Oh I do rub her feet. She does work really hard and with me out of work, shes holding this family together right now. My wife is capable of having a single glass and stopping, which is great. It's how I always wanted to be, but if I pour 1 for myself, it's going to end up as a bottle or two. I've always poured the drinks as I am (was) the drinker. Again, I haven't really discussed quitting with her yet, so it isn't some sort of cruel joke for her to ask me to pour her a glass.

I don't know why, but if I bring it up with her, I feel it will create a pressure for me to quit rather than a choice of my own. If she decides to ask, I'm I'm sure she will when I don't drink tonight (It's Friday!), I'll let her know I'm taking a little break. We'll just see if I can make it a big break.

My appetite is coming back so I may ditch the pot. Again, it was just a tiny pinch, far from 100 bongs a day, and it did seem to help. Pharmaceuticals scare me, and I found the more natural option worked the way I needed it to without any scary side effects.

Drinking a ton of coffee, I think it has it's own little buzz and it satisfies the strange need to have a glass in my hand. Between that and water, I don't know that my bladder has room for any other liquids

Thanks all for the support. nd and those are notorious binge occasions for me to the point were a few
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