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Old 07-26-2012, 01:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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When did you first realise you had a problem?


I've spent some time trying to remember the first time I thought.... "Hey, dude.... you've got a drinking problem." I know it's not when I finally quit drinking because I was miserable at the end of my drinking and just drank through that misery to that point.

I'm not even sure now. I don't really remember the first real evident actions and feelings that should have told me. But I know at the end I had major alarm bells going off.

The Alarm bells below are what should have told I was really in MAJOR trouble.
  1. Arguing with myself in the parking lot of the liquor store about buying more booze and losing the argument.
  2. Planning more drinking around social drinking as I could not drink ENOUGH socially as it was embarrassing. People would see how much I pounded back hard alcohol. And this is with a family of Irish hard drinkers. We encouraged drinking and I thought even my level of drinking was nuts.
  3. Having to spend my morning cleaning up cans and bottles.
  4. Hiding empties before people came over and saw just how much I was drinking.
  5. Running up my credit cards while broke for more booze I could not afford.
  6. Showing up at things, like helping my brother in law lay a floor so hung over I was almost useless.
  7. Being hungover while babysitting a friends kid.
  8. Going to more than one store to get booze so they did not think I was chronic (Fail, they did)
  9. Giving up on my appearance.
  10. Screwing up my work
  11. Drinking in the morning
  12. Hiding booze from my girlfriend
  13. Drinking her booze at her place. (how anyone manages to keep booze in a house without drinking it is beyond me.)
  14. Looking forward to when I can drink alone. Preferring that to anything else.
  15. Looking in the mirror and hating myself?
  16. I have pains in my side. Why am I still drinking?
  17. Driving drunk
  18. Not remembering going to bed every night.
  19. Waking up feeling wretched every day.
  20. Knowing I was not capable of being in a healthy relationship.
  21. Not being able to workout. I'm always hung over.
  22. Realizing I was such a mess I could not work on large projects and for the good of others I should avoid them.
  23. Getting into irrational fights with my neighbour (though he was an @ss)
  24. The last most devastating one is. "Well. I'm a drunk maybe I should just keep going." Just give up on a meaningful life with a possibility of happiness.

But I can't remember the first time it was just "drinking" to where my whole mentality changed. I suspect it started by degrees. I justified it at first. I deserve this or something. But By the end all those things were just out there. I could not deny it anymore.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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  • Buying cans instead of bottles so the neighbours wouldn't hear the noise from the recycle bin.
  • Running out of space in the recycle bin - it's 4 foot high.
  • Still needing to drink after going to the pub.
  • Drinking all day and not feeling drunk.
  • Doing everyday things after drinking eg shopping etc.
  • Thinking that because I've started I should continue until all alcohol is gone from the house.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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After I'd been to the chemists and told the pharmacist "I want to make it quite clear I don't have a problem." (pause) "Why can't I stop drinking?"

Looking back, there were things I shouldn't have ignored (it seems), but did.
Drinking alone
Drinking in the morning
Only liking myself when I was buzzed
Telling myself that "I clearly can't quit, so I might as well just accept that and carry on."
Telling folks that "I can drink like nice people."
Wondering how people can sit in a pub with the same drink in front of them for half an hour.
Arguing (with myself) that 'Sitting alone in a pub at 11am would be sad.' And then buying a bottle to take home. (Not two, I could have got two for only slightly more, because 'You'll drink both of them')
Going to meet my friends in a pub before a party, seeing they weren't there and realising that if I stayed in the pub on my own, I wouldn't get to the party because I'd just keep drinking.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I blacked out the first time I drank, so I have been an alcoholic since the very first drink. It must have been when I 12. I snuck behind my parents bar and started sipping on Amaretto. I then had to go to gymnastics, and I remember falling off the beam, but nothing else.
I quit drinking after the last time I had a blackout, I was 41. That is a long time of drinking and a long time of hurts.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can relate to each post here.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When pulling up to the bottle return place with a car full of empties counted as a good deed. The homeless people were going to have a good day since I couldn't be bother to redeem the bottles myself :p
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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*Wondering if 2x2ltr bottles of whiskey was enough for two of us for the two days the supermarkets shut for bank holidays at christmass .
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In retrospect I think I must have known all along, but just chose to ignore it

The first time I drank I stole some beer and hid it (aged 12).

I used to steal bits of alcohol from my parents drinks cabinet and hide it under my bed.

Every time I went out I always ended up so much drunker than all my friends until an embarrassing incident aged 17 and I started being really careful.

After college I noticed that most people didn't drink like me so I started to hide it.

Having 2 bottles of gin, one which I kept under the sink to top the other one up so that people who came round regularly didn't notice how quickly I got through it.

Preferring to drink alone so that I could drink properly.

I actually stopped recycling because I couldn't bare to face the empties.

Limiting the amount of booze I would buy because I knew that if I had it in I would drink it all.

After months of really bizarre migraines I finally got some medication on prescription. When I picked it up from the pharmacist I asked if I could drink on these...The pharmacist looked really confused and said she couldn't understand why I'd want to.

After being told by a medical professional that I should stop drinking entirely, I continued to drink for months (maybe it was a year...)

I'm sure I could think of more signs...
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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About 20 years before I actually quit.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1. When I couldn't get out of bed in the morning without having a shot or two first to stop the sweats and the shakes. I might throw them right back up but kept trying until they stayed down.

2. When I became virtually housebound because I was so out of it I couldn't drive or go anywhere.

3. When my oldest son told me he was ashamed of me.

4. When I continually injured myself (sometimes badly) from falling down stairs, walking into furniture, almost falling through a plate glass window ...

5. When I couldn't get drunk anymore but couldn't get sober either ... life was just a strange, unreal fog ...

6. When my liver and kidneys started to hurt ...

7. When I got the dry heaves every morning ...

8. When I had to cancel important meetings, events, etc. because I was either hungover, withdrawing, or still drunk from the night before.

9. When I realized that, since my husband is also an active alcoholic, my kids basically had no parents to look out for them.

10. When I realized that my life was going to consist of the couch and the TV for the rest of whatever days I had left if I continued on that path.

Life is so much better sober. Life as a drunk is really no life at all.
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