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Old 08-21-2012, 08:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Long time reader - first time poster!!


hey everyone.

i've been quietly lurking in the shadows around here for quite some time but have decided to finally post. for the past 15 years, i've been a total alcoholic. my poison of choice has been usually beer.. or whatever is available.. vodka, rum, wine, whatever. for the past several years, i've usually put down probably 12 beer a night, usually both friday and saturday night, and usually at least 2 nights during the week.. sometimes slightly more, sometimes slightly less. i've been noticing my anxiety and depression has escalated as of late.. and after drinking solidly for a few nights, which is often the case, i find even my speech is affected.. my memory is shot, i exhibit signs of adhd, can't focus or pay attention, or retain anything i read.. i neglect eating when i drink.. alcohol totally dominates my life.. and for these reasons, plus many more.. has caused me to want to quit drinking forever.

i'm not an angry drunk.. but i do make ridiculously terrible decisions when drinking. sometimes i do drive while drunk.. although fortunately i haven't had an accident or a dui (yet). i'm very friendly when i drink.. it causes me to get into situations with females that i really should not be in.. i'm really sick of waking up the following morning and checking my phone text messages or trying to find out exactly what happened the night before.. alcohol has costed me greatly over the past 15 years.. in terms of social abilities (ability to make and maintain friendships due to social anxiety).. it seems i've only been able to feel comfortable meeting and conversing with new people when i have a beer in my hand.. it's a double edged sword.. alcohol robs me of confidence and adds so much anxiety and depression, but when i'm drinking it gives me back that confidence, albeit for an extremely short time. i've spent so much money over the years on alcohol... at liquor stores and in bars... it's completely dominated my life. every decision i make seems to run through the "can i drink" filter. i don't want to do anything in the evenings.. like have a walk around town with my girlfriend or whatever.. even going to the gym.. or anything at all... because it will cut into my drinking time. i often drink alone.. my girlfriend isn't much of a drinker at all, but honestly i'd rather drink alone than go out and drink with friends.

i won't really get into it much.. but alcohol has costed me so much. on july 15th i decided to quit forever.. so it's been about five weeks since i've had any alcohol whatsoever. i do feel much better.. the fogginess in my head has improved big time.. i feel more confident with increased energy, and generally happier, i've been working out viciously at the gym and have been eating much healthier. i have a family reunion type deal next week and i've been thinking i would like to have some beer for that.. but i don't know. i fully feel i will be disappointed in myself after the weekend passes, having given in and drank once again. the "av" in my head has been saying you can moderate.. but i know that's not the case.. i will start with once a week.. then twice a week.. then four times a week, leading to blackouts, lies to my girlfriend, not knowing what the hell i did the night before, neglecting my physical fitness and mental health, not eating at all, losing weight, etc, etc... it seems like a vicious cycle. i guess i really don't want to drink this coming weekend. i've had some get togethers with friends and family the past 5 weeks, but i've just pretended to drink.. i bought some non alcoholic wine at the supermarket and used a generic bottle so noone would be able to tell that it was non alcoholic.. that seems to be working fine. i really don't think i'm the type of person for aa.. i'm not religious and i did go to a meeting once, and i completely hated it, i just stared at the floor and didn't talk to a soul. i like the idea of this forum.. i come read the stories every day.. i really think this is so much better than an in-person meeting for me. i read through the avrt/av stuff, that's helped for sure.. i'm also taking antabuse, although i haven't taken my pill for the past few days in (possible) preparation for the weekend.

i really don't want people to know i've stopped drinking.. i just don't want to draw attention to myself and have people feel awkward around me.. i just want the same things that have happened in the past to continue to happen, with the exception of me drinking. the times i've been with friends and family and have faked drinking, i have had fun for sure.. just drank virgin-rum and cokes and non-alcoholic wine and the sort.. it was fine, and it was truly great not to wake up the next morning with a major headache and fumbling through my wallet to find out how much money i spent. i'm rambling on now haha.. but i figured i'd just post away.. i'm on the fence about drinking this coming weekend. i know i shouldn't but i feel like i want to.. who knows. anyway, thanks for reading and have a great day.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,

I'm glad you decided to post.

And, you're right. You shouldn't drink this weekend. You have 5 weeks sober and I hope that you continue to build on that. Have you made other changes in your life besides stopping drinking? I think that drinking is usually a symptom and we need to deal with the underlying issues in order to recover and live a happy life.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Digital, everyone s different, but I can tell you that your story sounds not dissimilar to mine. In the rear view mirror now I can see all of my excuses, pardons, etc for drinking. Tried to control it, convinced myself I could. I couldn't, it's progressive too, for me the binge drinking episodes got worse, to the point of blow up(job loss, marital break point, etc). I'm now in counseling to address the demons(root causes, triggers, etc) and in IOP to address the drinking itself. Ive been sober for thirty two days and feel great... This site can be of great assistant ce to you, stick around.. Lots of experienced people(much more so than me)to learn from.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR. Sounds like you saw where you were headed and put a stop to your drinking. But abstinence isn't recovery and you sound ready to jump back into the mix...

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalcomfort View Post
i really don't want people to know i've stopped drinking.. i just don't want to draw attention to myself and have people feel awkward around me.. i just want the same things that have happened in the past to continue to happen, with the exception of me drinking. the times i've been with friends and family and have faked drinking, i have had fun for sure.. just drank virgin-rum and cokes and non-alcoholic wine and the sort.. it was fine,
People don't have to know you quit drinking, just don't drink. But pretending to drink? Pretending to drink in my book is just preparing to drink.

Careful, my friend. You could lose all the progress you've made over that last month.

Stay strong, stay sober.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Man, I can relate to a lot of what you said. I lost most of my youth to alcohol (mostly beer for me too) and drugs. I thought I needed it to be social. I thought it helped me relax. Once I realized it was a problem, I thought I could control it. I did not want anyone to know I had a problem. I always thought about how I wanted to be able to drink or use with my friends.

It got worse and worse. I drank and used almost entirely by myself in the end. I pushed everyone away. I was spiritually broken and wanted to die. I could not see a way I would ever live without my 'friends' alcohol and drugs.

I never thought AA/NA/CA would be for me. I'm not religious, hearing people talk about God made me want to run. To dismiss all these people as religious nuts. I have come to understand my own spirituality. It is a very personal thing, no one can tell you what to believe. This program is not a religious one. Do not let that keep you out of the rooms.

People can recover without twelve step programs, but just give it a try for now. You can see where your own thinking will lead you. You seem to want a new way to live. Just keep going to meetings. Read the Big Book. See if you can find anything you can relate to.

There is a life outside of alcohol if you want it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna View Post
drinking is usually a symptom and we need to deal with the underlying issues in order to recover and live a happy life.
So much truth in that. As my addictions counselors said, "putting the plug in the jug" is only part of it. Addiction is 85% behavioural. I had some clean time over the years, but I was still a miserable person. Since getting treatment and sticking with the program I have come to see that there is so much more to life.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR, digitalcomfort. Since you've been reading the posts here for a while, you already know that getting sober and staying that way are hard for many (most?) of us. You also should know that many relapses start with what you're doing right now: being indecisive. I don't know much about AVRT, but I do know that at the core of it is the statement "I will NEVER drink again." Not much wiggle room in "never". But from what I read in your post, you've given your AV plenty of room. You said, "on July 15th, I decided to quit forever." and yet you're considering drinking this weekend? So that people don't look at you funny? C'mon. You know where drinking this weekend will take you. So do yourself a favor and start taking your antabuse again, don't go to the family reunion, or at least decide that forever is longer than five weeks. Commit to NEVER if that's what it takes to keep you sober.

You can do this.

--Fenris.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Congratulations on 5 weeks, digitalcomfort.

My experience (and I am only on 11 weeks) is that most people around us know that we have a problem with alcohol. We try to hide it but they know anyway. So, in general, my friends have been relieved when I have said that I wanted to avoid alcohol because it had been getting on top of me. There is the odd one who doesn't like the idea that I am sober but then that reflects more on them than on me.

You don't even need a range of excuses actually. It is easier to just say "No, thank you" and that's it. No explanation required.

I have even been congratulated for setting a good example. And they love having a sober driver around too!
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome and glad you're posting. I'm doing the same thing about an upcoming event and my head knows exactly what to do but the partier AV is raring to go. Oy! I can relate to your situation. Mine is an employee appreciation and regulars annual party at the restaurant/bar I work at. It's our last one ever, as the place is closing this fall. I've attended it not drinking before and I've attended many more of them drinking and it was a lot more fun while drinking, I've got to be honest here. I find myself talking the AV down daily as it approaches and am continuing to try to do that. I'm trying to look at the big picture and how well I've done. I don't want to undo that. Maybe you can do the same. It's just one occasion right? Maybe we can be the ones telling everyone what happened the next morning? lol Stay strong!
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