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Old 05-11-2013, 09:01 AM
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Nervous About First Post

Hi all,

First, let me apologize for this lengthy post. I feel like its pretty common for someone with a big problem they've been concealing to finally reveal it and just start gushing. They end up sharing so much information that the problem seems blown out of proportion and anyone listening has no hope of addressing all of the issues. However, I am a very insecure person and the thought that someone might misunderstand me is quite scary. So please tolerate my gushing, and I promise posts in the future will be much more succinct.

I have known I have a drinking problem for a long time but resisted doing anything about it. Well, that's not true. I have tried to white knuckle my way through sobriety a few times and lasted two months at the most, but usually my attempts are half-assed 36 hour commitments that last until I stop feeling hungover. When I was younger I attended a 3 day detox stint in a hospital, was discharged while I was still dizzy and had trouble walking straight, and was back to drinking within the week.

Let me explain my drinking habits a little bit: I am not a social drinker. I hate the pressure to pace myself around others, and all the various distractions from drinking. Also, I know from experience that I will inevitably end up with regrets and subsequent awkward social interactions. So, I finish my day at work between 5-9 then go home and buy three 40s from the convenience store and drink alone in my apartment or on my terrace while sucking down a few packs of cigarettes. I usually don't remember going to sleep and wake up looking at spilled packages of food or confusing stains that I don't want to ponder too much. I don't like letting people into my apartment because it is a scary hovel of neglect and demanding questions that most people are too polite to ask but not too polite to talk about behind my back. So, by every definition or self test I've encountered, I am an alcoholic.

This is my dilemma: Alcohol is not ruining my life. I have a fantastic and fulfilling job that I am very good at. I get along really well with most of my coworkers. I have a loving and supportive family (Although they are mostly unaware of my drinking problems). I don't have friends to speak of, but that's ok. I don't really want them. I am socially satisfied with work friends. I have a beautiful and loving girlfriend that is fully aware of my problem. I only see her once or twice a week, though, and I do not drink on those days. I am happy, and I only feel scared when I extrapolate my future. So, why should I quit drinking? The answers are obvious: Because my habits are not sustainable. Because eventually it will impact my professional life. Because certainly my girlfriend's compassion is not infinite and eventually it will ruin our relationship, and I want a future with her. Because it damages my dignity. Because it will kill me (Blood tests have revealed an inflammation in my liver that I was taking medication for). But for some reason all of these obvious, logical reasons are not enough to sway me to stop. It is so easy to say, "Well, just tonight I'll drink," or "I'll quit later." I do want to stop. I want to live a life absent of hangovers and a croaky voice and moments of absentmindedness or inexplicable frustration and irritability at work. I just don't want to stop today. I guess I'm hoping airing my feelings will extricate me from my isolated bubble and responses from other people will help or force me to look at my situation more objectively and take mature action.

This is why I'm nervous about this post:
1) From reading the guidelines I can't tell if posts from users that haven't quit drinking or using yet are acceptable. I really don't want to be banned from a resource that looks valuable (And personally agreeable. I really like the mission statement and pillars of tolerance).
2) Embracing reality. I am moving away from my comfort zone by publicly acknowledging my problem. So, it is uncomfortable.
3) Hopelessness. I can't afford professional help, and I'm scared that public internet forums are a last-ditch or worse resort for people that don't have better options. I don't mean to be insulting, and I fully believe that this forum helps many people, but I have my inherent prejudices that I don't think would be helpful to hide.

So thank you for reading this lengthy introduction. Any insight or harsh slap in the face from reality would really be appreciated.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:16 AM
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GreenEggsnHam, (interesting name!)

You have said it all in your post. You have named all you (may) have to look forward to in the second to last paragraph.

But, to your nervousness:
1. ANYONE who has concerns about drinking is welcome here, and in AA, and in any other program. Many many people on this site have not abstained, but are here to educate themselves and find a nonjudgmental community.
2. Comfort zones are one of our worst enemies, not just here but in life. As long as we stay in our "comfort zone" we do not grow.
3. Hopelessness is quite common and universal as we grapple with what might be a problem.

You have written so honestly and from the heart, I hope you keep posting.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:29 AM
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All of us want to quit later, but as you wisely point out, better to do it before you lose the great job, girlfriend, etc.

But watching other people 10 years further down the drinking road has been enough to convince me to stop now. My bloodwork shows no problems with liver, etc, but the way I feel says otherwise. Reading people's stories on this forum was the final straw in convincing me to stop trying to control my drinking and choose abstinence instead. You will find many caring people and useful resources here.

As for your attitude about Internet forums, I have a different view. I find it exciting that I can connect to people all over the world via online forums and role playing video games. And remember, there are real people behind the avatars, so all rules of social interaction apply in my opinion. In many ways, we are better able to be our true selves online with "strangers." I think that my everyday acquaintances are strangers more than my online acquaintances since I have to be guarded in real life. But family and friends come first, of course.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:34 AM
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My story has many similarities to yours. I too would wake up to a pigpen house after a night of drinking, especially the kitchen. I have a girl but she moved to another country so I could basically drink all the time without her knowing. i spend a lot of time alone. I drank about the same amount as you just not daily. The reason I quit was my physical health. If alcohol was healthy for you I don't think I would have any reason for quitting as I loved drinking and I could function while doing it.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:03 AM
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Welcome! You will not receive any judgment from us. This site is for support, no matter where you are at on the road to recovery. For me, Alcoholism was very progressive, and I lost a lot from it. Please keep posting. and reading. You may come to the decision that you want abstinence from Alcohol.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:48 PM
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:30 PM
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Welcome GreenEggsandHam

you are very welcome here. I think you'll find this community is one of the most supportive safe and welcoming ones on the net

I credit this community with saving my life

I think you're incredibly wise to think about this now, before you start hitting some of those 'yets' we all talk about - I haven't lost anything yet, I'm not out of control yet, I'm not in legal financial career or relationship trouble yet - because chances are they will happen if you keep drinking.

They happened to me.

D
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:13 PM
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Feeling better already

Thanks so much for all your replies. I definitely feel better about posting after hearing your reassurances. GroundhogDay, I appreciate your comment about internet forums. I think you could definitely be right. I'll try to remind myself of your view as I continue here. Perhaps part of my attitude stems from a lot of my online interactions coming from Halo 2 and the necessary abusive teenagers that includes.

All these little tidbits from your posts I think will come in handy for me to remember. "You will not receive any judgement from us" "If alcohol was healthy for you..." "Don't wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day." "[The yets] happened to me."

So thank you. I guess my question is... now what? I came out and said I'm an alcoholic... I feel like in pop culture and media that's the end of the problem, but now I just feel the same except more vulnerable. So how do I fix it?
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:16 PM
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for me the admittance was the beginning of the journey not the end

cutting things back to the bone, I recommend you think about the changes you need to make to your life now you're a non drinker - then find the support you need to make those changes, and to keep them in place

joining here is a great start

D
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:21 PM
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But actually I haven't quit drinking yet

Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
for me the admittance was the beginning of the journey not the end

cutting things back to the bone, I recommend you think about the changes you need to make to your life now you're a non drinker - then find the support you need to make those changes, and to keep them in place

joining here is a great start

D
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:27 PM
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sorry - I misinterpreted - I wasn't trying to be passive aggressive

D
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:59 PM
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Recognizing that you have a problem and wanting to do something about it is a huge step. I also have a similar problem. I do not drink every day but can easily make up for it on the weekend.

My advice to you is quit while you are ahead and things are manageable. I wish i would have quit years ago but instead I am facing a second DUI conviction and feel like I am the scum of the earth.

While drinking and driving might not be a problem for you I can guarantee you that it will take away from you something that is dear to you whatever that may be.

Finally just think how amazing it will feel to wake up feeling great every morning. Full of energy, no headaches or nausea!
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:11 PM
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Welcome GreenEggsnHam -

I think all of us can relate to your story (I know I can). I found this forum before I stopped drinking and used to come here and think about getting sober (as I was pouring another glass of wine). It took me a while to get up the nerve to post - the idea of actually getting sober (taking action instead of just mulling it around in my head) was so scary.

I didn't really want to give up my reward/escape at the end of the day, but I could tell it was starting to affect me. I'd reached the point where it was getting harder and harder to get out of bed. Alcohol was also slowly replacing other activities that used to interest me. I was "functioning" (so no one really knew I was an alcoholic), but the internal battle was crazy.

This forum was my saving grace. I don't think I even realized how much it was really affecting my life until I got sober.

Glad you're here!
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:40 PM
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Hiya Green,

For me I find the forum helpful for a few reasons.

1 - Accountability. I don't attend face to face meetings so these are the people that I will need to report to if I slip. I mean, of course I don't have to... it's the internet. I could disappear tomorrow. But I've interacted with enough people here that I feel responsible to this community. That little bit of peer pressure when I'm feeling weak is very helpful.

2 - Giving advice causes me to think through my own problems without even realizing it. By reading other people's questions and experiences and formulating my thoughts in response, I've been slowly developing a strong and nuanced philosophy of recovery.

3 - Daily context. I check in here daily, simply because it reminds me of this 'project' that I'm working on. It keeps me in touch with my goal.

Like anything else, you have to use it, it won't do it for you... but at least for me I find it to be a very good method of recovery.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenEggsnHam View Post
But actually I haven't quit drinking yet

Welcome! While you haven't actually quit yet, you've begun to realize that the road you're on is not endless. I was in the same boat- good job that I'm good at, meeting all my daily obligations and the like, but unhappy none the less. Drinking was cheating me out of my future, and even out of my present.

And you're right, it can't go on forever. Most of will continue to drink as long as we possibly can. There is only one time to quit, and that time is now. This is because we live in the eternal now.

Most of us are given many, many warnings before things totally hit the fan. Undoubtedly from your posts you've seen the signs. How many signs will you drive past before you stop?

Even if you're not "ready" to quit, maybe you're finally ready to at least consider it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:25 AM
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Ok, I'm starting to feel pretty good about posting here. Thanks guys. Fantail, I really like your explanation of why the forum is useful. For me too, writing stuff down helps me think through problems better than just letting my thoughts bounce around my head. Can anyone recommend a "plan" or method for quitting? I mean how do you handle the first day or week? I really need help just getting some inertia to get through the first few weeks.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:39 AM
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Hi, GreenEggsnHam.

Well, I'll try to recommend what worked for me.

1. Focus on 1 day at a time. Or one hour at a time. Don't scare yourself with thoughts "how am I going to survive birthday, New Year or whatever without booze". You'll cross that bridge later. Now your ultimate goal - stay away from first and "just one" drink;

2. No booze around you. It's a huge trigger in early sobriety when you have booze in the fridge and it takes just a sec to reach for it.

3. Make a plan what to do when boredom, anger, stress, etc hits you - go to the gym, call a friend, post here. Anything to distract you from thoughts.

4. Drink a lot of water.

5. Post here, share your thoughts, concerns - helped me a lot.


Well, I'm sure other members will give you a lot of useful advices also)

Best wishes to you, Hold on and give a try to sobriety - it's worth it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:54 AM
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Welcome to SR x



I was in the same position as you-great job, loving relationships etc, but I was sinking fast and I knew it. I'd started to take the odd day off work through being hungover, I'd started driving in in the mornings when I knew I was way over the limit, my work performance was starting to slip. My situation was further complicated by my husband also having issues with drinking. I had everything I wanted in the palm of my hand but it was starting to slip through my fingers and I became increasingly anxious and depressed.

This forum has saved me. I started posting every day. I joined a daily support thread for people who quit during the same month. Nearly a year later, and those people have become such firm friends as we've shared every step of our struggles along the way. We've all used different methods to stay sober..I'm in AA, some have used AVRT and others have found the support here to be enough. Frankly it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you have that commitment to do it. There's plenty of information here about different recovery methods.

Keep posting. I wish you well x
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:05 AM
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Welcome GreenEggsnHam. I recognise something of myself in you, I have a tendency to analyse things very thoroughly and I see that in your opening post.

Nobody is going to tell you you must quit alcohol or that you are an alcoholic because only you know if you truly want to quit or if you are an alcoholic. "Functioning" in that we can hold down a job and apparently do well in our lives is a judgement some of us make even though we are drinking heavily. When I came to SR I described myself as a functioning alcoholic. 64 days into sobriety I'm not functioning, I'm living.

I hope we can be a support to you as you make your journey.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:33 AM
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Thanks for your message, Blue. I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by, "Stay away from first and 'just one' drink." Do you mean avoiding a "first drink" is my immediate goal, or that to think in terms of "just one drink" is counter productive because I need to think in terms of "no drinks ever?"

Originally Posted by MidnightBlue View Post
Hi, GreenEggsnHam.

Well, I'll try to recommend what worked for me.

1. Focus on 1 day at a time. Or one hour at a time. Don't scare yourself with thoughts "how am I going to survive birthday, New Year or whatever without booze". You'll cross that bridge later. Now your ultimate goal - stay away from first and "just one" drink;

2. No booze around you. It's a huge trigger in early sobriety when you have booze in the fridge and it takes just a sec to reach for it.

3. Make a plan what to do when boredom, anger, stress, etc hits you - go to the gym, call a friend, post here. Anything to distract you from thoughts.

4. Drink a lot of water.

5. Post here, share your thoughts, concerns - helped me a lot.


Well, I'm sure other members will give you a lot of useful advices also)

Best wishes to you, Hold on and give a try to sobriety - it's worth it.
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