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The middle way of drinking is an illusion!

Old 11-30-2014, 05:19 AM
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The middle way of drinking is an illusion!

Hi guys, hope you are all well and having a lovely sunday first of all.

I have been struggling with alcohol for a few years and am aged 25. Although I have been 'struggling' with it for a few years, I think it is only over the past few months that I have realised that I have a problem, and secondly that the habit as moved past just a habit and is becoming, if not already become, a real addiction.

I did stop drinking for a month in mid september to mid october, and now, in early december, I feel like I am back in that dark place again. I have been more or less drinking or trying to drink 'moderately' and to others, I don't think too many people can see I have a problem. I hide my hangovers at work, I drink on 'special occasions' but then just how many special occasions have I had to drink over the last few weeks? I am fooling myself.

I went to a nightclub on Friday evening, getting back in the early hours of saturday morning, and after being hungover all day saturday and still not feeling amazing today, I just realise that I can't do this anymore. This can't be my life anymore. I know I can't handle the alcohol, I can't drink and be happy. And I can't feel good about myself when I make myself hungover.

Then, there is this voice in my head more recently that thinks 'when can I have my next drink?' 'will this be the last drink for the week?' and I know, when these kind of thoughts arise, that it is certainly indicative of something more serious.

I think I need to go to AA meetings before this gets any worse..I guess perhaps it is a sense of denial, but I think 'I am only 25, I can't be an alcoholic or be an addict to drink, its just not possible', but when I am honest with myself I know I have a problem in some shape and form..

thanks for reading guys, needed to get this of my plate.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:27 AM
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Hi George, It sounds like you are pointing yourself in the right direction. All the best.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:33 AM
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Hey George89- First congrats on both recognizing, as well as taking steps to take care of a problem. Alcohol is a progressive problem, so good for you for taking note of what's 'really' going on with you, and still at a young age.

I think most people try and convince themselves how they really don't have any problems with alcohol, even though they realize their drinking habits are really out of the norm for true 'social drinkers.' I think deep inside we all know when it's becoming a problem, whether we've found ourselves in some type of trouble or not.

Again, good for you for taking some steps to nip this in the bud, so to say, and I look forward to seeing you around.


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Old 11-30-2014, 05:33 AM
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I was your age when I realized the same thing. I turn 53 tomorrow and the last 28 yrs. of research has proven the same exact point--I can't drink AND have a life. I don't see alcohol as the enemy anymore. I do however take issue with that voice that says drinking is do-able. I'm not white-knuckling but becoming acutely aware of how thought streams build momentum and shut them down before the irrational side gets too heavy. AVRT , SR and the treadmill are my program for now and it's working. Best wishes....
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Lusher View Post
Hey George89- First congrats on both recognizing, as well as taking steps to take care of a problem. Alcohol is a progressive problem, so good for you for taking note of what's 'really' going on with you, and still at a young age.

I think most people try and convince themselves how they really don't have any problems with alcohol, even though they realize their drinking habits are really out of the norm for true 'social drinkers.' I think deep inside we all know when it's becoming a problem, whether we've found ourselves in some type of trouble or not.

Again, good for you for taking some steps to nip this in the bud, so to say, and I look forward to seeing you around.


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Hi Lusher,

absolutely, it seems there are a lot of people in my age group who joke about spending their weekends hungover, and talking about drinking too much just seems to be part of being in your twenties and 'partying' but I look at these other people who just seem to be 'having fun' and wonder whether they too are addicted to alcohol in some way too, but they just don't know it yet.

I have always been interested in Buddhism, and there is a quote from a Japanese monk in the Zen tradition that I really like:

"We live in group stupidity and confuse this insanity with true experience. It is essential that you become transparent to yourself and wake up from this madness. Zazen means taking leave of the group and walking on your own two feet."

If you take out the 'zazen' and put in 'being sober', the quote seems to resonate in regards to what a non drinker has to do in an alcoholic society.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by anattaboy View Post
I was your age when I realized the same thing. I turn 53 tomorrow and the last 28 yrs. of research has proven the same exact point--I can't drink AND have a life. I don't see alcohol as the enemy anymore. I do however take issue with that voice that says drinking is do-able. I'm not white-knuckling but becoming acutely aware of how thought streams build momentum and shut them down before the irrational side gets too heavy. AVRT , SR and the treadmill are my program for now and it's working. Best wishes....
Thanks Anattaboy.

The month I did stop drinking, I realized I was happier, i felt better, I lost weight, it was completely obvious that I was in a better place. Its just funny how when do begin a pattern of drinking again, that we somehow convince ourselves that we can't leave that place, even thought it causes us sadness.

I remember whilst I was doing the month, that the were too main elements that stopped me from staying sober further. Those two elements were 1 feeling like I would be perceived as having an issue with people at work, and 2 generally having to cut back on the lifestyle I was used to, the social on the weekends, dates with girls. Becoming sober means you have to change your lifestyle quite a lot, and I just wasn't prepared for that.

But I know its possible, and my theory is that it mostly revolves changing one's pattern of activities from night time stuff (clubs, bars, pubs etc) to doing stuff in the day with friends or alone, so you can get the enjoyment and fulfillment of leisure time, exercise, socalising and learning (or whatever it may be) and by the time you get to 11pm or so, you can go to sleep feeling like you have had a fulfilling weekend.

Anyway, its all theoretically easy, but of course harder in practice.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:59 AM
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:01 AM
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Thanks, George. Take leave of the group and walk free! I love to hear a young person with such determination!
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:19 AM
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Welcome here George89

I first got sober at 17, was sober for three years in AA, relapsed and got sober again at 24, that was almost 30 years ago. No one can tell you if you are an alcoholic, only you know. I decided to attend AA meetings for 3 months and do as they said, if my life didn't get better I would just go ahead and drink again.... actually, the plan was to drink myself to death, but you get it. Almost 30 years latter, here I sit sober. I guess it got better - haha.

There is no magical age at which we become alcoholic/addicts there is no magical age at which we should get sober/clean. We do not have to hit a completely demoralizing and life shattering bottom, sometimes enough is enough.

My advice - attend AA for 3 months, do as they suggest. If you realize you are not an alcoholic, great, go on with your life, only a few hours a week lost in finding out...much cheaper than a DUI, etc. to find out. If you realize you are an alcoholic, decide if AA is for you or if there is another form of helping maintain abstinence you prefer and go for it.

Good luck on what could be the beginning of a very life changing, wonderful journey.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:59 AM
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Glad you are here George!

I can do all things through he who strengthens me
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Xtreem View Post
Welcome here George89

I first got sober at 17, was sober for three years in AA, relapsed and got sober again at 24, that was almost 30 years ago. No one can tell you if you are an alcoholic, only you know. I decided to attend AA meetings for 3 months and do as they said, if my life didn't get better I would just go ahead and drink again.... actually, the plan was to drink myself to death, but you get it. Almost 30 years latter, here I sit sober. I guess it got better - haha.

There is no magical age at which we become alcoholic/addicts there is no magical age at which we should get sober/clean. We do not have to hit a completely demoralizing and life shattering bottom, sometimes enough is enough.

My advice - attend AA for 3 months, do as they suggest. If you realize you are not an alcoholic, great, go on with your life, only a few hours a week lost in finding out...much cheaper than a DUI, etc. to find out. If you realize you are an alcoholic, decide if AA is for you or if there is another form of helping maintain abstinence you prefer and go for it.

Good luck on what could be the beginning of a very life changing, wonderful journey.
Hi Xtreem, thanks for the advice. I just wander, how do I realise I am an alcoholic. At what point do I know for sure. I feel alcohol gives me a lot of problems in life, I can't handle the mental anguish when I am hungover, and when I am hungover, I do get this feeling sometimes of when can I drink again. I think the above combined is enough to make me feel like I have a problem.

On the other hand, I have never drunk first thing in the morning, and I don't drink that heavy, at least not all the time.

Alongside alcohol, a lot of my friends are drug users, and when I am drinking with them and my guard is down, then I am less likely to say no to accepting drugs from them too, so it sometimes means I am not only getting the hangovers but the negative side of effects of other crap in my body too.

If I had enough sober friends, then I could totally do it. But trying to live a sober life while doing all the things your drinking friends do just doesn't seem like it will be possible. Going to hot loud and dark nightclubs and bars sober is hell!
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:13 AM
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well George, it seems you are not alone. Drinking, getting drunk and hungover is not cool anymore. Be a trend setter. And don't wait 30 more years like I did.
Glad you see it for what it is.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:20 AM
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Thanks George. I connected with your inspirational words today and that is a great way to start my day.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:39 AM
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Hi, George. I stopped drinking over two years ago (when i was 26) and it's the best decision i've ever made, every aspect of my life has improved. Don't wait until things get worse before you decide to stop. I knew i had a problem with alcohol when i was 22 but i burried my head in the sand and carried on drinking because i foolishly thought i would be able to stop whenever i wanted. I was wrong. In a few short years my alcohol addiction spialled compleltey out of control and it was a nightmare trying to stop. You can have such a great life without alcohol! I had to completley change my routines and friendship groups when i first stopped drinking, but sobriety is worth it. Wish you the best.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by George89 View Post
Hi Xtreem, thanks for the advice. I just wander, how do I realise I am an alcoholic. At what point do I know for sure. I feel alcohol gives me a lot of problems in life, I can't handle the mental anguish when I am hungover, and when I am hungover, I do get this feeling sometimes of when can I drink again. I think the above combined is enough to make me feel like I have a problem.

On the other hand, I have never drunk first thing in the morning, and I don't drink that heavy, at least not all the time.

Alongside alcohol, a lot of my friends are drug users, and when I am drinking with them and my guard is down, then I am less likely to say no to accepting drugs from them too, so it sometimes means I am not only getting the hangovers but the negative side of effects of other crap in my body too.

If I had enough sober friends, then I could totally do it. But trying to live a sober life while doing all the things your drinking friends do just doesn't seem like it will be possible. Going to hot loud and dark nightclubs and bars sober is hell!
George -

I'm seeing a lot of negative as to why you drink, where are the pro's?

There are many sayings in AA - one is when people talk about the "I Never"

I never did this, I never did that. - just add a YET!!! to the end of the I never, because an alcoholic/addict - will eventually cross those things off the list as things they have done.

Again - No one but you will know if you are alcoholic - but I doubt there a lot of non-alcoholics sitting around on a Sunday morning wondering if they are alcoholics.

I know I'm not an over-eater, I know I don't have a gambling problem, I know I'm not a sex addict - I know I'm an alcoholic/addict - why do I know that??? - I Just do!

I do know that life w/o alcohol is better than life with it for me - so for me - no question about it - if life is better w/o it, why would I want it?

I'll be thinking about you and pulling for you, you will figure this out. Be honest with yourself. it is sometime easier to view it from a diff perspective - if a friend came to you with this same info and questions, what advice would you honestly give them?
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by George89 View Post
Then, there is this voice in my head more recently that thinks 'when can I have my next drink?' 'will this be the last drink for the week?' and I know, when these kind of thoughts arise, that it is certainly indicative of something more serious.
This is, to me, one of the key indicators of alcoholism. The mental obsession with when, and how, you will get that next drink. Most alcoholics I've known hit that point way before they are experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms. If you keep on, physical dependency will eventually set in, but that isn't where you've crossed the line. The line is crossed when alcohol is so important to you that you continue to obsess and to drink even when you don't want to or intend not to. For some people it happens with virtually the first drink.

People who successfully commit to recovery do have to change their social habits--at least in the beginning. Not to say you can never again in your life set foot in a nightclub, but if you are trying to build a sober life for yourself then doing things like that are just setting you up to fail.

Sometimes we need to see less of old friends, or to spend time with them doing different, non-drinking things. It's helpful, too, to make new friends who are learning to live the same way you are trying to. AA is a great place for that. We have a lot of young sober people at our meetings.

My first husband got sober when he was 21. He has now been sober almost 35 years. He has had a great life--one that he NEVER could have had if he had continued to drink. I doubt, at the rate he was going, that he would have made it past 30.

You can give yourself a great gift by committing to sobriety now, at your age, while you are still healthy and haven't lost too much due to drinking. Because for alcoholics, sooner or later, the losses start piling up.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:42 AM
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i was 23 when i first went to aa, my problem back then was i would go out and get hammered drunk and then misbehave and end up in big trouble through my drinking
over and over this happend to me and i sought help for all sorts of avenues

i thought that i might need to see a hypnotist as i turned into the devil when i got drunk, i hoped that maybe the hypnotist coule bring out whatever devil was inside of me and that i could then go on to get drunk and behave myself,
the drs thought up all sorts of wild names for me, they looked at all sorts of pills to give me that would some how control me in my drink as no one thought i could be an alcoholic and i certainly didn't as i could stop drinking for weeks at a time, as in my head an alcoholic drinks 24 / 7 and i was far to young at just 23

when i went to aa and i found a lot of people who were just like me and did all sorts of embarrassing things when drunk, they too suffered with the guilt shame and remorse that i had come to learn to live with when waking up, they to had to try to remember what they did last night etc
they to used to wet the bed and panic to try to cover it up i soon came to see i should of been here in aa right from the start and that age had nothing to do with it nor how long i drank for

there were a lot of yets for me as i hadn't lost my home or my family or my money etc that was because i hadn't drank for long enough for it to progress to that level

the biggest thing i ever learned in aa was that simple answer of not picking up that first drink, if i dont pick up that first drink i will not wake up the next day with guilt shame or remorse, as i will not of misbehaved badly enough, it was the only answer to never let that devil out from inside me was to not pick up that first drink

i found out that when i picked up that first drink then i would crave for more drink as the drink would set off that craving in me and i had to drink until i couldnt drink anymore
other people can stop in mid drink were as i never could or if i did it was the worse feeling in the world

i never ever went out to get drunk and hammered drunk, i merely only wanted to have that effect of freedom booze gave me, it helped me mix with people and took away all my fears etc

only i had no off switch so if i drink i could do anything when drunk

that was when i was 23, i stoped with aa help but i left aa after 3 years and went on my own as my life had got better i was no longer living the life i used to etc

after 15 years of being sober or dry i ended up picking up that first drink again, this lead on to 8 years of drinking were by my driking increased to daily drinking i was getting drunk 24 /7 i was ending up in trouble again and i lost my kids to social services, my home, my business, all my money, and been to prison, my life was in ruins but i clung on to the drink as its the only thing that helped me cope with it all

i again entered aa and some of the guys who were around when i was just 23 were still there, they had remainded sober for all those years and there lives were nothing like mine they had a good life were as mine ended up in such a mess

i have been back around aa now for the last 10 years and my life is again on track i have been a single parent dad for the last 9 years getting my kids out of socail services care, i have had to start from the bottom in terms of getting work with a criminal record etc my son sadly died of cancer at just 16 years of age and i had to care for him 24 / 7 and what him suffer on my own etc so life has hardly been a barrel of laughs for me but i dont drink thanks to aa and the help i have had

if only i had carried on sticking with aa i would of avioided so much pain and suffering not only for me but for my loved ones things would of been so so different
but thanks to the booze and me i had no chance

i go to aa as i am an alcoholic its the only thing that helped me turn my life around and carries on helping me it might be able to help you to if your an alcoholic no harm in popping along and listening to people in the rooms to see if you can find identification or not as knowing what was wrong with me was freedom as i thought i was the only one in the world who was like me
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:45 AM
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Welcome George. Some good advice above and you seem to know what needs to be done yourself, which is fantastic.

I'm 52, and was drinking for 38 years -no career, no money, no life. I stopped before I lost my health, house and my family. I wish I had been blessed with the sense to stop at your age.

Good on you coming here, stick around ,we' ll support you.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Xtreem View Post
George -

I'm seeing a lot of negative as to why you drink, where are the pro's?

There are many sayings in AA - one is when people talk about the "I Never"

I never did this, I never did that. - just add a YET!!! to the end of the I never, because an alcoholic/addict - will eventually cross those things off the list as things they have done.

Again - No one but you will know if you are alcoholic - but I doubt there a lot of non-alcoholics sitting around on a Sunday morning wondering if they are alcoholics.

I know I'm not an over-eater, I know I don't have a gambling problem, I know I'm not a sex addict - I know I'm an alcoholic/addict - why do I know that??? - I Just do!

I do know that life w/o alcohol is better than life with it for me - so for me - no question about it - if life is better w/o it, why would I want it?

I'll be thinking about you and pulling for you, you will figure this out. Be honest with yourself. it is sometime easier to view it from a diff perspective - if a friend came to you with this same info and questions, what advice would you honestly give them?
Xtreem thanks a lot for that, great advice.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:14 AM
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George, I could have written you post ten years ago - I too was very much into the "party" lifestyle (booze, drugs, women, bars, clubs). I used to rationalize it as "this is just what people in their 20s do." However, deep down I knew that I was slipping into the downward spiral of alcoholism. I'm now 35 and wish that I had done something about it sooner - I posted a list of my reasons to quit here, which tells my story. There is no doubt in my mind that alcoholism is indeed progressive - even when things temporally get better, in the long-term, they inevitably get worse. I didn't believe this in my 20s - thought it was "just a phase" - but I am a believer now.
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