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Just learnt about Kindling - I have made a terrible, terrible mistake.

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Just learnt about Kindling - I have made a terrible, terrible mistake.

Old 04-14-2015, 12:08 PM
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Just learnt about Kindling - I have made a terrible, terrible mistake.

I have been a severe binge drinker for atleast 6 years. I am now 27 years old. Getting (often very) drunk multiple nights per week, with occasional longer gaps.

I never knew about kindling. I ALWAYS forced myself to go cold turkey after binges because I thought it was the right thing to do - I thought 'giving my liver a rest' was the best way of preventing my developing addiction.

In my life I may have done as many as 100 cold turkey withdrawals, infact maybe more, maybe 500! I go on a binge, force myself through cold turkey, stay sober for a few days (sometimes just one), go on a binge again.

Lately my withdrawal symptoms have been bad. I thought they were just increasingly bad hangovers. My last withdrawal was last night, after a 5 day binge (which in more recent times is unusually long for me) where I got drunk every night, though not once to blackout point. I had a rapidly increased heartbeat, upset stomach (more diarrhea than nausea), relatively minor shakes, two sweats and almost complete insomnia. I of course felt very weird, though I am not sure I would go so far as to say I experienced hallucinations.

I have been reading a lot about kindling and brain damage/psychosis? Have I already ****** myself? I am so so so so terrified of brain damage.

I thought I was HELPING myself, I thought the fact I was always able to force myself to stop drinking cold turkey and resist the temptation to drink again in the morning was a GOOD thing. I was PROUD of myself that I did not have to drink again every day and could stop when I liked.

I am currently abroad and so not able to seek immediate medical advice. I have not had a single drink today, having just read this stuff maybe that was the bad decision, I will see if tonight my symptons persist, I felt gradual improvement during the day (except for an increase in anxiety due to reading this) but we will see what it is like in the cold dark of the night.

PLEASE does anyone know more about this? Is there still a chance that, as I have never escalated to the full DTs stage, that I may not yet have caused permanent brain damage?
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:17 PM
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It's not possible for anyone to diagnose permanent brain damage via an internet forum, but it's definitely possible for anxiety ( including health anxiety) to flare up during withdrawals.

I had a horrible time personally with anxiety and a whole host of physical problems during the last months/years of my drinking...but many of them cleared up once I got some sober time under my belt.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:22 PM
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I am not asking for a diagnosis, though I do appreciate your response, but whether based on anyone's experiences, the duration of my binge-abstinence drinking pattern is so significant that I could already be too late.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:23 PM
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Your post is not indicative of severe brain damage.

Kindling is however a very real phenomenon and it is progressive. Your drinking is only likely to get worse, so it's time to end the destruction. The fog generally begins to clear with some sober time.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:30 PM
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Yes, I realize that. For a while now I have known that there would have to come a time when I would attempt abstinence based recovery. I thought the fact that I could still fight through my 'hangovers' and did not resort to eye-openers/give in to the temptation to kill my 'hangovers' with more drinks, was one POSITIVE sign for me, one sign that I still had some time before crisis point, one thing that made my problem less severe than my alcoholic friends who all drink every single day, but actually from what I am reading it seems that their brand of alcoholism is safer.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Member View Post
but actually from what I am reading it seems that their brand of alcoholism is safer.
There is no such thing as "safe" alcoholism. Comparing how much you drink (or how you go about it) to others really isn't relevant either, you need to determine if your drinking is causing you problems or not.

The other thing worth noting is that more often than not, things really come crashing down in a hurry for many alcoholics. There is no question that things will get bad if you keep drinking, the only question is how soon and how bad. Judging by your last WD experience you may already be there.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:35 PM
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The best thing for you to do is to talk to your doctor as soon as you are able to and you might be able to get some more answers. As Scott said, anxiety is very common in withdrawal so as your head clears you will hopefully feel less anxiety.

In the meantime, I hope you continue to read and post here and that you do decide to stop drinking.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:40 PM
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My latest WD experience was by far the most difficult I have ever found it to resist drinking again immediately in the morning. Dramatically more difficult than any time I have previously experienced. Prior to this five day binge, the previous month had been an unusually low drinking month for me due to my circumstances (staying with family), a maximum of one, one day binge per week. There was a time when 5 day binges were normal, for the past year or more it has been uncommon for me to go on binges longer than 2 days. Again, I had felt this was a good sign, that my ratio of drunk days vs sober days was better, but of course this has meant going through a lot more hangovers/withdrawals.

EDIT: Not every cold turkey was a 'complete' cold turkey, there have been incidences where I had very drunk binges followed by lower drinking days (2-4 beers) followed by no drinking the next day.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Member View Post
My latest WD experience was by far the most difficult I have ever found it to resist drinking again immediately in the morning. Dramatically more difficult than any time I have previously experienced
I hate to tell you, but it gets a lot worse. DTs, seizures, mini strokes, all are very real possibilities as your hangovers start changing over to real physical withdrawals.

Bottom line, your body is SCREAMING a message at you....STOP DRINKING!!!! Easier said than done of course, but in reality it is a simple equation. Drinking alcohol is making you sicker and sicker each time you do it.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:01 PM
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I'm gonna conservatively estimate that I have been drunk, legally drunk, about 10,000 days in my life. And that is being conservative mind you.
For the sake of argument let's say I have been waaay drunk 1/4 of those times.

To put things into perspective, I've had more days drunk than you've had on this planet. And I've had more days 'plastered' than you have been drinking.

I am only about 16 months sober. "Ask me the questions bridge keeper. I am not afraid."

If you stop drinking now - FOR ******* GOOD! - I have a pretty good idea that you will enjoy many many years of enjoyment and productivity out of your remaining years.

Think of this. Assuming you live to be 70 and stop drinking now, you will have about as many years sober going forward as I have had drinking in the past.

I am mentally fit and smarter than the average bear.

Think about it.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:01 PM
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I see that. Between 1-2 years ago, I ended the denial stage where I admitted to myself that I knew for sure I have an alcohol problem. It was that admission which caused what i thought to be an improvement in my drinking behaviour, shorter binges and more forcing myself through cold turkey withdrawals and to spend more sober days per week. That is why it's so worrying right now to consider that what I thought was good work may actually have been even more dangerous than what I was doing before. However, today is the day when I admit to myself that I may be a lot, lot closer to crisis point than I thought.

I am due to be away from my home country for the next 5 weeks. I am not sure if I am capable of not drinking for this time. Unbelievably irrational, I know, but I fear that once my withdrawal symptoms die away I will convince myself that I overreacted.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:03 PM
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Member, I looked back at your previous post, in 2012. Things have appeared to have progressed, the frequency and duration of your drinking, and the severity of your hangovers. I hope you see the wisdom of sobriety. I can only imagine what your post three years from now will read like if you think you can keep drinking.

Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by LBrain View Post
I'm gonna conservatively estimate that I have been drunk, legally drunk, about 10,000 days in my life. And that is being conservative mind you.
For the sake of argument let's say I have been waaay drunk 1/4 of those times.

To put things into perspective, I've had more days drunk than you've had on this planet. And I've had more days 'plastered' than you have been drinking.

I am only about 16 months sober. "Ask me the questions bridge keeper. I am not afraid."

If you stop drinking now - FOR ******* GOOD! - I have a pretty good idea that you will enjoy many many years of enjoyment and productivity out of your remaining years.

Think of this. Assuming you live to be 70 and stop drinking now, you will have about as many years sober going forward as I have had drinking in the past.

I am mentally fit and smarter than the average bear.

Think about it.
I appreciate your reassurance. However, was your style of drinking similar to mine? It is the kindling aspect which is causing me the most fear right now. Did you go binge-cold turkey-binge over those 10000 days, or was it constant drinking maybe interspersed with occasional withdrawals?
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:06 PM
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Unbelievably irrational, I know, but I fear that once my withdrawal symptoms die away I will convince myself that I overreacted.
Irrational to be sure, but very common as well for alcoholics.

Try to not get too hung up on how much you drank, how often you did it, or how you went about the aftermath. You've seemingly survived this last withdrawal....why not concentrate on how you can stay sober the next few weeks now that you are gone?
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Member View Post
I see that. Between 1-2 years ago, I ended the denial stage where I admitted to myself that I knew for sure I have an alcohol problem. It was that admission which caused what i thought to be an improvement in my drinking behaviour, shorter binges and more forcing myself through cold turkey withdrawals and to spend more sober days per week. That is why it's so worrying right now to consider that what I thought was good work may actually have been even more dangerous than what I was doing before. However, today is the day when I admit to myself that I may be a lot, lot closer to crisis point than I thought. I am due to be away from my home country for the next 5 weeks. I am not sure if I am capable of not drinking for this time. Unbelievably irrational, I know, but I fear that once my withdrawal symptoms die away I will convince myself that I overreacted.
I think you are trying to convince yourself that there is no problem? Let me just say that when it starts to go downhill, it goes downhill very very quickly indeed. There is some good advice in the above posts - reread them n
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Member View Post
I appreciate your reassurance. However, was your style of drinking similar to mine? It is the kindling aspect which is causing me the most fear right now. Did you go binge-cold turkey-binge over those 10000 days, or was it constant drinking maybe interspersed with occasional withdrawals?
It doesn't matter if his drinking style is similar to yours or not.

Whether you are a binge drinker, an every day drinker, an every other day drinker or a weekend only drinker Kindling can occur. All Kindling means is that withdrawals increase in severity over time. That applies to binge drinkers, every day drinkers, weekend drinkers, morning drinkers, night-only drinkers or any drinkers. It is an equal opportunity affliction.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:13 PM
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Yes, I realize that. For a while now I have known that there would have to come a time when I would attempt abstinence based recovery. I thought the fact that I could still fight through my 'hangovers' and did not resort to eye-openers/give in to the temptation to kill my 'hangovers' with more drinks, was one POSITIVE sign for me, one sign that I still had some time before crisis point, one thing that made my problem less severe than my alcoholic friends who all drink every single day, but actually from what I am reading it seems that their brand of alcoholism is safer.
Its not positive man. Not trying to sound harsh but binge drinking all the time then taking 1 day off is not a positive or good thing.

I did that for years and years and sometimes I would get those symptoms. I just quit a few weeks ago and had them but they go away.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Chewy88 View Post
Its not positive man. Not trying to sound harsh but binge drinking all the time then taking 1 day off is not a positive or good thing.

I did that for years and years and sometimes I would get those symptoms. I just quit a few weeks ago and had them but they go away.
Thank you very much for this answer.
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:20 PM
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Thank you very much for this answer.
You don't have brain damage dude

try to relax and focus on quitting for good or it will only be harder and worsen
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:26 PM
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Youl be surprised how well the body heals in sobriety

Book a GP to ease your fears

Is this a day 1 Member ?
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