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Can I impose on you to tell me your ah-ha moment?

Old 05-06-2015, 12:19 PM
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Can I impose on you to tell me your ah-ha moment?

Hi. I'm an alcoholic. Found out yesterday.

I'm 58. I've been drinking socially for 40 years. I've recently been concerned about how much I've been drinking, so I started keeping a journal of my attempts to cut down and control my drinking. My last entry yesterday was to note that I had been keeping the journal for 8 months.

I had always told myself that I could quit or cut down whenever I needed to. I regularly go 3-4 days and sometimes a week or two without drinking, and I never drink if something important is coming up.

Once I start drinking, I find that I can't stop that day or sometimes even the next day. On days I don't drink, I spend considerable time thinking about and planning my next drinking session.

However, since I haven't been arrested or fired or sent to the ER, yet, I didn't really consider myself an alcoholic, yet.

Yesterday, when I realized I had been trying to control my drinking without any meaningful success for 8 months, it hit me. There it is. I can't control it. I'm an alcoholic. I need to quit.

So I went online to research alcoholism and I found some comfort and inspiration in the stories of others who had their epiphany about alcohol addiction BEFORE they got to the eventual divorce or job loss or arrest or hospital visit which, I'm sure, awaits me if I continue to drink.

I was wondering if I could impose on some of the veterans here, who successfully put on the breaks before any catastrophic crash, to share their story of what woke them up. Thanks.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TENtx View Post
I had always told myself that I could quit or cut down whenever I needed to.
Like you, I always figured I drank because I liked to, but if I needed to stop, I could. Well I needed to, and I couldn't. So I guess that was my ah-ha moment. Acceptance that I was addicted and I needed a proven solution to address it.

Ah-ha moment or not, the work you put into getting and remaining sober is the same.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:34 PM
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Excellent post.
Great way to dig right into it.

I can only tell you that I ignored the signs and drove right off the cliff.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:38 PM
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My ah-ha moment was the anxiety, heart pounding, jacked up blood pressure filled days, that I was offsetting with gobbling xanax like candy, then drinking at night. This was coupled with the little bottles I had stashed in my purse and in my car to ensure I had "nips" within my reach. I was getting to the point of wanting to drink all day to keep myself from flying off the edge. Crazy!

Edit: I forgot to add, my life is a thousand times better without alcohol!
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:43 PM
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I kept getting sick. I was only 23 andgetting recurring everything and had so many health problems pop up at once and then a ptsd diagnosis and I just realized I can't do this anymore.....
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:44 PM
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For me it was when I realized that I was drinking because I HAD to ( to simply keep my heart rate and WD's at bay ) vs drinking because i WANTED to. That ship had actually sailed quite a long time before I actually quit, but I finally realized it one pitiful morning after a 10 day binge and decided enough was enough.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:46 PM
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You'd have thought that the time I was sitting with my best friend outside the student union when he'd been sick and was unconscious and we were debating whether to call the ambulance... and I'd drank more than him... would have been the clue.

Or the time that I couldn't even find my desk during my final year degree exam because I was still drunk from the night before...

Or the morning I woke up black and blue after a fight...

But it wasn't any of them. Because, you see, I wasn't an alcoholic. I just liked a drink. In fact, I only admitted the truth to myself years after I actually quit drinking.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:46 PM
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I have always knew I was an alcoholic really, but my I really need to stop moment was, a few weeks ago I got drunk and came home, even though I knew my boyfriend would be so mad. ( I had promised him to stop 6 months prior, and been sneaking around) Anyway, he yelled at me and tried to leave, and I flipped. I ran outside wearing nothing but a bra and underwear. I was grabbing him and screaming like an idiot. When I woke up the next day I saw that he had a black eye, and scratches all over his neck. I knew that it had to be the last time I drank. I couldn't control myself when I drank. I was humiliated, and I was tired of the reckless behavior, the embarrassment, and the shame I felt after.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:47 PM
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Welcome!

I was a lot like you. I had one bad blackout night (It's happened before but not for a while, although I drank almost everyday, just not to that point) came here and decided to stop. I only made it 5 days and then had another drink. That's when it really hit me. I was actually TRYING that time and couldn't make it more than 5 days.

Had to step up my game. Along with coming here I've just started meetings. I figure you can't really go too overboard trying to stay sober. Whatever works!
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:50 PM
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My aha moment was when I actually acknowledged that I was leaving work early so I could drink. I was sneaking booze into work so I could drink. My finances were a mess due to drinking. My marriage was falling apart because of drinking. I was lying so I could drink. My job was suffering because of my drinking. My kids had a physical body at home that they called a father (but I was mentally gone most of the time) but I was no father.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:54 PM
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Standing under the water of the shower, feeling the grief of what addiction cost me and sobbing. I said at that point, I would not give up one more thing for alcohol. Seeing and feeling the loss that intensely changed me for the better.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:05 PM
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Welcome to the Forum TENtx!! Great post!!

For me it was also the line between wanted a drink, to needing a drink, that was the point of no return, when I realised that, I knew things were serious and something needed to be done!!
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:13 PM
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I accepted I was an alcoholic three years ago, but it was four years ago that I had the "ah ha" of it.
I had lost my confidence from drinking so much. My friends weren't coming around as much, and I could no longer manage to have a woman in my life. I realized how I became when drinking, saw, if only a little, how terrible it made me (and how it didn't make me social and fun, which I'd believed), and realized that how I was with drinking was very different from how others were. But what made me go to that early Ah-Ha was that, even after realizing this and telling myself I wouldn't drink the next time I got together with people, I couldn't help myself, and continued making the same mistake again and again and again.
It took three years of me doing the same crippling things over and over, and drinking more and more dangerously, before I finally decided to try and stop. I've only just re-begun sober living, but the reason why I'm trying again is because I again begun to make those same mistakes and embarrassments as before.
Something that cements my recognizing myself as an alcoholic now and wanting to stop now is because I am intensely contested by my want of alcohol each and every day right now. This is not normal thinking, but because it is not normal, and because I am aware of that, it serves as a reminder to stay sober, and beat what has plagued me for most of my life so far.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:27 PM
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I drank for 30 years. Socially at first. Heavily (6-10 drinks per day, 5 or 6 days a week) for the last 10 years. I never got arrested, never lost a job. In fact, I have had a fairly successful career, own my own house, raised 3 good kids, etc. . I am in relatively good health and exercise regularly. But I was suffering the effects of alcohol: Anxiety. Waking up in the middle of the night in a panic, virtually every night. Stomach problems. Remorse and guilt almost every morning. And, most importantly, I was USING alcohol. For all the same reasons that only alcoholics do.

My "a-ha" moment came the day that I joined SR and read what others had experienced. As I read, I realized that, even if others hadn't called me an alcoholic (at least to my face), I am one. No doubt about it. It was actually kind of a relief to come to that realization.

I have never admitted to anyone, except to you good people here, that I am an alcoholic. But for me, the support that I have received here has been enough to get and keep me sober for nearly two years now.

So, that's my story. I wish you the same success that I have had. Your coming here is a great first step.

Good luck. I am glad you are here with us.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:34 PM
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In hindsight it's pretty obvious. But the change was gradual enough that I didn't notice any one thing in the moment. No DUIs, jail time, anything like that to jar me to my senses.

It wasn't until I decided that it was time to quit drinking that I began to realize how deep in the hole I really was.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:37 PM
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:02 PM
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I didn't have one "ah-hah" moment...it was more like a series of them. And I looked back and said to myself, "yep, I am an alcoholic" My worst fear came true.
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:36 PM
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I didn't have a 'moment', per se, it was the culmination of all the drunken nights and waking up in the wee hours in the throes of withdrawal. Pacing the house waiting for the store to open at 8 so I could get more wine.

But after my last relapse, over five years ago, I vowed it would be my last as I couldn't take the w/d anymore, they kept getting worse.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:18 PM
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Glad yer here and glad yer seeing the problem and hope ya want to find a solution,too.
An ah ha moment...Welp, quite a long time before I stopped drinking I had had thoughts I had a problem with alcohol. Didn't Like that idea and stuffed it into denial. Then I crossed the line into full blown alcoholism and list the power of choice of whether or not I drank. I couldnt not drink.
I don't know if I d call it an ah ha moment, but a morning finally came when my ( by then ex, which I wasn't informed of yet) fiancÚ told me things I said and did the night before while in a blackout and threw me to the curb.
It was then I admitted alcohol was the common denominator in all my problems. It was then the pain of getting drunk exceeded the pain of reality.
If it was an ah ha moment, it included me narrowing down my choices to get help or kill myself.

Sure hope to read more from ya and read progress on your recovery.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:42 PM
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Wow, thanks for the replies. Very helpful. I will continue to check back for more.
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