I hope this helps someone, I have found my WHY.
I've been posting on here for a few years now and in that time I've tried and failed many times to give up drinking. My biggest reason for failure is that deep down I don't think I'm an alcoholic. This is because basically I'm a secret sneaking highly functional binge drinking lying boozer who is in denial about my non standard drinking habits. I don't drink all the time but I do suffer from the occasional binge and I hide problem from everyone. I drink alone and in secret. I hide in the kitchen swigging the brandy. A sneak out the empties so my wife doesn't find out and I'm stupidly smug that I get away with it so easy. I never normally drink so much that it's noticeable I just cruise along in mild state of numbness.
Well something changed. I got caught and my lies just about brought me crashing down. I'm not as clever as I thought. It was not actually the booze hiding that got me, it was another lie that basically exposed to me and wife what a lie I'd been living.
I went camping with boys and secretly arranged to buy some weed for the trip. No big deal done it a hundred times before and never been caught. Thing is I recently bought a new iPad and what I did not realise was that it was synced with my iPhone. I did not know at the time but my wife could read every text I sent and received. Well you can guess what happened next. She saw everything and went nuts. It wasn't the fact that I was smoking weed it the fact I was lieing to her and hiding it from her. The one person in the world that actually really cares and loves me I had badly let down. This was obviously a wake call. Following the failed camping trip my wife and I talked for hours as to what made me lie and why would a forty year old father of two want to get wasted with his friends.
Well the reason I drink and occasional go off the rails is because i suffer with depression and I get very stressed. I did not realise but I was basically try to numb my senses. It was my way of coping with daily life. Exactly one month ago I went out to very posh black tie event with my wife. Very uncharacteristicly I really embarrassed myself but getting really drunk on wine. I must have had about two and half bottles to myself and was really drunk. I made a fool of myself.
The following day through a haze of pure sadness I knew I had to stop. My life was spiralling out of control. I was depressed, stressed and my life was on course to be a train wreck. It then dawned on me that rather than the booze relieving the stress and pressure what if it was actually causing it? It makes perfect sense to me. When you get drunk it does all kinds of crazy stuff to your head, what if it was making my depression worse? I decided right then I need to stop now. I don't want to lose my wife, my family, my business, my health and my sanity and for what? Booze. Is it worth it? With a choice of booze or life I'm choosing life.
So here I am one month in and alcohol free. so glad I have given up booze. I hope I can keep it going. Every morning I wake up I thank the world or the Lord that I don't drink. Sounds stupid but that's the way it feels. No more groggy head, no more guilt, no more tiredness. I obviously still feel tired but it passes, I don't feel groggy all day. I seriously believe people who suffer from depression should not drink. If it is true that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain then it makes sense that alcohol, which clearly alters the senses, will only make it more unstable. For me alcohol takes my depression to the extreme poles. It can make me really happy and energetic but it eventually leaves me feeling sad and lethargic. Alcohol messes with what is already a fragile balance in my head. At best my condition is manageable, at its worse it causes lack of motivation and momentum, procrastination and remorse. I know that going to the gym and not drinking keep the positive elements in my brain constant. Any change to this can result in the dark cloud reappearing. Exercise increases the good in your brain, sometimes when I don't exercise I feel glum.
My biggest fear is that peer pressure will lead me to drink. Weekends away with friends puts me under pressure. I feel that I don't want to spoil people fun by not drinking but why should I sacrifice my health for their pleasure? If they were good friend they'd understand. I think the only way to hammer this home is come clean and tell them that alcohol really affects me in a negative way. I've been saying it to myself for a while now that I don't enjoy alcohol like I used to. I used to like the social side of it but now it just feels wrong.
Interesting article I read today had the following line in it which read very true for me : "Several women confessed that they knew they were anaesthetising work and family worries with wine every evening, but the thought of losing that safety valve was scary" - I can relate to this. When I'm stressed or worried a few glasses of wine would make me feel numb and take the edge off. Of course in reality I was only temporarily subduing my brain and the problems, what ever they were, didnt go away. In fact the more we hide from our problems the bigger they become and this of course increases the stress, the depression and the drinking and so the cycle continues.
I feel so much better and it's no coincidence. Stopped drinking and been training as often as I can.
I hope I can keep this up. I really feel better without the booze. No fuzzy head in the morning, no feelings of guilt, worry, gloom or apathy. Booze is no good for me and serves me no purpose. It makes me tired and adds to my depression. The negatives outweigh the positives. I used to miss the social side of drinking but to be honest I just don't enjoy it anymore. The only person I drink with is my best friend John and that is so infrequent it's not worth jeopardising my sobrietory. Also if he is a true friend he will understand it. Social events such as Charity Do's, Christmas, camping and meeting up with friends don't have to involve booze. Some of my friends don't need to drink to enjoy themselves. You would never expect them to get drunk, it would be embarrassing and completely out of character. The two most successful people I know don't drink and they live their lives healthy and positive. I need to do the same. I wonder if no booze and going to the gym regularly could help my depression? Maybe these two things could fix my problem? They could raise my self esteem, happiness, confidence and energy.
Look guys, I've been coming on this site for years, every six months I embark on yet another booze free health kick but it never lasts and I never knew how to keep it going. Now I get it, I needed a why. Right now I feel I have found a reason to stop and a reason to live. I'm not naive enough to believe this is it but I'm going to give it a real good go. This time feels different, I don't want to drink and I realise what booze does to me. Thanks for reading I hope I can do it but than anything I hope that my thoughts and experience can help someone else today. Good luck everyone, stay strong and believe in yourself.
I'm glad you are in a good space, that you've gotten honest and seen the light of sobriety's promise.
I'm glad you 'found your why'.
I'd like to encourage you to keep coming here and to get additional support. I'd like to encourage you - in response to your very real concerns about being influenced or slipping - to make a plan. Most of us have found that 'knowing why' doesn't really mean resolution.
For me, I could see lots of 'why' very clearly. But it never helped until I made changes in my life, until I got support, until I went to a counselor and began addressing my 'why' with healthy approaches. The 'why' doesn't go away.... Life still happens. Most of us have found that in order to better respond to the 'why' in our lives, we needed to change. We needed ACTION.
Yes, we needed to stop drinking, but that alone was not enough to have the abundant blessings of sobriety.
Congratulations on this milestone and may your sobriety continue to deepen.
Thanks for sharing. What you wrote resonates with me. Including 'numbing the depression and anxiety'.
Got through most of your post...the one word that caught my eye the strongest was....hope...
There is no...hope to quit drinking...there is only quit drinking...
I label myself as a proud sober man. If I ever relapse...there is going to be a major engagement of good and evil...a battle..a war...before the poisen ever passes these lips...
Hope this helps...
Also, nice epic fail on the text messages scoring some skunk. I was lmao reading that, but only because I knew the outcome was for the best and we've all done some clever hiding, at one time or another, only to realize later that it was blatantly obvious to those around us.
Hi and welcome.
I’d suggest sticking around and reading a lot of posts and try to identify rather than comparing.
Alcoholism comes in many flavors and we can easily say this or that hasn’t happened to me YET:
You’re Eligible Too.
Best results often happen early on.
Good for you for recognizing your problem. One word that struck me in your post was "hope". You can stop drinking and stay that way but you will need to put in the sustained effort. First for me was recognizing that I can't ever drink again. Until the last 3-year drinking spell, i didn't drink every night and was easily able to stop. I stopped for 13 years before starting again. This last time was h*ll-on-wheels to stop.
I, too, have serious depression problems and alcohol made that worse -- as alcohol simply makes everything worse.
I will hope that you won't make the same mistakes I did and will take this seriously enough to stop and stay stopped, one day at a time. It's so worth it!
1 Month is fantastic Whatsgoingon!! :scoregood
From IOAA...this is good stuff...
"Alcoholism comes in many flavors and we can easily say this or that hasn’t happened to me YET: You’re Eligible Too.
Best results often happen early on."
I would emphasize what others have said and implied...this is a delicate time for you. Take this turning point deadly serious, and you and your family will reap untold benefit in your sober future. Mess around with it, give yourself an "out", and you put at dire risk everything sweet in your life. Putting it off, even if you succeed later...at what cost to your family's trust in you? To mention only the very least of potential consequences.
Truth in Advertising: I am quite young in my sobriety. Getting sober brought the world and my life into sharp focus. I apologize if I seem to evangelize too enthusiastically.
Defeating an alcohol problem is so highly personal there is no right or wrong way. Its a simple litmus test: If its helping you, its working. If its not helping you, it isn't working.
Congrats on a month and keep it going! :c011::You_Rock_
Thank you for all the reply's. This is the very first time I have giving up booze for a proper reason. In the past I gave up because I thought I had a problem and I recognised my relationship with booze was wrong. Thing is in the past I really resented not be able to drink because I liked it. I loved the way booze would make feel and the numb buzz became my way of detaching from life into my own private secret world.
The difference now is my problems are getting bigger because I've not dealt with them. Taking away the alcohol does not take away the problems but it does give me the chance to deal with them.
I don't know whether I will succeed this time but I am more determined than I have ever been before. The last few months have shocked me to the core. My behaviour and drinking were getting out of control and I nearly lost my wife through it. It's been a wake up call for me and I've realised I've been a jerk. I use the word hope a lot because that's all I got. I don't think it's a sign of weakness it's just an honest account of where I am right now. I have some plans in place to help me, maybe not enough, but for instance I'm making positive steps with my health. I'm training virtually every day and engaging a personal trainer. The truth for me is no booze and regular trips to the gym create a healthy mind. It may not work for everyone but it makes a hell of difference to me.
I'm still learning, even though I've been going through this stuff for years. I've fallen many times before and picked myself up. Right now I feel strong and I'm committed to make a lasting difference in my life and that is my family.
Awesome, whatsgoingon...you are on the right path.
That's kind of how it was for me. I took great care to appear as normal as possible so I wouldn't have to confront giving it up. It was a complete mental shift that got me to quit. I realized I was at the point where I go all in and be a proper drunk or quit and never look back. I was actually too afraid to keep on the way I was going. You really sound like you have made that shift. The next year or two is not going to be easy for you but it beats the hell out of the alternative. Throw everything you can at this.
Congrats man 1 month was my turning point
It recently dawned on me that alcohol was causing anxiety, depression and insomnia.
When I'm sober all of these go away.
Here I thought I was ' fixing' these with alcohol, yet it was the root cause.
It was a huge breakthrough for me as well
I also really like when IOAA2 says YET, because I used to counsel myself that I wasn't as bad as others, so surely I could keep drinking- definitely not true
Jsbodhi, me too. I even had doctors, therapists, and friends say I'm not an alcoholic. But guess what? They were basing that decision on "criteria" and each person is different.
On a deep level I just KNEW I have a problem. I started healing when I stopped comparing myself and started doing recovery work.
But no one knew how much I was obsessing over my intake, it was exhausting, I just had to let it go completely.
Maybe I wasn't drinking as much, but I sure as hell thought about it all the damn time.
Thanks guys I really appreciate all the comments, some great motivation in there.
I can't believe I had been missing the answer for so long. Sometimes it's hard to see the most obvious stuff but as soon as I realised alcohol was having a huge impact on my depression and was in all likekhood the single most contributory cause I suddenly woke up. If I give up alcohol it's going to make a massive difference to my depression? That for me was the turning point, my defining 'Why'. Depression for me is so debilitating and I'd go as far to say it's as bad if not worse than alcoholism. When I have good days I can feel on top of the world, like I can accomplish anything and that how I want to feel everyday. Depression holds me back and alcohol fuels my illness. My 'why' is to choose life.
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