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Alcohol-ish

Old 03-01-2016, 06:04 AM
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Alcohol-ish

Hi all, I know this isn't the forum to tell my entire story, but what I've read here so far confirms I'm in the right place I grew up with an alcoholic mom and gambling-addicted dad, and my image of what alcoholism "looks like" was different than what I thought my life was like. But now, 50 years old, the nightly glass of wine has become nightly half-bottle of wine to half a white and half a red bottle. (As if the math doesn't work if it's different bottles.)

Single, with my kids at college, and a relationship ended (another long story you'll find in a different section of this site), my world had become smaller without my realizing it. I have extremely dear friends who enjoy going out socially -- to bars and live music scenes (bars) -- and increasingly, particularly in the past six months, those nights drag on and I don't remember pieces of them. Most mornings I open my eyes and feel awkward about a text I sent or a phone call I had or don't fully remember.

In October, I started marking my online calendar with a symbol on every day I did NOT have a drink. In October, there were five. In November, there were four. In December there was not one day I did not have a drink of some kind. Not "drunk" every day; never a morning drink (unless there was a brunch in there somewhere). I considered myself "alcoholish" -- knowing I needed to reign it in, but wine is such a good friend, I thought.

I had a couple good days in January, but February -- when I put my house on the market and struggled with a dead-end relationship -- I had two nights in two weeks where I drank too much while I was out with friends, don't recall what happened, don't recall if I paid. In the morning, not immediately, but finally it dawns on me that I had gotten physically sick. One of those mornings, I woke up to wall damage in my bathroom. Like I'm in a frat house, what?! I'm SICK of living this way.

So, am I an alcoholic? It's been five days since I said I'm completely done. No shakes or hallucinations (as I saw happen to my mom), but clearly I'm a little obsessed with all of this. On the days I've tried to avoid it, in the last couple months, the toughest has been that 5-7pm hours.

And YES -- the insomnia! -- very odd. I've been waking up before 7am the last couple days -- actually feeling refreshed. I've lost three pounds. I feel productive and saner.

I had attended several open AA meetings in support of my bf years ago. I never introduced myself as an alcoholic (actually, in the first couple years with him, I cut down considerably, as if we were together in something...). I always felt in awe and bolstered by the end of those meetings, but also felt like I was crashing a party I didn't belong at. I've been going over in my head whether I should go no, just for me? Did I belong there? I'd appreciate any objective feedback. My very dear closest friend -- always with me when we go out drinking -- says I do not have a problem

Sorry this was so long. It wasn't even my entire story! Good luck to all!
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:15 AM
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Welcome! I always thought about being "alcohol-ish" myself, until it escalated. I wish I would have quit then.

I'm only on 23 days, but, sober is very rewarding. Waking up refreshed every morning as you said. And your life comes back. The real you comes back. Slowly but surely.

Glad you're here too.
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:15 AM
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Congrats on day 5 & thanks for sharing
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:38 AM
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I'm 50 too and 11 months sober for the first time in well over 30 years, I can recommend it, if that helps at all.
I don't think many people would've known I had a problem and I have friends who still think I didn't and scratch their heads as to why I'm now committed to being sober, but this really is about you.
I red flag for me would be the times of the day you struggle (5-7pm), you can also feel your drinking increase and you've had times you don't remember or regret.
As you feel better being sober, why not give it a go for a few weeks and then decide?
Warm welcome to you.
xx
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Old 03-01-2016, 06:52 AM
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I knew I was an alcoholic when bad things were happening (doing things I felt ashamed or guilty about, not remembering things, bad hangovers etc.) and I still didn't want to stop.

For the longest time, I just told myself I didn't want to quit drinking, but I would if it got bad enough. Things got worse.

Then I told myself I'd better cut down or somehow get control of it or I really would have to quit. It still got worse and by the time I really did want to stop, I couldn't.

Even after all that, there were people in my life that insisted I didn't have a problem.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:59 AM
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It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you. If drinking is causing problems for you, it's best to quit drinking. Go sober for three months and see how you feel then.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:10 AM
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I am 50 also, and quitting drinking 18 months ago is one of the kindest things I have ever done for myself. Drinking 7 days a week to excess, blackouts, elevated liver enzymes, everyday hangovers - and I STILL asked myself if I was alcoholic. I'm not saying you are, I am just reiterating my own story. Bottom line, if drinking is causing you problems, its a problem. Never underestimate the power of denial.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:13 AM
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Bamboo-I've had the same kinds of questions. I logged on here almost 2 years ago when I started to realize I had a problem but wasn't quite ready to really do something about it. 2 years later and I'm finally seeing it for the life-sucking problem that it is(no matter what you want to call it). I guess it's up to us whether we're going to let the elevator go all the way down or hop on board with this supportive community and head back up to real living. Kuddos for reaching out- Welcome!❤️
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:26 AM
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You can't be a bit of an Alcoholic.

Alcoholism is relentlessly progressive,sometimes quickly,sometimes slowly.

Try staying sober for 6months and see how it goes.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:34 AM
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I wouldn't pay too much attention to friends who tell you your drinking isn't that bad. What do you think? That's what matters. If you want to change your life, you're in the right place.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboo38 View Post

I had attended several open AA meetings in support of my bf years ago. I never introduced myself as an alcoholic (actually, in the first couple years with him, I cut down considerably, as if we were together in something...). I always felt in awe and bolstered by the end of those meetings, but also felt like I was crashing a party I didn't belong at. I've been going over in my head whether I should go no, just for me? Did I belong there? I'd appreciate any objective feedback. My very dear closest friend -- always with me when we go out drinking -- says I do not have a problem
im thinkin, with what ya typed, ya already know if you should go or not.
might want to look up aa's big book online and read it,too. the first 164 pages explains the program and beyond are personal stories.
if ya remove the alcohol and look at the thinkin you just might relate more.

seems "alcohol-ish" would be just an early stage of alcoholism.

and yer friend who says ya dont have a problem prolly has a problem,too-always out with ya drinkin. doesnt want to lose a drinkin companion.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:29 PM
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Thanks, everyone. This is just what I needed. Looking forward to reading and sharing!
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:41 PM
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Some great advice here. Welcome back bamboo

D
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:30 PM
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I was in the same boat.. controlling it.. but barely. Isolating, and avoiding people. Self medicating my difficulty with emotions and general unhappiness. And drinking way too much for long term health. No one thought I had a problem though.

I've been sober now for two and a half years and my life is very different and much better. I travel, live overseas, and am engaged in life again. I used this forum, a counselor, and some AA support to help me quit, because I had tried for several years and kept relapsing, because I wasn't being honest with myself.

About three months ago I started going to AA again, and found a sponsor to help me work the steps. I had found that even in sobriety my ego was always complaining and causing problems. Driving me crazy with irritation, anger, regrets, and resentments.

I realized I have distorted perceptions of events.. bad filters.. which leads to the ego constantly complaining, creating annoyance, and difficulty in relationships. It's probably due to coping mechanisms I developed during a turbulent childhood and using addiction to suppress my feelings for so long.

Sobriety has opened my eyes to many things, and allowed me to begin a new journey with greater awareness.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:17 PM
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If alcohol is messing up your life it is probably best to stop drinking it. It doesn't matter what you call it.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:23 PM
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I tried many times to stay sober-ish based on me being alcohol-ish. That never really worked-ish for me.

I often recall this part of the Big Book - it took me awhile to truly comprehend it's meaning in my life. I am very grateful it did, however.

Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.

That elevator doesn't have to go all the way down.......
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