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Alcohol later in life

Old 07-12-2017, 04:09 PM
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Alcohol later in life

Just wondering how many others may have been in this situation.

I drank off and on, never heavily, from late teen/college age through my 20s, 30s even most of my 40s, without an issue. I could take it or leave it. I stopped completely during pregnancies and breastfeeding without problem or complaint.

I think back, and I never bought wine or beer at a store to bring home. Even in my 30s, in the last house we lived in, I can remember having only an occasional bottle of wine in the house (a "single" bottle, never more than that), and even vacuum stoppers to store any that was left over. (!)

Then, in my mid late 40s, I started drinking more and more. One bottle between my husband and I became two. Wine nights became the thing with my fellow 40-ish moms. Then it wasn't just weekends, it became Sundays and Thursdays. I didn't just have one glass, I had a whole bottle, and then some. Then it was every. single. night. Over the course of maybe 6 or 7 years, I developed a huge problem, and now know I can't safely drink any amount any more.

I know I was probably "medicating" myself for anxiety and depression.. Was it that we have a susceptibility at a certain point in our lives, and once we go too far, that's it? That once you cross a line in becoming addicted to the substance, it has let a genie out of the bottle, so to speak, or flipped a switch?

I am NOT nostalgic for drinking or trying to bargain for a way to get back to that earlier pattern, just trying to figure it out! I'm new to the whole recovery universe.

I also remember, thinking back, how much fun I had, those times back in my 20s and 30s without feeling the need for alcohol. I didn't long for it, or plan for it. I really could take it or leave it. I just hate that I let this substance do this to me.

Just curious for any thoughts.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:17 PM
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While I'm still in my twenties. I had a similar experience, I drank perfectly moderately for years. Then I had a health scare and that's when stuff got out of control. The drinking made me not feel afraid for a few hours. So for me the tipping point was that moment. So I don't know, did anything change do you think that meant alcohol stopped being a take it or leave it thing and become something that you needed everyday?

I can only talk from my own experience but that's how it was for me.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:52 PM
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I drank off and on, never heavily, from late teen/college age through my 20s, 30s even most of my 40s, without an issue.
That is my story; although, if I'm completely honest, I did have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol when I did drink, but I didn't drink that often. However, It wasn't until I was about 47 when I really started to psychologically crave alcohol (I've never been physically dependent).

I've read that age is a factor, we don't process alcohol like we did when we were younger, but I'm not sure that's true. My drinking also coincided with my development of Type 2 diabetes, and that along with the medication may also be a factor for me.

I only know that I need to stop drinking for good, after literally hundreds of attempts to control my drinking, I've failed 99.9% of the time. I can't do it, so there's only one rational choice, quite drinking. It is has you asked, there's a line that I've crossed and I can't go back to being a moderate drinker.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:53 PM
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Yes, interesting, Andagain. Maybe it was stressors of being a mom of older kids, health issues of my parents, probably quite a bit of depression and anxiety. Frightening really how easy it was to run off track.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Time2Rise View Post
I've read that age is a factor, we don't process alcohol like we did when we were younger, but I'm not sure that's true. .
When I was taken to hospital a few years ago I said that to the doctor and in his opinion it doesn't make as much difference as people think. It's more than people who are older tend to get sick just due to the amount of years drinking. I dunno, I'm not a doctor. I think it's one of those things where there's so many factors that its nearly impossible to guess what damage is being done. You've got age, genetics (I've read studies which suggest ethnicity is even a factor in processing alcohol), how you drink, how much, how long, how big you are, how much you weigh, your nutritional intake, other medical conditions. Unfortunately how we react to alcohol seems like very much a random roll of the dice. Although I do think there's something in the genetics, both my brothers and several other family member have almost identical mental health and drinking problems.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tealily View Post
Yes, interesting, Andagain. Maybe it was stressors of being a mom of older kids, health issues of my parents, probably quite a bit of depression and anxiety. Frightening really how easy it was to run off track.
Yeah, those things can sneak up on you gradually so you don't see it coming, It's definitely a self medication thing for me. One thing I think is that alcohol messes with how you think, so ironically you'll probably have a better idea of why you drank the longer you're sober.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:11 PM
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Time2Rise, thanks for your thoughts.. Interesting that the age when the problem got out of hand was about the same age for both of us. Makes sense that age (and maybe even menopause for women) could be part of the whole puzzle. I'm sure it must be helping with your Type 2 to not have alcohol complicating things. Congrats on all your progress.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:21 PM
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Tealily this really hits home with me....

I've posted here a few times. Back 4 years ago and then just recently. I'm 47 and I know I need to stop. But I haven't yet

I started drinking in high school, graduated and joined the Navy and HOE-BOY did it get crazy then! The military and alcohol are like PB and Jelly. It's everywhere. Then I ended up marrying a marine and BOY do they know how to drink! And the wives? The base wives club is one big party every day that ends in Y and all weekend long. Anyway, I too quit totally during my 2 pregnancies. Didn't even want it. By 40 years old, I was still super healthy, competing in fitness and drinking heavily about 1/2 the time (6 months out of the year I cut way back and the other half it was most of the time). I think the competition dieting made the addiction of wine just like food; when I was allowed to have it back in, I went crazy with it.

So now we've retired, moved, my mom died and we are struggling to pay for our new house. My boys are 14 and 10 and starting to understand. I've found myself almost unable to NOT drink anymore. A bottle of wine a night doesn't even phase me the next day. I'm so sick of the shame.... afraid that my boys are starting to notice my passing out on the weekends. The anxiety and hot flashes.... who knows if it's hormones too?

I'm just really glad you posted about this. I'm still in the mindset that I can "control" this. I just won't do it Mon-Fri. Just do it when everyone goes to sleep and I can watch the RHOC. But then my weekends are just ruined with hangovers and regret. I've went so far as to search out AA meetings here. I know where they are and what time. But what if I see someone I know? I haven't said a peep to my husband this time. He's a marine who thinks it's just mental weakness. He's seen me so strong for 20plus years, he doesn't think I have a problem. "Just stop" is his solution. I haven't told anyone any of this. Just here.

Sorry to hijack your thread. I actually private messaged you when I read your first post a couple weeks ago. You sound so much like me.

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Old 07-12-2017, 06:53 PM
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Once a pickle never again a cucumber. It took awhile in sobriety but I kind of gave up on why and started to focus on how. Welcome newcomers and those coming back. You don't have to drink.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:59 PM
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FitD,

You didn't hijack anything! I'm so glad you posted.

I'm very sorry that you private messaged me and I didn't see it! I'm still pretty new here and not really sure how the chat and messages work, so somehow I missed it.

So much of what you say I can relate to, too. (I actually grew up in a military family.) I started drinking heavily when my kids were about the ages of yours now. It gets harder and harder to hide it from them the older they get. They see and understand a lot more than we give them credit for. I thought I was hiding things so "well", but no. My youngest, at age 15, calling me out on my secret drinking, was a major tipping point.

I had been lurking on this site for years.. it's only now that I've posted and started writing about my issues and owning up to them .. plus acknowledged I'm not drinking to my husband and kids .. that I've been able to turn the corner. SR is my only outside support so far.

Some of the things that helped me was to realize that we really do have the power to NOT drink. Don't buy it. Don't have it in the house. Don't let it go down your throat. My husband offered to not have wine in the house for himself, and that has helped me a lot.

Please continue posting and let all the experienced people here help! You really can change things. I'm so glad to meet you and I'm with you!

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Old 07-12-2017, 07:03 PM
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This story could have been written by me. I'm a 51 year old wife and mother. I was fine with my drinking until about age 47. Since then it just progressed to the point where even small amounts of alcohol hit me and I turned into a monster. I had to say enough is enough, I need to quit before I lose everything that matters to me. I promised my husband and I have to keep my word. I'm at day 3 now. I still wonder if it's a medical problem or hormones or what?? It doesn't make sense. I totally understand what you are saying.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:04 PM
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Fly N Buy,

That makes sense. Maybe dwelling on the reasons/explanations is pointless. All we can do is move forward.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:08 PM
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Magnum Cat,

So glad you are here. Sorry to not see your response to this post till now!

That's great you are on Day 3! Just keep going, a day at a time. I was able to turn a corner and I know you can too. This is a wonderful place, with all kinds of helpful people.

If you haven't posted an introductory thread yet, that'd be good, so more people can see you and welcome you. If you want to read my story, here it is: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...rate-stop.html

So glad to meet you and congrats on three days!
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:42 PM
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I stopped drinking at 45, like you my glass or two of wine had increased to a bottle or more. I have been sober for a year and a half, and I am feeling so much better. You can do this!
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tealily View Post
Fly N Buy,

That makes sense. Maybe dwelling on the reasons/explanations is pointless. All we can do is move forward.
Dwelling or being stuck in the muck I found unproductive at best extremely debilitating as worst. Sobriety is like driving at a high rate of speed and slamming on the brakes - all the crap in back seat fly's upfront hitting us in the head. I couldn't ignore it and had to address where I was wrong, resentful and who I had harmed.

Once I started to clean that up, things began to change. I had to forgive myself as well. That was and is the most difficult part for me.

But early in sobriety too much looking in the rear view mirror made me drink, again. I tried to wash it away many times - thought mostly didn't realize it.

Both alcoholism and recovery are progress, good news!
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:00 PM
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I'm 47 and I quit drinking because my hangovers have gotten worse in the past few years. It seems sometimes I could handle quite a bit of alcohol without a hangover and sometimes two glasses of wine made me feel like dying the next day.

Also felt like what was once an occasional glass of wine was becoming something I had most days. Too many times when I had girls' nights, I wouldn't remember all of the conversations. I often felt shame and frequently had trouble sleeping. This all really picked up after the age of 40. Most dramatically in the last 4 years.

I do believe it has to do with aging and hormones because I did sometimes notice differences in my reaction to alcohol at different times of the month.

Regardless, alcohol wasn't making my life better so I tried sobriety and it is making my life better!
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:21 PM
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[QUOTE=tealily;6535484]Just wondering how many others may have been in this situation.

I drank off and on, never heavily, from late teen/college age through my 20s, 30s even most of my 40s, without an issue. I could take it or leave it. I stopped completely during pregnancies and breastfeeding without problem or complaint.

I think back, and I never bought wine or beer at a store to bring home. Even in my 30s, in the last house we lived in, I can remember having only an occasional bottle of wine in the house (a "single" bottle, never more than that), and even vacuum stoppers to store any that was left over. (!)

Then, in my mid late 40s, I started drinking more and more. One bottle between my husband and I became two. Wine nights became the thing with my fellow 40-ish moms. Then it wasn't just weekends, it became Sundays and Thursdays. I didn't just have one glass, I had a whole bottle, and then some. Then it was every. single. night. Over the course of maybe 6 or 7 years, I developed a huge problem, and now know I can't safely drink any amount any more.

I know I was probably "medicating" myself for anxiety and depression.. Was it that we have a susceptibility at a certain point in our lives, and once we go too far, that's it? That once you cross a line in becoming addicted to the substance, it has let a genie out of the bottle, so to speak, or flipped a switch?

I am NOT nostalgic for drinking or trying to bargain for a way to get back to that earlier pattern, just trying to figure it out! I'm new to the whole recovery universe.

I also remember, thinking back, how much fun I had, those times back in my 20s and 30s without feeling the need for alcohol. I didn't long for it, or plan for it. I really could take it or leave it. I just hate that I let this substance do this to me.

Just curious for any thoughts.[/QUOTE
Once again your telling my story. I always wondered wondered if perimenopause and full menopause played a part in it going way wrong?
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:56 PM
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I also began drinking a bit later in life. Growing up with a A dad meant I hated alcohol so avoided it for many years. However I did have food issues. Basically used sugar the way an A uses alcohol. I didn't understand this at the time.

Alcohol took over from food in my early 40's when husband and I retired. We started off by pleasantly sharing a bottle of wine with lunch. It grew from there. Became a bottle each and onwards.

With the knowledge I now have, I think I was an A from the start. It's just that I used a variety of things before I used alcohol.
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:02 AM
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It's a progressive disease with a slippery slope. I too did not problem drink until I was 35. There was a time when I didn't have a drink for years at a clip (ex is an alcoholic/addict) and we kept nothing in the house nor did we drink out and about.
I have a little over 4 months sober now and everything is markedly changed, mostly for the better. Feeling feelings isn't always fun, but it's so much better than being drunk.
GL.
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:22 AM
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Hi, tealily.
I drank pretty normally most of my life, though amounts ingested slowly started ticking up in my early fifties.
Developed a problem with alcohol in my late fifties.
In retrospect, I believe I was self medicating to ease an abysmal work situation.
Working a lot, including weekends, and still not being successful at work, where formerly I had been very, very competent.
Alcohol helped me to de stress FAST.
I stopped drinking entirely four years ago. I’m 65.
So, that happened.
Oddly and luckily, I never had repercussions from my drinking at work.
That would have been an immediate dismissal, as I worked in education.
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