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Why do you think some people can control their drinking and some people can't?

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Why do you think some people can control their drinking and some people can't?

Old 07-25-2017, 08:59 AM
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Why do you think some people can control their drinking and some people can't?

I have my own theories on it but I'm interested to know everyone else's. Why can people like me not be regular drinkers?
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:10 AM
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Hi my personal view is there is at some point a red flashing light, some people dont go to close to it and can continue drinking, then others like myself have gone to the red light and way beyond it, I think in the brain there is a point of no return if that makes sense
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:23 AM
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Many people have different addiction switches in their brains and for us, it's alcohol. In the same way someone could be a 4 pack a day chain smoker, though drinks "normally" or not at all. Or a cocaine addict that has no interest in benzos.
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:43 AM
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I drank socially, occasionally for many years, in a way that I think was "normal". I could take it or leave it. I never had alcohol at home. I'd order one drink in a bar or restaurant. I overdrank occasionally, but then wouldn't touch it for weeks. Never thought about it. Never obsessed.
All through my 20s, 30s into my 40s.

Then, in my late 40s, I started drinking regularly, in increasing amounts, I believe now to self-medicate for anxiety. One night became two, which became every night. Half a bottle became a whole bottle, then more.

I don't think anybody can take regular high infusions of an addictive substance without lasting effects. After a while, I became addicted. I craved it. It becamae a habit, in every way.

I'm not a scientist, but my theory, based on my experience, is that once you cross that line, you can't undo it.

It's like someone who becomes allergic. The more your body is exposed to the substance, the stronger the reaction. It's not as if the person can use will power to just eat less of it. The allergic person just has to stay away from the substance.

My guess is that if you look back through the archives here, you'll find hundreds of people who wanted to somehow turn themselves from someone who abused alcohol heavily to somehow magically to become someone who can drink one or two glasses, and leave it alone the rest of the week.

It just won't happen.

There's no point wishing it will.

Just my take on it.
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:53 AM
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Tealilly, thats mostly how it was for me, too. In fact there was a time when i really couldnt stand alcohol. I would immediately feel all icky and headachey from a few sips. I could feel my life force draining away with it.

But at some point, while living around heavy drinkers, I started to use it (as they seemed to be using it) to obliterate feelings every now and then... and THEN it went into ... A full on addiction, cravings, etc.
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:55 AM
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I personally found that trying to find the answer to this very question was one of the things holding me back from getting sober. I desperately wanted to know "WHY" i was an alcoholic, and I spent agonizing hours researching it on the internet, reading books. etc. In the end though what I really wanted was to fix the reason "why" and start drinking normally again.

For me the only answer that allows me to live my current life is "because I am an alcoholic". Why other people are not alcoholics is irrelevant because I am.

Ask yourself this James - what would change in your life if you did know why?
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:04 AM
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I was always a beer drinker in my 20's-mid 30's,with a shot here and there mixed in. I didn't 'need to drink' then but, would on occasion. Then it's like one day I needed a little 'hair of the dog' from the night before at breakfast to feel 'ok' for the day. That turned into my constant drinking to feel 'normal'..I too believe that there's a line and once it's crossed there's no going back to 'normal'. Almost like if someone cheats on you and you try to stick around because you feel comfortable(normal)..What a crock..They(booze) lied and deceived you..RUN!
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:25 AM
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I struggle with the corollary question:
Why do some people who can't control their drinking figure it out and stop, while others drink themselves to tragedy and death?

The answer to that question would be far more useful to this community, I think.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
Why other people are not alcoholics is irrelevant because I am.

Ask yourself this James - what would change in your life if you did know why?
Great point Scott. The "why" part is an interesting academic question to be sure, but it is just that -- academic. As it pertains to my recovery, the "why" simply doesn't matter. It's like pondering why the sun is hot or why water is wet.

Understanding why water is wet wouldn't keep me from drowning. I just know that I can't drink and that's that. It keeps me sober, and that's enough for me.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:39 PM
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"Why are some people controlled by their drinking and some are not" , a better question and one that suggests some alternatives, but answering the 'why' still not the solution.
One glaring possible alternative is, why do some people allow the control when taking the option to drink off the table , deciding to quit ,would remove the control element.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:06 PM
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Seems to me hardly anyone actually "controls" their drinking.

Normal drinkers stop on their own when they've had enough without any need to "control" it.

Alcoholics can't control it -- that's part of the definition of alcoholism.

Somewhere in between are drinkers on the road to alcoholism who can temporarily exert some kind of "control," but it's only a transitory phase, and soon becomes an illusion -- an illusion which is often pursued to the gates of insanity or death (borrowing a few words from a noted source on the topic).
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:15 PM
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Some say there is an addictive gene, some say it is environmental some even say it's nothing but a behaviour problem in the mind.


I personally don't have a clue as to WHY I can't stop at one, I just know that I can't.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:19 PM
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I really think everyone has some sort of addiction. Ours happened to stop on alcohol.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:21 PM
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How are you doing with your sobriety James?
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:24 PM
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Because at some point we started not having hangovers after drinking a fifth of liquor and a dozen pints and then all hell broke loose.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:43 PM
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I think this can be triggering for some people...
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BlissWithin View Post
I think this can be triggering for some people...
Opening the box the expose the innards for sure can be (and this thread for sure seems to show it from the posts)

Some of us like to take things apart and figure out how things work, and the reasons why they may malfunction.
Other may not care and just want to get to point. I'm a tinckerer (if that's a word) which got to me to where I am. The topic starter may be as well.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:14 PM
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Because some people are alcoholics and some are not.
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Old 07-25-2017, 03:35 PM
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Like Scott said, it really doesn't matter why someone becomes an alcoholic. Once your there, your there. Personally, I attribute a lot of it to an abusive childhood. Every time I made a mistake, or my dad thought I screwed up, I was beaten. Spent my adulthood doing everything to not make any mistakes and get approval from others. Naturally, a lot of anxiety accompanied this sort of thinking. Drank cause I couldn't stand making mistakes and not being perfect. Grew to hate myself cause I couldn't do everything just right.
Everybody has their story. That's mine. John
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:15 PM
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Who knows exactly why James. I'm not sure the experts even agree. And I would even question the existence of a "regular drinker."

Sure a certain percentage of people may control their drinking for a period of time, but I suspect they just haven't consumed enough alcohol to have crossed over to the point of no returning to controlled drinking.

But as Scott and others have already mentioned, I no longer dwell on that question. For me, there really is no good answer, and I realize now that the real question I was asking was "how can I return to drinking without suffering any negative consequences."

However, I do understand that some of us are naturally curious and enjoy exploring the reasons why, but I contend, that there is no one satisfactory answer to the question you're answering. And I also suggest that dwelling on that question for too long can impede one's sobriety.
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