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Should I quit?

Old 08-05-2017, 09:25 AM
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Should I quit?

Hi guys,

Hope everyone is well. I'm looking for a bit of advice if that's OK. Basically, I'm not sure whether I would actually define myself as an 'alcoholic' in the strictest sense. My issue is that I am seemingly incapable of having a casual, sociable drink. Once I have that first sip, I get a 'taste for it' and drink myself to oblivion. I also do this alone (last night I had 4 pints, and 2 bottles of wine alone... which actually seems pretty terrible upon writing it down). Please note, I only drink alone to such an extent once a week or fortnight; I find it helps me unwind (or pass out).

Although undiagnosed, I'm pretty sure I have a mild form of bi-polarity, in the sense I occasionally feel depressed, and sometimes go a bit manic (the other week I woke up on a train in the middle of nowhere, after falling out with my friend and sleeping in Rome's main train station).

I'm driving my Vespa down to the Amalfi Coast next week with a friend, but after that (August 18) I'm seriously considering knocking drink on the head. For good. Does anybody have any thoughts on the matter? Do you think I should? I'd really appreciate some advice; my girlfriend is at the end of her tether!
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:33 AM
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I think that if you think you have a problem, you most probably have a problem.

Most of us have the same issue with stopping once we start, which is why we are here.
I'd say giving up will clear up a lot of things, but only a doc will be able to tell you if your depression, etc is down to the drink or part of other psych issues.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:35 AM
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Percy you are just like me. I never defined myself as an alcoholic. For many years I drank and partied and thought it was fun even though it seemed I could drink anyone under the table. Eventually as I got older I got dumber and stupider when I drank. Also the hangovers were much worse. I found myself making really bad decisions and blacking out when I drank which was only once or twice a week. When I look back over the years I realize drinking has caused a lot of problems in my life. I've lost jobs, relationships and respect. Also I've been in jail and hurt myself and not even sure how once I woke up. It was pretty scary. Alcholism definitely is a progressive disease and never in a good way. If you are young you have so much to live for and the earlier you give it up the better. I'm in my 50s now but better late than never! I'm only on day 9 so hardly an expert! That's my two cents
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:38 AM
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Percy, welcome to SR. There are lots of wise individuals here and if you do decide to quit and need support, you'll find it here.

Some people will say only you can decide whether you have a problem with alcohol or not. They say that there are a few warning signs though, and these include regularly drinking by ourselves, often struggling to stop once we start and causing people to get concerned over our drinking habits (which your girlfriend seems to be, if I understood you right).

It is also a progressive condition that leads to increased consumption over time, and sometimes even over a relatively short period.

Stick around, read and post. I am sure you'll find useful information to help you decide what is right for you.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:54 AM
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Welcome, percy! Not being able to stop after starting is definitely a warning sign in my mind. And if you are bi-polar I can't imagine that drinking would be good for that.

I also used to just drink occasionally, but couldn't stop once I started. Problem is that over the years the time between those occasions got shorter and shorter.

How about quitting for 90 days? See where you're at after that? No slip ups, no exceptions for special occasions. Just no drinking whatsoever. Easy or difficult, it might give you a new perspective to simply distance yourself from the drink for a while.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:55 AM
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yes
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:22 AM
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Hi Percy,

That's an aweful lot of booze....

You may find that your mood stabilizes once you pit the alcohol down.

Good luck in your journey and welcome.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:32 AM
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Hi Percy Couldn't tell weather or not you are a nightly drinker and only go on binges once a week or so? If so, then quitting cold turkey may not be the best idea. You may need some medical guidance. Also, sounds like you plan on drinking on your trip? (BTW I am so friggin jealous!). Please be careful and don't drive after drinking a lot.....
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by percy333 View Post
Once I have that first sip, I get a 'taste for it' and drink myself to oblivion. I also do this alone (last night I had 4 pints, and 2 bottles of wine alone...
WELCOME Percy333 ..Glad you are here!

Re-read that line above...

Whether you are an Alcoholic or not?
.... That is classic sign of a "Drinking Problem".

Maybe time to speak with your Doctor... I wish I had when i was younger. May have saved me many years of BS.
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:30 PM
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Hi Percy

I doubt you're going to get many nos here
Many of us can identoify with the way your drink, and as far as I'm concerned it only got wore with time - more and more acholol needed, and more and more frequently.

You're young and in a great place to stop now and have this not over shadow the rest of your life like it has many of us.

Don't wait to change too long.

D
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by percy333 View Post
I'm not sure whether I would actually define myself as an 'alcoholic' in the strictest sense. My issue is that I am seemingly incapable of having a casual, sociable drink.
In my own mind, I wasn't an alcoholic either. I just drank too much. See what I mean? In our own minds, we don't have problems because that's the last thing we want to hear. It means we have to deal with a serious issue, and us free-wheelin' drinkers don't have the time or energy to stop the party long enough to figure things out. God forbid, ALCOHLISM!?!? No way, not us.

Three types of people sleep in train stations: The homeless, the lost, and alcoholics. I don't think you're homeless and you sound like the type of traveler who carries himself well and always knows where he's supposed to be. I think you know where that leaves us here.

Good luck man, you can travel and enjoy the world without booze - I have been living in Central America for 3+ years and traveling the world sober for 5 years now. You just gotta say no and put down the bottle - your instincts are right on!
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:32 PM
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Welcome Percy!

It isn't how often we drink, but what happens to us when we do drink. I started out drinking the way you are - I was never sure where it would take me once the first drink went down. Often, it led to danger & reckless behavior. I kept trying to drink socially, because it had once been fun - but I ended up drinking every day, with a ruined life. I was totally dependent on it when I found SR and began to get free. So, that's a 'Yes' vote from me.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:56 PM
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Many, many thanks for the replies everyone! It's much appreciated. After reading the replies, I'm committed. August 18, I stop drinking. I've told my girlfriend and have asked a handful of close friends to ask me how it's going from time to time. I've also told my girlfriend to be stricter with me; she's Italian and has a very 'do what you want' Mediterranean attitude (which is nice in general, but not ideal when trying to give up drink).

In fact, as an experiment, when we went out for pizza last night I ordered a bottle of 2% lemon lager (shandy basically). Bit too lemony for my liking, but not bad at all! One this note, can anyone think of any other good alternatives to wine or beer when in a restaurant? Or... in the pub? I gotta be honest, I do quite enjoy sitting somewhere with a lovely view and having a cold beer or glass of wine! And I certainly don't want to give up going to places where alcohol is the common drink!

Thanks again, guys. I have a funny feeling I'll be spending quite a bit of time here

P.S. In case anyone is interested, I'm 27 years old, and work remotely in Rome. Annoyingly, the wine is rather good (and plentiful) here!
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:24 AM
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Hi Percy

Again, echoing the sentiments above. It's taken me 27 years to get to this stage of deciding enough. Cost a marriage, another great relationship and untold worry and stress to family. I wish I'd stopped earlier....it definetely only gets worse unless you stop. When you start drinking home and alone it's a marble on a hill. Momentum starts especially as it makes you feel emotionally and psychologically fragile which results in reaching for the dumb down juice again.

Re what to drink. Be careful with low alchohol drink, shandy. A few can still start the roll. Until you are strong enough in resolve and you plan is working, strategic avoidance might work to avoid temptation. I'm 3 weeks in and have stopped a few times for a few werks/mths, a year the most and i was ok around drinkung once into my groove. This time has been ok but I'm more concious of situations right now so am be careful. I think you know what you need to do and hoping you make the right call. Else chances are you'll be looking at yourself again soon from a worse place.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:54 AM
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Hey, Percy. I guarantee that you will never regret quitting alcohol. I can't stop drinking once I start, either; I do not have an 'off' switch where booze is concerned. You will find your drinking to get progressively worse as you continue. Drinking had dragged me to the depths of hell and I never want to go back.
I am very glad you are here. SR is a great place for advice and support. With the help of everyone here I am on my 20th month of sobriety and it feels great. Wishing you the best.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:24 AM
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If drink is costing you more than money then maybe it's wise to give it up.
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Old 08-06-2017, 03:11 AM
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Hello Percy, I can only agree with the wise comments made here. I started my sobriety here with the help of SR and I'm 14 months sober and I'm grateful for it. I want to be sober more than I want a drink and that keeps me going.

Have a great holiday and I hope to see you here soon. As you can see here you're not alone, we're all here....
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:55 AM
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Hi Percy!
It's hard to tell if you're an alcoholic, but your routine is a bit abnormal for sure. You are capable of going 6 days a week without any alcohol, so that's normal. But on the day you drink, you down 1.5 litres of wine and several pints of beer. That is quite a binge. I mean, if it was your 40th birthday, I could understand but... once a week?

My second thought is that you're looking for lower alcohol alternatives when going out. It's still alcohol. And, don't we all drink to get drunk? Will a 2% shandy satisfy that craving? Or will it lead to a guinness and then a bottle. I ask because for me, I hate alcohol. I hate the taste. I have no interest in drinking a beer with friends. I want to get a good, hard buzz when I drink. Or why bother?

All that aside, in my opinion if you decide to have a party night once a week, and consume all your weekly alcohol on one night, you're probably doing your body harm by concentrating it all in one night. You're going to tax your liver and kidneys and you'll be dehydrated the next day. With hangover (I'm sure?)

I wish you luck on your journey to sobriety. If you intend to still have your party night, I highly suggest you stay hydrated, pace yourself, consume lower alcohol beverages, and have a designated driver. One of the biggest health risks in drinking heavily is the decisions one makes while drunk which can lead to serious consequences, including death (accidental or otherwise).
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by JamesfrmEngland View Post
If drink is costing you more than money then maybe it's wise to give it up.
True. But don't forget the money. I must have spent loads on alcohol over the years. This last year probably 2000. All I got for it was a fat belly, a hurting liver and loads of guilt.

I will be using my money more wisely in future.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:07 AM
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If you intend to still have your party night, I highly suggest you stay hydrated, pace yourself, consume lower alcohol beverages, and have a designated driver.
Good advice to the general public but not sure it fits here.

The trouble is very few of us here would be able to pace ourselves, or stick to lower alcohol drinks.

I'm with you on the designated, sober, driver tho.

D
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