Almost at 90 days - Intro

Old 08-05-2017, 10:21 PM
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Almost at 90 days - Intro

Hi All:

I've been lurking for a few months so I thought I'd say hello, and get that dreaded first post out of the way.

I drank on and off for years, did other drugs along the way. Did a lot of acid in college, and about 15 years ago had a stint of coke addiction that lasted about 8 months. I was unemployed from my company closing up shop at the time, started drinking more heavily, and found that in my vulnerable state I was a flypaper for freaks. When I finally went back to work, I walked away from the coke, and didn't touch it for years. I was able to do it fairly non-addictively, occasional line at parties a few times a year. Once a year at music festivals I'd do party drugs, mostly shrooms and ecstasy.

Fortunately I tried meth and hated it and never liked opiates.

But alcohol was always my home drug.

I didn't come from an alcoholic family, but my father was terribly abusive. He sensed I was gay long before I realized it. He was a very angry person, but took all of it out on me, everyone thought he was such a funny, nice guy. And he was, to everyone else. I recently discovered that my mother threatened to leave him when I was about 8 unless he started being nicer to me. He did for awhile, but it returned when she was out of earshot. My brother as an adult, although I love him dearly, witnessed a ton of my dad's ****, as did my mother, but as far as I'm concerned they were complicent in not trying to help me defend myself. There was never any threat of violence, ironically the only time my dad actually hit me was when during one of my first experiences with alcohol, when I was pretty much blacked out and don't remember it. Predictably, this lead to very low self esteem issues that took me years to get past, and never completely.

Other than that incident, I didn't drink much as a teen, although there were occasional keggers and I would get pretty trashed. Same with college, one night binging. Through my 20s I hardly drank. I'd buy a bottle of wine occasionally, but I'd have a glass and the rest would go bad. I'd go out to dinner and drink with friends fairly frequently on weekends, and it didn't lead to more frequent drinking.

The escalation started when I returned to grad school. My social circle in college was mostly artsy types, grad school was mostly ex-frat-sorority types. There were a lot of parties, and many times I got shitfaced. It was at that time that I had another blackout, I woke up in the morning not remembering driving 25 miles home. That scared me a bit. After graduating, drinking returned to weekend drinking at dinner, maybe 2-3 drinks.

It was when the layoff happened that things started to really unravel. Aside from the coke, drinking became daily, and heavy. Once I went back to work it slowed for about a year. Then I got a roommate who was a pretty serious alcoholic, as well as neighbors who were huge partiers. Lots of pot around, but I hate pot, so I passed joints along a lot without smoking. It was a crazy time. The drinking got so bad that I'd be massively hung over on Monday, and start to feel human around Wednesday, starting the cycle over on Thursday. This went on for about 4 years. I was seeing a psychiatrist for depression/bipolar issues, and he put me on benzodiazepines as a way to stop drinking. This went on for about 6 months, and I just drank on top of it, and then there was a confusion and the prescription was doubled. I went back and got a taper on a different benzo, and when I came off of that all hell broke loose. I felt so horrible if I'd had a gun, I probably would have shot myself in the head just to end the misery. Benzo withdrawal is the absolute worst thing I've ever experienced, and lasted about three weeks before the symptoms abated, I only took the first three days off work, and don't know how I got through the rest of it while working.

I didn't drink for a year after that, nor take any other substances, and for several years after that returned to my old pattern of drinking on Saturday night, and not heavily, which lasted for about five years. But gradually it escalated, 2-3 drinks a night, more on weekends. Finally, it was about 15-20 drinks a day, around the clock, for about 6 weeks. My PCP referred me to a psychiatrist, who basically said that their recommendation was medical detox and 30 days minimum of rehab. I was like "No ******* way," but when I got home and looked at myself in the mirror, I realized it was time, and checked in two days later. The first 3 days was very rough, but the valium taper worked, and the discomfort was minimal. I'd never actually tried to get sober before, because I wasn't a "real" alcoholic, and was exposed to stuff I'd never encountered before. I thought it was going to be people like me who were alcoholics and were going to go through rehab and that would be that. Instead, I was one of the few who was in their first rehab, there were a number of opiate addicts and meth users, one guy hooked on cough syrup, another on PCP. As I was sitting there ready to be shown to my room, the first person I saw was a woman screaming at the pictures on the wall. "Oh, don't worry about her, she's coming off meth. She might be OK in about a week, but maybe not."

The thirty days was spent in many 12 step meetings, 3-5 a day, and I also had dual diagnosis and gay lesbian meetings. I kinda fell into a groove, and made a number of friends that I'm still keeping in touch with; I ended up staying an extra week. I had a superb counselor for one-on-one as well. Rehab is a very safe place, although while you're in there, your addiction is out in the parking lot doing pushups, just waiting for you to get out. I can't believe I thought that 5 days of medical detox would be sufficient, I REALLY get the first step for several weeks.

The time since has been good and bad. I was on the pink cloud for a few weeks, but I had to attend to some significant health issues unrelated to addiction, and got VERY depressed and isolated. The psychiatrist put me on a med cocktail, which is helping, and I'm entering a dual diagnosis outpatient program next week. I feel pretty strong about my sobriety at this point, and have been attending AA meetings almost daily, I will also check out sober recovery. What I don't feel so positive about is my mental state. Leaden paralysis, extremely hard to motivate doing even simple tasks, isolating, and waves of withdrawal symptoms almost three months later, including night sweats, headaches, unsteadiness, horrible insomnia/delayed sleep until 4-6am, and not wanting to socialize, which is NOT like me at all, even without drinking. PAWS perhaps? It has been getting better for the last two weeks, and I think increased dosages of the medications is working. I'm joining a gym next week to help get the body moving, as well as getting back to a Buddhist practice

Sorry this was so long.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:24 PM
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Hang in there, it will get better. Well done for getting this far
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:36 PM
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Welcome to the posting side of things mindfulman - and congrats on your upcoming 90 days

I didn't feel great for my first 90 days - I was an around the clock drinker too - & a smoker whenever I could get it - had a really bad detox and my overall health was pretty poor - so it took me that long to feel close to normal in mind and body.

I hope the the med regime you're on - as well as things like the gym - will help
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