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Old 08-16-2017, 11:55 AM
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Well... hello

Hi everyone. So this is going to be another introduction... this is me post. I'm going to keep it short though, even though I think I could type for 45 minutes (which I may do later).

I guess what brings me here is the want for change. I Goggle'd "drinking a 12 pack a day" and wound up here.

I work from home, I am reasonably successful (money wise)... probably the definition of functioning alcoholic. It all started about 6 years ago. The client dinners, the offsite functions... everyone is drinking. Then you bring your team in, have to show them a good time right. So you all drink. Before you know it, you're at the hotel lounge by yourself drinking 3 to 4 drafts of strong local brew. For awhile, doing it after work is enough and okay. You get used to traveling and chugging a beer before the flight, and then each night drinking enough to get numb and go to sleep.

Fast forward a couple of years... you're now stocking up on bloody mary mix and vodka for your hotel room. Youre sneaking some drinks at home. Fast forward a little bit more, youre buying beer every day and drinking during the day and keeping a bottle on hand for that extra little "kick".

Believe me, there are times when I feel more functional and better at what I do after a couple of drinks. Too bad you cant just stop there right? I attended a call yesterday where I can only imagine people noticed me slurring. It was 5:30pm, so I will be forgiven and probably wasnt the only one... but arent I better than that? Over the last couple of months Ive cancelled calls because I had too much of a "buzz" to effectively lead them. I always make up an excuse. I have changed a flight to avoid a coworker on a layover.

But then... then ofcourse I have my buddies right. The ones with the same problem, or worse. Those are the people I enjoy being around. The ones that only judge me for how little I drink, not how much. The ones that are fun and make you smile. The ones you have experiences with that you'd never do sober. Now... those, are the good ones arent they. The kindred spirits.

So yes. Right now, I'm struggling with... do I want a change... or do I want to become a statistic? I can maintain.... I have for years. For the most part, I'm okay. Most people wont notice. Sure, I slip up from time to time, but who doesnt in this business... so its okay?

Yeah.

I'm sick of this basically.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:46 PM
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Hi and Welcome,

You said you want change, but that you don't want to stop drinking? I think that's what you said in your post. It takes a lot of motivation to stop drinking and to recover, so it's something you need to really want to do. Perhaps you aren't there yet? One thing I know for sure, alcoholism is progressive and it will get worse over time.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:53 PM
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Welcome corywh. I'm so glad you found us & told your story.

I drank in a similar way many years ago. I chose not to stop, though - didn't even acknowledge I had a problem. I wish I'd been honest with myself the way you are. You know you don't drink normally & that it's eventually going to catch up with you. At some point I crossed over from social drinking to alcoholic drinking. In the end, I was sipping on it all day to maintain a certain level - and so I wouldn't shake. It was a sick way to live, but somehow I justified it. I hope you'll stay with us, & let's keep talking.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:57 PM
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I am struggling with this too. I think you deserve more. You deserve to see what could happen if you committed yourself fully to your recovery. You are already successful it sounds like - how much MORE successful could you become if you operated these less healthy behaviors out of your life? Do you exercise regularly? I am at one week right now.. and it is so hard. Your body hurts and you feel anxious. You sleep poorly. But I have faith things will get better, they must get better, they will get better - if I keep with it. You found yourself here for a reason. How long is this lifestyle maintainable? I understand the shame of knowing you are so much better. Listen to the voice within yourself that wants to change. Feed the right wolf.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:22 PM
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what's really cool about this forum is the lack of judgement.

Thank you for your replies.

Lilitheruffgem... you are spot on. See the thing about this is, I know I am at a crossroads right now. I can only imagine this is going to get worse. Right now there is still glue holding my life together, but I have a closet full of demons I am trying to deal with (the drinking itself, and the results of the drinking...).

I know it's only a matter of time right now. I know alot of people on this forum would tell me, quit while you can right now. And, that's what I want to do. So... rather than get up and take an inventory of what I have to drink, or try to think of an excuse to leave and go "somewhere" which inevitably involves picking up some alcohol which I will nonchalantly sneak in. . . . I think I will try and not drink tomorrow.

What worries me, is going to the airport Monday and not going to the bar, or not taking the chardonnay on the plane when i sit down. That, is where the true test will be. Or, sitting in my room at 11pm and not drinking.

Sigh.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Hevyn View Post
Welcome corywh. I'm so glad you found us & told your story.

I drank in a similar way many years ago. I chose not to stop, though - didn't even acknowledge I had a problem. I wish I'd been honest with myself the way you are. You know you don't drink normally & that it's eventually going to catch up with you. At some point I crossed over from social drinking to alcoholic drinking. In the end, I was sipping on it all day to maintain a certain level - and so I wouldn't shake. It was a sick way to live, but somehow I justified it. I hope you'll stay with us, & let's keep talking.
Thank you Hevyn... I know that's where this is going. Justification is where the problem is. I see people my superior, people that make $400k plus a year sneaking beers in the bathroom at work. Getting slobbering drunk at dinner, and somehow... getting up the next day and doing a massive presentation. Honestly it's quite attractive at first, it sucked me in I have to admit. But what I've noticed over the past several months is the familiar headache. The feeling of slugishness at around 4pm, and sometimes I pass out for 20 minutes before dinner. I'm working hard.... I deserve it right. I've had 7 beers today, and I don't feel a thing. That's sad. It really is....
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:42 PM
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It's a whole way of life that has to go. Of course it's hard - we've been at it a long time. The lifestyle you describe - yes, we can get away with it for years. I did. My world came crashing down as an older person - I became reckless & desperate. I never imagined I'd allow that to happen, but it did. I could drink a frightening amount in the end, & never feel it - my tolerance was huge. A very bad sign.

Glad you are here .
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:42 PM
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Could it be that you don't feel a thing because it's been so long since you've felt what it's like to be sober?
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PippoRossi View Post
Could it be that you don't feel a thing because it's been so long since you've felt what it's like to be sober?
Probably so, yes.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:46 PM
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OK, then, how about you pour out the liquor you have and start going down a new road?
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PippoRossi View Post
OK, then, how about you pour out the liquor you have and start going down a new road?
I like it. Straight to the point.

That's what I want. I will have you know I just did exactly that... I had half a bottle of vodka, I still have 5 beers in the fridge. I poured it and threw it away, because you're right.

I'm going to benchmark myself. I'm not going to drink anymore tonight, and I'm not going to drink tomorrow regardless of the circumstances or how I feel. Wish me luck.

Hopefully my one day turns into the first day of the rest of my new life. I'm sick of feeling tired, that's my motivation. I don't like feeling tired. It gets old.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:55 PM
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I completely understand. In the industry, traveling itself can take such a toll on our bodies. It is a natural vulnerability. It makes saying no that much harder, because you are already weary from the difficulty of life on the road. I find your phrasing reflective of my experiences also. The "glue" holding your closet of demons together... I had a kind of glue too. But I found that it was not very strong or resilient. It depleted me. If I were to evaluate it like I would any other relationship, I would see that I was giving it everything and it was giving nothing back. I also relate to the act of making excuses to sneak away and indulge in unhealthy behaviors, simply to cope with a life that had become cyclical, self-serving, and empty.
I deeply encourage you to commit to saying no tomorrow. No to the free Chardonnay, no the airport bar. I know you can do this. I believe in your ability to set your true and wise mind over the addictive voices. And just take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. Have compassion and love for yourself, sit with ten year old you and make decisions for that child if making them for yourself is too much at times.
But yes...the airport is absolutely and always a stressor. Maybe take melatonin or kava root tea before the flight to help you relax?
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:55 PM
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I like how you expressed your thoughts and work dynamic. You said that you're sick of this and want to quit so there you go. I'm only sober for five months and my initial goal was to strive for 100 days and see. My thoughts are to start there and see how life is (you'll feel invigorated I'm sure).

Keep us updated and visit SR daily. The support and wisdom is superb.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:37 PM
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Welcome!
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by corywh View Post
I like it. Straight to the point.

That's what I want. I will have you know I just did exactly that... I had half a bottle of vodka, I still have 5 beers in the fridge. I poured it and threw it away, because you're right.

I'm going to benchmark myself. I'm not going to drink anymore tonight, and I'm not going to drink tomorrow regardless of the circumstances or how I feel. Wish me luck.

Hopefully my one day turns into the first day of the rest of my new life. I'm sick of feeling tired, that's my motivation. I don't like feeling tired. It gets old.
Good for you! I won't wish you luck because I think sobriety has nothing to do with that - it's all about sheer will power, in my experience. So, dear one, I will wish you much strength and personal resolve on your journey. You can do this!
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:27 PM
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Already a lot of great comments.

I just wanted to say that I, too, was in a high stress but successful position for years. I think being successful in the business world allows alcoholics to downplay our disease. If I am doing so well, and am respected and a leader, and the money is there, hey I can't be doing something too wrong, It's all part of the this high power lifestyle, right?

Wrong.

For me, it was a slow but steady ride to hell.

All it took was time and with time, the disease took more and more control until what we call rock bottom.

It came to point where there was simply no alternative. So I stopped.

SR helped immensely and still does. It's a great community of people with deep and wise experience and immense empathy. But it's the person who must take the step and this step, IMHO, starts with a very solid and sharp look at your self, your thoughts and finding the desire to let go, leave it behind.

100 days later, I feel great. The stress and the Job is still there, but I feel like a different person, calmer and more steady. A lot of the old glitz and glamour looks idiotic now. I am still around people, some of whom don't have a drinking problems, and others that do, and for the time being I am able to cope.

The pain, the hangovers, the stomach issues, the cramps, the late morning red eye, swollen face appearances, the missed morning work excuses, the fights, and much more are gone though.

I would just recommend that you look at what you have described from this very strict perspective and decide whether you are willing to let that "style" go. Actually, you will find that you can still keep %90 of the style, and perform far better, be a better leader, but you are going to do it sober.

It's much better.

Believe me.

I also wish you a lot of strength in your journey.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:36 PM
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Four years ago I could not imagine going to an airport and not sitting at the bar, or having wine on the plane either. I didn't have legal or financial or marital issues....but nothing was improving.

One day I looked at my life and I realized I had tailored it so that my drinking was protected. My tolerance had gotten really high. But I was just existing. I was always hungover, got the bare minimum done during the day, all my energy was directed towards opening that bottle at the end of the day. I went from a successful and fit young woman running a Wall Street trading desk in my late 20's to a lumpy, puffy blob in my late 40's just getting through the day. Life wasn't awful yet, but it certainly wasn't getting any better.

I just couldn't see any end to the grayness of my life if I kept drinking. I figured sobriety was going to be a major drag but at least it would be a notable change from the Groundhog Day I was living. I was convinced I would never have fun again, I had avoided people who were sober like they were toxic. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and spent a lot of time in AA with her when I was younger. Even though my mother remains sober to this day, 35 plus years, I was always suspect that she couldn't really be having as good a time as the rest of us..

I went to inpatient for a month. There was something empowering about acknowledging I had a problem before someone had to "talk to me". I found bottles for a year in hiding places for a year after i got sober, I honestly didn't even realize how bad I had gotten.

The first year I curtailed my social activity a lot. I spent a lot of time on here and met with an addiction specialist. It was really strange at first but I began to develop new habits (and a Swedish fish addiction). I took a different path from my mother, but I listened to my instincts and carved out my own path.

I am not the same person I was before I got sober but I like who I have become. I am reliable again, I am fit again, I love waking up in the morning again. I look back on the drinking days and they seem so dark and heavy now. I like looking in the mirror and knowing what I said the night before, I love that I can drive kids around any time of the day, I love that I am not ashamed that my handyman just found a bottle of vodka in the pool cushions, there is no darkness, no secrets.

I didn't quit because I had lost everything, I quit because I had a lot to lose. It is not that I can't drink, I choose not to drink. And because of that choice my life now has so many possibilities. I simply could not have the life I wanted if I was tethered to a bottle. I thought I was giving up something, but it was the best decision I have ever made in my life.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:50 PM
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Hi corywh. Great thread and some great empathy and advice. I too considered myself a "high functioning" alcoholic for years. Looking back it was an utter sham. High functioning means nothing. It's a phrase people like us use to kid ourselves that our problem isn't the same as everyone else's. Fact is I was on a cliff edge and something was going to give sooner or later. I knew what I was but I was utterly terrified to do amything about it. I mean hey I'd not lost a job or my home or my kids..........YET. And that's the rub. This disease/addiction progresses. You WON'T maintain forever. You will get worse.
I'm so pleased you've made the decision to pour out the drink. Best thing you'll ever do. It won't be easy I'm not gonna lie but you'll never regret each time you wake up after a sober day. It's the greatest feeling honestly.
Take care
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:27 PM
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Hi and welcome corywh

I wanted to change but still wanted to drink.

I wanted to be something I had never been - a drinker who can take it or leave it, and a drinker who 'knows when to quit' and who doesn't drink to the point of creating problems for himself and others.

After trying for 20 years I gave up trying and gave up drinking instead.

Did my life change? you betcha - and my social circle changed too - my old life was all about drinking.

If that gives you pause - fair enough I know its scary...

but no matter what my mates did I knew my drinking - the way I would drink - would destroy me, so I had to choose...in or out.

I got a way better life on return for that choice
I would not have swapped the last ten years of recovery for anything.

D
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:05 PM
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Welcome home! We alcoholics need each other to recover well!

Please be careful quitting cold turkey, it can seriously shock the body and be lethal.

Best wishes on your sober journey! Best decision you'll ever make!
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