Old 08-29-2017, 09:59 AM
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Hi All,

Question --

Have any of you decided to quit drinking without hitting rock bottom? I ask because ten years ago, I drank to excess on a regular basis and developed a habit of blacking out. This lead me into AA temporarily and a few long stretches of sobriety. Over the years, I have become more of a "socially acceptable" drinker -- 2-3 a day, sometimes 4. I don't generally go beyond this. Yet, I still know that alcohol is negatively impacting my life and well-being. I know because I carry the same defects of characters -- lying, isolation, self-aggrandizement, etc. I know because when I go days without drinking, I feel great. I didn't drink at all in January and wish I would have continued on that path. Yet, there is always the beckoning voice saying, "Come back in. The world feels good in here. No anxiety. No stress. Just peace." And the cycle begins.

I guess what I'm saying is that, barring any major health issues, I don't anticipate hitting a significant rock bottom any time soon with drinking. And yet, I do want permanent sobriety, as I know that it'll make me a happier, healthier, better person. Wondering if anyone else has just gotten tired of their own BS to the point of being able to cut it out, without it being at the hands of some devastating event.

Thanks for reading.

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Old 08-29-2017, 11:07 AM
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I never hit bottom. I am highly successful by capitalistic standards. No bad reviews at work, no accidents or DWI. No consequences related to rock bottom.

I simply got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Suicidal thoughts, regret, remorse, guilt, shame. Disappointment in myself. Beating myself up. Unable to moderate. Unable to get this monkey off my back. My one great weakness. My one great flaw.

Best thing I ever did was stop drinking. It gets better everyday. I urge anyone reading here to get help if necessary, stop drinking for good, and be free. It is so worth the uphill climb those first months.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:14 AM
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heres the intro to the 2nd set of stories in the big book of AA. i believe it was in the second edition, which was published some time ago.

They Stopped In Time

Among today’s incoming A.A. members, many have never reached the advanced stages of alcoholism, though given time all might have.

Most of these fortunate ones have had little or no acquaintance with delirium, with hospitals, asylums, and jails. Some were drinking heavily, and there had been occasional serious episodes. But with many, drinking had been little more than a sometimes uncontrollable nuisance. Seldom had any of these lost either health, business, family, or friends.

Why do men and women like these join A.A.?

The seventeen who now tell their experiences answer that question. They saw that they had become actual or potential alcoholics, even though no serious harm had yet been done.
They realized that repeated lack of drinking control, when they really wanted control, was the fatal symptom that spelled problem drinking. This, plus mounting emotional disturbances, convinced them that compulsive alcoholism already had them; that complete ruin would be only a question of time.

Seeing this danger, they came to A.A. They realized that in the end alcoholism could be as mortal as cancer; certainly no sane man would wait for a malignant growth to become fatal before seeking help.

Therefore, these seventeen A.A.’s, and hundreds of thousands like them, have been saved years of infinite suffering. They sum it up something like this: “We didn’t wait to hit bottom because, thank God, we could see the bottom. Actually, the bottom came up and hit us. That sold us on Alcoholics Anonymous.”
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:00 PM
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Tell that beckoning voice to go pound sand, you'd rather be a healthier, happier and better person. Which I'm pretty sure is still considered socially acceptable,too
I'm pretty sure also that that voice is the one proposing quitting for good is somehow unattainable , there by keeping the door open for YOU to continue giving IT , ITs supply of booze.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:38 PM
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Hi Adam -- yup, I was drinking about 3 - 4 glasses of wine a day when I quit. That was plenty addicted enough for me. No devastating events, no one even knew I had a problem (except me).

Nothing wrong with quitting while we're ahead. Whenever I have thoughts of "gee, I wasn't that bad, I could probably moderate at least for awhile" -- I know that's just the voice of my addiction, inviting me to dive back in and dig the hole a little deeper. I'm glad I stopped when I did.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:42 PM
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Hi Adam

I think it's entirely possible to quit without any catastrophic event or loss - I wish I'd taken that option.

To me a bottom can be a sincere desire & decision not to live your old life one second more

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Old 08-29-2017, 05:46 PM
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I didn't hit rock bottom I suppose, I had a financially successful career, married thirty years, and no trouble with the law. I did feel like the bottom was inevitable at some point if I didn't stop drinking when I did.

I will say that in retrospect I really didn't realize how bad off I was in the end. I'm very glad I don't drink anymore.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:11 PM
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No outward rock bottom -- I still have my job, house, car, good teeth, most of my hair. Mentally and emotionally I was a wreck, and my health was starting to suffer.

I guess rock bottom for me was recognizing that I wasn't on a sustainable path.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:33 PM
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I had enough of the torment. I was at rock bottom spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. That ole saying in AA applies, the bottom is where you put the shovel down.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:54 AM
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I was emotionally empty. I was at a complete dead end. I got extremely concerned and knew I had to change when my mental faculties were slowly becoming impaired.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rascalwhiteoak View Post
No outward rock bottom -- I still have my job, house, car, good teeth, most of my hair. Mentally and emotionally I was a wreck, and my health was starting to suffer.

I guess rock bottom for me was recognizing that I wasn't on a sustainable path.
As above. Minus the house And to be honest most of the other things were balanced like dominoes on their sides, waiting for the first to topple. And the last bit of my drinking I found myself holding my breath and covering my eyes on more than one occassion thinking I'd 'gone and done it now'.

Now I've stopped I can see that I was a lot closer to catastrope than I was willing to acknowledge at the time. I was very, very lucky. But it was still very, very painful mentally and emotionally as Rascal says.

That rock bottom question was one I dwelt on for longer than I needed to (usually with a drink in my hand). The conclusion I came to I made my signature so I wouldn't forget it.

Wishing you all the best.
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:19 AM
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I've had your same thought over the years and used it to justify my drinking. Although I didn't have a DUI or become broke and homeless there were plenty of negative repercussions along the way. I shudder to think of the things that could have happened.
I typically drank a bottle of wine a night - sometimes more but always at least a bottle. (those "sometimes more" days were becoming more frequent) Not a lot compared to some. But it was enough to cause plenty of dumb and embarrassing behavior, waste a lot of money, cause severe anxiety, alarm my family and make my life miserable. Rock Bottom for me was the day I decided to quit. That was the lowest I was going so that was the bottom.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:45 AM
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It's a progressive disease, so hitting rock bottom or not is not a good gauge for deciding if you need to quit.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:51 AM
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I guess there's always a lower bottom, until you're six feet under.

I'm very grateful to have stopped before any outward catastrophes happened.

My mental state was bad enough and getting worse, and it was a long climb out. I can't even imagine how much worse it would have been if I had hurt someone else or made some other irretrievable mistake.
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