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Old 05-01-2018, 11:17 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 5

The Timing Feels Right

Hello, everyone. I've been a longtime lurker around here, but I am finally making a serious attempt to stop drinking. I feel like by starting to post here, it will help me stay accountable for my sobriety. In advance, I'd like to thank you for listening to my story and letting me be a part of your wonderful community.

I started drinking socially in late 2009 at the age of 26. I had drank a few times before then, but I could count those time on one hand.

I had been living alone for six years trying to complete my college education. Long story short, for several reasons I kept experiencing set-backs in college that kept me from graduating. The second time I missed my projected graduation date, I had to tell my mother, and she did not take it well. At all.

Cut to the next semester, and one stupid mistake in class schedule was going to set me back yet another year. I had a breakdown. I could not tell my family it would be another year.

So, I did what I thought I had to do. I faked my graduation. I got a job at a fast food joint in my college town, but I pretended I got a career doing what I went to school for. Obviously this was a very bad decision, but at the time I saw no other way to go about life.

A year goes by and I am somehow successfully living the lie. I should point out that during college and this lie, I didn't have any friends in my college town. In fact, all my high school friends had drifted away completely (as it goes). So, I was very lonely, very stressed out, and living a lie.

Add the fact that I was a closeted gay man, and you can see how much pressure I was under. But, surprisingly, I was sober through all of this. I had drank those few times before, but I didn't like the taste of beer or spirits, so it never even tempted me.

One day at work, a co-worker I had been friendly with asked me if I wanted to hang out after work. It had been so long since I had hung out with anyone, I was in shock. I was like, "Me? You want to hang out with me?" She and another co-worker wanted to hang out after work, and they invited me to join. I accepted, and I was very excited. And very nervous. I remember I called her before I went to her apartment because I didn't know what I should wear. She laughed and said to wear whatever I was comfortable wearing.

I was 26, and these co-workers were 20. They wanted alcohol. I was like "Oh, so THAT'S why you asked me," but they insisted they wanted to hang out with me because they liked me; it was just a bonus that I could buy alcohol.

We drank, but again, I wasn't a fan of the taste, so I got tipsy, but not drunk. I was just happy to be hanging out with people like a normal person, and for the first time in a long time, I forgot about my lie and my worries and just enjoyed myself.

Months went by and I spent more and more time with these two, especially the female, and we would drink (but not get drunk) and smoke marijuana. It was fun and relaxing and I was finally having a good time.

In March, 2010, on a normal day, for no reason at all, I was at my friend's apartment, and I started drinking from a bottle of vodka, and I got DRUNK. It was the first time I got drunk. The more I drank, the more silly I got. Its like something clicked in my brain.

From that day on, I was drinking to get drunk. It became easier to tolerate the taste and my technique improved (I would swig my chaser, hold it in my mouth, take a swig of the vodka, swallow, then chase immediately after).

The female friend and I got an apartment together, and that was the beginning of the end. I drank more and more and smoked more and more. I quit my job so I could drink and smoke all day. Eventually I ran out of money and attempted suicide, and that's when my lies came out to my family. I went to a crisis center, then home, then eventually back to my old job and my apartment with my friend. Then we got separate apartments, but stayed (and are still) best friends.

Over the next several years, I became a full-blown alcoholic. I was functioning, and I kept my job, but when I wasn't at work, I was drinking. For a few years, a pint of 80 proof vodka a day was okay. Eventually it became a fifth of 80 proof vodka a day.

I suffered another breakdown in October of 2013 and quit my job, eventually moving back in with my parents by May, 2014. I stayed sober for 17 days when I first moved in with them, but eventually started drinking again.

I got a job at another restaurant and managed to keep that job for three years, even working my way up into management. My drinking ebbed and flowed; sometimes I was in control enough to limit myself, and sometimes I got carried away. But I never really stopped at any point.

In mid-2016, I started getting really sick to my stomach. I couldn't keep anything down, and there were days were the pain was so excruciating that I couldn't do anything but lie in bed and suffer. I foolishly did not go to the doctor at any point during this time, even hiding the fact that I felt so bad.

I started losing weight. By the time I went to the doctor, I had lost 70 pounds. I couldn't drink during this time because I could not even keep water down, let alone alcohol. I finally went to the doctor when my skin and eyes turned yellow.

It was stupid to put off going to the doctor for so long, but I was scared. I just knew he was going to tell me it was my liver, and I had killed myself.

Well, it turns out there was a cist on my pancreas that was turning me jaundice, and all the pain I had endured over those terrible months must have been pancreatitis. They put a stent in me to drain the cist, and I got better.

For a month or two after my surgery, I was sober, healthy, and happy. Then I picked up the bottle again, and here I am. I've been dealing with alcoholism for about eight years now.

And I'm sick of it.

I managed to land a great job working at a hotel, and I honestly feel I have found my calling working in the hotel and hospitality business. I am moving out of my parents' house at the end of the week.

The timing feels right. I really do think I can quit and get sober. I want to. I need to.

Something just feels right, like something clicked in my head. It reminds me of that faithful day in 2010 when something clicked in my head that started the excessive drinking in the first place. Perhaps I can liken it to a light switch that got flipped on back then and now has been flipped off.

I know its not going to be easy, but I really do feel I'm ready to do the work and make the effort.

Whew, that was a lot; if you read through all that, thank you. I guess I just needed to get all that out there.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome SmartRemark and thank you for sharing your story. I don't have any advice but there are a lot of people on here who do.

I'm just curious, have you 'come out' to your parents? Is that 'secret' still part of the stress that helped influence the alcohol use?
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:48 AM   #3 (permalink)

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Thank you, StellaBlu.

I came out when I had my big breakdown and came clean about having not graduated, faking my career, etc. I like to joke that I didn't really come out; I fell out because I had too much crammed in that closet.

My parents accept it but aren't particularly thrilled with it. Its not something we talk about. I don't date so it hasn't really been an issue.
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm glad you're finally posting, SR -- you have a nice written voice! I hope to read more from you...

It does sound like a perfect time to quit drinking: landed a good job, moving out of your parents' home; all good, and throwing sobriety into the mix will make things even better. The more you post, the more we can support your decision.

Welcome to SR, SR!
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:25 AM   #5 (permalink)

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
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Hey Smart, welcome and sorry to hear you have had a rough ride. It definitely sounded like you needed to get that off your chest which is very positive.

Have you put a recovery plan into action? Congrats on the job btw
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:21 AM   #6 (permalink)

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: East Tennessee
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Thank you all for your responses.

So far, so good. I'm having some withdrawal symptoms but nothing I haven't handled before in the brief moments of quitting in the past eight years. Mostly discomfort so far... sweating, stomach pains, back pain, etc.

I don't really have a plan of action in place as of yet besides "don't drink." I know I'll need more than that so I'm looking into it. A buddy of mine took me to an NA meeting several years ago, but I don't think its for me. I had to hug total strangers and the whole thing felt weird to me. I appreciated that buddy trying to help me, though.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:34 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by SmartRemark View Post
I like to joke that I didn't really come out; I fell out because I had too much crammed in that closet.
That's funny! My older brother did the 'fake college' thing for a couple years and I was paying for it. When I showed up for a 'visit' I was 20yrs later..he's normal(good job,wife kids,ect..) and I'm working my recovery. oh the irony.
'Dumb' it down as much as you can....makes it WAYYYY easier!!
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A belated but warm welcome SmartRemark

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Old 05-04-2018, 04:10 AM   #9 (permalink)

Join Date: Mar 2014
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Thanks, Dee!

2 days, 6 hours into it, according to a nifty little app I downloaded on my phone. My stomach feels better than it has in weeks, so that's good. Still feeling good about getting sober and staying that way.

My new apartment was supposed to be ready to move into today, but they hit a snag with the maintenance so it is not ready yet and they could not give me a specific move in date.

Normally that kind of disappointment would send me straight to the bottle (any excuse, right?), but I told myself that it was okay, and that it gave me more time to get ready for the move, and that it says me a little more money since the pro-rated rent will be less than it would be if I paid it today.

I'm pretty much just sleeping and working at the moment, but for now that's okay with me. I know it won't be enough in the long run, but I feel like my body and my mind need it for now while I detox.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:36 AM   #10 (permalink)

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: UK
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Hi SmartRemark and welcome.
Like you, I am also in the process of moving. I haven't as of yet found anything that I want to move into but trying not to panic about it. I'm at 8 months sober now and while it's not all unicorns and rainbows my ability to just cope is so much better than it was. In fact that is one of the best things IMO about being sober, for each step you take to get further away from the drink, you become so much stronger.
I had many day 1's but just taking it 1 day at a time, logging on here and asking for help and support gets me through.
I do not deny that the effects of the past are still with us. But I refuse to strengthen them by repeating them.
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