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We don't experience hangovers

Old 09-11-2018, 03:15 PM
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We don't experience hangovers

I was talking to my Sponsor yesterday, after my relapse on Saturday. I told him about how awful I felt the day before, on the Sunday. How when I woke up on Sunday morning, frankly whilst I was still drunk, I had already decided that I wouldn't touch another drop. I was truly done with it.

Anyway, I told him how the whole day was a white knuckle ride, anxiety, cravings, panic, impending feelings of doom. The only way I managed to get through it was by playing a computer game non stop for 12 hours, and drinking about 12 cups of tea with loads of sugar. If I had to have left my house for any reason, well I wouldn't have been able to, I'd have picked up a drink first.

Whereas my young lady friend who also had drunk with me on saturday night, was up and about visiting friends and didn't feel bad at all, just a bit tired.

He said to me "mate, that is because people like you and me are allergic to alcohol, and what you experienced yesterday wasn't a hangover, it was withdrawals. She, your friend, SHE experienced a hangover, but YOU had withdrawels. That is why you felt so hideous".

It got me thinking, all my life I wondered why I was always the one that found hangovers unbearable compared to my friends, it is what led me to drink the next day, which eventually over the years progressed into binges and dependency which also got worse and worse".

I was always the one who needed a drink the next morning when we woke up, I didn't want to drink, I needed to, to function. It is in my make up, it's just the way I am. I can't help it. It explains a lot now I look back over the years. I am allergic to it pure and simple.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:46 PM
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Good observation and important for us to remember. I am glad you have a supportive, knowledgeable sponsor.
How are you feeling today?
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Aardvajk (09-12-2018)
Old 09-12-2018, 12:16 AM
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Allergy to alcohol does not exist that is 1930s myth that AA have since publicly withdrawn. You both had hangovers and by sounds of you went harder at it so got a bigger hangover. From your post you were drinking even before arrived.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:47 AM
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Prim,

Imo...drunks have irreversible brain damage.

It is a chronic condition. We will crave for life.

Education and the desire to quit drinking are what have gotten me this far clean.

I am educated and know that if I drink again I will immediately become physically addicted again...that will cause a physical crave on top of my chronic mental crave.

Don't need to drink any more. I don't need to escape reality. I never did. I just got addicted as a kid and didn't know any better.

Now I know better.

Thanks.
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Aardvajk (09-12-2018)
Old 09-12-2018, 01:21 AM
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I agree there is a massive difference between a hangover and withdrawals. I think the most key indicator that one is withdrawing rather than hung over is waking up with a desire to drink more. When I have relapsed after a period of sobriety that has cleared my physical addiction, like most normal drinkers the thought of another drink is the furthest thing from my mind.

Waking once the physical addiction has kicked back in leaves me wanting another drink more than anything else in the world.

I have no idea how decided the science is on the allergy question but I can see it is a very useful way to view things. It certainly functions much like an allergy in that something in us that we cannot control causes us to have a different reaction to alcohol than other people, so if you find that a useful way to view it, good stuff.

I personally have to drink daily for about three days before I start to get withdrawals rather than hang overs. The longer I drink for, the longer it takes to get over the physical cravings and shakes. After a recent eight-month long relapse of almost daily drinking, it took about six or seven days before I felt well again.

If only the physical addiction was the problem, it would be very easy to solve. I personally actually find it easier to abstain when I am in physical withdrawal because it keeps me so aware of what a terrible idea it is for me to drink.

I relapsed after over six years sober. That wasn't caused by a physical addiction. It was terrifying how quickly I became dependent again though.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:11 AM
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I agree with we don't experience hangovers. Years of drinking whole fifths for a good time, sometimes one on Friday then Saturday. If I went out with friends maybe less. The hangovers on Sundays were 12-14 hours long, mostly in bed that long. I'd always stop drinking. During weekdays and Sunday's. That was my rule

Their were 2 times in my life I drank the next morning and kept going for 3-4 days. The withdrawals after that included audio and visual hallucinations. Don't let yourself get to this point. It's literally hell. You close your eyes and you can see people dying, hear people taunting you..for up to 72hours. The first time I experienced them I quit for 2 year's.. I'm going through one right now and it somehow topped the hell of the first.

You don't want to experience it and speak a lot like I did/do. Mini excuses here and there, the more withdrawals you have the more toalls on your body and brain
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerard52 View Post
Allergy to alcohol does not exist that is 1930s myth that AA have since publicly withdrawn. You both had hangovers and by sounds of you went harder at it so got a bigger hangover. From your post you were drinking even before arrived.
I agree I went harder so experienced a bigger "hangover" the next day, I suppose that is part of the problem. I go hard, so feel worse, so more likely to need to drink again to feel better. It's a vicious cycle. Unfortunately I always drink to get drunk, so my chances of feeling so bad I need a drink the next day is probably about 90%. If I drink the next day, the chances of me drinking on a third day is about 50%.

Then I am at risk of going on a binge.

I do know that for some reason, psychologically, I am unable to cope with the elevated anxiety after a night of drinking. That is what led me to self medicating with alcohol. Whatever the reason, I am more susceptible to the hangover effects, more unable to deal with them, I find hangovers for debilitating. I literally cannot function.

On top of this, once I do drink, I have an inability like many in the population, to call it a day after a few drinks. I have to drink until I am drunk. SO this, on top of my issues with dealing with severe hangovers, creates a cycle of problems which led to me to have a dependency.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Meraviglioso View Post
Good observation and important for us to remember. I am glad you have a supportive, knowledgeable sponsor.
How are you feeling today?
Much better thanks, in fact I feel great. It was only a night of drinking so getting over it has been pretty easy compared to my last 2 week binge which was hell on earth.

How are you doing?
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Aardvajk View Post
I agree there is a massive difference between a hangover and withdrawals. I think the most key indicator that one is withdrawing rather than hung over is waking up with a desire to drink more. When I have relapsed after a period of sobriety that has cleared my physical addiction, like most normal drinkers the thought of another drink is the furthest thing from my mind.

Waking once the physical addiction has kicked back in leaves me wanting another drink more than anything else in the world.

I have no idea how decided the science is on the allergy question but I can see it is a very useful way to view things. It certainly functions much like an allergy in that something in us that we cannot control causes us to have a different reaction to alcohol than other people, so if you find that a useful way to view it, good stuff.

I personally have to drink daily for about three days before I start to get withdrawals rather than hang overs. The longer I drink for, the longer it takes to get over the physical cravings and shakes. After a recent eight-month long relapse of almost daily drinking, it took about six or seven days before I felt well again.

If only the physical addiction was the problem, it would be very easy to solve. I personally actually find it easier to abstain when I am in physical withdrawal because it keeps me so aware of what a terrible idea it is for me to drink.

I relapsed after over six years sober. That wasn't caused by a physical addiction. It was terrifying how quickly I became dependent again though.
Yeah I definitely didn't have a physical dependency this time, I woke up on Sunday not wantign to touch alcohol. Although as the day wore on, and my anxiety got worse and worse, I was tempted to hair of the dog to make me feel "better".

I have hard wired my brain over the years that on hangovers, I should drink to feel better. It's quite impulsive.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberRecovery22 View Post
I agree with we don't experience hangovers. Years of drinking whole fifths for a good time, sometimes one on Friday then Saturday. If I went out with friends maybe less. The hangovers on Sundays were 12-14 hours long, mostly in bed that long. I'd always stop drinking. During weekdays and Sunday's. That was my rule

Their were 2 times in my life I drank the next morning and kept going for 3-4 days. The withdrawals after that included audio and visual hallucinations. Don't let yourself get to this point. It's literally hell. You close your eyes and you can see people dying, hear people taunting you..for up to 72hours. The first time I experienced them I quit for 2 year's.. I'm going through one right now and it somehow topped the hell of the first.

You don't want to experience it and speak a lot like I did/do. Mini excuses here and there, the more withdrawals you have the more toalls on your body and brain
Imo...What you described is alcohol induced physcosis. If a person goes to a Dr. when feeling like this, the Dr. will prescribe meds.

But, if the recovering drunk knows this is a fleeting symptom and will get better, they can potentially stay off the meds.

Obviously, a worse thing can/will occur if the drunk takes the meds and then starts drinking again.

Hell on earth.

Imo...Dr's with limited interest/back ground in addiction and the general population, don't get the fundamental concept of the overwhelming but fleeting chronic mental anguish recovering addicts feel....besides all the hallucination etc.

I had a bunch of physical and mental symptoms that were booze related and am never going to drink again.

I don't need the euphoria followed by the hell. I'm good

Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:35 AM
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A lot of discussion in our community about “moderating” says that we can’t moderate. Well, I “could” moderate, but couldn’t. What I mean by that is that when I was still drinking there were times when I would only have one or two, and logistically couldn’t pull off secret drinking later, etc. So, technically speaking, I did have times, some of which were just occasional, and others which were longer, where I technically consumed somewhat “normal” amounts.

During those times, I still slept irritably, woke up sweating, impending doom, heart pounding, etc.

In fact, it was exactly this reason that I had a final realization that this affair was over. There is no hope for me and booze.

I think your sponsor is 100% right. We are not wired for a functional relationship with booze. To get away from those hellish “hangovers” I had to either ride it out and get sober, or drink again, only to feel chaotically drunk and rinse and repeat the seventh circle of hell hangover I’d get regardless of how much I’d drank. (Although the more, the worse for sure).

Getting sober was the most logical choice for me, when I finally realized there wasn’t a third or fourth option.
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:28 AM
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I had terrible hangovers. After a four day ninge my body was wrecked, I couldn't eat, felt like death for a few days. I have been hopsitalised with people having withdrawals, and that was a completely different ball game. You can die of siezures/convulsions in withdrawals. I never had either.

A friend of mine used to drink with me on these benders. He had major blackouts that used to kick in after the first 4 or 5 drinks. He would be as drunk as me, and barely remeber anything about it. At the end of the bender, no hangover, it didn't bother him at all. We often cooked a big meal on the first days sober because we felt very hungry. I could eat a couple of mouthfuls, he would clean his plate. I used to think he was lucky, but he still drinks that way today, and I don't.

The allergy isn't a bad analogy. As AA says,"It interests us" because the theory explained much about which we could not otherwise account. There is no doubt we have an abnormal reaction to alcohol. When ordinary drinkers get the "enough" signal, we get the "need more" one.

It wasn't an AA theory by the way. It was a hypothesis put forward by Doctor William Silkworth in a letter to Alcholics Anonymous which has been and continues to be published as "The Doctor's Opinion" in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It never was AA's opinion, and therefore not AAs to withdraw.
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