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Old 01-15-2020, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New to site, day 5


Followed a link to here from another forum. Had never thought about there being a site like this.

I began using alchohol at 16 (legal age was 18 but it wasn't a problem) and probably due to behavioral and teen issues at that time progressed rapidly and soon had some level of dependence. Fast forward three decades or so. I have a modestly successful small business, basically as a functioning alcoholic, but there can be no question that alchohol use has limited my success. Also a nice little family, but I know that there have been some issues with my wife that most likely would have been much less serious or even nonexistant otherwise, and I know that she has considered her options at times as a direct result of my behavior patterns associated with drinking. My kid has seen me drunk so many times that I'm sure it has an affect on him somehow.

For a few years I've told myself that it was time to cut back. A couple of years ago I drank too much to drive home from the church Christmas party and my wife wouldn't take me back to my car until the next morning, and I thought "who does that?"

I've tried putting it down a few times but have not had any luck going past a week or so. Drinking a couple of beers after work is a myth as it will inevitably be a 12 pack or more. Last week I drank almost a 12 pack and two bottles of wine one night after work. Having a mixed drink at a friend's house goes the same way and before you know it we are opening a fresh bottle.

Really I'm just sick of it all. Sick of apologizing for what I said in front of my buddies the previous night. Sick of passing out drunk in my recliner every other night in front of my wife and kid. Sick of considering myself lucky to have not gotten a DUI on the way home. Sick of limiting interaction with my customers to days with minimal hangover before the drinking starts.

Thank you for providing a place to at least get it off my chest.

One AM and five days in. Telling myself I could wait until the weekend, but I know that it will just continue the same pattern unless I put it down completely.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome cityboy

support really was a game changer for me. U; get a fw days or maybe a week and then drink again. Corning here changed all that.

This site helped me see I needed support and a willingness to change my life.

Thats a big ask, but its a little easier when you don't have to do it alone.

D
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Old Yesterday, 12:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Cityboy, sounds like you would benefit from permanent abstinence, but your family would benefit even more. Don't forget you're modelling adult male behaviour to your son.
Heavy alcohol consumption does tend to catch up with us in our 40s or 50s. If you can make sobriety stick it will have amazing ramifications through your mental and physical health. If you want to scare yourself, Google the stages of alcoholism.

The first step for me was to realise I couldn't moderate. I had to stop drinking completely. Once I set that as my goal, somehow it became easier.
I'll run you through what worked for me:
- confided in my doctor. It's hard to get the words out, but either tell him/her, or write it on a piece of paper. Just be honest.
- Took care of the danger period after work by having a cup of tea, or a juice or a snack. If you create a ritual with a soft drink that you previously had with alcohol you might be surprised how quickly the new habit helps.
- worked out a quick 5 deep breaths exercise to deal with cravings. It was like magic.
- stayed away from events which included alcohol for at least six months.
- got lots of reinforcement and support from logging into SR every day.

Hope this helps when in time the cravings return. It's the long term you have to think about, not just a few days. Good Luck!
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Old Yesterday, 12:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome Cityboy

This is a great site, I learnt so much from it and still learning!
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Old Yesterday, 12:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
Followed a link to here from another forum. Had never thought about there being a site like this.

I began using alchohol at 16 (legal age was 18 but it wasn't a problem) and probably due to behavioral and teen issues at that time progressed rapidly and soon had some level of dependence. Fast forward three decades or so. I have a modestly successful small business, basically as a functioning alcoholic, but there can be no question that alchohol use has limited my success. Also a nice little family, but I know that there have been some issues with my wife that most likely would have been much less serious or even nonexistant otherwise, and I know that she has considered her options at times as a direct result of my behavior patterns associated with drinking. My kid has seen me drunk so many times that I'm sure it has an affect on him somehow.

For a few years I've told myself that it was time to cut back. A couple of years ago I drank too much to drive home from the church Christmas party and my wife wouldn't take me back to my car until the next morning, and I thought "who does that?"

I've tried putting it down a few times but have not had any luck going past a week or so. Drinking a couple of beers after work is a myth as it will inevitably be a 12 pack or more. Last week I drank almost a 12 pack and two bottles of wine one night after work. Having a mixed drink at a friend's house goes the same way and before you know it we are opening a fresh bottle.

Really I'm just sick of it all. Sick of apologizing for what I said in front of my buddies the previous night. Sick of passing out drunk in my recliner every other night in front of my wife and kid. Sick of considering myself lucky to have not gotten a DUI on the way home. Sick of limiting interaction with my customers to days with minimal hangover before the drinking starts.

Thank you for providing a place to at least get it off my chest.

One AM and five days in. Telling myself I could wait until the weekend, but I know that it will just continue the same pattern unless I put it down completely.
Welcome Cityboy!

Congratulations on reaching Day 5.

We have a lot in common. I mean you, me, and the rest of the readers of this post.

But as for you and me in particular:

I also just happened to find this site on my Day 5, ten days ago. It is amazing, check it out. I suggest you join the Class of January 2020 forum.

Also, I, too, am self-employed with a small business (in my case micro-small, as in me, myself, and I) (for the most part we get along).

Most important in this context: We have figured out that enough is enough, and that we need company on this journey of sobriety.

Welcome aboard.
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Old Yesterday, 12:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome Cityboy.

Likewise me.

I could get a little bit of time up, but as soon as I started to feel better, would forget, and it would be on again. So sick of it.

Coming here keeps me active in sobriety and have now been sober for a month, and I intend to keep building. Building not just in terms of 'time', but building me, as a person. I feel so much better. You will too.

I hope you intend to stay and give it a go Cityboy.
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Old Yesterday, 06:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for responding. Hopefully I can help support others soon.

Everything you guys say is dead on accurate.

Alchohol is such a part of so many activities that I'm sure some things will be difficult triggers to manage. Working out of town, working in yard, going fishing, cooking on the grill, going to certain friends' houses, we'll see how it goes.

I'm sure that family members and friends would be more supportive but just don't know how.

Actually this has been a bit more emotional than I had ever anticipated. Perhaps just thinking it through and opening up about it has helped.

Thanks again.
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Old Yesterday, 06:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Couple of things...

Early sobriety is very emotional, for many reasons. Guilt, shame, fear, disgust, anger, sadness are all very real. After three decades of numbing all emotions, they suddenly are Right There. It's not just emotions though - it's a physical, biological readjustment of the nervous system from suppressed to that rebound over-excitement, over-stimulated, overly sensitive to all input.

I remember saying, "I just want to crawl out of my own skin," in those first couple weeks.

It takes a lot longer than you will like to feel somewhat normal.

Hang on, make it through those first uncomfortable weeks and it will start to level out and the life you will find is so worth it.

I would wait to get the whole extended family and friends involved. Give yourself a couple months to get your feet back under you.

Hang on. Keep talking to us and I hope you'll read around the site. Really glad you found us.
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Old Yesterday, 06:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I tried a long time to do something about my drinking on my own, but without success. Things turned when I joined a group. I listened to how others did it, embraced total abstinence, and picked up some helpful facts. There are lots of ways to approach the problem, but all require serious commitment on your part. It's good to have you here.
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Old Yesterday, 07:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You guys' comments are amazingly relevant. Thanks again.

Actually, I'm not sure at this point how I'm going to get through some situations and activities without turning back to alchohol. We'll see.
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Old Yesterday, 07:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Cityboy, you just do it.

If something feels overwhelming - walk away. Leave. Detach. Circle back to it when the thoughts settle.

We've learned to live full lives without turning to alcohol and you can too.

It adds nothing, it just wants to kill you and everything good in life.

What kinds of, "situations and activities?" I had to let go of some people who were nothing more than drinking buddies and I had to change my activities a bit for a little while until I was comfortable sober. You will find not everyone uses alcohol.
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
Cityboy, you just do it.

If something feels overwhelming - walk away. Leave. Detach. Circle back to it when the thoughts settle.

We've learned to live full lives without turning to alcohol and you can too.

It adds nothing, it just wants to kill you and everything good in life.

What kinds of, "situations and activities?" I had to let go of some people who were nothing more than drinking buddies and I had to change my activities a bit for a little while until I was comfortable sober. You will find not everyone uses alcohol.
Drinking a cold beer at the end of the day is such a deeply engrained part of working out of town. It seems to give you something to look forward to. Of course a cold beer always leads to 10 cold beers and a bottle of wine.

When we go fishing, my friends and I drink astonishing amounts. These are my best friends in life and I can't just cast them aside.

Just a couple of examples.
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Old Yesterday, 08:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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There are dozens of reasons why I'm profoundly grateful to be sober (58 years old, drank since high school, sober 18 months).

But one of the biggest is simply being free of the sheer nuisance of NEEDING to always find a way to include alcohol in everything I did. And, as you say, not just the emotional impact of the guilt and the fear of a disastrous accident, but just the f-ing nuisance of it all. It's just such a tiresome burden.

A couple weeks ago I got pulled over for a traffic stop for running a stop sign. I had an intense moment of PANIC and then remembered "oh, yeah. I haven't had a drink in a year and a half. It's OK." I think I was so bizarrely cheerful when the cop asked for my license that he let me off with a warning.

Bottom line: recovery help was more available than I expected, more effective than I expected, and while sobriety hasn't been effortless, it wasn't the daily struggle that I expected. And now, it's just a matter of being diligent and not taking anything for granted.

And sobriety is delightful. I really don't miss drinking other than a few random drinking thoughts now and then.

I felt better right away, but sobriety just keeps getting better. After 3 months my life was completely transformed.

I'm lucky that I was a solitary drinker and my wife and those close to me can truly take it or leave it. So, in my case, I was joining the mostly sober world around me rather than escaping from a network of heavy drinking family and friends as some need to...
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Old Yesterday, 08:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Man that sounds great. You guys just don't know how much hope you are giving me right now. Well maybe you do.
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Old Yesterday, 08:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am living in Day 57 after a 30-year drinking career Cityboy. I know precisely how you feel. As daunting as it all seems, it really just happens a day at a time. You won't believe what a gift you are giving yourself. 57 days in I am calm, my head is so quiet, I feel liberated from alcohol, and I never want to drink again. I had drank myself pretty far down the road towards permanent damage and death. Other than my love for my daughters, there is only one certainty that I know of - if I can recover and be healthy ANYBODY can do the same thing. I am glad you are here Cityboy.
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Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
Drinking a cold beer at the end of the day is such a deeply engrained part of working out of town. It seems to give you something to look forward to. Of course a cold beer always leads to 10 cold beers and a bottle of wine.

When we go fishing, my friends and I drink astonishing amounts. These are my best friends in life and I can't just cast them aside.

Just a couple of examples.
What's this, Day 6, CB, right?

Give yourself time to adjust (says jr67 with a grand total of 16 days under jr67's ever-so-slightly loosening belt) (and counting).

I mean, you need to have a plan, or be working on a plan, for various contingencies, but not all at once.

For example: When is your next business trip? When is your next fishing trip?

Whenever they are, they are not right now, here, today, so for now, here, today, you are not drinking. Same for tomorrow. Same for Saturday, etc. etc.

Meanwhile, you are learning to be the new CityBoy. Same as the old CityBoy, sans ethanol.

So not exactly the same, but better, you will see. You are seeing already.

You said in an earlier post:

"Alchohol is such a part of so many activities that I'm sure some things will be difficult triggers to manage. Working out of town, working in yard, going fishing, cooking on the grill, going to certain friends' houses, we'll see how it goes.

"I'm sure that family members and friends would be more supportive but just don't know how.

"Actually this has been a bit more emotional than I had ever anticipated. Perhaps just thinking it through and opening up about it has helped."

End Quote.

That's great that family and friends would be more supportive "but just don't know how." So they, or some of them, are aware that you've quit? That great, imho. Cut them some slack, just as you need to cut yourself some. They are learning, too. Any number of things could be going on.

Each situation, and each family member and friend, is different. Maybe, for some of them, they're nervous about saying the wrong thing, so they say nothing. I think that's part of what's going on with my two sisters and my two brothers. Drinking has always been a notable part of family events, but not, like some others here, the central, defining element. But that's ok, when I next see a couple of them (in mid-February, they live in different states), I'll do what I can to show them they do not need to walk on eggshells. And so far, in my 15 days of sobriety, I've had a couple of "practice runs," where I was out at a bar or restaurant and simply ordered water. BTW, if no one has stressed this to you yet: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The good part (one of the good parts) is that you have those friends and family members (as some here do not), and you trust that their intentions are good.

For me, it has been surprising, astounding even, to experience how helpful (and yes, emotional) the "thinking it through and opening up about it" on this site has been and continues to be.

I hope you (and I) stick around for a while.
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Old Yesterday, 09:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Welcome! I just joined a couple of days ago, and have found tremendous support. I’ve been a very heavy binge drinker for 32 years (except when I was pregnant). I totally understand having those friends whose “thing” is getting together and drinking until you can’t drink anymore. Personally, I’m going to avoid those situations for at least 90 days. At 90 days, I’ll re-evaluate and decide whether I need more of a break. We all came here for a reason, and that reason has to stay in the forefront of our minds. It’s more important than continuing traditions that landed us here in the first place. One quote that I keep thinking of is, “No one wakes up the morning after wishing they had had one more drink”... or something along those lines. I keep reminding myself how great it feels to wake up without a hangover, without shame, and without guilt.
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jr67 View Post
What's this, Day 6, CB, right?



For example: When is your next business trip? When is your next fishing trip?

Whenever they are, they are not right now, here, today, so for now, here, today, you are not drinking. Same for tomorrow. Same for Saturday, etc. etc.


That's great that family and friends would be more supportive "but just don't know how." So they, or some of them, are aware that you've quit?

BTW, if no one has stressed this to you yet: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

For me, it has been surprising, astounding even, to experience how helpful (and yes, emotional) the "thinking it through and opening up about it" on this site has been and continues to be.

I hope you (and I) stick around for a while.

Next work trip is next week. Fishing trips will start up in the spring.

Have not really talked to anyone about it except for a "thinking about cutting back" type of comment here and there.

Did not know about hydrating. So I guess that means to avoid coffee? Ouch.

Just to communicate openly with others about it feels much different.
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Old Yesterday, 10:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I can’t even count how many times I told myself that I would wait and quit on “x” day. Weird how I would just forget that I made that promise when that day did arrive. Congrats on finally saying enough is enough. Welcome!
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Old Yesterday, 10:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DaisyBelle7 View Post

I keep reminding myself how great it feels to wake up without a hangover, without shame, and without guilt.
This statement is making me look back and reflect on all the times that I went to meetings with a terrible hangover, or felt like a complete idiot for having said or done something the night before. As bad as I hate to admit it, there have been a lot times that I have brought a level of danger as a direct result of alcohol and by incredible luck has there never been an incident in which myself or others did not have a serious injury or death.

I know that my wife wants to be helpful, but just doesn't realize that pointing out that I shouldn't drink so much just adds to the stress buildup of the day and is more likely to encourage turning that energy towards alcohol instead of away from it. I think that for my friends its a situation similar to your mom bringing over a bunch of cookies even though she knows they're not healthy for you, she just knows you want them.
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