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So these are the problems...

Old 10-20-2020, 04:21 PM
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JPA
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So these are the problems...

Ok, Iíve been a member of this forum for way too long, posted way too many meandering posts about my misgivings and ultimately done noting about my problem. Iíve always managed to find another temporary fix which didnít involve me quitting drinking. Itís carried me this far I suppose, but where I am tonight it feels like itís taken me as far as it can and there are no temporary fixes left.

Put simply, itís killing my career, itís killing my marriage, itís killing me. My two beautiful children, 7 and 4, show me nothing but warmth, affection and love - they are too young to understand and oblivious to my peril. That raw, unapologetic, innate love is the difference between me still being here and not, but Iím beginning to question just how long their fuel can keep my fire going. Iím hanging by a thread.

As it happens, I know I have a lot to live for. Not least my family. I have worked hard to achieve so much in my life, we are in great shape financially even in these appalling times - I have come from nothing to be able to provide virtually any material need my family could want, short of being a millionaire. But I am emotionally vacant. Emotionally exhausted.

My career is about to burst into an explosion of opportunity, but I am too ill to take advantage of it. More than that, Iím too ill to even contemplate it. These last few months have been strange but they have allowed me to paper over the cracks of my rapid descent. No one can smell your breath over Zoom, and panic attacks are easier to conceal, if only slightly.

And so it essentially feels like a case of quitting or death. But Iíve tried quitting, and I fail because I simply fail to function. I function badly when drinking, but I can complete my duties. As soon as I stop drinking, within 2 or 3 days hereís what happens:
  • Sleeping is impossible, and even if I do snatch an hour it feels worse if anything
  • I feel constantly tense, on edge and unable to think straight
  • I feel sick
  • Life is a constant shade of grey / beige. I enjoy nothing. I cannot feel happy or content
  • I feel absolutely exhausted, like I am waking through quicksand
  • I feel unbearable aches and pain
  • I feel a relief from the sense of shame, but even more unhappy than when I drink

These donít feel like barriers, they feel like mountains. Huge, unconquerable mountains. Drinking is killing me, I am intelligent enough to understand and accept this, but I do not want to live feeling the way I currently feel whenever I summon the rare courage not to.

Do these experiences ever go away or at least dissipate? Iím living between two unbearable extremes right now. How the hell do I find a path out of this madness?

If itís possible, please give me the confidence that this too shall pass if I can knock my alcoholism on the head once and for all.

Thank you for taking the time to read.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:53 PM
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If you've been drinking for years, I think you need to expect a little 'loss of function' for a little while.
It's like recovering from a serious illness,

It's NOT permanent tho -, and you need have the faith to move through those initial rough weeks into something better.

Based on your join date, you've given at last 12 years to your drinking...why not give a few weeks to your recovery?

D
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:08 PM
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Hi JPA,

The very short answer to the heart of your post is yes - those horrible symptoms do go away I did not feel sick so I can't vouch for that one but I did suffer to a greater or lesser extent to the others. For me insomnia and daytime tiredness eased up during the second month. I had suffered badly in previous failed attempts to quit so on my last quit nearly 6 years ago (so it had better be my last quit) I did something to mitigate them which was to get up an hour earlier and go jogging or walking. It was tough but gave me a huge boost and did help me to sleep.

All of those symptoms are caused by the addiction not being fed so if, like me, you are a long standing alcoholic/problem drinker they will undoubtedly rear their ugly head but if you are mentally prepared you can crest the hill of the addiction and it will get easier - about 6-7 weeks in my case. Some kind of activity - in my case the exercise - is necessary imo to take the pressure off your will power, especially in the evenings when the cravings are strongest.

When you are contemplating quitting for good even 6 weeks sounds like an eternity but one day at a time gets you there and you really won't miss it at all.

I was 54 when I finally quit and my only regret is that I didn't do it years earlier. It cost me my marriage.

You can do it JPA, good luck.
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:17 PM
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Those 3 days is withdrawal from alcohol. From your post you are a very intelligent person who has alot of potential to succeed in anything you put your mind and focus on. Not trying to make you feel worse but children see and understand I have children around that age. I sure remember my child hood of relatives suffering addiction. It was one of my turning points on recovery.
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:25 PM
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Yes, it gets better, but you've got to go thru the rough part to get to the 'better'. Usually the first couple weeks are difficult but it will get better a little at a time.

When I was in early recovery and had the urge to drink, I used to walk my dogs to pass the time until the craving went away. By the time we got home, I no longer wanted to drink and the dogs and I all felt better.

The other thing I can suggest to help you get thru early sobriety is to practice gratitude every day. Every day find something to be thankful for, no matter how small. It's hard to do that when you're feeling crappy, but it does help to strengthen your sobriety and put a positive spin on your attitude. It's really helped me a lot.

You can get and stay sober. Just be willing to put in the hard work and make the changes necessary to support a sober life.
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Old 10-20-2020, 05:30 PM
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Hi JPA,

You will need patience to get through the early days which are likely going to be unpleasant. But, things will improve and you will feel better. I hope you're ready to do this.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:03 PM
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JPA - I drank 30 yrs. When I quit I felt all of the things you listed. A few times I folded & ran back to my pacifier. The last time (nearly 13 yrs. ago) I forced myself to keep going through the misery & anxiety. It was that or die. It didn't last all that long, and it was such a relief - & so joyful to be free. You've made a great decision - and you can do this.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:50 PM
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It’s killing your career, It’s killing your marriage and It’s killing you .
Don’t let It , kill IT , it is entirely killable.
The physical/medical repercussions of dependence can be ameliorated medically, it will take an investment of time and means , and as far as investments go it would be a bargain compared to what will be lost , yeah?

Courage whether waxing or waning isn’t as important as determination, but you Need to determine you want to kill IT.

rootin for ya
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:11 PM
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You should seek professional help as soon as possible.

Like we all do, you have stone cold underestimated this horrible thing called alcoholism. You're not the first and won't be the last.

A break down is always required before a break through.

Get to a Dr and tell them the 100% truth about what is going on.

I've been there, the money, the job, the family, the alcoholism, the breakdown, the recovery. It all seems overwhelming I know but at the same time, you can't go on like this.

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Old 10-20-2020, 07:27 PM
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Yes, JPA, the first few days can be brutal but if you gut it out for a week or ten days it gets vastly better. I was in a similar boat- both the realization that death was the next stop on my ride and I couldn't sleep or function sober- but it does get better pretty fast. In my case the first times trying to sleep sober I got terrible panic attacks and a feeling of suffocating, and I honestly had to leave a light on or I couldn't sleep (I felt like I'd drown). It was pretty frightening but that phase is mercifully pretty brief.

It's worth it too, btw. Quite now. The life you save may be your own.
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:33 PM
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Before I quit I was a state emotionally. But Now at 9 months sober I can look back and see how much alcohol had destroyed me mentally. Sober time=clarity.

I had to cut the cord and not give the AV one second of my attention. I distracted myself and constantly focused on my reasons for getting sober and I practiced gratitude. I prayed. Iím still doing these things but I have a new normal now. I feel strong.

You will not be missing out on anything in life by being sober.

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Old 10-20-2020, 07:40 PM
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Do these experiences ever go away or at least dissipate?
For me the hell and pain of alcoholism never went away or dissipated as long as I continued to drink.
For me the hell and pain of withdrawal from alcohol went away and dissipated the longer I stayed away from alcohol.
Short answer; yes.
Reality check for me when I was withdrawing, I drank for 30 years, so what would I expect when withdrawing... immediate results?. It too me a lot longer to hit bottom (30 years), than it did to recover from my alcoholic bottom. It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen and compared to 30 years, a short blip in time.
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Old 10-20-2020, 07:41 PM
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JPA,

You've tried doing it on your own without success. Perhaps you need professional help? I reluctantly went to rehab - and I owe the life I now love to that decision, and to making my sobriety my highest priority ever since. They say that anything we place above our sobriety we lose, and in my experience that is the truth. Everything you value: your family, health, sanity, career - all depend on your sobriety if they are to be sustained. You may say "it's not that bad" but if you are an alcoholic, the day will come that you would give anything for it to be "only" what you are experiencing today. This is what they mean when alcohol is described as a progressive disease.

You can "knock alcoholism on the head" all you want, but if you continue to drink things will only get worse.

Wishing you all the best.

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Old 10-20-2020, 07:47 PM
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Personally I took a leave of absence, was honest with my doctor and asked for help to get through the withdrawal period. The first 90 days were rough but doable and then I weaned off the withdrawal meds. Due to the amount I was drinking I'm certain (my doctor agreed) that without medication I would have had seizures and hallucinations. Yes, it's on my medical record but I'm ok with that.

Good luck JPA!! You can do this and you've come to the right place for support.......
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:21 PM
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Have you considered a rehab? The thought seems really scary but it will be a safe place for you and the end result is that you will be sober.

It is very hard to stop drinking. Yes, it does seem nearly impossible but it is not.
There are many years of experience up there responding to you and telling you that this does get easier.

My alcoholism needs more help than this forum.
I attend AA nightly.
I come to this forum a few times a day. Posting in the morning and evening.
So far so sober.
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:59 PM
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How's it going today, JPA? Thinking of you.
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Old 10-21-2020, 04:01 PM
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Some things you cannot do alone. I recommend to everyone that cannot quit drinking no matter what they try to enter into an inpatient treatment. At LEAST 30 days....but better off with 60. It gives you the time to focus on recovery without the distraction of life. No cell phone, no internet just intensive treatment. You think it sounds horrible but once you let go of the phone and all the other distractions and peel away the layers and find out who you are it makes it easier to break through that initial rough go and begin living again.
If you don't think you have the time to do it, guess what, sooner or later you wont have any time at all left.
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:03 AM
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Hey JPA. I've always read that it takes almost a couple weeks to get past the physical cravings. If you're only 2-3 days AF than you're still in the midst of getting it out of your system. After that first couple of weeks then it's mental and dealing with the issues that cause you to drink.

I highly recommend This Naked Mind. check it out!
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:30 AM
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Hey JPA - we've been there, many of us, exactly there. I am 43, kids, business owner etc etc - I ruined many years of my life, opportunity etc etc drinking away. I quit 2.5 years ago after coming close to ruining and losing things for good.

Quitting can be done. It's the greatest thing I've done in my life - benefits have extended into each and every aspect of my life.

Make a plan, give it up for good. Do the work. A better life awaits.
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