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My theory....what do you think? Opinions needed

Old 01-26-2009, 05:48 PM
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My theory....what do you think? Opinions needed

My theory is this...(although it has not been tested by me personally). If we are, in fact, not powerless (which I believe, how could I stop if I was?), then addiction and overuse is in essence more of a phase than a disease or an incurable malfunction. I think, let me repeat that, I THINK, that I will be able to eventually drink in moderation. Obviously before any such thing could be attempted there would need to be extensive sober time to break the cycle and extensive personal growth having dealt with all those things I was covering up with use. I think that I will know when this time has come and that it will not be a mad dash to the store for beer, that would be a red flag that the cycle is not broken. I dont know, maybe that day will never come, when I know that I could use recreationally, and if it doesn't, I will be fine with that. I guess Id like to think that I will eventually be healthy enough that it wont make a difference either way. Opinions?!
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:19 PM
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I am of the belief that I am NOT powerless over alcohol - I believe that I DO possess the power to choose whether or not to drink. I just chose incorrectly for a long time, and once I made that choice what happened NEXT was kind of out of my hands. My mistake was ever taking that first drink.

Which leads me to say NO, I ABSOLUTELY do not think I could ever drink in moderation ever again.

This topic comes up quite frequently, actually.

Until recently, I was trying very hard to cling to the idea that maybe, just maybe, one day some time in the future I could drink "normally" again. A glass of wine with dinner, a champagne toast on New Year's or at a wedding, a beer with my hot wings during the big game. But I'm only fooling myself because I know deep down that that one would never be enough. Once I started I wouldn't be able to stop, and I AM NOT GOING BACK TO THAT PLACE.

So, for me, moderation is out. If you have success with it at some point, then good for you. You can have my wine! LOL
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:30 PM
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Thanks trying, I really appreciate you taking the time to share that with me. I have a question...if you dont mind...so are you saying that you have the choice to drink or not drink therefor you arent powerless but that once you take that first drink that then you are? If you dont mind me asking......
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by vividserenity View Post
I have a question...if you dont mind...so are you saying that you have the choice to drink or not drink therefor you arent powerless but that once you take that first drink that then you are? If you dont mind me asking......
I can't answer for anybody else but right now this is where I am at. I hope I can drink sociably again but I am not even considering it right now and won't for at least a year.
If you can after a big time out all the power to you. This is also my hope because I like my beer.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:03 PM
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I dunno... I kinda think that once the body chemistry has been tweaked, there's really no going back. I think in some cases it can be done, but only with extreme diligence, and then is that really normal?
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:06 PM
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I have to say for me this is an unimportant question at the moment, the only way to test the theory is by practical experiment.

Weighing up the pros and cons its not an acceptable risk right now and I can't see a time when it will be.

Also the pleasure i would get from a couple of drinks every now and then is not comparable to the results should things go wrong.

Maybe when I have been sober a long, long time I will look at this again, but alcohol is not necessary for a happy life (or at least I bloody well hope it isn't) so I doubt it.

I think if I tried the old moderate drinking it would be self delusion.

I hope you think long and hard about trying anything like this vivid, although as you state its a long way in your future Im not worried for you yet. lol
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:12 PM
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Being newly sober, I guess I wish it could work that way, but I have read posts from people here that have metioned that they were sober for anywhere from 5-10 years, picked up a drink and basically went on long binges and are now back again trying. I think they could tell us better than anyone.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:25 PM
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I think it probably works differently for everyone, and for each substance that person takes. I have a friend who goes through periods of time when he uses heavily, and then just stops when he thinks enough is enough. His theory is that in most cases (except some extreme examples when physical addiction takes over) its a matter of "manning up" (sorry, we're kinda redneck here) and telling yourself you've been an idiot long enough and it's time to clean up. I've done well with this approach. I had a little chat with myself (if that doesn't make me sound crazy!!): "Party's over, kiddo. You can't do grad school and drugs/alcohol. Do you want to be a loser or have a productive life?"

I choose this mindset because I am not powerless over alcohol and drugs. I made some bad decisions though, and forgot that I am in charge. I let alcohol run things for a while, and then meth. Eventually I feel like I MIGHT be able to drink socially, and if not I at least need to be comfortable around alcohol because I've never seen a group of more prolific drinkers than when geologists get together. I can't be one of those people who can't be in the same room with alcohol because it would kill my career. Every dinner, conference, and convention I've attended has alcohol available and geology is a social profession. You could randomly be sitting next to the person you collaborate with or the person in charge of funding your next project, and alcohol greases the wheels. Not that this is the only profession where this exists. So my main goal, whether I ever take another drink or not, is to be able to behave myself around alcohol.

As for the drugs, I don't know that I would ever be able to use again. I don't think I want to because it's a little too much fun, the lure is too strong for me. Is it weird to admit that? It seems like most reformed druggies won't admit it. In the long run it costs too much personally and financially, and eventually you will get caught. But [email protected] being high is fun. If it weren't, no one would do it. I see a lot of posts to that same effect regarding alcohol. Different substances affect us all in different ways, and alcohol just does not draw me in like drugs do. It used to, but once I started drugs alcohol became secondary. The main problem for the moment is that when I start drinking I start to want drugs again, and if years down the road I decided to try drinking again, I wonder whether I would want drugs again. One drink is enough to make me want the drugs, but not enough to go get them. Even if the lure of drugs is not as strong some day, I know how fast I got hooked last time and I don't think it would be a good thing for me to do.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by vividserenity View Post
Thanks trying, I really appreciate you taking the time to share that with me. I have a question...if you dont mind...so are you saying that you have the choice to drink or not drink therefor you arent powerless but that once you take that first drink that then you are? If you dont mind me asking......
Yes, that's how I feel.

This is part of why I don't feel AA is right for me, at least as far as a true PROGRAM goes. I just don't believe in a lot of the tenets that are crucial parts of "working the steps". I do not believe I am powerless. That, to me, implies a lack of personal responsibility. NO ONE ELSE is responsible for my actions and choices. Only I am. I knew darn good and well what I was doing and I *chose* to continue doing it.

Now, once I had that first drink in me, the story changed a bit. The alcohol definitely had the power over me then. Once I started drinking I could not stop until I puked, blacked out, or passed out. I had no semblance of control.

But does that mean I was powerless to take that first drink? Nope. I had to make a conscious decision to pour that crap in my mouth. It was a BAD decision, but it was MY decision.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I dunno... I kinda think that once the body chemistry has been tweaked, there's really no going back. I think in some cases it can be done, but only with extreme diligence, and then is that really normal?
This reminds me of the metaphor I've seen around here a lot lately:
Once we're pickled, we can't go back to being cucumbers.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:44 PM
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Just curious, Gneiss, why do you separate alcohol and group all the other drugs together? I see them all as being unique and view alcohol as just one of the many drugs I've used.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
Just curious, Gneiss, why do you separate alcohol and group all the other drugs together? I see them all as being unique and view alcohol as just one of the many drugs I've used.
I base that on how strong my addictions to each of them are. I am mildly addicted to alcohol. I was fairly strongly addicted to it at one point but then I started doing methamphetamine, among other things. The addiction to alcohol actually decreased. I did not want it as much; I'd still drink but my DOC was meth, and failing that anything that would get me high (as opposed to just getting drunk). When I decided to stop drinking it was not that difficult, I just quit going to the liquor store and the problem was mostly solved. Meth was (and is) an entirely different animal. At first I'd get a little drunk and start to want it, but it wasn't long before I was buying it stone-cold sober. All this past semester, my last in undergrad, I did not go more than 3 days without getting high. I took the GRE (standardized grad school entrance exams, for those of you who have real lives) and nearly every exam either high or coming down from meth.

I crave meth most of the time, I just sort of try to distract myself. I don't often crave alcohol anymore, but once I start drinking I have trouble stopping so for now I avoid situations where alcohol is present. If I could break that cycle I think I would be fine drinking socially but it remains to be seen whether I can break that cycle.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TryingSoHard View Post
Yes, that's how I feel.

This is part of why I don't feel AA is right for me, at least as far as a true PROGRAM goes. I just don't believe in a lot of the tenets that are crucial parts of "working the steps". I do not believe I am powerless. That, to me, implies a lack of personal responsibility. NO ONE ELSE is responsible for my actions and choices. Only I am. I knew darn good and well what I was doing and I *chose* to continue doing it.
I'm not AA-bashing, I promise. It works for a lot of people and I say,
good for them. Whatever works to get you sober is what you should do. That said, my impression of AA was that it was kind of whiney. Acknowledging powerlessness over an inanimate object (one that I had to make an effort to obtain) sounds... strange. I don't blame my bed when I oversleep, so why should I blame alcohol when I drink too much? It's not the best choice to make, but it was my choice.

Another facet of that for me is that the friend who got me started on drugs keeps apologizing. It kind of annoys me because I am the one who picked up the pipe and lit up. He bought it, he told me he had it, but I never had to smoke it the first time or any time after that. It was another bad choice that was still my choice to make.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:30 AM
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I've also struggled with the concept of being powerless over alcohol. I do have power over taking the first drink, but after that, alcohol has the power over me. I can't quit. I believe there's some sort of chemical trigger, maybe in the brain that kicks into gear after the first bit of alcohol enters my blood stream.

I don't think the bed and oversleeping is a good analogy. I've never managed to swallow my bed!

The psychological part of the power of alcohol is that "voice" which for me, years later still tells me, even the face of all evidence personally experienced, that I might some day drink again socially. I can't. Been there too many times to think it's an option for me.

You could be different. Some people are. This is just my personal experience.

Love,


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Old 01-27-2009, 04:15 AM
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I am not nor have ever been powerless over alcohol although there were times when it felt that way. Before my most recent quit (20 months ago) I experimented with the idea of being able to moderate after a long time away from alcohol and I always failed. I drank heavily for 15 years...each year my consumption increased and with each drunken episode I pushed my body further. I became willing to accept throwing up and blacking out as normal...I pushed passed my bodies natural on/off switch till it just stopped functioning. So today I know my on/off switch is broken...that does not make me powerless...in fact knowing this makes me more powerful...I have all the information I need to know that I can never drink safely again.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:04 AM
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I agree with tryingsohard, I don't believe I'm powerless over alcohol. I'm in control of whether i pick up the first drink, or pop the first pill, or whatever. Actually, sometimes i'm in control even after I pick up the first, but the thing is-I WON'T KNOW because i can easily overindulge even when I'm not planning on it. This is because a) I'm addicted. b) while we're on intoxicating drugs the stop switch goes off in our brains

If you quit and try moderating again,. its a pretty safe bet you will become addicted again. Also, as other people have pointed out, the brain chemistry has been altered, and it will take years of abstinence to get it back to normal.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:42 AM
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I agree, i also feel that i am in control over whether or not to take that first drink. However, once i've had that first drink, then i am powerless, or at least the urge to drink is WAY more powerful than any urge to stop.

I used to obsess over one day being ok to drink again. It's the holy grail of most addicts i think, to be able to go back to when it worked for them and they could use without it taking over.

I don't really worry about it now, i may or may not one day be able to drink sensibly again, but i know for sure that today i can't.

I know that it would take a huge force of will to be able to have a couple of social drinks and just stop there, so much so that it would not be enjoyable.

My drinking became so that i would keep going until i was unconscious / broke / all the alcohol was gone, and i am not sure that will ever change.

Also as said above, once you start being able to enjoy things without a drink, you find a new, more real enjoyment of things, which i am just learning.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:00 AM
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My sentiments exactly Spark.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:32 AM
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bugs, spark... sounds like we're all in the same boat.

At least I'm in good company!
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:44 AM
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Sorry guys...don't have time to read this whole thread..read peices...but for what it is worth here is my expereince.

I was sober for 7 years. To get to that i had a lot of therapy and worked on a lot of serious childhood issues. I acheived sobriety and happiness. At 7 years sober I never even thought about drinking..no issue. But...

I did sorta wonder if my drinking hadn't been about all the phsycological stuff i had going on and i felt that possibly if i drank again I would find i no longer had a problem.

So during the stanley cup finals one year I decided to have a beer.....within a few weeks i was back to drinking all night long till drunk. Within months i was drinking heavily...at least a 1/2 liter of rum a nite, and within a year i was drinking 24/7.... couple of liters a day including in the mornings and at lunch.

What i learned is that no matter how fixed an well adjusted I become, I will nver be able to drink socially or occasionally again.....

but thats just how it was for me, everyone is different.
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