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Old 04-28-2009, 10:44 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Freepath View Post
What recovering addicts can offer alcoholics is essentially the same set of experiences and techniques in recovery.
Maybe and maybe not. I'm a recovered alcoholic. If an addict can identify with my drinking experience, if they believe that they too suffer a physical craving, a mental obsession; if they have lost the power of choice in whether or not they use or how much they use, they might be able to identify with me and might be interested in the same solution as I found. Otherwise, if they are not like me, why would they seek the same solution? A recovered addict is going to have a lot easier time relating to a still suffering addict.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but making the disctinction between the alcoholic and the addict was borne out of AA trial and error. AA tried to include addicts and spouses. The experience showed that it didn't work very well. The conclusion was that AA wouldn't function as a solution for alcoholism if it tried to be a solution for everything else. Hence, the singleness of purpose proved by trial and error. The distinction is more about survival of AA than anything else. Without that disctinction, AA kind of morphs into an "all opinions welcome" organization, and the solution gets lost. That's why the program was written into a book in the first place.

I might have some good opinions about how to live sober, I might have some good ideas, but that is all it is; my bullsh*t opinion. And it may or may not be worth a darn. One thing that distinguishes AA as a program of recovery is that we have a solution on which we can absolutely agree. It doesn't have to be my opinion or your opinion. It's the same solution for everyone who suffers the same problem. If you do these things, you will recover, no questions asked. But if you have a different problem, well, my solution might work, but I have no experience with that. This is why it's so important to make sure we suffer the same problem.

Originally Posted by Freepath View Post
I hope we donít develop some kind of aloof clique where peopleís opinions and beliefs donít matter unless they are alcoholics; anyone in recovery could offer insight.
Help is where you find it.
Hmmm. I kind of hope we do. Because it works. It works every time. I don't think it needs to be aloof, and it certaintly isn't elite. But humor me for a minute about people's opinions and beliefs mattering.

Can a person who can't stay sober give me a solution for sobriety? It's not meant to be demeaning at all. But obviously they haven't got sobriety figured out. Now, can a person who doesn't have the same physical craving and mental obsession as me give me a solution for that condition? What about the person who is able to stop using/drinking because they got in legal trouble or had a wife threaten to leave them? They may have great advice and opinion and belief, but they are absolutely not like me. I had all those things going on and I couldn't stop drinking. I needed a solution that would work for folks that couldn't just stop when given sufficient motivation.

What so often happens in recovery and on these forums is that we do a lot of wallowing in the common problem. One sick person pats another sick person on the back. We all feel good about it because we have people around who understand us. We share a common problem, or at least we think we do. And a hundred opinions are thrown out. One person says they are taking vitamin supplements, one is exercising more, one is thinking the drink through, one is using HALT, etc. And all of these things might be good ideas, and they might work for that person part of the time.

But a program of recovery is a lot more than just a collection of opinions thrown out by people who may or may not suffer from the same thing as me, who may or may not be able to stay sober, and who may or may not be the least bit happy about it. I mean no offense to Katie, but it's a prime example. She has opinions about how to get sober without any success at sobriety. They might be good opinions, but I'd rather stick with the methods of those that have recovered. Those have solved the problem. A program of recovery is; if you are afflicted like me, do the same thing I do, and you will have the same result I do.

Despite my mentioning of AA, I wouldn't try to push that on anyone, especially in this forum. It worked for this atheist when nothing (Drs., anti-depressants, psychological counseling, outpatient, inpatient rehab, jails, etc.) else did. I just don't have any experience with other recovery programs, therefore I have no opinion of them. Thanks for letting me share.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:54 AM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms:

* Craving--A strong need, or urge, to drink.
* Loss of control--Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
* Physical dependence--Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
* Tolerance--The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."

I use the NIAAA definition of alcoholism to define the term of 'alcoholic'.


For me craving is a compulsion to use regardless of ones desire not to. At one point in my addiction I quit fighting the cravings and just drank no matter what. I finally entered addiction treatment to address my alcoholism and drug addiction. As long as I maintain my treatment ( abstinence, peer support, counseling, strategies to combat urges...ect.) my symptoms of alcoholism remain in check.

I also see the same symptoms I had with alcoholism as I did with my drug addiction. If anything the drug cravings were more intensive. The things I did to get more Meth wile I was withdrawing from my last Meth use was far more outrageous than just pan-handling for booze when I was broke and needed a fix.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:03 AM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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If alcohol addiction is that much different than addiction to OTHER drugs, then by that logic, there should be a different group/program for every individual substance.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:15 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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This discussion reminds me of when I'm amongst gay acquaintences, and theres always someone gay who addresses everyone as fag or queen and when I say "I'm not a fag, i'm gay" they say "well its the same thing". Its not. To say you're addicted to alcohol carries vastly different connotations than to say you're an alkie. I quit smoking cigs two years ago after smoking a pack a day for years and I'm not a cigaret-holic.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post

Now addiction is real.
But I am not addicted to alcohol, never really have been but I am still an alcoholic. It is not about physical addiction it is a mental thing.

If it was only about a physical addition then as soon as people with a problem with drugs/alcohol had a few days/weeks clean they would never drink/use again...but this is not the case, they drink/use again because of their mental state not because of anything physical.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:24 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
And you wear this like a badge of honor? And don't forget your "disease" is doing pushups in the parking lot - yeah, someone's best thinking got him or her there with that statement. You bet. Look, I have a drinking "issue" and I am most certainly qualified to discuss it. In fact, I "earned my chair." Can you tell you are dealing with a seasoned member of AA?

You are also dealing with someone who used to do a LOT of speed and LSD. I dabbled in cocaine and angel dust and even snorted heroin once. Jimhere, it makes no difference what substance it is. A drug is a drug is a drug. And I am living proof of this. Oh, and SOMA is great too, along with Xanax and Klonopin. Those things just require scripts - at least these days in my world - which is why I have no scripts. My p-doc is too smart.
Far from it, IMO.
The fact that you believe babbling a couple of catch phrases shows you as a seasoned member of AA is proof of this.
I understand that you have "issues" with AA much like you have "issues" with alcohol and that is your right. But for you to claim yourself to be a part of AA is funny considering all the bashing you do of AA.
I apologize as this is not the discussion but this just irked me.
Carry on
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
Doctors and researchers in the field of addiction aren't all alcoholics are they?
No they aren't and they haven't come up with anything of any use to an alcoholic either.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:32 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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I would never call myself a seasoned member of AA (I'm not a member at all), but I have enough experience with it to know what it is about and to know that it is not something that I will ever be comfortable with, aside from the type of meeting described here:

Agnostic A.A. Meetings in New York City
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:35 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
This discussion reminds me of when I'm amongst gay acquaintences, and theres always someone gay who addresses everyone as fag or queen and when I say "I'm not a fag, i'm gay" they say "well its the same thing". Its not. To say you're addicted to alcohol carries vastly different connotations than to say you're an alkie. I quit smoking cigs two years ago after smoking a pack a day for years and I'm not a cigaret-holic.

I'm gay. I'm not a homosexual. I'm just gay as in happy. Not gay gay but happy gay. Reminds me of that movie Slingblade....."oh, he's not funny ha ha..."

love john ritter
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:39 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
But I am not addicted to alcohol, never really have been but I am still an alcoholic. It is not about physical addiction it is a mental thing.

If it was only about a physical addition then as soon as people with a problem with drugs/alcohol had a few days/weeks clean they would never drink/use again...but this is not the case, they drink/use again because of their mental state not because of anything physical.
I could add that psychological dependence could very well be because of changes in brain chemistry and structure. Physical changes in the brain that is to say, hence tissue dependence maybe?
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by zencat View Post
I could add that psychological dependence could very well be because of changes in brain chemistry and structure. Physical changes in the brain that is to say, hence tissue dependence maybe?
That's very true, Zen. After all, if you change or do damage to the brain, it changes your personality/psychological makeup. When it comes down to it, everything about us is physically based.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
That's very true, Zen. After all, if you change or do damage to the brain, it changes your personality/psychological makeup. When it comes down to it, everything about us is physically based.
True, true. Vitamins, how we eat, exercise, even pets lower blood pressure. But the holes in the brain are something entirely different.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:12 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
But I am not addicted to alcohol, never really have been but I am still an alcoholic. It is not about physical addiction it is a mental thing.

If it was only about a physical addition then as soon as people with a problem with drugs/alcohol had a few days/weeks clean they would never drink/use again...but this is not the case, they drink/use again because of their mental state not because of anything physical.
Sorry Stone, but we will have to agree to disagree here. When you wake up with the shakes and only a drink works, you know there is a physical dependence going on. That is the psychiatric term for alcoholic and I much prefer it. I've had this happen on several occasions - the shakes. A couple of times I thought I was going to seize. However, one can never discount the powerful mental addiction as well. Something that was really weird - I was on 400 mgs of a mood stabilizer. I had a bottle of wine in my refrigerator for a month and FORGOT it was there. No - to me - this really is a cellular deal. Oh, ,and BTW, alcohol WILL kill during withdrawals. I know of no other "drug" capable of doing that. Oh, except for Benzos. Point is, they are all such powerful CNS's that they do kill if not medically managed when severe.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:24 PM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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I'm honestly not sure what I am. I am most definitely addicted to pot and alcohol on some level. When I was clean for 4 1/2 months, what I craved doing, and what I eventually went back to was smoking pot. I got used to having it around, then I ran out. So, I turned to beer because I can just go the store and buy it. I was doing pretty good at keeping it light, but the longer I couldn't find weed, the more I used alcohol. Sunday, while hanging out with friends, I ended up drinking enough to lose track of how much I was consuming. All of a sudden, I became overwhelmed, could barely stand up. My friends took me the whole 2 blocks home and I crashed on the bed, fully dressed until my gf came home. Yesterday, I drank 2 beers to try to kill the hangover, nothing more. Today, I am jittery (I'm sure the coffee didn't help) and still feel hungover (please no more spinning smilies, lol). I want weed, but it's dry. I know a couple of beers will make me feel better.. for a while. And I could have a couple and stop like I did yesterday. But, if I keep drinking, unless I am very careful, eventually I'll probably overdue it again.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I'm honestly not sure what I am. I am most definitely addicted to pot and alcohol on some level. When I was clean for 4 1/2 months, what I craved doing, and what I eventually went back to was smoking pot. I got used to having it around, then I ran out. So, I turned to beer because I can just go the store and buy it. I was doing pretty good at keeping it light, but the longer I couldn't find weed, the more I used alcohol. Sunday, while hanging out with friends, I ended up drinking enough to lose track of how much I was consuming. All of a sudden, I became overwhelmed, could barely stand up. My friends took me the whole 2 blocks home and I crashed on the bed, fully dressed until my gf came home. Yesterday, I drank 2 beers to try to kill the hangover, nothing more. Today, I am jittery (I'm sure the coffee didn't help) and still feel hungover (please no more spinning smilies, lol). I want weed, but it's dry. I know a couple of beers will make me feel better.. for a while. And I could have a couple and stop like I did yesterday. But, if I keep drinking, unless I am very careful, eventually I'll probably overdue it again.
Yes, DK. Only you know what you are. And labels are not all that useful. However, if I had my druthers, I'd do nothing but eat SOMA. But I spent too much time in court and am just not willing to go back there (in a professional capacity. My ONLY legal issue is with that SOB rehab in CA). So, am I an addict, really? I am only willing to go to the lengths of something that is legal. I dunno. What I know for sure is that red wine is only healthy in moderation. And I don't moderate. And I have had the shakes. I guess that makes me "something." And kudos to you for NOT drinking beers. That does say something - you don't like beer or you're not alcohol dependent? I dunno. Oh, and coffee SURE doesn't help. I had two cups and was shaking. Go figure.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:35 PM
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What I have found is that when people with addictions, problems with...alchohol, drugs whatever...share with me what works for them in overcoming this......I get new ideas, some of which work for me. It also helps me to sort out what works and doesn't for me....

I don't much care if you call yourself an alchoholic or addict or a blueberry.....if you have found a way to stop drinking/using, stop obsessing about drinking/using, and found a way to deal with life sober/clean....then i can probably learn from you.

If you are still using/drinking...and I share with you what works for me....I seem to grow in understanding my solutions and i develop compassion, and sometimes crazy as it is....you will teach me something about how to live sober...it's happened more than once
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:54 PM
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Thanks Nanda !

I totally agree! pssst I am a blueberry please dont tell anyone.

On a serious note, for me, the labels, they are just that. There are a million different ways to describe something in words. Personally I dont like the term alcoholic, so I dont use it. I dont feel that this detracts from my recovery anymore than calling my husband my huzzy. Do I feel less committed to him because I call him something besides what society deems to be the correct word? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
In my opinion its not important what you call it as long as you know what the problem is and find a way a deal with that problem that is going to reach you personally. For all I care you can say... I have a problem....I am an alkie....I overuse....Im endangering myself....as long as you seek the help you need I dont think it matters what you call it. That is just my opinion of course.

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Old 04-28-2009, 01:09 PM
  # 58 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
Sorry Stone, but we will have to agree to disagree here. When you wake up with the shakes and only a drink works, you know there is a physical dependence going on. That is the psychiatric term for alcoholic and I much prefer it. I've had this happen on several occasions - the shakes. A couple of times I thought I was going to seize. However, one can never discount the powerful mental addiction as well. Something that was really weird - I was on 400 mgs of a mood stabilizer. I had a bottle of wine in my refrigerator for a month and FORGOT it was there. No - to me - this really is a cellular deal. Oh, ,and BTW, alcohol WILL kill during withdrawals. I know of no other "drug" capable of doing that. Oh, except for Benzos. Point is, they are all such powerful CNS's that they do kill if not medically managed when severe.
What are we disagreeing about? I know there is such a thing as physical addiction to alcohol.

After that month had passed with the bottle of wine in your fridge, what made you start drinking again? Not your physical addiction cos that was passed, it was your mind that lead you to drink again.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by zencat View Post
I could add that psychological dependence could very well be because of changes in brain chemistry and structure. Physical changes in the brain that is to say, hence tissue dependence maybe?
Maybe but I would say it is more likely learned ways of coping with my depression. Maladaptive ways, of course.

If what you have always (20+ years) done to cope with depression has been to drink then it becomes ingrained.

What you say might be true though.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
What are we disagreeing about? I know there is such a thing as physical addiction to alcohol.

After that month had passed with the bottle of wine in your fridge, what made you start drinking again? Not your physical addiction cos that was passed, it was your mind that lead you to drink again.

True, in part. But it was abuse that led to it. I took too long to make breakfast.
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