Blogs


Notices

Is Knowledge of your Physical Ailment.....

Old 08-08-2010, 09:29 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
Is Knowledge of your Physical Ailment.....

Dangerous?

I will preface this with I don't intend to drink again, and I really enjoy sobriety. But with my new found knowledge of why I don't have an "off switch", the dopamine is released in higher amounts and continues to ask for more etc, etc. I was curious if anyone else has tested having another drink or drinks, knowing why they are craving more. With this knowledge that the mind is basically tricking you into drinking a case of beer or a whole bottle of vodka, when in reality you now know that after 3 beers or 2 or 3 drinks should be more than enough.

Like I said I'm not going back to drink, but I am curious if anyone has because of the scientific knowledge they now have of their problem, thinking that they would be stronger this time or if it was just for experimentation? And if so did the knowledge prove to be helpful or detrimental? Just wondering.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
luckedog (08-09-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010)
Old 08-08-2010, 09:38 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 193,757
Blog Entries: 1
I tried various experiments for 20 years...not a great gameplan for me.

Suggesting I don't have an off switch didn't help me - although I confirmed that hypothesis with a considerable degree of certainty.

I still don't know 'for sure' what made me an alcoholic?

But I know for sure what happens to me and my life when I drink - it may not be scientific, but it's good enough for me

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), luckedog (08-09-2010), MelindaFlowers (08-08-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), recycle (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-08-2010, 09:51 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Proud Neonephalist
 
Murray4x5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North Coast BC Canada
Posts: 1,141
I've never tried to quit before so can't speak from experience, but from what I've read if a person does start drinking again it hits the limbic systems reset button. All that time fighting urges gets wasted, and you're back to square one.

Think of it this way; the dumbest kid in class will remember which house gave the biggest chocolate bars last year at Halloween. That's what you risk waking up, evolutions deeply rooted reward system with a really long memory.

It sends a cold fear into my gut even thinking of trying that.

Murray
Murray4x5 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Murray4x5 For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), luckedog (08-09-2010), MelindaFlowers (08-08-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010), Tomm (08-22-2010), Zencat (08-09-2010)
Old 08-08-2010, 10:06 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
luckedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rural OK
Posts: 329
This is a repeat of another post i made. Maybe it makes some sense here too;
Originally Posted by luckedog View Post
In my experience no matter how long you have quit (if you’re an alcoholic) you can never go back to just a drink or two. Alcoholism by its very nature is "progressive" meaning it gets worse the longer we drink. Example- I smoked a pack a day for 25 years. During that time I "quit" several hundred times. From 2 days to 6 months, every time I started back I thought I could control the amount I smoked. It ended up back to smoking a pack every day. In 1992 I quit for good, haven’t had a cigarette since. I still want one occasionally but I learned by experience I couldn’t smoke just one! To me the same is true with alcohol- except it PROGRESSES; you need more and more until it consumes your life. It destroys your ambition, your energy, your relationships, your jobs ect.ect......
Last year I came to realize I can NEVER drink like “normal” people. Unless I want to allow it to destroy my whole life I cannot drink again! I have accepted that as a fact of life and am moving on . I’m becoming creative again, more energy, healthier, happier, more at peace with myself and so on. I have lost nothing by quitting and gained everything!
This is only my personal experience- nothing scientific about it,every one is a little different! Please be careful, it was that kind of thinking that caused me to slip back several times!
luckedog is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to luckedog For This Useful Post:
Dee74 (08-08-2010), ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-08-2010, 11:10 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Ainslie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Posts: 645
Ah, the question that goes round and round in my head.....I really appreciate Dee's responses to most of these questions.....its what I need to hear!

From what Ive read on the boards.....some people succeed in controlling their drinking for limited time....but most go back to tragic boozehounds pretty quickly.

Mind over matter? Maybe.....this is why Im so interested in CBT. I have a friend with a psych degree and a meth addiction.....but she firmly believes that with CBT and various other therapies, one day she'll be able to just use when she wants to and not form a habit again? I'm not game to take the risk, but while she's adamant she can do it, ill happily spectate In this respect, I dont see how alcohol is different to other drugs. Do you ask a recovering heroin addict if he/she can just have say an eighth of what it would take him/her to get high? (the equivalent of a 'couple of drinks' to an alcoholic?)

Just my two cents
Ainslie is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Ainslie For This Useful Post:
Dee74 (08-09-2010), luckedog (08-09-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 12:08 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 193,757
Blog Entries: 1
I found it more beneficial to try and work out why I still wanted to use, even in a controlled way, despite everything I'd done to myself & everything that happened to me....

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
Ainslie (08-09-2010), lillyknitting (08-20-2010), luckedog (08-09-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), recycle (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 03:33 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
In addition to understanding the logical, scientific reasons I drank, part of my recovery plan is realizing on every level that alcohol is poison. So even if I convinced myself that I could stop at one or two (not likely) I don't see any reason to drink. It would be the equivalent of sipping arsenic to make my skin whiter (which yes, women used to do).
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
Ainslie (08-09-2010), Dee74 (08-09-2010), lillyknitting (08-20-2010), luckedog (08-09-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), recycle (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 08:44 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Ethanol Intolerant
 
recycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 665
Blog Entries: 3
When I was a kid, my brother and I found and old magazine from the 50’s. It had an article that described a yogi that could drink a glass of battery acid and then eat the glass. The fact that someone can develop the mind/body control to accomplish this is interesting, but it is not something I wish to replicate.

Health is not a destination, it is a way of living. For me the path of least resistance is to let go of the desire to drink. Why make it more difficult? Would I feel like a champ if I could drink again?

Like two golden birds on the selfsame tree,
the ego and the Self dwell in the same body.
The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of
the tree of life, while the latter looks on in
detachment.

The Mundaka Upanishad
recycle is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to recycle For This Useful Post:
luckedog (08-13-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 09:17 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
I was just looking at the knowledge that I now have regarding my problem. I always thought it was a mental weakness, not a truly physical thing that made me different than other drinkers. This is the second time that I have waged an all out war at getting sober and both attempts have been successful, the first time I planned on quitting for a year, and I did. This time I said never again, and I plan on following through on it. But I do feel that now I have a greater knowledge of my problem it isn't as hard for me, (after 40 some days sober), to steer clear of booze and not want it entirely.

I knew by writing this post that I would get alot of feedback regarding, "why would you ever drink again", but I was just curious to see if the more knowledge you have about your problem makes it easier to stop it, or whether that new knowledge makes it easier for your alcoholic mind to give in and say "now I understand what's going on, I can control it".

Again, I am living my life one day at a time as far as my drinking is concerned, but by learning more about the physical aspects of my ailment, I do feel more powerful against it. I was just looking to see if anyone had tested the theory and drank again, and if they did after understanding their problem in a greater sense, whether it made any kind of difference. It was just a question I was pondering, because I do feel that I am much stronger now that I have the knowledge of why I have always been the person who doesn't know when to say when, it wasn't just because I am a weak minded individual who is a drunk. But thank you all for your input.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
luckedog (08-10-2010), readyforhelp (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 09:18 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
☯ ⓌⒾⓁⓁ☯
 
Zencat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxnard (The Nard), CA, USA.
Posts: 8,279
Blog Entries: 12
Originally Posted by Super
...because of the scientific knowledge they now have of their problem,...
With what I know (and have experienced) about addiction, drinking would reactivate the brain's dopamine reward-craving system. Causing urges and compulsions to drink more. That is counterproductive of me trying to build new behaviors that support my recovery. In turn building new reward circuity in my brain by experiencing the joys and rewards of recovery.
Zencat is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Zencat For This Useful Post:
Ainslie (08-09-2010), ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), luckedog (08-10-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 09:38 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Thanks Supercrew, for clarifying your post a little. I do think scientific knowledge helps me in recovery. I need to understand a problem in order to fix it, it's how I approach all problems. Despite the fact that I believe in God, it isn't enough for me just to "release" my problem into his hands. I believe God helps those who help themselves.

By having a knowledge about the science of addiction I don't have to rely on willpower to not drink, because I have the knowledge of what that will cause to happen to me.

My Godmother has Celiac disease, she understands the science of what that means, doesn't mean she's going to eat a muffin because she understands it.
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 10:08 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
Thanks LaFemme! I do understand that once you find out you are allergic to shellfish, common sense would tell you never to eat shellfish again, but I have a problem solving type of personality. And over the past 41 days, I have put myself in many situations where I could have easily had a drink, but I chose not to, and I intend to continue on that way, and it has been alot easier for me this time around with the knowledge that I have gain from this site and the people that post here. That being said, I could never figure out, why I could drink a case of beer and half a bottle of vodka, and be drunk as a skunk barely able to walk, knowing there was no way I could get any drunker, and yet pour myself another drink. I would sit there in a drunken stupor, sipping my 25th drink and wonder to myself, "why would you do it, you can't get any drunker, and you are only going to feel worse in the AM". Yet I would finish that tumbler of booze. I never was able to say, "Oh, that's right, my brain is wired wrong, I react to alcohol differently than others, you aren't going to get any higher", and let common sense kick in. I know the AA mantra of never being cured from alcoholism, and that is why I posted the question here, because it seems as though most of the people in the secular arena are a little more open minded. I'm am not saying that having a greater knowledge of your problem will cure you, but I was wondering if anyone had taken a shot to see if being more self aware of what is going on physically has helped anybody if they did drink again. The more I learn the better off I will be. I don't want to experiment myself, because I am feeling very strong about my 41 days, and I am proud that I am staying sober. I really don't think I will ever have a problem again, but I am still curious about my addiction.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), luckedog (08-10-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 10:20 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Never settle.
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
Scientific knowledge of my addiction (in my case specifically methamphetamine) helped me get clean because I understood what was happening in my brain, that effectively I couldn't be happy without my meth because the dopamine production in my brain had been switched off and it would take a while for production to be ramped up so I could be happy again. This helped me understand that what I was feeling, with my level of use, was temporary. Eventually it would go away and I'd be ok and wouldn't need meth to get through the day. It took almost a year.

But that's just the thing that makes me unwilling to use again. I know it would start all over; the knowledge of what happens in my brain combined with the knowledge of how I will feel makes a little easier to pass. I also know this from experience. How many times did I "quit" then think that one more, just because this friend is in town, just because no one was around, just because I had a tough week, just because I had a good week, just because that exam was difficult, just because that exam was easy, just because my dealer had the killer... you get the point? There's always one more reason to justify it, and knowing all the science in the world regarding addiction won't flip the switch in your brain when you've had enough.

"Enough" for an addict is ZERO. I don't believe I'm shackled by addiction for the rest of my life, that you can recover and you don't have to be a victim to your own chemistry for the rest of your life. But deciding to use again would pretty much literally be betting my life on whether I can control it. It's just not worth it.
gneiss is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to gneiss For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), KariSue (08-10-2010), luckedog (08-10-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010), topspin (08-10-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 10:24 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 590
Originally Posted by Supercrew View Post
Dangerous?

I will preface this with I don't intend to drink again, and I really enjoy sobriety. But with my new found knowledge of why I don't have an "off switch", the dopamine is released in higher amounts and continues to ask for more etc, etc. I was curious if anyone else has tested having another drink or drinks, knowing why they are craving more. With this knowledge that the mind is basically tricking you into drinking a case of beer or a whole bottle of vodka, when in reality you now know that after 3 beers or 2 or 3 drinks should be more than enough.

Like I said I'm not going back to drink, but I am curious if anyone has because of the scientific knowledge they now have of their problem, thinking that they would be stronger this time or if it was just for experimentation? And if so did the knowledge prove to be helpful or detrimental? Just wondering.
This really isn't in response to your question but I've heard more than one seriously overweight person say they don't have an "Off Switch" so that term caught my eye in your post.

One girl on my low carb forum has been struggling for years and finally figured out that her body cannot handle carbs (sugar or starch). When she eats about 20 carbs or less a day she says it seems like she has an "Off Switch" again. She has even seen the difference in cravings depending on what time of the day she eats the carbs. Even so much as a little milk in her coffee triggers carb cravings. She must be super sensitive to them.

I was just wondering whether diet could make a difference with the craving for alcohol as well. I know this sounds weird but I once read that alcoholics and even children of alcoholics seem to crave sugar. My husband's mom was an alcoholic but he isn't. He seems to be a sugar craver though and has the diabetes to prove it.

Kari
KariSue is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to KariSue For This Useful Post:
Ainslie (08-09-2010), ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010), topspin (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 10:34 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Never settle.
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
Originally Posted by KariSue View Post
This really isn't in response to your question but I've heard more than one seriously overweight person say they don't have an "Off Switch" so that term caught my eye in your post.

One girl on my low carb forum has been struggling for years and finally figured out that her body cannot handle carbs (sugar or starch). When she eats about 20 carbs or less a day she says it seems like she has an "Off Switch" again. She has even seen the difference in cravings depending on what time of the day she eats the carbs. Even so much as a little milk in her coffee triggers carb cravings. She must be super sensitive to them.

I was just wondering whether diet could make a difference with the craving for alcohol as well. I know this sounds weird but I once read that alcoholics and even children of alcoholics seem to crave sugar. My husband's mom was an alcoholic but he isn't. He seems to be a sugar craver though and has the diabetes to prove it.

Kari
This sort of suggests that if drug/alcohol use is like eating carbs, there might be some low level of use that would be manageable. I've yet to meet the alkie or druggie for whom this is true. Seems like once we start there really isn't a stopping place.
gneiss is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to gneiss For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 10:44 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
I am also a low carb/no carb person. I have been active in the lowcarb lifestyle for about 8 years. One of the reasons I drank vodka and Lite beer, (only 3.2 carbs). But now that I am not drinking alcohol at all I have been craving sugar more. I have been losing weight even though I have been eating sugar more often. In fact I never craved sweets previously, but I read that having some sugar in the AM would help with the effects of a hangover. So I think there is a connection.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), KariSue (08-10-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 12:36 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Supercrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SoCal CA
Posts: 1,319
Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
This sort of suggests that if drug/alcohol use is like eating carbs, there might be some low level of use that would be manageable. I've yet to meet the alkie or druggie for whom this is true. Seems like once we start there really isn't a stopping place.
I don't see it as equating carbs to drugs/alcohol use. And no offense, but I have trouble equating alcohol abuse to drug use. Being that meth and coke and heroin and MJ are illegal and I have been told throughout my life that drugs are bad, common sense steered me as far as I could possibly go away from them. Alcohol on the other hand is legal and socially acceptable....and in some cases expected, like when you turn 21. I'm not saying it is right, but it is what it is.

If I were to use meth or heroin or cocaine, I would expect to become addicted to it and die. That was what I was taught from a very young age, and you couldn't hold me down and force it on me. Alcohol never held that stigma so I have trouble equating the two, so I apologize.

The process of quitting drinking for me has not been hard when it has made sense to me. Making sense meant causing more pain in my life than pleasure from the buzz. I want to live a sober life, and I know I can accomplish that, but I was just curious if anyone has had a drinking experience after knowing why, (scientifically) they used to drink in excess. And whether this helped them control it or moderate. Like I said this knowledge has helped me to quit, and has helped me explain why I drank the way I did. I was wondering whether this info now could also help someone to moderate, or whether the knowledge has given someone a false sense of security and proved detrimental in their recovery.
Supercrew is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Supercrew For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 12:51 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Originally Posted by KariSue View Post
One girl on my low carb forum has been struggling for years and finally figured out that her body cannot han
I was just wondering whether diet could make a difference with the craving for alcohol as well. I know this sounds weird but I once read that alcoholics and even children of alcoholics seem to crave sugar. My husband's mom was an alcoholic but he isn't. He seems to be a sugar craver though and has the diabetes to prove it.

Kari
There is a lot of research that points to a correlation between diet, sugar cravings and alcoholism. I think I have posted links elsewhere to some of it, will see if I can find them somewhere:-)
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 12:56 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Originally Posted by Supercrew View Post
Thanks LaFemme! I do understand that once you find out you are allergic to shellfish, common sense would tell you never to eat shellfish again, but I have a problem solving type of personality. And over the past 41 days, I have put myself in many situations where I could have easily had a drink, but I chose not to, and I intend to continue on that way, and it has been alot easier for me this time around with the knowledge that I have gain from this site and the people that post here. That being said, I could never figure out, why I could drink a case of beer and half a bottle of vodka, and be drunk as a skunk barely able to walk, knowing there was no way I could get any drunker, and yet pour myself another drink. I would sit there in a drunken stupor, sipping my 25th drink and wonder to myself, "why would you do it, you can't get any drunker, and you are only going to feel worse in the AM". Yet I would finish that tumbler of booze. I never was able to say, "Oh, that's right, my brain is wired wrong, I react to alcohol differently than others, you aren't going to get any higher", and let common sense kick in. I know the AA mantra of never being cured from alcoholism, and that is why I posted the question here, because it seems as though most of the people in the secular arena are a little more open minded. I'm am not saying that having a greater knowledge of your problem will cure you, but I was wondering if anyone had taken a shot to see if being more self aware of what is going on physically has helped anybody if they did drink again. The more I learn the better off I will be. I don't want to experiment myself, because I am feeling very strong about my 41 days, and I am proud that I am staying sober. I really don't think I will ever have a problem again, but I am still curious about my addiction.
I don't subscribe to the point of view that once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. I plan on being an "ex-drinker", which means I don't think that cravings for alcohol will be with me my whole life. A lot of my philosophy in this regards comes from the Allen Carr book. I actually think I could probably take a sip of alcohol today and stop at that (not a glass), mostly because I find even the faintest whiff of alcohol repugnant at this point. Of course I was disgusted by alcohol probably the last 6 months of my drinking life yet I continued to make myself drink it.
LaFemme is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010), Supercrew (08-09-2010)
Old 08-09-2010, 12:57 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
LaFemme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 5,285
Oh and regarding drugs vs. alcohol, I never did drugs myself, like you I was terrified of them. However, many say that an alcohol addiction is worse than most drug addictions to get over. Partly chemical, and partly because it is, as you said, socially expected and acceptable.
LaFemme is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to LaFemme For This Useful Post:
ElegantlyWasted (08-09-2010)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:46 PM.