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Some Important Realizations

Old 03-17-2013, 12:33 PM
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Some Important Realizations

Ok so I was sober for a month recently before falling into 2 days of excessive drinking. The last day I've been sober and considering some real truths. I read the AVRT literature and several other souces besides and I've really taken to heart a few things. Please indulge me so typing all this, I'm sure you have all thought of it before but I need to get it out of my head and see some comments to solidify it all.

I cannot accept the idea that alcoholism is a disease. As a person with a genuine physical problem which causes tremendous amounts of pain and fatigue, the idea this is a disease just annoys me. A voluntary action of tipping alcohol down my throat is not the same as an illness which you have no control over. This means I cannot possibly accept the help from AA as they just seem to be a group of people who are constantly feeling sorry for themselves, they think they are victims and I utterly hate that. I'm not a victim, i'm someone who does something bad to myself! Then there is this higher power nonsense, handing your addiction over to a higher power because you don't have the power to deal with it yourself is just so alien to me I cannot possibly accept it. Admitting I am powerless over my own behavior? Really? No sorry that's just stupid. I am responsible for every action I take.

I realised a sad truth today. I don't want to drink but when I do it is my own fault. It's utter selfishness. I know it will harm me and yet I still do it because it makes me feel good. Of the shame afterwards is pretty unpleasant but those golden moments when I'm feeling a buzz are seductive and reel me back in. This is nothing more than self gratification, there is no underlying reasons for it. Oh hey sometimes I'm in so much pain physically that I drink to stop it, but lets face it, my doctor offered me painkillers and I refused. Of courwse I refused because I was fearful of addiction, at least that is what I told myself but the truth is that I didn't want to take them because I would no longer have an excuse to drink!

All of this, every moment has been my own fault and it's time I fully lived up to that idea. There are no excuses, no matter how much research shows addicts brains light up more than average people it isn't enough to excuse the behaviour. Addicts quit and stay sober everyday, if they can then it negates any genetic predisposition because it shows self control can win out.

So now I'm going forward with this in mind. I've been sober for 2 days and I've ordered a book recommended by someone on here to learn some coping techniques. The truth is a hard pill to swallow and while I had definitely viewed some o these things before, I had not taken them to heart. Now I have. I intend to stay sober, but if I ever fall I have to remember not to kick myself. It is my fault, no one elses but I have a choice to wallow in self pity or continue on. Well I've had self pity long enough, now it's time to take full responsibility for my drink problem. I don't have underlying mental health issues that can explain it, it's just pure selfishness. Thanks for everyone who read this to the end, I just needed to get it out of me on a public forum. I can't do support groups, the idea of sitting around discussing my feelings in public fills me with disgust and I feel it would bring on the self pity. But online it always feels different. My record is 3 months sober, recently I did one month but I've noticed a pattern lately. I am staying sober more than I am getting drunk, and that can only be a good sign.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:26 PM
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I could have written this a few months back. I agree with you about the disease thing, but I will not argue with anyone who wants to see addiction as a disease rather than, well - an addiction. My feelings too, about groups and unloading in public. 2 days is a start for sure, just keep it going.
I did it to myself, my body is paying the price and I pray that I can get some reprieve for my damaged organ(s).
I too stopped a few years back for about 6 months, I was in a totally different place back then and I dare say things were going better then, than they are now - with the drinking. The difference now, for some reason is that seeing things full on and taking control over my situation. (recently unemployed, job sucked, but that's another story) is making me feel really positive even about the $hitty things that come with unemployment.
Happy Sunday!
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:35 PM
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Welcome Brother Dave!

I think you'll find some answers you're looking for here in this section of the forum. I came here with a similar outlook and I found some answers.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:50 PM
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Have you thought that both things can be true? It is a disease but it's your own fault when you drink? That's my approach.

Compare it to a peanut allergy or diabetes. You can't have peanuts/sugary snacks or you will become very ill. But you (or the pleasure center of the brain - whatever theory suits you) likes peanuts/snacks a lot, so once in a while you eat some peanuts, feel good for a while and then get the allergic reaction, that others don't get.

So it's your fault that you had those peanuts (or alcohol) as you knew you would get sick (a disease) from it.

Solution: Find something that gives you joy, but never drink again (or eat peanuts)
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
Have you thought that both things can be true? It is a disease but it's your own fault when you drink? That's my approach.
No sorry but it's not the same. As someone who suffers froma genuine physical problem believe me it's utterly insulting to think of alcoholism as a disease.

A disease you can't fix by simply stopping a behaviour. I can't fix my physical illness by wishing it better or doing something differently. It's there, it will always be there and the only t hing that can fix it is some kind of medical discovery.

Addiction is a choice. It may sneak up on us at the beginning. It snuck up on me and I never realise it was a problem. But once you recognise it as a problem the choice occurs, and my choice is to stop. If I manage to stop then my problem goes away.

I will succeed. It may mean some failures, it may mean some troubles, but in the end I will be sober and staying that way. This is the realization I've come to.

I hope it's ok if I post my proress in the secular forums. Every time I post in the gneral forum I get AA recommended to me and it's a little wearing.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
No sorry but it's not the same. As someone who suffers froma genuine physical problem believe me it's utterly insulting to think of alcoholism as a disease.
Alcoholism in itself may not be a disease, but it certainly can contribute to them, here are but a few:

Anemia
Cancer
Cardiovascular disease
Cirrhosis


A disease you can't fix by simply stopping a behaviour. I can't fix my physical illness by wishing it better or doing something differently. It's there, it will always be there and the only t hing that can fix it is some kind of medical discovery.
New flash! Quit drinking and you can prevent the above diseases!

Addiction is a choice. It may sneak up on us at the beginning. It snuck up on me and I never realise it was a problem. But once you recognise it as a problem the choice occurs, and my choice is to stop. If I manage to stop then my problem goes away.
Does it? Alcoholism is rarely a choice me make. Gee I think I'll become an alcoholic because well its something to do. No, usually it is a coping mechanism for something we want to bury/forget/ignore etc.


I will succeed. It may mean some failures, it may mean some troubles, but in the end I will be sober and staying that way. This is the realization I've come to.
This is the first step, acceptance. But to succeed you must accept that you are an alcoholic. To be free from alcoholism means you must quit! There are no other options.

I hope it's ok if I post my proress in the secular forums. Every time I post in the gneral forum I get AA recommended to me and it's a little wearing.
Yes! By all means post your progress, read other peoples stories, filter out what may not be right for you, but do allow what might be right for you to get through those filters!

You are at the door step of freeing yourself from this horrid condition, will you go through the door?
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
I hope it's ok if I post my progress in the secular forums. Every time I post in the general forum I get AA recommended to me and it's a little wearing.
Here we don't wear YOU down, we wear down that maladaptive appetite within you called your Beast. We do that by exposing how easy it is to make a Big Plan, and how the only thing you'll be giving up is the deeeeep pleasure of chemically enhanced stupidity.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:02 AM
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You can put me down in the category of "I don't care if Dave calls it a 'disease' or a 'Strawberry Twinkie' as long as he learns to deal with it effectively".
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
No sorry but it's not the same. As someone who suffers froma genuine physical problem believe me it's utterly insulting to think of alcoholism as a disease.

A disease you can't fix by simply stopping a behaviour. I can't fix my physical illness by wishing it better or doing something differently. It's there, it will always be there and the only t hing that can fix it is some kind of medical discovery.

Addiction is a choice. It may sneak up on us at the beginning. It snuck up on me and I never realise it was a problem. But once you recognise it as a problem the choice occurs, and my choice is to stop. If I manage to stop then my problem goes away.
That's not true. Many scientific studies have shown (permanent) changes in the brain of addicts or people that are more likely to get addicted.
People with low risk for cocaine dependence have differently shaped brain to those with addiction

Studies also show a genetic component to alcoholism:
Genetic signs of alcoholism in women studied for the first time
From that link:
"many studies have shown that there are genetic endowments that can confer greater susceptibility to alcoholism. For example, some variations in enzyme-encoding genes that break down the alcohol molecule are known to be closely associated with a higher intake, since they cause a variation in its metabolization rate which can be up to 30 times higher."

Also your alcoholism will always be there, even if you stop drinking. A proof of that is tolerance, even when you stop for months or years, when you pick up drinking again, you will be back at the same drinking amount within days.

Would you tell someone with diabetes that it is a choice?

It's great that you want to stop and I wish you all the best. However please don't think that after a while it will go away and perhaps in a few years you can go back to moderate drinking, because alcoholics can't.

If it was just a matter of choice, we could choose to drink less and normal amounts.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:20 AM
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Edit to my post above:

I have reread my post and it sounds way too harsh and too criticizing. Sorry for that. The most important thing is that you don't want to drink alcohol again and which method you use to accomplish that doesn't really matter. Science, AA, AVRT, Higher Powers, Choice or others, as long you have the desire to quit, it's all good. I wish you all the best!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
Edit to my post above:

I have reread my post and it sounds way too harsh and too criticizing. Sorry for that. The most important thing is that you don't want to drink alcohol again and which method you use to accomplish that doesn't really matter. Science, AA, AVRT, Higher Powers, Choice or others, as long you have the desire to quit, it's all good. I wish you all the best!
Thing is I have read all of those studies and it doesn't change a simple fact, we choose to drink. Other addicts stop and stay stopped, they have those brain changes and those genetic predispositions yet they give up. That shows for the rest of us who haven't stopped yet that it is a choice. Professor Nutt has some excellent research of fMRI scans of addicts which shows these changes but they only make us more likely to drink, the choice is ours.

But it's much easier to just blame our genes, upbringing, brain structure etc rather than face up to the reality that we are in control and responsible for our actions.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:39 AM
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I am still sober today although the withdrawal is kicking in.

I'm surprised that after only a 2 day lapse I'm getting withdrawal again, I didn't realise such a small lapse would cause it. Hopefully it won't be too bad, atm just have an awful headache. Blood pressure and heart rate are normal, I always keep an eye on them during withdrawal.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:18 AM
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A headache ain't so bad. Could be worse, yeah? Good to hear you're on top of it though. Awesome.

It won't be long, and this too will be behind you. Live and learn.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
Thing is I have read all of those studies and it doesn't change a simple fact, we choose to drink. Other addicts stop and stay stopped, they have those brain changes and those genetic predispositions yet they give up. That shows for the rest of us who haven't stopped yet that it is a choice. Professor Nutt has some excellent research of fMRI scans of addicts which shows these changes but they only make us more likely to drink, the choice is ours.

But it's much easier to just blame our genes, upbringing, brain structure etc rather than face up to the reality that we are in control and responsible for our actions.
Davey, but I am saying almost exactly the same It is our choice to drink, I agree. But the scientific proof that we react differently to alcohol than normal drinkers gave me extra motivation and reasons to quit and never drink again.

I blame my genes for processing alcohol differently than normal drinkers. But I blame myself for being so stupid that it took me so long to accept these facts. I blame myself that it took me so long to realize that I am the only one who can make me stop drinking.

Just read this great article: Rats, like humans, return to drinking once punishment is removed

There is nothing that can make us stop drinking except for our own desire to quit and the commitment to that decision.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
I am still sober today although the withdrawal is kicking in.

I'm surprised that after only a 2 day lapse I'm getting withdrawal again, I didn't realise such a small lapse would cause it. Hopefully it won't be too bad, atm just have an awful headache. Blood pressure and heart rate are normal, I always keep an eye on them during withdrawal.
Davey, that's the effect of kindling Kindling (sedative-hypnotic withdrawal) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Each withdrawal leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms than the previous withdrawal syndrome. Reading that article was the final push for me commit myself to life without alcohol.

You are doing great, just like Robbie said, hang in there, the effects will be gone within a few days and you will be ready for a new life without alcohol
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:18 AM
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Here's my take on it which is offered as another perspective you can consider as you find your own:

The fact is, many people are able to indulge in drinking and even drugging, in a social manner. I cannot. The difference is that from my very first usage, I used drugs (including alcohol) as a solution to lifes problems.

Every sentient being seeks pleasure and avoids pain - there is nothing amoral or strange about this. Alcohol and drugs worked for me to this end for a time. Though alcohol and drugs did stop working for me, what was there for me to do? I had not learned or developed other solutions to lifes problems as so I went to the only solution I ever knew.

When alcohol and drugs became a greater problem than the problems I was trying to solve, it became time to quit - but I had no coping skills, no solutions for life's problems, nothing. As a result, quitting alcohol and drugs did not solve the problem. What quitting alcohol and drugs did do was remove that problem and the new problems that was creating so that I could devote energy to learning how to live life on life's terms, to learn how to live with unfortunate and sometimes devastating emotions, and to cope with and resolve lingering pain.

Without this second half, quitting alcohol and drugs was useless. It was like going on a diet. I might keep a strict diet for a day, a week, maybe even a month or in extraordinary cases - maybe even a year! But I will eventually succumb to a piece of cheesecake because cheesecake rocks. Same thing with alcohol and drugs. I can remove them from my diet but the day will come when my willpower will falter, the diet will go out the window and I will pick up.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:01 PM
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Thanks for that legna, sad to say I have no problems in life that cause me to drink. My physical disability gets me very down sometimes due to the level of pain involved but that's just an excuse I give to justify my drinking rather than something that is a genuine cause of drinking. My life really isn't bad. I just think the alcohol snuck up on me, I would have 1 or 2 drinks, then a few times I got drunk and it just went from there. Before I knew it I had a dependency and I loved the taste of wine and beer and the feeling of being drunk.

But I've been sober a few times now, longest being 3 months and I'm trying to build on that success. If I did it once I can do it again.


I have a massive headache due to withdrawal and I know it will go away if I drink. But I also know that eventually I'll have to go through withdrawal and i'll get it anyway. I also know if I drink then the day after I will feel horribly ashamed. I've also noticed the physical pain I'm in is better when I'm sober for more than 2 weeks, it doesn't go away but it's noticeably better.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:17 PM
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For my recovery, I don't care whether it is a disease or not. I only care whether drinking causes misery and problems in my life. If so, I need to quit.

Aside from that, there are plenty of "real" diseases that are caused by lifestyle choices. Lung cancer is no less real because it was caused by a choice to smoke. Diabetes is no less real because of choices made about diet and exercise. Where alcoholism is different is that the cure (or whatever it should be called) is 100% choice. The brain can be wired to create extremely compelling urges for certain things. The American restaurant industry has pursued this relentlessly by adding fat, sugar, and salt to their offerings. So is it a disease if our lifestyle choices rewire are brains to have unhealthy cravings that only our future choices can overcome? I don't know, but I do no know there are real physical changes that occur that make making the decision not to drink much harder than in other areas of my life.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:57 PM
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great post,,i have really enjoyed reading them all,,although im not clever enough to write any words of wisdom as you all have,,i totally get it and found it very interesting.
thank you all xx its nice to see this part of sr busy xx
lv cleo xxx
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:04 PM
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Headache is till going on and it's been followed with anxiety, nausea and a serious downturn in mood. I hate withdrawal. I know it will pass, once 1-2 weeks are gone I always feel better but going through it all is just horrible.

See you guys tomorrow, hopefully tonight I can sleep a bit. And thanks for all the comments guys, will go to bed tonight reading the book someone recommended.

Alcohol, what an utterly pointless drug.
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