Blogs


Notices

Is this progress?

Old 03-20-2013, 05:23 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 347
Is this progress?

I've been taking some time lately to think about my situation, I have other threads here with those thoughts but I wanted to set one aside for a new question and see what you guys think.

Over 6 months ago I was drinking nearly every day, some weeks it was every day and it was always to excess when I did drink. Mornings and evenings my mind was filled with thoughts of drink and very often so were my veins. Over the last 6 months I've had a 3 month break where I didn't drink, then I have had lots of off and on periods. A week off and a bad 2 days, 2 weeks off and a bad day etc etc. To me this used to seem awful, and obviously I know this still isn't good for me, it needs to stop and I am working on it.

But trying to look at the positive side of things, surely this is progress. I have gone from someone who has been drinking every day for years to someone who can have significant breaks from alcohol and when I do screw up and drink again then it's for short periods (1-2 days) and then I kick myself into gear and stop again. It's not perfect, it's not great, it's not good for my haelth but I think it is a real sign of progress.

But hey I'm interested in opinions so go for it guys Be brutal.
DaveyT is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to DaveyT For This Useful Post:
instant (03-24-2013)
Old 03-20-2013, 05:31 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 191,637
Blog Entries: 1
The problem I had was settling for that progress, Davey T....it's very easy to take satisfaction from your achievement and rest on your laurels...don't do that....unfortunately, when alcohol is involved, things never stay static, and in my opinion we're never really in control.

I don't want to dismiss the fact that you're obviously really trying, but from my long experience I think the only true progression starts when we leave alcohol behind entirely.

Otherwise we're still in the cesspool - and it's only the depth that varies.

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
Geralt (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-20-2013, 07:37 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Hears The Voice
 
Nonsensical's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Unshackled
Posts: 7,674
Blog Entries: 20
Ultimately, it's not for anyone but you to say. I have seen posts on these forums from people freaking out because they drink a bottle of wine on Fridays and Saturdays and they just can't quit - and I was thinking, damn if I could drink just a bottle of wine on Fridays and Saturdays I wouldn't even be here! But for that person, it was a real problem.

So, bottom line - it's not about quantity, it's about quality. If your life is better now than when you were drinking daily, then it's progress. If you think drinking, even at reduced frequencies, is causing you more problems now than it was when you were drinking daily, then no progress has been made.
Nonsensical is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Nonsensical For This Useful Post:
Fandy (03-21-2013), Geralt (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 02:17 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Argonaut
 
Geralt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 479
I tried the same, I realized that I had a problem and should not drink daily, so I tried to take longer breaks. And it worked, I managed weeks, even 1-2 months without a drink, giving me the false hope that my tolerance would go back to normal and I could try to drink socially again. But I was wrong... the longer the breaks, the more intense were the binges (although the binges never lasted than a few days). I even ended up in the hospital once after such a binge, fell down and got knocked unconscious. 2 hours after the ambulance brought me to the hospital the doctors measured blood/alcohol level that would be lethal for a non-drinker
Geralt is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Geralt For This Useful Post:
BackToSquareOne (03-21-2013), Fandy (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 03:32 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
BackToSquareOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bethlehem, PA.
Posts: 1,782
The thing is that everyone can only speak from their own experience. With alcoholism, nothing is written in stone and there are exceptions to almost everything written in the books. Some of what is written would suggest that if a person could stop or drink normally for periods of time then they can't be a real alcoholic. That is complete and utter nonsense in my mind.

I drank for over 3 decades and was always able to stop for periods of time and even drink normally for brief periods. It always led back to the same place tho, more and more benders of epic proportions. For me that meant as much as a half gallon of vodka a day and eating valium like skittles.

By the same token my experience is only predictive of what is likely to happen if I were to drink again. It says nothing of what another persons experience might be. We all have to find our own paths, dance to our own music.
BackToSquareOne is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to BackToSquareOne For This Useful Post:
Fandy (03-21-2013), freshstart57 (03-21-2013), Geralt (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 07:54 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
fini's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 7,115
it seems like that can easily be a place to get very stuck in. sure it's progress in a way, but it also keeps you engaged with drinking, it's a moderating/harm reduction thinking which is fine if that's what you want, but if what you really want is a life free of alcohol and wanting alcohol, then this will just keep the opposite going.
just my experience; it kept everything going and had me in danger of accepting that "this is okay. it's not great, but it's okay. it will do".
fini is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to fini For This Useful Post:
Geralt (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 11:15 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Adventures In SpaceTime
 
RobbyRobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 5,827
Controlled drinking is an oxy-moron for problem drinkers\alcoholics, imo. Its all about what any one individual is satisfied with as a quality of life. There is no secret recipe for success or happiness -- we all know for ourselves neither can found at the bottom of any bottle. Still, some drinkers just refuse to accept misery and failure is easily found in moderated or controlled drinking.

Total abstinence/sobriety rocks. Anything less is not progress, but simply breaks between drinks, imo.
RobbyRobot is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RobbyRobot For This Useful Post:
hope22 (03-21-2013), Nonsensical (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 11:46 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 347
I think I didn't explain myself correctly. I'm not saying I want to stay this way, I know I need to stop and stay stopped, I'm not someone who can control my drinking. I'm just trying to find the positives and I think my current periods of a couple days messing up and then long periods of abstinence are at least better than drinking every day, it feels like something is shifting and going the right way.

I've been realising that I tend to give myself a hard time. The smallest mistakes are treated as awful failures, successes are seen as minor, unimportant, not good enough. So I'm trying to see my current situation in a better light, I've started on a path to sobriety and I've had some success. Yeah there have been set backs but it's definitely going better.

I drank for a couple of days about a week ago, been abstinent since then and I'm happy to report my withdrawal was only minor and short lived compared to the other times where I've drunk for a week before quitting again. I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, not just in body but in mind.

I know I have to stay sober and that's my intention, but if I ever fail I won't be kicking myself down like I used to. That's really progress to me.

And SR is definitely helping, Venting some opinions, getting the feedback, assessing myself again, it's all useful. I couldn't do this in a group setting with people sitting all around but at least I can do it here

Thanks guys.
DaveyT is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DaveyT For This Useful Post:
Fandy (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013), Nonsensical (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 12:44 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 458
DaveT, thank you for posting this. I drank every night for 10 years. Last year I made an effort to stop and managed stretches of sobriety, pretty much like you described. I think its progress, but I can't truly comment because I am in the same boat. But thank you again for posting and everyone's comments were very helpful.
hope22 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to hope22 For This Useful Post:
DaveyT (03-21-2013), Nonsensical (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 01:04 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Adventures In SpaceTime
 
RobbyRobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 5,827
Certainly I agree that kicking ourselves down if we return to drinking is useless and worse. Having said that, kicking ourselves down while not drinking is also useless.

I tried playing with moderating/controlling my drinking so as to make my final quitting easier: epic fail

Deep down, all I was doing was trying to find a middleground for my drinking, truth be told. I'm not saying you're not being honest, or you are doing what I did -- I'm just saying its not progress, imo, to control alcohol intake. Its an unforgiving taskmaster being a slave to controlling intake, imo.

Those without a problem with alcohol don't control their intake with a purpose eventually to never drink again -- they just control their drinking for its own sake.

Problem drinkers/alcoholics are addicted, however you may want to define addiction, and so reducing drinking absolutely still feeds the addiction.

Does reducing intake make a detox easier? I dunno. My detox required me to be supervised in a rehab stay. When I showed up, I had easily been worse drunk at other times, so I dunno. My opinion is perhaps the initial day or two is a bit quicker because less alcohol needs to be processed, but even so, there was still the mental and emotional difficulties which don't change even if one is more or less drunk initially.

For me, you already made yourself clear in your thread.

I do wish you all the best when you finally detox.
RobbyRobot is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to RobbyRobot For This Useful Post:
Geralt (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 01:21 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 347
Hey Robby I just dont think you're getting what I mean, I am not controlling my drinking to find a middle ground.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post

I tried playing with moderating/controlling my drinking so as to make my final quitting easier: epic fail
This is not what I'm doing.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Deep down, all I was doing was trying to find a middleground for my drinking, truth be told. I'm not saying you're not being honest, or you are doing what I did -- I'm just saying its not progress, imo, to control alcohol intake. Its an unforgiving taskmaster being a slave to controlling intake, imo.
Again, I'm not trying to control it, I'm trying to stay sober for life and finding positives where I can.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Those without a problem with alcohol don't control their intake with a purpose eventually to never drink again -- they just control their drinking for its own sake.
You know I've come to realise that actually most people are addicted to alcohol. Just think, most people wouldn't like to remove alcohol from their lives, they may not drink to excess but they're still using a drug socially and wouldn't like to give it up. It's the definition of an addict.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Problem drinkers/alcoholics are addicted, however you may want to define addiction, and so reducing drinking absolutely still feeds the addiction.
I'm not trying to reduce, i'm trying to quit. It just so happens I fail occasionally. But that's way better than drinking every single day. So I'm definitely taking it as a positve.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post

For me, you already made yourself clear in your thread.

I do wish you all the best when you finally detox.
I am detoxed, haven't had alcohol in about a week, none in my system.
DaveyT is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DaveyT For This Useful Post:
hope22 (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 01:23 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Not The Way way, Just the way
 
GerandTwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: US
Posts: 1,254
Blog Entries: 13
With long stretches of not drinking you are now in a position to learn and use AVRT. Before you weren't. How does the Big Plan sound, not to IT, but to YOU?
GerandTwine is offline  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:27 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 347
Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
With long stretches of not drinking you are now in a position to learn and use AVRT. Before you weren't. How does the Big Plan sound, not to IT, but to YOU?
Still not sure about this AVRT stuff. I can't separate out IT and ME as it just feels like another way of avoiding my responsibility. Although I know that isn't how it works for AVRT it's hard for me to do it.

I've accepted a life without alcohol, it's a drug I can't use responsibly, but more than that I realise that everyone who uses is basically an addict. Why would you put something in yor body that is little more than a poison? It's because they feel good and most people don't want to give it up, textbook addict.

I don't want to put that poison in me another day. I've committed to that and I will continue staying sober. If I fail then I will not kick myself, just stay sober again intending for it to be lifelong.

Although I've said that before it somehow feels different now. It's like I know at worst I will only ever lapse a few days and not end up drinking for weeks. There a sense of achievement in it.
DaveyT is offline  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:35 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Adventures In SpaceTime
 
RobbyRobot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 5,827
Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
Hey Robby I just dont think you're getting what I mean, I am not controlling my drinking to find a middle ground.
Hmmm. Like I said in my last post:

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Deep down, all I was doing was trying to find a middleground for my drinking, truth be told. I'm not saying you're not being honest, or you are doing what I did -- I'm just saying its not progress, imo, to control alcohol intake. Its an unforgiving taskmaster being a slave to controlling intake, imo.

For me, you already made yourself clear in your thread.
Anyways, have a good day.
RobbyRobot is offline  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:49 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Canine Welfare Advocate
 
doggonecarl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 10,620
Blog Entries: 22
Originally Posted by DaveyT View Post
I'm just trying to find the positives and I think my current periods of a couple days messing up and then long periods of abstinence are at least better than drinking every day, it feels like something is shifting and going the right way.
In some manner, if you are just looking at periods of drinking vs. periods of being sober, like on a pie chart, yes, it's progress.

But what this is doing to you is called kindling. Basically, the withdrawals get worse when you resume drinking after periods of sobriety.

I had to ask myself, how many "quits" did I have left in me. I'm going on the assumption, not many.

If you are in a period of sobriety, cling to it, like a life ring. Because it is.
doggonecarl is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to doggonecarl For This Useful Post:
Geralt (03-21-2013), Nonsensical (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 02:28 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Hears The Voice
 
Nonsensical's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Unshackled
Posts: 7,674
Blog Entries: 20
I get what you're saying. I can say I'm 5 days sober, or I can say I have only drank once in the past 8 weeks. Both are true, but the latter has a more positive perspective.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
Still, some drinkers just refuse to accept misery and failure is easily found in moderated or controlled drinking.
I was the poster boy for that sentiment until last weekend.

Originally Posted by DaveyT
Still not sure about this AVRT stuff. I can't separate out IT and ME as it just feels like another way of avoiding my responsibility.
I am 180 degrees out from you on that. Using AVRT I am 100% responsible for my use of alcohol. I am not responsible for my cravings or compulsions for alcohol. I have no control over that part of my brain. MY responsibility is to NEVER let IT be in charge. As you are discovering, that's no small task.
Nonsensical is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Nonsensical For This Useful Post:
Geralt (03-21-2013), GerandTwine (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 03:00 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
fini's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada
Posts: 7,115
I've committed to that and I will continue staying sober. If I fail

DaveyT,
there is a disconnect here from one side of the period to the other.

what i realized only months after finally quitting is that doing what you're doing(which i did oodles of times) was my "new and improved" drinking pattern.
finding the positive in that is self-defeating. just my experience and opinion.
and that's what you asked for, opinions.
nobody took you up on the "brutal" part you added

but now you're feeling misunderstood and are "arguing your case" when in fact we gave you what you said you wanted huh?


and oh, here's another opinion: no, i do not think everyone who enjoys a drink or two and hopes to be able to do so again is an addict. not at all.
i eat icecream that way
fini is online now  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to fini For This Useful Post:
awuh1 (03-21-2013), Geralt (03-21-2013), hope22 (03-21-2013), Nonsensical (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 03:30 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
soopy99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 94
Originally Posted by doggonecarl View Post


But what this is doing to you is called kindling. Basically, the withdrawals get worse when you resume drinking after periods of sobriety.

is.
I've never heard of this kindling concept. Is this just from personal/group experience, or is it accepted science that withdrawals get worse after periods of sobriety. I wonder why that happens.
soopy99 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to soopy99 For This Useful Post:
Geralt (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 03:42 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 20,458
Pie Charts, Law of Averages...percentages...
there are 10 different ways to look at this.

I think that Davey is going for the glass 1/2 full (of juice or tea of course).
Bottom line is that he gets his buttisimo in gear everyday and he feels better both mentally and physically. He is not perfecto but he is not a CONSTANT hot mess anymore either these days.

He is feeling the positive effects and he may make a big plan...or he may be practising to have a happy medium of not worrying about a big plan.

I'm very grateful for each and every morning I wake up well rested after getting the best sleep I have in years. I guess that solid nightly rest (after years of booze induced insomnia making me feel like sh!t on toast each morning) is my cornerstone in sobriety.

i've not heard of kindling either...but i've had short days of binge drinking before I quit and just felt minimally craptastic.
Fandy is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Fandy For This Useful Post:
DaveyT (03-21-2013), Nonsensical (03-21-2013)
Old 03-21-2013, 03:51 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Argonaut
 
Geralt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 479
Here is some wiki info about kindling:

Kindling (sedative-hypnotic withdrawal) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's a well known medical phenomenon.

"Each withdrawal leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms than the previous withdrawal syndrome."
Geralt is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Geralt For This Useful Post:
Fandy (03-21-2013), NoelleR (03-21-2013), RobbyRobot (03-21-2013)

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 09:51 PM.