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I'm ready to get sober, but I need help!

Old 03-27-2013, 12:19 PM
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I'm ready to get sober, but I need help!

So this is my first post here. I'm not even sure what to say or where to start. I'm 34, married, and 2 kids (15 and 10). I've been drinking since my early teen years. When I turned 21, my drinking got worse and I started binging bad! That's pretty much how it's been since then. The only time I haven't drank every weekend since 21 was when I was pregnant. I drink, on average, 1-2 days a week, but I've done it up to 4 times in a week (rarely though). My biggest issue is the quantity. I've started drinking at 1 or 2 in the afternoon and keep going all day and night until I black out. My husband tells me I become another person. I cry for no reason, get angry out of nowhere, etc. I'm tired of this lifestyle. My mother is a "functioning" alcoholic (that's what she calls it) and her father died of cirrhosis at 55. I'm so scared I'm following in both of their footsteps. What has kept me from stopping is the fear that I will never have a good time or be a fun person. When I don't drink, I tend to be quiet and serious and a little intense. When I drink I feel free, that is until the next morning when I'm trying to piece the previous night together and I feel so ashamed that I got so out of hand. It's a sick cycle that has gone on way too long. I'd love to go to a support group, but I'm not religious. I need help and guidance.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
What has kept me from stopping is the fear that I will never have a good time or be a fun person. When I don't drink, I tend to be quiet and serious and a little intense. When I drink I feel free...
This is your Addictive Voice talking. You mentioned that your husband said that you cry for no reason and get angry out of nowhere when you drink. That doesn't sound like a fun person.

I used to say I drank because I was bored, but I remember being both drunk and bored an awful lot. The reasons to drink are just lies.

What tools are you planning to use to quit drinking?
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:48 PM
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Welcome to the forum you will find great help here.

I notice you mentioned that you like the idea of a support group but religion puts you off. There are secular support groups out there, a google such should turn up some of them in your area. If a support group is something you are comfortable with then I imagine it will be a great resource so definitely go out and find one.

Having drunk for so long from such a young age you are facing what must seem like a big challenge, but remember that all challenges can be broken down into manageable parts. Identifying triggers for your drinking, any root causes and developing various techniques to cope with cravings are all things you should look into. It sounds like you are in the right mindset, you are ready to stop, so maybe look into AVRT or similar secular systems.

You worry you won't bea fun person. Well let me tell you that when people are drunk they think they're fun people, but usually they're just obnoxious. I've spent nights with friends completely sober while they drink and it really brings home to you how pathetic you look when drunk. But when you're the drunk one you think it's great, that you're all having fun, without realising you look like an idiot lol.

Having fun is perfectly possible when sober, actually I have more fun when I'm sober, and I actually get to remember the night! I always get amazed when people tell me they had a great night but can't tell me anything that happened because they blacked out. You say you cry and get angry when drunk, well that doesn't sound fun for you or your family, but you're telling yourself you are having fun. You need to realise that's a lie, conditioned into you by society who tell you that you have to drink to have fun. You can do this and believe me once you've recovered for a few months you will start to see your mood becoming way more stable. Alcohol causes very real, physical changes in the brain that are reversible if you stay sober.

Your family history is worrying, you of all people should know how horrible liver disease is. Not a nice way to go, and you have kids which I am sure you want to see grow up and become fine people.

Good luck.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
My biggest issue is the quantity.
Don't you mean controlling the quantity?

Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
What has kept me from stopping is the fear that I will never have a good time or be a fun person.
Do you know any other people that don't drink and still have a good time and are fun people? (your kids, maybe?)

Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
When I don't drink, I tend to be quiet and serious and a little intense.
That actually sounds kind of attractive.

You see? Your Addictive Voice is full of lies and doom and gloom if you stop drinking.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:20 PM
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jayho,
yeah, i remember that feeling of freedom, that flying-high of no restraint. or very little restraint.
but it always pissed me off that i needed booze to feel it.
but that was a minor point while drinking.
the real thing was that while feeling so damn free i knew that i was totally chained, trapped, stuck, super-glued.
no freedom there at all. just torture.
the real freedom is in knowing i don't need to drink anymore. for anything.

good to see you here.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:47 PM
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Hey Jayho, I can relate. Lots of good advice already given. My hubby doesn't drink very often, and doesn't like me when I drink. I don't like me when I drink. My side of the family has a lot of alcoholism. My dad is my favorite person, but he is pretty bad and I take after him. I see the pain and struggle he goes through. He makes light and says he loves to drink...but he also cries and tells me he is so sorry for things. I see him and want better for myself and my family. I don't blame him for anything. I love him and life is pretty hard sometimes. Putting the pieces together the next day isn't fun to me. Getting on fb wondering who I told off isn't fun, it's past embarrassing. Are you really more fun when you drink? I just wanted to say hey because your post hits home with me.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:21 PM
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I think I should have read my first post before I submitted. lol I think I made it sound like I'm trying to rationalize drinking "because I'm more fun". What I meant was that's what I've told myself in the past. Davey, you hit the nail on the head...I'm obnoxious when I drink. I hate the person I become when I drink. I need to learn a new way to be and a new way to have fun without drinking. I am by no means trying to blame my parents, but it's a lifestyle I grew up with and I have an additive personality, to boot. Not a good combination. Thank you Palm for your words. It brings me comfort that someone can empathize and relate. I just feel so dysfunctional and embarressed. I don't have any tools that I'm planning on using because, honestly, I don't where to start. I know I need support and will probably have a hard time finding it with most of my family and friends. My husband is a great support and told me he'll help me anyway he can. I've googled secular support groups, but I can't find any in my area. As far as triggers...Friday, a completed task, a bad day, sunshine, someone's birthday...you name it and it's a reason. It's sad, really. I've stopped drinking for a few weeks in the past and I FELT SO GOOD. I felt like I had control and woke up with no hangover. It was great. But then I'd tell myself, "See, you aren't an alcoholic. You can control it if you want to. You just like to drink." It's a lie! I even went to a counselor last summer that convinced me that I just need to "allow" myself 3-5 drinks a week and no more and that I deserve to treat myself to stress relievers. She really convinced me I didn't have a problem. She was wrong. If I didn't have a problem, why did I actively go see her? My biggest fear is the cycle. Today (two days post drinking) I'm ready to stop. Friday will come, I'll want to drink but I won't because I'll still be determined. A few weeks will go by, we'll get invited out or it'll be a beautiful day and I'll be craving a beer. I'll somehow convince my husband (after hours of badgering and guilt trips) that I'm okay and "I deserve a beer after a really hard week". He'll give in and a twelve pack later I'll be acting like a fool and waking up with regret and shame. I'll tell myself, this is who I am and I might as well accept it. I need to know I'm not the only person who's had this internal conversation and how to defeat that voice and stop that nasty cycle. It's that self-serving voice that thrives on instant gratification and doesn't care about hurting people or consequences that's going to kill me and ruin my life. I just need help desparately.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
I need to know I'm not the only person who's had this internal conversation and how to defeat that voice and stop that nasty cycle.
I have one of those voices.
Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
It's that self-serving voice that thrives on instant gratification and doesn't care about hurting people or consequences that's going to kill me and ruin my life.
You NAILED it! That part of your brain makes no moral judgments. It's like the lab rat that will push the lever to get the drug until it is dead. Except you're the lever.

Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
I just need help desparately.
Don't let it push you. Tell that voice "no". It will beg, plead, whine, insult, rationalize, negotiate and throw tantrums. Let it. It CAN'T actually hurt you. It will tell you it can. It's a liar. Stop listening to it. Tell it "no".

You can do this.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:41 PM
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Have you looked at the Rational Recovery site? There is a crash course on AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) that you might find helpful. No groups necessary.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jayho78 View Post
Today (two days post drinking) I'm ready to stop. Friday will come, I'll want to drink but I won't because I'll still be determined. A few weeks will go by, we'll get invited out or it'll be a beautiful day and I'll be craving a beer. I'll somehow convince my husband (after hours of badgering and guilt trips) that I'm okay and "I deserve a beer after a really hard week". He'll give in and a twelve pack later I'll be acting like a fool and waking up with regret and shame. I'll tell myself, this is who I am and I might as well accept it.
This may seem like a minor point but I want you to read this again. Notice your use of language, it is all phased in the future tense, as if you are going to do this, like it's a foregone conclusion, rather than using past tense about what you have done before. While this doesn't seem important it's actually very important psychologically. It's like when someone says they want to get fit, it is very different from saying they are going to get fit. People don't realise how these subtle differences affect your mind a great deal.

Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:40 AM
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Davey, I'm sorry. I'm not very good at conveying things through writing. I'm more of a verbal communicator. Anyway, my use of future tense was quite deliberate. If you notice, I say that it's currently my biggest fear that this course of events will happen. Now putting grammer aside, I need help to break the cycle so this does not happen. That is what happened in my past and what will happen in my future if I don't try something new. I've heard insanity described as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That was my past. I'm doing something different to get different results, but without help and change, I know I will not be successful. Thankfully, some folks have given me some great advice that is really appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Nonsensical View Post
It CAN'T actually hurt you.
That was a very powerful idea for me! Thank you so much for that!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:06 AM
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I got past the constant "you'll be miserable all evening without drinking", "you won't have fun all week...", "you won't sleep...", "everything is boring...", "people are insufferable...", "this argument in your head won't stop...", "I'll never give you any peace..." etc.

I got past that.

Then I fell for, "It's been a while, you deserve a treat..."
My 'treat' was to wake up in my neighbor's bushes not knowing where I was and having to ring his doorbell to be walked home.

Be wary. That addict will tell you all kinds of crap. It's just a voice.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:08 PM
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jayho,
knowing you need to do things differently and try something new is a good knowledge to have.
as is knowing the sequence it used to play out in, the friday night, or visit to friends, the cajoling and negotiating with hubby, the inevitable outcome.
seeing that ahead of time gives ample opportunity to put blocks in place.
since hubby has offered help and support, ask him to never ever listen to your begging and just to walk away without engaging in a discussion about whether you'll drink or not.
that's one thing.
plan ahead for friday night and the "reward-urge" if you have it.
changing things might mean that you DON'T go certain places for a while.
that kind of stuff.

two tools that helped me were daily participation on a recovery forum and the book "recovery by choice" by Martin Nicolaus, which is full of thoughtful self-exploratory questions to think about at your leisure. you can access a chapter on the web at The LifeRing Home Page | Sobriety, Secularity, Self-Help
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