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Old 10-21-2013, 04:46 PM
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Retry at first post

I made a discovery today. That being..... This group of the forum. I had no idea what secular really meant. Not sure why but I didn't. I'm a fairly well educated fella but just stopped in at the newcomers & alcoholism boards because that was where I assumed I fit best. I am addicted to the buzz and taste of alcohol but I am not powerless. There are many diseases that are side effects of alcohol abuse but choosing to abuse is not a disease. It's just as stated a choice. I have decided to do a taper to prevent the withdrawal symptoms then make a decision to not drink. I can't moderate because I know I like it too much therefore I will choose abstinence.

Hoping not to rant but the other way seems so negative. I want to focus on t he positive.
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:08 PM
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All sounds reasonable to me, Skydawg, and even rational. Welcome to the secular side of SR.

About this tapering though, that seems to generally be a tricky thing to accomplish, especially because it looks a lot like drinking. I know that is done in some locales in medical settings, but it's hard to self administer. For me, I took a hard look and decided that my last drink was my very last one, no more.

Why not check with a Dr? See what s/he has to say about it?

At any rate, you are most welcome here, and congratulations to you on getting yourself sorted out. I hope you keep posting.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:32 PM
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I plan to post. So far tapering has worked. I'm almost at the abstinence stage and so far I've stayed on track. The mental aspect of letting go is starting to surface but I feel I can overcome that if the physical withdrawals are minimized. It's my 1st attempt so I'm giving it an honest try. I do know myself well enough to know that relinquishing power and giving in to a choice or addiction I created is not the way I'm wired. I made this mess and I intend to figure out how to correct it. I know religious approach & AA is a great group and many really benefit , just not for me. (Not today anyway)

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:20 AM
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Skydawg-

Welcome to the secular side of the forum. Keep us updated on the tapering. I wish you the absolute best of luck and really hope you stick around.

Jess
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Skydawg View Post
I made a discovery today. That being..... This group of the forum. I had no idea what secular really meant. Not sure why but I didn't. I'm a fairly well educated fella but just stopped in at the newcomers & alcoholism boards because that was where I assumed I fit best. I am addicted to the buzz and taste of alcohol but I am not powerless. There are many diseases that are side effects of alcohol abuse but choosing to abuse is not a disease. It's just as stated a choice. I have decided to do a taper to prevent the withdrawal symptoms then make a decision to not drink. I can't moderate because I know I like it too much therefore I will choose abstinence.

Hoping not to rant but the other way seems so negative. I want to focus on t he positive.
Sd,

Your welcome presence here and your post prompted me to recall a phrase I remember from the catacombs of my memory that was jolted into consciousness a few months ago when I saw it again here on SR.

"I plan and God Laughs".

The meaning of the phrase in the Recovery Group Movement is intended to be derogatory to independent action and personal responsibility. God is laughing AT ME and my incompetence towards my addiction, and even towards controlling my own life.

Well, I thought about it a bit and responded with my new interpretation that made a whole lot of sense to me.

God is not laughing at me, quite the opposite, because I used AVRT to quit for good, God is laughing WITH me WITH joy and appreciation because I have finally decided to use three of God's greatest gifts:

1) Knowing right from wrong
2) using my Will so efficiently and effectively for great good
3) basing it all upon Love.

GT
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:19 AM
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Skydawg, there are many of us here who have stopped drinking without a 12-step program. Like you, I investigated AA, read the Big Book, and decided it would not be helpful to me. I have relied on this website and some tools provided by Rational Recovery for support.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:27 AM
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Well i just found out I'm going to see a band play Friday night. This will be the first time during my 6 week taper I will venture outside my comfort zone. Music was my first love long before women and drinking caught my attention. Friday is scheduled to be my last 2 beer day leading to a week of 1 beer with that being it and abstinence from there. I know it sounds like a bad idea and it may prove to be but I can't imagine living sober but giving up music and social interaction also over something like a beer or vodka cocktail. I am not only confident today but kinda feel a bit of a challenge because the consensus opinion being that it can't be done. I just have more faith in the human mind than to think we can't outlast our temptations if we want it badly enough.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Skydawg View Post
Well i just found out I'm going to see a band play Friday night. This will be the first time during my 6 week taper I will venture outside my comfort zone. Music was my first love long before women and drinking caught my attention. Friday is scheduled to be my last 2 beer day leading to a week of 1 beer with that being it and abstinence from there. I know it sounds like a bad idea and it may prove to be but I can't imagine living sober but giving up music and social interaction also over something like a beer or vodka cocktail. I am not only confident today but kinda feel a bit of a challenge because the consensus opinion being that it can't be done. I just have more faith in the human mind than to think we can't outlast our temptations if we want it badly enough.
Hi Skydawg,

I hate to be a downer, but it sounds like you're in a bit of denial - or at having trouble realizing the best ways to kick this thing.

The alcohol is talking right now. LOUDLY. . I can see it in your words. For example: if you don't go see this band, you'll be: "giving up music and social interaction". That's a bunch of BS. You also say "I just found out I am going to see a band", as if you have no choice in the matter. You have chosen to participate in this activity. You are also thinking about what you might drink: "a beer or a vodka cocktail". These are all setting off alarm bells, man.

Combine all this with a six-WEEK taper...and I'm thinking you might need a little more support in putting down the bottle. It's still got a pretty tight grip on you buddy. I think you need more help in getting this problem solved.

I speak from experience - I was like this at one point too. Then a medical professional sat me down, and told me to my face that I was delusional. I thought he was crazy at the time. Turns out I was so wrapped up in my "drinkin' thinkin'" that I had no clue how bad things were.

My advice: stop drinking completely. Immediately. Don't go see the band this Friday, but try an AA meeting instead. Find support in the recovery community. Good luck.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Skydawg View Post
... I know it sounds like a bad idea and it may prove to be but I can't imagine living sober but giving up music and social interaction also over something like a beer or vodka cocktail. I am not only confident today but kinda feel a bit of a challenge because the consensus opinion being that it can't be done. I just have more faith in the human mind than to think we can't outlast our temptations if we want it badly enough.
I believe you are making a genuine effort about how to avoid trouble and still drink alcohol. What I mean by trouble is whatever it is you are trying to not have happen any more when you drink, because you have decided that the drinking WAS what was causing those troubles.

It didn't really take me long to know that it was drinking that was causing me lots of troubles. And I tried REPEATEDLY, over and over, to moderate. You have been more successful than I was. If you succeed in drinking without troubles, you have all my blessings.

A note about reasons to keep drinking:
I also worried I would never be able to enjoy music and other socializing without tipping a few. When I finally quit for good (and knew it) I truly experienced a grief and sadness about losing one of the roles that had become such a major part of my life - being a "Hail Fellow Well Met" in the bars and more. But I knew that role had become wrong for me because of all the troubles from that grossly self-indulgent, chemically enhanced stupidity.

Then I discovered something very refreshing after about one year abstinent. I really enjoy Dark Side of the Moon, live band music, EuroJazz, SO much better than I ever remember enjoying that stuff on booze (there was no EuroJazz back then). I don't listen as much as I used to, because my life became so much more diverse and busy. But, hot dang, I can really get into it when I want to. The chills are more frequent and electric, not dulled or absent. My connecting with others and controlling my body is 100% more reliable. It's really a different and much more satisfying sort of pleasure within the same setting and sensual input from when I had been drunk. And now I can remember it all so well, too.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:12 PM
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Thanks man but I am in no way in denial. Quite the opposite. I was surprised by a relative with tickets to a great show Friday which I immediately accepted. I didn't mean I planned to drink at all. What I actually meant was I wouldn't let something as trivial as a beer or cocktail interfere with my ability to enjoy a music show SOBER (those just happened to be my old vices). I loved music long before the poison ever crossed my lips and I do not plan on getting sober so I can live in a bubble and avoid things I love. See the difference is that this me talking not alcohol and it's not BS as you stated. I'm not delusional, in fact I must be pretty darn strong seeing as how everyone seems to think a slow gradual taper is impossible when in fact it has been relatively easy compared to the horror I read here daily. When I think about the YEARS I invested in becoming addicted six weeks is a relatively short window of time don't you think. I did the taper to give my body more than adequate time to adjust to my new way of thinking and living. I chose that over RX meds and so far it works. I simply cannot afford the cold turkey shakes, fogginess and nausea so often associated with stopping. Any way I hope this explains my post. I have zero interest in the powerless preaching of AA.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:28 PM
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Gerandtwine,
That sounds awesome. I took all the vodka money I have saved recently and bought myself a pair of beats executive headphones, subscribed to Pandora one radio and just chill and read when the urges to consume strike. Matter of fact after I posted earlier I had a revelation that I (yes me) for the first time in recent decades have offered via email to my relative and group of friends to be the DD. That should take the pressure off because I would lose my livelihood with a DUI therefore driving under the influence is simply not an option and my group knows it and will not allow it. Thanks to my taper withdrawals should be handled.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydawg View Post
Thanks man but I am in no way in denial. Quite the opposite. I was surprised by a relative with tickets to a great show Friday which I immediately accepted. I didn't mean I planned to drink at all. What I actually meant was I wouldn't let something as trivial as a beer or cocktail interfere with my ability to enjoy a music show SOBER (those just happened to be my old vices). I loved music long before the poison ever crossed my lips and I do not plan on getting sober so I can live in a bubble and avoid things I love. See the difference is that this me talking not alcohol and it's not BS as you stated. I'm not delusional, in fact I must be pretty darn strong seeing as how everyone seems to think a slow gradual taper is impossible when in fact it has been relatively easy compared to the horror I read here daily. When I think about the YEARS I invested in becoming addicted six weeks is a relatively short window of time don't you think. I did the taper to give my body more than adequate time to adjust to my new way of thinking and living. I chose that over RX meds and so far it works. I simply cannot afford the cold turkey shakes, fogginess and nausea so often associated with stopping. Any way I hope this explains my post. I have zero interest in the powerless preaching of AA.


glad you found the secular forum. GAT is a great poster who I have noticed really knows his stuff when it comes to AVRT.

My only concern for you would be the six WEEK taper. Why such a long taper? And as I stated in my previous post in the other forum, it was always easy for me (in the past) to "know I will quit drinking" when I know I can drink again i.e. Your two beers tomorrow, or vodka drink with the band, a few more next week...etc"

Until (and this is recent and I am still trying to discover my recovery path) I admitted to myself, right then and there that "I cannot drink alcohol anymore or every again" I never really got it...

Just my two cents my friend.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:37 PM
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Ok I must like this place since I keep coming back but it sure fills the time and appears to be entertaining even. The six weeks was an idea a real md shared with a long time friend and fellow drinker. He performed the plan so well he was completely tapered and almost a week clean before I asked him what was going on. He's a smart motivated guy so it doesn't shock me if it's possible he was capable. Basically you just admit that you drink x per day over an average 7 day period. Then you make a 6 week chart with the max drinks allowed each day in 7 day blocks. I believe there was a guide to calculating the reduction but I can't recall exactly as I just started at a nice even number and cut it by two drinks till I got to 2. That was this week. Next week would be 1 a day if you have withdrawals. Not cravings which is a big difference. That's easy to say today right.

So I didn't dream this idea up as way to prolong or excuse moderation. Now we all want to be honest so I will be totally. If it weren't for the conversation with my friend I would have probably had a much harder time with the concept. Fact is we are long time buddies and would rather take a punch than lose at checkers. If that competitive fire is what it takes then I will be in debt to this man for life.

Thanks for responding. I truly enjoy open minded conversation.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydawg View Post
Thanks man but I am in no way in denial. Quite the opposite. I was surprised by a relative with tickets to a great show Friday which I immediately accepted. I didn't mean I planned to drink at all. What I actually meant was I wouldn't let something as trivial as a beer or cocktail interfere with my ability to enjoy a music show SOBER (those just happened to be my old vices). I loved music long before the poison ever crossed my lips and I do not plan on getting sober so I can live in a bubble and avoid things I love. See the difference is that this me talking not alcohol and it's not BS as you stated. I'm not delusional, in fact I must be pretty darn strong seeing as how everyone seems to think a slow gradual taper is impossible when in fact it has been relatively easy compared to the horror I read here daily. When I think about the YEARS I invested in becoming addicted six weeks is a relatively short window of time don't you think. I did the taper to give my body more than adequate time to adjust to my new way of thinking and living. I chose that over RX meds and so far it works. I simply cannot afford the cold turkey shakes, fogginess and nausea so often associated with stopping. Any way I hope this explains my post. I have zero interest in the powerless preaching of AA.
Got your message. First of all, I think I misunderstood a bit of your post - it wasn't completely clear to me when I read it. Now I realize that you said that you weren't going to let the *appearance* of a drink or beer keep you away from the concert. You are planning to go because you enjoy music, and just because there is alcohol there that will not stop you.

Okay.

As for the other stuff. I am NOT active in AA. There are plenty of things I do not like and I do not regularly attend meetings and normally I do not recommend it. However, in my first days of sobriety it was very helpful for me. I realized quickly that it was "not for me" long-term, but it was indeed something I think everyone should attend, at least once.

I was not trying to be "combative", but I see a lot of my old reasoning in your words. Do you know that when I quit cold turkey and had seizures? And ended up in the hospital? I should have gone to a detox center, but I didn't. And I paid the price. Could I have tapered? I guess I tried...but it was bad for me to view a beer as "medicine". Telling folks "I have to drink, this is good for me" is simply a bad way to go about it. Tapering for six weeks is a long time. It just seems like you're hanging on.

And I still don't think you should go to that concert. It's simply not something that you do in early recovery - go out and be among drinkers in a social situation. It's not a good idea, man. Because I've been there. Do you know where I had my first meal after I got out of treatment? A bar. Know why? Because I thought "I'm still going to be in bars, so I might as well learn how to have lunch and be here while sober". I wanted to face my fears and get right back into the belly of the beast.

It was a bad idea. I never drank but I could have very well been back to square one. Thing is, you have to change EVERYTHING. Or, I did. New friends, new hobbies, new place to live - the whole nine yards. There is MUCH more to this whole thing than "not drinking". It's about finding new hobbies and creating new ways to have fun. But you aren't even to the "not drinking" part yet. I would suggest you focus on that, and staying close to home and getting support - in some form - would be a great start.

I'm just trying to help, pal - you can do what you want. I do wish you luck. Take what you will from my recommendations, it's only a suggestion. It's your life, you are in charge of what you do. Good luck, I mean it!
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:48 AM
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Awesome post sombrero. Now that's what I need. And I see your point about the concert as being extremely tempting and point made also about AA. I've been to a meeting before way back in the early summer. I sat and listened and was totally amazed at the amount of stuff that just didn't feel right ( for me at least). Like most I could make a laundry list of the emotions that have crossed me in the last month but being powerless and submissive just ain't it. Now the medical stuff scares the crap out of me and that led me to trying to ween off. I pray it works for the withdrawals like it did for my friend because over the last 10 days I have noticed the sweats and dreams at night when I skip days.

I actually did hit the bed sober last night and have church functions with my two daughters tonight so great possibility of day 2 actually. If so that will be 7 total days since I started the taper. But due to holding tight to my own regimen I plan to always list 11/1 as my sober day. That's what my chart says so that's what I say even if the beer I drank Monday really was the last.

Can't thank you enough for the post. Look forward to future conversation.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Weaver View Post
Last and final drink- October 20,/2013
W,
Congratulations on your determination to quit for good.
GT
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:16 AM
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The only thing I am confused about is the long taper. What withdrawl symptoms are you trying to avoid. Most of that should be over now right?

Jess
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:37 AM
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I think they are. I haven't been shaky or foggy recently. I was a bit nauseated and got mildly sick a couple times two weeks ago when I cut it enough to no longer get even a buzzed effect. Right now I could describe my physical state as generally well. I am having vivid dreams that I remember too well when I wake and I have noticed night sweating along the way but none last night. Insomnia is a big deal for me but it always has been so that's what it is. Until I shared my experience here it never dawned on me that 6 weeks would be considered odd. As I stated I went along with the theory thinking if it takes away the medical scare of this process then I'm all in. I wanted to quit but and I didn't have any desire to suffer through the sickness associated. Another confession is that doctors and needles scare the crap out of me so I was not at a low enough point to give in to that. 6 weeks vs. 2 decades of drinking to excess didn't seem unreasonable and 6 weeks to achieve safe and confident sobriety makes sense as well. I'm beginning to realize that most folks just don't decide to quit until they have hit absolute bottom and played the last card in the deck. I'm ever so fortunate and grateful to have a wonderful wife and family that welcomes me home every night and wants me to be happy and healthy. I still have a great job that I actually enjoy. With all that said drinking was the one decision I have made that didn't fit the rest of my life so now I'm going to fix that.

Be well.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:10 AM
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Fair enough. I personally set a date to quit drinking. I decided to quit in December but, put it off till after the Superbowl. I LOVED FOOTBALL AND BEER. Anyway, I did relapse back in March but, have been sober ever since. I wasn't judging or anything just asking.

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:45 AM
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Man I hear ya on the football and beer thing. My group can't belive I picked football season to attempt this. In the beginning I figured that would be my kryptonite but damn all the sudden I remember games clearly and can discuss strategy and lots of other cool stuff. I never took your post as judgmental I actually appreciate the interest and lack of judgment. The times I am secretly dreading is when I travel alone. I do that 4-5 times a year for work normally in the late winter and early spring. These tend to be sales shows and product demos that inevitably end at dinner with open bar. It cant be avoided so I will have to be tougher than ever.
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