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Gray area drinking - never hitting bottom

Old 05-27-2018, 01:54 PM
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Gray area drinking - never hitting bottom

This is a good talk about gray area drinking, those who never hit bottom and more or less "function" but get sick of drinking too much too often.

It's also about the neuroscience of replacing alcohol with the most helpful behaviors and foods to fell better and heal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvCMZBA7RiA

I quit drinking because I chose to, not because I had to...
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:21 PM
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I never hit any bottom and I was never told by anyone in my life that they thought I needed to quit drinking, I could have gone on for years slowly rotting myself from the inside out. I always knew I didn't drink right though and that the day would come when I would have to give it up. I had countless dry periods over the years, but I always ended up letting my AV talk me back into drinking again. It took a long time for me to finally have enough pain and misery from my drinking to be ready to make the commitment to give it up for good. I just got tired of waking up and feeling that deep self loathing and shame. Actually there was one person who told me he wanted me to quit, my teenage son. It was the resentment and pain in his eyes when he said it to me that finally broke through all my BS to motivate me into action. I realized I was doing to him exactly what my mother had done to me, and I couldn't let that stand. I had a moment of clarity.

Interesting how she talks about anxiety, that seems to be a common denominator with alkies. I was a very anxious shy child and I remember discovering alcohol as a teenager and right away loving it. It seemed like the answer to everything! I didn't make the connection back then, I didn't call what I was feeling anxiety, I just thought I was awkward and nervous. I still get very anxious today and can worry myself into a state, but I can recognize what's happening and talk myself down. I have tools like exercise, getting outside, coming here to SR to talk, deep breathing, taking time to be alone - just like what the speaker talks about. Drinking will never again be an option to deal with my uncomfortable feelings.

Good TedTalk! Thanks zero.
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:41 AM
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Very interesting TT, thanks! I firmly believe what she says about neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. Very good stuff!
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
I never hit any bottom and I was never told by anyone in my life that they thought I needed to quit drinking, ...
The AV loves this kind of introductory posturing. But you know AVRT, and the truth quickly comes out.

Originally Posted by BillieJean
Actually there was one person who told me he wanted me to quit, my teenage son. It was the resentment and pain in his eyes when he said it to me that finally broke through all my BS to motivate me into action.
This is what really happened to get you to make the Big Plan. But, as it appears you almost forgot, that’s perfectly OK. It’s no fun remembering bad things the rest of your life. You don’t have to remember what happened to cause you to finally make your Big Plan. Just knowing you made the Big Plan is enough to remain a common teetotaler the rest of your life.

That’s how it is with me. I don’t need to remember why I made my Big Plan, just that I DID make it.

Originally Posted by BillieJean
Interesting how she [the TedTalks speaker] talks about anxiety, that seems to be a common denominator with alkies. I was a very anxious shy child and I remember discovering alcohol as a teenager and right away loving it.
This is the quintessential AV bait and switch. All baloney! Covering up the simple goal of Deep Pleasure with “Ohhh, dear me, let’s get rid of that horrible anxiety.”

Originally Posted by BillieJean
I didn't make the connection back then, I didn't call what I was feeling anxiety, ...
Because there was no connection. You had no AV back then to retroactively categorize your personality type.

Originally Posted by BillieJean
I still get very anxious today and can worry myself into a state, but I can recognize what's happening ...
and simply dismiss it as AV, or, if I don’t recognize it as AV, the AV will continue on ...
Originally Posted by BillieJean
and talk myself down. I have tools like exercise, getting outside, coming here to SR to talk, deep breathing, taking time to be alone - just like what the speaker talks about.
Those “tools” for not drinking are really just you living life.

And finally we come to the AV proposing conditional abstinence.

Originally Posted by BillieJean
Drinking will never again be an option ...
This first part of the sentence is an important stand alone plan, the Big Plan. But, but when conditions like
Originally Posted by BillieJean
to deal with my uncomfortable feelings.
it is the Addictive Voice trying to insert a T-virus (Thinking-virus) into your Big Plan.

Originally Posted by BillieJean
Good TedTalk! Thanks zero.
Any discussion of replacing the effects of drinking/drugging with something else to keep from going back to drinking/drugging can be seen through the lens of AVRT.
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
I never hit any bottom and I was never told by anyone in my life that they thought I needed to quit drinking, I could have gone on for years slowly rotting myself from the inside out. I always knew I didn't drink right though and that the day would come when I would have to give it up. I had countless dry periods over the years, but I always ended up letting my AV talk me back into drinking again. It took a long time for me to finally have enough pain and misery from my drinking to be ready to make the commitment to give it up for good. I just got tired of waking up and feeling that deep self loathing and shame. Actually there was one person who told me he wanted me to quit, my teenage son. It was the resentment and pain in his eyes when he said it to me that finally broke through all my BS to motivate me into action. I realized I was doing to him exactly what my mother had done to me, and I couldn't let that stand. I had a moment of clarity.

Interesting how she talks about anxiety, that seems to be a common denominator with alkies. I was a very anxious shy child and I remember discovering alcohol as a teenager and right away loving it. It seemed like the answer to everything! I didn't make the connection back then, I didn't call what I was feeling anxiety, I just thought I was awkward and nervous. I still get very anxious today and can worry myself into a state, but I can recognize what's happening and talk myself down. I have tools like exercise, getting outside, coming here to SR to talk, deep breathing, taking time to be alone - just like what the speaker talks about. Drinking will never again be an option to deal with my uncomfortable feelings.

Good TedTalk! Thanks zero.
WOW this describes me to a tee! I finally got tired of killing my body and one day it hit me it was time to put it down. Years of regular drinking with binges thrown in a couple times a week however I always managed to function somewhat normal. There were times when my wife could tell I was in the liquor bottle because I acted different drinking the hard stuff over beer. Anyways great thread and there are many of us steady drinkers who don't hit rock bottom that are bonafide alcoholics and need help.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:03 AM
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Wow! Lots of AV in my post! I had a lot of AV activity when I was away in Japan. I do recognize it as AV but I find it harder to separate myself from the anxiety so I try to manage it. As long as I don't ever drink the thoughts and feelings can't do anything more than be annoying, and I'll never drink again so it's all good. There is no doubt that I still have an AV though! Being around drinkers day in and day out for 2 weeks I could feel my AV coming out in my speech again, telling drinking stories and whatnot, and there was a moment where IT took over the I/ME pronoun, and that freaked me out. But I handled it.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:08 AM
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That's an excellent Ted Talk.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:55 PM
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This is me as well. I never hit rock bottom, or at least not in the classical sense. I didn't go to jail, didn't burn my house down, or wreck my car. I did have a very, very bad day and that was my last straw. I was also a very functional drinker - drank 32 ounces of pure vodka each and every day and, usually, showed no outward signs of intoxication, I consider that 'functional'. In the end, I was drinking so much, so often that my liver was starting to get behind processing it all. I was getting really drunk really quickly. I also started losing parts of my day and lost most of that very bad day. Just got tired of living that way really. I did not like what I was becoming.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:56 PM
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Great thread, by the way.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:12 PM
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I can relate to a sudden realization about drinking. She said she knew in her bones she would never drink again; I knew in my bones I was in big trouble.

I didn't have a rock bottom in the way people usually say it like getting in trouble. I had a rock bottom emotionally though where I was starting to convince myself that my family would be better off without me.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:49 AM
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Is it grey or gray ? hmm I think I use them based on mood.

Since threads are exercises in thinking and bouncing thoughts off one and other, lets go all the way white or black and ungre(a)y it.

How would it look or work if say a person that never personally identified any negative aspect of their alcohol consumption had decided to never , ever again consume alcohol? With specific respect to 'merely' abstaining from the physical actions of consumption, would those actions be different or similar to one who identified as having had some kind or degree of a 'bottom'?
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Is it grey or gray ? hmm I think I use them based on mood.

Since threads are exercises in thinking and bouncing thoughts off one and other, lets go all the way white or black and ungre(a)y it.

How would it look or work if say a person that never personally identified any negative aspect of their alcohol consumption had decided to never , ever again consume alcohol? With specific respect to 'merely' abstaining from the physical actions of consumption, would those actions be different or similar to one who identified as having had some kind or degree of a 'bottom'?
I think it would probably be easy for the first group. At least easier than for those of us that had negative consequences whether we realized it was from the alcohol or not. I much would have preferred to have control over my drinking and continued to drink. I was too afraid to keep drinking because I knew I was about to wreak havoc on my life. So, even though technically I wasn't at rock bottom it was the sum total of the consequences that got me to quit.

She sounded like she figured it out way before I did in the spectrum. OK, part of me knew but I pushed it aside to keep drinking. If I had stopped 10 years prior when I first realized something was wrong I would have had such an easier time recovering. If I had gone on any longer than I did I doubt I would have pulled through.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:40 PM
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@ BillieJean1

Same here. Thanks for describing.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Is it grey or gray ? hmm I think I use them based on mood.

Since threads are exercises in thinking and bouncing thoughts off one and other, lets go all the way white or black and ungre(a)y it.

How would it look or work if say a person that never personally identified any negative aspect of their alcohol consumption had decided to never , ever again consume alcohol? With specific respect to 'merely' abstaining from the physical actions of consumption, would those actions be different or similar to one who identified as having had some kind or degree of a 'bottom'?
I suspect what you're getting at is when it comes to behavior, there is no difference regardless of the motivation. But therein lies the rub - behavior or "physical actions" do not exist apart from thinking, feeling, and physiology. The person who doesn't drink because of, for example, a religious prohibition, is having a different experience than one who doesn't drink because prior drinking was problematic or at times unpleasant, even if the "physical actions" of not drinking look the same. Others don't drink because they are literally terrified it will lead to death or worse. The behavior of not lifting the bottle is black and white; the experience of the person not lifting the bottle ought not be oversimplified or prejudged.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:32 PM
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Is there a bottom? There's the grave, but everyone who stops drinking, stops before drinking themselves to death. And for every person we can point to who went farther down the hole, there are others who didn't go as far down as we did before turning back. Who's the wisest? Maybe all of us, because we quit. Or maybe none of us, because we didn't quit sooner than we did.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by silentrun View Post
I can relate to a sudden realization about drinking. She said she knew in her bones she would never drink again; I knew in my bones I was in big trouble.

I didn't have a rock bottom in the way people usually say it like getting in trouble. I had a rock bottom emotionally though where I was starting to convince myself that my family would be better off without me.

I knew in my bones the day I quit. That's why I hesitate to tell anyone how to quit drinking. I was simply finished with it, to the extent that I felt the freedom and the relief in my gut before I had even begun the shaking and the sweating.

I say it was AVRT that helped me but was it, really...when I never had to actually make a big plan because I already knew there was no instance in which I would drink again? No day too dark too drink: I KNEW this.

I did go to AA to sit in their meetings but never wanted to do the steps, just never really felt it was necessary....why? I had already stopped for good. And as for AV? Can I really call the weird thoughts I would get, which were just generally negative feelings, or sugar cravings, as AV when I had actually stopped wanting alcohol?

for me the knowing I had quit went along with a lack of desire to drink. They were both there at the same time. Not only was I done, I didn't want to drink any more.

Not everyone has that moment so I caution myself in recommending methods.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Stayingsassy View Post
for me the knowing I had quit went along with a lack of desire to drink. They were both there at the same time. Not only was I done, I didn't want to drink any more.
Ending the desire to drink was key to me too because until I could do that it was a daily struggle. Also like you, I'm not sure exactly how I achieved it but being bored of being drunk was a large part of it for me.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by zerothehero View Post
I suspect what you're getting at is when it comes to behavior, there is no difference regardless of the motivation. But therein lies the rub - behavior or "physical actions" do not exist apart from thinking, feeling, and physiology. The person who doesn't drink because of, for example, a religious prohibition, is having a different experience than one who doesn't drink because prior drinking was problematic or at times unpleasant, even if the "physical actions" of not drinking look the same. Others don't drink because they are literally terrified it will lead to death or worse. The behavior of not lifting the bottle is black and white; the experience of the person not lifting the bottle ought not be oversimplified or prejudged.
Actually what I was trying to get at was the idea that once someone makes the decision to never again consume alcohol and not change their mind on that decision , it doesn't matter if they were addicted or never addicted.

Prior indulgence of the desire as a relative factor in future indulgence of residual desire is AV , a trick of the addiction to perpetuate or reintroduce 'itself'.

" I don't drink" as a pov is utterly black and white and exceedingly simplistic. Anyone can adopt it.

" I shouldn't drink and will do my best to not drink" is a pov that allows for future drinking and AV , a trick of the addiction to perpetuate or reintroduce 'itself'.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:58 PM
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It seems you both countered and confirmed my statement, above. I suppose one way to look at it would be the addict has an AV, others not so much if at all. So, not drinking is not drinking. True enough. Whether or not one deals with the AV, or cravings, or hardwired buzzhounding - that's the difference.
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:06 PM
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My experience is that when I was addicted I had plenty of AV but now I don't want to drink or, more accurately, I don't want to get drunk, I don't have any. If I did wouldn't that mean that I wanted to get drunk?
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