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Post Info TOPIC: Question.....


Veteran Member

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Question.....
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Hi all, 

I occasionally read the board here, sometimes post though it's been a while. I wanted to get your thoughts on drinking, or perhaps I'm just working through my own drinking as I feel it has been a problem. When I drink there are times when I have just a beer and stop, and this is when I'm out socially and know I need to keep my composure. Then I'll make a decision to drink to excess by myself. This is a conscious, deliberate decision, that I know to be true. I track my drinking now because 1 day will lead to 2, then 3, then 4....you know the drill. By day 4 i know I need to stop so I do because I'm left feeling hungover, depressed and anxious. That is not because I'm anxious about not drinking but because I'm hungover and feel like crap physically and say "I DON'T want to drink and I'm not going to touch it". A few days later I'll be feeling better and my resolve strengthens and I'll go 1,2,3, 4 or more weeks without drinking, sometimes a few months or more. I stopped for 18 months without touching alcohol. Then I'll drink again, have a few and the cycle repeats. 1 or 2 which always leads to a good piss up, then stop. I've been tracking my my sober clean days and thought "Well, it's not as bad as I thought'. Out of the last 44 days I drank on 12 of them, not consecutively but 2 or 3 days then break for weeks. It's an odd mindset and I think it's one of denial. The cycle IS a problem. When I do drink in those times the escalation, however short or long in duration, is deliberate and, being deliberate (usually due to trying to medicate the stresses in my life) I'm trying to control negative life-events with the negative activity of drinking. Trying to minimize it by saying "It's not as bad as I thought" is a false truth (okay, I'm lying to myself, I'll admit it). The fact I even say that makes me now say "Dude, you even asking that is a problem."

I think I've answered my own question and that's "Do I have a drinking problem?". Yep, I think I do. The fact that I even ask answers that question and validates a problem exists. Binge drinking is a problem. While my problems are still there I am much better able to manage them without alcohol in my life. I've considered going to AA, and perhaps I should for the community support. At this point I'm relaxed in the thought I don't want to drink and have no plans or desire to drink. I enjoy my sobriety and my sleep patterns are normalizing. I'm getting things done and feel happy. I truly despise being hungover. Am I an alcoholic? I'm not sure exactly what that means to be honest. I think there are degrees to this problem. As I write this I realize that is not a black and white question and there seem to be very few things in life that ARE black and white. 

What triggered this deep consideration? I'm an avid scuba driver and working on my advanced certifications. Last night I was doing my classroom work for deep diving and we were talking about the adverse effect of the bends and related emergency conditions. My instructor mentioned the emergency treatment of pure oxygen for purging nitrogen bubbles to accelerate out-gassing. "And it works wonders if you've drank too much the night before. Wipes a hangover clean after a short time." I'm thinking "Geez, I could use one those kits at home!" WTF! Why would I even consider that! Think I just answered the "DO I really have a problem?" question! 

Thanks for listening and I welcome any comments and feedback. and a question for you all.......aside from the most important aspect of AA, which I see as first and foremost as freeing yourself from the horrible existence of chronic, self-destructive drinking, how has AA enriched and changed your life? I ask because I'm interested in the other benefits it could bring to mine and be open-minded to attending the fellowship.

Thanks 

D



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MIP Old Timer

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Hi SN, ...

Your post describes exactly the 'train of thought' I went through many years ago ... for a long time, my 'drinking pattern' was the same as yours ... then the thought of 'do I have a drinking problem' became all consuming on a daily basis ... i'd go have a drink and wait for those thoughts to go away ... next day was full of remorse ...

Finally, I decided I could not go on like this or I'd simply die a lonely, forgettable death ... 'the drink' was on my mind from the moment I got up to the moment I passed out ... Alcoholism is a progressive disease ... the only cure is to stop putting alcohol in our bodies ... it took a long time to get in the shape I got in and it took a long while to stop ... AA was the only way that worked for me ... AA helped me heal mentally, spiritually, and physically ...

It's a choice ... do I want sickness and death OR do I want health, wellness, and happiness ??? ... If you knew eating peanuts would eventually kill you, would you continue to keep putting them in your mouth ???

Do you have the AA big book ??? ... if not get the 'Alcoholic's Anonymous' book and read it ... it will answer many of your questions ... and we can help you here too ...



Love ya and God Bless,
Pappy



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'Those who leave everything in God's hand will eventually see God's hand in everything.'



MIP Old Timer

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You are giving your drinking a lot of thought and that is very useful, SN. See ms like you are struggling with the "Am I really an alcoholic?" question. The way I view it is that it is black/white question. A binary. Butttttt.....that only makes the question greatly difficult to answer--because I am biased and afraid. I don't want to be an alcoholic. 

So, I avoided the question for many years. I just made the question go away to some place where did not have to think about it--even when suffering from a crushing hangover.

Like you, I did not drink every day. And, like you, I would consciously pick certain times to get wasted. But sometimes I wouldn't pick the occasion--it would just happen randomly. Or for trivial reasons. As time went on, I was rolling the dice whenever I had a drink. I simply could not predict the outcome reliably.

One of the biggest benefits of AA to my life is showing me that acceptance of my alcoholism was possible. In meetings, I saw and heard all kinds of people who accepted their alcoholism and who were living good lives--with all their problems and successes. I learned how to live life life on life's terms from others who were like me. 

I am not alone.

Best of luck, SN, in figuring out what to do...

 



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First, deal with the things that might kill you.

 



Veteran Member

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Thank you Pappy. I appreciate your feedback.

 

Peace

D



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Veteran Member

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Thank you Tanin. I appreciate your feedback and perspective. I don't want to live with the alcohol looming over my head. I would rather do without it. I think I will attend the AA meetings. I think the support of like-minded people in the same boat will help a lot. Not sure what to expect however I'm going to be open-minded about it.

Peace,

 

D



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MIP Old Timer

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Wise choice SN ... and yes, stay open-minded and listen to how others share ... Speaker meetings and Big book study and 'step study' meetings are all good ... I wish for you the best ...



Bless you,
Pappy



__________________

'Those who leave everything in God's hand will eventually see God's hand in everything.'



Senior Member

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If you only knew how much I relate to drinking deliberately. My way of giving this harsh world the finger was to drink hard, fast and heavy on purpose. But it's never the amount that makes us alcoholic. When I first got into the rooms I would see these little old ladies sharing about how their Sunday night 2 glasses of wine excursions were destroying their life and thought to myself "can you people leave to free up a chair for us real alcoholics". 

But it affects everyone differently. What we need and lack before aa is a set of tools that work in helping us stay stopped. What you will find online is a bunch of us trying to nudge you into face to face meetings so I wouldn't try to stay sober off of other people's experiences. 



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MIP Old Timer

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Well said Vision ...


Pappy



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'Those who leave everything in God's hand will eventually see God's hand in everything.'

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