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Unread 09-15-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
SunnySideUp
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Default Not sure if I'm an alcoholic, but I'm on my way

I have never, ever posted to an online forum before, but I liked your website and read through almost all your threads and decided to give it a try.

As I wrote in the title, I'm not sure if I'm an alcoholic, but I think just being worried about it is indicative that I have a problem. I never used to drink much--once a week or so, but in the past couple of years, it's gotten a lot heavier. I woke up this morning and realized that I don't remember the last time I went one whole day without a drink of one sort or another, and I've been getting drunk about once or twice a week for about a year now. Well, maybe I'm not at the shaky, daily hangovers, life-falling-apart stage, but I'm here to tell you that today is my first day I'm admitting concern to myself over what is starting to look like problem drinking, and am reaching out, at least in an online way.

If you have any suggestions, I'll listen. As a single mom, I don't have time to make AA meetings, and am not sure they're right for me. You've probably all heard this before, but I do want to try on my own, and see if it works. I don't crave alcohol, but I'm used to drinking it at certain times of the day. I guess I'm trying to draw up a plan for myself to deal with those moments when they come.
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Unread 09-16-2008, 12:18 PM   #2
CASEY
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Hi SunnySideUp,

Welcome to this site, this is a very important step you have taken.
The fact that you have black-out's is a very serious sign.
Have you ever thought of seeing a Therapist who deal's with this matter? Many people feel more comfortable with a one on one basis, we are all different. The fact that you are realizing this is HUGE!
They can set a time for you which is good for you.
You took a big step in writing here , so to me it sound's like you probally have a problem, and going alone is not the way to go.
On this site , we are all stranger's and we give you our advice, and you can do with it what you want.
We are never here to Judge anyone, we just listen and sometime's people just need to VENT, and this is the perfect forum.
But in my opinion, and it is only mine - I feel like you do need help.
Just because you don't have the shake's know, does not mean anything.
But the other fact that you don't remember thing's , is a huge red flag. And also that you really cannot pin-point a time when you have not had a drink, alot of people think this help's stress, but in reality " IT MAKE'S IT SO MUCH WORSE!"

I wish you the best of luck, and please keep up posted. As we are all stranger's here so you can say anything without us telling anyone.
Again Good Luck!
Casey
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Unread 09-16-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
JaneDoe
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SunnySideUp, you're doing the right thing by reaching out now. Don't end up like I was.

http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=18957
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=19103
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=19104

I'm good now because I made that decision to get help once and for all. I got this vivitrol shot. It lasts a month and it takes the pleasure out of drinking so you don't care if you do or you don't. There's some info here.
http://www.alcoholanswers.org/treatm...-treatment.cfm

Maybe try that or the naltrexone pill.

I didn't do AA, but did take it one day at a time, just say you won't drink today. Those days turn into weeks and months and then a year. I don't miss it. I bet you won't either.

JaneDoe
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Unread 09-16-2008, 11:04 PM   #4
CarlyO
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Hi Sunny side Up - Love your screen name : )

Welcome to the forum! When you read through the posts either this side or the other side - did anything ring true for you ? Did you identify with feelings, situations from other posters ?
If you are questioning yourself, are drinking daily and/or want to stop please do so under medical supervision, stopping alcohol suddenly can be very dangerous. You could have an assessment done by a doctor, counselor, clinic, etc...
They will ask many questions, mainly what, if any impact does your alcohol use have on your life. Is it affecting your health, work, relationships, depression etc... Are you drinking out of boredom, stress ? Those types of questions.
Do you have any history of substance misuse? You say you drink daily, get drunk a few times a week. No one knows where that fine line is -- between being functional,content, and alcohol is not a huge issue, to the point where you have to have a drink to face the day or to have a good time.
If you have any tendency towards any type of addiction, then you may be on the razor's edge ( imo). Do you really want to wait until your life is falling apart, relationships down the drain etc... ??
I am not trying to tell you to hit the panic button here, but you said today was your first day of reaching out for help, so I am posing some questions to ponder.

I hope you will consider seeing someone for an assessment and you can go from there.
You say you want to do this on your own,( do you mean without AA, treatment, counseling ) IMO - I think it would be easier on you if you had someone to talk to until you get on your feet again so to speak. Maybe you have friends, family, people who care about you and will support you through this. And even the forum, when you get ancy or bored - post, vent - whatever you need to do to make this work.

I do not know if this helps, but keep posting and reading, I hope you find your answers, please keep us posted and take care of yourself : ) Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.

Last edited by CarlyO; 09-16-2008 at 11:32 PM.. Reason: added to post
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Unread 09-17-2008, 12:44 AM   #5
SunnySideUp
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Hi Carly O, Casey and Jane Doe:

I genuinely appreciate your input and will give it a great deal of thought. I haven't had blackouts, but I have:

1) been doing some really, really weird things while drunk lately. Nothing dangerous (I drank alone), but I could tell that my brain was thinking some really weird and abnormal thoughts.

2) it has begun to affect my work. If I have a special project to work on, I work from home at night (after kids are in bed) and/or on the weekends. On Sunday night at 10, I sent out an announcement to remind 65 people in my organization of an upcoming event. Oh god, the announcement has at least 4 spelling errors and really makes me look bad. I won't even look at it. No one has asked me about it, but I always read everything I write--particularly in publishable form--at least 4 times. So yes, it was the first such (obvious) error, but I cannot, nor will I, let it happen again. I have worked while drinking at night before, but never while so drunk that I sent out crap like that.

3) makes me feel more isolated than I already am.

In short, I gave the stuff up the other day. I think we all have "teachable moments". I happened to read your website and look through the effects of heavy alcohol intake on the body, and realized what I was doing to myself. Of course, I always knew on some level, but I think I was feeling open to change at that time. I read, for example, that if a woman drinks at all, she should drink no more than 7 drinks a week. The night before, I had had 10 beers. Oh, and I should say that I don't eat when I drink either. So the 4 beers I had at around 4-6pm were followed by a six pack. By 11, I was plowed and hadn't eaten since noon. What the hell was I thinking?

I drank out of loneliness, boredom, and in response to stress. Today was a particularly stressful day. If people knew what I juggle each day, they would cringe. I had to stop at a corner store on the way home, and was able to easily (for today, at least) remind myself that I wasn't there to buy beer. I left with a quart of milk for the kids, with a lighter heart than was merited for a day like this.

I don't really miss it actually (yet?) and I REALLY enjoyed having a clear head yesterday and today.

I actually did read every post on your site. My own family been ripped apart by alcohol addiction: my older sister, an alcoholic since her teens, basically killed herself at 34 with the stuff and it's a horrifyingly painful and lingering way to go; my father is an alcoholic; my younger sister nearly died the same way my older sister did but kicked the habit in the hospital bed on death's door and hasn't looked back in 6 years. I tell her that each day that she goes to bed without a drink, to give herself a pat on the back. She deserves it. And so do the rest of you former drinkers.

I took somewhat large amounts of drugs starting around 13 until my mid 20s. I grew out of it (hopefully unscathed, time will tell) and never drank much until about 3 years ago. You would think I had learned a thing or two from my past experiences?

This website, and the teachable moment I was having while reading it, made me realize that I can and--perhaps, more importantly, want--to deal with stress, loneliness, or whatever bleak thoughts I may occasionally have--without a false crutch.

I know what my buttons are that push me to drink. When my kids are not here, I tend to drink. My kids are going on vacation with their father on Sept 25 (long story; he insisted upon doing it during the school year; I lost that argument). Not only is this reply to you, but it's a post to myself. A reminder. It's on the internet. I can read it to myself over and over again, if necessary. And I will. Especially for those two weeks.

Thanks for listening.

(not always)SunnySideUp
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Unread 09-17-2008, 09:51 AM   #6
CarlyO
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Good Morning Sunny Side Up !

You sound like you have a lot of great insight into this, when you stopped did you go through withdrawal? Please be careful.
I am sorry that your family has struggled with alcoholism, your sister who has 6 years should be very proud of herself. And you should too, to realize this is an issue before it gets outta hand.
I also have had family members/friends who have struggled with alcohol misuse. Never thought it would happen to me, I was a binge drinker years ago in my 20s , it was another substance that I became physically and mentally addicted to, starting out as tx. for chronic pain and then I crossed that line and I became a mess. I had many "false starts," as Glennda says, but eventually I got it. I have tried most every treatment out there, I did go to AA, ( I preferred it to NA) to build a foundation for recovery, but now that I am a parent, it is difficult to find time for meetings, so I see a counselor a few times a month , I also had worked in the field of mental health/substance abuse- how ironic is that ?
I know my AA group is there if I need them. But I completely understand AA is not for everyone, I was lucky to find a good group. There are many things you can do - if you need support . You sound like you have a lot on your plate, so imo be patient, take care of yourself and reach out.

You are right about being teachable, it sounds like you had a moment of clarity. AA may not be for you, but perhaps you could give the Big Book a read or other recovery related material. When your kids are away, make plans to do something for you - a movie, walk, something to replace the habit of picking up a drink. Some people grieve the loss of their "friend" but that will pass. It sounds like you are well on your way, just take it one day at time, cliche - I know- but it makes it much easier to deal with.

I am glad you did not wait until things got bad, Please keep us posted on your progress and Congrats to you ! Hang in there and take care !
Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 09-17-2008, 04:57 PM   #7
jerryg
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SunnySideUp,

By your own report it sounds like there is a problem. Along with the others I would think seeking out and making use of confidential, professional help would be a good idea.
It's good you are seeing this for yourself and are raising the question.

All the best,
Jerry
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 09-17-2008, 11:20 PM   #8
SunnySideUp
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I will keep trying. I'm terrible at "reaching out" (for myself). I did see an excellent counselor a few years ago when my husband and I were breaking up. I stopped seeing her because I couldn't afford it anymore. If my job works out (am still a temp), I'll try to see her again.

I've been to AA meetings before. My younger sister tried so many programs. She had some luck with the Haight Ashbury clinic, which put her on an alphabet soup of drugs that only work if you take them . (I can't believe when [older teens, early 20s] I used to smoke pot on the steps of the clinic because we knew no one would bust us. In fact, no one ever said a word). At the time my sister went through that program, I lived in NYC, so couldn't help her much. When I came back to visit I realized she was wasting away and took her to AA meetings myself. She was embarassed to go. I went in, said I was there to support her, and helped her get started. That didn't work for her either; she said she didn't believe in God or any higher power. She subsequently ended up with near liver failure and had a month long stint in the hospital. Afterwards, she joined another recovery group not centered on God in any way. She now works for this recovery group but doesn't go to meetings anymore.

I guess I need to find some path for myself, as well. I cycle through moments when I'm "convinced" I don't need to even stop drinking, then try to remember what I've read and written here and remind myself how much I enjoy having a clear head, and decide to make it through another day.

Again, thanks for listening.

SunnySideUp
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Unread 09-19-2008, 12:57 PM   #9
CarlyO
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Hi Sunny Side Up - Checking in with you : )
I hope you are doing well, let us know how are doing when you have time. Take care , Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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