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Thu Apr 11, 2013, 12:52 PM

I need to talk.

I don't have anyone I can talk to about my drinking problem.

It's been going off and on for a couple of years. I have a pattern: every other day, stop after work, get 3-4 mini bottles, a pint of something, and a Coke. Drink the minis and the Coke while driving home. Drink about half the pint at home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

My wife knows about the pints, although I try to hide it from her. I keep my pints in the closet behind my shoes, and that's where I drink, from the bottle. Sometimes I drink too much; I don't know it until the next day, because I can't remember shit about the night before. I'm sure some of you know the feeling. (Will you tell me some stories about that?)

Today is the latest day in the "that's it -- no more" category. But I know that as the end of the day approaches, I'm going to want to hit the liquor store on the way home. The pull is very strong.

Making it worse is that I'm trying to lose weight. I'm replacing my compulsive overeating with the drinking. Thank god I don't want to smoke.

Any advice/thoughts are welcome. I haven't ruled out AA, but taking that step would be so hard.

42 replies, 5242 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply I need to talk. (Original post)
clam happy Apr 2013 OP
seabeyond Apr 2013 #1
clam happy Apr 2013 #15
Trajan Apr 2013 #2
demosincebirth Apr 2013 #34
tavalon Jun 2013 #38
LiberalEsto Apr 2013 #3
elleng Apr 2013 #4
NMDemDist2 Apr 2013 #22
elleng Apr 2013 #23
NMDemDist2 Apr 2013 #25
elleng Apr 2013 #26
oldhippydude Apr 2013 #5
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2013 #6
elleng Apr 2013 #7
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2013 #9
elleng Apr 2013 #10
clam happy Apr 2013 #8
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2013 #11
NMDemDist2 Apr 2013 #20
Ilsa Apr 2013 #12
Post removed Apr 2013 #13
clam happy Apr 2013 #14
In_The_Wind Apr 2013 #16
Wait Wut Apr 2013 #17
In_The_Wind Apr 2013 #18
Wait Wut Apr 2013 #19
NMDemDist2 Apr 2013 #21
clam happy Apr 2013 #27
Wait Wut Apr 2013 #29
clam happy Apr 2013 #30
Old Codger Apr 2013 #24
clam happy Apr 2013 #28
In_The_Wind Apr 2013 #31
JayhawkSD Apr 2013 #32
clam happy Apr 2013 #33
tavalon Jun 2013 #39
Iggo Apr 2013 #35
progree Apr 2013 #36
Taverner Jun 2013 #37
tavalon Jun 2013 #40
Name removed Jun 2013 #41
Fire Walk With Me Jul 2013 #42

Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 12:57 PM

1. Thank god I don't want to smoke.

 

i am working on stopping smoking.... AGAIN. and had to lol as i got to that. because as you are describing how hard it all is, i was thinking exactly with journey on smoking.

i hope you get lots of help from people, and the best to you. i feel much empathy. though i do not drink very often, so we are walking two different stories.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 04:15 PM

15. I wish you success in quitting. My wife quit

after 28 years. You can, too.

Thank you.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:21 PM

2. I am no expert on this matter

 

and the reality is : there is an underlying cause that is driving you to adopt this behavior ... You need to discover what it is inside you that makes you want to escape from that cause..

That being said: I had a problem, not with drink, but with something worse ... and since I am atheist, I found it hard to reconcile joining AA with my own beliefs about deities and higher powers ...

I stumbled upon Rational Recovery,.which is a different approach than AA ... the intervention occurs between you rational self ( the one who wrote this post) and the addicted beast part of you, who turns the car towards the store on the way home, and who grabs the bottles from the shelf ... who pulls out the cash to pay ...

There is a point in that process where you decide to act out the urges of your beast brain ( the part of the brain that is shared with all other mammals. and controls hunger and sex drive, for instance)

The beast brain does not control your muscles, and so it cannot do anything on its own ... but it's hungry for the drugs ... it provides comforting ideal images of you enjoying your drug of choice ... images you think of on the drive and that convince you to turn your car .. enter the store ... grab the bottles . ... etc ...

The idea behind RR is to recognize those images as a voice from your addicted, hungry beast brain , and to then intervene with your rational self .... and to literally tell that beast to shut the f@ck up ...

Your hungry little beast brain wants its drugs, but it cannot get them if your rational self doesn't agree and doesn't go through with the actions to acquire those drugs ....

We laughed about this in RR, but it does boil down to this:

You have to recognize when that voice is talking to you, and you tell it 'no' NO NO NO ....

Sounds so simplistic, I know but it works for me ... no meetings ... no shaming ... no disease ... just an active intervention that occurs within my own mind that denies my addicted animal brain the ability to use by stopping it as soon as I think of it ... I tell that little bastard inside 'no ... I won't go through the motions to satiate my beast brains desire to satisfy its drug cravings ... it's needs my rational self to act on its behalf, and I will not do that anymore ...

I tell it NO, and the thought slithers away ... I rarely have those thoughts anymore ....

That's my take on it

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Response to Trajan (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 08:20 PM

34. With me, I had to get to that point where I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired of

being... Until you reach that point and hit your bottom you're going to remain in the vicious cycle. You didn't mention ever going to an AA meeting. If you have, go back and make that a habit. Good luck.

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Response to Trajan (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 09:37 PM

38. Interesting

I am a solid twelve stepper and yet, in another post, I described my higher power as being just about like you describe in RR. I think the reason I feel so strongly about the 12 step course is that it's group work. I suck at doing things on my own but give me a group to support me and I can be stronger than I ever imagined and I can be strong for others, too.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:25 PM

3. For whatever it's worth, I've been sober 25 years

 

You wrote that you realize you have a pattern of behavior, and you know you need to change the pattern.

Can you can stop after work and get a bag of baby carrots and low-fat blue cheese dressing, or some kind of smoothie, or do something you normally don't do, even if it's to go for a walk around the block? Go to the library, or plan and cook dinner?

Could you make a list of alternative things to do, including stuff you've always wanted to try, so that you will feel you're giving yourself a well-earned treat? Take an evening class in something fun?

For me, drinking and compulsive eating came from the same root -- not being nurtured as a child, or loved unconditionally. The craving for drink and food takes the place of that missing nurturing, but eventually you learn there are alternative ways to nurture yourself and love yourself.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:49 PM

4. I'm glad you're here.

As an 'expert' only due to family experience, I highly recommend what you can learn here:

http://www.lakesidemilam.com/

http://www.lakesidemilam.com/DiseaseOfAddictionSynopsis.htm

http://www.lakesidemilam.com/UnderTheInfluence.htm

Best.

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:38 PM

22. excellent resource

love his book "under the Influence" still a game changer in the study of addiction

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #22)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:50 PM

23. ABSOLUTELY NMDem.

Close family member received that book at hospital program he entered, 30+ years ago. It was a main feature of their approach to helping patients, 'self-diagnosis.' I read it then, and has been a major part of my understanding of alcoholism ever since, which I spread around here whenever I can.

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Response to elleng (Reply #23)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:26 PM

25. i actually started a thread about this book not long ago....

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #25)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:39 PM

26. GREAT! Sorry I missed it!

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 02:28 PM

5. been there done that...

made my first meeting in January 79..... been sober since that time... just caught an evening meeting on the way home, instead of hitting the watering hole

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 02:52 PM

6. Congratulations! You are moving out of the denial stage of alcoholism.

That is a big step.

The blackouts ( not remembering what you did) tells me the problem is getting more serious tho.
(I have been an alcohol and drug treatment counselor for many years)

"The pull is very strong"..yep. That is the nature of addiction.

What exactly would be "so hard" about "taking that step" of AA?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:02 PM

7. SO GLAD you're here for him, dixiegrrrrl!

REALLY makes my day, as a non-professional with long ago family issues.

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Response to elleng (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:10 PM

9. I am strong supporter of Codependency treatment

whether it is a 12 step group or other forms of effective treatment.
dealing with being ACOA ( thus Co-De) turned my whole life around, and Al-Anon was a big help in the early years.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:14 PM

10. Ditto, helped me too,

30? years ago.

Later-born daughters probably could have used it too.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:08 PM

8. What would be hard?

I'd have to tell my wife what I'm doing. Yeah, she knows when I drink, I'm sure of it, but I don't want to talk about it. I am bitterly aware of how unhappy it makes her. She has told me it makes her very sad. Then why don't I fucking quit?!! She is my world! I don't understand.

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Response to clam happy (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:15 PM

11. Look what you just said:

My wife know I drink.
It makes her unhappy and sad.
But I don't want to tell her I am drinking.

SHE is not the one you do not want to tell.

YOU are....
if you "talk about it" it means you have to admit to it, out loud.

Which actually is the first step towards dealing with it, btw...

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Response to clam happy (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:35 PM

20. i have to agree with Dixie

your wife knows and is praying you'll get help between the times she's considering leaving cuz she can't stand to watch you do that to yourself anymore.

most libraries have a copy of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and reading the first few chapters may be enlightening for you. or try RR as suggested above.

either way, doing nothing is the choice to keep doing what you've been doing to get you to the state you're in.

good luck, call the AA hotline and talk to someone who's been in your shoes.

keep us posted, we can relate and understand how crazy it seems right now

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:37 PM

12. Hello.

I am a family member of someone(s) with an addiction. I want to wish you the best luck and strength in confronting your addiction.

I bet your loving wife would love to see you taking steps in addressing this. Maybe she'll offer her support and strength when you are feeling "pulled" towards drinking.

Maybe someone close to you will help you get to your first AA meeting or whatever therapy you seek.

Peace.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #13)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 04:12 PM

14. I've lurked for a long time

And knowing I needed to talk to someone about this, but not knowing who, and having looked at this particular forum before, I thought I might find some insight.

Posting privileges are granted after ten replies.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 04:17 PM

16. I was in a 12 step program. .

Look for one near you before you take another drink

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 04:45 PM

17. Warning: I may seem unsympathetic with my comment.

But, I'm not. It's just something I've dealt with in the past.

Be stronger than your addiction. Your wife isn't 'pissed', she's depressed and you're killing her. If you have children (any age) you're killing them, too. The stress of being in a relationship with an alcoholic is devastating.

Next time you go into a store to pick up a pint, change your mind and buy your wife some flowers instead. No flowers? Find some little goofy gift for her. If she asks why, tell her the truth. Tell her that you chose to spend that money on her instead of a pint. That she's more important than your addiction.

Tell yourself that you're more important. You're just now beginning to be honest with yourself. Keep it up. If you need help, get it. Don't wait. 'One more day' can last a lifetime.

My ex-bf died last year from an overdose topped off with a bottle of cheap whiskey. He was one of the brightest, most compassionate people I've ever known. Now...he's a fucking statistic along with a lot of other people in my life.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 05:41 PM

18. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #18)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 06:44 PM

19. Thank you.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:36 PM

21. ...

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:53 PM

27. You don't seem unsympathetic

In fact of all the very tough, helpful, understanding and informative posts, all of which I appreciate, yours has found just the right spot.

I brought two things home to her tonight: a funny card and a sober me. I didn't even stop for minis for the drive home.

I am sorry to hear about your ex-bf.

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Response to clam happy (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 11:44 AM

29. I'm so glad to hear that!

Maybe tonite the two of you could rent a movie and have a 'date'.

These may seem like small steps, but changes work best with small steps.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 12:04 PM

30. Well, we're not so far apart as you might imagine.

We're affectionate, say "I love you" frequently, show it frequently (at least I try, mainly with chores), etc. I just don't know how she puts up with me, I really don't. Through her hurt, she is still by my side. She is a wonderful woman, the best person I've ever known. I am so very lucky.

The small steps for me are day to day, not stopping at the liquor store. What's that they say in AA? One day at a time.

Thank you for your posts, Wait Wut. (Great name, by the way.)

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:09 PM

24. Take the step

 

If you don't take that step one of the next steps you take will be a lot harder to get over...there is no way to whitewash what you need to do, go to a meeting take the steps that are necessary, the one you know you need to take. I know exactly how hard it is I did it in 1984 and have never ever regretted it. You won't be telling your wife anything she does not already know and you will be rewarded many times by doing so.



Go For It

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:55 PM

28. Thank you to everyone. I am sober tonight.

I'll read all your comments again in the morning.

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Response to clam happy (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 04:36 PM

31. One sober day at a time.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:20 AM

32. First you have to decide if you want to quit.

 

And I don't hear you saying that. Do you want to quit drinking? That is the fundamental question.

Nothing else matters. Doesn't matter what your wife wants, or thinks. Doesn't matter what you think you should do.

Logic is not part of the equation.

First just answer one question. Do you want to stop drinking?

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #32)

Thu Apr 25, 2013, 12:11 PM

33. Yes, I do.

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Response to clam happy (Reply #33)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 09:49 PM

39. Excellent!

I came to this discussion late. My drug of choice is people. I'm a recovering Codependent. I'm in a stage where I screwed up so royally that I'm flying solo for now. I suppose it will be appropriate for me to climb back in eventually, but I'm enjoying the concrete boundaries right now.

I'm grateful not to have the alcohol or drug monkey on my back but I am a recovering addict, nonetheless.

Way to go on taking your first step by admitting to yourself and another that you are powerless over alcohol but that you don't want to drink any more!

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 01:00 AM

35. It ain't that hard. Don't worry about the program. Don't worry about the steps.

You need to talk? That's what they're there for.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Fri Apr 26, 2013, 04:27 PM

36. What's your blood alcohol content (BAC) when driving after 3-4 mini bottles?

I have a pattern: every other day, stop after work, get 3-4 mini bottles, a pint of something, and a Coke. Drink the minis and the Coke while driving home. ...


For me, using the 180 pound male formula --

BAC = (24 * numStandardDrinks - 16 * numHours) / 1000.

The mini-bottles I've seen are 50ml (1.69 fluid oz.) 80 proof (40% alcohol), thus containing 0.676 oz pure alcohol.

A standard drink on which this particular formula is based on is 0.6 oz. (it is also the definition of "standard drink" by the U.S. government, e.g. Center for Disease Control and NIAAA.NIH.GOV

So each mini-bottle is 0.676 oz / 0.600 oz = 1.127 standard drinks

So 3 mini-bottles over the course of an hour = (24 * 3 * 1.127 - 16 * 1)/1000 = .065 BAC (a bit below the 0.08 legal limit)

So 4 mini-bottles over the course of an hour = (24 * 4 * 1.127 - 16 * 1)/1000 = .087 BAC (nearly 10% above the 0.08 legal limit)

Anyway, that's if you are a 180 pound male. There are different coefficients for different weights (and a whole different set for females). The more you weigh, the lower the BAC, and vice versa. Anyway, there are a lot of BAC calculators on the net -- try 3 or 4. Google: "blood alcohol content calculators" or "blood alcohol content tables"

Even if you are under the legal threshold, there is this to consider: a "Zador Study" -- Relative Risk of Fatal Crash Involvement by BAC, Age, and Gender, NHTSA April 2000 http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/809-050pdf.pdf

According to that study, at a BAC of 0.07, (7/8 of the legal limit) a person is 11 times more likely to be involved in a fatal automobile accident; and at 0.12 a person is 48 times more likely. (For reference, the basic DUI threshold in all states now is 0.08% BAC).

So even being under the legal limit does not mean it is ethical and moral to drive that impaired! And as far as legality, being involved in a car accident above 0.02 or 0.03 or so will mean "alcohol was a contributing factor" and that's not good news. Lots of prison time if someone is killed.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 12:51 PM

37. We're on the same road...

 

I too loved just drinking until I forgot.

And I am on my fifth day sober

No AA, no group meetings, just Ativan - may I suggest you see your doctor? They can do something about the heart racing.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #37)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 09:51 PM

40. Yay, I am so glad to hear it

If AA is a block for you, then don't use it. If group meetings don't help you right now, don't do them. But please, try not to rule them out forever. I think the eclectic approach with an open mind to many possibilities gives the most likely chance for success.

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Response to clam happy (Original post)


Response to clam happy (Original post)

Sat Jul 27, 2013, 06:35 AM

42. AA is for drinkers who at some point have lost the power of choice regarding how much they drink

 

once they begin despite all will power to the contrary. It's for those who have been completely defeated by the process of using and not being able to stop once they've begun or to stay stopped for very long at all despite all decisions and oaths to the contrary. And for those who see a problem forming which is beginning to damage their life and the lives of those around them.

Stop drinking, start eating. Stop eating, start debting. Stop debting, start smoking. It's a whack-a-mole game. And it's a stunning relief to learn that there is an answer to our completely lack of power.

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