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Author Topic: Do i have an issue with alcohol?  (Read 1103 times)

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Offline GenSec

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Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« on: January 02, 2014, 07:05:38 PM »
Hello,

I'm in my late 20's and remember being allowed to have my first drinks of alcohol before the age of 9 years old. Yet it was strictly controlled by my parents.

When i hit 18, suddenly i had the freedom to drink whatever and whenever i wanted, and with my friends i drank pretty heavily... i'm ashamed to say that i was stupid enough to get in such a state that i had to be carried home.

However, i stopped getting drunk by the age of 21 years old, by choice. Thats not something i've regretted: i don't enjoy getting drunk. However, i've continued to drink. In truth, i drink every day. Every evening.

I'll have 2 doubles of whisky or rum every evening (i regulate myself in that regard; even if i want more i won't go over that). I find that it helps me sleep. I've had chronic sleeping problems all my life (which my doctors will do absolutely nothing to help me with despite my many requests over the years because they fear me becoming reliant on any meds they prescribe). Furthermore, i just enjoy it. I look forward to my evening drink. Its one of the few times of the day where my anxiety disorder, and depression, disappear and i'm actually happy. It gets me so content that i'm able to sit down and watch movies, read books, even play games like monopoly til 2am in the morning with family members when they too are having periodic sleeping troubles of their own! :laugh3:

If i don't drink anything in the evening, my evenings can be a deeply depressing place of tears, deep sadness with no hope of ever being happy in this life, and zero sleep. Sometimes even s--dal thoughts (not something i admit to anybody). Don't get me wrong, occasionally i have to take antibiotics for periodic infections and then i really do quit the drink as the doctor orders... i can go a week or two without touching a drop, if i have to. I'm not addicted. My life merely goes on in the same cycle without the evening boost.

During the day, i'm a quiet polite person. Not a very cheery one though. People see me as dour, speaking when spoken to but avoiding social interaction (which i do... i'm not scared of socialising, i just don't enjoy meeting people very much). My outlook on life as a whole could be described as rather cynical. ::) Experiences in life from childhood haven't led me to form a very high opinion of trust or faith in people or friendships in general. Yet after a couple of drinks i become someone who can be witty enough to make people laugh, make myself laugh, become boosted enough to actually take an interest in other people and the world. People actually WANT to be around me. Rather than anxiety holding me back or depression sucking the joy out of everything in my life, alcohol really seems to shoo all that away better than any antidepressant. Even at university, which i did very well in, i confess that before exams or presentations i would sometimes have a drink in the morning to loosen me up. My grades stayed exceptionally high, and nobody noticed. Honestly, if it hadn't been for the help it gave my nerves i don't believe my grades would have been as high as they were.

My family background with alcohol isn't great... my grandfather, a lovely man, was an alcoholic; every night i can remember him as a child, he drank (lightly, like me). Two of his 4 children became alcoholics. My mother came from a family with an alcoholic mother so she forbade my father from drinking except at New Year. And like my paternal family, no matter how much i drink i don't suffer from hangovers... nobody would know during the day that i had drunk anything the night before. I suffer from no post-anxiety or depression aftereffects.

Perhaps it affects me physically in one way... i look older than my years. Everybody places me in my 30's when they see me, or a pic of me. Occasionally i come across the odd grey hair, and i'm not yet 30. Whether its related or not i don't know. I put that down to the stresses of life, lol. :laugh3:

So, i'd like to honestly ask an impartial outside observer, based on what i've written, if i do have an issue with alcohol? Opinions, please.  :winking0008:
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Offline kcg13

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 11:15:32 PM »
That's a tough one.  Cause when I read your post, I would say maybe you do have an issue with alcohol since you said you use it to help you sleep and change your personality, so to say, and deal with your anxiety and depression.  Yet, I can't just say that because I, too, enjoy drinking alcohol, particularly wine, and drink a glass almost nightly (some nights I don't and definitely not when I am taking other need when I am sick and I too can handle that).  I also come from a line of alcoholics on my father's side.  I drink wine because I do honesty like the taste of it and it is relaxing.  I don't get drunk (no desire to do that).  I get no side effects the next day or with my anxiety either.  I will admit I sometimes wonder if I do have an alcohol problem (maybe that's my anxiety!) But I can take nights off if I want with no side effects and I know other people in my life who drink more (and more frequently) than me.  Then you hear the stories of people who drink a glass of something every night all of their lives and lived long happy lives.  I am not suggesting people to start drinking, I am just sharing my thoughts.  I guess I didn't answer your post very well, except to tell you you are not alone.  I think one of the definitions of alcohol addiction is if it is something you cannot function without.  Alocholics, or anyone with any addiction, cannot navigate life without whatever they are addicted too - and I am just thinking of this based on what I have seen in those I knew with addictions.  I really don't know if this helped, but I hope it has.
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 11:22:03 PM »
Hi GenSec...

I had a very severe addiction to both alcohol and drugs.  Next month I hope to be celebrating twenty-four years without a drink or a drug.  When I was a practicing alcoholic and addict, no one could tell me I had a substance abuse problem (It wouldn't have mattered; I won't have listened to them.).  That is something that I had to decide for myself.  So early in my recovery, I came to an understanding that I had no right to call another an alcoholic and/or addict.  I suggest that you take the time to read over what you have written on this post.  Read betwwen the lines.  And then decide for yourself if you have a problem.

I have another suggestion for you.  If you ever reach a point that you decide you have a drinking problem, and want to get help, make sure that you do it for yourself.  Those in recovery have a much greater success rate if they are selfish with their recovery program, doing it for themselves and not their spouse, children, etc..

Just to share a little information with you, it is my understanding that in the long run, alcohol makes problems of anxiety and depression worse, not better.  Also, one always builds-up a tolerance to alcohol, and drugs too.  You said that you are in your late 20's.  Do you think you will be drinking the same amount when you are in your late 30's; how about late 40's?

If you have any questions, or I can help you in anyway, please let me know.  The very best to you, GenSec!...  Chuck
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 07:39:37 AM »
These are great posts done with courage, honesty, insights, experience.

I really have no place here because the extent of my drinking may be a tablespoon of wine if I wake up at night and the mind is racing. But from what I've read there is that problem of tending to need more for those who do drink. Therein is the danger, it seems to me.
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Offline GenSec

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 01:33:05 PM »
Hi everyone, kind thanks for the feedback. :winking0008:

kcg, your pattern generally fits my own. For me its the taste and the relaxing. I like trying out new whisky and rum brands, searching for and acquiring less common ones that catch my interest. If the taste doesn't appeal to me i don't touch the stuff again. I'll usually give it away to relatives.

Mobilechucko has made me think, and for that i thank you. :happy0062: From what i've seen in others i don't believe i'm an alcoholic; i can function without alcohol, and occasionally when on medications i can go a week or two without touching a drop. However, i can see that i have the potential to develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. My relationship with it could be better, frankly. I am in danger of progressing into somewhere a whole lot more problematic with this. Reading back what i wrote, i can see that there have been times i've used it almost like a medication to help me deal with my anxiety/depression. Thats not healthy behaviour, and it could grow into dependancy.

So i need to do something about it now before it gets to dangerous levels.

Its not my intention to go teetotal; i don't smoke or anything, and apart from alcohol i live a very clean lifestyle. I enjoy whisky and rum tasting, its almost a hobby. What this is about is me developing a mature healthy attitude to alcohol - as they say, everything in moderation!

So, to begin with i'm cutting my intake by at least half; i'm going to cut down from two doubles an evening to just one. Starting tonight. If i don't have a problem with alcohol then this should be easy enough. :winking0008: Furthermore, i'm going to have a set amount of dry days every week, say two days a week where i don't drink at all. Again, this should be easy enough if i'm in control of the alcohol and its not in control of me. If i can't stick to it then there's a problem i need to accept. Perhaps i'll make my first dry day this coming sunday.

Secondly, i'm going to stop using alcohol when an impending stressful or anxious situation is on the horizon. The definitely needs to stop. I can see thats almost using alcohol as an anxiety medication. And if i do need help to deal with such situations then i should pay my doctor a visit and get PROPER meds.

Recently i've been under alot of stress and depression, which actually has made me control my intake even more to prevent slipping further. I sense that i'm vulnerable right now. My relationship broke up, leaving me very upset. Its painful to go through when your still in love with the other person. :( Meanwhile my ex could easily polish off a half bottle of wine every evening: as far as she was concerned, i was a lightweight drinker. So like you kcg13, i've known people who drink more than me yet as far as they're concerned there's no problem.

Mobilechucko is right... i need to consider what the future holds. If i stick to my current levels without dealing with it now, where will i be in 20 or 30 years time? Very likely further down the road of danger if i'm not careful, when i really am incapable of sorting out my own affairs on this matter. The time to act is NOW, before its too late yet am able to see the potential for serious problems is present if i don't change my relationship with alcohol now to a more healthy one.

And thank you as always for the ever constant support and encouragement, Tina. :wavey:

Regards,
Gen.

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Offline kcg13

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 09:18:08 PM »
Hey GenSec.  Read your response and think that is a great plan for yourself, and I totally encourage you to follow through with it.  There's a little more moderation, but you can still enjoy a drink.  I totally forgot about your break up (I remember you posting about it, but didn't remember until you mentioned it).  An intense breakup doesn't mix well with alcohol - it is something to be more cautious about.  But I think your plan is fair to you.  I like how you typed it all out - that way you can always look back on it for direction and encouragement, if ever needed.  You sound like a smart guy, how you thought through everything.  Best of luck with it!   :action-smiley-065:
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Offline GenSec

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 10:43:11 AM »
Kind thanks kcg! :wavey:

Yeah, i deliberately wrote it all out here so if ever i was straying i could come back here and get encouragement. :winking0008:

Last night i stuck to my plan of 1 drink, even though it was friday and i was tempted to have another. Even my sister encouraged me to have a 2nd because it was friday night! ::) However, i ended up sticking to the plan of only enjoying 1. Actually because i knew i'd only be having 1 i ended up savouring and enjoying the drink more! It lasted longer too.

This sunday i plan to have nothing at all... a dry day. Haven't had one of those in months. We'll see how it goes. Sunday is a pretty boring depressing day for me, so if i can take this on with sobriety then i can take on any day! If my mood goes low then i'll have to find something to occupy my mind.

Regards,
Gen.
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 12:13:33 PM »
This sounds great. Something to do on Sunday will help a lot. Reading here may do wonders and we can be here for support.
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Offline kcg13

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 10:43:47 PM »
Nice job GenSec!  You can do it Sunday.  Just have a really good plan to keep your mind well occupied to keep those depressed feelings at bay - no need for them.  Stay strong!
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"If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be we're all ok.  And not to worry cause worry is wasteful and useless in times like these...." - "Hands" - Jewel

Offline GenSec

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 04:03:53 PM »
Kind thanks, i appreciate the encouragement.  :sign0092:

I'll report on this weekend, honestly. On saturday i kinda failed and ended up having more than one drink. I knew that saturday would be the hardest.

So far, i've stuck to me plan not to drink anything this sunday. My feeling are more subdued than depressed at the moment.

One thing i've come to realise is that i'm surrounded by people who enable, even encourage, me to drink. Last friday when i only had one drink my sister told me to have another, as after all it was friday. I refused. The funny thing about it is that she herself hardly if ever drinks. Meanwhile, today i recieved a call from my mother asking me if i wanted any particular whisky bottle back from the place she was at. I said no thanks. She then kept asking me playfully if i was sure, trailing off some brand names. Again i said no. Then she offered to buy one for me as a gift. I said i had enough at home.

Meanwhile, my recent ex could easily go through half a bottle of wine every evening; she regarded me as a lightweight drinker.

And my best friend who i meet ever week or two... he always drinks when i see him. Always. In fact if we are due to get together and i tell him i can't drink any alcohol because i'm on antibiotics or something, he'll cancel and arrange another day when he knows i'll be able to drink with him again. If i ask to meet somewhere that serves tea or coffee or juice he looks at me like i've got a screw loose. What bothers me about him is that if i don't tell him i can't drink beforehand then only tell him when we've gotten together, he sulks sullenly and pressures me to have some too otherwise he doesn't enjoy it himself.

When i get through sunday, i think i'll plan for a completely dry weekend next; maybe even extend it to 3 or 4 days. When on antibiotics and unable to drink anything for a week or so i notice i start turning to chocolate, sweets, candy, even cereal. At 2am i've seen myself raid the fridge for a big bowl of cereal! All that begins pushing my weight up! :-* Ah well, i guess there's alot worse out there than a chocolate addiction.

...now i've starting thinking about a big bar of dark chocolate with raisins... :goofy:

Regards,
Gen.

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Offline tinam7

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 04:38:48 PM »
Alerta, alerta, alerta. I am a total dark chocolate addict. True addict. Started with a Mounds bar today and then rolled into anything else that's here, several other items. Dark choc. nut clusters, for example. Ask it not be brought in, but it is snuck in. Others want us to indulge even if we don't. What's the psychology here?

What's our game plan? Good Grief, hope I can resist the rest of the day.....and you too. My trick is to floss and brush teeth. Why would I mess up that hard work? Can have tea. No night-time raids of the fridge!
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Offline GenSec

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 05:53:27 PM »
Alerta, alerta, alerta. I am a total dark chocolate addict. True addict. Started with a Mounds bar today and then rolled into anything else that's here, several other items. Dark choc. nut clusters, for example. Ask it not be brought in, but it is snuck in. Others want us to indulge even if we don't. What's the psychology here?

What's our game plan? Good Grief, hope I can resist the rest of the day.....and you too. My trick is to floss and brush teeth. Why would I mess up that hard work? Can have tea. No night-time raids of the fridge!

Yes, dark chocolate! :spineyes: Perhaps in your case they're being brought in because someone knows you enjoy them and they care about you enough to like nothing more than seeing their darling happy, hm? :liebe028: :laugh3:

Well, today i sorted through some old clothes, read for a while, watched some tv, and am now at a loose end. Its almost the end of the day here and my evening is feeling a bit empty. May try listening to some music. And yes, why can't i reward myself with an early morning fridge raid for some healthy cereal!? :laugh3: With a wee sprinkling of sugar of course... :rolleye0012:
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Offline tinam7

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 09:19:23 PM »
Fine fantasy about chocolate. Likes it himself is more like it.

Let's hope the evening stays empty except perhaps for a cup of steaming tea with honey. Cereal is fine as long as it does not interfere with sleep. If you go in at 8, for example, you can have cereal at 4, after 8 hours of soothing sleep.

If you want to learn about the worst volcano in the world check out 60 Minutes, CBS. It's right next door in Wyoming. If it is gearing up to blow, there will be alarms. I'll hide under the bed.

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Offline GenSec

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 08:00:38 AM »
Quote
Fine fantasy about chocolate. Likes it himself is more like it.

It doesn't sound like he gets a chance at any of it with you around! :laugh3: Sheesh, you're determined to give him no credit, are ya? ::)

Quote
Let's hope the evening stays empty except perhaps for a cup of steaming tea with honey. Cereal is fine as long as it does not interfere with sleep. If you go in at 8, for example, you can have cereal at 4, after 8 hours of soothing sleep.

Well, i'm pleased to report that i stuck to my plan. Didn't touch a drop of alcohol for the first time in months. There was some fruity cider brought in which tempted me, i won't deny - i even picked up one of the cans at one point, my mind telling me "its only one and there's hardly any in it". But i put it back in the fridge and picked up a tin of cola instead. :winking0008: Then i went off to listen to music and write emails before i went to bed. I'd planned to treat myself to cereal before i went to sleep then ended up forgetting about it! :laugh3: I'm thinking about making today a 2nd dry day. :winking0008:

Regards,
Gen.


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Offline tinam7

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Re: Do i have an issue with alcohol?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 08:35:30 AM »
Oh, he gets plenty credit and if I forget, he is sure to remind me.

Big congrats to you. Lots of gold stars. Fabulous will power. Now I will try the same today and avoid those dark clusters. Let's see how that goes. I'll imagine you glaring at me should my hand stray into the choc. jar, ha ha.
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