I'm an alcoholic

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So, based on recent observation, talks with the BF (who also acknowledges that he is an alcoholic), and a very intense house meeting where my drinking was brought up, I have come to accept the fact that I'm an alcoholic. I've known that I have had problems with the drink for a while, but only recently has it become an issue.

I guess what I'm wondering about is how I can change. I've cut back on drinking dramatically before and would like to do so again. I find a lot of the twelve-step type stuff a bit abysmal. Any thoughts?

Thanks for any advice. I really find it hard to talk about this, and appreciate honest responses.

the table is the table

pounding beats of worship (the table is the table), Saturday, 7 August 2010 01:35 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't drink at all(hate the taste nothing to do with anything else) , so I cant offer you any valuable advice, sorry. But good luck with it all! At least you're trying to do something about it!

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Saturday, 7 August 2010 01:44 (thirteen years ago) link

As distasteful as you may find them (and believe me, I completely understand and sympathize with anyone repelled by the religious component of practically all of them), the structure of a 12 step program may be what you need. Regardless, you should speak to a professional counselor.

people are for loving (HI DERE), Saturday, 7 August 2010 01:49 (thirteen years ago) link

I wish you luck. I just had a good friend die due to alcohol. He had been an alcoholic for about 10-15 years and had a seizure in his sleep. He was trying to go cold turkey and his body freaked out. I also have alcoholism in my family and it has done more damage to our relationships than imaginable. All of this is a long way of saying you're making the right choice to address the issue and change. Good luck and you can definitely do it.

brotherlovesdub, Saturday, 7 August 2010 01:51 (thirteen years ago) link

best of luck, homes, and w/r/t 12 step program's religious components, this thread elsewhere covers some of those concerns, it appears


('_') (omar little), Saturday, 7 August 2010 01:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Good luck, table.

My totem animal is a hamburger. (WmC), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:00 (thirteen years ago) link


let it sb (acoleuthic), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:00 (thirteen years ago) link

you've taken the first very difficult step (so to speak) of self-recognition, that takes guts. as dan recommends don't be afraid to reach out for counseling.

sexual intercourse began in 1963 (m coleman), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:07 (thirteen years ago) link

good luck, TTITT.

Regardless, you should speak to a professional counselor.

v. good advice.

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:15 (thirteen years ago) link

Thanks, everyone. Keep it coming.

the LifeRing thing linked to on that thread Omar— seems kind of perfect, especially since it was founded in Northern California, where I reside.

pounding beats of worship (the table is the table), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:18 (thirteen years ago) link

hey man--don't have time to get into anything (and in fact i should already be out the door and not on the internet at all at the moment) but just wanted to take an extra minute to say big kudos on being so open about this and taking any forward steps at all. i know i'm hitting dead-horse territory but w/o the gory details i've been around enough alcoholism and having the gusto to step up to this at all is pretty bigtime imo. good luck and all my best wishes.

proud teabagger from rim country (arby's), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link

My ex just told me about his first meeting at a gay-centric rehab type program. It sounded like a lot of drama, but I bet that's true of most group-based rehab activities.

2 + 2 is vah-gi-nah (Eric H.), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:36 (thirteen years ago) link

hey table as someone who always has to watch their own intake i'll be thinking of you. best of luck pursuing help.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:37 (thirteen years ago) link

Table, can I ask if BF is seeking treatment too? Curious is all.

I think you are really brave...hope you find a program to get you on the right journey again. It takes courage, and it sounds like you've got it.

VegemiteGrrrl, Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:46 (thirteen years ago) link

We need to talk about it. He wants to cut back. He's worried about himself to the same degree that I'm worried about myself. That said, there's no way either of us can go cold turkey. I mean, we both get the shakes and can't sleep if we don't drink at least a few beers a day.

pounding beats of worship (the table is the table), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:48 (thirteen years ago) link

And hey, thanks.

pounding beats of worship (the table is the table), Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Sending my best. Omar's link looks really helpful.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:54 (thirteen years ago) link

you can do this

ice cr?m, Saturday, 7 August 2010 02:55 (thirteen years ago) link

hey table, big ups on being so open about this. You are doing exactly what you should be at this stage, sounds like. I reached a similar impasse a couple years ago, and while everyone will find their own way of dealing with such things, one of the most important determining factors for me was sorting out whether my addiction was physical or purely emotional/psychological. You won't know this unless you stop for a while & watch for the telltale signs of physical withdrawal. Whether or not you are actually, physically addicted should have some bearing on which course of action you take. My two cents, anyway.

If you ever want to chat off-board about it, just drop me a line & would be happy to do so.

good luck

Pillbox, Saturday, 7 August 2010 03:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Take care, table. And if you hate the first meeting you go to, or don't connect with the people or the format, try another: another time, another neighborhood.

Bag Smart, Street Stupid (Eazy), Saturday, 7 August 2010 03:34 (thirteen years ago) link

I mean, we both get the shakes and can't sleep if we don't drink at least a few beers a day.

I think this question has been answered. Tables, you should go in for detox before you do anything else.

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Saturday, 7 August 2010 03:36 (thirteen years ago) link

oops sry didn't see that - yeah, so ^^ that, then

Pillbox, Saturday, 7 August 2010 03:40 (thirteen years ago) link

xxpost Eazy otm. My boss has been sober 20+ years, I talk to him a lot about AA, and that was a big thing: AA is so grassroots and varied that every one is different. One does not represent all, was what he said.

VegemiteGrrrl, Saturday, 7 August 2010 03:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Do you drink much stronger than beer? Tbh the best thing I ever did re: drinking was just restrict myself to beer. Not too much, obv. Cold turkey's never worked for me or anyone I know, it always seemed to lead to an eventual blowout binge as alcohol becomes more and more a forbidden temptation type thing.

Oh and those seizures suck. Had one once, luckily was w a friend who had experience w epileptics and looked after me really well.

The reverse TARDIS of pasta (Niles Caulder), Saturday, 7 August 2010 04:23 (thirteen years ago) link

It's a hard thing. Once you've admitted it, all sorts of guilt things come into the rest of your life when you do drink. Don't hate yourself if you drink.

Detox should be handled professionally if you are physically addicted. (based on limited understanding) each ugly detox/withdrawal makes you more vulnerable to further problems the next time and the next time. there will be next times. Some benzos, and blood pressure monitoring are important in the first 3 to 7 days.

Cutting back can give you more time to continue drinking, but if you think you are really ready to have life without it at all, i dont know. Meetings are good. A counselor is good. Don't let anybody convince you that relapse=death. Sometimes relapse is better than death.

Fish oil, B-complex, don't overdo the caffeine. Meditation, physical activity. Breathe.

i'm just so tired again (Zachary Taylor), Saturday, 7 August 2010 06:51 (thirteen years ago) link

one of the tough things that i remember when i quit drinking for a while after having major problems is how to deal socially. Like a lot of social activity revolves around drinking. Changing habits and patterns that you're used to is hard.

Maybe another thing that would help is coming up with other things to do or things you want to do but haven't had the wherewithall to do because of drinking & partying? In a way giving yourself an incentive to change your behavior.

sarahel, Saturday, 7 August 2010 06:58 (thirteen years ago) link

no good advice from me I'm afraid, but best of luck!

Neil S, Saturday, 7 August 2010 07:07 (thirteen years ago) link

just curious -- any chance you're willing to share what prompted you to come to this conclusion? i understand if you don't want to document it here, but i'm a little curious as to how people come to this conclusion. it seems like a hard one to make and what many might consider a gray area, especially if they are behaving like others in their social circle.... either way, good luck dude.

jeff, Saturday, 7 August 2010 07:12 (thirteen years ago) link

don't have any experience w/ this personally or, thankfully, w/ in my family, so i'm just here to wish good luck and offer love

stay strong, it'll be worth it

righteous lecoq (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 7 August 2010 07:25 (thirteen years ago) link

echoing j0rdan's sentiments - <3 u t, you're a tough kid and i know you'll persevere

Donna and the pitfall of being pulchritudinous (donna rouge), Saturday, 7 August 2010 07:27 (thirteen years ago) link

I have lots of clean and sober friends. They all went through NA/AA. None of them were religious before and none of them got religion after coming out the other side, but they all grumble/kvetch about the religiosity of NA/AA. Not to speak for them, but my sense is that the tradeoff of putting up with the "higher power" rhetoric of some AA/NA folk was worth staying clean (from alcohol and heroin, mostly). The good news is that they are still alive, and they're much, much happier. People in recovery do amazing stuff with the time/energy that used to go into getting fucked up. Teddy, I know you can do this, and I want to reassure you that you're still going to be you on the other side of this transformation.

the tune is space, Saturday, 7 August 2010 08:02 (thirteen years ago) link

12 step = running away long and fast and forever. fuck being cured by magic

Vlad the Inhaler (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 7 August 2010 09:06 (thirteen years ago) link

good luck. this thread makes me feel i should look at my own habits, i am pretty sure by plenty of definitions i am an alcoholic, but then so are loads of people i know. and i hold down a job and never drink in the day etc.

I see what this is (Local Garda), Saturday, 7 August 2010 09:09 (thirteen years ago) link

Hi there, and good luck with this, TTITT

I've had lifelong problems with alcohol (and I do mean lifelong) but what follows is representative only of my experience, the biggest thing that I've learned WRT addiction is that one size does not fit all.

I have had nothing but bad experiences with AA. That's not even down the religious aspect, it's down to my particular personality - that I found it overly dependent on a certain kind of peer pressure and a group mentality. If you're a community minded person who has no trouble "joining" that may work for you. For me, it had the opposite effect - being in a room full of people saying they weren't going to drive only made me want to run the hell out of there and go drink some more. I was told this was some kind of adolescent rebellion - no, it's not. That maverick, "not the joining kind" thing is a deep part of my personality, and I don't want to have to fight against *it* as well as addiction, to help myself.

I've been to rehab twice, it did no good at all. I had a court order to stop drinking for a year while I was on probation - I quit for the year, no problem, then threw myself back into drinking, aggressively, when the probation was over.

I have not stopped, dead, but I finally, in my late 30s, came to a sensible relationship with drinking.

Part of that was going on SSRIs - that they did somehow flip a switch in my head, that that kind of *rush* I used to get when I started to get drunk (that "woooo! let's do this more! and more! and more! until we all fall down!") just didn't engage. Drinking made me tired and kind of sleepy, so if I wanted to drink at social situations, I had to have one and stop. (And I could do that, because the "whee! let's drink more!" urge never kicked in.)

1) this was about the kind of alcoholic that I was, that I could say no to the first drink, I could even say no to the second drink, if I hadn't caught a buzz off it, but once that buzz had caught hold, I was gonna be there til I passed out, and nothing would stop me.

2) I would NOT recommend SSRIs as a method *solely* of coming off drink, as they are deeply addictive (or habit-forming or whatever they want to call it) - coming off SSRIs was harder than any alcohol detox I have ever done.

What did help is that while I was on SSRIs, I had to totally dismantle and reassemble certain aspects of my personality and large chunks of the *way* that I socialised.

It will hurt, but if you have friends that you are only ever around when you're drinking, you have to lose them. For other people - well, I live in England, which is a very pro-alcoholic society, I had to come up with valid excuses that could not be "aw, but come on!"-ed out of. "Sorry, I physically can't, I'm on medication" was a very good one. There were whole situations that I had to just remove from my life if I couldn't do without drinking - work socialising, I make an excuse every time and just don't go. After 1 or 2 times of you missing the work Xmas do, people stop asking. In a way, you kind of have to rebrand yourself as a non-drinker. I did this in my new job, when I started, I told my boss "I'm not really a pub kinda person" and always refused offers until people got the idea that I Was A Non-Drinker. (Once you have established this idea in their heads, and, more importantly, *yours*, you can start to go back to "oh, alright, I'l have a half glass of champagne at someone's birthday" but getting drunk, getting buzzed, is pretty much off the menu.)

Other situations that you associate really heavily with drinking - you may find your enjoyment of them affected. I learned to play gigs, as a musician, without drinking, but I started to realise that I didn't actually *enjoy* them, so I stopped. Sexuality became a huge no-go area for me, because I realised how hard it was for me to have sex without being drunk. I haven't figured a way around that one, yet. There are many social situations that I don't feel up to, without drinking - the idea of sitting in a pub for four hours to celebrate someone's birthday is actually kinda intolerable to me. Yeah, it's affected my relationships with friends when I say that I'll go to something, and then cometh the day, I just don't feel up to it - so I JUST DON'T GO. It sucks. It isn't fun. I've had to let go of a lot of the idea of me as "a fun person" if I can't *do* "fun" without being drunk. I still have social anxiety issues I have to deal with, but I'd rather deal with them than the alcoholism that was masking them. It seems more permanent. (And also holds out the hope that I will be able to "do" alcohol again in social situations that I don't find so difficult.)

As to the detox thing. That is probably something you are going to have to see a medical doctor about. I've done cold turkey detox in the criminal system - not fun. I can't tell if "a few beers during the day" means you go all day without drinking and then have to have a few beers at night to get you to bed, or if it means you crack open a stella (or your local equivalent) at breakfast and sozzle quietly through the whole day. The former is the kind of thing you can actually crack on your own through changing your habits (and will probably require reduction, not cold turkey - try doing it every other day, and on the days you don't, substitute some other really relaxing activity - take a bath, drinking chamomile tea while listening to classical music, have soppy sex and a backrub - whatever works for you - and try to find psychological ways of dealing with stress related sleep disorders.) If it's the latter, and you are drinking all day, every day - go to a doctor. That requires medical attention.

Sorry this is so overly long, and probably only really applicable to my personal situations, and not to yours. I just wanted to get across the idea that a person *can* do it - even if AA is not an option. It isn't *easy* but it is doable, and it is survivable.

Good luck to you both. You can do this.

let me mansplain that to you (Masonic Boom), Saturday, 7 August 2010 09:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Christ, that's even longer than I thought. Sorry.

I'm gonna run away now before I chicken out and ask a mod to remove it for fear of ILX and IRL repercussions for having been so honest. Sorry.

let me mansplain that to you (Masonic Boom), Saturday, 7 August 2010 09:29 (thirteen years ago) link

Shit, that'll teach me to post without proofreading for fear of not posting at all. Third paragraph should be:

being in a room full of people saying they weren't going to drive drink only made me want to run the hell out of there and go drink some more.

let me mansplain that to you (Masonic Boom), Saturday, 7 August 2010 09:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Best of luck with this, table. Realising that you have a drink problem is a big necessary step, well done.
My history: heavy drinker for 10 years, sober & teetotal for the past 8. I have to say that most of the time I still badly miss being able to have a drink, but...

"woooo! let's do this more! and more! and more! until we all fall down!"

^^^ realising that this wasn't fun or enjoyable any more really helped me stay off the booze during the first couple of years. Also, breaking contact with people who I used to hang out and get slaughtered with.

Les centimètres énigmatiques (snoball), Saturday, 7 August 2010 09:56 (thirteen years ago) link

hey table, I don't have any advice to give but I'm really impressed by your openness and your ability to face the problem. Alcoholism runs in my family, but so does stubborn pride and an inability to talk about things or ask for help (esp if it's something with guilt involved, like drinking when you shouldn't), and I've seen it cause a lot of sadness over the years. So kudos to you, and I wish you the best of luck.

the dialectic of specs (c sharp major), Saturday, 7 August 2010 10:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Superb post Kate, thanks. Um I think Dave Q said once (not to treat him as some Great Sage, but he's a smart guy) that if people who care abt you think you have a drinking problem, you have one. Haven't come across a better definition since. Alcoholism is v good friends w selfdeception.

The reverse TARDIS of pasta (Niles Caulder), Saturday, 7 August 2010 11:12 (thirteen years ago) link

<3s and good luck dude

underwater, please (bear, bear, bear), Saturday, 7 August 2010 12:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Good luck, beat the demon, you *can* do it. I have seen alcohol destroy people and it sucks big time.

Nathalie (stevienixed), Saturday, 7 August 2010 13:06 (thirteen years ago) link

I am not an alcoholic, but my family members ABC and CBS both spent time as RAGING out of control alcoholics. Counseling and medications or whatever just perpetuate the isolation that an alcoholic experiences ("no one understands me", "I can't identify my problems", "I hate my job / neighbors so-called 'friends'"). ABC used to berate me too for being carefree. I said what kind of future should be spent with a miserable no-life person like YOU. He said that my "spiritual" attitude was idiotic and had no place in today's society. Cutting him out of my life for a few years helped. He had abandoned or trash-talked all his old friends too. The "success" model had gotten to him. Then he got fired from his job at a really super prestigious corporation (now disgraced ha ha - no I'm not telling you which one) and was forced into a spiritual crisis. I am in favor of this "tough love" approach. He ended up being bailed out by his "dumb" old friends.

Just as ABC was recovering, CBS developed a life-threatening alcohol problem, I mean going out several times a week and coming home staggering drunk and blacking out, ending up in the hospital. So then CBS and ABC were fighting, oblivious to everyone they were affecting. It didn't help that she dropped out of school and couldn't keep a job. CBS ended up in jail and everything. Same thing, caught up in work and money only fighting things and people that weren't worth fighting. I said I am sick of you complaining, just cut the bitches out of your life. So what if you are poor and have a criminal record, if you stop being a miserable drunk someone who believes in you will eventually take you under their wing.

Like I said, tough love works. So do socialization and group activities like vacations, healthy projects, going outside instead of sitting in front of the television. The alcoholic needs to get out of the isolation and counseling and pills and even some "programs" that berate or guilt trip the individual don't necessarily do that. Anti-individual attitudes are BAD, they end up creating lonely unhappy frustrated people, and a lot of alcohol programs aren't positive in nature, they are all about what the alcoholic is doing wrong and how the leader is always right.

Doesn't a person drink because they feel bad about themselves? Maybe I am wrong, but I lived with two alcoholics and they stopped drinking when they stopped trying to be someone else. Cut the negative influence from your life and develop yourself.

i hate america (u s steel), Saturday, 7 August 2010 14:36 (thirteen years ago) link

webmailing you, but hang in there.

akm, Saturday, 7 August 2010 14:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Doesn't a person drink because they feel bad about themselves? Maybe I am wrong, but I lived with two alcoholics and they stopped drinking when they stopped trying to be someone else. Cut the negative influence from your life and develop yourself.

people drink and are alcoholics for all kinds of different reasons.

akm, Saturday, 7 August 2010 14:53 (thirteen years ago) link

Agreed, but u s steel's description accurately describes me back then.

Les centimètres énigmatiques (snoball), Saturday, 7 August 2010 14:59 (thirteen years ago) link

hey table, I don't have any advice to give but I'm really impressed by your openness and your ability to face the problem. Alcoholism runs in my family, but so does stubborn pride and an inability to talk about things or ask for help (esp if it's something with guilt involved, like drinking when you shouldn't), and I've seen it cause a lot of sadness over the years. So kudos to you, and I wish you the best of luck.

― the dialectic of specs (c sharp major),

^ can only echo this and repeat my honest admiration for your strength in attempting this in such an open way right off the bat.

and though kate and i have been butting heads lately, that was a fantastic post from her.

"It's far from 'loi' you were reared, boy" (darraghmac), Saturday, 7 August 2010 15:06 (thirteen years ago) link

And tough love only works in very specific circumstances and with certain types of people--it can backfire, horribly, if used indiscriminately. (Or for things other than addictions--I'm not going to get into how I think the whole tough love philosophy has been a corrosive influence on the US since it started in the early eighties. That really belongs in one of the US Politics threads.)

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Saturday, 7 August 2010 15:08 (thirteen years ago) link

Both parents are alcoholics and I know too well what it does to people, so I'm glad you've decided to stop it (relatively) early on.

Janet Privacy Control (corey), Saturday, 7 August 2010 15:21 (thirteen years ago) link

What worked for you to help you quit drinking last time? Seems to me that while whatever you did was good enough to work for a short while, there are deeper problems that maybe you didn't address.

Not knowing all of your circumstances (not that anyone needs to in a public forum), it is difficult to give advice. Sometimes people are in an intractable situation that isn't entirely their fault and probably won't quit drinking until they are free of it, as in my story about my relative CBS.

i hate america (u s steel), Saturday, 7 August 2010 16:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Going back to Kate's post upthread (which was good, Kate, you shouldn't worry about it) - the peer pressure stuff is largely internal. My social circle (which intersects with Ted's) revolves a lot around drinking and smoking pot. But there are people in that circle that don't drink and/or don't smoke pot that aren't not seen as "fun people". Obviously, if you don't feel like a fun person and are not having fun in a situation, then the other people are gonna pick up on that. But, for the most part, esp. if booze and weed are involved, the other people are not really gonna be focused on whether or not you're indulging yourself.

sarahel, Saturday, 7 August 2010 18:19 (thirteen years ago) link

the one i was at seemed to be fueled by union types. i guess they have the good insurance and the construction industry is rife with substance problems. but this often made sessions feel like one was out at the job site

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 28 October 2020 13:06 (three years ago) link

naltrexone (and its injectable, vivitrol) is great, i recommend it (and the sinclair method) all the time

gbx, Wednesday, 28 October 2020 18:59 (three years ago) link

good for you, global, and good luck

just another 3-pinnochio post by (Karl Malone), Thursday, 29 October 2020 01:54 (three years ago) link

glad to hear things are going well, global

brimstead, Thursday, 29 October 2020 02:21 (three years ago) link

yes, loved reading your post

Dan S, Thursday, 29 October 2020 02:32 (three years ago) link

agree that everyone (including non addicts!) should do some kind of (quality) rehab

if only there were some kind of effective rehab program for addiction to wealth in excess of one's basic needs.

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Thursday, 29 October 2020 03:52 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

my favourite uncle died yesterday at 60 years old. of my mum's 3 brothers, all younger than her, he lived the longest. the oldest died at 50 of a heart attack 12 years ago. the youngest died at 56 of a stroke 2 years ago, he had been suffering from throat cancer and an aggressive prostate cancer, both of which were terminal and inoperable. all 3 of them were drinkers. the youngest was a classic alcoholic archetype and chain-smoker. the other two were respectable, successful men, never drank to the stage of foolishness, didn't drink at home, and didn't drink spirits, just pints, but were in the pub every day of their lives that it was at all possible. you might also call them alcoholics. we have no familial predisposition towards heart disease.

i quit drinking in september. i sort of hate sobriety. i think about drink a lot. when i think about my uncle who passed away yesterday and the way he drank - for fun, socially, having a good laugh, with a pleasant meal, really enjoying life, knowing everyone who drank in the local pub and being part of a community, i find it hard to say it would be better if he had lived a sober life and not died yesterday. it would've been an utterly different life, devoid of many of its chief pleasures. but i know my own propensity for drinking like my other uncle, the alcoholic, who would drink mainly in the pub, but until absolutely obliterated, and would drink at home alone when the pub closed, and was asking my grandmother for money as a middle-aged man, because he'd spent all his perfectly respectable wage packet from working as a joiner on booze.

i wish i hadn't grown up somewhere where the pub was the agora. if id been viennese instead of glasgwegian would this even by an issue?

Fenners' Pen (jim in vancouver), Monday, 18 January 2021 23:34 (three years ago) link

Tell me about it, jim.

Waterloo Subset (Tom D.), Monday, 18 January 2021 23:42 (three years ago) link

One of my uncle's died last year of prostate cancer. He was one of the few ones who'd stopped drinking and wasn't an alcoholic. The NHS couldn't help him because his kidneys were gone and he had left his condition untreated until it got terminal. I had to explain to mum that although he'd been teetotal for years, he was still chain-smoking rollups and also often buying speed off old dodgy smackhead friends of mine, it's amazing he lived as long as he did taking that shit.

calzino, Monday, 18 January 2021 23:43 (three years ago) link

Good exploration of the cultural continuum of alcohol dependency jim

The mother's side have/had it bad (two from six nonfunctional, one functional, one married a fuckin *worldie*) but culturally it's very notable how it has seriously dwindled into the next generation. Quick mental survey of the forty cousins i know of on that side we have only one who would compare and he got it from his father rather than my aunt

Materfamilias herself was, and i forget the exact multiplier, four or five times over the old driving limit the night she burned the house down, and had been out of her mind riddled for at least the decade before that but likelier closer to twice that tbh (my memories of extreme parental drunkenness and the ensuing mess rank among my earliest)

The aul fellas side are very respectable, would drink more like the "better" version you describe- especially the men, fishermen/businessmen who've progressed to a bottle of chardonnay a night (every night) rather than brawling twice a week after vodka binges. The aulfella himself the worst of them tbh.

Of us four boys one cannot/shouldnt drink and took twenty years to know it, one took almost as long to learn how he could and couldnt, one doesnt socialise at all and one never drank, very pointedly so.

Im the one who has learned how i can drink, but thats in the irish context tbf- its not like im the one holding back at a fap or anything.

So yeah, its complicated

spaghetti connemara (darraghmac), Tuesday, 19 January 2021 00:57 (three years ago) link

And sympathies on yr uncle and luck with the drinking yrself

spaghetti connemara (darraghmac), Tuesday, 19 January 2021 01:03 (three years ago) link

thanks, deems

Fenners' Pen (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 19 January 2021 01:09 (three years ago) link


I'm as steady as she goes (every night), fairly high functioning as things go, and unlikely to make changes. I wish jim and others in this thread the best with their decisions and say that they are probably the correct ones.

Jimi Buffett (PBKR), Tuesday, 19 January 2021 02:30 (three years ago) link

Jim fwiw just about everyone I've ever known says that the not drinking thing gets easier and less suckish over time, which has been my experience as well. I no longer think about drinking very much, and when I do it is more a wistful thing, nothing like an actual craving. I sometimes have FOMO but then I remember that because I am only one person living my one life I am going to miss out on most things anyway, so why get too worked up about it.

It's pretty nuts how incredibly drinky western culture is. To be outside of that takes getting used to, for sure.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 19 January 2021 03:04 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Hi folks,

Currently 122 days into Not Drinking Ever Again. Long story; details posted els7whe7re.

I had reason to look at my posts itt from, gah, 2015. Honestly, I was kinda dreading reading them, because I have generally been an enthusiastic drinker and, in some ways, a cheerleader for booze:

Personally, I love drinking. I sincerely and unapologetically love it (sorry not sorry). The beverages are tasty, the sensation of a mild buzz is quite nice, and booze has rich and varied cultural and aesthetic surrounds. But I also really really really don't want alcohol to fuck up my marriage, family, job, or life. That takes vigilance.

But upon re-reading, my posts probably weren't that bad or dangerous to others; they just seem... glib. Self-interested and self-exonerating. I wasn't wrong, mostly, just overly confident and a trifle naive. My apologies.

A brush with actual death (robe-wearing, scythe-bearing Death) has subtly changed my thinking on this.

Millennium Falco (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 5 July 2024 22:07 (two weeks ago) link

I think it's fine to change one's attitude to alcohol.

Like all things, if drinking works for you and you can temper it and it's not adversely affecting your life, there's nothing wrong with enjoying it.

And then if it stops working for you, it's a very fine idea to renege on that, step back and do exactly what you're doing.

Keep it up YMP, this is great work. It takes strength to cut out something you previously loved in life. Massive respect!

your mom goes to limgrave (dog latin), Saturday, 6 July 2024 08:52 (one week ago) link

I've gone 5 days without booze now. It wasn't like I was in any kind of crisis, more like a bit skint and was thinking, shit, I can't afford a grocery shop and I'm skint until next wednesday. But then I had a radical rethink and realised I could afford a more than adequate grocery shop if I skipped out the red wine and beer. Crazy idea but it's working out ok.

The insomnia is a pain but I'm not feeling as tired and am getting more housework done, it's the rare novelty value of feeling normally healthy that I'm appreciating. But I predict at some point in the next month I will fall off this wagon (again).

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Saturday, 6 July 2024 09:32 (one week ago) link

I was up at 2am last night, cleaning the cooker. Absolutely insane sober behaviour!

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Saturday, 6 July 2024 09:35 (one week ago) link

I am getting better all the time at managing my drinking, albeit with the occasional slip, and albeit every minor hangover is a lot in my dotage

Thing is, when I'm mindful and managing my mental health and not binge drinking, I still find the melancholy loneliness which is probably gonna be my base state for life, and sometimes going to the pub is the only step away from that place I can find

you'll find this funny, children (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 6 July 2024 10:24 (one week ago) link

YMPs post from 2015 nails how I feel about booze. Love it and the paraphernalia which surrounds it, but aware how toxic it can be. My uncle was an alcoholic and died in grim circumstances so am fully aware of where it can lead. Fortunately I can take it or leave it.

Dan Worsley, Saturday, 6 July 2024 10:57 (one week ago) link

it's the late night sadness that I don't notice as much or feel as intensely saddening when fortified half pished.

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Saturday, 6 July 2024 11:07 (one week ago) link

The thing I keep avoiding is that the medical evidence now skews firmly to the “any level of alcohol consumption carries health risks” instead of the comforting “it’s fine in moderation” messaging of previous decades. Non obvious risks too, primarily a range of cancers. It hasn’t stopped me, but I am cutting back slowly.

assert (matttkkkk), Saturday, 6 July 2024 11:24 (one week ago) link

But then I had a radical rethink and realised I could afford a more than adequate grocery shop if I skipped out the red wine and beer. Crazy idea but it's working out ok.

lol, love u calz

I painted my teeth (sleeve), Saturday, 6 July 2024 16:24 (one week ago) link

It's been almost two years since I stopped drinking. I always thought, even after I stopped drinking, that I wasn't an alcoholic but I just liked drinking. And it was relatively easy to stop.

I started rethinking that when I found a near-beer that is actually really good. I noticed that I will drink one and stop. It tastes good and I especially like them when I'm eating food that I previously had with beer. With alcohol after I got near the end of a drink this little debate would start up in my head: "One more?" "Sure! One more!" and later "Another?" "Oh, I don't know, maybe...." and it was always a THING. A small issue to think about or avoid thinking about. But I would always want another.

With the fake beer it's just another fluid, like orange juice or water. It helped me see the pull that alcohol exerted on me.

Cow_Art, Saturday, 6 July 2024 16:52 (one week ago) link

there are some really good fake beers these days, it's great

I painted my teeth (sleeve), Saturday, 6 July 2024 16:55 (one week ago) link

I wouldn't say alcoholism is something I'm aware of in my family, but once when I went to an extended family hang out at a Chicago restaurant on the south side and my cousins were all having Brandy at 11:00 a.m., my aunt was having red wine served over ice (in December?), everyone else was drinking whiskey, and it really nailed something fundamental about how certain wings of my family live their lives. I was just in Ireland and felt like I was drinking a lot more, and maybe I was, but having two Guinness every other night for a couple of weeks didn't strike me as going in particularly hard. I'm currently disinclined to drink much at all really, I had a period in the oughts when I was definitely drinking way too much to the detriment of a lot. But now I'm staring at a bottle of wine that was gifted to me a couple of months ago and wondering if it'll get finished before 2025. I'm enjoying a lot of the non-alcoholic options that are out there these days and coming up with cocktails that avoid including alcohol. I don't think I'm going to ever go cold turkey, but having one small drink per month or every other month, maybe that would be a good way to go. And maybe at some point I'll just fully quit. Maybe that point will come sooner rather than later.

omar little, Saturday, 6 July 2024 17:44 (one week ago) link

I've also noticed that when I do find myself in social circles where I expect people to be drinking, they are usually not drinking. A big part of this is being upper-middle aged people with kids and associating with the same.

But it does make me ask myself: are they not drinking because they know I don't drink? I don't care if they drink. I might even feel more comfortable if they did drink a little because in my head that's what hanging out is supposed to look like.

OR: is part of the reason people where always drinking around me before is because I made sure there was always alcohol there?

Sometimes getting sober is like rewatching a movie with a twist ending (Sixth Sense) and looking for all of the clues that had been there all along.

Cow_Art, Saturday, 6 July 2024 18:12 (one week ago) link

I was just in Ireland


tuah dé danann (darraghmac), Saturday, 6 July 2024 22:31 (one week ago) link

If it wasn't the most hectic extended family trip I've been on, I think I would have posted fair warning about my visit, but as it is it was kind of crazy. My father's last hurrah over there -- fun but heavy let's say. Dublin --> Galway --> Dingle --> Kinsale --> Cork --> Kilkenny --> Trim

I should probably post all about it on a more relevant thread.

omar little, Saturday, 6 July 2024 23:39 (one week ago) link

Reading this thread after nearly two years in AA is quite sad. I have found an amazing community willing to help each other and seemingly I’m incredibly lucky with that compared to a lot of other people’s experiences ITT.

a hoy hoy, Saturday, 6 July 2024 23:45 (one week ago) link

I am a big 12-step fan as well, solidarity. I went because of other issues besides alcohol but I was kind of amazed once I got into it - I remember telling my sponsor "you realize this organization is totally anarchistic based on how they do operate?" (as in actual in-practice anarchy, de-emphasizing hierarchies,consensus etc, to be clear). It's nice to know I can always go to a meeting.

I painted my teeth (sleeve), Sunday, 7 July 2024 00:01 (one week ago) link

do operate

I painted my teeth (sleeve), Sunday, 7 July 2024 00:01 (one week ago) link


you'll find this funny, children (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 7 July 2024 00:03 (one week ago) link

Ha I am a big fan of how communist/anarchistic it all feels. Also a lot of this thread is America based and I think I’m glad to have 12 stepped in a largely secular area. Any mention of God and prayer can be worked around to what each member finds helps them and I know people of different faiths, atheists (like myself) or the left field (I know one guy whose higher power is a budgie) all happy to work together. I presume it is not like this all over the place.

a hoy hoy, Sunday, 7 July 2024 07:34 (one week ago) link

I guess I have a drink maybe once a year? It don’t do nothing for me anymore, tho.

brimstead, Sunday, 7 July 2024 14:58 (one week ago) link

No offence but that’s kinda “I don’t even own a TV” for his thread

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 7 July 2024 15:05 (one week ago) link

I could never get bored with that initial wooziness after a few glasses of wine.

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Sunday, 7 July 2024 15:12 (one week ago) link

I am grateful

brimstead, Sunday, 7 July 2024 15:26 (one week ago) link

I’m sure I made some awful posts here in the throes of “recovery” or whatever

brimstead, Sunday, 7 July 2024 15:26 (one week ago) link

I’m checking out of this thread for not being hardcore enough, but do they still say the fucking Lord’s Prayer at every AA meeting? Fuck that shit

brimstead, Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:00 (one week ago) link

oh god no

I painted my teeth (sleeve), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:07 (one week ago) link

xp I wasn’t criticising your near-sobriety nor the journey you took to get there, just pointing out that the thread was more about getting there

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:23 (one week ago) link

AA (and especially NA) adapts to the community. Sometimes it’s very secular, sometimes it’s very Christian.

Allen (etaeoe), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:40 (one week ago) link

Nevertheless, I’ve never been to a meeting where Christian identity was more present than what’d you expect at a weekly Boy Scouts of America meeting.

Allen (etaeoe), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:42 (one week ago) link

the bsa, a famously nurturing organization. i have no opinion about aa but validate even a little bit of god stuff being a no-go for many. i can also understand how it works and is amazing for a lot of people. i feel grateful i was able to get sober without having to do it tbqf.

he/him hoo-hah (map), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:49 (one week ago) link

I started rethinking that when I found a near-beer that is actually really good. I noticed that I will drink one and stop. It tastes good and I especially like them when I'm eating food that I previously had with beer. With alcohol after I got near the end of a drink this little debate would start up in my head: "One more?" "Sure! One more!" and later "Another?" "Oh, I don't know, maybe...." and it was always a THING. A small issue to think about or avoid thinking about. But I would always want another.

nice miniature of what drinking was like for me too. i don't do near-beer but the closest drink that gets me that famously 'refreshed on a hot day' feeling is ... horchata? lol. i think it has something to do with the grain carbs. but anyway a cold horchata on a hot day is the best.

he/him hoo-hah (map), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:52 (one week ago) link

My post was informational, not an endorsement!

Allen (etaeoe), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:55 (one week ago) link


he/him hoo-hah (map), Sunday, 7 July 2024 17:56 (one week ago) link

It’s rare that I have near-beer in the fridge.

Soda water on ice with a lot of lime is my drink of choice. Running out of limes is a critical issue. We can be out of milk but if I run out of limes it is a trip to the grocery store.

Cow_Art, Sunday, 7 July 2024 19:55 (one week ago) link

the big problem with the good near beers is that they cost just as much as regular beer, if they were just a little cheaper I would be happy

I painted my teeth (sleeve), Sunday, 7 July 2024 20:00 (one week ago) link

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