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Is anyone out there a heavy drinker/active alcoholic/recovering alcoholic?

(1001 Posts)
BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 20:46:11

Ok, so I've name changed and it's taken balls to post this.

I think I might be an alcoholic or at least drifting into that domain.

I know my posting style is pretty easy to spot, at least by those that I chat to on MSN, but I don't want to be outed on here and I don't want to chat about it on MSN either.

OK, so now I've said that (quite bluntly possibly, sorry )...

I'm finding it increasingly more difficult to stay off the booze. It was bad enough last year, but I started this year with plans, and they've all been pissed away. I'm drunk/hungover more often than not. I'm suffering, the DC are suffering.

I want to stop. I don't like the idea of getting help but I'll do it if I have to.

Last time I had a drink was saturday. I'd promised myself that I'd have at least a 2 week break - tonight, I'm back on it again.

I want to have a go at stopping on my own before I go to AA or to my GP. Do I cut down gradually or just stop?

I'm probably going to be away for about an hour but any replies will be appreciated.

I come from a family of alcoholics and what scares me the most is that I'll never be able to have a sociable drink again without taking it to ridiculous levels. I'm scared of what's happening to my life and to my health but I'm more scared of being a miserable old cow that can't relax because I can't have a drink.

As I said, any responses would perk me up tonight.

TIA

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 20:53:11

Anyone?

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 20:54:52

I haven't drunk for over 5 years

I am definitely not a miserable old cow who can't relax because I can't have a drink - my life is infinitely more happy now than when I was drinking

Please cut down gradually rather than going cold turkey which can be physically damaging and indeed dangerous

I stopped with help from my fab local drugs and alcohol service. It made it so much easier.

I just wanted to lend my support to you and say I am sorry that you are in this unpleasant situation. It does take balls, well done you

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 21:00:58

I've never had a problem myself, but know lots of people who have.

You have taken a big step by admitting to yourself that you need to do something about this.

It's a sweeping generalisation, but generally the best way to beat it is NEVER to have another drink again. I know 2 people who died from alcoholism because they tried to revert to 'social' drinking.

I know one person who went to AA - he was literally in the gutter but has been dry for over 10 years now. He even gave up smoking, too!

STOP drinking now - and if you can't do it on your own then don't leave it too long before you get help.

imaginaryfriend Tue 08-May-07 21:00:59

How much and how regularly and for how long have you been drinking brassicmonkey?

My father was an alcoholic. He was also a barrister. Amazing how he functioned given the amount of booze he put away. He drank from before I was born until I was 4 when my mum threatened to leave him if he didn't stop. We didn't have a drop of booze in our house, not one drop, for my whole childhood, then we had a party one Christmas and someone brought a bottle of Cinzano round and left most of it. My dad started drinking again, just a 'tot' on a Sunday, then he was right back to a bottle of spirits again. I was about 15 at that point and it was a bloody shock to see my lovely dad as a horrible drunk.

All of that rant is to say that IMO if you have a true drink problem or any addiction for that matter you have to stop and stay stopped. Two days off a week won't work, nor will cutting down.

imaginaryfriend Tue 08-May-07 21:01:38

Oh, I should have added that my dad stopped drinking again when i was 18 and he never touched another drop before he died.

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:03:06

We don't have drink in the house

I don't miss it

verrrrrry occasionally (when am having ashit time usually) then I could murder a drink

then it passes

our close friends know why we don't drink, and other people just think we are healthy boring weirdoes

nobody cares

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 21:03:35

Franny, thank you for replying. I wanted to ask you personally because I know from searching old posts today that you were a drinker, but I didn't want to be blanked or for you to feel like you have to reply.

How do I know if I'm bad enough to need help from a service? Please ignore if you don't want to go into it, but I'd really appreciate a chat about how bad my problem is.

As I said if you don't want to just ignore and I'll think you haven't read this post

WideWebWitch Tue 08-May-07 21:10:16

Hello and well done for posting. They say admitting you have an issue is the first step and you are admitting it to yourself, which is hardest of all. Maybe you've frightened yourself enough to be able to stop on your own, do you think you can? And maybe if you stop on your own you'll prove that you can and then you can begin to unravel why you drink?

I speak as someone who can manage (reasonably easily, i.e. six months of not drinking in the week at all due to living with teetotal in laws was ok) to not drink at all but is crap at just 1 glass of wine (although sometimes I will just have 2). I've recently wondered if actually, life would be nicer without drinking at all. I've read a couple of articles about being teetotal from women who just felt they didn't want to bother drinking any more and I could see the appeal of it.

There is some alcoholism in my family too and it scares me. Part of me thinks if I just gave it up that would prove, for once and for all, that I'm not an alcoholic and I could just stop worrying about whether the odd weekend of wine was damaging my liver etc.

I hope this helps (don't have any idea who you are btw but mn is v big these days).

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:10:54

No that is very tactful of you BM but I am fine talking about it

I am not any kind of expert on this and only really have my own experience to go on

I would think if you have difficulty stopping by yourself (which you already have done) then you would benefit from help from a service

I personally found the NHS service excellent but I know we are lucky in my area

I am not sure if AA would have been for me, personally. I did phone them once and also the other alcohol helplines that I found in the phone book. You can phone most of them anonymously and they may be able to help you decide your plan of action and tell you about what help is available in your area.

The thing that strikes me most about your posts is that you are very ashamed of this and you don't want anyone to know about it, so you are trying to tackle it alone. I don't think this way is going to give you the best chance of succeeding. Again I am only speaking from experience but I believe to stop drinking you need to accept and face up to the fact that you have problems with alcohol. This can be very difficult and painful but I think it is necessary to make real lifestyle changes and to tackle your drinking long term rather than just temporarily.

If you want to discuss it privately I would be happy for you to CAT me. I have no idea who you are, btw

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 21:14:52

Sorry, I wasn't ignoring other posters. I'm trying to see to DC and I'm a bit slow at responding. Franny's was the only reply when I refreshed.

IF - I started drinking alone about 2 years ago. Not regularly at first, but now it's probably 5 nights a week - the other 2 I'm too hungover. I drink spirits, probably about 4 litres a week. I know that's way more than the recommended amount but I don't know if it means I'm an alcoholic.

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:17:17

Fk me Brassic that is A LOT

seriously

you need some help FAST, that is going to be screwing up your liver

can you phone some helplines tonight, after dc are in bed?

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 21:20:04

Franny - I'll cat you. What you put about being ashamed is VERY relevant but I can't elaborate without totally outing myself.

WWW - thanks for your post

beansprout Tue 08-May-07 21:20:06

I haven't drunk for 13 years and like F&Z, we don't have alcohol in the house either. I don't miss it, in fact, it's very clear that things are a lot better for me without it.


It's easier to stop with help than without (like a lot of things).
It sounds like you do need some help, stopping by yourself is very difficult.

The good point about AA is that you meet and get to know people who are in the same boat as you. This way you aren't constantly the odd one out i.e. the one who is not drinking.

Please feel free to CAT me if you want to

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:20:18

That's 160 units a week

that is very very very very bad for your health indeed

I am not trying to scare you for the sake of it

but for the sake of your health and your children you need help and you are in the perfect frame of mind to sort yourself out

don't miss the chance while you are feeling like you can tackle this

and FFS DON'T GO COLD TURKEY

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:21:54

BM CAT doesn't seem to be working that well this week IME so please email me on frannyandzooey at india dot com if you prefer

it isn't my usual email address but I will check it tonight and tomorrow

I am working most of the day tomorrow so please don't be offended if I don't reply straight away

beansprout Tue 08-May-07 21:23:03

Woah, that is a lot. You are likely to need help to stop from that. Contact your local alcohol support agency and ask to see them. You can do this, and getting help is all part of it.

batters Tue 08-May-07 21:29:37

brassicmonkey, well done on posting.

I am going to be very very blunt here, yes, I think you are an alcoholic. And I think you need to seek help outside of yourself. You have admitted anonymously you need help, the next step is to say the same thing face to face with a doctor. IMO.

Alcoholism is an illness and there is no shame in that. What there is shame in is knowing that you have a problem and then not doing anything about it. I have lived with an alcoholic and like lots of other posters know how much it effects everyone around them.

And my experience is very similar to www. I can go months and months not drinking 5 or 6 days a week (been doing this since January this year) but when I do drink I drink a lot, so please don't think I am being holier than thou.

Good luck in your next steps.

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 21:33:15

It is a lot, I know. I speak to people on MSN who are worried about thier consumption because they drink half a bottle of wine and I think 'oh shit'.

Beansprout - I think I can give it up on my own but it's what's left afterwards that worries me. From watching family members I know that I/them do this because we're miserable. The irony is that I feel stuck in this misery because I'm either too drunk to address it or so hungover that I'm struggling to just get up.

I'm sorry. I sound miserable and I don't actually feel it. I feel ordinary. I've drunk half a bottle of vodka and I feel ordinary - that's what worries me.

fortyplus Tue 08-May-07 21:34:35

Yes - very best wishes to you and well done for facing up to it at last. If you are drinking that much you definitely need help. One of my friends who died wasn't even drinking that much as far as I know. Our livers are miraculous - they will recover from being poisoned by alcohol time and time again - but there comes a point when there is no going back. Believe me - the 2 people who died went through hell, as did their families.
Please get help.

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 21:34:56

Batters- don't think you're being holier than thou. I was worried that I'd be blanked, but I expected to be told to sort myself out thanks for your post.

batters Tue 08-May-07 21:40:33

brassicmonkey.

But I do think you need medical help as much as anything else to go from drinking such a lot of alcohol to nothing? Won't you get the most awful withdrawal symptoms?

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:42:10

Brassic I wish I could tell you how transformed my life is now I don't drink any more

I feel truly happy and contented most of the time instead of depressed and ill

life is a ruddy marvellous thingbut NOT when you are smothering it under a nauseous blanket of alcohol

FrannyandZooey Tue 08-May-07 21:44:03

Stopping suddenly from drinking that amount can give you brain damage and in some cases be fatal

don't try it

cutting down by yourself if you can GRADUALLY would be ok

but seeking help would be by far the best option

if it was easy to give up drinking by yourself then AA etc would not exist

BrassicMonkey Tue 08-May-07 21:44:10

Forty+ - I'm so sorry to hear about your friends who died. I grew up with alcoholic family members and I know it's shit. I think the biggest help I can get at the moment is just to be listened to and heard.

I did speak to my GP last month but it was more about general well-being. I mentioned that I'd been drinking too much but at the time I'd been off it for 6 days and didn't tell him how much I'd been drinking.

I'm getting UTI's all the time. I don't know if this is a side affect of the booze or because my personal hygiene is suffering (sorry, I know that's embarrassing, but I'm not going to blush) because of the hangovers.

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