6 days sober

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wiggo
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6 days sober

Post by wiggo »

Hi all

I've been having a read on here for the last few days. I guess I'm having trouble coming to terms with the idea that I'm an alcoholic, or have a drinking problem.

I've always enjoyed a drink, when I was younger I would regularly get out of my head, out of control drunk - but felt like pretty much everyone else at university was doing too! More recently I've been able to moderate my drinking - having long periods where I chose not to drink ( I do triathlons and over the last few years have had long periods without a drink, up to several months before a big race) and have never been at the 'drinking in the morning' stage, never been drunk at work, I'm not a mean or nasty drunk (in fact my wife tells me I'm nicer when I'm drunk, which is both nice to hear I guess, but also, not really helping at the moment ... :) ) Never really been into the spirits, always been a beer and wine person.

I've just come off a period of 6 weeks dry leading up to a race, did the race, and rewarded myself with a beer afterwards. Since then I've been drinking every night - not 'a lot' by old standards, but a few beers, or a couple of glasses of wine every night. It's gradually been increasing though, and last week ended with a few nights where I had a six pack and almost all of a whole bottle of wine to myself. My wife noticed and started commenting that perhaps it was time to cut back a bit. The next night was the same - we have a young baby and while she was putting him to bed, I would go down and start on a few beers, then have a couple with her and then maybe some wine as well. The other night I went down and had a large glass of whiskey before the beers and then drank nearly a full bottle of wine afterwards - and it became like I was hiding it from her, going into the kitchen to get us both a refill and I would down a big glass of wine on the spot and then pour us both another... no wonder the whole bottle was gone at the end of the night and she'd only had a small glass...

I just feel like I don't have control of it any more. It's like, as soon as I have one beer or wine, the beer and wine are in charge and I'll just keep on drinking. It's like the wine is talking to me. I didn't like that at all so stopped drinking 6 days ago. I was surprised by how rough I felt for a few days, depressed and down, but I'm feeling better and better as the days go by. I'm exercising a lot as well which helps my moods.

So I guess, I came looking to AA for some info on help on how to cut down drinking, found the AA info (I'm reading the Big Book at the moment) and I'm amazed at how much of it is ringing true for me. I feel like I can't be an alcoholic because I've stopped drinking for long periods with really no problem. But then I'll get right back on it and more and more, I don't feel like I'm in charge of the drinking once I've started. But I keep telling myself that I'm fine as long as I don't have that first drink!!

So I guess, I need to keep reading the book and get myself to a meeting. I read that

I've not had a drink for 6 days and I don't intend to have one today. I feel fine, but feel like I should make a start on the meetings while I'm not struggling not to drink and use the strength I've found at the moment to build more strength for the hard times that are doubtless going to come along before too long

I'd be interested to know how many others have been through this 'needing help - also in denial' kind of place when they started out in AA - or even if there are any people currently going through it too?

Thanks for reading
Rob

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jakpar
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by jakpar »

welcome to eAA Rob!
keep reading and looking around, and don't hesitate with any questions or concerns you may have!
Jack

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avaneesh912
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by avaneesh912 »

"There is an easy way and a hard way to recovery from alcoholism. The hard way is by just going to meetings."

Dr. Bob
Jack, nice quote from Dr. Bob, thanks for sharing that.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Squawking Hawk
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by Squawking Hawk »

Rob,

Sounds like you have a good start. You are reading the Big Book and you posted here. Hope you can get to a meeting in or near your town,

Squawking Hawk
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Tommy-S
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by Tommy-S »

Hi Rob,

Welcome & Thanks for sharing.

In the 3rd Chapter of that Big Book (pg 32) you'll read the story of a man, who having problems with Alcohol, stopped for 25 years. Upon retiring, out came the slippers & bottle, and we was dead shortly.

Alcoholism is a progressive illness, and experience plus accounts from those who went back out and were lucky enough to return, shows that the illness continues to worsen. They report they were as bad or worse than ever.

It likes if I have lung cancer or diabetes... Not smoking or eating donuts for a month, 6 months, or years is NOT proof I'm cured, nor permission to smoke/eat donuts again. (Nor is that the act of a sane man)

How much or how often I drank is not as much an indication as is 'what happens when I put that first one in me'. For me, that First drink activated a "more switch", fueling a need to drink to excess, more than I planned, and eventually, everything I could get my hands on until I blacked out & passed out.

The AA web site (http://www.aa.org) has a helpful pamphlet, "Is AA for you?" http://www.aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?category=4
It's a 12 Question self-test you can download free... I found it worth taking.

Alcohol is a killer for men like me, seemingly at times to keep me alive just to mangle & torture me. Though I had many of the symptoms early on, I rode the train almost to the scene of the crash because I didn't want to take a real honest look at my drinking... I (thought) I was still having fun.

Today, because of AA, I have straightened out my past & received a better way of life.

Good luck, and let us know if we can help... Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

Humbucker
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by Humbucker »

Hi Rob, I'm new to this and so unfortunately, am not in a position to offer advice.

But I just wanted to say good luck and keep us updated with your progress!

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avaneesh912
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by avaneesh912 »

So I guess, I came looking to AA for some info on help on how to cut down drinking, found the AA info (I'm reading the Big Book at the moment) and I'm amazed at how much of it is ringing true for me. I feel like I can't be an alcoholic because I've stopped drinking for long periods with really no problem. But then I'll get right back on it and more and more, I don't feel like I'm in charge of the drinking once I've started. But I keep telling myself that I'm fine as long as I don't have that first drink!!
Yeah for me too. The queer mental twist that tricks our mind into taking that first drink. There are 3 stories in "More about Alcoholism" chapter to illustrate that.

The man of thirty who succumbs to the idea that after several years of abstinence that he could safely drink alcohol. The car sales man who fails to enlarge his spiritual life and the Accountant who would simply not believe that he is an alcoholic.

All three took the 1st drink, in spite of the knowledge they have a drinking problem and dire consequence. And then the phenomenon of craving kicks in.

Hence you will see the chapter "There is a Solution" pegs the problem on the mind rather than the body.

The defense should come from a higher power. Our human will power will be of no avail.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Squawking Hawk
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Re: 6 days sober

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For quite awhile I thought that my problem was my mother's mental illness. In my twisted alcoholic brain I thought that if I could figure out my mother then I could solve my problems. Never occurred to me that I was an alcoholic. Who me? I had been to college, had a job, an apartment. Denial was strong, I couldn't be an alcoholic.

Then I ran into some whom I used to drink with. Now she had problems I thought. She was the one who need help. She had gone away to school for three years and came back a changed women. That was quite apparent. She was working just down the street from me in the city. I went through my tale of woe. My mother and all that. She told me how she had hit her bottom while in grad school, getting sober through AA. Made an impression on me. I knew that she was different, but did not what happened until that conversation. At some point during the conversation, she looked at me, and asked me:

"what about your own drinking?"

I looked at her and said some sort of smart remark like "what about it?"

The conversation ended. And I walked to the bus station to go home to my apartment in the burbs. I never thought of my self as an alcoholic. Yet, I suppose that my friend planted some sort of seed in my brain. I know now that conversation with my friend was the beginning of breaking down my denial. What did I do that night? Probably went home and popped open a beer or had some Jack Daniels. But I couldn't shake what she had told me, both about her own drinking and recovery and asking me about my own drinking.

A few days later, I hit my bottom, and was introduced to AA by a couple of new friends. I went home and got drunk and went to my first AA meeting. I have been sober since.

Squawking Hawk
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Karl R
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by Karl R »

Hello Rob,

Welcome to E-AA. So nice to read you.

I had an a-ha moment after I got here. That moment was inspired by something I read on the top of page 44 in that big book you are reading. I've parsed the paragraph to demonstrate the if:or statement which gave me pause when I got here. The paragraph goes on to suggest a solution.

It said:

"In the preceding chapters you have learned something of alcoholism. We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic.

If,

when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely,

or

if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take,

you are probably alcoholic."

regards,
Karl

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Re: 6 days sober

Post by kenyal »

Welcome here Rob, good you decided to quit for a bit and look at this question with a clearer mind.

I had a thought on the experience of denial obscuring the truth that may partially help to clarify the condition.

Picture a winter mountain scene with all things quiet, and a wide river covered with motionless thick ice. You have to cross it to the opposite shore for your survival and for the well being of those who depend on you.

The first dozen steps are nerve-wracking, of course. You're certainly not enjoying this adventure at all. Cracking noises sound off and after more slow progress you can see fissures spreading. You've gone almost midway now and the temptation to turn and retreat to safety is strong, but you steel your spine because the stakes are so high and continue past the midpoint. You'll settle this now, either by slowly and carefully completing the crossing inch by inch or by falling into the deep cold trying your last.

You feel the ice give and you break through, and as you fall you take small comfort in knowing you've at least been brave and faithful in your effort.

The bottom is only inches deep and you quickly catch your balance and slog the rest of the way across to shore, a little embarassed to have spent so much emotional currency on this.

Awareness of one's self as an alcoholic is highly valuable information that no one in their right minds wants to be true. Knowing is better than not knowing, every time. If it's so then dealing with it is far more easy than dealing with a possibility, or circumstance that may wax and wane but is never taken for a constant condition.

Alcoholics commonly spend their lives wrestling with possibility and wavering circumstances, and never receive the benefits of certainty. They turned back when things got a little ugly out on the ice.

wiggo
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by wiggo »

Thanks for your replies everyone, it really means a lot, I've checked in a few times and reread what others have written on here. It's really helped me out.

The online forum is a great help for me, being able to bounce ideas of other people.

Had a difficult day. Been chatting with my wife over the last couple of days about me stopping drinking, she's been very supportive. I plucked up the courage to go to my first meeting tonight but when I told her she totally freaked out. She said that she hates the idea of being married to an alcoholic, can't believe that the father of her child is an alcoholic. It's like she's fine with the idea of me not drinking, but the idea of going to AA group meetings doesn't sit well with her.

I wonder whether it's the term 'alcoholic' and what it means to her - I mean really ,she thinks that if youre not the drinking-all-day-hiding-vodka-in-the-laundry kind of alcoholic then you're not 'really' an alcoholic. I guess it's easier for me because I had friends in america who were alcoholic and saw they were recovered, functioning really well - in fact I still consider some of them my best teachers and wisest people I ever met. Maybe in the USA people are more open about it. Maybe in the UK we're just much more uptight. I don't know. Maybe I was just fortunate that the alcoholics I met in the USA were really cool!

Anyhow, I'm not going to go to the meeting tonight because I could see she was really freaking out. I guess I just need her to have more time.

Still, a bit of a kick in the guts.

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PaigeB
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by PaigeB »

Dang Wiggo, hard spot to be in. I was lucky that my hubby would think anything if I quit drinking.. it was later when he realized that I would be going to AA OFTEN and that I would "run off" to AA... that he began to REthink AA. Turns out he had a brother whose stints in treatment (that never worked) "ruined" his childhood.

I have 3 years now and without ever going to an Alanon meeting he says, "You better get to a meeting, it's going to be a long weekend..." :lol:

Whether he likes it or not, whether he handles the terms or conditions that I apply to AA, no matter how much time I take away from the family, I am an alcoholic. I need AA to keep me away from the first drink and to keep me somewhat sane. It didn't happen right away that he trusted AA, but I think it has happened in there somehow... and I KNOW that things would be worse for me without meetings and fellowship and the Steps... all of what AA offers.

I wish you the best. We will be here 24/7/365. Peace.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Tommy-S
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by Tommy-S »

Hi Rob,

That is a tough spot. There is still a lot of misunderstanding about Alcoholism. a few years back I was working overseas, and had to solicit the base doctors, chaplains & combat stress people to see if there were other AA's around, or it they had someone I could help The responses from these professionals were welcoming, with only an occasional snicker, and one Chaplain who didn't "believe' in Alcoholism"... But could use my help if I wanted to assist in the eradication of the porn on base...(No, I didn't offer to trade him all the booze I found for all the 'smokers' he uncovered :)

I used that link to GSO & those pamphlets, particularly the ones directed to professionals, to help explain Alcoholism & what AA does (& doesn't do).

Under the Tab of "Information on AA" , there's several items your wife may find interesting http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=228, particularly the pamphlet "Is there an Alcoholic in your Life?"

AA has two types of meetings... Open & Closed. The "Closed" is for only for those with a problem with alcohol. Open are Open to the public.

As not all Open meetings are the same. You find AA's ranging from Yale to Jail. it would be advisable to contact AA in your area and talk to someone there about finding a suitable one so you can bring the Mrs... some groups even provide a sitter for the children.

And set the example for her by checking out some of the pamphlets that have been suggested, sharing with her what you find. Untreated Alcoholism, like any other fatal progressive illness, is a killer.

Good luck, Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

wiggo
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by wiggo »

Thanks for the replies guys and girls

Just had a big heart to heart with my wife where I shared with her more details of my drinking than I ever thought I would have the courage to. Now she understands the scale of the problem, and some of the details, she's being so supportive. Had a very emotional and teary evening. But I feel much better for it.

More than anything I realise with her help that a lot of my problems are in my head. The thing that wears me out is the constant back and forth conversation in my head when someone offers me a drink. Shall I, shan't I? One glass would be alright. But I don't want to drink!! etc....

When I told her honestly that this was what goes through my head when she offers me a glass of wine her eyes went like saucers... I guess that's not how 'normal' people feel about being offered a glass of wine is it!!

Another thing that she pointed out is that I maybe feel like I've been 'trying to give up and failing' for years, but it's the first she's known about it tonight. Certainly she knows I would give up before a race or whatever, but she never understood that I felt like a failure when I had a drink again afterwards. Maybe I never even realised that I did feel like a failure for going back to drinking until I've come on here and had these discussion with her tonight.

So thankyou, all of you for your support and kind words. You helped me find the courage to talk to my wife, and she's going to help me find the courage to go to a meeting and together we're going to help me beat this.

Made it through another day dry :)

Hope you're all finding strength out there too

Night
Rob

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Squawking Hawk
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Re: 6 days sober

Post by Squawking Hawk »

Awesome Rob! So glad that you and your wife had a heart to heart, and glad to hear that you are going to a meeting. :mrgreen:

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