Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

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Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby Ghostman258 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:27 am

While I'm very sure I'm an alcoholic and I'm pretty sure a couple close friends of mine are also, it's effect on me seems to be much different than the way in which it effects them.
I was posting this to find out if anyone else on this site finds these effects a little unusual or if this is normal in terms of my experience with Alcohol and the way in which it effects me.

I'm a 47 year old male. Married and work in a professional field that involves a good deal of business reporting.
I drink about 3 days a week. When I drink it is always after work at home, but never before or during work hours. Over the last 7 years even before my semi-regular consumption of alcohol I have felt very flat and with a great loss of motivation. My brain is not sharp and my level of focus is very poor. This has become a serious handicap in every aspect of my life, even several years before my regular consumption of alcohol.

I know Alcohol is a depressant, but for me during the evenings when I drink I feel the opposite of my ever lingering depression as long as I stick to (what I call the sweet spot.) For me this is about 4 to 5 Vodka and Tonics. At about my 3rd drink my brain and my ability to focus on complex tasks really is greatly enhanced. I find that during these evenings of drinking that I am able to lift up and get much more done and with far greater results. My wife tells me that she can not detect that I am intoxicated as a person would be if they drank a highly excessive amount. In fact she notices that I am behaving much more clear in my thought process and far less lethargic than on evenings when I do not drink.

The feeling is so profound that I will often save work I must complete and then perform it after work to turn in the following day. (With trial and error, I have found this only works well if after my 4th drink I mix the 5th drink weaker to ride the evening out at a specific blood Alcohol level.)
Some have told me this effect is not really happening, but without fail each time I do this then upon the following day at work after my evenings difficult work reporting tack is complete and turned in that the quality of that work is far better than if I had performed it at work 100% sober.

Problem: This is only effective for me to do 3 days a week because while I do not drink enough to experience a bad hangover, I then find for a full 2 days after those cocktails that my level of Depressive symptoms and general anxiety are 3 times worse than they normally are (Normally happens to be pretty bad, but 3 times worse for 2 days after that evening of alcohol consumption.) It has now over time developed into almost a regular and calculated schedule. About 2 days after my evening of drinking my mood is very low and all productive manner of thought process is degraded and I don't feel any desire to drink. After the 2nd not drinking then I find myself wanting that lift back just to get a good 6 hours of highly productive time at home. I will only schedule this 3 days a week of drinking when I am positive I have no need to drive and I never do.

Is the above any experience that others on this site have also noticed? Given the fact that I am continuing this cycle and I feel helpless to stop doing this is a worry to me.
Why during the evenings when I drink am I experiencing a great short term lift that really does result in my brain being released to perform tasks at a much higher level?
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby Karl R » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:09 am

Hi Ghostman,

Welcome to our board. I'll start off by saying we, in alcoholics anonymous, are not medical professionals.In fact we're not professionals at all.

As to your condition? Have you consulted a professional regarding your condition?

I came to alcoholics anonymous because I was unable to drink successfully and I had a desire to stop drinking. That's what we are: a fellowship of men and women with a desire to stop drinking.

kindest regards,
Karl
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:42 pm

Ghostman258 wrote:
Is the above any experience that others on this site have also noticed? Given the fact that I am continuing this cycle and I feel helpless to stop doing this is a worry to me.

Why during the evenings when I drink am I experiencing a great short term lift that really does result in my brain being released to perform tasks at a much higher level?


Hi Ghostman

Welcome to the forums. Glad you found us.

The short answer is no, it is not an usual effect.

Years ago, Health Science classes in my state use to teach that alcohol was a depressant. More recent research into the effects of alcohol on the brain seem to indicate that it is both a stimulant and depressant depending on the drinker's metabolism and the amount of alcohol consumed.

This is a quote from drugfacts at drugfreeworld.org:

Although classified as a depressant, the amount of alcohol consumed determines the type of effect. Most people drink for the stimulant effect, such as a beer or glass of wine taken to “loosen up.” But if a person consumes more than the body can handle, they then experience alcohol's depressant effect....


There are also some interesting articles on this subject at the Psychology Today website which you might find helpful.

When I began to drink, alcohol seemed like a solution to a lot of problems I had been trying to deal with. At that point in time, my biggest problem was dealing with the death of a loved one and having a few glasses of wine every night eased my pain and sorrow and helped me feel better. As I continued to drink, alcohol started to become more of a problem than a solution but I kept drinking until it became very very obvious that, despite all my justifications and rationalizations, alcohol was THE problem and the solution was sobriety. I could not quit drinking by myself. I thought it would be easy. It wasn't. I struggled with staying sober even after I joined AA, but I finally found the solution to my drinking problem when I discovered and used AA's 24 hour plan. You can read it about it at this link:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-1_thisisaa1.pdf.

If you're worried about your drinking and want to stop but already know your helpless to stop, I would suggest you try going to an open AA meeting as a visitor just to sit and listen to what the AA members share. You may also want to browse through the Alcoholics Anonymous book which is generally referred to as the Big Book. You can browse through it online in html at the Serenity Club's website. Feel free to ask more questions on this website too. If you decide to go to a meeting, come back and let us know your thoughts on what you heard in the rooms.

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby Brock » Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:23 pm

http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for ... can-answer

The link above is to a list of questions published by AA, these assist us in making a determination of our alcoholism, the people I have heard speak in AA usually admit to scoring 'off the chart' on this. But it is not a definitive thing, as others have said, you might try attending a meeting to see for yourself.

It was correctly said that we don't 'play doctor,' but what about the sweetness in the vodka and tonic increasing energy levels, while at the same time having a tranquilizing effect, having you feeling 'just right.' I might speak to a doctor, check sugar levels and anxiety complications, best of luck at finding the solution which suits you best.
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby Larryp713 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:43 am

I have heard of so many different experiences from alcoholics that I don't know if there is a usual effect. In fact, I think our fellowship is fully comprised of people who have an unusual response to alcohol. This is not to say that from a purely academic sense, your questions are perfectly valid and have merit.

But you posted this on a forum for recovering alcoholics, and I would like to share my thoughts with you on this. I associate my questions of: do I drink/act/speak differently than others, as a manifestation of my pride and often not helpful. I have a tendency to analyze things to death, and my drinking instincts and patterns have consumed many hours of my thoughts. All the theories and postulates I developed from this did not help me at all.

The real question for me is why do I drink alcohol when it causes me so many problems. If it did not cause me problems, I would not be here typing this. The answer was I did not know why I drank. I eventually reached a point where there was no situation or circumstance that did not sound more appealing to me as when I could drink. My life revolved around drinking, usually trying to figure out when the next 2 to 4 hour window would be available to allow me to drink and "get away with it".

Comparatively, my experience with alcohol varies greatly with others in our fellowship. But what I have in common with these folks is that when they wanted to stop drinking, they found they could not do it on their own. I could not stay quit. When I did quit drinking, my life was even more horrible. I wanted to drink so bad and was miserable. That is why I turned so desperately to AA.

Among the excellent material shared above, I would break the questions down to a few simple questions:
Is drinking causing you problems, would your life be better if you didn't drink?
If no, than I don't know why you would quit drinking. If yes, have you tried to quit on your own? How long have you been able to abstain, and when you did, was your life better? Did you find yourself missing drinking?
If your life gets better when you are not drinking, and you don't miss it, than you probably can and should just quit.

But if you find that after you quit, you start to think about drinking and you find life is more frustrating, you probably have some level of chemical dependence, and you may be an alcoholic. I honestly reviewed my experience with and without alcohol and came to the conclusion that I was massively dependent on alcohol, indeed an alcoholic. I have met many other alcoholics in this program, and though we drank differently and had a vastly different consequences from drinking, the one common thing we had is an inability to stop drinking and be happy. Another very common observation is that the dependence always got worse whether we drank or not until we changed our lives.

The program of Alcoholics Anonymous provides the blueprint to change our lives in such a way that our dependence on alcohol is removed. I can attest to this, and my gratitude for this is why I enjoy sharing my experience with others. Whatever your own conclusions are, I appreciate you posting your questions and background and allowing me a chance to share my experience, strength, and hope. All the best - Larry
Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny!!!
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby D'oh » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:23 am

I have heard of so many different experiences from alcoholics that I don't know if there is a usual effect. In fact, I think our fellowship is fully comprised of people who have an unusual response to alcohol. This is not to say that from a purely academic sense, your questions are perfectly valid and have merit.


It does have to come from within. There are no set guideline to being an Alcoholic or a Heavy/Normal Drinker.

The clearest I have heard it described is 1, when you drink. you don't control; the drink the drink controls you. 2 If you drink and get into trouble.

Pretty vast spread, but if we look at it Honestly we can determine it. Regardless of How Long, How Much, or How Much we have Lost in drinking.

So in saying that, I question (and by no way am I a Doctor) Why do you have 5 drinks when 3 drinks put you at the ease you are looking for? Why are you so concerned over just a few drinks? The Norms would not be asking this type of questions to anyone. And do you Want to stop drinking, or just stop feeling "Blue" when you are not drinking?
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:25 am

The clearest I have heard it described is 1, when you drink. you don't control; the drink the drink controls you. 2 If you drink and get into trouble.


The key is, the alcoholic will go back to that drink. Thats the peculiar mental twist the book talks over and over again. The 2 points stated about are consequences of the mental twist. Thats why the book talks about the mind being the main problem of the alcoholic. He/she cannot stay stopped unless he/she has a spiritual awakening.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Is this an unusual effect when I drink?

Postby Lali » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:42 am

I want to preface this by saying this is MY opinion and MY experience only. I started daily drinking in the first year of my 11 years working for a national law firm. We were evaluated every year and every year my boss checked off "exceeds expectations" in every category. The other categories were 'meets expectations" and "falls below expectations". During the last three years of my employment, I started making a lot of mistakes but I became an expert at hiding or "fixing" mistakes so they would not be detected. If I made a scheduling mistake, I blamed it on opposing counsel's assistant. I'm not proud of that but I needed my job and was in denial mode. Do you think its possible that your work is no longer up to par but that you have either been able to "fix" problems or you are getting some slack because of your past good job performance? I just find it hard to believe that a person can do better then average work while under the influence. Could it be that you are in denial about the level of your work product?
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