New guy

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New guy

Postby Toby » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:12 am

Hello all, I just registered today so sorry for the long post. I've been drinking since my early 20's, I'm now in my early 50's. Always beer, never acquired a taste for liquor. I've never had professional counseling or AA. I guess you could call me a binge drinker in that I never saw a reason to drink unless I planned to drink a lot. Just having 2 or 3 beers never made sense to me. Early on I would drink every night, often a 12-pack after getting off work only to get up at 5am the next day. After a while I realized I couldn't keep that up and progressed to only drinking on evenings when I was off the next day. But like I said when I did drink it was at least a 12-pack more. Most of this occurred at home so I had no DUI's or other run ins with the law. When my work schedule changed I was drinking about 3 or 4 times a week, much more if I had some extra days off. I retired about a year ago so I've pretty much been drinking every night starting about 4pm and going until 1 or 2am. Finally about 2 months ago I decided I had to change. I was feeling miserable, gained weight and had declining health. I've always been relatively healthy but my BP and pulse rate were getting dangerously high. So I made changes in my drinking habits. I stopped drinking at home completely. My wife and I enjoy craft breweries so we still go out every couple of weeks and I have 3 or 4 beers. I used to follow these with 12 more at home but I have no desire do this any more. I've started exercising and I've lost weight and my vitals have come way down. I feel much better and have a lot more energy.

Here's the problem. The other night I went to a local minor league baseball game alone because my wife was out of town and my adult son was working. It was dollar beer night so I decided to have a couple. Now since I've cut way back on my drinking I've realized my tolerance has also plummeted. It also didn't help that I was drinking local craft beer which has a ABV of 7% or so. I felt fine but the alcohol hit me like a ton of bricks. As I was leaving the park I stumbled and bloodied my face in the parking lot. I don't remember driving home. Thankfully I made it home but fell again inside the house. My son was home and helped me to bed. Since this happened I'm dealing with extreme regret, shame and embarrassment, especially with my son seeing me like that. The next day he gave me a hug and we both shed tears. He was very upset at what could have happened. I made him a promise I would never drink out alone again.

I guess I'm wondering if I can be "normal" and just have a few beers every couple of weeks or is zero alcohol the only option. Since I stopped drinking at home I still have beer in the fridge but have had no desire to have one. I plan to keep my word about drinking out alone, or even at the house for that matter. I just keep reliving that night and am almost overwhelmed with shame and guilt.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: New guy

Postby PaigeB » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:51 pm

I guess the answer depends on whether or not you think you have the disease of alcoholism... I believe it is a form of an allergy - I cannot safely take in ANY amount of alcohol without setting into motion the "phenomena of craving" talked about in The Doctor's Opinion (which appears before Chapter 1 in the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous). I also really like Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism where it talks about the different ways we alcoholics have tried to curb our drinking and found that we could not.

Now, I can tell you that for me there were a couple times where I could "control" my drinking, but "the great obsession of every abnormal drinker" is that somehow they will CONTROL AND ENJOY their drinking (emphasis mine) Discussion of that obsession is in Chapter 3.

The basic text of our book is only 164 pages long, with the directions for the 12 Steps in the first 104 pages. Give it a read at http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... -anonymous
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: New guy

Postby Brock » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:23 pm

Welcome to e-AA Toby.

The level of control you seem to have might point to not being an alcoholic, as Paige said and a sign in many AA meeting rooms says, 'one is to much and one hundred is not enough,' most of us find we have no control once we take one. But keep in mind that you would be more than welcome at any AA meeting, should you wish to investigate further. Paige gave a link to the main text, I will give a few more I have saved, as a sort of newcomers package of things that can be of assistance, it includes the chapters in the book she spoke of.

Is A.A. For You – 12 Questions.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for ... can-answer

A Brief Guide To AA.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-42_abriefguidetoaa.pdf

Three Chapters From The Big Book-

1.The Doctors Opinion.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbo ... pinion.pdf

2.There Is A Solution.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt2.pdf

3.More About Alcoholism.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

A.A. Meeting Finder.
A.A. Near You.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources


Best of luck, and please ask any further questions, we enjoy answering.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: New guy

Postby tomsteve » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:23 pm

once I became a pickle, I couldn't go back to being a cucumber.
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Re: New guy

Postby Toby » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:47 am

Thank you for your replies. I'm going through the reference material but I honestly find the real life experiences more enlightening, really appreciate your insights. I guess everyone needs to find their tipping point, that confirmation that they're powerless to control alcohol or abstain by themselves. If I ever drink at all and drive, or if I decide to spend one evening be myself in the basement pounding beers I've got to accept I need help and am powerless to control or quit alcohol on my own. Those are my red lines and the act of writing them here reinforces them.

And while I appreciate the analogy I can easily walk into a market and pick out the pickles from the cucumbers. I can't walk into a bar and tell who's an alcoholic and who's not.

Again, thank you all.
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Re: New guy

Postby Noels » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:06 am

:D :D :D
There is only Love
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Re: New guy

Postby tomsteve » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:27 pm

Toby wrote:
And while I appreciate the analogy I can easily walk into a market and pick out the pickles from the cucumbers. I can't walk into a bar and tell who's an alcoholic and who's not.

Again, thank you all.


I can differentiate a pickle from a cucumber,too. but no matter how hard I try I cant turn a pickle back into a cucumber.
theres no way this alcoholic, problem drinker,heavy drinker, alcohol use disorder sufferer- whatever you want to call it- can go back to normal drinking.
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Re: New guy

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:34 pm

See if you can relate to this:

Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums we could increase the list ad infinitum.

I tried that "not drinking at home", "not storing beer at home" "not drinking alone"....Keep trying.

Try to stay stopped. Thats when you will realize you really have a problem. You need to reach a point where, you realize you cannot keep away from alcohol. Your mind does some number on you and you keep picking up. The problem centers around the mind.
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: New guy

Postby positrac » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:48 pm

tomsteve wrote:once I became a pickle, I couldn't go back to being a cucumber.

Yup been a while since I heard that one and it is true.

I am of the belief that when I became sick and tired of just being sick and tired I made a change and it has been a journey ever since.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
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Re: New guy

Postby Roberth » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:40 am

Hello Toby. My Name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles Area alcoholic. I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news…… If you think you have a drinking problem and you don’t want you stop I doubt if AA will do you much good. Good news is you can always give AA a real try and if your life doesn’t improve you can always go back to the way it was before you stop.
I have met a lot of people say they caught alcoholism in AA so to speak. One of my guys told me he didn’t have a desire to stop drinking when we were going through the 3rd tradition. My answer to him was the air force has a desire that you do and that will work for now.
Well he celebrated 20 years last December and now not only is he an alcoholic he also does he have a desire not to drink.
Funny how that works
Robert
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