How to know if there is a problem?

For the younger AA generation, some experience, strength and hope.

How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Dionysos » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:32 pm

The common story of an alcoholic is a homeless guy who has had 3+ wives and drinks from a brown bag in public assaulting people on streets. That doesn't fit me, nor I bet does it fit most of you. I have a really good social life, I get really good grades, and I drink 2-3 bottles of wine a night. If my life is perfect, why should I change? I have been told by others that they have had enough with my drinking and run-ins with the law.
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby kenyal » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:43 pm

It was really bad news for me when I began doing AA in order to nip my really very minor problem in the bud, to find out that people were getting sober much younger than I was when I attended my first meeting at age 21. I didn't expect to see that really young lighweights who had experienced far less trouble than I, had addressed their drinking issues already. It made me feel old, dumb for waiting so long, and regretful I hadn't been sharp enough to do something sooner and spare myself and those who cared for me much grief.

Hope that helps.
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:23 pm

Dionysos wrote:The common story of an alcoholic is a homeless guy who has had 3+ wives and drinks from a brown bag in public assaulting people on streets. That doesn't fit me, nor I bet does it fit most of you. I have a really good social life, I get really good grades, and I drink 2-3 bottles of wine a night. If my life is perfect, why should I change? I have been told by others that they have had enough with my drinking and run-ins with the law.



Hi Dionysos and welcome.

Here's a link to the AA website that has 12 questions about your drinking only you can answer:

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

There are thousands of Young Peoples AA Meetings all over the US. If you'd like to check out a YPAA meeting, just google "YPAA meeting schedule" and you'll get some links to meeting schedules for your area.

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: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby ann2 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:19 am

Good question. And very alcoholic. We alkies don't listen to our loved ones, who really care so much about us and only want to help, or pay attention to the results of our drinking, no matter how obvious the connection is between trouble and alcohol.

I think you might want to answer those questions just to get another piece of feedback: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for ... can-answer

I got the minimum "yes", 4, and I promise you I am a real alcoholic and it was mercy to get to my first meeting.

Ann
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Niagara » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:53 am

You're right, that is the common story of an alcoholic. However, don't think for a moment that that's how homeless alcoholic started out. Alcholism is a progressive illness. It gets steadily worse, over time.
Alcoholic homeless guys first drink may well have been a normal beer at a normal pub at age 21.

I am an alcoholic. At age 20, I rarely drank, couple of times a year maybe? Owned my own home, had my first child, friends, husband. Full of promise, no idea what was waiting for me. I never got in trouble with the police by the way. Not once....although once was a close run thing. At this point, I didn't drink often, because I honestly couldn't handle it. I knew I think even then, that my drinking was not right. I liked it FAR too much...that sense of ease and belonging that came with it. It was the only time I felt right, when I had a drink in me. It's hard to explain.
20 years later, I'm downing an entire wine box (3-4 bottles) every single night. I'm shaking in the morning, shaking in the afternoon, desperate for 7pm to hit so I could drink again. Except on the days when I'd sworn off for a few days, that is, which were a type of hell I think only an alcoholic can know. I might have been drinking by 7pm anyway, but a full day of having it in my head that 'I was never going to drink again' was horrible. Normal drinkers don't think like that, so I hear.

My denial was such that, I truly and honestly believed, if I didn't drink during the day, I couldn't possibly be an alcoholic. I was so far from the truth with that thought, it's laughable now really....but this is what alcoholism has us believing, you see.

Sorry to shatter your illusion, but run ins with the law were never in anyone's version of a perfect life. I never heard one person say, 'when I grow up, I want to be getting arrested cos I can't handle my drink'. You think others see your life as so perfect, that they're telling you they've had enough with your drinking, just for fun? People who love and care for us, beg us to stop because they can see the destruction, and they are caught up in it...because we destroy others lives too. Make no mistake about that. Eventually we'll cause enough destruction that they will walk away.

As an alcoholic myself, I can say when I was drinking, I was a positive force in nobodys life. Sadly, not even my childrens, and I could not see it. I thought I was a good mum. Said all the right stuff, but what an example I set for them eh? Life throws you a curveball? get drunk. Do stuff you're not proud of? Say sorry and don't change a single thing, in fact, do it again the next night, just because you can. Not liking that something hasn't gone your way? Rant, rave, break down and cry, get drunk, but you know, don't actually change anything for the better.
All of the 'I love you's, do your homework, how was your day's' in the world didn't make me a good mother, because the examples I was setting were bad, bad, bad. Words, mean nothing. We can speak prettily to our hearts content, but our actions are the most telling thing in the world.

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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Hanna » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:54 pm

Hi, I was deeply moved by Niagra's post, it was as though she were telling my story, I identified as I started out a happy go lucky girl in my 20's going out to bars on weekends, I never drank from Sun-Thurday, ever. But when I did drink I enjoyed it a little more than my friends. I am the one who wanted to keep the party going. I often continued drinking when I got home, until I passed out, I would wake up thinking I had a great night. Eventually I got married and stopped going to bars, but I continued my Friday and Saturday night routine of drinking. I would look forward to it as a reward for working all week. When I turned 30 I had my 1st child, I stopped drinking altogether! When I was 33 my husband and I bought a nice house in a very nice town. I had it all, great husband, 2 healthy kids and a nice house. So I celebrated with mimosas on Sunday mornings and since I was a stay at home mom sometimes I'd have a beer ( usually 6) on a hot summer afternoon while the kids were in school. Suddenly mommy was always tired. For the next few years I kept my drinking a secret and did a fairly good job of it.
When my children were in their late teens my drinking had progressed to a point that I began to do some research on AA. I fit the description of an alcoholic but I wasn't ready to ask for help. So instead I spent the next several years in a downward spiral. I got my 1st dui in 2005, my 2nd in 2012. I was also fired from my job shortly after my 2nd dui. My husband and children were ready to leave me, my nice house was on the verge of foreclosure and I lost my license for 2 years. My alcoholism had progressed from weekends to Sunday mornings to the point where I had to drink until I passed out and then drink again when I woke up.
By the Grace of God I finally asked for help, and I found it here in AA. I am 56 years old and 2.5 years sober. If you think you my have a problem ask for help now, check out a meeting you have nothing to lose, but so much to gain. This is not only a way to stop drinking it is learning a way of living where you are comfortable and content with who you are and a drink is no longer an obsession.
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby positrac » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:29 am

Dionysos wrote:The common story of an alcoholic is a homeless guy who has had 3+ wives and drinks from a brown bag in public assaulting people on streets. That doesn't fit me, nor I bet does it fit most of you. I have a really good social life, I get really good grades, and I drink 2-3 bottles of wine a night. If my life is perfect, why should I change? I have been told by others that they have had enough with my drinking and run-ins with the law.



I won't judge although we as a group of people who have had our issues with drugs and or alcohol or both will tell you that it is a good possibility of two things: 1) You abuse this right of sorts to drink in general; either in public or private and it has yielded you issues with the "man" or 2) you are on the threshold of discovering you are a alcoholic and it is very hard to imagine that you being a young thriving individual could be a failure of sorts with drinking. I call it failure because like you mentioned at the beginning that the bum in the park panhandling money for a bottle of ripple! I was 22 when I sobered up and had issues from day one of my short drinking career.

I would suggest not promising yourself not to drink because you are the best at BSing yourself of these short comings. So try going out and just hanging out and see where it leads you honestly for a while. You set the time frame and see if it yields you drinking and becoming that spectacle you've been accused of. If alcohol is in that mix then you might have an issue that may need to be evaluated honestly.

When you look into the mirror I suspect you see yourself and it is up to you to identify if this is what life is all about? I can't call you an alcoholic because what I suspect might be a phase in life and then again it might not be. Young sober alcohols in AA have fun and they have to deal with everything you do when your drinking and being silly and I mean the social aspect of groups of people in public places. But for us sober folks the law is not normally part of our social life and saying sorry the next day is not normally because of our unknown actions we may have done to others we call friends.

be well.

Lastly if you are the abusing type I'd recommend you get wise real fast because your next educational experience might come with bars and an orange jumpsuit.
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Layne » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:48 am

Dionysos wrote: If my life is perfect, why should I change?

Dionysos wrote: I have been told by others that they have had enough with my drinking and run-ins with the law.


Those two quotes seem to be in conflict with each other.

life is perfect... others have had enough...run-ins with the law
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Jackstraw » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:07 am

So much good stuff has already been said, but I will throw in a brief thought or two. Like others, I never got arrested, got fired, or had any of the dramatic stories others share. Indeed all my friends were drinkers since middle school, it was the culture i grew up in and seemed very normal. as the years went by, i am in my forties now, my drinking became very respectable. a six pack over the weekend and the occasional party binge. Yet, i thought about that six pack all week, you might say obsessed over it. nothing seemed wrong with that, i was just looking forward to a reward at the end of the week. Who doesn't do that? That's what drinking is for to relax and take the edge off.

Then a few short years ago my boss gave me a bottle of scotch. I had never drank scotch because my father drank it and when he did he became an asshole. One taste of this scotch and I knew I found a drink and a buzz I'd been searching for my whole life. When I was drinking scotch I found myself happier and more alert and sharper than any other time during the day. This was awesome.

I was successful in my career, was raising a family and was a great father, the only thing that seemed to be wrong were frequent arguments with my wife. At times those arguments we're very over-the-top. I blamed her or at least recognized we both had a part in these arguments. Eventually the fights lead to going to marriage counseling which lead to individual counseling. my counselor asked me if I felt my drinking was a problem, or if the drinking had it any relation to the problems in my marriage, over and over. Of course not I said, the drinking was under control and had been part of my life for most of my life. If I had any control over anything, it was my drinking. I knew what i was doing and i certainly wasn't taking drinks in the morning or at lunch, except for the occasional beer with lunch on a Friday. But who doesn't do that?

Then slowly, without really realizing it, I found myself planning my week around when and where I needed to buy a new bottle of scotch, and whether I had enough beer around the house so I could kick things off before I started really hitting the hard stuff. I found myself taking my four-year-old son out to the liquor store because I couldn't be at home without anything. One night while making dinner with my seven-year-old I drank over a liter of whiskey while chatting and cooking. As I went to pour some for more whiskey in the glass and realized the bottle was empty it hit me: I just drank over a liter of whiskey in ninety 90 minutes and didn't feel drunk, instead felt inspired, creative, happy, utterly delighted. At that moment I realized I wasn't drinking like a normal person. And the light bulb went on. If I couldn't trust my judgment regarding my drinking habits could I trust my judgment in other places. Perhaps the fights with my wife weren't equal parts her fault, perhaps they truly were just mine. I began taking the online quizzes and reading the big book, trying to figure out if I had an alcohol problem. For me, the end of that search left me to realize that indeed I was in alcoholic. I was an incredibly fortunate alcoholic in that I hadn't lost my job, my wife, my family. I was able to recognize I was on that road and needed to step off. It is really hard getting and staying off that road.

While there certainly are characteristics and traits that all alcoholics share in common, it is wrong to assume alcoholism presents itself the same in all people. I've been going to meetings for about a year now, and I've met people who have been through rehab centers, lived under bridges,never had any legal problems, seemingly only drank what I considered to be at a fairly moderate level.Yet, what all people do share in common is an overriding obsession or focus or a compulsion or urge to consume alcohol with an intensity that nonalcoholics do not exhibit

In the end most people who come to understand they are alcoholic come to also understand the alcohol is but a symptom of a deeper, fundamental difficulty in dealing with life. It is not about the alcohol, is about how we cope with life.

Best of luck. No matter where you end up in your discovery process, you will always find this forum a good place filled with good people to provide you with any help or information you may need.
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby positrac » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:46 am

[quoteIn the end most people who come to understand they are alcoholic come to also understand the alcohol is but a symptom of a deeper, fundamental difficulty in dealing with life. It is not about the alcohol, is about how we cope with life.

][/quote]

Well said Jackstraw and this quote I especially can relate to this in my own life.
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby tomsteve » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:10 am

Dionysos wrote:The common story of an alcoholic is a homeless guy who has had 3+ wives and drinks from a brown bag in public assaulting people on streets. That doesn't fit me, nor I bet does it fit most of you. I have a really good social life, I get really good grades, and I drink 2-3 bottles of wine a night. If my life is perfect, why should I change? I have been told by others that they have had enough with my drinking and run-ins with the law.


213 bottles of wine a night.
Others have had enough of you.
I have Fatty Liver disease
, got arrested
, and was expelled from school because of alcohol

I must be suffering from delusional thinking as that doesn't read like a perfect life.
Or I could be wrong and it's you in denial and suffering from delusional thinking?
It reads like if ya keep going you will be that homeless man.
Want your family off your back? Tell them to disown ya. But I think they do it because they care about ya and love ya.

As for the question in your other thread about your friends-
Would an alcoholic have friends and/or hang with people that weren't practicing alcoholics?
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Lali » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:45 am

Jackstraw wrote:So much good stuff has already been said, but I will throw in a brief thought or two. Like others, I never got arrested, got fired, or had any of the dramatic stories others share. Indeed all my friends were drinkers since middle school, it was the culture i grew up in and seemed very normal. as the years went by, i am in my forties now, my drinking became very respectable. a six pack over the weekend and the occasional party binge. Yet, i thought about that six pack all week, you might say obsessed over it. nothing seemed wrong with that, i was just looking forward to a reward at the end of the week. Who doesn't do that? That's what drinking is for to relax and take the edge off.

Then a few short years ago my boss gave me a bottle of scotch. I had never drank scotch because my father drank it and when he did he became an asshole. One taste of this scotch and I knew I found a drink and a buzz I'd been searching for my whole life. When I was drinking scotch I found myself happier and more alert and sharper than any other time during the day. This was awesome.

I was successful in my career, was raising a family and was a great father, the only thing that seemed to be wrong were frequent arguments with my wife. At times those arguments we're very over-the-top. I blamed her or at least recognized we both had a part in these arguments. Eventually the fights lead to going to marriage counseling which lead to individual counseling. my counselor asked me if I felt my drinking was a problem, or if the drinking had it any relation to the problems in my marriage, over and over. Of course not I said, the drinking was under control and had been part of my life for most of my life. If I had any control over anything, it was my drinking. I knew what i was doing and i certainly wasn't taking drinks in the morning or at lunch, except for the occasional beer with lunch on a Friday. But who doesn't do that?

Then slowly, without really realizing it, I found myself planning my week around when and where I needed to buy a new bottle of scotch, and whether I had enough beer around the house so I could kick things off before I started really hitting the hard stuff. I found myself taking my four-year-old son out to the liquor store because I couldn't be at home without anything. One night while making dinner with my seven-year-old I drank over a liter of whiskey while chatting and cooking. As I went to pour some for more whiskey in the glass and realized the bottle was empty it hit me: I just drank over a liter of whiskey in ninety 90 minutes and didn't feel drunk, instead felt inspired, creative, happy, utterly delighted. At that moment I realized I wasn't drinking like a normal person. And the light bulb went on. If I couldn't trust my judgment regarding my drinking habits could I trust my judgment in other places. Perhaps the fights with my wife weren't equal parts her fault, perhaps they truly were just mine. I began taking the online quizzes and reading the big book, trying to figure out if I had an alcohol problem. For me, the end of that search left me to realize that indeed I was in alcoholic. I was an incredibly fortunate alcoholic in that I hadn't lost my job, my wife, my family. I was able to recognize I was on that road and needed to step off. It is really hard getting and staying off that road.

While there certainly are characteristics and traits that all alcoholics share in common, it is wrong to assume alcoholism presents itself the same in all people. I've been going to meetings for about a year now, and I've met people who have been through rehab centers, lived under bridges,never had any legal problems, seemingly only drank what I considered to be at a fairly moderate level.Yet, what all people do share in common is an overriding obsession or focus or a compulsion or urge to consume alcohol with an intensity that nonalcoholics do not exhibit

In the end most people who come to understand they are alcoholic come to also understand the alcohol is but a symptom of a deeper, fundamental difficulty in dealing with life. It is not about the alcohol, is about how we cope with life.

Best of luck. No matter where you end up in your discovery process, you will always find this forum a good place filled with good people to provide you with any help or information you may need.


Well said, Jackstraw!
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Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: How to know if there is a problem?

Postby Lali » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:04 am

Dionysos wrote:The common story of an alcoholic is a homeless guy who has had 3+ wives and drinks from a brown bag in public assaulting people on streets. That doesn't fit me, nor I bet does it fit most of you. I have a really good social life, I get really good grades, and I drink 2-3 bottles of wine a night. If my life is perfect, why should I change? I have been told by others that they have had enough with my drinking and run-ins with the law.


Hi, Dion. In another thread you shared that you have fatty liver. Fatty liver comes just before cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis is not reversible, but fatty liver can be reversible if you stop drinking right away. I had a close friend whose skin and eyes, before her organs all shut down, turned yellow. Knowing how serious her situation was, she still was unable to quit as this disease is cunning and baffling and powerful. Or maybe she was afraid if she got sober that she would have to deal (sober) with the knowledge that she had slowly begun to kill herself and that it was surely too late for to recover from her grave diagnosis. She was found dead and alone in her apartment just this past August and she was only 50 years old.

So, I think that it is important for you to know that fatty liver is serious and progressive, just like the disease of alcoholism.
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