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Hello everybody

Postby Humbucker » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:18 pm

I thought this would be a good place to make my first post, although I apologise if this is the wrong place :D

My name is Al, and this is the first step I have taken in the right direction to curb my drinking.

I am 33 and a teacher at a local secondary school. Ever since I was young I always went out and had big weekend drinking sessions, but I never touched a drop during the week, ever. I didn't see a problem with that.

5 years ago I had my first child, and that combined with my commitments to playing in a wedding band meant I never had the chance to go out at the weekend anymore, so I never had my chance for a good beer session. Something I realised quickly that I missed.

Instead, I turned to drinking at home. The wife doesn't drink so I drink alone. At first it started with a session on the beer on a Friday and saturday night, with a few cans on a Sunday afternoon. This then spilled over to monday then Tuesday, and now, I cannot remember the last day I didn't have a drink.

I don't have to get drunk, but I can't stop myself drinking at least six cans of beer a day/night, after the children are in bed. The weekends are much worse, I get hammered... But again, only after the kids are in bed. Things are getting worse...if I manage to stop myself from buying beer so I can have a night off, I find myself driving to the supermarket at nine o clock at night to buy some because I crave it too much now. I need to stop before the children notice.

The other areas of my life are fine. I keep physically very fit, I have a good job, beautiful kids and a loving wife (who I do not and will not discuss this with). At the minute, like I said, the kids do not notice anything. The wife thinks I should cut down, but doesn't realise the reason I dont is because I can't.

I feel humiliated because I always thought I was so strong willed, I usually never fail when I put my mind to something... I have always been a very single minded driven person. However, I can only see this getting worse and that is not acceptable!!!!!

I'm not sure what to do next. I will look around this forum, and see what I can read.

Thanks for taking the time to read.
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Tommy-S » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:48 pm

Welcome Al,

And thanks for sharing that. I too was doing well on the outside while my insides were dissolving into some sickening mess.

I couldn't understand how I could function in a highly technical field with a Top Secret clearance, lift a Toyota, or comprehend the most technical & advanced material easily, yet be man-handled time & again by Alcohol.

Those old drunks told me I was bodily different from other drinkers. I had a 'More Switch'. Whereas normal drinkers had a few & get sleepy, the effect of Alcohol on my body is such that it throws the 'Switch' into High Gear, and I want to drink & do everything I can get my hands on, until I black out, pass out & come to again wondering "How could it happen again?"

I also can't think right when it comes to Alcohol.

I never hid extra peaches for fear of running out, never ate extra mashed potatoes because I was afraid the restaurant wouldn't have enough or the right kind. If I got sick on shrimp, I wasn't at the Seafood Bar the next night pounding Shrimp to 'prove' could handle it "like a man". And I never got into a fight over too many strawberries, or stole to get more.

I was sane in all other areas, but Alcohol.

Those told me I might have a fatal, progressive illness.

It's like a train wreck... I didn't have to ride it to the scene of the crash.

And it wasn't the Caboose that was doing the damage... I had to avoid the Locomotive. For me, that was the First Drink, not the 6th or 12th, or quart... That very first one.

On the AA website... http://www.aa.org ... you can find helpful literature, our Big Book, and contacts for meetings near you.... all free & confidential.

There is a solution, and I found it with other guys like myself in AA. You may, too.

Thanks for listening (sorry so long)... Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby leejosepho » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:54 pm

welcome to e-AA, Al!

===============
curb: to keep from exceeding a desirable degree or level
===============

The beginning of my own drinking and yours were virtually identical. I had certain "curbs" (limits) set, and I never went over or exceeded them and eventually felt confident enough to just drop them altogether. I cannot recall precisely when alcohol began taking over my drinking, but it did ... and then I re-ignited my desire to drink safely only to discover my ability to do so had been lost somewhere along the way.

I would guess you are experiencing one of the first "road signs" that you might be one of us who eventually had to have something done about this:

"First the alcoholic takes a drink," (an obsession for the effect)
"then the drink takes a drink," (abnormal body chemistry at work)
"then drink takes the alcoholic." (early grave or Organic Brain Syndrome)
--unknown
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Humbucker » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:01 pm

Thank you both for such quick and pleasant replies. :D

Tommy, I can relate to a lot of what you said (apart from the top secret stuff' my jobs kinda boring :D ). How did you first begin to stop drinking? Was it by following the link you gave me, or did it take you some time trying on your own before visiting AA?
Also, thanks for the link, I will check it out ASAP :D

Leejosepho. Thanks also for your story. I see you highlighted "curb"' and rightly so. I want to know what it feels like to go a few days without a beer, not know what it feels like to drink less for a few days.
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby leejosepho » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:12 pm

Humbucker wrote:... I want to know what it feels like to go a few days without a beer ...

Here you go:

"... restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks - drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery." ("The Doctor's Opinion" in "A.A.", the book)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Tommy-S » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:44 pm

Well, Al... I got to AA 'accidentally.

But then again, I have never met anyone who "had an hour to kill and thought AA would be the place to do so :)

A fellow shipmate (& I honestly don't know how he knew me as we were in different divisions on a ship w/ 5,000 +), was commenting on how rough I seemed to be looking (& doing).

So, I told him of my woes (which is one of the devices Alcohol used to keep me drinking... If only this or that or they were different...I wouldn't have to drink" kind of thing).

He listened, seemed sympathetic, and then said, "You know, maybe the problem is your drinking?"

No one have ever suggested that to me before... They had said things like I was Violent, Incorrigible, a Theft & a Liar, etc... But no one had ever suggested (not told me) that Alcohol might be the problem...

Bobby got my attention, and as I really had no place else to go, having drunk away all things near & dear, I accepted his invitation to the meeting on the ship that night.

So, I can recommend using the link, making the call, and getting to a meeting... I found others like myself who understood, and were willing to share the way out they had found, and they do it for free, as helping others keeps them sober.

If you are like me, I had nothing to lose by trying it.

It was a new beginning, and a second chance at life for me. I never had it so good :) Thanks
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Mike O » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:42 am

Hi, Al,

Firstly, welcome to the group.

Around 20 or so years ago I was where you're at. My kids were young and that put a bit of a rein on my drinking. Due to having to help out with kids stuff, etc. I was unable to drink til after they were in bed, except at weekends, when I just drank whether or not they were up. I drank maybe 4 cans of beer every night during the week and at the weekend no end of beer and wine. Eventually 6 or so cans of beer a night during the week. My wife at the time had me cut down so I just drank on wednesdays and then fri, sat and sun. Boy, I hated Mon, Tues and Thurs so eventually, to her displeasure, I gradually worked those nights back in too. I kinda knew then that it wasn't normal to be as obsessed with drinking as I was, but I didn't dwell on it too much. I mean, I didn't get totally wrecked every night; I was able to go to work and perform normally.

There was always, though, that inability to stop once I started, until I was ready for sleep or sick ( after which I'd often just carry on anyway!!), which was sometimes the case at weekends. Friends of mine were happy to go to the pub for a lunchtime pint on a Sunday, go home and not think about drinking again. No way could I ever do that. Once I started I would need to keep on drinking - I started to miss a few mondays at work.

So I was at your stage once too. I didn't stop till 2007 when I found A.A online and started to read the Big Book which is the book containing the 12 step programme. This book answered for once and all the question "Am I an alcoholic?" and it showed me what to do about it.

You can read the book here for free:
http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/

Have a read and see what you think.

-Mike :D
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Humbucker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:39 am

Thanks mike for the post and the link (which I will open after this reply)

I hope you don't take it the wrong way when I say I find your post quite frightening because the way you describe your drinking is exactly, exactly down to a T how I am right now.

Did the drinking escalate from where you were 20 years ago, or did it stay that way until you gave up?

Al
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Hanna » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:27 am

Humbucker wrote: Things are getting worse...if I manage to stop myself from buying beer so I can have a night off, I find myself driving to the supermarket at nine o clock at night to buy some because I crave it too much now. I need to stop before the children notice.

I would try to put off drinking and then race to the liqour store 5 mins before they would close. I don't miss that panicky insane feeling. I'm 76 days sober. I always drank "socially" then after everyone one else stopped and went home I would continue, alone. My sister passed away in 2005 and all bets were off. No more social drinking, just drinking, all alone. I had no idea it was getting worse, I couldn't see the harm I was doing to my husband and kids. I was there physically but not emotionally. They noticed, especially my kids, I just wasn't the same involved mom I used to be, I was numb. Kids are very perceptive and alcohol is very deceptive. Don't let it fool you into thinking you have time before they notice. Try this one day at a time, I am so happy thet I did. Stick around and keep posting, I am sending prayers your way.
Hanna
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby jakpar » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:54 am

welcome to eAA Al,
glad you have found us!
Jack

"We are of service by accepting responsibility for the authority God has given us and by respecting the authority God has given to others"
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Humbucker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:13 pm

Thank you both for your posts.

I think I like it here :D
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Tommy-S » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:21 pm

We're enjoying having you here, Al :)
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Mike O » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:03 pm

Humbucker wrote:
Did the drinking escalate from where you were 20 years ago, or did it stay that way until you gave up?

Al

It escalated :) By the end, 4 or 5 pints of Cider (alcoholic cider) in the pub followed by a bottle or more of wine a night during the week - more at weekends. I was always either drunk or badly hungover.
Read that book, Al.
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Karl R » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:21 pm

Hello Al,

I'm Karl....an alcoholic.

I recognize a lot of my story in your story. And for that: I thank you. :-)

The inability to stop once I'd taken the first drink. Driving to the store to get more when the supply ran out. Drinking alone at home. The ability of my mind to bring me back to that first drink over and over again despite my best intent and wishes. The feeling of being trapped in a cycle with no way out. It all resonates with me.

Well....I did find a way out. I showed up here in much the same way you have.

The people here suggested I read the first parts of the book "alcoholics anonymous". What I read there described my progressive, incurable, potentially fatal condition to a tee and what I read there showed me a way out. Drop me a private message and I'll let you know how to get a copy of this book.

kindest regards,
Karl
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Re: Hello everybody

Postby Todd M » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:50 am

:)
when I heard "crub" my drinking
i thought
out of the gutter, onto the curb

Welcome Al
There is Hope, Todd M
Keep it Simple

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