1. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I Need Help (Alcohol Intervention)

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Link the Writer, Nov 18, 2017.

    So yeah... I think I may have an alcohol problem. While I can mostly contain it during the week, it unleashes itself on Friday night and I end up drinking WAY more than I should (I...drank four beers last night.) As a result, I failed my family once again, and I failed myself. I’d say “sorry” or “I’ll do better” but at this point, I’m not sure if even I believe it. The words sound so hollow... I’ve said that too many times before. And I know what's gonna happen -- after this thread, I'll eventually forget how I feel and the cycle will, once again, repeat itself.

    I got wild because I had a great day (cold aside) and wanted to celebrate it...and that’s when the alcohol got unleashed. I need help.
     
  2. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    My husband also had an alcohol problem—or rather 'has' one because the only thing an alcoholic can do is avoid it. Alcoholics can't suddenly become moderate drinkers. However, after his mouth cancer and surgery (and he was weaned off it while in hospital) he no longer drinks at all.

    You might be just drinking too much. I think lots of us did when we were younger, but we later saw sense and stopped getting blootered every chance we got. We were never actually addicted or became alcoholics. Do you think you're actually addicted to alcohol? It would be good to know for sure. However, if you can control (or stop) your intake during the week you can probably control it during the weekend as well, if you are determined to do so. Some alcoholics are binge drinkers, but many binge drinkers are not alcoholics. If something interferes with their ability or desire to go on a binge, they can easily stop.

    The reason I brought my husband into this conversation is because of your expressed desire to 'celebrate.' He used to come up with the most tenuous excuses to 'celebrate' and would then allow himself to drink to excess. I'd say as soon as you start drinking because you want to celebrate, or because you feel angry or upset or depressed, then the alcohol itself takes a back seat and it's 'okay' to drink.

    I'd say catch yourself in these situations. Instead of drinking to celebrate, do something else to celebrate. See if you can. If you can't, then you might be addicted. Beware of 'excuses' that allow you to drink.

    You can also try not keeping any alcohol in the house. If you have to drink, you then have to go out to do it.

    That trick didn't always work for my husband, because of the pub culture here in Scotland, but for a while (after another health scare several years before) he did stop buying alcohol for the house. However, it crept back in 'because of the garden.' He liked to have a beer while he was working in the garden. And then it started to be a couple of beers every day, whether the garden factored into the day's activities or not. And pretty soon, he was back to drinking 8 pints a day. In fact, he'd start as soon as he'd had his morning coffee, and go all day. He didn't get shit-faced, because it was steady over a period, but he stopped eating regular meals, and started snacking on food that was pretty nutrient-free. Consequently, when he did develop mouth cancer (as a result of the drinking) his general health was also very poor.

    I'm happy to say the penny has finally dropped. He no longer drinks at all, and while his ability to chew is not what it was, he can chew well enough to eat decent food. His health is much MUCH better than it used to be.

    I'd say watch out for excuses. Don't drink to 'celebrate.' Drink, if you must, because you need to drink. Admit that you're craving a drink for its own sake, and that will be a step in the right direction. Hopefully you're one of those people who is not actually an alcoholic, so once you break yourself of the weekend habit, you can then look forward to drinking on special occasions—wine with a fancy meal, a couple of beers at a party, etc. But beware of anything that becomes a habit. And beware of excuses. Alcohol is still alcohol, no matter why you're drinking it. And too much too often will eventually have a very bad effect on your brain, your body, your ability to get things done ...and will probably damage your relationships with others as well.

    If you can't make yourself stop, then contact a support group and see what they can do to help. You are one of many many people who struggles with this issue, so don't try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to treatment. And very good luck to you. It certainly can be beaten.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  3. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I can more or less control myself on Sunday (work night) and during the week. It's Friday and Saturday that I dread. I think it's like what you said with 'excuses'; my big excuse is that it's Friday and even if I woke up all sluggish with a pounding headache the next day, I have two days to nurse it.

    Granted, some might say that having four beers on Friday after I spent a week restraining myself isn't that big of a deal. It might not be...if I were living by myself, and not with parents who I KNOW would be disappointed in me.

    By doing that, I show I don't really love them; that I couldn't give two shits about their feelings, especially my mother's, who grew up with abusive alcoholics. I'm basically giving her PTSD-flashbacks by drinking too much. That's what kills me. It's one thing if I'm only hurting myself -- it's another that I keep hurting my parents like this.

    And the thing is, I know I'll forget this in a month. I'll forget this crappy, self-loathing feeling, let myself go and the cycle repeats. I can't seem to catch myself on Fridays and Saturdays, tell myself, "OK, just have two tonight, and that's it." Or just have no beers. I don't know how to catch myself.
     
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  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Do you have a drinking problem or a living-arrangements problem? Is this your problem or someone else's problem? (These are genuine questions, not meant to be rhetorical).

    You're in your twenties, right? Four beers in a night (four American beers?) for a kid in his twenties is really not a significant amount of alcohol by most standards. But if it's too much for your comfort, then, yeah, you need to do something about it.

    Think of other ways to treat yourself. Think of other activities you could take part in that don't involve alcohol. Don't have alcohol in the house, or only have the quantity that you're comfortable drinking at any time. Reach out for support from others who are struggling with alcohol (but be prepared that they may not take you totally seriously if you say you're upset because you drank four beers on a weekend night - you may need to hunt around for the right person to realize that it's a problem if it's something that makes you unhappy).

    The problem with drinking in moderation is that once you start drinking, your self-control and discipline go out the window. So if you don't want to drink four beers, maybe you shouldn't drink one beer.

    But maybe you should also speak to your parents and figure out if they actually are upset by four beers on a weekend night. If they grew up around abusive alcoholics, four beers may not really be a big deal to them. And I think you're catastrophizing with the "I show I don't really love them" nonsense.
     
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  5. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Because we've had this song and dance before. I drink too much, they find me slumped in a chair semi-unconscious, I wake up the next day feeling groggy, I tell them I'm sorry and I'll do better. Yes, four beers by itself isn't that big of a deal. By itself it doesn't even scratch the surface of alcoholism since I'm clearly capable of restraining myself from excess alcohol on Sunday and the weekdays.

    The problem with the activities is that I kind of weaned beer into it. Gaming, beer. Writing, beer. Divorcing beer from that is gonna be a problem.

    Not sure what you meant by living-arrangement problems. I'm the one buying the beer and getting plastered, no one else is.
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Do you not game or write on weekdays? Could you substitute another activity (not SMOKING! but... eating grapes? Whatever) instead of the drinking?

    Just that if we turn this around, you're living with people who apparently make you ashamed for something that a lot of people would consider normal Friday night behaviour. If it's behaviour that you're not pleased with, yourself, then it's not a problem with your living arrangements. But if the behaviour itself would be fine with you except that you think you're letting someone else down? Then you're feeling crappy and apparently self-loathing because of someone else's judgements, not your own, and I would classify that as a living-arrangements problem.

    Not necessarily one you can do anything about, but it might at least help if you framed it that way for yourself?
     
  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I don't wish to trivialise this, but four beers? That would have very little to no effect on most adults. And if you only 'hit the drink' on weekends, I doubt this is really a problem.

    Not that I want to make this is a competition, but during the New Year festivities, I'll do a whole bottle of bourbon to myself, along with all the wine that's circulating.

    Do some research and take at look at what people with real alcohol problems are drinking.
     
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  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    That's kind of my reaction, too, but if it's a problem for him it's a problem, right?
     
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  9. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    We’re talking Fairhope IPA with an alcohol content of 8.0%. And yeah, most alcoholics are drinking the stiffer stuff day in and day out. I would rather not find myself in that situation. Nip it in the bud early on as it were.
     
  10. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    That's still not a lot. If that's getting you paralytic I can only assume you have an extremely fast metabolism and are drinking on an empty stomach to boot.... through a straw.... whilst in a headstand.
    I guess so.
     
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  11. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    The big steps that need to be taken are admitting the problem, and then asking for help. So you doing okay on that front. However, asking for help here may not be as effective as asking for help in an AA meeting for example, or asking a professional who is trained and experienced in helping people address such problems.

    We are all responsible for finding the help we need. My advice is to ask for directions to the focused help and support you need.
     
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  12. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Whisky takes you to the 'Twilight Zone,' waking in bed with your neighbour's grandma, or in gaol after wrestling policemen. Not good to drink a bottle of whisky.
     
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  13. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    That's better than waking up in bed with policemen and wrestling grandmas. I think.
     
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  14. Taina

    Taina Member

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    It may sound daunting but I think the solution involves quitting alcohol as well as every activity possibly related to its consumption.
     
  15. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    'He'll need a park to go sit in, and the garage for sleeping.'

    'Yes, sir.'

    'And no more bedroom, no more internet, no more four beers on a Friday.'

    'Gotcha.'

    'Take him away.'
     
  16. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Hey, thanks for the replies everyone. The reason I asked was, well, I think I might have almost drank myself to death last night. I was told I was semi-conscious, couldn’t even talk, move my tongue, etc.

    In short, I’m lucky I’m even alive right now.
     
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  17. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with this, speaking as as someone who self-identifies as a high-functioning alcoholic - a drinking problem is not always measured by how much, what or when you drink. When I was younger I used to watch Intervention and justify my drinking as not that bad because I wasn't missing work, drinking a gallon of vodka every day, or having screaming arguments with my family. But at the end of the day I'm no more or less an alcoholic than them because even though I can control the volume and duration of my drinking (i.e. limiting myself to the socially acceptable 2 glasses of wine at out of town business meals even knowing there's no alcohol in my hotel room), the thought of not drinking at all for more than a day is frankly alarming to me. I have a compulsion to make sure there's a decent supply of alcohol in the house when I go to the store, because not being "stocked up" gets me jittery. I've developed a bit of an anxiety problem over the last 5 or 6 years and I refuse to go on any meds because I'm concerned it might limit my alcohol consumption, and that's not exactly the type of decision you make unless you have a problematic relationship with drinking.

    Four beers on a Friday certainly wouldn't be a big deal in my house, but if it is at Link's and is making him unhappy and feel unwell (his physical symptoms certainly point to an unusual metebolization of alcohol and I wonder if he might have some kind of allergy or sensitivity) I don't see why trying to change that behavior would be a bad thing. I wish I had some advice for him on how to do that, but since I'm not exactly looking to sign up for that kind of help myself I feel like it'd be somewhat hypocritical to even try.
     
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  18. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    If this is really the case, I think you should go to a doctor and report these symptoms. If four 8.0 ABV beers in a single evening almost killed you, there has to be some kind of underlying health issue unless you weigh under 50 pounds. I really feel like this points to liver or other metabolic functionality problems, which if left undiagnosed could cause further problems down the line that have noting to do with alcohol.

    Another thought I had, and almost hate to say it, but is there any possibility your beer could have been adulterated with rohypnol or another drug? I've had friends that were roofied at bars and what you're describing sounds eerily familiar. :(
     
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  19. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Y’know, I might actually have some kind of allergy/sensitivity to alcohol. I mean, four beers and I was blacked out cold. My parents literally thought I had died.

    I’m not sure if the beers were ever tampered with. I mean, I get them at the store, and I opened them up myself.

    But yeah, if four beers is enough to make me black out, then I should probably go check it out with the doctors.
     
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  20. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, that would be a good idea.
     
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  21. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Banned Contributor

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    Yeah, if you stop after 4 (not even a warm up for this scrawny old guy) I certainly wouldn't call you a lush. Are you drinking because you don't have anything better to do? Does your personality change when you're in the bag? Are you jones-ing for another now? If you have two "No's" out of these three questions... maybe you should just start another novel.
     
  22. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    Go to the doctor and don't touch a drop til you do. You owe it to yourself to be honest with yourself. Don't forget about how you feel. Don't let your feelings of failure drive you back to the thing that made you feel like a failure in the first place. Is your family there for you? Do they want to help? If they're offering help, accept it -- it doesn't make you weak. This isn't going to go away on its own. You have to make the choice to stop and decide that your life is worth more than whatever you find in a bottle.
     
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  23. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Add another voice to the "get to a doctor" brigade. Even if you'd chugged four beers in rapid succession, that shouldn't be enough alcohol to affect you that much. Might make you puke if you have a delicate stomach, but not make you comatose.

    There's something else going on.
     
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  24. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    This is a really poor "diagnosis" of a possible addiction to alcohol.

    Trivializing a problem for someone is not going to do them any good and is often damaging to the person involved. Alcoholism is serious, fatal if left unchecked and I see people every single day of my life whose lives have been ruined by the kind of thinking you're espousing here.
     
  25. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Well said.
     
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