24 Years

4pickupguy

Doctor of Teleocity
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May 12, 2013
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12,567
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Fort Worth, Texas
About a year and a half ago while stuck in Japan during the height of the zombie apocalypse, I found myself “needing” a vodka tonic from the Blue Bar every night. Then, started making them at home as well. I would have one in my hand by 10:30am on weekends. Things deteriorated very rapidly. it wasn’t just me either as we all had taken to drinking. Finally, the perfect storm of being trapped in country, stuck with being constantly in each other grills, a heated discussion, a spark, a push, and hilarity ensued. Me and one of the mechanics went to blows out the front of the house and down the very tall set of concrete stairs. I got lucky and wound up delivering salvos from a higher position and it ended quickly, violently, horribly. I AM NOT THIS GUY!! BUT, TURNS OUT THE ALCOHOL IS THAT GUY!! Totally not in control of what I was doing. The whole thing scared us all to death. We all vowed to stop the drinking and did. You cant fight what alcohol will eventually do to you. Once it becomes habitual, you will lose. I’m glad you made that choice 24 years ago. You saved your life and and the well being of those around you. Big Congrats!!!
 

fender4life

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Sep 18, 2011
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los angeles
I'm old but i still to this day find life better when i'm sober most of the time and have a nice warm buzz on occasion. Alcohol is no different than food in that respect...you don't eat 5 cheeseburgers, 3 large fries, a few carnitas burritos a gallon of ice cream every day just like u don't drink till you are vomiting several times a week. Everything in moderation. I had a freind who's gone now, but he was my best friend since before either of us could talk. He began going to AA in 1990 and went 5 days a week till he wasn't able to anymore. He went for 30 years, was a speaker at several AA locations and after being a seriously bad alcoholic for many years, he never touched another drink since he started going there. But he always told me to keep on drinking like i do because he knew i don't have a problem with it. He always told me drinking is not a problem if you can control it and enjoy it the way i do on occasion. But that he couldn't because he was an alcoholic and could not control it. It's in the genes. Some people can't control it, some can. I go for a month or 2 w/o it w/o craving it, but otherwise i will have 3-6 on the weekend and not often but now and then 1-2 on a weeknite. Only when i feel like it which is only now and then.

Point is, lets not make it out that people who drink have issues. Alcohol isn't the problem just like guns aren't the problem. It's the people using those things and whether or not they use them for good or for bad. I will never quit till it becomes a problem in one way or another, but in about 60 years of being a beer drinker it hasn't yet so i don't see it happening.
 

24 track

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I salute you for not drinking alcohol. I had many wonderful times while drinking, but it's a funny thing, the longer you do it, less the wonderful times show up. It takes something internal to make one stop drinking, at least for me it did, I came to the conclusion that I had as good a life going, as I was ever going to, and that the only thing that could mess it up was booze so I stopped, right then, and never drank again. The end of this year will be twenty-five years for me.

During the course of my drinking, I was beaten as badly as a human can be and survive three times by the gendarmes. It did not dissuade me from drinking. It only made me more aware of when and where to drink, and to ALWAYS have an escape plan. The last beating was so bad, and my resistance so great, had I not had the good luck to have a bail bondsman who employed a criminal photographer, I would have been in serious trouble. There were seventeen blackjack marks on my back and shoulders, and the pics he had his guy take, saved my bacon. That and emergency room receipts for having my right shoulder, which was dislocated, relocated. ;)

Drink for some of us is just plain trouble for others it's something to augment a special occasion. I wish I had could have stayed at the augment occasion stage of drinking. Drinking Jack straight out of the bottle put an end to that. I don't know if stopping drinking was a vast improvement in my life, but I'm pretty sure by now I would be dead had I not quit. Instead, I woke up this morning not dead yet at the age of 79.
in my prime party life I felt like a horse tied to a turnstyle going in circles as fast as i could with out going anywhere , as soon as i stopped I realized how big and limitless my options were. and I have been soaring ever since, unencumbered and unbridled.
but of course like the invincable idiot I was in my youth, even though i lost close family members to it , i was like a moth to a flame , too much wasted time.
 

teletail

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Posts
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72
Location
West By God Virginia
I'm old but i still to this day find life better when i'm sober most of the time and have a nice warm buzz on occasion. Alcohol is no different than food in that respect...you don't eat 5 cheeseburgers, 3 large fries, a few carnitas burritos a gallon of ice cream every day just like u don't drink till you are vomiting several times a week. Everything in moderation. I had a freind who's gone now, but he was my best friend since before either of us could talk. He began going to AA in 1990 and went 5 days a week till he wasn't able to anymore. He went for 30 years, was a speaker at several AA locations and after being a seriously bad alcoholic for many years, he never touched another drink since he started going there. But he always told me to keep on drinking like i do because he knew i don't have a problem with it. He always told me drinking is not a problem if you can control it and enjoy it the way i do on occasion. But that he couldn't because he was an alcoholic and could not control it. It's in the genes. Some people can't control it, some can. I go for a month or 2 w/o it w/o craving it, but otherwise i will have 3-6 on the weekend and not often but now and then 1-2 on a weeknite. Only when i feel like it which is only now and then.

Point is, lets not make it out that people who drink have issues. Alcohol isn't the problem just like guns aren't the problem. It's the people using those things and whether or not they use them for good or for bad. I will never quit till it becomes a problem in one way or another, but in about 60 years of being a beer drinker it hasn't yet so i don't see it happening.
I don't think anyone is saying that everyone who drinks has a problem. At 64 though, based on a lifetime of observation, I can tell you that there are a lot of people with drinking problems who are TOTALLY in denial.
 

Toto'sDad

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in my prime party life I felt like a horse tied to a turnstyle going in circles as fast as i could with out going anywhere , as soon as i stopped I realized how big and limitless my options were. and I have been soaring ever since, unencumbered and unbridled.
but of course like the invincable idiot I was in my youth, even though i lost close family members to it , i was like a moth to a flame , too much wasted time.
Horse tied to a turnstile! That's exactly what a drunk is, he's tied to that bottle, and he can never get very far from it. Once you get unhooked your options increase tremendously! The social drinker sips, the drunk gulps!
 

donrichfan

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Feb 10, 2012
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1,235
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Colorado / New Mexico
August 8, 1998.
I was playing slide guitar, harmonica and occasional vocals in a too-large band, and we were holding a band rehearsal and dinner at my home.

I made sure we had supplies for my world-famous Pink Cadillac Margaritas (recipe in a following post)…and a twelve pack of Miller Lite…and some higher-end sippin’ tequila for shots…and…well, you get the point…

I got loaded early and unfortunately didn’t slow the roll…I kept slamming back drinks for several hours, all the while trying to rehearse the uneven mix of blues and rock and pop and country songs. I even gave Clapton the Weenie Dog (1993-1998, RIP) a bowlful of beer and got him wobbly.

I’ve heard of “blind drunk”, but I used to occasionally get “deaf-drunk”…drunk enough that I really couldn’t hear things around me. I think it was actually psychological or mental—I just couldn’t focus so I couldn’t or didn’t hear anything unless I mustered all my attention on one thing, which was dang near impossible in that condition.

I got queasy, then nauseous, then out-and-out sick. I’ll spare you the details, but things came up that hadn’t been seen in years…I’m sure a forensic archeologist could have found evidence of Amelia Earhart’s remains.

Embarrassed my wife.
Embarrassed myself.
Irritated my band mates.

Woke up the next morning with jackhammers and sirens in my head. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” would have been a fitting soundtrack…but I decided not to take the hair of the dog that bit me. Instead, I decided to come clean and be forthright and honest with myself and my wife.

We had a very blunt conversation—or more correctly, she gave a very blunt soliloquy to let me know what was wrong with my behavior.

August 9, 1998
First day of sobriety.
White-knuckled it for a while.
Read the Big Blue Book (helpful).
Went to a few meetings (not helpful—actually made me want to drink…I’m an acquaintance of Bill, not a friend).
Learned to go to a party sober.
Learned to go to a concert sober.
Learned how to play a gig/jam/rehearsal sober.
Learned to deal with anger and sadness and frustration sober.
Still haven’t regained my billiards skills sober, but I enjoy playing any way.

So 24 years ago today, I had my last drink.

I can be around alcohol—I can play in a bar or go to a show in a bar or go to a party where alcohol is served. I’ve even gone to wine tastings and had a fun time watching everyone else (I politely decline). I even play bartender for my wife and her friends. 99.999% of the time alcohol is not a temptation, and during that 0.001% of the time that I kinda want a drink, I just “change the channel” in my mind and I’m ok.

Life is better sober.
Congrats sir, and thanks for the recipe!
 

Phrygian77

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Crawfordville, FL
I don't think anyone is saying that everyone who drinks has a problem. At 64 though, based on a lifetime of observation, I can tell you that there are a lot of people with drinking problems who are TOTALLY in denial.

Exactly. @fender4life it's obviously not a simple black and white issue. For some people it's not an issue at all, but for others, there are all kinds of ways they can have problems with alcohol. Some folks may become temperamental, violent, wreckless, or just plain embarrassing. Then, there are of course, varying levels of alcoholism.

I was a 'functional' alcohol who didn't get into trouble. It didn't affect my job. I never got a DUI, or arrested for anything. For most part, it didn't affect my relationship, not until much later. Anything bad or embarrassing that I did was usually after the party was over and my head had already hit the pillow.

When I tried to stop, or even slow down, I couldn't. Not because of willpower, it was because I became physically ill when I did. Scary stuff, like tremors, increased heart rate, vertigo, dry heaving, and even delirium and hallucinations. At first I didn't even realize that the milder symptoms were alcohol withdrawal. It wasn't until they got so bad that I had to go the hospital, and the doctor explained it was delirium tremens. From then on, I was so scared of the withdrawals that I drank not just everyday, but constantly, to the the point that it started making me really sick in different ways.

I imagine that @Fiesta Red and @Toto'sDad, just based on their stories, probably hadn't yet developed a full blown chemical dependency, but alcohol was still causing significant problems in their lives, to say the least.
 
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Deeve

Doctor of Teleocity
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Dec 7, 2009
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Ballard
ODAAT @Fiesta Red
And congrats on finding out "tonight the bottle let me down" a lil sooner than I did.

Another side effect - 19 yrs w/o handcuffs or "watch your head, sir..."

The 24 hr game has made things better for me too.
Peace - Deeve
 

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teletail

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West By God Virginia
Exactly. @fender4life it's obviously not a simple black and white issue. For some people it's not an issue at all, but for others, there are all kinds of ways they can have problems with alcohol. Some folks may become temperamental, violent, wreckless, or just plain embarrassing. Then, there are of course, varying levels of alcoholism.

I was a 'functional' alcohol who didn't get into trouble. It didn't affect my job. I never got a DUI, or arrested for anything. For most part, it didn't affect my relationship, not until much later. Anything bad or embarrassing that I did was usually after the party was over and my head had already hit the pillow.

When I tried to stop, or even slow down, I couldn't. Not because of willpower, it was because I became physically ill when I did. Scary stuff, like tremors, increased heart rate, vertigo, dry heaving, and even delirium and hallucinations. At first I didn't even realize that the milder symptoms were alcohol withdrawal. It wasn't until they got so bad that I had to go the hospital, and the doctor explained it was delirium tremens. From then on, I was so scared of the withdrawals that I drank not just everyday, but constantly, to the the point that it started making me really sick in different ways.

I imagine that @Fiesta Red and @Toto'sDad, just based on their stories, probably hadn't yet developed a full blown chemical dependency, but alcohol was still causing significant problems in their lives, to say the least.
Yup. Too many people think if they aren’t homeless, puking on themselves in a gutter then they are A-OK. Alcoholics put their so-called loved ones through their own special hell. I’ve been on both ends of the bottle. The main difference between me and most drunks is I knew I had a problem, it just took me 20 years to fix it.
 

Toto'sDad

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Bakersfield
Yup. Too many people think if they aren’t homeless, puking on themselves in a gutter then they are A-OK. Alcoholics put their so-called loved ones through their own special hell. I’ve been on both ends of the bottle. The main difference between me and most drunks is I knew I had a problem, it just took me 20 years to fix it.
Took me longer than that, but I finally realized your girlfriend can't be just a little bit pregnant, and you can't just have one drink.
 

Fiesta Red

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Nov 15, 2010
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9,247
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Texas
Exactly. @fender4life it's obviously not a simple black and white issue. For some people it's not an issue at all, but for others, there are all kinds of ways they can have problems with alcohol. Some folks may become temperamental, violent, wreckless, or just plain embarrassing. Then, there are of course, varying levels of alcoholism.

I was a 'functional' alcohol who didn't get into trouble. It didn't affect my job. I never got a DUI, or arrested for anything. For most part, it didn't affect my relationship, not until much later. Anything bad or embarrassing that I did was usually after the party was over and my head had already hit the pillow.

When I tried to stop, or even slow down, I couldn't. Not because of willpower, it was because I became physically ill when I did. Scary stuff, like tremors, increased heart rate, vertigo, dry heaving, and even delirium and hallucinations. At first I didn't even realize that the milder symptoms were alcohol withdrawal. It wasn't until they got so bad that I had to go the hospital, and the doctor explained it was delirium tremens. From then on, I was so scared of the withdrawals that I drank not just everyday, but constantly, to the the point that it started making me really sick in different ways.

I imagine that @Fiesta Red and @Toto'sDad, just based on their stories, probably hadn't yet developed a full blown chemical dependency, but alcohol was still causing significant problems in their lives, to say the least.
My wife comes from a dramatic alcoholic family—arrests, fist fights, yelling matches, repeated declarations of sobriety, meetings and other drug dependencies as well; her bio-dad is also an alcoholic (although she was not raised around him)…so it was in her genes and in her environment.
However, my wife has no substance abuse/dependency issues. She can have a couple of beers or glasses of wine with no problem. She will get a little giggly (my jokes are suddenly a lot funnier), but that’s about it. We’ve been married 29 years and I’ve only seen her more than tipsy twice—once by accident (we were in a resort on our honeymoon and she didn’t realize she’d drank the equivalent of four beers in one sitting—they were served in tiny 6-oz glasses and she was drinking to slake her thirst)…the second time was scary because somebody slipped something in her drink (I know this because she only had two drinks over a six-hour period and could not even walk after the second one—six hours after the first one!). She doesn’t have a drinking problem.

My father is a quiet alcoholic. You don’t know when he’s drunk. He’s quiet when sober, and almost as quiet when drinking. No arrests, brawls or yelling, no meetings, no drama, just quiet brooding anger. So that’s where I got mine.

We’re keeping our eye on our daughter. She’s almost 21 and we’ve allow her to drink in certain social settings since she was around 17. She has a *lot* of my personality, but has her mama in her too—and of course, both of our genetics—so we don’t know how her relationship with alcohol will be.
 




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