24 Years

fender4life

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Posts
4,577
Location
los angeles
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.
I get all that and think i pretty much said the same thing in a more concise manner. My point was simply that whenever a thread like this pops up the general vibe seems to always lean towards alcohol: bad, period. It always gives that impression. And thats just not the case. Big macs are probably just as deadly if you eat them as often as alcoholics drink. But of course i DO get that some people DO drink way too much and can't stop it, same with others with a big mac habit. A macaholic if you will. 😁 But it just seems alcohol is always demonized in threads like this.
 

Driver3

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Posts
423
Location
Coboconk, Ontario
June 16th 1997 was the date for me.
When there's a date there were issues.
You do find out who your friends are.
Meetings turned out to be dry drunks talking about drinking...no thanks.
Every bar in the world has the same people sitting on the same stools talking about the same stuff.
Good on ya!
 

OlDefGuy

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 7, 2018
Posts
141
Age
60
Location
Kansas
June 16th 1997 was the date for me.
When there's a date there were issues.
You do find out who your friends are.
Meetings turned out to be dry drunks talking about drinking...no thanks.
Every bar in the world has the same people sitting on the same stools talking about the same stuff.
Good on ya!
April 2nd 1999 is mine.
Reading your post I’m thinking that’s the exact same experience as had! Must be fairly common.

Congrats on your anniversary Red
 

Wrighty

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Posts
5,864
Age
67
Location
Essex UK
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.
A genuinely heart warming story, you should be proud of yourself my friend. Here’s to the next 24 years!
 

ChicknPickn

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Posts
3,807
Location
Ole Virginny
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.
Just celebrated #7 myself. Congrats on real living. What a miracle.
 

ChicknPickn

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Posts
3,807
Location
Ole Virginny
I get all that and think i pretty much said the same thing in a more concise manner. My point was simply that whenever a thread like this pops up the general vibe seems to always lean towards alcohol: bad, period. It always gives that impression. And thats just not the case. Big macs are probably just as deadly if you eat them as often as alcoholics drink. But of course i DO get that some people DO drink way too much and can't stop it, same with others with a big mac habit. A macaholic if you will. 😁 But it just seems alcohol is always demonized in threads like this.
Yes. A friend said, "when you've suffered enough, you might be willing to try a different way." No suffering, no need to try another way.
 

Frank Roberts

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
293
You deserve a lot of credit for taking control of your life and sticking with it. That ain’t easy. But with the support of a good woman, right?
 

johnny k

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Posts
10,079
Location
France
1663059895051.png


good for getting it together @Fiesta Red
 

johnny k

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Posts
10,079
Location
France
My longest stretch has been one year. I've been mostly sober over the last 3-4 years at least. I can be at a bar as long as I'm there for a purpose. If I'm just hanging out watching people drinking, I can't handle it.

Just about a month ago my son-in-law was down here with his wife and the grandkids. He rented a beach house a few miles from here, so we spent a few days down there with them. Sitting on the beach, fishing, and watching my son-in-laws drinking ice cold beer got to me. I didn't drink then, but a few days afterwards, I grabbed a 12 pack one night. A few days later I was back to drinking whiskey, and I was so sick I couldn't eat. The fear of alcohol withdrawal makes me drink like a madman.

I am sober again now.
I don't know if life is better sober, but life is better without withdrawal for sure.
 

Fiesta Red

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Posts
9,247
Location
Texas
I regularly "go sober" but , living in Australia, I know I'll have beers by our hot Christmas season. Damn.:(
That’s why iced tea or fruit juice or mineral water or iced coffee or any other hundred cold beverages were created.
 

Fiesta Red

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Posts
9,247
Location
Texas
You do find out who your friends are.​
Sounds like we have similar reactions.

I found some of my “best friends” were pretty boring, kinda annoying or downright buttholes when I was sober.

A couple of “friends” didn’t like me when when I was sober, because it reflected how much they drank (quantity) or how much they depended on alcohol to have fun.

I only called one person out for his drinking—5-7 (?) years after I got sober—because he ruined three gigs in a row. He was buzzed before the first set, drunk by second, blitzed by third and semi-comatose by fourth…three gigs in a row…

I turned off his amp during the last set(s) and he didn’t even know. I started changing the set list so we could play as a trio when he was “absent”…I politely pointed out the issue twice, pointedly addressed it once and it destroyed our friendship for many years.
15 years later, he’s coming around to being friendly again. I forgave him long ago, but I won’t have him in my band if he is drinking…

My brother doesn’t like me sober…of course, he didn’t like me when I drank, either, so…🤷🏼‍♂️ He just kinda generally doesn’t like me…and that’s ok.
But I know I’m a real good dancer…
—John Mellencamp​

Yeah, you find out who your real friends are when you’re broke, when you’re sober and when you’re sick.

Meetings turned out to be dry drunks talking about drinking...no thanks.
Every bar in the world has the same people sitting on the same stools talking about the same stuff.
Good on ya!
Yeah, I won’t talk against “meetings” because they work for some people—and I celebrate them for finding what works for them—but man, they made me anxious and frustrated.

I do not recommend my way to everyone, but it worked for me, so far.
 




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