Alcohol: A life ruiner

Toto'sDad

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There's still plenty of those bars here in the land where some men wear tartan skirts and no underwear.
I had my first drink in one of them and my last drink some 30 years later, as well a a few in between.
Fortunately they're becoming rarer.
I believe those types of bars exist primarily as an enclosure to foster arguments and eventually fist fights and worse. Kind of like cage fighting where they also serve alcohol. Arm wrestling on the corner of the bar was always good for a fistfight between participants and observers alike!
 

Kandinskyesque

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I believe those types of bars exist primarily as an enclosure to foster arguments and eventually fist fights and worse. Kind of like cage fighting where they also serve alcohol. Arm wrestling on the corner of the bar was always good for a fistfight between participants and observers alike!
I served my musical "apprenticeship" playing some of those places in the late 80s when the local govt decided that these bars could have extended opening hours if they provided entertainment.

I watched a full blown brawl break out during a charity fundraising fancy dress/Halloween event.
The bar manager told us at the beginning "under no circumstances stop playing".
I still can't sing "Stand by me" without picturing Frankenstein knocking seven bells out of Charlie Chaplin!!!
 

Vibroluxer

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But don't you think it does help to possess and implement intestinal fortitude?
You are very lucky you haven't had to go through this. I mean that sincerely. Its not a matter of simply changing your mindset, its a matter of admitting that you have no control over the drug of choice. I would tend to think it hard to have intestinal fortitude for something you have no control over. I know I didn't. Not drinking for a day seems like an eternity and you constantly wonder if you can make it. God forbid you get the shakes or DTs, trying to stay the course seems impossible. No control.
 

NoTeleBob

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@PennyroyalFrog, I'll only give you one piece of advice that I know to be a truth:

People can help, environmental changes can help, therapies can help. But they are only a catalyst. Change only happens when you make it happen because only you can choose to change you.

Past that truth: For most of us, we have to ponder, dig, and sometimes get down is the dirt and search for that little shred of motivation that gets us started on wanting to change us because of _something_. That where it starts. Only you can figure out what _something_ is.
 

Tonetele

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Yep- it's cost me 1/2 a beautiful home, a wife and over $1m. Now I just have a beer at home. NEVER drink when i have to drive.Quit if you can.
 

Vibroluxer

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My old man was a loser, wife-beating, family abandoning , POS drunk (imagine writing those words about your dad) .

So, if I had a problem with booze , I’d be like him.

Never. Gonna. Happen.
My Dad grew up with a drinking Dad and alcoholic mother. Like you, for him, Never. Gonna. Happen. It made my life better, I'm sure.
 

BigDaddyLH

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I realize everyone is not the same, if I feel like taking a drink I will, if I don't I won't.

I remember someone here writing that if he tried to have just one drink, by the end of the night he's in handcuffs.

For sure, we're not all the same. I can't watch my K-dramas without trying to keep up with the soju!
 

Moonraker5

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You are very lucky you haven't had to go through this. I mean that sincerely,,,,

I recognize the seriousness of our nation's addiction problem. From "recreational" drinking to people hooked on doctor prescribed pain meds, drugs are a problem that can't be solved by "Just say 'No'."

And I know the desire to alter our state is baked into our DNA. Think about it, there are backwards, primitive cultures throughout the ages that couldn't even come up with the invention of the wheel, yet they knew which plant to grind down and smoke in order to get high. And think back to when we were kids or think of kids today -- every kid spins themself around on the playground just to make themself dizzy. In other words, every kid wants to get a light-headed, trippy feeling -- wants to get a high.

The craving to get high is a human trait. The how to stop that craving has never been solved and, let's be honest, never will.
 

telemnemonics

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My old man was a loser, wife-beating, family abandoning , POS drunk (imagine writing those words about your dad) .

So, if I had a problem with booze , I’d be like him.

Never. Gonna. Happen.
I watched my old man backhand my crying mother off a chair while screaming at her; years after they divorced. I might have been five.

So knowing he was a drunk I decided the same thing: I’m never gonna be a drunk!

Joke was on me!
I just got hooked on other substances, (though I did sober up off booze as a teen before trying it again), all the same disease even though doctors who are frustrated by this health problem they really can’t treat; keep changing definitions, and the $ rehab $ industry just grows and grows!

Funny that in recovery I figured out that since I was little I carried deep shame over failing to protect my mother from my father.
How does that even make sense?

Looking deeper into sick minds origins of sickness, it seems my mother had been abused various ways by various people when still with her parents then after they split and she was in foster care.
So like many with hidden sick thinking, she chose an abusive drunk to marry because it felt normal. I can trace my fathers family sickness too but ‘nuff said.

All the speculation that booze makes alcoholics and drugs make addicts? Understandable for those who are normal.
 

buster poser

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I hope you get it together, my friend.

I have more than one parable of booze-/substance-based tragedy in my life; people who are dead to me, and people who are just dead. Good friends, family. Had one story typed up, but they all end the same way. You understand the stakes here and what you need to do.

I hope you can pull up.
 

telemnemonics

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I recognize the seriousness of our nation's addiction problem. From "recreational" drinking to people hooked on doctor prescribed pain meds, drugs are a problem that can't be solved by "Just say 'No'."

And I know the desire to alter our state is baked into our DNA. Think about it, there are backwards, primitive cultures throughout the ages that couldn't even come up with the invention of the wheel, yet they knew which plant to grind down and smoke in order to get high. And think back to when we were kids or think of kids today -- every kid spins themself around on the playground just to make themself dizzy. In other words, every kid wants to get a light-headed, trippy feeling -- wants to get a high.

The craving to get high is a human trait. The how to stop that craving has never been solved and, let's be honest, never will.
I think your comments here and your former suggestion that “having intestinal fortitude” will help addicts/ alcoholics quit?
They are helpful because you and others trying to understand human behaviors that make no sense; need to engage in discussion for any possible shift in how society views and deals with the disease.

The primary solution is law enforcement, and we know they stay busy with us but can’t cure or fix the problem.
I do appreciate though that a drunk or druggie in jail is at least not running over a child in their car etc.

But here’s a shot at separating “us“from the rest of you:

Once an addict/ alcoholic gets far enough into the symptoms of the disease;
There is no more getting high, no more pleasure, no more fun, no happy enjoyment that normal people associate with using substances.

WRT intestinal fortitude, the civilian population seldom gets close to the addict/ alcoholic who has progressed far enough into the disease to be at that stage where the fun is over and life is only about the disease.
The truth is, you normal folks?

I think it’s safe to say that normal people DO NOT have the intestinal fortitude it takes to live in the later stages of addiction/ alcoholism, where no chemical eases the pain, no loved ones remain, no home shelters you so you live under a bridge, no plate of food is available so you eat from dumpsters, and eventually your body literally begins to rot yet you do not seek medical care.

That is the eventual late stage addict/ alcoholic, just as cancer starts with a diagnosis before gradually destroying you.

To the layperson, it might appear that homeless addict alcoholics are some other thing entirely.
We are really the same whether still paying the bills or later on couches and cardboard boxes.
Just as the cancer patient looks normal in early stages,nthennif untreated, gradually turns into the visually recognizable sick person.

So again, later on we are not enjoying the substances, and we only get painful consequences using them. But cannot stop.
 

Vibroluxer

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I recognize the seriousness of our nation's addiction problem. From "recreational" drinking to people hooked on doctor prescribed pain meds, drugs are a problem that can't be solved by "Just say 'No'."

And I know the desire to alter our state is baked into our DNA. Think about it, there are backwards, primitive cultures throughout the ages that couldn't even come up with the invention of the wheel, yet they knew which plant to grind down and smoke in order to get high. And think back to when we were kids or think of kids today -- every kid spins themself around on the playground just to make themself dizzy. In other words, every kid wants to get a light-headed, trippy feeling -- wants to get a high.

The craving to get high is a human trait. The how to stop that craving has never been solved and, let's be honest, never will.
Well said,
I recognize the seriousness of our nation's addiction problem. From "recreational" drinking to people hooked on doctor prescribed pain meds, drugs are a problem that can't be solved by "Just say 'No'."

And I know the desire to alter our state is baked into our DNA. Think about it, there are backwards, primitive cultures throughout the ages that couldn't even come up with the invention of the wheel, yet they knew which plant to grind down and smoke in order to get high. And think back to when we were kids or think of kids today -- every kid spins themself around on the playground just to make themself dizzy. In other words, every kid wants to get a light-headed, trippy feeling -- wants to get a high.

The craving to get high is a human trait. The how to stop that craving has never been solved and, let's be honest, never will.
I agree with every word! I was going to say it is genetic but didn't want to take the time to google it for research. Lazy Monday!
 

Moonraker5

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Once an addict/ alcoholic gets far enough into the symptoms of the disease;
There is no more getting high, no more pleasure, no more fun, no happy enjoyment that normal people associate with using substances.

So again, later on we are not enjoying the substances, and we only get painful consequences using them. But cannot stop.

Those words are well said. I can't even come up with an analogy to better wrap my head around those words.

So the very thing that begins as "fun" as "enjoyment" has become a poison, a killer. It's purpose, it's reason for being a part of one's life, has flipped 180 degrees. Damn.
 

ChicknPickn

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Those words are well said. I can't even come up with an analogy to better wrap my head around those words.

So the very thing that begins as "fun" as "enjoyment" has become a poison, a killer. It's purpose, it's reason for being a part of one's life, has flipped 180 degrees. Damn.
Yep. Continuing to drink once the desired effect is gone is like continuing to hit a nail after the head's bent over.
 

Piggy Stu

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Alcohol has wrecked my family. Those who have turned a corner on it only did so after some big shock that made them stand back and see it can't go on. Jail and hospital
 

boneyguy

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I come from a family of alcoholics..(mother, both brothers... and to some degree my father was reliant on alcohol)...I refer to it as 'the family business'. And I gave it a good try for a few years but just didn't have the commitment it required I suppose. I get terrible hangovers and that was part of the problem for me. Those who are commited to the lifestyle just accept that as collateral damage I suppose. I couldn't. When I fell into a deep depression with terrible anxiety about 14 years ago I just had no desire to drink....the thought of adding alcohol to my already poor mental health at the time just wasn't something I could do. So I didn't drink for probably a year or so. Now I can have a six pack in the fridge (which doesn't happen often) and it can last me a month or more. I forget it's there. I go out to a jam on Sundays and have two or three beers and that's it for the week. I like the little happy buzz I get and that's it for the week. Life works better this way for me.

I have no negative judgement of those that have addictions. Life is a difficult journey and we all find ways to cope with various traumas and stresses. I have only good will and empathy for those who use substances as a way to get to a state of mind where life feels more easily liveable. I understand that. My hope is for everyone to find peace and ease in their life without the need for dependance on harmful substances.
 

Fiesta Red

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I had a spectacular drinking career from the age of 14 to 28, with one small gap.

I quit drinking for 11 months in a period overlapping 1988 and 1989, after which I felt vindicated that I didn’t have a drinking problem…after all, I easily quit, for no apparent rhyme or reason, and didn’t seem to be worse for wear during that period of sobriety.

I really don’t know why I quit at that time—I did it on a whim shortly after I graduated high school, and started drinking again on another whim on a hot summer afternoon, fueled by thirst as much as the desire for alcohol.

I never really stopped after that, outside of a rare week due to sickness or a rare evening due to sensitivity towards a person who had a drinking problem. I learned how to hide my drinking (initially, I was still underage) from my parents, Johnny Law and other people in my social circle who might not approve.

The story about how and why it spiraled out of control could be a short book, in and of itself, but I turned to booze when I was stressed…or wanted to avoid my feelings…or when I was happy or when I was mad…or when I was bored or…

Ultimately, I liked drinking. That was the main reason…I liked it. I liked the taste and I liked the way it made me feel. I wasn’t an angry, mouthy, sad, fight-y, or aggressive drunk. I just got nauseous, stupid and lazy.

It had spiraled to the point that I was drinking every day—even at work sometimes—and it was no longer predictable what would happen. Some days I could drink a 12-pack and there’d be no discernible difference in my behavior. Other days, I could drink one glass of wine or beer and be blitzed. (I found out later that this is a common thing with people who drink too much; from what I understand—on layman’s terms—their body quits processing the alcohol properly and the amount of alcohol doesn’t always correlate to the level of intoxication).

When I quit, I quit cold-turkey. We had a band practice at my house on a Saturday afternoon and night, where I drank to beyond blasted…this was one of the times where I drank a lot…and it showed. I puked my guts out (fortunately in my bathroom, not in front of the band and guests), greatly embarrassing my wife and myself.

I woke up the next (Sunday) morning with a hangover (the unrivaled truth of Mr, Kristofferson’s opus, “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” was a soundtrack of my life at that time), and said to my wife, “I think I might have a problem.”

You THINK? You THINK you might have a problem? That’s the understatement of the century! Do you realize that you…” her tirade was thorough, concise and completely deserved. When she paused thirty minutes later, I asked her where I should start.

She suggested talking to her uncle, who had been a horrible and troubled alcoholic but eventually got sober in his 40’s. He was extremely sensitive about alcohol being around him—he even had a problem going into certain restaurants where alcohol was served. I surreptitiously drank around him—even to the point of intoxication—but he never knew or (I found out later) even suspected.

When I finally decided to quit (after being married to his niece/honorary daughter for five years), I asked him what he did to get sober…he asked me why and I related how things were getting out of hand. He was shocked—he said, “I’ve never seen you drink! I thought you were a teetotaler! When were you drinking?”

I told him of several specific incidences—a Super Bowl party, an anniversary celebration, one of my gigs he attended, even the family dinner the week before. He was stupefied—he had no idea I drank at all, much less got drunk, especially in his presence. He complimented me on my ability to fake it.

I just decided to stop. No dramatic announcement, just the realization I was embarrassing my wife and killing myself. My wife thought I was just quitting “for a while” and didn’t really believe I’d be able—or willing—to stop completely. She apologized to me a year and a half later, saying, “I didn’t believe in you. I was wrong. Thank you for saving your life and our marriage.”
I thanked her for sticking with me during the bad times.

I read the Big Blue Book.
That helped me.
I went to a few AA meetings.
That didn’t help me.

Sitting around talking about drinking and listening to other people talking about drinking made me want to drink. So I struck out on my own, relying on the Higher Power I’d always believed in and the support of my long-suffering wife.

I had to re-learn how to do some things I’d never done before in a sober state…I was panicked the first time I played in front of an audience sober, but I noticed I played better and got better response.

Going to a dinner party was very difficult…I began to realize I had social anxiety, which I still struggle with all these years later. I still struggle when playing billiards sober…when I drank, I was pretty good. I am getting better, 24 years later, but I’m still not back to the level I was before.

Fortunately, that’s been the only long-term negative impact of sobriety. I lost a few “friends” who didn’t like me sober (obviously they weren’t good friends). My daughter and many of my closest friends have never seen me drink. I am (overall) healthy and feel good. I occasionally have the fleeting desire to sit down and drink a beer or a glass of wine or a margarita, but I know that would be stupid on my part so I don’t…I just “change the channel” in my brain when those thoughts/urges pop up, and get busy doing something else.

Life is better sober.
 

Deeve

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How did I miss this thread for three weeks?
And, at this point, what's there to add?

OP - if you have a desire to stop, there's a vast array of resources available to help.
Even here @ The Bumched Shrit, a name I will give to a tdpri non-drinker's lounge, if I ever get around to opening one.
PM any of us and you'll be amazed at the understanding ear/shoulder being offered.

Also, understand that if you are not in the mood to do so, I won't try to talk you into it. We aren't missionaries (even if some of us meet in church basements)

Peace - Deeve
 




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