Alcoholism

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Phrygian77, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I quit drinking 19 years ago and it's so liberating I cant describe it. As long as cleaning your act up was your idea, IOW not because a wife, judge, job, etc told you to, your odds go way up

    There will times that will feel funny. For me it was stuff like watching the Super Bowl or Nascar racing. But hey, now you'll remember them . If you get pulled over driving you won't have a freak out session before the cop gets to your window

    It's going to take work but it's well worth it. Dont look back, keep your eyes straight ahead, there is a worthwhile goal there. Go for it
     
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  2. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Stopped in ‘88.
    No more wasted time.
    Think of it a wasted time. You can get money, health, love back.
    Can’t get back wasted time.
    All the best to you. Pulling for you.
     
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  3. SAguitar

    SAguitar Tele-Meister

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    I don't have any magic words or answers, but I do empathize with you and have lost several friends, and my father, to alcohol. I have struggled with addictions myself, but not to the depths you have described. Just sticking with this thread shows that you at least kinda want to change, and you're reaching out for help. Those are good things.
    Life is often a long string of small choices. You didn't just one day make a big choice that put you in this place. But you did make a lot of little choices that contributed to the situation. That's the part you have to own. And start making good choices, one little choice at a time. I won't wish you good luck, because I don't believe in luck. I do believe in choices, consequences and God. (I hope I didn't cross a line with that statement.)

    I'm pulling for you, and praying for you. A clean life is worth it!
     
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  4. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    My first sober Opening Day at Dodger Stadium was a revelation. I went home after the game and went to the Gym instead of Bed. THAT’S when it hit me.
     
  5. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, man, it's guys like you that encourage me to reach out on here.
     
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  6. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I quit drinking cold turkey on August 7, 1998. I had been drinking for 14 years—since I was 14 years old!

    I don’t know what kind of diagnosis I would have been given by an addiction expert—I was highly functional, never missed work or a house/car payment or utility payment. I regularly attended religious services. I didn’t get in fights, I never physically or verbally abused my wife, and I certainly never cheated on her. I never wrecked my car, never got a DUI (although Lord knows I deserved a bunch of them).

    What I did, though, was become emotionally vacant. My wife and I had suffered multiple setbacks—loss of jobs, financial problems, loss of several friends and relatives to death, some major health scares with my father, the betrayal of friends who weren’t happy we got married (she had a friend that had a crush on me, many of my friends didn’t like the fact that I married her instead of a previous toxic woman that had been in my life)...

    I was emotionally immature, and around our fourth anniversary, I started to stay buzzed 98% of the time I wasn’t at work—and about 50% of the time that I was at work.

    I would really tie one on in social situations—I didn’t know it at the time, but I had severe social anxiety that I hid through outrageous clowning and abuse of alcohol—both of which fed one another. As a musical performer, I was fearless and bold—when I was drinking...

    I was also good at hiding my drinking. Several in-laws and relatives (who were either recovering alcoholics or were tee-totallers) later said they weren’t aware that I drank, beyond an occasional beer. They just thought I was kinda goofy.

    During the fifth year of our marriage, though, things got out of hand. I didn’t stay buzzed, I stayed drunk.

    In short order, a young family friend (whom my wife and I considered our little brother), my grandmother and my uncle all died. I just couldn’t deal with anything, so I stayed soused. I had gotten to that saturation point to where one day I could have ten drinks and it would not have any effect, but the next day one drink would send me into major drunkenness—blackouts, vomiting, the whole sordid mess.

    The last drunk I pulled was during a rehearsal with a new band I was forming with my cousin. Since we were jamming at my house, I loaded up with a 12-pack of my favorite beer, new fifth of “sipping” tequila and a few batches of margaritas for the girls...obviously, I didn’t drink all of that, or I wouldn’t be here today...but I made every effort to drink all of it!

    I ended up embarrassing myself and my wife severely; I damaged friendships and family relationships that night. The next morning, with a hangover the size of Texas, I mumbled to my wife, “I think I might have a problem.”

    She started an hour-long tirade with the words, “You THINK?!? There ain’t no THINKING about a problem—YOU ARE A PROBLEM!”

    I sat and listened to her unload on me without comment. She lamented that, after all the negative experiences she had dealt with as a child related to alcoholic relatives, she went and married one.

    I deserved every minute of it.

    I didn’t know where to start, so I went to an AA meeting, got a big blue book and talked to her recovered uncle (he was one of the ones that didn’t know I drank; he said, “I never saw you drunk...” I related four recent occurrences, and he said, “Huh. I just thought you were being stupid...I guess I’ll have to get to know the sober you, if you’re serious about this.”)

    AA wasn’t for me. Listening to the one-upmanship and tales of lament made me feel like going out and getting drunk—not because it sounded fun, but because they were so whiny and annoying (again, my social anxiety).

    The Big Blue Book did help me—reading other people’s experiences and finding out that my feelings were not unique was a great relief.

    I poured myself into volunteer work through my congregation (something I’d never done while drinking or drunk, so I knew I could do it sober), learned how to play guitar and harp and sing in front of an audience sober, I learned how to mow the lawn and work on the car and generally relax without alcohol.

    Several people thought I was depressed or sick—because I was quieter and more serious. I generally just let them think what they wanted to.

    I discovered that I was terrible at playing billiards and darts—things I could do very well when drinking. I still try, because I enjoy those activities. I’m a better musician, but a little less prolific of a songwriter (I still write, just not as much).

    Three years after I got sober, we had our daughter. I’m glad she never saw me drinking...in fact, most of my friends now have not seen me drinking, ever. They’re shocked when I tell them why.

    I don’t recommend this to anyone, but I can go to a bar, I can mix my famous margaritas or some other drink for my wife and her friends, and we usually have alcohol in the house. I just move it out of the way to get to my iced tea or cranberry juice. As long as I don’t have one drink, I don’t feel the need or desire to have any drinks.

    Twenty-one years later, I think this sobriety thing might stick.
     
  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm going to give it to you straight. Think of the s*** that little girl has seen in 14 years. If you don't stop drinking very soon, she doesn't stand a chance.
     
  8. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    One of the hallmarks of folks like myself and others that have had bad problems with booze and drugs is that we have a knack for complicating things.

    We are very good at shooting holes in a program like AA or NA, or pretty much any other type of program, and we come up with all sorts of reasons that it won't work for us. That is normal behavior for a complicated drunk :).

    I was pretty good at condemning things (like AA and NA) before I ever really understood what they were really about. Condemnation prior to investigation ;).

    Too many of us reject 12 step programs because of the "higher power" thing.

    I know that I did, until I opened my mind a little bit (actually, a lot :)), and understood that what it really says is "is a god, God, higher power, of my own understanding".

    I think that some of the founders realized that there would be people like me who would pick out the part about God with a capital G and object.

    So, they left that door open with the clarification that states " A god, God, higher power, of my own understanding".

    At least that's how I read it; it's just semantics.

    An open mind is a beautiful thing ;).




    It doesn't really matter how we find a way not to pick up a drink or a bag of dope for 24 hours, but working through the 12 steps and continuing to work on them sure made it easier for me to do that.

    I really couldn't tell you how many times I quit forever or quit for the rest of my life, but it never worked. I was also one of the world's greatest skeptics when it came to any sort of a program of recovery.

    Thirteen years ago I said, OK, I won't pick up for one day, 24 hours. That's what I'm still doing - just for today.

    It may sound kind of wacky to some folks, but it made things simpler for me then, and it still does.

    There is a wrench to fit every nut ;).






    g
     
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  9. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    One day, one step at a time. Plenty of folks are in your corner and rooting hard for you.
     
  10. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you...
     
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  11. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Aside from doing it for my loved ones, and myself. I know you guys still want to see more stuff like this also...

    IMG_20190801_154343.jpg

    It feeds my soul like nothing else, but I've felt so broken lately that I've had a hard time even finishing the follow up...

    IMG_20190903_231847.jpg

    IMG_20190830_171812 (1).jpg

    IMG_20190903_194959.jpg
     
  12. SAguitar

    SAguitar Tele-Meister

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    You do some beautiful work, brother.
     
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  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It'll be fourteen years sober for me this coming Monday the 16th. I hear what you're saying, and I know the person you're describing-I was you 15 years ago. To a T. I never did find a meeting I felt comfortable with, and I couldn't name the 12 steps if my life depended on it. The Higher Power thing was a dead-end for me as well, as I've never been much of a religious person. But I knew I needed to quit, I finally reached the point where I honestly wanted to, and somehow I managed to grasp just enough of the 12 step program to make it somehow work for me.

    There are no set rules on what you have to do in order to quit, regardless of what some may claim. All that matters is that you figure out a way to make the necessary lifestyle changes that work for you.
     
  14. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

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    Same here.While I could see the bottom,I feel I had caught myself in time.I'd heeded the words of my addiction counselors,went to a few months of meetings even. Ultimately couldn't really relate to those at the meetings.I got yelled at by some dude,and not really sure why. Alot of them feel that DUI' ers are not really the same as them,but if you've had 3 DUIs ,you damn sure are on your way.
     
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  15. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks, man! Aside from playing music, my outlet used to be working on cars, but once I started building and working on amps, it pretty much took over as my main passion.
     
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  16. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Just this afternoon at work I was talking to someone about all that kind of dumb stuff I used to do. You just about quoted me

    I told him while the money you wasted was bad enough, the really bad part was all the years you wasted
     
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  17. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    I've not battled alcoholism but I have battled sevre depression, & talking about it is key. It is a sign you're ready to fight for a better future & not willing to hide a problem like your little secret. Keeping talking, keep fighting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My passion is home recording, with woodworking a close second. Not coincidentally, both are hobbies that also serve a secondary role of stress reduction. It's good to find a productive use of your free time that gives you something to focus your attention on 100%, and which also blocks out quite a bit of the dark thoughts that lead us toward self-destructive alternatives.
     
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  19. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Meister

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    That is truly wonderful stuff that you do.

    I just found this thread, I haven't read every post but there seems to be lots of good advice here.

    I personally don't have any issues, but over the years I've had to watch a few good friends destroy their lives due to various addictions while being unable to help in any meaningful way. Breaks me up to think about it still.

    I can only offer my heartfelt thoughts to you & yours.

    You have a very hard & scary path ahead of you, but it can be walked. You will need help, support and assistance from both professionals and those closest to you. But mainly from yourself. Find your strength, brother, you will need it.
     
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  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's only scary at the beginning, then that goes away over time and becomes a much more positive thing. Once you've gone through Hell and made it through to the other side intact, it gives you a whole new perspective on everything in life. I can honestly say that I am a better, more balanced person today than I was even before drinking became an issue. Perspective.
     
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